Vic Falls to Gorillas Trip Notes

This East Africa adventure tour travels from Zimbabwe to Kenya. Visit Zanzibar beaches, explore the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, go gorilla trekking and more.

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    • YXOFC
    • Trip Price tool tip
    • Kitty tool tip
      USD $2,795
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    • Overland, Wildlife
    • Basix
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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Vic Falls to Gorillas.
Print Version
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2014
Vic Falls to Gorillas
Trip code: YXOFC
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Want to experience the best that East Africa has to offer? Then hop on this journey from Zimbabwe to Kenya to witness changing landscapes, experience close encounters with iconic wildlife and meet friendly locals in small villages. Travel through a region abundant in natural wonders and colourful cultures, from the furious beauty of Victoria Falls and the fragrant delights of Zanzibar spices, to the peaceful shores of Lake Malawi and the modern culture of Nairobi. This trip offers the chance to get acquainted with some of the animal kingdom's most spectacular creatures - spot elephants in Zimbabwe, see lions in the Serengeti, spy chimps in the forests of Uganda and track gorillas in Rwanda. Memories to last a lifetime will be created on this magnificent journey.
TRIP CHANGE FOR 2015:
In 2015 this trip will no longer visit Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and as a result, you will now be visiting South Luangwa National Park in Zambia for 2 nights. South Luangwa National Park is famously known as it was the first park in Africa to offer 'walking safari's'. Also, by adding in South Luangwa we can also break up the long drive days to Lusaka and Chipata.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersWhat to take
We also recommendAccommodationHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Physical preparationJoining point A couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
KittyJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Optional activitiesArrival complicationsCarbon offset
Money ExchangeFinish point Feedback
Spending moneyFinish point description
TippingFinish point instructions
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Map
Vic Falls to Gorillas
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Victoria Falls
Mhoro! Welcome to Zimbabwe.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your kitty, insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
For those of you who arrive early, there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from whitewater rafting, canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' section of these notes for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).
If you are interested in the Optional Helicopter flight ( 12 minutes or 25 minutes ) we endorse the following operator only: Zambezi Helicopter co CAA Zimbabwe. Your leader can help you arrange this activity.
Visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.
The Victoria Falls are an enormous curtain of water, about a mile wide, falling 108 m into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 m and the falls are an impressive raging torrent. The spray from the falls can sometimes be seen from kilometres away. It's no wonder that the local name Mosi oa Tunya means the 'smoke that thunders'. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and it's possible to see little islets in the river below.
Responsible Travel Note:
During your visit to the Victoria Falls area you may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We recommend that Intrepid travellers bypass this activity as it is contrary to Intrepid's Responsible Travel guideline stating that we 'actively discourage the participation of Intrepid groups in activities which exploit animals - wild or domestic.' Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans can shorten their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues. While there is some merit in the argument that the money that you pay for the activity goes towards lion research, we feel that the negative impacts on the lions' rehabilitation far outweigh this.
Our campground is centrally located in the town of Victoria Falls, the perfect place to use as a base for the vast array of activities on offer in the area. Upgraded accommodation is available, please ask at reception.
Included Activities
  • Visit Victoria Falls
Optional Activities
  • Canoe trail - USD140
  • Canoe trail (half day) - USD100
  • Flying fox - USD40
  • Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD140
  • Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD275
  • Village & township tour - USD50
  • Wine Route Canoe trail - USD55
Accommodation
Victoria Falls Rest Camp or similar (2 nts)
Day 3 Hwange National Park
Head towards Hwange National Park (190 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
Stopping en route to visit the Painted Dog Conservation Group for an insight into the plight of the African Wild Dog.
Hwange National Park became the royal hunting grounds of the Ndebele warrior-king Mzilikazi in the early 19th century and was set aside as a national park in 1929. Today, Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species. The elephants of Hwange are world famous and the park's elephant population is one of the largest in Africa.
Explore the park in open 4x4 vehicles.
Stay within the park at one of its campgrounds with shared facilities.
Included Activities
  • Hwange National Park
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Hwange National Park Camping or similar (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Bulawayo
Travel to Bulawayo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Known locally as the 'City of Kings', Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second largest city and has a very interesting historical past.
We will have the afternoon free to explore the city, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore local markets, chat with a local or perhaps find a game of football or rugby to watch.
Get up early and venture out to explore the Matobo National Park.
