Now's the time to explore Africa on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. Got Africa's incredible creatures on the brain? You'll have a chance to spot plenty on this 15-day overland adventure through Kenya and Uganda. Search for the "big five" in the Masai Mara, spot chimpanzees in the Kalinzu Forest, and join experienced trackers while travelling deep into the Ugandan forests for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. It's like watching your favourite animal documentary screening (or, let's be real, animal Instagram account) in real life.
What's Included : Your G for Good Moment: AidChild Cafe & Gallery, Kayabwe Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Meeting - Meet Your CEO and Group, Nairobi Your Discover Moment: Jinja. Wildlife safari drives in Masai Mara National Reserve. Safari in Lake Nakuru National Park. Guided mountain gorilla trek in Bwindi with permits. Entrance and chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Tea plantation visit. Transfer from Jinja to Nairobi. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Highlights : Explore the Masai Mara National Reserve in 4x4 safari vans, admire mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, search for chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest, take your pick of outdoor activities in Jinja
Dossier Disclaimer : The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Itinerary Disclaimer : While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Important Notes : • Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes. • An essential part of your safari is participation - from putting up your tent (while camping) or packing away in the morning, to helping with meal preparation and cleaning up - it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Team spirit is part of the fun! All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable. • YELLOW FEVER It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country(s) visited. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area. • Sleeping bags are not available for rent and difficult to purchase locally. • Travelling can be difficult on this tour, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in both Kenya and Uganda. This camping trip is about travelling to see what the region is like, and see some animals in wildlife parks, to trek to see the mountain gorillas, along and some other sights in between. As such, we cover long distances and have long, bumpy travel days to to get to some of these amazing locations. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience. • G Adventures can never guarantee the sighting of wildlife, especially when it comes to mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorilla trek is organized to ensure success. Before heading into the jungle, our local guides receive coordinates from trackers on the whereabouts of the gorillas, and the trackers stay with the gorillas until the group arrives. Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas and chimps. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness. • Visitors to Uganda should be in excellent physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend strenuous days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas, as well as other primates. Those preferring to remain at base camp in Bwindi may do so, however, there is no price reduction. • The use of drones in national parks in Southern Africa is prohibited.
Group Leader Description : On this journey, you will be accompanied on your trip by 2 crew members - a Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and a CEO driver. The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager and leader. He/she organizes the trip, and will be there to assist you when needed. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. All of our CEOs in Southern and East Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Your leader will be from either Southern or East Africa depending on which part of the tour you are on. All of our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. All of our cooks will organize and lead the meal preparation, and have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups. In the Masai Mara your CEO will be joined by certified safari guides. All of our driver/guides are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains, and spotting wildlife. In Uganda, during the actual gorilla trek we use an experienced and certified local mountain guide, expert gorilla trackers, and armed guards to accompany you for your safety. We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
Group Size Notes : Max 22, avg 20.
Meals Included : 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
Meals : As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Please note that even though our cooks will try their utmost to provide you with a varied and interesting meals, the choices might be somewhat limited, based on what is available on the local market. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Your CEOs will do all the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties. Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
Transport : 7-seat 4x4 safari van, Lando (overland adventure vehicle), minibuses, walking.
About our Transportation : The Masai Mara portion of the trip is run in private 7-seat 4x4 safari vans. With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vans are designed for wildlife viewing. If there is a large group, additional vehicles will be used, and the group will be split up. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor, and during dry seasons, the roads can become very dusty. This style of travel is by no means luxurious, but the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicles allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and to stay and watch that crouching lion prepare for an attack. For the remainder of the tour, we use our custom built 24 seat overland adventure vehicle (OAV) named the Lando, to criss-cross through East Africa for most of this trip. The Lando allows the entire group, including your CEO, to travel together, and because of its height, is great for wildlife viewing and for enjoying the scenic landscape. Road conditions can run the full gamut from new to being in very poor condition. This style of travel is by no means luxury but it allows us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and reaching some out-of-the way parts in Africa where the traditional safari crowd would not dare to go. Here’s a quick look at the unique features of the well-equipped G Adventures overland adventure vehicle (OAV): - Storage for your main luggage is accessible from inside the vehicle - Day packs can be stored at your feet or on the luggage shelf above - Onboard safety box for valuables - Front viewing windows and large sliding windows, both great for wildlife viewing - Reclining seats - Fully equipped mobile kitchen - Access to a 250L tank of drinking water - Air-conditioning - Charging station, when available in camp (South African plug - 220-240V) - USB charging ports for every traveller at their seat - Wifi in selected countries, depending on the network reception Please note that our Landos do not have on-board bathrooms. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. In addition to the overland adventure vehicle (OAV), in Uganda for the gorilla trek, we split the group into smaller vans in order to arrive in a more timely manner to the trail heads of the park.
