Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route
Experience some of Kenya and Tanzania's most famous natural wonders on this Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid. This 16-day adventure will see you tackling the most challenging and scenic way to the roof of Africa on a trek along the Machame route to summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Once you descend, embark on an overland journey across the Serengeti plains and enjoy multiple game drives to seek out Africa's iconic animals. Descend to the floor of the gigantic Ngorongoro Crater in pursuit of elephants, lions, and elusive rhino. This tour is non-stop active action that's perfect for independent travellers who love a challenge.
Ages: 15 - 99
Theme: Lonely Planet Experience, Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (8 nights), Cottage (1 night), Hotel (3 nights)
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village. Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or floors when in bars or restaurants. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of paperwork if anything does happen.
Board your safari truck and travel west (approximately 8–9 hours). Today’s destination is near the hilltop town of Kisii, which will be the last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into Tanzania. Crossing the incredibly scenic Great Rift Valley on your way to the tea-growing highlands is a fantastic introduction to the landscapes of Kenya. You will pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai. Keep a look out for these tall tribesmen dressed in distinctive scarlet robes as they tend to their prized herds of cattle. The roads on the way are pretty rough, but there will be chances to stop and stretch your legs, including a local homestead lunch in the town of Kaprong. The food for the lunch is grown and sourced locally, plus the lunch is a great way to learn from and interact with the women from the local village. You will be accommodated in either very simple shared rooms (with bedding provided) or in a camp which will be set up for the night. There is no WiFi available at the camp.
Travel towards the Kenya-Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's largest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. Its shores are shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The guided bike excursion is a great activity to stretch the legs, learn about the town, visit an African marketplace and meet some locals (you'll need to bring your own helmet if you want to wear one). Or you can simply chill out on the lakeside sand with a cold drink. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of adventuring in the wilderness. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma. Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room. No WiFi is available tonight.
Travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours). Enter the Serengeti and take a game drive en route to your campsite. The wide open plains of the Serengeti – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Flat and rolling, with long grass and acacia trees, these plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet – 'The place where the land moves on forever'. Enjoy a picnic lunch on your way to camp within the awesome surrounds of the National Park. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. The camp is basic with limited running water and no upgrades or WiFi available.
Start the day with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing, as the animals do, depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild. You'll return in time for dinner. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp. Notes: The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Enjoy a leisurely game drive and picnic lunch on your way out of the park today. Soak up final views of the animals and landscapes that make the national park such an incredible spot before entering the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater about 3 hours away. Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanic peaks and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below – you can be sure that there are few campsites in the world with a better view than this! The campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but no WiFi or optional upgrades. It can get very cold on the crater rim, particularly during the winter months (June to August) when temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night, so be sure to bring some warm clothes. Notes: You will notice some Maasai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater offering a cultural experience. Intrepid recommends avoiding these villages, as they can impact negatively on the Maasai culture and travellers' perceptions of it by selling an artificial experience.
A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Later, join the local community for an guided afternoon stroll around the farming areas, milling machine and local homes before enjoying a traditional meal. Your campsite this evening is located in Mto Wa Mbu.
Bidding farewell to your truck and crew, this morning we make our way back to Arusha where will catch a morning shuttle bus from Arusha to Marangu in the foothills (1,300 m/4,500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro (approx 4 hours). This section of the trip is unaccompanied by a leader. The shuttle departs from the Impala hotel at around 9am once your group drops you off. In the early evening there is a full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber. This will take place before dinner. Your insurance details and next of kin information will also be collected.
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast and sort out all our gear before we set off for our 1-hour transfer by road to the South Western side of Kilimanjaro and the Machame Gate at the entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for the food, etc. Please read your trip notes on for further information about your guides and porters and a detailed packing list. We begin our walk around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest. In the forest, there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkey can be seen and heard. Beneath the leafy canopy it can be wet and muddy but it is not very cold. We arrive mid-afternoon at the Machame Huts where we make camp. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of our porters, we set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors. From Kibo Hotel to Machame Huts, we ascend to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and walk for 15 km (approximately 6-8 hours).
