Addis to Zanzibar Trip Notes

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    • YDOYC
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    • Overland, Wildlife
    • Basix
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Last Modified: 28 Sep 2013
Addis to Zanzibar
Trip code: YDOYC
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2013
Journey to Africa and travel through some of the continents greatest highlights on an overland adventure. From the fun-loving atmosphere of Addis Ababa, through the traditional tribal villages of the Omo Valley and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Nairobi, to the beach paradise and spice plantations of Zanzibar, this trip is sure to expose you to all the wonders Africa has to offer. Taste authentic cuisine, search for the Big Five on game drives, interact with the local culture and kick back on pristine beaches. And that's just the beginning!
This trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Dragoman shares Intrepid's ethos for adventure travel and has many years' expertise in overlanding.
Warning - this is a new trip for us!
While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency funds
ThemesGroup sizeVisas
MapYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
ItinerarySingle travellersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationHealth
Culture shock rating Meals introductionSafety
Physical ratingMealsTravel insurance
Physical preparationTransportResponsible Travel
Included activitiesGroup leaderA couple of rules
KittyJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
Money ExchangeFinish point Carbon offset
Spending moneyFinish point descriptionFeedback
TippingFinish point instructions
Departure taxEmergency contact
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Map
Addis to Zanzibar
Itinerary
Day 1 Addis Ababa
The trip begins with a group meeting at 6pm.
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 your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your kitty, insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
After the meeting, why not take the chance to head to one of the city's many restaurants for the chance to eat some local food and perhaps listen to some traditional music.
Referred to more commonly as "Addis", Addis Ababa lies amongst wooded hills at an altitude of about 2300 metres, giving it a pleasant climate. Addis has many sights to offer visitors. Get a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia's many tribal groups at the Ethnological Museum, see the stunning fossil collection at the National Museum, and don't miss the chaotic bustle of the Merkato (local market). All manner of arts and crafts can be found in the souvenir shops on Churchill Avenue.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Lake Abiyata
This lake is one of the shallowest in the Rift Valley and is a soda lake. Grass and acacia woodlands surround its crystallised white shoreline. The lake is home to vast flocks of flamingos, which from a distance create a pink carpet effect across the lake. This is an excellent place to look for birdlife, as many species come to feed on the prolific algae found in the lake's waters. Usual species include greater and lesser flamingos, white pelicans, white necked cormorants, herons, stocks, ibises, spoonbills and terns. It also has a resident population of fish eagles as well as a few antelope and smaller mammals around the shore.
Leaving the city behind we travel to Lake Abiyata (215 km, approx 5 hours).
Just north of the town of Shashemene are two of the most beautiful of the Rift Valley Lakes, Lake Abiyata and Lake Shala. These two lakes make up the Rift Valley National Park.
We spend tonight in a bush camp right in the midst of this stunning setting and visit Lake Abiyata with a guide.
Included Activities
  • Guided visit of Lake Abiyata
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 3-5 Bale Mountains National Park
From Lake Abiyata we drive on towards the Bale Mountains National Park (250 km, approx. 12-13 hours). We will drive high onto the plateau in search of the Simien fox and, time allowing, you may be able to hire horses and follow the riding trails.
In the Bale Mountains we stay in a lodge.
Bale Mountains National Park is situated on a high plateau surrounded by mountain peaks which soar to over 4000 metres in height. As you climb into the hills the terrain changes from forest on the lower slopes through junipers and heather to the exotic moorlands of the plateau, criss-crossed by fast-flowing streams. This beautiful park is home to three species unique to Ethiopia; the Simien red fox, Menelik's bushbuck and the mountain nyala. There are some 200 species of bird within the park including 13 of Ethiopia's 23 endemic species.
Optional Activities
  • Horse/mule trek - USD15
  • Guided hike - USD15
Accommodation
Lodge (3 nts)
Day 6 Wendo Genet
We head back down the mountains and spend the night at Wendo Genet (280 km, approx. 10-12 hours) where we can spend time relaxing in the hot springs. We will camp tonight in the grounds of the Hot Springs Hotel.
Wondo Genet (also known as Wendo Genet) is a resort town in Ethiopia. Located southeast of Shashemene in the Sidama Zone of the Southern Nations. Wondo Genet is known for its hot springs and is surrounded by primary Ethiopian forests. The Wondo Genet hotel was established in 1964, on land used as recreation site for the royal family until 1975. Emperor Haile Selassie bequeathed its name, meaning "Wondo Paradise", in reference to the beautiful panorama with a rich endowment of forests, wildlife and abundant water.
Optional Activities
  • Hot springs - USD5
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 7 Awassa
Today we will head to Awassa to visit the Awassa Children's Project which is an organisation dedicated to housing, feeding, educating, providing health care and AIDS Education to children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
After visiting the project we will stop in Awassa town for shopping before heading back to our camp in Wendo Genet and more time for relaxing in the hot springs.
