Cape Town to Gonder Trip Notes

Visit Africa and travel from Cape Town to Cairo. Tour South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

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Last Modified: 16 Nov 2012
Cape Town to Gonder
Trip code: UDOZC
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012
If you've ever wanted to 'do Africa', this is a great start. In 88 action-packed days, cross the continent's entire length from the cafes and vineyards of Cape Town to the exotic charms of Ethiopia, taking in a dizzying array of natural wonders and cultural encounters. Be humbled by the welcoming smiles of local villagers, wander vibrant modern cities and encounter iconic African animals in the wild. A once-in-a-lifetime adventure to remember, this Overland trip provides the unique opportunity to experience the true essence of Africa from ground level. It's a challenging expedition that demands a truly adventurous spirit, but the rewards are priceless.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationWhat to take
Culture shock rating Meals introductionHealth
Physical ratingMealsSafety
Physical preparationTransportTravel insurance
Included activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
KittyJoining point A couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point Feedback
Departure taxFinish point instructions
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
Cape Town to Gonder
Itinerary
Day 1 Cape Town
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
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.
With its stunning coastline, dominating mountain and modern cityscape, Cape Town is one of Africa's most appealing cities. With vineyards on its doorstep, adventure activities around every other corner and plenty of restaurants and cafes to while away the time, Cape Town is a very easy city to spend some extra time in.
Optional Activities
  • Abseiling/kloofing - ZAR880
  • Bo-Kaap Museum - ZAR30
  • District Six Museum - ZAR25
  • Scuba diving (excluding gear) - ZAR330
  • Scuba diving (including gear) - ZAR730
  • Harbour cruise - ZAR200
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - ZAR45
  • South Africa National Gallery - ZAR35
  • South African Museum - ZAR27
  • Table Mountain - Cycling - ZAR550
  • Table Mountain - Hiking - ZAR720
  • Table Mountain - Aerial cable - ZAR200
  • Robben Island tour - ZAR260
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Western Cape/Orange River
Leaving Cape Town behind, travel up the Western Cape and spend the night on a working farm (290 km, approx 8 hrs).
Pass through Namaqualand, famous for its wildflowers that spring up from the end of July to mid-September. Flowers like daisies, gazanias and cinerarias are the most popular. Arrive at the beautiful Orange River, the natural border between South Africa and Namibia. It takes about an hour to exit South Africa and enter Namibia, and we then head for our camp on the banks of the river (540 km, approx 9 hrs).
Traditionally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River is the longest in South Africa (2200 km). Its source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in South Africa. The Orange River is responsible for transporting diamonds and creating the deposits that can be found along the Namibian coast.
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 4 Fish River Canyon
This morning there's a chance for an optional canoe adventure on the stunning Orange River - a great way to discover the beauty of this region.
Head further west into the desert lands of Namibia towards Fish River Canyon (270 km, approx 4-5 hrs).
At 500 metres deep and over 160 km long, Fish River Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. There are remarkable photographic opportunities here.
Tonight's camp has showers and flush toilets.
Included Activities
  • Fish River Canyon
Optional Activities
  • Canoe trip - USD37
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 5-6 Sesriem/Bush Camp
This is a long driving day towards the fabled dunes of Namibia (520 km, approx 10 hrs).
Wake before dawn and scramble to the top of these dunes for a dramatic sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. The colour changes are just incredible and provide a spectacular setting for our brunch.
The most famous part of the Namib Desert is its vast dune fields, the most spectacular of which are found near the Sesriem Canyon. This canyon was formed when the Tsauchab River carved a gorge 30 metres into the gravel deposits about 15 million years ago. It's thought that this river once flowed to the Atlantic Ocean but its course was blocked by the encroaching sand dunes. Now the river flows out to the dune fields that stretch for hundreds of miles up the coast, and dries up in a clay pan at Sossusvlei. The dunes are stunning, with magnificent red/orange tones from the brightly coloured sands. They are the highest in the world and home to a plethora of animal life.
Jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei (approx 30 minutes each way). Here you'll experience the hidden and amazing mysteries this area contains.
Included Activities
  • Sesriem - Sand dunes visit
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 7-9 Swakopmund
Continue on to the town of Swakopmund (360 km, approx 9 hrs drive).
Surrounded by the massive dune fields of the Namib Desert on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakopmund is an example of the extraordinary German culture that's found in all major settlements in Namibia. It's worth wandering around the town to admire the beauty of the Germanic architecture and take advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping.