Our second day on the mountain takes us out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. You'll notice the vegetation getting more sparse as we ascend and several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will soon be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. We camp on the edge of Shira plateau where there are excellent views of the snow-dusted Kibo peaks. From Machame Camp to Shira Camp, we ascend to 3,840 m (12,600 ft), covering 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Today is a great day's walk with many ups and downs as we traverse river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as we ascend to the more rugged areas of the mountain, there are great views of the Kibo Massif and its magnificent surrounds. Tonight is spent at Barranco Camp. From Shira Camp to Barranco Camp, we ascend to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and cover 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Today is an important acclimatisation day as you are going to be walking for the morning only. Climb the Barranco Wall (not a technical climb) and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. If the weather is clear you can expect to have some magnificent views of Kibo's southern glaciers. Arriving at your camp at around lunchtime you can enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga Valley. From Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp Camp, we descend to 4,200 m (13,780 ft) and cover 7 km (approximately 4 hours).
From Karanga you head up to the intersection of the South Circuit and the Mweka route where you’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barrafu Hut. Barrafu is Swahili for ‘ice’ – it can be very cold here at night! You should arrive at Barrafu around late lunchtime, allowing plenty of time to rest before the final summit attempt. From Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp, we ascend to 4,600 m (15,100 ft) and cover 3.5 km (approximately 4 hours).
At around midnight we are woken by our guides and hot tea and biscuits are served to give us energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5,780 m). We pass the giant Rebmann Glacier en route and hopefully arrive at Stella Point in time for sunrise and superb views of the crater, the glacier glistening in the morning sun, and maybe even of the world around. From Stella it is a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From the summit, take in unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below. After photos and back-patting we begin our descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air. After lunch, we continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest. From Barafu Camp to the Uhuru Peak summit, we ascend 1296 m and cover about 4 km (approximately 8 hours). The descent takes approximately 3 hours.
Today we continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, we trek for 10 km (approximately 3-4 hours) descending a total of 1,300 m (4,300 ft). Here we have lunch after checking out of the park and then the transport sent to meet us returns us back to the hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Relive and share our experiences of the past six days on the mountain with fellow travellers.
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip. Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.
- Moshi - Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project
Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites
Junction of Milimani Road/Ralph Bunche, Milimani, Nairobi,
Phone: 254 737111111
Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort
TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF
Phone: +254 754999755
Although no mountaineering experience is required a good level of physical fitness is necessary. You must be comfortable walking 6-8 hours uphill a day. This is certainly a strenuous climb so the better prepared you are, the more you should enjoy it.
Plenty of time is available each day to get between the huts on the mountain so you do not need to rush and you are in fact far better off going slowly and enjoying the changing scenery and views. That way you acclimatize better and are in better shape for the final trek from Kibo Hut to Gillman’s Point, or Barafu to Stella Point on the Machame route, and then around to Uhuru Peak.
We recommend that in the months leading up to your climb you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise. Walking, running and stair-climbing will all strengthen your legs and improve your stamina.
1. This is a combination trip therefore the travellers on your trip may change.
2. A single supplement is available on all nights of this trip, subject to availability.
3. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
4. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.
5. Sleeping bags can be hired free on the Kilimanjaro section of this trip only. You will be required to provide your own sleeping bag for the Serengeti section of this trip or can hire one at an additional cost.
On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 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.
This trip is led by experienced guides, with a minimum of 1 guide to every 2 climbers. Sufficient porters are employed to carry the group’s equipment.
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.