Awassa (also spelled Hawassa) is a city in Ethiopia, on the shores of Lake Awasa in the Great Rift Valley where fishing is it major local industry. Awassa was capital of the former Sidamo Province from about 1978 until the province was abolished with the adoption of the 1995 Constitution. This city is home to Hawassa University, Awasa Adventist College, and a major market. Important local attractions include the St. Gabriel Church and the Awassa Kenema Stadium.
During our time in Awassa we will visit the Awassa Childrens Project. The Awassa Children's Project (ACP) promotes sensible, culturally responsible relief work aimed at assisting children primarily orphaned by AIDS, educating people in Africa's Sub-Saharan region about AIDS prevention, and offering a proactive and immediate approach towards the resolution of serious health and social issues facing the region. Formed in 2001, ACP supports several organisations in Awassa, Ethiopia: a children’s centre that provides housing, food and education for over 60 children orphaned by AIDS; One Love Theater (OLT), an AIDS education theatre company; and, the Awassa Youth Campus, a community centre in downtown Awassa which features (free to all Awassa children), aikido, sports, tutoring, art, music and a library, among other activities. These organizations continue to grow and dramatically improve the lives of Awassa children and the community in which they live.
For further information on the project please go to
http://www.awassachildrensproject.org/
Included Activities
  • Awassa Children's Project
Accommodation
Lodge (1 nt)
Days 8-9 Arba Minch
The following day we drive to Arba Minch (305 km, approx 7-8 hours).
Meaning 'forty springs', Arba Minch takes its name from the streams found between the two Rift Valley lakes of Abaya and Chamo. The town has stunning views over the lakes and surrounding forested areas, and also has an excellent and vibrant market.
We spend time here to allow exploration of the area. Options include a five-hour boat trip into Lake Chamo National Park to the Crocodile Market.
Lake Chamo National Park is home to what the locals refer to as the 'crocodile market'. This is a place on the shores of the lake where vast numbers of crocs congregate, some of which reach over seven metres in length. The lake is home to the Guji and Ganjule people who traditionally hunt hippos and are famed for their 'ambatch boats', which resemble the boats carved in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians.
For those who prefer a less strenuous day, you can hire bikes and ride around the local area, or perhaps visit the local government-run crocodile farm.
In Arba Minch for two nights we stay in a hotel.
Optional Activities
  • Bicycle hire - USD5
  • Crocodile Farm - USD5
  • Lake Chamo boat trip and Crocodile Market - USD65
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 10-12 Omo Valley Region
In the far south of the country lies the Omo Valley area. We drive down through this remote region (110 km, approx 2-4 hours) to the settlement of Turmi which is our launch point for the Omo Valley. From here we will spend 3 nights and 4 days visiting a combination of markets and small tribal settlements in the surrounding region.
The Omo Valley region is unusual in that it is home to so many different tribes all living very close to one another in such a small area. Anthropologists believe that this is because thousands of years ago this area of Africa acted as a kind of ethnic crossroads, as different groups of people migrated between north, south, east and west.
Exploring the many small communities and settlements here will give you a fascinating insight into the different tribes, their cultures, traditions and way of life. We travel with a local guide, who will be able to introduce us to the Hamer, Arbore and Dascensch tribes, among others. There are also other tribal groupings throughout the area and our guide will point out the different tribes and their customs. Life is distinctly tribal throughout the region, with few modern amenities.
You should be aware we will be travelling through very remote areas where road and sanitary conditions will be rough. We will staying in basic camp sites.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nts)
Days 13-14 Konso
We travel on towards Konso (145 km, approx 5 hours), home to the local Konso people. We will have time to explore the local market and perhaps take a tour of some traditional houses.
In the far south of Ethiopia on the banks of the Sagan river is Konso, gateway to the Omo Valley. The whole way of life in the villages here has changed little over the centuries and old traditions are strongly upheld.
Due to the nature of this route the following day has been allocated in the itinerary as a spare day which will be used where necessary.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 15 Moyale
Today we make our grand entrance to northern Kenya. We travel to the Moyale border (320 km, approx 7-8 hours), where we set up camp.
The market town of Moyale splits the countries of Kenya and Ethiopia. There is a nice atmosphere that runs throughout the town and more of this can be discovered through exploring.
Due to security issues in this particular area we will be accompanied by a police escort.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 16 Marsabit
We travel on to Marsabit (265 km, approx 7-9 hours). We will travel through the black lunar landscape and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, watercourses, bush country and termite mounds.