We have plenty of time here to go dune-bashing by quad bike, sand boarding or even skydiving over the town and surrounding desert. Here you can spend lively evenings in the town's many good restaurants and fun bars.
Our accommodation here is in bungalows. These accommodate 6 people each and share bathroom facilities.
Optional Activities
  • Camel riding - USD15
  • Swakopmund Museum - USD2
  • Parasailing - USD70
  • Quad biking (2 hrs) - USD80
  • Sandboarding - USD80
  • Scenic flight - USD385
  • Sea kayaking - USD85
  • Seal and dolphin cruise - USD60
  • Skydive - USD270
  • Tandem skydive - USD270
  • Balloon flight (on request only) - USD415
  • Fishing trip - USD115
  • Flying Fox - USD70
  • Hansa Breweries visit - Free
  • Horse riding - USD65
Accommodation
Chalet (3 nts)
Day 10 Spitzkoppe
Travel to Spitzkoppe (290 km, approx 6 hrs).
Experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while travelling up the eerie Atlantic Coast.
Visit one of the most stunning areas of Namibia, the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe - 'the Matterhorn of Namibia'. The mountain, which is 700 million years old, is 1987 metres (5857 ft) high. Although you shouldn't attempt climbing to the top, there are some excellent hikes and guided walks throughout the area, rich in plant life and with some amazing bush paintings. This is a place to get away from it all and to appreciate the stunning harsh beauty of this sparsely populated country.
Bush camp for the night in the midst of this remote region and have the chance to witness the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises as the landscape takes on remarkable oranges and reds.
Included Activities
  • Cape Cross seal colony
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 11-12 Etosha National Park
Travel to Etosha National Park (480 km, approx 9 hrs).
Etosha National Park is home to a wide range of Southern Africa's wildlife, including all the big carnivores and five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The wildlife is prolific and Etosha has every right to proclaim itself as one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to usually allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.
We stay at two different campsites in the park - Namutoni and Okaukuejo.
Okaukuejo Camp is particularly spectacular as it overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night.
Included Activities
  • Etosha - Game drive
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 13 Grootfontein/San Bushmen
Travel to Grootfontein and spend the night near a Bushmen homestead (315 km, approx 6 hrs).
Take the opportunity to go out tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen. Spend some time with them and listen to the stories and songs of these fascinating people, presented in their unique "clicking language". The Bushmen are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia having inhabited Southern Africa for an estimated 20,000 years. Around 30,000 San live in Namibia, but only 2,000 of them still follow a traditional way of life. The San have a deep understanding of nature and ecology, living in harmony with their environment.
Included Activities
  • San Bushman cultural experience
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 14-15 Rundu/Bagani Community Camp
Head north on a straight drive to the town of Rundu (285 km, approx 5 hrs).
Rundu is the capital of the Kavango region of Namibia, on the border with Angola. A centre of activity for Namibia's growing Angolan community this is a great place to explore. Why not check out the Khemo open market, and it's many Kavango woodcarvings. You also have the option of taking a sunset cruise, watch traditional dancing or soak up the local vibe in a restaurant.
Leaving Rundu behind, drive to Bagani where we spend the night (340 km, approx. 6-7 hrs).
Optional Activities
  • Boat trip - USD25
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 16-17 Okavango Delta
Drive across the border into Botswana and head south along the Okavango Panhandle (the narrowest part of the delta) to Seronga, where we leave our vehicle and join our transport for the journey into the delta (140 km, approx 4 hrs).
Formed by the Okavango River as it flows from the highlands of Angola down to a basin on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is unlike anything else in the world. The river has no outlet from the desert and spreads out into thousands of small streams to form a wilderness that is totally unspoilt. The 16,000 sq km maze of wetlands is a wonderland of clear meandering waterways, green islands, lush plains and prolific wildlife. The delta is filled with a diversity of flora and fauna that includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants and the big cats. However, it's not for the game that we come as it can't always be found. The delta is about exploring one of the world's most fascinating ecosystems.
Boarding boats out into the swamps, travel to Gao Island to meet our mokoro team and to begin exploring the Okavango Delta. Each mokoro (small dugout canoe) takes two people and is poled along through the meandering waterways by a local tribesman. Reeds and lily pads line the streams, and birds startled by the mokoros rise out of the long grasses. Punting along, the peace of the delta may be shattered by the deep grunting of hippos.
Out in the middle of a wilderness area, on the first night you'll camp on an island away from civilisation.
Continue our trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp with its (usually) hot showers and small bar.
Included Activities
  • Okavango Delta - Mokoro trips & bushwalks
Meals Included
3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Day 18 Bagani Community Camp
Return to Bagani for the night where we have time to relax and take part in the various activities that are available in this charming place. Various boat trips, fishing or hikes are possible from Bagani.
Our camp has flush toilets and cold showers.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 19-20 Chobe National Park
Bagani to Chobe National Park is quite a long drive, but it's well worth it (430 km, approx 8 hrs). Enter Botswana at Goma border which is also the gateway to the park.
Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants, which can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts wallowing hippos, a variety of birdlife, crocodiles sunning themselves by the water's edge, and cheetahs and lions which come down to drink.
Take a cruise down the Chobe River - one of the best ways to enjoy the park's animals.
Enjoy an early morning game drive and get up close to the wildlife, hopefully spotting lions, buffaloes, birds and of course elephants.
Our camp is outside of Chobe National Park and has flush toilets and hot/cold showers.
Included Activities
  • Chobe - Dawn game drive
  • Chobe - Boat Cruise
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 21-23 Victoria Falls
Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi (115 km, approx 3 hrs).
Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.
Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Intrepid's Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Intrepid groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.
Included Activities
  • Visit Victoria Falls
Optional Activities
  • Abseiling - USD55
  • Canoe trail - USD140
  • Canoe trail (half day) - USD100
  • Flying fox - USD40
  • Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD140
  • Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD275
  • Horseback safari - USD80
  • Jet boat - USD95
  • Rafting & river boarding combo (half day) - USD180
  • Village & township tour - USD50
  • Wine Route Canoe trail - USD55
  • Bungee jumping - USD130
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 24 Hwange National Park
Head towards Hwange National Park (190 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
Stopping en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog.
Hwange National Park became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today, Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the park's elephant population is one of the largest in Africa.
Explore the park in open 4x4 vehicles.
Stay within the park at one of its campgrounds with shared facilities.
Included Activities
  • Hwange National Park
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 25-26 Bulawayo
Travel to Bulawayo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city and has a very interesting historical past.
We will have the afternoon free to explore the city, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore local markets, chat with a local or perhaps find a game of football or rugby to watch.
Get up early and venture out to explore the Matobo National Park.
Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
In Bulawayo, stay in a campground with shared facilities - upgrades are available.
Included Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari
Optional Activities
  • Natural History Museum - USD10
  • Railway Museum - USD2
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 27 Masvingo
A short drive takes us to Masvingo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
Masvingo is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe and the perfect base to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Spend the afternoon exploring the ruins.
Great Zimbabwe is the national monument the country is named after. A Unesco World Heritage site, the ruined city was first constructed in the 11th century and is thought to be a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch.
Our campground in Masvingo has shared facilities.
Included Activities
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 28 Harare
Travel to Harare (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Harare is Zimbabwe's capital city and also its largest.
Arriving in time for lunch we have the afternoon to explore the city on our own or relax at our campground.
There is plenty to see and do, you might want to head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and explore the shops and markets.
Optional Activities
  • National Archives - USD3
  • National Botanical Gardens - USD5
  • National Gallery - USD1
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 29-30 Lusaka/Chipata
We have two long days to cover with just over 1000kms to cover. Day 8 will see us crossing over to Zambia. Starting with a scenic drive to the border, we cover 450Kms, approx 8hrs today. We camp just outside Lusaka, The capital city of Zambia.
The following day we continue to make our way through the heartland of Zambia towards the border with Malawi, spending a final night in Zambia. Travel distance covered is 600Kms – approx 10hrs.
**IMPORTANT CHANGE TO BORDER CROSSINGS AND VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS TRIP**
For all departures from the 31st of May 2012 onwards we will no longer be travelling through Mozambique and you will NOT be required to have a Mozambique Visa.
Days 8-9 will be spent in Lusaka/Chipata instead of Blantyre/Lilongwe. Accommodation will still be camping with facilities and no included activities are affected.
This change is due to the increasing difficulty obtaining Mozambique visas for both passengers and our leaders. We will be travelling through Zambia instead and we recommend you obtain your Zambian Visa before travel ( see visa section for more details on how to do this ).
Ammended trip notes will be published after the 20th of May 2012
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 31-32 Lake Malawi
We cross the border into Malawi on Day 10 making a stop in Lilongwe to replenish our supplies. During the stop-over, we have a chance to go to the bank and connect to the internet before we head out to our camp on the shore of Lake Malawi.
Distance travelled is approximately 8 hours (490 Kms) from Chipata to Lake Malawi.
