Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda Trip Notes

Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

Last Modified: 15 Jul 2016
Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda
Trip code: YGAR-C
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Visit Rwanda, Africa's home to some of the last remaining mountain gorillas and a place where you will be warmly welcomed by smiling locals. Rwanda has bravely risen from a tragic past and stands proudly as a representation of Africa's irrepressible beauty. Be awe-struck by the profound power of the endangered mountain gorilla. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017: From 1st January 2017 this itinerary will visit the genocide museum on day 1 rather than day 4. As such passengers will need to arrive prior to 1pm on day 1.
Table of Contents
StyleYour fellow travellersFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodationEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersHealth
ItineraryGroup leaderTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyA couple of rules
Physical ratingJoining pointResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesFinish pointFeedback
Group sizeFinish point description
Style
Comfort
Themes
Short Breaks, Wildlife
Is this trip right for you?
- Trekking to find the gorillas can be a challenging and long hike.
- You will spend only one hour with the gorillas. There is an option to pre-purchase another gorilla permit to visit the gorillas on both days 2 & 3.
- This is one of our Short Breaks and is slightly different to our group tours. There is no group leader but rather a local guide with the idea being that you maintain a level of independence during down time. You'll most likely travel on a join-in basis, which means you may or may not be joined by others for activities and transportation, depending on demand.
Why we love it
- Stay in the small Rwandan town of Ruhengeri
- Hike through Rwanda's dense steamy jungles in Volcanoes National Park
- Fall in love with the gentle nature of mountain gorillas for one intimate hour
- Visit the moving Genocide Memorial Centre on a city tour of Kigali
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Kigali
On arrival at Kigali Airport you are met by our local representatives. You must arrive in Kigali before 2.30pm. If your flight does not arrive before 2.30pm, you need to arrive one day earlier and book one night's pre-tour accommodation as well as an arrival transfer (both at additional cost). Please make sure you've read the visa information for Rwanda on your pre-departure information before you depart as you're required to apply for your visa before arrival.
Our tour begins with a drive through the verdant rolling hills of Rwanda. Our accommodation is located in the Kinigi region, approximately 17km from Musanze town (formerly Ruhengeri). The lodge is nestled on the scenic lower slopes of Sabinyo Volcano - one of five volcanoes located in the Parc National des Volcans.
The small Rwandan town of Ruhengeri is the gateway to Volcanoes National Park, one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla.
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    Accommodation
    Lodge (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 dinner
    Day 2 Ruhengeri/Gorilla Trek
    This morning we have a very early start driving to the park headquarters where we are briefed on our gorilla trek by the guides of Parc National des Volcans.

    This 13,000 hectare national park protects the Rwandan sector of the Virunga Mountains and include a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes that straddle the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bamboo forest is interspersed with alpine moorland, grassland and marshland. In this park, there are ten different gorilla families
    This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than eight per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.

    Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill, as it may take anything between 40 minutes and four hours to reach our designated gorilla family. The trackers have already set out and located the gorilla family by the time we start our trek, so our actual time of walking can usually be predicted when we set off. We can get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.

    As lunch can only be taken upon return to the hotel, it is recommended that you bring a few snacks to keep you going throughout the morning. At the end of the day the comforts of the hotel beckon, along with a chance to reflect on what is sure to be a truly memorable day.
    Included Activities
    • Mountain gorilla trek & permit
      Optional Activities
      • Venge Village walk - USD35
        Accommodation
        Lodge (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
        Day 3 Optional Trek/Kigali
        Today is a day of various trekking options. You may choose to visit another gorilla family, see the rare golden monkey or take a hike up to the grave of Dian Fossey and the remains of the Old Karisoke Research Station. These options must be pre-booked and confirmed at time of purchase of the main tour, in order to ensure availability. Gorilla trekking permits in particular can be booked out many months in advance.

        For those who loved the book and/or movie 'Gorilla's in the Mist', the Dian Fossey Trek is a good option. Over the course of the morning you follow in Dian Fossey's footsteps on our way to her grave, as well as the graves belonging to many poached gorillas including famous Digit. You are guided around the area where Old Karisoke Research Station was set up by a park guide. Although very little of the station remains, the setting is incredible and one can imagine the incredible life that Dian Fossey led in these isolated mountains.