Marsabit lies on the extinct volcano of Mount Marsabit. Surrounded by forests on the hills, it is a contrasting image to the deserts in the background. At the heart of the forest is Lake Paradise. This gorgeous site attracts animals such as elephants and buffaloes to the spot and this and the Bongole Crater create a fascinating location for people all over to come and gaze at the beauty of the town.
Accommodation
Camp site (1 nt)
Days 17-18 Samburu National Reserve
We travel on to Samburu National Reserve (225 km, approx 7-8 hours).
The Samburu region has hardly been touched by tourism and its pristine wilderness is home to a fascinating mix of Kenya's nomadic tribes who still retain their traditional ways of life. These tribes include the Samburu, Rendille, Turkana, and Kalenjin. The Samburu National Reserve is famous for its reticulated giraffes, Grevy's zebras, graceful gerenuks and Beisa oryx, while crocodiles are often seen in the river. You may also see lions or leopards here, if you're lucky.
We'll take a game drive into the park and also visit the Samburu Cultural Centre outside Samburu National Reserve.
Similar in appearance to the Masai but lesser known, the Samburu are a proud warrior tribe. Here we watch traditional Samburu dancing, and learn about Samburu tribal life and customs. The project is run by Samburu tribesmen for the benefit of the community.
The camp is in the heart of the park. Facilities are drop toilets and cold showers.
Included Activities
  • Samburu - Game Drive
  • Visit to Samburu tribal community and cultural project
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Days 19-20 Naro Moru
Leaving the park early this morning, we travel through the fantastic scenery as we travel to the slopes of Mt Kenya. We will spend 2 nights here camping in the grounds of one of the many lodges that are dotted around the area.
You will have the opportunity to explore nearby Ol Pejeta Conservancy (formerly known as Sweetwater Game Reserve) or take the opportunity to explore the lower slopes of Mt Kenya.
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy, formally known as the Sweetwaters Game Reserve, is home to an amazingly diverse range of wildlife including the endangered black and white rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Grevy's zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, Thomson's gazelles, black-back jackals, ostriches, Grant's gazelles, baboons, waterbucks, oryx, elands and several hundred bird species. It's also home to over 40 chimpanzees. While not indigenous to the area, the conservancy is the only place you can see wild chimps in Kenya.
Optional Activities
  • Nayaroi caves (Mau Mau) & waterfalls - USD15
  • Nature trails, Naro Moru - USD10
  • Horse riding, Naro Moru - USD15
  • Game drive - USD100
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 21-22 Nakuru National Park
Leaving the mountain early this morning, we travel through the fantastic scenery of the Great Rift Valley to our campsite near to Nakuru town (75 km, approx 1-2 hours).
The following day we head to Nakuru National Park for a game drive in Jeeps.
Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around a flamingo-filled lake, makes it a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours many rhinos and will be the best chance to get a great picture of these magnificent beasts.
Included Activities
  • Game Drive, Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Dairy farm visit
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 23 Lake Naivasha
We drive on to our camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha (100 km, approx 1-2 hours), one of the most beautiful of the Great Rift Valley bodies of water, to relax by the lakeside.
One of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha has floating islands of papyrus reeds and a border of flat-topped acacias. It's also home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds.
There is an option here to take an afternoon boat trip along the scenic shallow waters for a closer look at the hippos.
Our campground has showers and flush toilets.
Included Activities
  • Elsamere Conservation Centre
Optional Activities
  • Big game walking safari - USD40
  • Hippo spotting boat trip - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 24 Nairobi
Drive to Nairobi where we will have a group meeting at 10am and meet any new travellers joining us for the next leg of the trip.
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
There will be time after the meeting to explore Nairobi before we meet back at the hotel and head off in the truck to our well equipped campsite in the suburb of Karen. Tonight there is the option of going out for a group meal.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty.
Optional Activities
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10
  • National Museum - USD10
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 25 Nakuru
After breakfast we make our way to Nakuru, approximately 160 km from Nairobi. Tonight we stay at a beautiful campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Nakuru Town, and depending on what time we arrive, there may be the option of a farm visit.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 26 Kericho
This morning we continue our involvement at the Kariandusi School Trust Project before having lunch and heading on to Kericho (approx 150 km).
Tonight we stay at a well equipped campsite with the opportunity of an optional tea plantation tour.
Included Activities
  • Kariandusi School Project Visit
Optional Activities
  • Tea plantation visit - Free
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 27-28 Jinja
Leaving Kenya behind, we cross the border into Uganda as we travel towards its adventure capital - Jinja (approx 360 km).
Jinja is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda. Located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, this is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and the eco-traveller who wants to do something really worthwhile in a beautiful area.
We base ourselves for two nights at a well equipped campsite with stunning views of the White Nile. It is from here that we can organise optional activities such as white water rafting.