Lilongwe is the political capital of Malawi with a population of just under a million people. Situated on the Lilongwe River, it's a great place to soak up some Malawian culture with lots of coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, canoe and net makers, and fish traders all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is of a fisherman in his bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day.
We enjoy Day 11 on the lake's more peaceful beaches. As well as chilling on the beach and participating in the many optional water activities on offer, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Our campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi.
Optional Activities
  • Horse riding - USD50
  • Scuba diving - USD75
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 33-34 Chitimba/Iringa
Drive 235 km (approx 5-6 hours) to our camp in Chitimba.
Set up camp on the northern shores of Lake Malawi.
The following day is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands. Sit back, relax and watch as the countryside passes by (530 km, approx 9-10 hrs).
Set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 35 Dar es Salaam
Heading for Dar es Salaam on the coast, travel through Mikumi National Park. The journey today is 560 km which will take approximately 13 hours of drive time.
Situated at the foot of the thickly wooded Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi National Park is home to large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards. It's Tanzania's third largest national park.
Although we don't take an off-road safari into the depths of the park, a good selection of the wildlife that resides in Mikumi can usually be seen on our way through to the southern Tanzanian highland town of Iringa.
The camp is on the grounds of a hotel and has flush toilets and showers. Feel free to jump in the ocean and have a swim.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 36-38 Zanzibar
Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar (approx 90 mins).
Our first night is spent in the exotic port town of Stone Town in a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms.
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.
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.
On our second and third days here we head to the northern beaches and enjoy white sand and sparkling blue sea - the Indian Ocean at its best. Try snorkelling and diving, eat sumptuous seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar Spice tour
Optional Activities
  • Scuba diving - USD90
  • Snorkelling - USD40
  • Prison island tour - USD25
  • Dhow trip - USD50
Accommodation
Bungalow (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
Day 39 Dar es Salaam
Reboard the ferry and return to the beach outside Dar es Salaam.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 40 Marangu
Leaving the beach behind, it's a long travel day, climbing high on to the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the village of Mshiri (560 km, approx 10-13 hrs).
Camp in the grounds of the Marangu Hotel, a beautiful turn-of-the-century farmhouse set in 12 acres of delightful tropical gardens. Upgrades are available on request and the hotel also has a great bar and pool.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 41 Mto Wa Mbu
Rise and shine early and on a clear day you'll be greeted with unforgettable views of Kilimanjaro.
Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project, and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people, long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and have the chance to sample the local Chagga food, which is very filling. For more information on the Village Education Project visit www.kiliproject.org.
Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, get a view of Kilimanjaro - the magnificent snow-capped mountain and Africa's highest peak at 5,895 m (19,340 ft).
After an early lunch, head towards Mto Wa Mbu where we camp for the night (450 km, approx 8-9 hrs).
Included Activities
  • Usambara Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 42-43 Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti National Park
Wake up very early and leave our truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into (6-person) jeeps and heading out for our two-day excursion.
From Mto Wa Mbu, we descend to the floor of the famous Ngorongoro Crater and make the most of our safari here - we spend between four and five hours exploring this area.
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 in the afternoon, head for the gates of the Serengeti and arrive at our camp in the early evening. The following day, enjoy a full day game drive in the Serengeti.
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'.
Game viewing in the Serengeti is amazing and as you camp out at night, don't be surprised to hear lions in the distance as you recount your wildlife sightings from the day. In normal circumstances, we would expect to see the Big Five during our stay in the Serengeti.
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.
You'll notice many Maasai villages in the region of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. While it's of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as tourism businesses offering somewhat contrived performances of their traditional ways. You'll be charged an entry fee of approx US$20-35 and the Maasai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We recommend our travellers bypass this activity as our Kenyan colleagues observe that it negatively impacts the Maasai culture and travellers' perception of this culture.
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Balloon ride - USD500
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Day 44 Arusha
Leave the Serengeti behind and head towards Arusha (150 km, approx 2-3 hrs), stopping en route at Mto Wa Mbu to jump back on board our truck.
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.
Tonight we'll camp on the outskirts of Arusha where we'll enjoy our final dinner together.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 45 Nairobi
This morning we set off for Nairobi.
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.
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
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
  • Nairobi National Park safari walk - USD20
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10
  • National Museum - USD10
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 46 Lake Naivasha
This morning we depart for our camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha (140 km, approx 4 hours), one of the most beautiful of the Great Rift Valley bodies of water.
Our campground has showers and flush toilets.
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.
Included Activities
  • Elsamere Conservation Centre
Optional Activities
  • Big game walking safari - USD40
  • Hippo spotting boat trip - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 47-48 Lake Nakuru
We have the morning free to explore a little more before departing for our campsite near Nakuru town (120 km, approx 2-3 hours).
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.
The following day we head into Nakuru National Park for a game drive in jeeps.
Included Activities
  • Game Drive, Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Dairy farm visit
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 49 Mt Kenya
Leaving the park early this morning we travel through fantastic scenery as we travel to the slopes of Mt Kenya, spending the night in the grounds of one of the many lodges that are dotted around the area.
We might choose to utilise one of our spare days here to explore nearby Sweet Water Game Sanctuary, or take the opportunity to explore the lower slopes of Mt Kenya.
Optional Activities
  • Nayaroi caves (Mau Mau) & waterfalls - USD15
  • Nature trails, Naro Moru - USD10
  • Horse riding, Naro Moru - USD15
  • Game drive - USD100
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 50-51 Samburu National Reserve
We travel on to Samburu National Reserve (140 km, approx 4-5 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.
Here we 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.
Our camp is in the heart of the park. Facilities are drop toilets and cold showers.
Included Activities
  • Samburu community activities
  • Visit to Samburu tribal community and cultural project
  • Samburu - Game Drive
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt), Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 52-53 Marsabit/Moyale
Today we travel on to Marsabit (240 km, approx 6-7 hours). We'll travel through the black lunar landscape and pass mountain greenery, spectacular craters, water courses, 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.
The next day we cross the border into Ethiopia and the border town of Moyale (265 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
Camp site (1 nt), Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 54-55 Konso
We have a full day of travel on towards Konso (330 km, approx 7-8 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.
The follow day is a spare day, either being spent in the Konso or travelling on towards the Omo Valley. You will decide this as a group.
Included Activities
  • Konso Market
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 56-58 Omo Valley
In the far south of the country lies the Omo Valley area. We drive down through this remote region (145 km, approx 5-6 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.
Included Activities
  • Guided excursions to tribal markets and villages
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (3 nts)
Days 59-60 Arba Minch
The following day we drive to Arba Minch (110 km, approx 2-3 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 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.
Optional Activities
  • Crocodile Farm - USD5
  • Lake Chamo boat trip and Crocodile Market - USD65
  • Bicycle hire - USD5
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 61-62 Wendo Genet/Awasa
We head back down from the mountains and spend the night at Wendo Genet en route to Arba Minch (280 km, approx 10-12 hours) where we spend time relaxing in the hot springs. Tonight we camp in the grounds of the Hot Spring 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.
Wendo Genet is located approximately 35 km from the town of Awasa, on the shores of Lake Awasa.
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/
After visiting the project we will stop in Awasa town for shopping before heading back to our camp in Wendo Genet and more time for relaxing in the hot springs.
Included Activities
  • Awassa Children's Project
Optional Activities
  • Hot springs - USD5
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 63-65 Bale Mountain National Park
Leaving Wendo Genet we drive on towards the Bale Mountains National Park (280 km, approx 10-11 hours). We'll 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.
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.
Included Activities
  • Driving and game excursions
Optional Activities
  • Horse/mule trek - USD15
Accommodation
Lodge (3 nts)
Day 66 Lake Abiata-Shala National Park
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 (287 km, approx 8-9 hours). We spend tonight in a bush camp right in the midst of this stunning setting, and visit Lake Abiyata with a guide.
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.
Included Activities
  • Guided visit of Lake Abiyata
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 67-69 Addis Ababa
We travel from Lake Abiyata to Addis Ababa (215 km, approx 5-6 hours).
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.
Why not take the chance to head to one of the city's many restaurants and try some local food and perhaps hear some traditional music.
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
  • St George Cathedral - Free
  • Africa Hall - Free
  • Merkato - Free
  • National Museum - USD1
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Day 70 Dejen
We spend a night in Dejen (260 km, approx 7-8 hours), visiting the Blue Nile Gorge en route.
We cross the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge, which is 1 km deep, take a couple of hours to drive down to the bottom, cross the river, and drive back up the other side.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 71-73 Bahir Dar
Today we travel on to Bahir Dar (270 km, approx. 6-7 hours), located on the shores of Lake Tana and only a few hundred metres from the source of the mighty Blue Nile.
A few kilometres down the river from Bahir Dar are the spectacular Blue Nile Falls - locally known as Tissisat Falls (literally translating as 'water that smokes'). After walking around the falls, we use local reed boats to cross the river upstream. On the lake itself are a number of monasteries on islands and peninsulas and we take the opportunity to visit two on our boat trip. These churches feature the traditional murals and decoration of the Orthodox Church. We cross the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge which is 1 km deep, taking a couple of hours to drive down to the bottom, cross the river and drive back up the other side.
