Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013
Tanzania Cycle Safari
Trip code: YZXB
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
This exciting trip combines the best that being on safari in Tanzania has to offer interspersed with cycling through a diverse and spectacular landscape. Starting from Arusha in the north of the country we head out across cultivated banana and coffee plantations before meeting the Rift Valley and the grasslands used by the Masai for grazing cattle. We are able to cycle close to the southern shores of Lake Manyara and we will almost certainly spot some game here - zebra, giraffe and wildebeest. Off our bikes and into four-wheel drive vehicles, we explore the natural wildlife sanctuary of the Ngorongoro Crater and the wide open plains of the Serengeti; the wildlife here is truly captivating. The final days of cycling are long but hugely rewarding, as we cycle to Lake Natron and the awe-inspiring active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, passing only Masai with their cattle and the wildlife they live alongside.
Table of Contents
- 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.
Day 1 Arusha
Transfer to the hotel, and meet the group for a morning briefing.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
The afternoon is free to relax - lie by the pool or explore the town.
Situated at the base of Mt Meru, Arusha is the safari capital of Tanzania and there's plenty to see and do. There are lots of good bars and restaurants. Markets and shops have most things you could want or need alongside various arts and crafts from the region.
For those who arrive early, head out to explore the Natural History Museum or head to the local swimming pool for a great opportunity to meet some locals.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Mezerani
Starting from our Arusha lodging, we cycle a route through banana and coffee plantations before heading west towards the Monduli mountain range. Open farmland leads us past the foothills of the mountains. The earth here is known as 'Black cotton' and is very prone to erosion. We weave through various small valleys and Masai homesteads as we traverse the foothills. Once we are above Mezerani town we descend straight down, freewheeling into camp. We will be carrying a packed lunch to re-energise at a convenient point on the way. We camp tonight at the 'Snake Park', where there is an excellent display of local reptiles.
Total distance 40-60 km
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 3 Mto Wa Mbu
Cycling straight from our camp, the route follows the old tarmac road, which weaves back and forth over the new road. It is broken up a lot, and at times goes some distance away from the main road. After lunch, depending on the distance covered, we either get a lift or keep cycling straight towards the Rift Valley wall, which is seen in the distance, with Lake Manyara glistening at its foot. After Manyuki we follow the main road all the way to Mto Wa Mbu. This is open country, and giraffe, ostrich, gazelles and occasionally elephant are seen. We camp tonight at an attractive campsite on the edge of Mto Wa Mbu town.
Total distance 60-80 km
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Lake Manyara / Rift Valley
Leaving camp early morning we cycle through the local village and further west along the Rift Valley, a spectacular ride with the backdrop of the Rift wall and forest edge on the eastern side. We cycle through sprawling Masai homesteads where young children will probably run out to greet us. The vast open plains, where we often view varieties of wildlife, are shared with the cattle, goat and sheep herds of the Maasai. The wildlife often seen include zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and gazelle. Our destination is Selela forest, a 1000 hectare forest and home to a variety of animals, just before entering the campsite we cycle through a dense banana plantation. Our lunch is set up at the campsite under yellow acacia trees. After lunch we can explore the forest and the Rift Valley wall on a hike with some quite spectacular sights over the Rift Valley. Sitting around the open fire this evening expect to hear baboon, blue monkey and the common vervet monkey.
Total distance 30-50 km
The following day we have a relaxed morning after our first three days of cycling. There is still plenty to do: you can spend the day exploring the forest and farmland, or walk or cycle out amongst the Masai homesteads. Lunch will be set up at the campsite and an afternoon hike is possible up onto the Rift wall. The hike follows an elephant migratory route and is 500 metres to the top, which will award amazing views across the Rift Valley. If you choose to visit the Masai village they are very welcoming but it can be quite overwhelming as the lifestyle is in stark contrast to what we are used to. We camp back at the forest campsite.
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Day 6 Ngorongoro Crater
Today all the bikes are packed onto our vehicles and we drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ngorongoro is a special place in that it is a Conservation Area, not a National Park; which means that the whole area is managed for both the animals and the local Masai people who graze their cattle alongside the indigenous wildlife. After stopping at the entrance gate, where there is a chance to learn about this fascinating volcanic landscape, we drive around the rim of the Crater itself, from where we can look down and see herds of wildebeeste and elephant. Then we descend into the crater. The crater walls provide a natural sanctuary for the animals, which means there is plenty to see, lions, elephants, buffalo, rhino and, if we are lucky, leopards. The only animal we won't see in here is a giraffe whose long legs are unable to cope with the steep sides of the crater. We drive up the crater wall in the afternoon and camp on the rim at Simba campsite.
- Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 7-9 Serengeti
After an early breakfast we have a spectacular drive down the outside of the crater and come to Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakey family have unearthed the remains of some of man's earliest ancestors. We then drive on to Naabi Hill, which marks the boundary between Ngorongoro and Serengeti - the Masai's 'Endless Plains'.
We have the rest of the day wildlife-spotting in Serengeti. Where we go depends on the time of year; we can spend time at the hippo pool watching these majestic animals laze about in the cool water and happily living alongside the crocodiles, watch a big pride of lions, be in the middle of the migration, sometimes surrounded by wildebeest, sometimes by zebras, who travel with the wildebeest. We journey from the wide open plains to the kopjes. These volcanic rocky outcrops provide protection and shelter for a wide variety of animals and from the top we can look out across the vast grasslands of the Serengeti. This stunning landscape will provide us with the ultimate in game viewing, and we will hopefully see all the plains game: elephants, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, lions and maybe the elusive leopard and cheetah, as well as huge amounts of interesting birdlife, from the elegant Secretary birds to the flightless ostrich. We spend the night in the middle of the plains at Seronera campsite.