Optional Activities
  • Bungee Jump - USD115
  • White water rafting - USD125
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 29 Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
We head approximately 220 km north of Kampala today to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, close to the town of Nakitoma.
Tonight we will stay at the campsite within the Rhino Sanctuary.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was created to reintroduce rhinoceros to Uganda, which had been extinct since 1982. The sanctuary is currently home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda and their goal is to build a sustainable rhino population and relocate rhinos back to their original habitat. In addition to the rhino breeding program, Rhino Fund Uganda also runs community engagement and education programs in the surrounding villages.
During our stay one of the trained rangers will introduce you to the sanctuary and provide you with information about the rhinos. Depending on where our rhinos happen to be when we arrive, we will drive to the closest location and then approach the rhinos on foot. You will then have the opportunity to observe the rhinos in their habitat at a very close, and very safe, distance. The tracking excursion lasts on average about 1-2 hours.
Optional Activities
  • Rhino trekking - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 30 Kaniyo Pabidi Forest
Today we spend the morning at the sanctuary where there is the option to go rhino trekking and learn more about the program.
After lunch we head to Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo Forest for an afternoon of chimpanzee trekking. The Kaniyo Pabidi Forest covers an area of about 8 km within the heart of Kichumbanyobo gate of Murchison Falls National Park.
Kaniyo Pabidi is an eco tourism site, which is part of the Budongo Forest Reserve. The terrain is flat, allowing for good on-foot travelling conditions for the average tourist and the campsite is located on the edge of the chimpanzees' home range, significantly diminishing the risk of a long trekking excursion before contact is made with the group. The site is managed by the Jane Goodall Institute, who ensure appropriate development of the site for eco tourism, while ensuring that the chimpanzee communities are not put at risk. All profits from the venture are returned back into the protection of Budongo Forest Reserve.
Tonight we camp at an eco tourism campsite.
Included Activities
  • Chimpanzee trekking
Optional Activities
  • Rhino trekking - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 31-32 Murchison Falls National Park
If we could not all do the trek the day before, the rest will go this morning. Afterwards we'll cross to the north of the river for an afternoon game drive in the delta.
Depending on timing tonight we will either bush camp in the delta or head to an established campsite at Paraa on the southern banks of the Nile, at the heart of the Murchison Falls National Park.
Uganda's largest national park, Murchison Falls National Park is named for the dramatic waterfalls which result from the Nile exploding through a narrow gap in the escarpment and plunging 43 metres below. Wildlife populations are healthy, having largely recovered from the poaching of the 1980s, and elephants, buffalo, giraffes and antelopes are regularly seen, while lions are becoming increasingly common.
The next day we head off for another game drive in the morning. After lunch we embark on a launch cruise on the Nile to Murchison Falls - the main attraction of this part of Uganda. After the cruise we meet back with the truck and head to the outskirts of the park to camp at the Murchison River Lodge.
Included Activities
  • Murchison Falls Game Drive
  • Murchison Falls Launch trip
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 33 Bush Camp
It is an early start today as we have a rather long drive ahead of us. We are aiming to get as close to Queen Elizabeth II National Park as possible. Along the way we will find somewhere to camp for the night.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 34 Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today we travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the camp.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George. During our time in the park we hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
This afternoon we take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for its birds such as pelicans and eagles, as well as its healthy population of hippos.
Tonight we camp. The campground is basic and has drop toilets and simple showers.
Included Activities
  • Kazinga Channel boat cruise
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 35 Lake Bunyonyi
Today we travel on to Lake Bunyonyi (approx 250 km).
Located in the south-west of Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi - meaning 'place of many little birds' - is home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.
If time allows, one of the best ways to admire the landscape is from on the lake itself by hiring a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro). They can be hard to master at first but great fun.
Optional Activities
  • Mokoro hire (per day) - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 36-38 Kigali/Ruhengeri/Gorilla trek
Leaving Uganda behind, we cross the border, entering Rwanda, and travel toward Ruhengeri (approx 220 km), the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park. Along the way we will stop in at the capital, Kigali, where we will organise a visit to the very moving Genocide Memorial.
Ruhengeri is our base for the next three nights, however if all the trekking permits are issued for the group to trek on the same day, we may use our third night to stay in Kigali, in which case the visit to the Genocide Memorial will take place then instead.
We allow two days for gorilla visits as you are assigned a trekking group/time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day, or even over two days, depending on the time of permit issue and group size. There is a maximum group size of eight on each gorilla visit.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than eight per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.
While you are waiting for, or have completed your gorilla visit, your leader will provide you with options and ideas on how you may wish to spend your time in the area around Ruhengeri.
While in Ruhengeri we stay in dormitories at a local church mission.