Included Activities
  • 1/2 Day Lake Tana reed boat trip
  • Entrance Blue Nile Falls
  • Ura Kidane Mereth Monastery and Kebran Gabriel M KChurch
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Days 74-76 Lalibela
A full day journey of 310 km takes us to the medieval town of Lalibela where we stay for three nights in a friendly local hotel.
Hidden in the hills of northern Ethiopia is the small town of Lalibela. This medieval village has grown up around 13 monolithic churches hewn from rock in the 12th century. It’s an awe-inspiring feat of engineering which must have taken many years and thousands of men to complete. Fortunately the village is underdeveloped as a tourist site and still has its original Ethiopian charm. Each of the churches is unique in design and beautifully carved. Legend has it that King Lalibela completed all the work in 12 days with the help of a band of angels who carved the rocks for him day and night. The church of Asheten Mariam is hidden in the rugged hills behind the village. You may like to trek there on foot or take a mule to this fascinating monastery and enjoy the incredible views on the way.
We walk with a local guide who is able to unlock the fascinating history of both the churches and Lalibela itself.
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of rock churches, monastery & visit to local school at Lalibela
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Day 77 Bush Camp
Leaving the town behind, we travel around 170 km (approx 7-8 hours) before bushcamping for the night.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 78 Mekele
From our bush camp it is a full day's journey to Mekele (266 km, approx 8-9 hours).
Mekele is a cultural town famous for its churches and desert landscape. Historians date Mekele to be founded in the 13th century and it is a place with a colourful history. Derg The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front Monument is one of the most famous points and can be seen from nearly any place in the town. The palace of King Yohannes IV is a chance to see so much of Mekele's history during the reign of this king. The churches are worth a visit, as they are just beautiful.
Mekele is the base for exploring the intriguing rock-hewn churches of Tigray.
Sculpted into cliff faces or into pre-existing caves, there are at least 120 churches with many of the churches located in groups, referred to as "clusters" the most famous being Gheralta, Takatisfi, Tembien and Atsbi.
Included Activities
  • Tigray Rock-hewn Churches
Optional Activities
  • Debre Damo Monastery (men only) - USD3
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 79-80 Aksum
It is a full day's journey from Mekele to Aksum (300 km, approx 8-9 hours).
Aksum is the site of Ethiopia's oldest city. It has some impressive obelisks carved from single blocks of granite - the tallest still standing is 23 metres high and was probably transported by elephants from a nearby quarry. The scale of the monuments in this stelae field are testament to the enormous importance that the ancient kingdom of Aksum once enjoyed. Close to the town are the ruins of a palace that is said to have belonged to the Queen of Sheba. There is also a complex of several churches, which have been built over the ages around the same site. The most interesting, is a small unimposing building with a green picket fence that holds the crowns of various former Ethiopian emperors and is said to house the original Ark of the Covenant.
We'll take a guided city tour, which will take in the main sights of this fascinating town.
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Aksum
  • Palace and church ruins
Optional Activities
  • Church of St Mary of Zion - USD3
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 81 Enda Selassie
Leaving Aksum behind we travel toward Debark (255 km, approx 13 hours). It is a very long travel day to Debark as while the distance is not too far, the roads in this part of Ethiopia are rough. We may choose to break the journey and stop over in Selassie for the night if the roads are particularly bad.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 82-85 Simien Mountains National Park
Once in Debark we set to arranging our trek into the mountains. The process can take quite some time as we arrange permits, campsites, scouts and guides.
Standing at the gateway to the Simien Mountains is the town of Debark. Many people pass through here to experience the wonders that these mountains have to offer. With this beauty in its landscape, Debark has some of the most amazing scenery in Ethiopia.
We will trek for the next two days, and the route we take, and time we trek, will be decided by the group. It is also possible to split into two groups if need be. The adventurous may choose to hire mules to trek even further in search of klipspringer, Walia ibex, the gelada baboon, or if you are lucky, the endangered Simien fox.
The Simien Mountains are known for their dramatic and spectacular scenery. Jagged mountain peaks flank deep valleys and high altitude plains where only grasses, junipers and giant lobelias grow. This is one of the major mountain regions of Africa, home to mountain Ras Dejen (4543m), the fourth highest peak in the continent. The National Park was created primarily to protect the a type of wild goat - the Walia ibex - and the Gelada baboon and rare Ethiopian wolf are also found here. Standing on top of a sharp precipice and gazing out over the magnificent landscape here will take your breath away, so it's definitely worth taking a bit of time to explore.
