Adventure Safaris In Africa

Christmas Holiday Sorted With These 5 Affordable Destinations

Ssese Islands
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

Somebody once said that you don’t have to be rich to travel. You only need to find cheap holiday destinations, for instance, in East Africa.

The tourism industry is opening up, and there is a lot for people to see without necessarily breaking the bank.

East Africa is a perfect destination to experience that once-in-a-life adventure you need. You’ll get to explore the culture of the people as you enjoy a wide range of natural scenery and wildlife.

With a limited budget, you can have a great time visiting these cheap holiday destinations in East Africa:

1. Gombe Stream National Park – Tanzania 

Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania is one of those cheap holiday destinations in East Africa that should be on your bucket list. 

The park, located in the westernmost region of Tanzania, comprises steep valleys, woodlands, grasslands and tropical rainforests. 

There is a lot to do here, from hiking and swimming in Lake Tanganyika to trekking and seeing a lot of chimpanzees and snorkelling. The wild chimpanzees you’ll come across at Gombe Stream have lived for about fifty years.

Gombe Stream National Park

Chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park. Photo/ Tanzania Tourism.

Apart from chimpanzees, other primates at Gombe Stream include red colobus monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys and blue monkeys. 

2. Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary – Uganda 

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Nakasongola district, is home to one of the most endangered animals in the world, the rhino. 

It is the only place in Uganda where tourists can do rhino tracking. The sanctuary, which is one of the cheap holiday destinations in East Africa, is a perfect place for canoe rides, night walks, relaxation and birding. 

Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority established the sanctuary to re-introduce the rhinos which were almost getting extinct in the wild. 

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary currently has 32 southern white rhinos.

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary

Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo/ Rupi the African Trotter – WordPress.com.

3. Mount Elgon National Park – Kenya and Uganda 

Mount Elgon National Park is a must-visit place if you’re in love with nature and beauty. The park, which is a cheap holiday destination in East Africa, is at the border of Kenya and Uganda. 

Mount Elgon National Park is home to elephants, buffaloes, monkeys and antelopes. Apart from seeing the wild animals, you can also enjoy biking, hiking and exploring caves such as the famous Kitum Caves. 

A visit to the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve offers you first-hand experience as to why it is one of the most attractive places in East Africa. 

4. Ssese Islands – Uganda 

The Ssese Islands in the northwestern corner of Lake Victoria is a perfect treat to unwind, even if you’re on a budget. 

The Ssese Islands are an archipelago of eighty-four islands comprising tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches and clear waters.

Ssese Islands

Ssese Islands. Photo/ Matoke Tours.

Buggala is the largest island which you should ensure your visit during your trip. Some of the activities on the developed island include swimming and bicycle riding. 

Ngamba island is a place for animal lovers since it has a chimpanzee sanctuary, which Jane Goodall Foundation established. 

If you want to enjoy nature walks and see uncommon birds, visit Bulago Island. 

5. Akagera National Park – Rwanda 

Akagera National Park is in the relatively warm and low-lying plains of Akagera. It is one of the cheap holiday destinations in East Africa you should visit. 

The national park is ideal for game viewing, as you’ll come across lions, elephants, buffaloes, monkeys, baboons, giraffes and zebras.

Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park. Photo/ Rwanda Gorilla Trek.

Akagera National Park has over 490 bird species and large pods of hippos and Nile crocodiles. 

After a long day of enjoyment, you can spend the night in one of the hotels in the park. 

What is the best country to visit in East Africa? 

  • Kenya 
  • Tanzania 
  • Uganda 
  • Rwanda 

How can I go to Africa on a budget? 

  1. Find cheap plane tickets
  2. Be flexible with departure and arrival 
  3. Avoid high season in Africa 
  4. Apply for a visa online or on arrival 
  5. Use public transport whenever possible 
  6. Buy a local sim card
  7. Avoid ATM’s 
  8. Eat street food and buy food at markets
  9. Avoid fancy beaches and resorts 
  10. Skip African safaris 

What is the Best Time of the Year to Visit East Africa? 

July to October is the best time to visit East Africa. Visitors planning to visit the rainforests of Uganda and Rwanda should avoid travelling between April and May. 

What are the Most Popular Regions of Eastern Africa? 

  1. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya 
  2. Omo River Region, Ethiopia  
  3. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda 
  4. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania 
  5. Zanzibar Islands 
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About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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