Included Activities
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial
  • Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Optional Activities
  • Venge Village walk - USD20
Accommodation
Hostel (3 nts)
Day 39 Lake Mburo National Park
Today we travel to the border with Uganda where we will complete the border formalities. Please check before travelling whether you need a multi-entry visa. We will then head to Lake Mburo (approx 420 km).
Tonight we will camp on the shores of the lake at a stunning location surrounded by wildlife. While tonight's campground is beautifully located, it is very basic, with drop toilets and basic showers.
The flora of Lake Mburo National Park is acacia woodland, different to most other parks in East Africa, which means its fauna is also different to other reserves. It's the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals including zebras, impalas, buffalo, leopards, hyenas and jackals. There are five lakes within the park which are home to hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while the papyrus swamps provide cover for the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. This small park is less well-known among tourists so it's much quieter than some of the more famous East African parks.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 40 Jinja
Before breakfast today we have a two-hour guided walking safari through the Lake Mburo National Park, allowing us to see some of the animals and the spectacular birdlife. After breakfast we travel from Lake Mburo to Jinja, via Kampala, stopping at the equator.
We camp tonight at a scenic riverside retreat with showers and flush toilets.
Included Activities
  • Guided walk
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 41 Eldoret
Today we leave Uganda behind as we head back over the border into Kenya, and to the cheese town of Eldoret.
One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.
We stay tonight at the Naiberi River campsite. It is created on a hilly tribal land which was once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of the time. The campsite is Indian owned so tonight we will feast on an included Indian banquet.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 42 Nakuru National Park
After breakfast we make our way to Nakuru, approximately 200 km from Eldoret.
Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around a flamingo-filled lake, makes it a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours many rhinos and will be the best chance to get a great picture of these magnificent beasts.
Tonight we will stay at a beautiful campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Nakuru town. Depending on what time we arrive we may have the option of a farm visit.
Included Activities
  • Game Drive, Lake Nakuru National Park
Optional Activities
  • Dairy farm visit - Free
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 43 Nairobi
We are up very early this morning as we head out in safari vehicles for an early morning game drive of Nakuru National Park. After lunch the truck will meet us again and we'll head back to our campsite in Nairobi, arriving early evening.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 44-46 Nairobi/Masai Mara
This morning we will head off in our Land Cruisers to the Masai Mara for the next 2 nights.
Our large bags will be left behind and stored in a secure location in Nairobi. You will need to bring along a smaller day pack for this trip.
We recommend you pack:
Clothing for 3 days (Including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers)
A waterproof jacket
Toiletries (Including Sun screen, insect repellent)
Camera & charger
Small towel
Head torch
Water bottle
Books/journal/playing cards etc
Personal snacks
A huge area of woodlands and open plains backed by the striking Esoit Oloololo Escarpment, the Masai Mara is home to all of the Big Five. Keep an eye out for prides of lions, herds of elephants and, if you are lucky, a stealthy cheetah or leopard. In the rainy season this area is flooded by over a million wildebeest on their annual migration.
Both nights are spent in the same camp. Facilities are ready-made tents with twin beds (Including bedding so no need to bring any sleeping gear), toilet and shower areas and a bar serving soft drinks. Camera / phone charging facilities are available at an extra cost for a few hours each evening.
The following morning we have an early breakfast before setting off in the Land Cruisers again for a full day of game driving.
On our third day here we start with an early morning game drive after breakfast, before heading out of the Masai Mara and returning to Nairobi for the night.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty.
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1000
  • National Museum - USD10
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 47 Arusha
Back on the truck today and we have a full day's drive of approximately 300 km as we cross the Tanzanian border on our way to Arusha.
Tonight we'll stay in a well equipped campsite on the outskirts of Arusha where we will prepare ourselves for heading into the Serengeti.
Situated at the base of Mt Meru, Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania and there's plenty to see and do. There are lots of good bars and restaurants. Markets and shops have most things you could want or need alongside various arts and crafts from the region.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 48-49 Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro Crater
Today we are up very early, leaving our truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into 6-person jeeps and heading out for our three day excursion.
While here we stay at one of the camps within the National Park. The camp where we stay is very simple but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and the nocturnal noises. Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.
The wide, open plains of the Serengeti - green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, and home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators - are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Flat and rolling with long grasses and dotted with acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringitu - 'the place where the land moves on forever'.
The following morning we are up very early as we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive. There is also the option this morning of a hot air balloon flight, which must be pre-booked at the time of booking.
For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and need to be arranged in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.
If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot and help inflate the balloon. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your accommodation.
Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
We exit the Serengeti around lunchtime and head back through the conservation area to our campsite on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Again our campsite is very basic. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take warm clothes for this night.
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Balloon ride - USD500
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nts)
Day 50 Mto Wa Mbu
We are up with the sun this morning as we make an early descent into the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, where we will spend approximately 3 hours game driving in the crater.