In the Simien Mountains we stay for two nights at a campsite. The following day we return to Debark for the night.
Included Activities
  • Entrance Simien Mountains National Park
  • Simien Mountains trek (2 days)
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (4 nts)
Days 86-88 Gonder
Leaving the mountains behind, we travel on to Gonder (100 km, approx 4-5 hours). We spend two nights in Gonder at a small pension.
The historic city of Gonder is known as the city of castles and palaces. This was once the capital of Ethiopia in the reign of King Fasilidas who built the first castle. Successive kings added their own castles to the complex. On the outskirts of the town there is also Fasilidas' Bath, which is an interesting building standing in an artificial pool which is still filled for occasional religious ceremonies. At the Debre Berhan Sellassie Church we can see the famous ceiling which is painted with hundreds of faces of angels and hear about the church's fascinating yet violent history.
On our second day here we'll take a tour where we gain a fascinating insight into ancient times.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Included Activities
  • Church of Debre Berhan Sellassie
  • Castle Complex and Fasilidas' Bath
  • Guided tour of Gonder
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
  • 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

    The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn't common and the food will be quite different to home. It's important to observe some of the local customs to not cause offence. Many of the locals’ standard of living may be confronting.
    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.
    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.
    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
    RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL 2014:
    In 2014, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 27 June through until 27 July, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.
    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.
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    Intrepid runs this trip in conjunction with Dragoman Overland. Dragoman shares our ethos for adventure travel and has many years' expertise in over landing.
    While Dragoman will run the West Africa and North African sectors of our Overland program, our Nairobi to Cape Town (and reverse) departures are code-shared, with certain departures run by Intrepid (Intrepid Guerba Kenya) in one of our vehicles others by Dragoman in one of theirs. This allows us to run many more departures so you have more choice when you want to travel. You'll get the same itineraries, activities and accommodation on both Intrepid and Dragoman departures.
    If you would like to know who is running your departure, Dragoman or Intrepid, please ask at the time of booking.
    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 room (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) (48 nts), Hotel (19 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (6 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (5 nts), Chalet (3 nts), Lodge (3 nts), Bungalow (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 1050.00
    By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook or leader prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.
    Your cook (East Africa only) will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day. If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.
    A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. There may be a chance on occasion to buy your lunch. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.
    On the more remote sections of your trip (for example in West Africa & North Africa), your food and diet will be dependent on what is available locally as well as tinned and dry ingredients.
    One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.
    Transport
    Overland vehicle, Ferry, 4x4 Safari Vehicle
    Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Intrepid’s fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above.
    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.
    As from 1 January 2011 a new law in South Africa has been introduced whereby the cross border transport agency are no longer allowing foreign-registered vehicles to enter the country. We will be working with a local South African operator for the South African section of this tour who will be providing the services of an alternative vehicle* and driver vetted by Intrepid. Your Intrepid leader and cook will still accompany you on this section and your itinerary will remain unaffected.
    *The vehicle used on this section will be an overland vehicle similar in style to an Intrepid vehicle. However for smaller groups which don't require a large vehicle, smaller land cruiser style vehicles may be used.
    SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING:
    Occasionally you may experience armed security and convoys between select towns or regions. Convoys are used to ensure all travellers are transported safely and, in many cases, tourists are only allowed to travel in scheduled convoys of buses and jeeps. On rare occasions you may have an armed guard in your vehicle. We want to warn you so you are not alarmed. This is a practice designed to keep tourists safe, although at times it can appear a little overboard.
    Group leader
    On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver.
    Intrepid runs some of our basic overland trips in conjunction with our partners Dragoman Overland (please refer to Trip Notes (Important Notes) to see if your trip is run in conjunction with Dragoman) and as such the demographics of the crew may vary on each departure - if you are travelling on an Intrepid-operated departure your crew will usually be Kenyan; if you are travelling on a Dragoman-operated departure your crew will be Westerners with an African cook.
    Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well)
    Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.
    While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.
    Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping.
    Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.
    Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc.
    If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.
    We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
    Joining point
    Saasveld Lodge
    73 Kloof Street
    Gardens
    Cape Town
    8001
    SOUTH AFRICA
    Joining point description
    Saasveld Lodge is central located in the lively and vibrant Kloof Street with its large variety of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars and is only 3 minutes from Long Street as well as the bustling city centre. Rooms are simple yet clean and comfortable.