Solo Travellers : We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Accommodation : Basic hotel (1 nt, single or twin-share), permanent tented camp (2 nts), participation camping (11 nts).
My Own Room : Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room/Tent" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room/tent for all nights, except for the below.
Rooming and "My Own Room" Exceptions : Days 2-3
About Accommodation : Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, flush toilets, showers (generally outdoors, some with simple reed enclosures), washing facilities and telephones available. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors. We travel with our own portable camp chairs with a comfortable back-rest, and we utilize our own cooking equipment to provide the group good quality camp meals. Please be aware that where we use multi-share accommodations, rooming requests of any kind cannot be taken. Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime. Please note that due to the high demand for accommodation in the parks, sometimes we will arrange alternative accommodation outside of the park. For private accommodation please see tours in our Classic Travel Style. Camping in East Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. We stay at designated campsites inside of and nearby the national parks. These campsites generally are very basic, and we carry tents to pitch at the public campsites. The campsites in East Africa are generally good, but basic. Luxury here will mean electricity for charging, warm showers, flush toilets, shelter for eating. Rustic camps have no electricity, simple or no bathing facilities, and squatting long-drop latrines. Expect to see both extremes, though most fall somewhere within that spectrum. All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes less than 10 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors. In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.
Joining Hotel : For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Joining Instructions : If you have not arranged an arrival transfer please make your way to the joining hotel. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is about 20 km from downtown and your hotel. There are a variety of ways to get into the city. The dedicated airport bus takes about 40min at USD 5, however an airport taxi is recommended. This can be booked either inside the airport at an 'information desk' or outside of the terminal. The price is approximately USD 20. If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi. Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
Arrival Complications : We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Emergency Contact : Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Representative (South Africa) From outside South Africa: +27 713823286 From within South Africa: 071 3823286 If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions : The tour ends upon arrival into Nairobi, in the late afternoon, at the Hotel Boulevard in central Nairobi. In order to avoid any necessary issues with timing, please book your outgoing flight from Nairobi from 21:00 hrs or later. There is no included accommodation for this night in Nairobi. You may choose to pre-reserve post-tour accommodation at through G Adventures.
What to Take : You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are travelling with a large amount of luggage for other legs of a longer tour, you may leave a portion of it at the start hotel in Nairobi, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available. For our camping style tours you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, small pillow and sleeping sheet (if you would like). We provide the tent and the sleeping pads. On this trip you may experience several types of weather. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Nairobi. We suggest you take something warm eg tracksuit, fleece or pullover for the mountainous areas i.e. Bwindi National Park. It is at a higher altitude and will therefore be cooler in the evenings - a jersey, anorak/wind jacket and tracksuit pants would be suggested. It will also be necessary to take some wet weather gear as it does rain in the mountainous areas of Uganda on a regular basis. We suggest lightweight rain gear for the walk to see the gorillas. While gorilla trekking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy/slippery. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long pants to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. (Tracksuit pants often get caught on bushes, thorns, etc and jeans can get very heavy when wet). Gloves are also highly recommended – just cheap gardening gloves will do. Tuck your long pants into your socks/boots to avoid biting insects. Also take a water bottle, and a day pack for camera gear and to carry your jacket if it’s too warm. Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state - therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. Hard wearing clothes, no bright colours, or no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended. Please be advised that if you plan to bring a drone with you, the use of drones in national parks in Southern Africa is prohibited.
Packing List : Additional Items: • Sleeping bag and liner (Seasonally appropriate) Cold Weather: • Long-sleeved shirts or sweater • Scarf • Warm gloves • Warm hat • Warm layers Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Gorillas: • Gardening gloves (Highly recommended for gorilla trekking) • Neutral coloured clothing (Your clothes will likely get very muddy - therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. No bright colours should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended) Health & Safety: • Face masks (required) • Hand sanitizer (required) • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.) • Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test Trekking: • Gloves • Hat • Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes • Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended) • Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.) • Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).) • Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.) • Walking poles (Highly recommended.) Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana • Swimwear Note: The climate in East Africa varies between the dry and rainy season. Please ensure you bring a windproof rain jacket if you are travelling between April & May, October & November.
Laundry : Hand washing of clothes can be done at most of the campsites. We recommend you bring a non polluting/biodegradable soap, as well as a roll of simple string to act as a drying line for your clothes. If you arrive in the late afternoon, or if there is poor weather, it may not be possible for your clothes to completely dry. Your start/end hotel in Nairobi also has a laundry service for a fee.