A huge, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals including endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photographic opportunities here are unrivalled.
Departing the crater we will return to Mto Wa Mbu and participate in a community village project before finally heading back to camp for an evening relaxing at the campsite's bar, reliving our safari experience.
A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail.
Responsible Travel Note -
You will notice some Masai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater. While it is of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as businesses. You will be charged an entry fee of USD20 and the Masai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We would very much prefer that Intrepid clients choose to bypass this activity as we feel it negatively impacts the Masai culture and your perception of this culture. This is why we stop by Mto Wa Mbu on the way to the crater so that you may experience some culture in a more authentic environment.
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 51 Marangu
If we didn't get the chance yesterday, then after breakfast this morning we will participate in the local community village program before getting back on board our truck to head high onto the slopes of Kilimanjaro, and to the village of Marangu (approx 230 km).
Our camping area is the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel with views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The small village of Marangu is located on the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. The fertile fields are irrigated by streams that are fed by Mt Kilimanjaro's glaciers.
Included Activities
  • Usambara Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 52-53 Dar es Salaam
Leaving the cool slopes of Kilimanjaro behind we have a long travel day today as we travel further south towards the coastal city of Dar es Salaam (approx 560 km).
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's old capital, means 'Haven of Peace'. Many of its buildings display Arabian influence and the port area is fascinating to visit with its ocean-going dhows and inshore ngalawas (out-rigger fishing canoes).
Once in Dar es Salaam we set up camp on a balmy beach outside of the city. The camp is in the grounds of a hotel and has flush toilets and showers. Feel free to jump in the ocean and have a swim before dinner!
The following day is free for optional activities, or you may simply like to relax on the beach.
Optional Activities
  • Dhow trip - Free
  • Fishing - Free
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 54-56 Zanzibar
Today we catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar (approx 90 minutes). Our first night is spent in the exotic port town of Stone Town in a basic inn.
Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar's rich history involves everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast invokes images of what the island was like back in the days of Livingstone.
The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad intricate alleyways. When the sun is setting, why not enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront before trying one of the island's local seafood curries at one of the town's many restaurants.
The following day we'll embark on a spice tour.
Drive to the spice plantations where you'll receive a guided tour and the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, as well as teas made with these spices. At the end of the day there will also be an opportunity to buy some of the locally grown spices.
We will also head to the northern beaches where there is plenty of time for optional activities and relaxing on the beach.
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar Spice tour
Optional Activities
  • Scuba diving - USD90
  • Snorkelling - USD40
  • Prison island tour - USD25
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Day 57 Dar es Salaam
Today we transfer back to Dar es Salaam by ferry and return to our campsite by the beach.
Our trip finishes on arrival at our campsite in Dar es Salaam at approximately 4pm. If you are departing today, please don't book flights until the evening.
There's no accommodation included tonight but we are able to organise additional nights' accommodation - please enquire at time of booking.
  • Serengeti Balloon Safari ( Dragoman ) (.)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    We must emphasise that the routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only. We intend following the route detailed but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. Or it may be because we find a better, more interesting route. While actually en route, unexpected hospitality, a local festival or a great place to chill out can determine our exact route and itinerary on any given trip.
    Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group.
    Culture shock rating

    You're really out there! You'll need to pay specific attention to health and hygiene. A large proportion of locals’ living conditions are a world away from standards you are used to at home. You may have difficulty finding an English speaker and there's little or no access to services. Paying heed to local customs is essential.
    Physical rating

    Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday.
    Physical preparation
    In these parts of the world you'll need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climate; from hot deserts through to the cold of high mountain areas.
    Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days and dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You'll need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up, and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step-up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge if you are physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day.
    You'll need to be fit enough to trek to the location of your family of mountain gorillas. This may involve up to 5 hours of walking up and down hills, in hot and humid conditions and through tropical (and at times thick) foliage. There may be mud underfoot which will make the trekking slippery. You'll be expected to carry your own personal needs for this trek including water and a rain jacket as well as your camera equipment.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Kitty
    On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and some included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases. Please check our website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.
    Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.
    You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.
    If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.
    Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.
    Kitty does not cover food while staying in hotels and hostels.
    KITTY CHANGES:
    We constantly monitor local price changes and exchange rate fluctuations that could affect kitty expenses. Final kitty contributions are likely to be different from those quoted in the brochure or at the time of booking so you must check the final amount just before departure.
    As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only. Follow the link below to view the kitty amount for your departure date.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
    Money Exchange
    The best way to manage your money in Africa is a mixture of cash and an ATM card (best to have both Visa and MasterCard).
    CASH:
    Cash is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.