Home to a large population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place.
In Bulawayo, stay in a campground with shared facilities - upgrades are available.
Included Activities
  • Matobo National Park - Guided walking safari
Optional Activities
  • Natural History Museum - USD10
  • Railway Museum - USD2
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Big Cave Camp or similar (2 nts)
Day 6 Masvingo
A short drive takes us to Masvingo (360 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
Masvingo is the oldest colonial settlement in Zimbabwe and the perfect base to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Spend the afternoon exploring the ruins.
Great Zimbabwe is the national monument the country is named after. A Unesco World Heritage site, the ruined city was first constructed in the 11th century and is thought to be a royal palace for the Zimbabwean monarch.
Our campground in Masvingo has shared facilities.
Included Activities
  • Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Norma Jeane's Camping or similar (1 nt)
Day 7 Harare
Travel to Harare (320 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Harare is Zimbabwe's capital city and also its largest.
Arriving in time for lunch we have the afternoon to explore the city on our own or relax at our campground.
There is plenty to see and do, you might want to head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and explore the shops and markets.
Optional Activities
  • National Archives - USD3
  • National Botanical Gardens - USD5
  • National Gallery - USD1
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Backpackers & Overlanders Lodge Camping or similar (1 nt)
Days 8-9 Lusaka/Chipata
Day 7 will see us crossing over to Zambia. Starting with a scenic drive to the border, we cover 450Kms, approx 8hrs today. We camp just outside Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia.
The following day we continue to make our way through the heartland of Zambia towards the border with Malawi, spending a final night in Zambia. Travel distance covered is 600Kms – approx 10hrs.
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Eureka Campsite or similar (1 nt), Mama Rula's Campsite or similar (1 nt)
Days 10-11 Lake Malawi
We cross the border into Malawi on Day 10 making a stop in Lilongwe to replenish our supplies. During the stop-over, we have a chance to go to the bank and connect to the internet before we head out to our camp on the shore of Lake Malawi.
Distance travelled is approximately 9-10 hours (570 Kms) from South Luangua to Lake Malawi.
Lilongwe is the political capital of Malawi with a population of just under a million people. Situated on the Lilongwe River, it's a great place to soak up some Malawian culture with lots of coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many Malawian people. Fishermen, canoe and net makers, and fish traders all ply their trade on Lake Malawi. A common sight is of a fisherman in his bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day.
We enjoy Day 11 on the lake's more peaceful beaches. As well as chilling on the beach and participating in the many optional water activities on offer, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Our campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore of Lake Malawi.
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Kande Beach Camp or similar (2 nts)
Days 12-13 Chitimba/Iringa
Drive 235 km (approx 5-6 hours) to our camp in Chitimba.
Set up camp on the northern shores of Lake Malawi.
The following day is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands. Sit back, relax and watch as the countryside passes by (530 km, approx 9-10 hrs).
Set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement.
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Chitimba Camp or similar (1 nt), Old Farm House Camping Kisolanza or similar (1 nt)
Day 14 Dar es Salaam
Heading for Dar es Salaam on the coast, travel through Mikumi National Park. The journey today is 560 km which will take approximately 13 hours of drive time.
Situated at the foot of the thickly wooded Uluguru Mountains, Mikumi National Park is home to large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and leopards. It's Tanzania's fourth largest national park.
Although we don't take an off-road safari into the depths of the park, a good selection of the wildlife that resides in Mikumi can usually be seen on our way through to the southern Tanzanian highland town of Iringa.
The camp is on the grounds of a hotel and has flush toilets and showers. Feel free to jump in the ocean and have a swim.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Kipepeo Campsite or similar (1 nt)
Days 15-17 Zanzibar
Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar (approx 90 mins).
Our first night is spent in the exotic port town of Stone Town in a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms.
The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad intricate alleyways. When the sun is setting, why not enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront before trying one of the island's local seafood curries at one of the town's many restaurants.
Drive to the spice plantations where you'll receive a guided tour and the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, as well as teas made with these spices. At the end of the day there will also be an opportunity to buy some of the locally grown spices.