Visas and Entry Requirements : All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements. Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here IMPORTANT NOTE It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country(s) visited. Please check in with your local consulate and health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area. ---------------- Kenya The Kenyan Government has introduced an electronic visa process with effect from July 2nd. Travellers wishing to enter Kenya need to visit www.ecitizen.go.ke and follow instructions for processing their electronic visa in advance of their arrival into Kenya. As this measure was introduced with little advance notice, there is a grace period where travellers may continue to apply upon arrival into Kenya for their visa. You can obtain a visa for US$50. Please note that Kenya is now strictly enforcing a "blank pages, condition of entry". All those requiring a visa on arrival must have at least two blank pages available in their passports. Failure to meet this requirement could mean that entry will be refused. Border crossing from Kenya to/from Uganda through Malaba Border Post. ** Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card may be required for entry into Kenya. ----------- Uganda Visas for Uganda for most nationalities must be obtained through an Electronic Visa application online in advance, and a payment of $50 USD cash will have to be made upon arrival to the border. LIST OF COUNTRIES WHOSE NATIONALS DO NOT REQUIRE TO PAY FOR A VISA TO ENTER UGANDA: Angola, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Burundi, Comoros, Cyprus, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Italy (Diplomatic Passport holders only), Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Nationals of these countries are issued gratis (free of charge) visas upon their arrival. ** Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Uganda. ----------- East Africa Tourist Visa An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and you should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD. Please see below for more information: http://www.immigration.go.ke/types-of-visas/ ** Please note that travellers looking to participate in the Rwanda Day Tour from Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda are encouraged to purchase the East Africa visa for entry into Rwanda. -------------- This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Spending Money : Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Money Exchange : The local currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX, or USH), and in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES, or KSH). Shillings can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country. The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate. If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely. If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD. Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques to Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places. Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank. Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these. Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Emergency Fund : Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Tipping : Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion. Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format: CEO: $5-8 USD (per day, per person) Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day) Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day) Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill Gorilla trekking guides: $2-4 (per day)
Optional Activities : Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya Tour (26-65USD per person) - The Carnivore Restaurant (51-82USD per person) - Railway Museum (6USD per person) - Karen Blixen Museum (34-73USD per person) - David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Visit (26-65USD per person) - National Museum (21-33USD per person) Masai Mara - Masai Mara Balloon Safari Eldoret - Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos Lake Bunyonyi - Swimming - Canoe Rental (10USD per person) - Nature Walk (5USD per person) - Motorboat Tour of Lake Bunyonyi (25-80USD per person) - Bird Watching Walk (5USD per person) Kalinzu Forest Reserve - Boat Cruise (30USD per person) Lake Mburo - Lake Mburo Boat Safari (70USD per person) Lake Mburo National Park - Nature Walk (10USD per person) Jinja - Quad Biking (99USD per person) - Nile River Kayaking (140-160USD per person) - Bungee Jumping (115USD per person) - Nile River Sunset Cruise (45USD per person) - Jinja River Rafting Mabira Forest - Mabira Forest Mountain Biking (45USD per person, 180USD per group)
Health : We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Safety and Security : 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. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer 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. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety : Nairobi -Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), other valuables and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit in your hotel room/reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures Adventure clients. -Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc -Please don’t wander through the city at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you. -People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people! -Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are most likely con men and try to get money from you in one way or another -People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often con men, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari! Photography Please refrain from taking photos of police stations, airports, bus stations, immigration are border crossings, army barracks and personnel, or any government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated. Please note that the use of drones in national parks in Southern Africa is prohibited.
A Couple of Rules : Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
Travel Insurance : Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures : Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation. Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment. Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
Feedback : After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
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Minimum Age : Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
International Flights : Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Group Leader : 2 CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) throughout as head guide/cook and driver, certified safari guides/drivers, certified mountain gorilla trackers, local guides.
Arrive at anytime. Prepare for tomorrow’s early morning by checking out the Hotel Boulevard Bar with your newest friends. Travelling can take a lot out of you so sit back, fill those food and drink needs, and spend a chill night becoming familiar with your group and CEO.
Hit the road and journey through the Great Rift Valley today on the way to one of the most famous national parks in Africa and Kenya’s premier wildlife reserve. Stretch those legs and take in your surroundings before heading on a late afternoon wildlife safari drive with excellent chances of seeing the “big five”. This natural environment coupled with the park’s varied wildlife provides for a spectacular safari experience.
Grab those cameras and jump in the safari vehicle with your driver/guide to spot wildlife in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Listen to your guide describe the African bush as you traverse one of the world’s top safari destinations. Masai Mara is known for its abundance of big cats and wildebeest (see if you can capture a picture of one)!