    ***PLEASE NOTE: MANY BUSINESSES AND BANKS IN 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. IF YOUR KITTY PAYMENT IS REQUIRED TO BE PAID IN USD, IT MUST BE PAID WITH BILLS NO OLDER THAN 2006 SERIES***
    EUR or GBP are also widely accepted. The South African Rand can also be used widely in countries of Southern Africa. When changing money, only use reputable authorised money exchange vendors and never anyone on the street. There are many instances of travellers being given counterfeit notes or being tricked when money is being counted out.
    TRAVELLER'S CHEQUES:
    Some people like to carry traveller’s cheques for back up emergency cash. While traveller’s cheques are undoubtedly the safest way to carry money, they are becoming harder to cash around the world and can often result in unfavourable exchange rates and commission charges. They are no longer accepted in many locations in Kenya & Tanzania. It can also be tricky to reach banks during banking business hours which are often short in many African countries. Note: Receipts for traveller’s cheques are required by banks and money changers.
    VISA AND MASTERCARD:
    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. 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.
    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, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. 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 Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
    The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
    At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
    Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
    Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 per person, 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. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    Please note this Intrepid trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Your departure will be run in a Dragoman vehicle with a Dragoman crew.
    MINIMUM AGE:
    The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
    GORILLA PERMITS:
    Gorilla Permits need to be bought in advance. In order to secure them, an additional non-refundable deposit of ( AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900 ) is needed to secure the permit at time of booking. We also require full passport details at time of booking. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 90 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking. Full kitty payment is applicable on Day 1 of the trip.
    Group size
    Maximum of 22 travellers per group.
    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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Accommodation
    Camping (with facilities) (33 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (7 nts), Hotel (6 nts), Lodge (4 nts), Hostel (3 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts), Camp site (1 nt)
    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.
    Where it's not practical to camp (ie: in towns and cities), we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants. The frequency and regularity of hotel stops depends on the route and area.
    Campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we will wild-camp. This allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. We will also arrange as many village or local homestays as possible, allowing us to get close to indigenous populations and ensures our money stays within local communities.
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    When travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your leader prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping!
    Your leader 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.
    Meals
    All meals when camping
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    USD 575.00
    Transport
    Overland vehicle, Ferry
    There are many long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience which is right for you.
    African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
    Group leader
    On all of our Dragoman-operated Overlanding trips you will be accompanied by two Western crew members who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation of the trip.
    While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. In East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In the rest of Africa, South America and the majority of Central Asia and China we use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people. Our crew are chosen for their leadership skills, and most importantly have a passion for the region and its people.
    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
    On any Overland trip, there are a number of tasks that need to be done. Our overland trip leaders will organise the group into smaller groups of two or three who will take turns in the daily shopping and cooking, vehicle cleaning, disposing of rubbish, etc. There are also a number of other jobs that need doing e.g. collecting water and firewood, luggage loading, supervising the kitty and food stores, which may be assigned to particular people or on a rota system according to group size, make-up, and so on. You must come prepared to 'pull your weight' and share in these duties; you will become very unpopular with other group members if they have to do your share. The more you put into a trip, the more you'll benefit.
    Joining point
    Sarem International Hotel
    Belay Zeleke Street (around Semien Mazegaja)
    Addis Ababa
    Addis Ababa
    ETHIOPIA
    Phone: +251 11 126 2088
    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 section below for who to contact depending upon your starting location.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Kipepeo Beach Camp
    Mjimwema
    Kigamboni
    Dar es Salaam
    TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF
    Finish point description
    The rooms at Kipepeo Beach Camp are elevated beach huts with sea views and a balcony. Each chalet has its own bathroom with hot and cold running water, and electricity.
    Finish point instructions
    If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
    It's possible to book a taxi to the airport via our hotel - please enquire at the reception. The price will be approximately US$45 in Tanzanian shillings.
    Emergency contact
    Dragoman 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1728 862 222 This is an answer-phone. If calling outside UK office hours for non urgent questions, please leave a message. There is a number provided to call for a 24 hour manned mobile, in case of genuine emergency. For further emergency contact details go to:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    ETHIOPIA:
    Most nationalities require a visa for entry to Ethiopia. Please see this website to find your closest embassy or consulate: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Ethiopia. If you are flying into Addis Ababa you can obtain a visa on arrival. You'll need two passport photos and approximately US$40. You may be asked for proof of a return ticket - please carry your tour notes as proof that you are leaving overland. If you are entering at any border other than Addis Ababa airport you MUST obtain your visa in advance.
    KENYA - overland from Ethiopia:
    Kenyan visas can be obtained by most nationalities on arrival at the Moyale border crossing. The cost is approximately US$25. Kenyan visas are required by most nationalities, including the EU, US and Australia. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you'll need new (post-2003), clean US dollars cash. Currently you don't require a multi-entry visa between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (eg. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). If your trip visits Rwanda and re-enters Kenya you may require a double entry visa to Kenya, depending on the border guard on the day. This can easily be purchased at the border if required.