On our second and third days here we head to the northern beaches and enjoy white sand and sparkling blue sea - the Indian Ocean at its best. Try snorkelling and diving, eat sumptuous seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar Spice tour
Optional Activities
  • Snorkelling - USD60
  • Prison island tour - USD25
Accommodation
Sunset Inn Resort or similar (2 nts), Safari Lodge or similar (1 nt)
Day 18 Dar es Salaam
Reboard the ferry and return to the beach outside Dar es Salaam.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Kipepeo Campsite or similar (1 nt)
Day 19 Marangu
Leaving the beach behind, it's a long travel day, driving towards the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the village of Mshiri (560 km, approx 10-13 hrs).
Half-way between Marangu Mtoni and Mshiri village is where we we set up camp for the night. Our camp ground is basic with flush toilets and showers and situated on the lush green slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Chem Chem Camp Site or similar (1 nt)
Day 20 Mto Wa Mbu
Rise and shine early and on a clear day you'll be greeted with unforgettable views of Kilimanjaro.
Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project, and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people, long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and have the chance to sample the local Chagga food, which is very filling. For more information on the Village Education Project visit www.kiliproject.org.
Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, get a view of Kilimanjaro - the magnificent snow-capped mountain and Africa's highest peak at 5,895 m (19,340 ft).
After an early lunch, head towards Mto Wa Mbu where we camp for the night (450 km, approx 8-9 hrs).
Included Activities
  • Usambara Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 21-22 Ngorongoro Crater/Serengeti National Park
Wake up very early and leave our truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into (6-person) jeeps and heading out for our two-day excursion.
From Mto Wa Mbu, we descend to the floor of the famous Ngorongoro Crater and make the most of our safari here - we spend between four and five hours exploring this area.
A huge, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals including endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photographic opportunities here are unrivalled.
Departing the crater in the afternoon, head for the gates of the Serengeti and arrive at our camp in the early evening. The following day, enjoy a full day game drive in the Serengeti.
The wide, open plains of the Serengeti - green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, and home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators - are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Flat and rolling with long grasses and dotted with acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringitu - 'the place where the land moves on forever'.
Game viewing in the Serengeti is amazing and as you camp out at night, don't be surprised to hear lions in the distance as you recount your wildlife sightings from the day. In normal circumstances, we would expect to see the Big Five during our stay in the Serengeti.
For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and it is recommended you book this activity in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.
If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot and help inflate the balloon. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your accommodation.
Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
You'll notice many Maasai villages in the region of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. While it's of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as tourism businesses offering somewhat contrived performances of their traditional ways. You'll be charged an entry fee of approx US$20-35 and the Maasai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We recommend our travellers bypass this activity as our Kenyan colleagues observe that it negatively impacts the Maasai culture and travellers' perception of this culture.
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
Meals Included
2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Serengeti NP Camping or similar (2 nts)
Day 23 Arusha
Today we leave the Serengeti behind and head towards Arusha (350 km, approx 6 hrs), stopping en route in Mto Wa Mbu to jump back on board our truck.
A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail.
Tonight we'll camp on the outskirts of Arusha where we'll enjoy our final dinner together.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Accommodation
Meserani Snake Park Camping or similar (1 nt)
Day 24 Nairobi
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
Stay in a simple hotel with swimming pool, restaurant and en suite bathrooms.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty.
While brazen crime is thankfully fairly uncommon in Nairobi, petty theft unfortunately is not and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early please heed a few simple safeguards.
As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have safes in which it would be advisable to store things if you're wanting to head out. If you do decide to go for an explore, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk - particularly when it's getting on in the day. Thieves and pickpockets have also been known to operate in bars and restaurants, so don't let up keeping your wits about you once you're inside somewhere. Don't leave day packs or handbags unattended on chairs or the floor. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Finally, make colour scans of any important travel documents before you leave and email them to yourself: in the event that you are the unlucky victim of a theft, this will save you hours of police, embassy and travel insurance hassles.
Optional Activities
  • National Museum - USD10
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES3500
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD12
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Kivi Milimani Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 25 Lake Nakuru
Drive north-west past great views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park, situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley (170 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
Stop along the way in the town of Gilgil where we'll learn more about one of our foundation projects, the Saidia Children's Home Project. This project isn't just about the children - they also have a 'Grannie' project which helps elders too. More info is on their website: www.saidia-gilgil.org.uk/.
Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around a flamingo-filled lake, makes it a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours many rhinos and will be the best chance to get a great picture of these magnificent beasts.
Arrive in time for a short evening game drive along the shore of the lake.
Tonight's campground is beautifully located - but it's very basic, having drop toilets and basic showers.