Awake to the sounds of the bush as your alarm clock before breaking down camp and jumping in the Lando. Today, the group is heading to Lake Nakuru, known for harbouring flocks of pink flamingos and a rich variety of bird species. You’ll stop for a picnic lunch along the way near Mai Mahiu before reaching the safari lodge inside Lake Nakuru National Park. Then, the group will go on a late afternoon wildlife drive through the area.
Another day, another chance to see more wildlife and live your African safari dream. After your morning safari drive around Lake Nakuru keeping your eyes wide open in search of buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard the group will bump along in the Lando sharing photos of your day on the road to Eldoret.
It’s time to cross another country off of those travel lists as you cross the border from Kenya into Uganda. Drive along reminiscing on inside jokes and experiences from the trip before camping in Kampala (the country's capital) where you will arrive in the late afternoon.
Even though you get to do something pretty awesome everyday you’re going to cross the equator today in the Lando (which we think is a pretty cool thing to be able to add to a travel resume) and head off to Lake Bunyonyi. The name Bunyonyi means ‘place of many little birds’ and it is undoubtedly the loveliest lake in Uganda. It’s winding shores encircle 29 islands and its surrounded by steep terraced hillsides that will have you wondering if you are somewhere in Asia. But the best part is that Lake Bunyonyi is a croc and hippo free lake (unlike many lakes in East Africa) so you can swim in its crystal-clear waters as much as you like… such bliss!
Today’s the day that some of your dreams may just come true because you are going on a guided mountain gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (so insanely cool!) So get ready to embark on an unforgettable hike deep into the jungle through volcano forests alongside a park ranger to search for mountain gorillas. The treks can vary in length and difficulty so be prepared for a challenge, but know that if you spot these majestic creatures (we share 98% of our DNA with them) it will all be worth it. Note: Ugandan authorities are fiercely protective of this natural treasure, and currently permit only a maximum of eight people, per day, to visit a given gorilla family. The group will be split into different sub-groups for the trek, and depending on the number of travellers, different sub-groups may do their trek on different days.
Let’s give Lake Bunyonyi some love today. Explore this magical place as the morning mist rises off of the gently lapping waters. With tons of optional activities to choose from like, swimming, hiking, canoeing, bird watching, or a motorboat tour of the lake there’s no time to be bored. Then relax together at the lodge in the evening talking about your group gorilla experiences.
Sit back, relax, and watch the Ugandan countryside slip past on today’s journey to Kalinzu Forest Reserve further north in the country. The forest reserve is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park and is characterized by open savannah, large area of swamp around Lake George, and the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast. There’s a lot of landscapes to experience so what are you waiting for? Get started!
You know that saying, “the early bird gets the worm” well in this case the early bird gets to see chimpanzees. Get up early for an included chimpanzee tracking excursion and explore the verdant Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger while being on the lookout for these chimpanzee families. Afterwards, the group will visit tea plantation before setting off to Lake Mburo. Once you arrive there you can choose to book an afternoon boat cruise on the lake, or explore the local area on foot.
Head back across the equator today in the Lando; Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where you can cross this imaginary geographical line on land. Observe how water swirls in opposite directions on either side of the equator and then stop to enjoy a meal at the G Adventures-supported AidChild Equation Café & Gallery. With full stomachs and even more full hearts the group will continue on to Jinja, the adventure capital of Uganda.
Get out there, get active, and have some fun! Explore Jinja today solo or with your group by participating in the plethora of outdoor and adventure activities they have to offer. Choose to raft down the White Nile River, break a sweat mountain biking up and down the hills surrounding the town, or for a more laid back day check out the local market. Keep your eyes ready to spot monkeys and other wildlife that can wander to the outskirts of this town.
Today is a bit of a travel day but you won’t mind because you could use the rest, (besides it’s the perfect time to post those Instagram photos that everyone at home is dying to see.) The group will be leaving Uganda and crossing over into Kenya for a night out in Eldoret. Hang out together as a group, maybe grab a drink somewhere and reminisce on the epic(ness) of your trip thus far.
After your adventurous experiences yesterday you’ll be glad to have a more low key travel day to replenish your energy before the journey home. So sit back and enjoy the ride as the group transfers through to the Kenyan countryside to Nairobi. We’re thinking naps, story time, and then maybe a mini dance party in the Lando to get you through the day. (Toto’s Africa song anyone?) Tour ends on arrival in Nairobi. Not ready to leave Africa just yet? (Yeah, we don’t blame you) talk with your CEO about extending your adventure and get to know Kenya or beyond!
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