    RWANDA:
    Visas are required by all nationalities and need to be obtained in advance. You can apply for this visa online at www.migration.gov.rw.
    You'll need to apply for an Entry Visa on their website (Services tab, Visa) which should take approx 2-5 days to come through. You must print this Entry Facility out to present at the border.
    If you are asked to provide an address in Rwanda on your visa form, please use the address below -
    Centre Pastoral Notre Dame De Fatima
    Avenue de la Nutrition
    Ruhengeri, Rwanda
    Supporting Documents may also be required - the embassy will contact you if they require these.
    The visa costs approx US$60 payable on the border with the exception of USA, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, nationals where the visa is free of charge.
    Note: Rwanda is constantly updating its visa information; therefore we recommended that you check the website carefully for the latest up to date information www.migration.gov.rw
    UGANDA:
    Visas are required by most nationalities, including the EU, US and Australia. Visas are available at point of entry to most nationalities. Some nationalities are required to obtain visas in advance - you MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visas on arrival, you will need new (post 2003), clean American dollars cash and the cost is around US$50. When on one of our gorilla itineraries visiting Rwanda, you may require a double entry visa to Uganda. This is dependent on the border guard of the day and can be easily purchased on re entry from Rwanda for nationalities which qualify for visa on arrival. Please allow US$50.
    TANZANIA:
    Australia: Yes - Visa required
    Belgium: Yes - Visa required
    Canada: Yes - Visa required
    Germany: Ye - Visa required
    Ireland: Yes - Visa required
    Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
    New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
    South Africa: Yes - Visa required
    Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
    United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
    USA: Yes - Visa required
    It is recommended you purchase your visa in advance at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad. The cost is approximately US$100 depending on nationality and should take 1 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 (eg. 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.
    It is also possible to obtain a tourist's 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:
    -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
    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.
    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 you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    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.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    LOCKER SPACE:
    The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than 66cm deep, 30cm wide, and 30cm high. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock with a long shackle.The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks shouldn't have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
    CAMPING EQUIPMENT / MATTRESS:
    A sleeping bag (we recommend a 3–4 season). It can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. If you're travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter the weather. Pillows are NOT provided so please bring a travel pillow along.
    We don't provide a mattress so please bring your own (a Thermarest / inflatable mattress is recommended).
    A simple plastic bag / 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.
    CLOTHING:
    You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
    BATTERIES/POWER:
    Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. We suggest you bring a mix of normal and rechargeable batteries and the appropriate recharging unit. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
    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.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. 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. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
    Health
    All Intrepid 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, Intrepid reserves 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. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    YELLOW FEVER:
    A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. 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.
    ETHIOPIA:
    Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.
    Dengue fever is a known risk in parts of this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
    Malaria exists in all areas of Ethiopia below 1800m and it is recommended that you consult your doctor about malaria preventative medication.
    Safety
    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. 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 group 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 group 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:
    TRAVEL ADVISORY:
    Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:
    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.
    PETTY THEFT AND 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 alone at night and encourage you to walk together 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 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 insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group 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.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    When packing be aware that dress standards can be conservative in some parts of Africa. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts in culturally sensitive areas: Mosques, small villages, etc. We recommend a mixture of loose, lightweight clothing and warm clothing for the evenings. Topless sun bathing is unacceptable through out the whole of Africa.
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our 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 Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Responsible Travel projects
    Organisations and projects currently supported in Kenya include:
    * New Hope Children's Centre aims to assist the less fortunate in society and give them hope. The centre currently caters for 170 children, both boys and girls, from many parts of Kenya: 130 are residents and 40 live with their grandmothers, with New Hope paying for their school fees and assisting with clothing where necessary.
    * Saidia Children's Home first opened its doors in 2004 with just five children in a disused and near derelict college building. They now have their own building and land, which is home to about fifty children. Their aim is to improve the lives of AIDS orphans and other disadvantaged children in Gilgil and the surrounding area, ultimately by creating projects that will become independent of outside aid.
    Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Tanzania include:
    * Amani Children's Home rescues street children and orphans from homelessness and restores hope in their lives. At the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Moshi, Amani provides children off the street with a safe and loving home, education, medical care, healthy food, and counselling. Donations through the Intrepid Foundation will be used to rescue, feed, educate and care for the hundreds of homeless children that Amani helps every year.
    * The Village Education Project Kilimanjaro (VEPK) was established in 1994 with the belief that education is one of the most important parts of building sound long-term economic growth for Tanzania. With the motto ‘Elimu ni uhai - Education is life’, its projects aim to provide improved primary and vocational education to Tanzanian children.
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 1654.00 kgs per pax.
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