Included Activities
  • Lake Nakuru - Game drive
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 26 Eldoret/Kampala
Up early this morning, we only have tea or coffee before going back into the park for a morning game drive.
Return to camp for brunch before driving to Eldoret (200 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.
Camp on the outskirts of Eldoret.
Cross the border into Uganda and travel on to its capital city, Kampala (390 km, approx 8-9 hrs).
Kampala is the capital of landlocked Uganda. With a population of over 30 million, it's one of the five countries that make up the East African Community. It's a country of great cultural diversity and in recent years has been one of the most progressive in the region in terms of health education relating to HIV.
Once the heart of the Buganda Kingdom, Kampala is a bustling city spread over several hills and valleys.
Camp on the outskirts of the city.
Included Activities
  • Lake Nakuru - Morning Game Drive
Accommodation
Naiberi River camp site or similar (1 nt)
Day 27 Itinerary
Accommodation
Red Chilli Campsite or similar (1 nt)
Days 28-29 Kibale Forest National Park
After breakfast, we drive to Kampala City. If time allows, it's a great place to wander around on foot, exploring many of its markets and shops.
Travel on to Kibale Forest National Park (350 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
The most accessible of Uganda's major rainforests, Kibale Forest National Park is home to the highest concentration of primates in the world, with twelve different species recorded. The main attractions are the park's 500 chimpanzees, which have been habituated to human visitors. More closely related to humans than any other living creature, the chimpanzees are a delight to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.
We'll take a 2-4 hour walking safari that gives us the amazing opportunity to watch the way the chimps feed, climb trees, respond to humans and care for their young ones. It's a phenomenal experience and a real highlight. This is a guided walk through thick hilly jungle. You'll need to take water bottles, raincoats, good walking boots and perhaps a walking stick.
There's plenty for you to see and do in this beautiful area, including walks to villages, tea plantations, rivers, lakes or just relaxing around the campsite.
Camp in a basic campground that has showers and flush toilets.
Included Activities
  • Chimpanzee Trekking Kibale National Park
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 30 Queen Elizabeth National Park
Travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take a game drive on our way to the camp (200 km, approx 5.5 hrs).
Queen Elizabeth National Park is beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George. During our time in the park we hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
Take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife, as well as its healthy population of hippos.
Stay at a basic camp on the grounds of a lodge which has drop toilets and basic showers.
Included Activities
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive
  • Kazinga Channel boat cruise
Accommodation
Hippo Hill Camp or similar (1 nt)
Day 31 Lake Bunyonyi
Travel on to Lake Bunyonyi (250 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
Located in the south-west of Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi - meaning 'place of many little birds' - is home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.
If time allows, one of the best ways to admire the landscape is from on the lake itself by hiring a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro). They can be hard to master at first but great fun.
Our campground has flush toilets with basic showers.
Optional Activities
  • Mokoro hire (per day) - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 32-34 Gorilla Trek
Cross the border into Rwanda and travel toward Ruhengeri, via Kigali (200 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
Visit Kigali's very moving genocide memorial. We may visit the memorial on the way to Ruhengeri or on our return.
Ruhengeri is the gateway to Volcanoes National Park.
We allow two days for gorilla visits as you are assigned a trekking group/time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day, or even over two days, depending on the time of permit issue and group size. There is a maximum group size of eight on each gorilla visit.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than eight per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.
When you are waiting for, or have completed, your gorilla visit, your leader will provide you with options and ideas on how you can spend your time in the area around Ruhengeri.
Stay in dormitories at a local church mission.
Included Activities
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial
  • Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Optional Activities
  • Diane Fossey Memorial - USD90
  • Golden monkeys Trek Permit - USD105
  • Mt Bisoke hiking (full day) - USD75
  • Nature walk Rwanda - USD55
Accommodation
Dormitory (3 nts)
Day 35 Lake Mburo
Travel to the border with Uganda where we'll complete the border formalities. It's possible for most nationalities to purchase a re-entry visa at this land crossing but please check before travelling. Then head to Lake Mburo (420 km, approx 9-10 hrs).
The flora of Lake Mburo National Park is acacia woodland, different to most other parks in East Africa, which means its fauna is also different to other reserves. It's the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals including zebras, impalas, buffalo, leopards, hyenas and jackals. There are five lakes within the park which are home to hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while the papyrus swamps provide cover for the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. This small park is less well-known among tourists so it's much quieter than some of the more famous East African parks.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 36-37 Jinja
Before breakfast we have a two-hour guided walking safari through the Lake Mburo National Park allowing us to see some of the animals and spectacular birdlife.
