Gorillas & East Africa Safari

18 Days from $7,685

START: Kigali

FINISH: Arusha

AGES: 15 - 99

THEME: Wildlife

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

Whether you’re watching a sombre silverback gorilla in his natural habitat, descending 600 metres to the floor of the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater or haggling over chickens and pigs with locals at a market in Nairobi, this 18-day tour offers opportunities to create travel memories most people only dream of. Journey through Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in search of some of the world’s most mythologised animals. Along the way, meet locals and gain an understanding of the diversity of cultures in East Africa – from the Maasai tribespeople to villagers on the outskirts of Nairobi and the hip working class residents of Kigali’s Nyamirambo neighbourhood.

Start: Kigali

Finish: Arusha

Ages: 15 - 99

Theme: Wildlife

Accommodation: Hotel (4 nights), Lodge (1 night), Permanent Tented Basic Lodge (2 nights), Camping with basic facilities (2 nights)

Destination: Arusha

Highlights

icon check
Seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence, with permits included in the price of the trip.
icon check
Visit Mikozi Village and become acquainted with the Ugandan countryside. Visit the local markets, speak with a traditional healer and enjoy a drink or two at the local bar.
icon check
Visit a street market and haggle alongside locals for pigs and chickens before delivering them to villages on the outskirts of Nairobi.
icon check
Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth during three game drives and a night spent camping in the middle of this spectacular wildlife arena.
icon check
Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open roof 4WD for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros, plus lions, zebra and more.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Kigali

Welcome to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda since it gained independence in 1962. Most associate Rwanda with the the horrific genocide that took place in 1994, but this is a country that has been striving to rebuild its economy for years and offers so much to the Intrepid traveller. And though the past won't, and shouldn't, be forgotten, the future of Rwanda's tourism is looking bright thanks to its welcoming people, an abundance of lakes and the beautiful Virunga Mountains. Your adventure begins by meeting your fellow travellers at 6 pm.

icon check Day 2 : Kigali

After breakfast you'll proceed to Ntarama Church, approximately 30 km outside of Kigali. Today presents some confronting reminders of the country's past, and this church is now a chilling memorial to the 5000 people slaughtered inside during the 1994 genocide. Inside, shelves of skulls and piles of bone can be seen as well as the clothes of victims hanging from the walls and rafters. Afterwards, the group will travel to the Nyamata Genocide Memorial Centre, a former church where some 50,000 people were murdered. This site pays particular attention to the atrocities suffered by women during the genocide. We take some time out from the devastating history with a local lunch and an afternoon city tour, including a trip to the craft market. This evening your leader will take you to their favourite restaurant for an optional dinner.

icon check Day 3 : Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)

This morning we visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which was opened in 2004 to mark the 10th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi people. It serves as both a museum, detailing the history and consequences of Rwanda's genocide, and a place for people to grieve for lost friends and family. The group will then head to Gisenyi (approx 3.5 hours), a town on the shore of the beautiful Lake Kivu. Enjoy a free afternoon at your waterfront hotel.

icon check Day 4 : Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)

Enjoy a free day in Gisenyi on Lake Kivu's northern edge. Kivu is one of of Africa's Great Lakes – Rwanda's largest and Africa's sixth-largest – and is a natural border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Your leader can help you plan how to spend the day: perhaps take a boat cruise around the lake spotting birdlife and visiting some of the small islands, or maybe take a trip to Napoleon Island to go hiking and encounter birds and its large colony of fruit bats. Alternatively, spend the day getting to know Gisenyi and the colonial-era mansions and bars that sit by the lake.

icon check Day 5 : Kisoro

Enjoy breakfast by Lake Kivu then transfer across the border to Kisoro (approx 2 hours plus the border crossing), a Ugandan town on the shore of Lake Mutanda. Kisoro, located near the Virguna Mountains, is the jumping-off point for several national parks and, of course, those in search of the country's mountain gorillas. In the afternoon you'll head to Mikozi Village to become acquainted with the Ugandan countryside. Visit the local markets, speak with a traditional Ugandan healer and enjoy a drink or two at the local bar before returning to Kisoro.

icon check Day 6 : Kisoro (Gorilla Trek)

Join a local guide and trackers as you climb through the rugged, mountainous terrain of Bwindi National Park in search of mountain gorillas. A quick lock of eyes with these creatures is a truly primal moment and visits are strictly controlled to minimise disturbance. Make no mistake, tracking gorillas is no walk in the park – it's called Bwinidi Impenetrable National Park for a reason. It can be wet, muddy, strenuous and uncomfortable, but the indescribable elation at coming across a group of gorillas is worth the effort. Spend a mesmerising hour with the gorillas as they eat, sleep, groom and play as the male silverback watches over them, then return to the lodge for dinner and to reflect on this incredible experience.