    Joining point instructions
    If you have pre-booked a transfer please look out for our representative holding a board with your name at the arrival terminal. Please do not go with anyone else. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time.
    If you are unable to find your driver please phone +27 21 424 6169. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.
    If you are making your own way to the hotel there are safe and reliable airport taxis which will cost around ZAR300. There are also shuttle service available.
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and 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 in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    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
    Lammergeyer Hotel
    Near Kebele 16, Keha River
    Gonder
    ETHIOPIA
    Finish point instructions
    A taxi from the hotel to the airport should cost approximately 100 Birr (US$5).
    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.
    SOUTH AFRICA:
    Citizens of Australia, UK and most EU countries do not need visas to visit South Africa as a tourist for up to three months. Citizens of all countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required.
    Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificate
    As of October 1st 2011, A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is now required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through South Africa, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival in South Africa will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival. Please note this also includes transiting through an infected country or region. As of October 1st South Africa will also consider Zambia as a country infected by Yellow Fever even though the WHO does not currently list Zambia. All travellers from Zambia into South Africa will be required to show proof of yellow fever vaccination.
    NAMIBIA:
    Currently visas are not required for most nationalities to enter Namibia. Please check with the relevant visa office before departure to make sure there has been no change.
    BOTSWANA:
    Citizens of Australia, UK, and the US don't need visas to visit Botswana as a tourist for up to three months. Citizens of other countries, including most EU countries, should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required.
    Entry Requirements :
    If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you will be required to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to be allowed entry into Botswana.
    We have received unconfirmed reports from our local operator that as of December 1st, 2012 all foreign tourists under the age of 16yrs will be required to carry a copy of their birth certificate in order to enter Botswana. We recommend that passengers under the age of 16yrs carry a copy of their birth certificate just in case.
    ZIMBABWE:
    Zimbabwe visas are required by most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Zimbabwe Embassy for more information. For most nationalities, Zimbabwe visas are available at the point of entry. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you will need US$ cash. The cost is approximately US$30/45.
    MOZAMBIQUE:
    For most nationalities a visa can be obtained on arrival, however we advise that you obtain this visa in advance as this does save a lot of time at the border. The visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days and costs approximately USD82. Some nationalities do require a visa prior to arrival so you must check with the relevant consulate prior to departure.
    If you apply for your visa in advance you may be asked for a contact in Mozambique. Please use the following:
    Fatimas Place
    Mao Tse Tung Ave, 1321
    Maputo
    Mozambique
    email: fatimas@tvcabo.co.mz
    phone: +258 21302994
    fax: +258 1303345
    Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificate
    All travellers entering Mozambique who have been to any country where Yellow Fever is known to exist (as listed by the World Health Organisation) must present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on arrival. If you cannot present a valid certificate on entry you may need to be vaccinated at your expense (approximately US$55).
    Entry Requirements - Passport Validity
    The passports of all visitors wishing to enter Mozambique (and South Africa) must be valid for a minimum of six months. You will also need to have at least two blank pages remaining in your passport on arriving in Mozambique.
    MALAWI:
    Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US don't require a visa to enter Malawi for stays of up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with their respective embassies for more information.
    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 boarder point)
    -Kasumulu Border crossing
    KENYA:
    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 if travelling for more than 30days
    Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
    United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
    USA: Yes - Visa required
    Kenyan Visas can be obtained at point of entry for most nationalities, although some are required to purchase visas in advance. You MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you'll need new (post-2003), clean US dollars cash. The cost is around US$50. 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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
    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 are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. Pillows are not provided so please bring a travel pillow along. While we provide a mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer and choose to bring their own mattress.
    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.
    A headlamp or torch is recommended for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the toilet in the middle of the night.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    TYPHOID:
    It is recommended that if you are travelling to Harare you make sure that your Typhoid vaccinations are up to date. There has been an outbreak of typhoid in parts of Harare, with over 1500 cases reported since October 2011. For more information speak to your doctor and see the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
    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:
    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
    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.
    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.
    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 by The Intrepid Foundation in South Africa include:
    * Thusanani Children's Foundation works to prevent and treat developmental delay in orphaned and vulnerable South African children, aged 0-6, in Children's Homes (orphanages) where they live. Developmental delay in these children has a far reaching negative impact on their formal schooling in later years and they run the risk of being seen as children with special education needs. Treatment and prevention of developmental delay can set children on the right path that enables them to be contributing members of society, and break the cycle of abuse and poverty.
    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.
    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.
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 2553.00 kgs per pax.
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