Mt Kenya Trip Notes

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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2012
Mt Kenya
Trip code: YGAA-O
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
Walk through dramatic landscapes rich in colourful bird-life and lush vegetation on this hike to the summit of Mt Kenya. Watch the terrain change from towering bamboo to verdant forest then steep volcanic ridges. Camp overnight in the wilderness and listen out for calls of monkeys and birds, an African catch-cry like no other. A pre-dawn trek to view a spectacular sunrise from the top of Mt Kenya is the perfect crescendo to this Active journey filled with memorable moments and stunning scenery.
Warning - this is a new trip for us!
While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency funds
ThemesGroup sizeVisas
MapAccommodationIssues on your trip
ItineraryMealsWhat to take
We also recommendTransportHealth
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderSafety
Culture shock rating Joining point Travel insurance
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Optional activitiesArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeFinish point Responsible Travel projects
Spending moneyFinish point descriptionCarbon offset
TippingFinish point instructionsFeedback
Departure taxEmergency contact
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Short Breaks
Map
Mt Kenya
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Nairobi/Mt Kenya
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.
You are required to be at the reception of the Kivi Milimani Hotel by 7:30am for a brief pre-departure meeting. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information.
After lunch we will go on a cultural orientation walk through the local Kikuyu villages and farms. This will be a fascinating insight to the lives of the people who live on the mountain slopes, enhancing your Mt Kenya experience. For those that are interested you can alternatively choose another activity among those available at the lodge - horse riding, trout fishing, mountain biking and bird watching.
The following morning we get up early and, acclimatising to the terrain and altitude, head out on an excursion into the montane forest, walking through towering trees to the Mau Mau caves. Mau Mau fighters sheltered in this area during their struggle for freedom from the British in the 1950s. En route our guide will tell us about their forest foods, herbal medicines and survival techniques, providing an understanding of the history and ecology of the forest. Along the way keep a look out for colobus monkeys crashing through the branches, scarlet-winged turacos up in the forest canopy, and you may even see buffalo in the clearings.
We will return to the lodge for lunch, after which we will receive a full briefing and equipment check including a demonstration on the use of a Gamow bag, before we begin our climb the following day.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
Included Activities
  • Acclimatising walk to Mau Mau Caves
  • Visit to a cultural village
Optional Activities
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
  • Giraffe Center - USD12
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • National Museum - USD10
  • Nairobi National Park safari walk - USD20
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Giant Bamboo Camp
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Your porter will carry your main kit bag while you are responsible for carrying your own day pack with anything you need during the course of the days ahead including warm and waterproof clothes. See the 'what to take' section for more information.
It takes just 15 minutes to get to Gathiuru Forest Station (2000 m). From here it is a long but easy walk through dense stands of towering bamboo to our own Giant Bamboo camp (2600 m).
In the forest there are many species of brightly coloured birds such as the scarlet-winged turacos and different types of monkeys can be seen and heard. Elephants and buffaloes are also common sightings.
Included Activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts and rescue services (5 days)
  • Services of highly experienced guides and porters
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 4 Highland Castle
Our second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The bamboo stands give way to enormous podocarpus and pencil cedar forest and as we climb higher we pass through the Hygenia-Hypercium Zone, also know as the Rosewood Zone (generally found at 2850-3000 m).
We spend the night close to the sheer lava cliffs of the Highland Castle (3700 m).
Our total trekking time today should be around 5-6 hours.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 5 Shipton's Camp
Today's walk is spectacular as we trek around the summit circle, with amazing views of the jagged volcanic peaks and glaciers. It is not unusual at this height to spot eagles and buzzards overhead.
We trek on to Shipton's Camp (4200 m), which is located in the Alpine Zone of the mountain. Shipton's Camp is one of two permanent camps on the mountain, so there is a good chance we will come across other climbers today. From the camp we have a panoramic view of all the main peaks.