icon check Day 7 : Ruhengeri

Transfer this morning back to Rwanda and the town of Ruhengeri (approximately 1 hour plus the border crossing), still buzzing from your gorilla encounter. Settle into your hotel on arrival then have a free day to take the optional cycling tour to Rwanda's twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. This area is characterised by steep green hills and magnificent views of the mountains surrounding the lakes. Here you can pedal through the stunning countryside, stopping in small towns and villages to spend some time interacting with the local community.

icon check Day 8 : Ruhengeri

Today is free for you to choose from several optional activities after breakfast at the lodge. Perhaps you'd like to pursue your passion for primates and join a park ranger tracking golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park. These monkeys are much quicker than gorillas and you'll see them swinging from branch to branch and scampering up trees. Alternatively, take a hike focused on the work of Dian Fossey, the groundbreaking gorilla researcher. It's an incredible experience, both physically and emotionally, and you'll trek through the jungle to her grave and the house in which she was mysteriously murdered in 1985. She's buried next to her favourite gorilla – Digit – as well as number of other mountain gorillas killed by pochers. In the evening, choose whether to attend an optional dinner with the rest of your group.

icon check Day 9 : Nairobi

Transfer to Kigali (approx 1 hour) for your flight to Nairobi, the world's only major city containing a game reserve. There will be a meeting at 6 pm to meet you new Leader and welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure. Once you've met your new travel buds, perhaps join them for an optional group dinner.

icon check Day 10 : Nairobi

This morning you'll take part in a unique experience: a 'From Farm to Feast' Urban Adventure. During this tour, which explores the relationship between farming and food, you'll deliver a supply of chickens and pigs to a local community and find out how a local non-profit is helping to alleviate poverty and malnutrition in Kenya, one chick and piglet at a time. Haggle alongside locals for pigs and chickens at the street market, then sit down in a local's home for tea and coffee to learn about life in Kenya and the challenges these communities face. All of your tour costs will go to supporting nutrition efforts in local communities. In the afternoon, your leader will take you on a brief walking tour of Nairobi and the evening is then free for you to enjoy as you wish.

icon check Day 11 : Masai Mara National Reserve

Transfer from Nairobi to the famous Masai Mara, a journey of approximately six or seven hours. This is one of the best game reserves in all of Africa and on the way you'll stop in Loita Hills, a remote region that's home to the traditional Maasai people. This is one of the key places where the Maasai people still practice their traditional way of life, with little influence from the western world. Make a stop at Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. You’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors by way of traditional song and dance. Meet your Maasai hosts and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture. Take a walk to the community village which was founded for widows who had lost their cows due to drought, and can never remarry. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’. Here the women are engaged in making handicrafts and sewing eco-friendly handbags, washable sanitary pads, and backpacks to sell to visiting travellers and locals. Learn about village life and be shown around a traditional Maasai home, and their cattle enclosures. Continue to the outskirts of the Masai Mara, where your permanent tented camp can be found.

icon check Day 12 : Masai Mara National Reserve

Explore the Masai Mara in 4WD safari vehicles with game drives in both the morning and the afternoon. This is the quintessential African experience and with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most impressive animals, one you won't soon forget. Keep your eyes peeled for wildebeest, lions, leopards, antelope and giraffes, to name but a few.

icon check Day 13 : Lake Victoria

Prepare for a long travel day as you head towards the border separating Kenya and Tanzania, then on to the small town of Musoma on the shores of Lake Victoria. Not only is this the largest lake in Africa, it's also the largest tropical lake in the entire world and shares its shores with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The next three days will be spent in the wilderness, so make the most of your afternoon and evening by stocking up at the local market, grabbing cash from the town's ATM and kicking back with a beach side cold drink as the sun goes down.

icon check Day 14 : Serengeti National Park

If you're up for it, wake early this morning for a guided bike excursion around Musoma. You'll scoot around town and visit the marketplace, which is a great opportunity to interact with the local community. Travel on from Lake Victoria to Serengeti National Park (approximately three hours) and enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance to the famous expanse. Continue to your campsite on your first Serengeti game drive, keeping an eye out for the hoofed animals and predators that call this place home. Tonight you'll have a true African safari experience, camping in an unfenced site within the national park, right in the heart of the animal action. Your leader will give you a full safety briefing once you arrive.    

icon check Day 15 : Serengeti National Park

Wake to another glorious day in the Serengeti. Start the day with an early morning game drive to search for animals when they're at their most active, then return to the campsite for a relaxed brunch. Spend the hottest part of the day relaxing in camp – don't stress, the animals will be doing the same – then head off again in the afternoon for another drive through the park. Return to the campsite for dinner and another night under the Serengeti's stars. Note: there's also an option of an early hot air balloon ride here. Please ask your leader at the start of your trip if you're interested. 

icon check Day 16 : Karatu

Enjoy a final game drive through the Serengeti as you exit the park this morning. After lunch, you'll drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation area en route to Karatu, a small town on its outskirts. Ngorongoro is a World Heritage site, the highlight of which is the Ngorongoro Crater, a gigantic volcanic caldera that you'll visit tomorrow in search of the Big Five.

icon check Day 17 : Ngorongoro Crater / Arusha

This morning you'll descend to the Ngorongoro's crater floor for a 4WD excursion. If all goes to plan, you'll see some or maybe even all of the Big Five animals that reside here and better yet, the vehicle has an open roof so you can really feel like a part of the action. The animals here are less wary of humans and vehicles and as a result it's easier to watch them from up close. Take in the spectacular views from the rim of the crater as you make your way to the bottom, where animals roam the lakes, rivers, woodlands and hills. Keep an eye out for wildebeest, lion, zebra, cheetah, buffalo, gazelle and the endangered black rhino, as well as the colourfully dressed Maasai people who often water their cattle at the lake here. In the afternoon, you'll drive to Arusha and maybe enjoy an optional group dinner to celebrate this trip and say farewell to your new friends.

icon check Day 18 : Arusha / Nairobi

Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast today. A departure transfer can be booked, at an additional expense, to either Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK). Alternatively, you can continue on with our crew to finish in Nairobi. Please see 'Special Information' below for more details.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

icon check

Meals

17 Breakfasts, 9 Dinners
icon check

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Plane
icon check

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Lodge (1 night), Permanent Tented Basic Lodge (2 nights), Camping with basic facilities (2 nights)
icon check

Included Activities

  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive

Availabilityicon readmoreicon minus

Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
May 14, 2020
May 31, 2020
$7,685
2 spaces left!
Jun 11, 2020
Jun 28, 2020
$7,685
Available
Jun 25, 2020
Jul 12, 2020
$7,685
Available
Jul 23, 2020
Aug 09, 2020
$7,920
Available
Aug 20, 2020
Sep 06, 2020
$7,920
Available
Sep 03, 2020
Sep 20, 2020
$7,920
Available
Sep 10, 2020
Sep 27, 2020
$7,920
Available
Sep 17, 2020
Oct 04, 2020
$7,920
2 spaces left!
Oct 15, 2020
Nov 01, 2020
$7,920
Available
Dec 10, 2020
Dec 27, 2020
$7,920
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Beausejour Hotel

Airport Road

Kigali

Kigali

RWANDA

Phone: +250 252580760

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Masailand Safari & Lodge

.

Arusha

TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF

Phone: +255 624 732020

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

You do not need any real fitness for this safari besides the ability to get in and out of the safari vehicles. The step up into the overland truck is sufficient and you need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day. Please also note that the roads, particularly in Kenya, are in quite poor condition and you may experience a fair amount of bouncing around.

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

1.This trip requires a higher non-refundable deposit (AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900) in order to secure the included gorilla permit. We also require full passport details at time of booking. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 45 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking.

2. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip, subject to availability.

3. This trip includes 2 nights camping within the Serengeti National Park. Tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags will be provided. Please bring a pillow (or travel pillow) for these 2 nights.

4. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see Day 7 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend that you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

On the Rwanda & Uganda portion of this trip you will have an East African Intrepid Leader and up to 2 drivers from Rwanda.

On the Kenya & Tanzania portion of this trip you will be accompanied by three crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver who will usually be Kenyan.

Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well)

Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.

Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping.

Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.

Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc.

If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.

We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

UNFENCED CAMP SITES: On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.

HOMOSEXUALITY IN TANZANIA Homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and is not tolerated in Tanzania’s conservative society. Public displays of homosexuality like holding hands or kissing in public places could lead to arrest and up to 30 years’ imprisonment. In June 2017, the Tanzanian Government announced a 'crackdown' on LGBQTI rights advocates operating in Tanzania, threatening arrest. We recommend that you refer to your government's official travel advisories for the most up to date advice before you travel.

BILHARZIA Bilharzia is a parasitical disease which is usually spread by swimming in contaminated water. It can be assumed that the infection is present, to a greater or lesser extent, in almost all water sources, but most especially in shallow reedy waters in the vicinity of villages. Although the adult parasites do not themselves cause a great deal of harm, after about 4-6 weeks they start to lay eggs, which triggers an intense but usually ineffective immune response, the symptoms of which can include fever, cough, abdominal pain, and an itchy skin complaint known as safari itch. After a while the symptoms settle down and the patient is left with a sense of feeling tired all the time.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

PASSPORT

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

VISAS

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

EAST AFRICA TOURIST VISA

The East Africa Tourist Visa allows for travel between Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda with the same multiple entry visa. The East Africa Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa and is valid for 90 days. The visa costs USD100 and is the best option for passengers travelling to all 3 of the countries.

For those arriving in into Kenya first, the only option to gain this visa, is on arrival at the Nairobi airport. At the airport you will need to complete the regular Kenya visa form and clarify you want to pay the extra USD$50 for the East African visa. Please ensure they provide you with all 3 visas. This can only be paid in cash.

If beginning your trip in Rwanda, you can apply through the Rwanda Online Visa Application System. Under "Type of Visa" select "East Africa Tourist Visa."

If you're visiting Kenya and Uganda only, and arriving into Kenya via Nairobi Airport and crossing into Uganda by land, we recommend an E-visa for Kenya, and a visa on arrival for Uganda (paid in cash), as these are the most efficient options. See below for further details.

RWANDA:

Visas are required for entry into Rwanda by all nationalities. Some nationalities are eligible for visa on arrival. The visa costs approximately USD30.

For nationalities that need to be obtain a visa online in advance. The visa application process can be found at www.migration.gov.rw. The visa takes approximately 2-5 days to process. You must have a copy of this visa with you to present upon arrival.

Supporting documentation may also be required - the embassy will contact you if they require these. If you are asked to provide a contact in Rwanda, on your visa form or on arrival, please use the hotel details below:

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Ruhengeri, Rwanda

+250 739 373 971

UGANDA:

Arriving by Land (visa on arrival):

If arriving into Uganda by land it is best to either obtain a visa on arrival and pay in cash, or, obtain the East Africa visa on arrival at Nairobi airport. This is due to the Ugandan land borders not having the appropriate facilities to process the E-Visa which can result in very long delays. The cost only arrival is USD$50 cash only. (Please note, Uganda only accepts USD bills dated 2006 or newer and in excellent condition).

E-Visa if Arriving by Air:

The E-Visa can be obtained at https://visas.immigration.go.ug/. You will be required to upload a clear copy of your current passport, Yellow Fever vaccination certificate and a passport photo. You can choose to pay for your E-visa on arrival or online. If paying on arrival, on completion of the online application you will receive a barcoded email notification that you can print take with with you to Uganda. If you choose to pay on arrival you must present the barcoded email at the entry point. The cost is USD$50 cash only. (Please note, Uganda only accepts USD bills dated 2006 or newer and in excellent condition).

KENYA only:

Visas can be obtained either on arrival in to Kenya or as an e-Visa online prior to travel. Single-entry visas (business or tourism) are USD50, EUR40, or GBP30 and a transit visa (valid for three days) is USD20. If obtaining on arrival this is payable in cash only. The single entry visa allows for multiple entries in to Kenya for a period of 90 days provided you have not left East Africa. The four-step e-Visa procedure is completed through the immigration website: www.ecitizen.go.ke and requires visitors to submit an application form and passport-sized photo. e-Visas can take around seven working days to process. Visitors will then be required to present their printed e-Visa upon entry to Kenya.

**IMPORTANT** If you are travelling on one of our itineraries that re-enters Kenya, you will need to take multiple copies of your e-Visa - one to present at each border crossing.

TANZANIA:

It is possible to obtain a tourist visa for a single entry at any one of the following main entry points to Tanzania, subject to the fulfilment of all immigration and health requirements for approximately USD$50 in cash (post 2006 USD):

-Dar es Salaam International Airport

-Zanzibar International Airport

-Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)

-Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya border point)

-Kasumulu Border crossing

-Isebania Border crossing

Alternatively you will need to purchase your visa in advance at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad. The cost is approximately USD100 depending on nationality and should take one business day. At the present time you do not require a multi entry visa to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (i.e. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). However if your trip visits Tanzania twice after a visit to a country other than those listed above, you may need to purchase two visas.

Visa processes at both Kilimanjaro International Airport and land border crossings can take some time so we recommend all travellers obtain a visa in advance.