Travel from Lake Mburo to Jinja via Kampala, stopping en route at the equator (340 km, approx 7-8 hrs).
Jinja is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda. Located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, this is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and the eco-traveller who wants to do something really worthwhile in a beautiful area.
Camp at a scenic riverside retreat with showers and flush toilets.
Included Activities
  • Lake Mburo Walking safari
Accommodation
Adrift Jinja Camping or similar (2 nts)
Days 38-39 Eldoret/Nairobi
Begin the journey back to Nairobi, making an overnight stop outside the town of Eldoret along the way (300 km, approx 7-8 hrs). Continue on to Nairobi early the next morning (370 km, approx 7-8 hrs).
One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.
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 9pm this evening.
Accommodation
Naiberi River camp site or similar (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.
  • Serengeti Balloon Safari ( PEAK East Africa ) (.)
  • YXOFC Single Supplement (YXOFC)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Gorillas, Game Parks & Beaches (YXOCC)
  • Vic Falls to Kenya (YXOA)
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

Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Physical rating

This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
Physical preparation
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.
The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Kitty
On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and all included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases.This Kitty price indicated on the trip notes below is indicative only. Please refer to the 'Check availability' page on the website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.
Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.
A trip kitty of USD2795.00 CASH will be required.
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.
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.
A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
Money Exchange
ZIMBABWE
The Zimbabwe dollar is no longer in active use. The official currency of Zimbabwe is the US dollar (USD).
MALAWI
The official currency of Malawi is the Kwacha (MWK).
TANZANIA
The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS).
KENYA
The official currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES).
UGANDA
The official currency of Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX).
RWANDA
The official currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RWF).
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.
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.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
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, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping 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.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
On the 2nd of July 2012 the Tanzanian Government announced an increase to it's passenger airport service charge from 5,000TSH to 10,000TSH for domestic departures, and from 30USD to 40USD for international departures. This change comes into effect from 1st of July 2012 and will be included in any new airline ticket costs. Passengers who have already purchased tickets will be required to pay the difference on departure.
Important notes
FINISH TIME:
This trip finishes upon arrival at our finish point hotel in Nairobi on Day 39. Please do not book any flights until after 9pm this evening.
GORILLA PERMITS:
Gorilla Permits need to be bought in advance. In order to secure them, an additional non-refundable deposit of ( AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900 ) is needed to secure the permit at time of booking. We also require full passport details at time of booking. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 65 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking. Full kitty payment is applicable on Day 1 of the trip.
OPTIONAL BALLOON RIDE:
An optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti is possible on this itinerary. Please see Days 21-22 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
MINIMUM AGE:
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
KITTY PAYMENT:
THIS TRIP REQUIRES YOUR KITTY PAYMENT TO BE MADE IN USD. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS NEEDS TO BE PAID WITH BILLS NO OLDER THEN 2006 SERIES. OLD OR DAMAGED NOTES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Group size
Maximum of 22 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Single travellers
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The Single Supplement doesn't apply to nights 32-34 spent in a dormitory.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (6 nts), Dormitory (3 nts), Naiberi River camp site or similar (2 nts), Adrift Jinja Camping or similar (2 nts), Big Cave Camp or similar (2 nts), Victoria Falls Rest Camp or similar (2 nts), Kande Beach Camp or similar (2 nts), Kipepeo Campsite or similar (2 nts), Sunset Inn Resort or similar (2 nts), Serengeti NP Camping or similar (2 nts), Kivi Milimani Hotel or similar (1 nt), Red Chilli Campsite or similar (1 nt), Hippo Hill Camp or similar (1 nt), Hwange National Park Camping or similar (1 nt), Norma Jeane's Camping or similar (1 nt), Backpackers & Overlanders Lodge Camping or similar (1 nt), Chitimba Camp or similar (1 nt), Old Farm House Camping Kisolanza or similar (1 nt), Safari Lodge or similar (1 nt), Meserani Snake Park Camping or similar (1 nt), Eureka Campsite or similar (1 nt), Mama Rula's Campsite or similar (1 nt), Chem Chem Camp Site or similar (1 nt)
Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person dome tents.
The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.
There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room (at additional cost).
Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms. Check with your travel agent before travelling about the possibility of upgrading to a private room.
Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic (the toilets may be a squat-style hole in the ground). There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.
Not all campsites are as basic as this description - it's just to make sure there are no surprises for you.
Meals
37 Breakfasts, 32 Lunches, 32 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
USD 340.00
By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.
Your cook (East Africa only) will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day. If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.
A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. There may be a chance on occasion to buy your lunch. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.
On the more remote sections of your trip (for example in West Africa & North Africa), your food and diet will be dependent on what is available locally as well as tinned and dry ingredients.
One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.
Transport
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Overland vehicle, Ferry
Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Intrepid’s fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above.
There are many long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience which is right for you.
African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
Group leader
On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver.
Intrepid runs some of our basic overland trips in conjunction with our partners Dragoman Overland (please refer to Trip Notes (Important Notes) to see if your trip is run in conjunction with Dragoman) and as such the demographics of the crew may vary on each departure - if you are travelling on an Intrepid-operated departure your crew will usually be Kenyan; if you are travelling on a Dragoman-operated departure your crew will be Westerners with an African cook.
Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well)
Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.
Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping.
Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.
Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc.
If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.
We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Joining point
Victoria Falls Rest Camp and Lodges
Stand 5 Parkway
Victoria Falls
ZIMBABWE
Phone: +27 0216836444
Joining point description
Victoria Falls Rest Camp is located in the middle of Victoria Falls town, with just about everything you need within walking distance.
The rest camp has all the facilities you should need for your stay, including a pool and access to the internet.
Joining point instructions
If you have pre-booked a transfer please look out for our representative holding a board with your name at the arrival terminal. Please do not go with anyone else.
If for some reason you do not make contact with the Intrepid representative at the airport please take a metered taxi to the starting point hotel.
If you are making your own way to the hotel, there is a taxi stand outside the airport building. A taxi should cost approximately 20USD.
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.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
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.
EAST AFRICA TOURIST VISA:
Effective 20 February, 2014, The East Africa Tourist Visa will allow 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 on line where applicable. The East Africa Tourist Visa is multiple entry visa and is be valid for 90 days.
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 Rwanda 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.
The visa costs US$100.
ZIMBABWE:
Zimbabwe visas are required by most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Zimbabwe Embassy for more information. For most nationalities, Zimbabwe visas are available at the point of entry. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you will need US$ cash. The cost is approximately US$30/45.
MALAWI:
Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US don't require a visa to enter Malawi for stays of up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with their respective embassies for more information.
TANZANIA:
Australia: Yes - Visa required
Belgium: Yes - Visa required
Canada: Yes - Visa required
Germany: Ye - Visa required
Ireland: Yes - Visa required
Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
South Africa: Yes - Visa required
Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
USA: Yes - Visa required
It is recommended you purchase your visa in advance at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad. The cost is approximately US$100 depending on nationality and should take 1 business day. At the present time you do not require a multi entry visa to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (eg. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). However if your trip visits Tanzania twice after a visit to a country other than those listed above, you may need to purchase two visas.
For the purpose of the visa application you can use the following address:
Kibo Palace Hotel
PO Box 2523
Old Moshi Road
Arusha - Tanzania
Phone: +255 272544472
It is also possible to obtain a tourist's visa for a single entry at any one of the following main entry points to Tanzania, subject to the fulfilment of all immigration and health requirements:
-Dar es Salaam International Airport
-Zanzibar International Airport
-Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)
-Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya border point)
-Kasumulu Border crossing
-Isebania Border crossing
KENYA:
Australia: Yes - Visa required
Belgium: Yes - Visa required
Canada: Yes - Visa required
Germany: Yes- 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.
RWANDA:
Visas are required by all nationalities and need to be obtained in advance. You can apply for this visa online at www.migration.gov.rw.
You'll need to apply for an Entry Visa on their website (Services tab, Visa) which should take approx 2-5 days to come through. You must print this Entry Facility out to present at the border.
If you are asked to provide an address in Rwanda on your visa form, please use the address below -
Centre Pastoral Notre Dame De Fatima
Avenue de la Nutrition
Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Supporting Documents may also be required - the embassy will contact you if they require these.
The visa costs approx US$60 payable on the border with the exception of USA, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, nationals where the visa is free of charge.