        For a more leisurely but equally unique experience, trekking in search of golden monkeys is highly recommended. In June 2003 the nationals parks department first allowed permits to walk the trails in search of these rare and engaging primates. This walk takes you to the edge of the forest and watching these unique monkeys play and interact is a mesmerising experience. Please note that the roads leading to both of the above treks are not in the best of conditions, so be prepared for rough and bumpy rides!

        Please note the prices of these optionals are not inclusive of transport costs to and from the activity.

        We then travel back to Kigali late in the afternoon or early in the evening. Dinner tonight is at your own expense and can be enjoyed at one of the many good nearby restaurants.
        In the afternoon we bid farewell to our hosts at the lodge and return back to Kigali (94 km, approx 3 hrs). We expect to arrive at our hotel in Kigali in the early evening.
        Optional Activities
        • Dian Fossey Memorial - USD90
        • Golden monkeys Trek Permit - Optional - USD115
        • Mt Bisoke hiking (full day) - USD75
        • Nature walk Rwanda - USD55
        • Venge Village walk - USD35
        • Additional gorilla trek and permit - USD1140
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch
          Day 4 Kigali
          Rwanda's capital, Kigali, is a great place to explore on foot - from its market areas to the infamous Hotel Rwanda.
          This morning we are taken on a city tour of Kigali, including the Genocide Museum which was opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Whilst the genocide occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it can only be seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. Time spent at the museum is sure to be emotionally moving, but it is an important way to understand the sheer courage and resilience of the people of this beautiful, tiny nation.
          We are then transferred to Kigali International Airport, arriving there about midday. Any additional post-tour accommodation in Kigali or individual departure transfers are not included and must be pre-booked. Please note that your international departure flights from Kigali today should not be booked to depart before 2pm.
          Included Activities
          • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Itinerary disclaimer
            ITINERARY CHANGES 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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

            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 approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
            Physical rating

            Gorrilla Tracking

            You'll need to be fit enough to trek to the location of your family of mountain gorillas. This may involve up to 5 hours of walking up and down hills, in hot and humid conditions and through tropical (and at times thick) foliage. There may be mud underfoot which will make the trekking slippery. You'll be expected to carry your own personal needs for this trek including water and a rain jacket as well as your camera equipment.
            Included activities
            Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
            Mountain gorilla trek & permit
            Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide
            Important notes
            1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
            2. There is a minimum age of 16 years for the gorilla tracking. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.
            3. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel. Please ensure you arrive into Kigali prior to 2pm on day 1. If you are unable to arrive by 2pm you will need to arrive a day earlier and book accommodation in Kigali.
            4. This trip finishes in Kigali on day 4. Please do not book any flights until after 2pm this afternoon.

            5. This trip requires an additional non-refundable deposit ( AUD1200, USD1200, EUR900, NZD1350, GBP750, CAD1200, ZAR10000, CHF1000 ) in order to secure a gorilla permit. We also require a scanned copy of your passport at time of booking. Please see trip notes (Important notes) for more details.

            Group size
            Maximum of 6 travellers per group.
            Your fellow travellers
            This trip is operated in "Join-In" basis and you may travel alongside other Intrepid or non-Intrepid travellers during included activities.

            Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1nt), Lodge (2nt)
            Meals introduction
            Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the Essential Trip Information itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

            For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
            Meals
            3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
            Money matters
            When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

            Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
            Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


            MEALS NOT INCLUDED

            Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while on our overland safaris and/or lodge based trips.

            For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

            For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

            These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget or are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.

            If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.


            TIPPING

            Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

            Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


            TIPPING GUIDE

            To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

            - Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
            - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
            - Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks where applicable) – You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD3 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.


            EMERGENCY FUNDS

            We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

            CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:

            Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

            With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

            PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.
            Group leader
            On this trip you'll be accompanied by several different local guides and drivers, who are all specialists in their own area.
            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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

            We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

            Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

            For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
            www.intrepidtravel.com/safety


            FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
            Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

            BALCONIES:
            Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

            TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
            Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

            SEAT BELTS:
            Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

            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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

            WATER SAFETY:
            Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

            TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
            We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
            Joining point
            Kigali Airport

            Kigali
            RWANDA
            Joining point instructions
            On arrival at Kigali Airport you are met by our local representatives. You must arrive in Kigali before 2.30pm. If your flight does not arrive before 2.30pm, you need to arrive one day earlier and book one night's pre-tour accommodation as well as an arrival transfer (both at additional cost).