If obtaining a visa on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be required to:

o Queue for a Government Control Number

o Queue to pay for this at the bank

o Queue for Immigration to check and issue the visa

For the purpose of the visa application you can use the following address:

Kibo Palace Hotel

PO Box 2523

Old Moshi Road

Arusha - Tanzania

Phone: +255 272544472

BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP:

Exit Rwanda - Cyanika (Day 5)

Enter Uganda - Cyanika

Exit Uganda - Cyanika (Day 7)

Enter Rwanda - Cyanika

Exit Kenya - Isebania (day 13)

Enter Tanzania - Isebania

Exit Tanzania - Namanga (Day 18 - if returning to Nairobi)

Enter Kenya - Namanga

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence, with permits included in the price of the trip.

Visit Mikozi Village and become acquainted with the Ugandan countryside. Visit the local markets, speak with a traditional healer and enjoy a drink or two at the local bar.

Visit a street market and haggle alongside locals for pigs and chickens before delivering them to villages on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth during three game drives and a night spent camping in the middle of this spectacular wildlife arena.

Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open roof 4WD for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros, plus lions, zebra and more.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

The sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, in unbeatable. But please keep in mind that tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours up and down hill. A top tip is to pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs.

Camping in the Serengeti National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader. You'll be briefed on arrival.

This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘Big Five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland

As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

YELLOW FEVER:

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

DRINKING WATER:

As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

TSETSE FLY:

It is best to avoid dark coloured clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colours can attract the biting tsetse fly.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

Hotels and your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances, however your diet may be limited more than you are used to. Please notify your sales consultant at the time of booking of any dietary requirements plus your group leader in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

In Kenya & Tanzania the cook will prepare meals for the group for most of included meals. While not required, any assistance you provide, such as chopping vegetables or washing dishes, will be appreciated. If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting. A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is usually the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.

Your overland truck has a tank of treated water that is safe to drink. Your crew will use this to cook and provide cordial at meal times. Please do not hesitate to use this water to minimise the consumption of plastic water bottles. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.

MEALS NOT INCLUDED

Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while camping on our overland safaris.

For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.

TIPPING

Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. Usually the equivalent of around USD7 to USD14 per person, per day to cover all tips is fine.

TIPPING GUIDE

To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

- Your Crew (including Leaders, Drivers and Cooks): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD4 per staff member, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. It is best to then divide these amounts into separate envelopes for each crew member. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

- Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest around USD2 per person, per day for local guides.

- Basic restaurants: When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.

TIPPING KITTY

Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.

EMERGENCY FUNDS

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:

Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.

COMMISSIONS

Unfortunately, commissions in exchange for recommending particular shops or restaurants are an ingrained part of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye, we’ve tried to legitimise the practise with a centralised fund. Moneys are collected from recommended and fully vetted suppliers and funnelled back into our business. This keeps the trip cost low (for us and for you) and makes sure you only get the best experiences.

If you’re unhappy with any places your leader recommends, or feel the quality of the trip is being compromised in any way, please let us know in your feedback.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

We recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS: - Walking/trekking shoes for your trek to see the mountain gorillas - Pillow or travel pillow (sleeping bags and mattresses are provided for the 2 nights camping) - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is not recommended. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Insect repellent. RECOMMENDED: - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool. - A waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures. Plastic bags are banned in some African countries. - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. OPTIONAL: - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer. - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate - A good book, a journal or smart phone with music (and a power bank) - Binoculars - A small bottle of biodegradable laundry soap for hand washing your clothes LUGGAGE LIMIT: The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. The size of luggage that can be brought on our overland trips is limited by the individual locker space on the trucks. The average locker size measures 26 inches long, 18 inches wide and 10 inches high. Your main luggage will be stored in these lockers with day bags stored at your feet or on the overhead shelf. For this reason, we highly recommend you pack light with luggage no larger than the locker dimensions. Traditional, framed suitcases will not fit in the truck lockers. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock. Please contact your booking consultant if you think you will have issues with this luggage limitation. VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe to store the bulk of your money & passport. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER: We recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera and/or a power bank. CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN: In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches.

PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned. Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:

For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813

PEAK East Africa: +254-736-213-383 or +254 788-585-065

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

Accommodation within the Serengeti is in two-person canvas dome tents with sleeping bags and camping mattresses supplied. The campsite does have facilities but they are very basic and are not to the same standard you would find in western countries. There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower pressure is often reduced to a trickle of cold water.

If you require a Sleep Apnea Machine to sleep please ensure that it is battery operated. Lodges and Permanent Tented Camps are often powered by generators which are turned off during the night.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

icon readmoreicon minusItinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA:

Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders.

DRIVE TIMES:

The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Hotel (4 nights),Lodge (1 night),Permanent Tented Basic Lodge (2 nights),Camping with basic facilities (2 nights)

icon up
BACK TO TOP