Our total trekking time today should be around 5-6 hours.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 6 Hall Tarns
Just before dawn we are woken by our guides and hot tea is served before we begin the last leg of our trek to the summit.
The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope guided only by torchlight to reach Pt Lenana. It's an exhilarating 30 minutes from here to reach the hiker's summit (4985 m), in time for the sunrise. On a clear day you can see Mount Kilimanjaro - a mere 340 km to the south of Mt Kenya.
After photos and time to catch our breath we descend back to Hall Tarns (4,300 m, approx 2-3 hours) for a well-earned rest.
Our campsite is perched close to the top of a sheer 300 m cliff, overlooking the Gorges Valley.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Meru/Nairobi
This morning we have a gentle hike descending down a broad ridge with magnificent views back up the valley to the snowy peaks, and down to waterfalls, tarns and lava flows in the Gorges Valley itself.
We should arrive at Meru Mount Kenya Cabins in the late afternoon where we will find log fires, hot showers and comfortable beds - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days. Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
The following morning we have one final walk back down through the bamboo forest to meet with our vehicle and transfer back to Nairobi.
On arrival in Nairobi we'll be dropped at our finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but we are able to book you additional accommodation in Nairobi. Please ask at time of booking.
Important: Please don't book any international flights until after 4pm this afternoon.
If you're staying on, why not head out to explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa), or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
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    • Lamu Beach Break (YGAL-C)
    • Lamu Beach Break (YGAL-C)
    • The Masai Heartlands (YGOCC)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    Culture shock rating

    At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
    Physical rating

    Our highest physical rating. Get ready for a heart-pumping adventure with plenty of challenges and some extreme conditions. You'll be required to be seriously fit for this trip as difficult activities are included.
    Although no mountaineering experience is required a good level of physical fitness is necessary. You must be comfortable walking 6-8 hours uphill a day. This is certainly a strenuous climb so the better prepared you are, the more you should enjoy it.
    Plenty of time is available each day to get between the huts on the mountain so you do not need to rush and you are in fact far better off going slowly and enjoying the changing scenery and views.
    We recommend that in the months leading up to your climb you increase your physical fitness with aerobic exercise. Walking, running and stair-climbing will all strengthen your legs and improve your stamina.
    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.
    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
    The climb is run on a join-in basis, which means other travellers may be trekking with you.
    Group size
    Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
    Accommodation
    Camping (with facilities) (5 nts), Hotel (2 nts)
    Meals
    7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
    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 60.00
    Transport
    Safari Vehicle
    Group leader
    MT KENYA CLIMB:
    This trip is led by experienced guides, with a minimum of 1 guide to every 2 climbers. Sufficient porters are employed to carry the group’s equipment.
    Joining point
    Kivi Milimani Hotel
    Milimani Road
    Milimani
    Nairobi
    100
    KENYA
    Phone: +254 735491064
    Joining point description
    The Kivi Milimani hotel is very simple but clean, comfortable and safe. All rooms have en suite with hot water. The hotel's surroundings are lovely with a pool area perfect for relaxing and groovy retro (but original!) 70's bar and restaurant.
    Joining point instructions
    If you have pre-booked a transfer please look out for our representative holding an Intrepid board with your name at the arrival terminal.
    If you fail to see our representative walk to the Grand Voyage Travel Agency Desk which is located at the right side of the arrival terminal, down the stairway, next to the Airtel office and request your transfer.
    Grand Voyage Travel Agency:
    Mobile: +254 722 430646 / +254 722 717336
    Tel: +254 722 717336 / +254 722 260627
    If you are making your own way to the hotel, there is a taxi stand outside the airport building. A taxi should cost approximately US$20, and must be paid in Kenyan Shillings.
    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
    Kivi Milimani Hotel
    Milimani Road
    Milimani
    Nairobi
    100
    KENYA
    Phone: +254 735491064
    Finish point description
    The Kivi Milimani hotel is very simple but clean, comfortable and safe. All rooms have en suite with hot water. The hotel's surroundings are lovely with a pool area perfect for relaxing and groovy retro (but original!) 70's bar and restaurant.
    Finish point instructions
    If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
    It's possible to book a taxi to the airport via our hotel - please inquire at the reception. The price will be approximately US$20 in Kenyan shillings.
    Emergency contact
    In the case of an on ground issue or problem Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813
    In case of genuine crisis or emergency (ONLY), you can reach our local operator on: +254-736-213-383.
    For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/
    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.
    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.
    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.
    MT KENYA:
    Most of your clothing that you are not actually wearing will be carried by your porter. This main bag should be a large kit bag or ideally a rucksack which is easier for porters to carry. This should not weight more then 14kg.
    Although a guide will always accompany you on the trail you are unlikely to see your porter (as they are very fast!) except at the huts or the camps. Therefore it is important you pack carefully a smaller day pack which you will carry yourself. Anything you need during the course of the day should be in your day pack including and most importantly, something warm and something waterproof.
    • Hiking Boots - Make sure these are comfortable and waterproof and break them in before you get to Kenya.
    • Walking pole(s)
    • Anorak/parka with hood
    • Warm heavy weight gloves/mittens
    • Light weight gloves ( inner gloves )
    • Balaclava/ski mask
    • Ski sunglasses
    • Scarf
    • 2 pairs warm trousers
    • Thermal underpants and vest/long sleeved
    • 6 pairs socks thin and thick
    • T-shirts x 3, long sleeve shirts x 2-3
    • Sweater/fleece x 1
    • Waterproof trousers and jacket
    • Sun hat
    • Extra footwear - thick soled trainers and sandals
    • Small first aid kit
    • Day pack, approx 30 litres
    • Refillable water bottles or camel bags (3 x 1 litre) and water purification method
    • Good quality, super-warm 4-season sleeping bag
    • Thermarest or trekking roll mat.
    • Headache tablets
    • Imodium (loperamide)
    • Climbers may like to consult their physicians about azetazolomide (Diamox), a drug that many find mitigates the ill effects of altitude, headache, diarrhoea & vomiting.
    • Towel/soap/toiletries
    • Torch/flashlight and spare batteries (head torches are preferable)
    • Gaiters
    • A wristwatch with an alarm function is useful for early starts.
    • Sunblock and high SPF lip balm
    • Insect repellent
    • Camera, film, extra batteries - you will not be able to recharge on the mountain.
    • Wet wipes
    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.
    ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
    Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
    Before your trip.
    Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor
    We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
    During your trip.
    While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.
    Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
    http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
    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.
    DRINKING WATER:
    As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about 3 litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
    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.
    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
    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.
    SWIMMING POOLS:
    You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
    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.
    SCAMS:
    We have become aware of passengers being approached outside of our starting point hotels by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or claiming to be Intrepid employees selling Urban Adventures or Intrepid trips. These people are not employees of Intrepid nor registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you' should suffice. If this does happen to you, please advise your leader or the reception of your hotel immediately so that the person can be reported to the appropriate authorities.
    BALCONIES:
    Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
    SEAT BELTS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
    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 trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
    If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone 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:
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Responsible Travel projects
    Organisations and projects currently supported in Kenya include:
    * New Hope Children's Centre aims to assist the less fortunate in society and give them hope. The centre currently caters for 170 children, both boys and girls, from many parts of Kenya: 130 are residents and 40 live with their grandmothers, with New Hope paying for their school fees and assisting with clothing where necessary.
    * Saidia Children's Home first opened its doors in 2004 with just five children in a disused and near derelict college building. They now have their own building and land, which is home to about fifty children. Their aim is to improve the lives of AIDS orphans and other disadvantaged children in Gilgil and the surrounding area, ultimately by creating projects that will become independent of outside aid.
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 239.00 kgs per pax.
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.