On our second day in the Serengeti we will again rise early and have a full day in the park, heading the north and enjoying the animals and scenery as we go. This is a long day driving but there is plenty to see on the way. We camp tonight at Lobo camp in a beautiful setting.
The following day we get back on the bikes. It is a short drive to the national park gate from where we can start cycling. The next two days will be on dirt road with some sandy sections. The route is rolling, and you will be glad to be back in the saddle again.
As we are on the edge of the game park we may see more wildlife en route, as well many colourfully dressed Masai. We set up camp late afternoon at a local campsite in the little town of Wasso.
Total distance 40-50 km
Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts)
Days 10-11 Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai
Today is a potentially our longest day of cycling. We cycle southwards through the hills bordering the Serengeti and down through an area populated by the Songo tribe, dressed in their bright orange attire. Our route is along a rough dirt road with some sandy sections and the countryside is as the previous day. We need to stop for an early lunch, after which we pack the bikes on the vehicle and we all get a transfer to the top of the Rift Valley escarpment overlooking Lake Natron, an awesomely spectacular view. The descent is on a gravel road with switchbacks, so a steady handlebar is necessary! The road descends steeply to the side of Lake Natron and then follows the lakeshore to a village. The road surface changes, becoming stonier, and requires more concentration. It is a real challenge to reach camp on the bikes but we will go as far as possible. Camp at the Lake Natron campsite.
Total Distance 50-100 km
The following day is free to relax at Lake Natron Camp; we can sit and enjoy the view of the lake from the camp, which appears almost mirage-like in the distance. If we can convince the manager to fill the fresh water pool we can relax there with a cold beer! A short drive or walk to the lake is well worth it: the flamingos, pelicans and egrets are great. It is however VERY hot. Lake Natron is known as one of the world's largest breeding grounds for lesser flamingos. A late afternoon walk to the local waterfalls is a great way to finish the day. The water is cool and refreshing, and almost deep enough to swim in places. Some people have taken the opportunity to climb Ol Doinyo Lengai but this is a tough climb. Camping back at Lake Natron campsite.
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Days 12-13 Arusha
Return to Arusha. It is a long drive (approx 6 hrs) and also quite dusty. We follow the foothills of the Rift Valley wall over open plains where the now-familiar sight of the plains animals greets us. Once we reach the tarmac road you will all probably go to sleep as we drive the final 2 hrs back to civilisation. We return to our comfortable starting hotel.
The following morning is free in Arusha: there is time to explore the town and pick up some last minute souvenirs or just spend the day relaxing by the pool and recalling your wonderful adventure over the last few days.
Hotel (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
- YZXB Bicycle Hire - full suspension (YZXB)
- YZXB Bicycle Hire - Trek Hardtail (YZXB)
- YZXB Single supplement (YZXB)
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.
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.
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.
There are no activities included in this itinerary. For a list of optional activities available, please refer to the day-to-day itinerary.
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 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 2004. IF YOU ARE BRINGING USD, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND LARGE BILLS IN GOOD CONDITION, 2004 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 2003 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.
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.
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.
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.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
- 5 days cycling, average 70km per day
- 90% off-road
- 95% vehicle support.
Bike Hire - Tanzania: Trek hard tail GBP100 or full suspension GBP160, paid on booking.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
Maximum of 16 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:
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.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
Camping (with basic facilities) (10 nts), Hotel (2 nts)
The camping uses public campsites, which vary in cleanliness and services. While in the parks there may well be a shortage of water supply to the campsites so you may have a day or two without a shower. A box of wet wipes is always handy! A mess tent with chairs and tables is provided and we do carry simple toilet tent and shower tent if required. All the duties are performed by our camp staff so there is no need to lift a finger. The tents are mostly 3-man dome style from South Africa. On larger groups we may have to use some more traditional 'A' style tents. You will have a 2' foam mattress to sleep on. Tents are shared unless you have paid the single supplement. Camp lighting is by kerosene lights, which we don't use in the tents! You will need your own head torch for the tent.
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.
12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
Please note we can cater for most special dietary requirements, but you must advise on booking.
We travel in 4WDs that comfortably carry 5 or 8 passengers. There is a roof hatch, which greatly enhances game viewing. A support vehicle carries the camp. There is 95% vehicle support.
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Ilboru Safari Lodge
P.O. Box 8012
TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF
Phone: 255 754270357
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.
Ilboru Safari Lodge
P.O. Box 8012
TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF
Phone: 255 754270357
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 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.
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
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.
BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE:
Plenty of people choose to bring their own bikes on our cycle trips. If you wish to bring your own bike, please note that we cannot guarantee against small scratches and paintwork damage involved in the loading and unloading from support vehicles.
Please note that helmets must be worn when riding on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
EXTRA BIKE BITS:
You may like to bring your own saddle (excluding the seat post), or over gel cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it's your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle at the end of the trip. We can't guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
A helmet, eye-protection (sunglasses), cycling gloves and water bottles or hydration system (e.g. camelbak). Please note that helmets must be worn when riding off-road on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
RECOMMENDED CYCLING CLOTHING::
Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof / windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting day pack.
FIRST AID KIT:
You should bring a small, personal first aid kit with you including items such as high factor sunscreen, lip balm and chamois cream if required.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.