            If you have pre-arranged a transfer, please look for your name on the transfer barrier when exiting the customs area. A representative will be there to collect you. If you cannot find your driver after a considerable amount of time, please contact Intrepid's East Africa Office in Kenya on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813.
            Finish point
            Lemigo Hotel
            Kimihurura
            Kigali
            Kigali
            RWANDA
            Phone: 250 280 300 003
            Finish point description
            This straightforward, comfortable hotel is 5 km from Kigali International Airport and 7 km from the Kandt House Museum of Natural History.

            Low-key rooms feature Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, as well as safes, minifridges, and tea and coffee making facilities. Many rooms have balconies with pool or city views. Room service is available.

            Dining options include Rwandan, French, Asian and barbecue restaurants, plus a terrace bar and a disco. There's also an outdoor pool, a fitness room and a sauna, as well as a spa.
            Finishing point instructions
            Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Depending on the trip or package you have purchased, these transfers may be complimentary. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise of your flight details at time of booking. Alternatively, your leader or local representative can arrange a transfer for you on the ground.

            If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

            If you have any problems with departure transfers please first contact your leader or representative. If this is not possible, please contact Intrepid's East Africa Office in Kenya on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813.
            Emergency contact
            For transfers and accommodation issues, 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 general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

            For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

            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.

            PEAK Kenya: +254-736-213-383
            Visas
            PASSPORT

            As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

            VISAS

            Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

            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 countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


            EAST AFRICA TOURIST VISA

            The East Africa Tourist Visa allows for travel between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with the same multiple entry visa. The visa can be issued at any of the diplomatic representations of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, at the immigration offices of the respective countries or online where applicable. The East Africa Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa and is valid for 90 days. The visa costs USD100 and is the best option for passengers travelling to all 3 countries.

            Rwanda:
            For those beginning their trip in Rwanda, you can apply through the Rwanda Online Visa Application System. Under "Type of Visa" select "East Africa Tourist Visa." For more information contact your local Rwandan embassy.

            Kenya:
            For those beginning their trip in Kenya, you can find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Kenya embassy's website.

            Uganda:
            For those beginning their trip in Uganda, you can find information on the visa application process on the consular section of your local Uganda embassy's website.


            RWANDA:

            Australia: Yes - visa on arrival
            Germany: Yes - visa on arrival
            Israel: Yes - visa on arrival
            New Zealand: Yes - visa on arrival
            South Africa: Yes - visa on arrival
            Sweden: Yes - visa on arrival
            United Kingdom: Yes - visa on arrival
            USA: Yes - visa on arrival

            Visas are required for entry into Rwanda by all nationalities. The nationalities listed above are eligible for visa on arrival. The visa costs approximately USD30.

            All nationalities need to be obtain a visa online in advance. The visa application process can be found at www.migration.gov.rw. The visa takes approximately 2-5 days to process. You must have a copy of this visa with you to present upon arrival.

            Supporting documentation may also be required - the embassy will contact you if they require these. If you are asked to provide an address in Rwanda on your visa form, please use the address below:
            Centre Pastoral Notre Dame De Fatima
            Avenue de la Nutrition
            Ruhengeri, Rwanda

            Note: Rwanda is constantly updating its visa information; therefore we recommended that you check the website carefully for the latest up to date information www.migration.gov.rw
            What to take
            What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

            Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

            Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

            ESSENTIALS:
            - Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
            - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. 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.
            - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

            RECOMMENDED:
            - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
            - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
            - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable.
            - Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
            - Insect repellent.
            - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
            - Camera with spare batteries. Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days but we recommend you take a spare battery. You’ll take more photos than you think.

            OPTIONAL:
            - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
            - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate
            - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

            LUGGAGE LIMIT:
            Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

            VALUABLES:
            Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. 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.

            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. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and lodges have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
            Health
            All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, 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.


            TSETSE FLY:
            It is best to avoid dark coloured clothes such as blue and black while on safari. These colours can attract the biting tsetse fly.

            DRINKING WATER:
            As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
            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:

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
            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 or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

            Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

            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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

            Feedback
            After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback