The East African Community has been blessed by nature as a concentration of some of the best wildlife this planet has to offer. The elephants grazing majestically together with tall giraffes (I actually don’t know of a short giraffe) as the gazelles jump around trying to avoid being part of the big cat’s menu. My favourite animals the buffaloes can be seen putting their nose up to make up for their poor sight. The huge rhinos that look like they are wearing some sort of genuine body armour can also be found minding their business while the river banks will come with hippopotami and the giant Nile crocodiles. The forested areas will give you all types of apes from different species of monkeys, baboons chimpanzees and of course the mountain gorillas. Bird lovers can be sure to spend more time staring up looking at different birds than the time they spent trying to catch the lunar eclipse. There are so many other animals not mentioned but all can be found within East Africa. Kenya and Tanzania also have the benefit of having a coast line and this means they also have marine wildlife on the menu. Their marine parks are a whole different experience from the safari offerings. You can choose from scuba diving, snorkelling or simply waiting to view not just dolphins but the giant humpback whale migration when it gets to the East African coast. This part of the world is not just blessed with wildlife it also has moments when the wildlife puts on a spectacular show for the rest of the world like the annual great wildebeest migration where massive herds of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles move through Serengeti and Masai Mara in search of pasture a journey that involves crossing a croc infested river and dealing with big cats waiting for an easy meal. There is also another great wildlife migration that is not much talked about. This is the one that happens in the Boma national park in South Sudan where over 1.3 million antelopes move across the landscape also in search of better grazing areas. South Sudan is generally viewed in that typical conflict lens but it is also blessed with amazing wildlife whose potential remains to be fully exploited. The tourism and wildlife sector in this region is incomplete without the conservation aspect. Many of these animals have now become not just rare species but also endangered thanks to the perennial human tendency to destroy. Some will kill the elephants for the ivory that is their tusks; others will hunt down pangolins for their scales. The rhino horn is also a prized item for those who think the innocent animal was sent on earth to fix their erectile issues. Over the years, poaching has wiped out entire species in some places and threatened many others. Uganda lost all its rhinos at one point while Rwanda lost its entire lion population as well as the rhinos. The two countries have gone to great lengths to correct this situation. In Uganda white rhinos were reintroduced and are heavily guarded at Ziwa rhino sanctuary and the population has grown steadily over the years. The plan is to reintroduce them in the national parks once the population continues to grow. Rwanda had to reintroduce lions into the Akagera after they were wiped out due to human-wildlife conflicts after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi when some returnees settled in the park. Black rhinos were also brought in recently from South Africa. Of course a lot of work as also gone into conservation efforts in the Virunga massif that is home to the mountain gorillas and as per the recent census the growth in numbers is really impressive. Kenya recently lost the last surviving male northern white rhino named Sudan. This means the entire specie is threatened with extinction since the females now have no male to help with reproduction. Scientists are still trying to work out a way around this. As if that was not terrible enough, the country is now dealing with the reality of a disastrous translocation of 11 black rhinos. The rhinos were translocated from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park Rhino sanctuary and nine of them died in one go and another was reported dead a few days after. I really hope that a good investigation into what really went wrong is conducted to ensure that such a situation does not arise ever again. Tourism is a key revenue earner and for such species each life matters to us a lot. Email: email@example.com Blog: www.ssenyonga.wordpress.com Twitter: @ssojo81 The views expressed in thisarticle are of the author.