CLIMBING KILIMANJARO WITH INTREPID - SAFETY FAQs Climbing Kilimanjaro is a pretty tall order – in fact for most people it’s the hardest physical challenge they will ever undertake. It can also be a dangerous environment if the right precautions aren’t taken – and that’s why our number one priority is your safety. Of course – we still want you to have a great time, and we’d love you to reach the summit of Africa’s highest mountain! So – rest assured that not only are you travelling with an operator that puts safety first, but also that around 95% of clients that climb with Intrepid make it to Uhuru Peak! The following are some FAQs on safety on the mountain. Q: Who is your local operator in Tanzania? A: All Intrepid Kilimanjaro climbs are operated by Intrepid Guerba Tanzania Limited, which is a fully owned Intrepid company based in northern Tanzania. Q: How many mountain guides will I have for my climb? A: It depends on the number of passengers in your group. We operate with a strict minimum of one mountain guide for every two clients. Meaning that there will be plenty of mountain guides on your trip to ensure that you are looked after, encouraged, and informed about Kilimanjaro. Q: Do your mountain guides carry first aid kits? A: Yes. We carry multiple, comprehensive first aid kits and our mountain guides are fully trained on their use. All of our mountain guides are first-aid qualified. Q: Are your mountain guides trained to recognise symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness? A: Absolutely! Intrepid have invested in the highest standards of training of any operator on Kilimanjaro. This includes advanced altitude training delivered by a UK doctor and altitude research specialist. One of the key elements of this is training on the Lake Louise altitude assessment system, which allows our mountain guides to effectively monitor clients constantly whilst on Kilimanjaro and assess if they are suffering from AMS and, if so, how severe that AMS is. We also train them on how to respond in the case of a moderate or severe case of altitude sickness – which will always mean organising for the affected client to descend immediately. During your briefing on the first evening of your trip, your mountain guide will talk to you about symptoms of AMS and how to recognise them. Q: Do you carry medicines for altitude? A: Yes – there are two key, potentially life-saving drugs that our teams carry on the Mountain. These are Dexamethasone and Nifedipine and they used to treat cerebral and pulmonary oedema, which are the two potentially life-threatening complications of severe AMS. Our mountain guides are fully trained on the use of these drugs for altitude related illnesses. Q: What about Diamox? A: We don’t carry Diamox on Kilimanjaro. The reason for this is that, although medical research suggests that Diamox can be very effective in aiding acclimatisation to altitude, it has been proven to be far less effective at treating severe AMS. You may wish to talk to your doctor prior to travelling about being prescribed Diamox to assist acclimatisation while you climb Kilimanjaro. Q: Will oxygen be available? A: We carry medical oxygen – and when a group has four passengers or more, this will mean multiple cylinders will be distributed amongst the team of mountain guides to ensure that oxygen is always quickly available in the case of an emergency. The oxygen that we carry is strictly for emergency use only – and cannot be used by clients to assist in climbing or summiting. Q: Do you carry Gammow Bags or PACs? A: No. Gammow Bags and PACs are two types of portable hyperbaric chambers, which are sometimes used for sufferers of severe AMS. What makes Kilimanjaro relatively unique is that it is a “rapid ascent mountain” – meaning altitude gain happens extremely quickly. Logically, therefore, Kilimanjaro is also a “rapid descent mountain” and our policy is that in the case of severe AMS, our mountain guides will immediately evacuate the sufferer down the mountain, usually with the assistance of porters to carry the person affected. Often, a descent of just a few hundred metres will be enough to make a difference. Gammow bags and PACs are more effective in other parts of the world where rapid descent on foot is not possible. Also, a Gammow Bag takes a little while to inflate – which on Kilimanjaro is valuable time lost during which an evacuation down the mountain could already have commenced. Q: How do your mountain guides communicate on Kilimanjaro? A: Cell phone coverage on the mountain is improving – but is still patchy in many areas. For this reason, Intrepid mountain guides carry short wave radios to allow for communication in the case of an emergency.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP:
Exit Kenya - Isebania (Day 3)
Enter Tanzania - Isebania
Why we love it
Shop for local wares and interact with townsfolk at the Mwigobero Market on the edge of Lake Victoria
Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth, with two early-morning and two late-afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena
Learn about the Great Rift Valley where the annual migration of some two million wildebeest plays out
Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4X4 for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros
Hike with a group of experienced guides and porters with 1 guide for every 2 passengers
Spy hiding monkeys and colourful bird species flitting through the rainforest
Spend a night camped out on the Shira plateau
Marvel at the Hiem, Kersten and Rebmann glaciers
Catch a dazzling sunrise on your way to summit Africa's highest mountain peak
We are an official partner of IMEC’s Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP). This means all of our climbs have been assessed and scored based on a number of criteria, all of which are designed to ensure the proper treatment of porters on the Mountain. Read more here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/theme/walking/kilimanjaro-trek
Is this trip right for you
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. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland
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.
You'll need a good level of fitness for the Kili section of this trip. The distances may not be long, but the altitude makes it much harder than your average uphill hike. The going will be slow as your body adjusts.
Tried and tested all-purpose hiking equipment is required. Temperatures at night can get very low when you're above 3,500 metres, so warm clothing and a sleeping bag are essential. You can hire this equipment if need be.
Your safety comes first. Our experienced guides will monitor each passenger for any signs of acute mountain sickness. If you show any signs, you'll descend immediately with a guide.
Hiking for several days without a shower can be tough – be prepared for some dust and dirt. A mask, wet wipes and face washer may become your best friends!
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.
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.
The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is above 5800 metres / 19000 feet. At this altitude, it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Before your trip:
Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip:
While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.
Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
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. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. While on the trek your guides will boil and cool 3 litres of water for you per day. This will ensure the water is safe to drink and you stay hydrated on the trek.
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.
It is best to avoid dark coloured clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colours can attract the biting tsetse fly.
Food and dietary requirements
By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.
Your cook will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day.
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. On occasion there will be the opportunity to buy your lunch to allow you try the local cuisine or provide some variety to sandwiches. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always 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.
One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.
While all meals are provided while on the mountain you may want to bring some extra snacks from home. Perhaps some nutritional muesli or protein bars, or your favourite chocolate snack to keep the energy levels up on the harder sections of your trek.
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.
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 USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. 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.
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.
- On Kilimanjaro - as a guideline we recommend USD90 to USD140 per person, for the duration of the Kilimanjaro climb. Your leader will arrange for the group to receive 3 envelopes. One envelope will be for the leader and guides, one envelope for the porters, and one envelope for the cooks. Please disperse your tips within the 3 envelopes, then hand the envelopes to one member of each group so the amounts can be divided equally.
- Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 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.
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.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, 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: - Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. Sleeping bags are also available for hire (if pre-booked). Please speak to your sales consultant, at least 14 days prior to departure, if you wish to hire one. - Pillow or travel pillow. - Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment. - 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. Shorts down to the knees are ideal for warmer weather. 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. - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool. - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Towel (or travel towel) RECOMMENDED: - 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. - Insect repellent. - 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. - Camera with spare battery or power bank. - Binoculars 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 tent-mate - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives. - A small bottle of biodegradable laundry soap and string for hand washing and hanging your clothes - toilet paper and soap to carry in your day bag 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 and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. 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. POWER: Our overland vehicles are equipped with UK socket power outlets at each seat to use while on the road, while some camps will have powered sites to charge your devices when not on the road. We also recommend power banks and multi country power converters. 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.
PACKING FOR TREKKING MT KILIMANJARO: Although a guide will always accompany you on the trail you are unlikely to see your porter (as they are very fast!) except at the huts or the camps. Therefore it is important you carefully pack the smaller day pack you carry yourself. Anything you need during the course of the day should be in your day pack including, most importantly, something warm and something waterproof. Your maximum gear allowance is 9 kg/20 lbs. Each porters load is weighed by the Park and cannot exceed 20 kg - their bags will be weighed at the hotel before the group sets off. Light clothing is generally sufficient until you reach the 3-4000 metre/12-14,000 feet altitude range provided you always have something warm and waterproof in your daypack. Beyond these altitudes, even if the mornings are glorious, you must always be ready for dramatic changes in the weather, including snow storms. You must have clothing with you in your daypack adequate to the conditions. Please ensure your day pack is large enough to carry these clothes, your lunch box, 3 litres of water and any other items such as camera equipment. It is for the final ascent that all your warm clothing is important. The ascents are normally done at night and this is when the coldest temperatures are experienced. You must be prepared for temperatures of minus 25 degrees celsius/minus 13 Fahrenheit. As a rule you should wear 2 pairs of socks, 3 layers on the legs, 4-5 layers on top. A balaclava or ski mask is necessary to keep the head warm and you should have a hood to protect your head from wind. Mittens and dark glasses are also needed. Note: the bag the porter carries for you should not exceed 9 kg/20 lbs. If bags are too heavy items may have to be removed or the climber may choose to hire an additional porter. PACKING LIST: • Anorak/parka with hood (waterproof) x 1 • Down jacket x 1 • Sweater/fleece x 1 • Thermal top x 2 • T-shirts x 3, long sleeve shirts x 2-3 • Waterproof trousers or ski pants x 1 • Warm trousers x 2 • Hiking shorts/trousers x 1 • Long thermal pants x 1 • Thermal underwear • Socks thin and thick x 6 • Hiking boots • Gaiters • Comfortable closed shoes (for around camp) • Mittens and ski gloves • Balaclava and woollen hat • Sunglasses • Scarf • Sun hat • Day pack, approximately 30 litres • Refillable water bottles - 3 x 1 litre (plastic containers are not allowed on the mountain) and water purification method • Good quality, super-warm 4-season sleeping bag • Thermarest or trekking roll mat. (not required on Marangu route) • Small first aid kit • Headache tablets • Imodium (loperamide) • Climbers may like to consult their physicians about azetazolomide (Diamox), a drug that many find mitigates the ill effects of altitude, headache, diarrhoea & vomiting. • Hand towel • Wet wipes • Toiletries • Head torch and flashlight with spare batteries (needed for summit night) • Sunblock and high SPF lip balm • Camera, film, extra batteries - you will not be able to recharge on the mountain but can at the Kibo Hotel before and after the climb. EQUIPMENT HIRE: Additional hiking equipment can be hired in Marangu. However, on a trek such at this, tried and tested equipment purchased from home may be more comfortable and of a better fit. If you do require any gear, please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting on day 1. Below is a list of some of the equipment available and the rough rental costs. • Sleeping bag - FREE ( available to hire for your Kilimanjaro section of your trip ONLY. This must be requested through your booking agent prior to departure. You will need to provide your own sleeping bag for the Serengeti portion of this trip.) • Thermarest/trekking roll mat - $20 (not required on Marangu route) • Trekking poles – FOC but must be requested at time of booking • Waterproof trekking boots - $30 • Gaiters - $10 • 30 litre day pack - $20 • Ski sunglasses/Sun goggles - $10 • Waterprooj jackets/hooded parkas - $15 • Warm fleece sweater - $10 • Light hiking trousers and shorts - $10 each • Warm hiking trousers - $15 • Trekking t-shirts/long-sleeved shirts - $10 each • Mittens/ski gloves/scarf/sun hat - $10 each • Balaclava/ski mask- $5
A 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.
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.
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.
For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813
In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:
PEAK East Africa: +254-736-213-383 or +254 788-585-065
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:
Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied.
The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.
There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have rooms/cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room. Rooms cost approximately USD60-120 per room per night for a twin room and cannot be pre-booked. Standards of these rooms vary greatly and we recommend viewing the room before purchasing the nights accommodation. The day by day itinerary advises when upgrades may be possible (subject to availability).
Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms.
Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic. There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.
At times there may be spare tents in the vehicles. Unfortunately these cannot be used without purchase of a single supplement. This is to ensure the tents avoid wear and tear, or are clean and ready for the customers arriving on the next section of the trip.
On the mountain you’ll be camping out under the stars with a full-service camping experience. You can bring your own sleeping bag or hire one through us (please advise your booking agent), while mattresses are provided. Our two-person tents are ideal for expedition trips and feature a flysheet made from ripstop nylon, anti-mosquito netting, reflective guy ropes and a 3000mm waterhead, ensuring you stay warm and dry even in difficult conditions.
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.
Your 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.
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.
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.
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.
Camping (with facilities) (3 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (8 nights),Cottage (1 night),Hotel (3 nights)
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