Note: Rwanda is constantly updating its visa information; therefore we recommended that you check the website carefully for the latest up to date information www.migration.gov.rw
UGANDA:
Visas are required by most nationalities, including the EU, US and Australia. Visas are available at point of entry to most nationalities. Some nationalities are required to obtain visas in advance - you MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visas on arrival, you will need new (post 2003), clean American dollars cash and the cost is around US$50. When on one of our gorilla itineraries visiting Rwanda, you may require a double entry visa to Uganda. This is dependent on the border guard of the day and can be easily purchased on re entry from Rwanda for nationalities which qualify for visa on arrival. Please allow US$50.
ZAMBIA:
Zambian visas are required by most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Zambian Embassy for more information. For most nationalities, Zambian visas are available at the point of entry. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you will need US$ cash.
BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP:
Exit Zimbabwe - Chirundu
Enter Zambia - Chirundu
Exit Zambia - Chipata
Enter Malawi - Mchinji
Exit Malawi - Songwe
Enter Tanzania - Kasumulu
Exit Tanzania - Namanga
Enter Kenya - Namanga
Exit Kenya - Malaba
Enter Uganda - Malaba
Exit Uganda - Katuna
Enter Rwanda - Katuna
Exit Rwanda - Cyanika
Enter Uganda - Cyanika
Exit Uganda - Malaba
Enter Kenya - Malaba
*Please note that you may notice 'KATUNA' being referred to as 'GATUNA' on some websites and maps. This is the same place, and the same border crossing. Spelling and pronunciation differs according to region and local language.
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).
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.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
A sleeping bag (we recommend a 3–4 season). It can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. Pillows are not provided so please bring a travel pillow along. While we provide a mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer and choose to bring their own mattress.
A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
A headlamp or torch is recommended for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the toilet in the middle of the night.
LOCKER SPACE:
The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than: length 20 inches, height 9.5 inches and depth 26.5 inches. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock with a long shackle.The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks shouldn't have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. 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.
BATTERIES/POWER:
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. We suggest you bring a mix of normal and rechargeable batteries and the appropriate recharging unit. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.
We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
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.
CLOSED-IN SHOES:
As this trip includes camping and/or 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.
GORILLA TREK:
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. You will need a comfortable pair of waterproof, hiking boots. Some of the foliage in the forest has sharp spikes and can be prickly. A typical gardening glove with a hard surface on the palm will make it easier to grab onto trees and bushes as you pull yourself up the hillside. It's also a good idea to pack a pair of long socks so that you can tuck your trousers into them and avoid any ants or insects getting to your ankles.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
YELLOW FEVER:
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
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.
TYPHOID:
It is recommended that if you are travelling to Harare you make sure that your Typhoid vaccinations are up to date. There has been an outbreak of typhoid in parts of Harare, with over 1500 cases reported since October 2011. For more information speak to your doctor and see the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
EBOLA OUTBREAKS:
There have been confirmed cases of Ebola in the Kibale district of Western Uganda since July 2012. We recommend all travellers exercise caution by avoiding physical contact with people whilst travelling in neighbouring regions. Please see the WHO website (http://www.who.int) or speak to your doctor for more information.
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 your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
LIFE JACKETS:
While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported in Kenya include:
* New Hope Children's Centre aims to assist the less fortunate in society and give them hope. The centre currently caters for 170 children, both boys and girls, from many parts of Kenya: 130 are residents and 40 live with their grandmothers, with New Hope paying for their school fees and assisting with clothing where necessary.
* Saidia Children's Home first opened its doors in 2004 with just five children in a disused and near derelict college building. They now have their own building and land, which is home to about fifty children. Their aim is to improve the lives of AIDS orphans and other disadvantaged children in Gilgil and the surrounding area, ultimately by creating projects that will become independent of outside aid.
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Tanzania include:
* Amani Children's Home rescues street children and orphans from homelessness and restores hope in their lives. At the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Moshi, Amani provides children off the street with a safe and loving home, education, medical care, healthy food, and counselling. Donations through the Intrepid Foundation will be used to rescue, feed, educate and care for the hundreds of homeless children that Amani helps every year.
* The Village Education Project Kilimanjaro (VEPK) was established in 1994 with the belief that education is one of the most important parts of building sound long-term economic growth for Tanzania. With the motto ‘Elimu ni uhai - Education is life’, its projects aim to provide improved primary and vocational education to Tanzanian children.
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 1132.00 kgs per pax.
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