Gorillas to Vic Falls In Depth Trip Notes

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    • YDVNC
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    • Overland, Wildlife
    • Basix
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‡ As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only - please click here to view the kitty amount for your departure date.
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Last Modified: 28 Sep 2013
Gorillas to Vic Falls In Depth
Trip code: YDVNC
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2013
See the very best of East Africa on this epic trip from Nairobi to Vic Falls. Visit Zanzibar, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe on this in-depth tour that encompasses tropical palm-fringed beaches, exotic wilderness safaris and up-close cultural experiences. Explore the A-list of national parks and reserves, including Lake Nakuru, the Masai Mara, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, spot the Big Five hiding in long grasses, see a shimmering haze of thousands of pink flamingos and trek into jungles to eyeball chimps and mountain gorillas at play. See elephants lumbering through the forest, big cats stalking their prey and hippos wallowing in the waters of the Lower Zambezi. Be blown away by epic scale of nature - the might of Victoria Falls, the lofty heights of Mt Kilimanjaro. Share laughter with children in out-of-the-way towns and swap smiles with locals in mountain villages. This Gorillas to Vic Falls In Depth adventure will provide a wealth of experiences and a lifetime of memories.
This trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Dragoman shares Intrepid's ethos for adventure travel and has many years' expertise in overlanding.
Warning - this is a new trip for us!
While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseAccommodationWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMeals introductionHealth
Culture shock rating MealsSafety
Physical ratingTransportTravel insurance
Physical preparationGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
KittyJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsCarbon offset
Spending moneyFinish point Feedback
TippingFinish point description
Departure taxFinish point instructions
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Map
Gorillas to Vic Falls In Depth
Itinerary
Day 1 Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 10am.
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.
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.
If you arrive early, you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
There will be time after the meeting to explore Nairobi before we meet back at the hotel and head off in the truck to our well equipped campsite in the suburb of Karen. Tonight there is the option of going out for a group meal.
Optional Activities
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10
  • National Museum - USD10
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 2 Nakuru
After breakfast we make our way to Nakuru, approximately 160 km from Nairobi. Tonight we stay at a beautiful campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Nakuru Town, and depending on what time we arrive, there may be the option of a farm visit.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 3 Kericho
This morning we continue our involvement at the Kariandusi School Trust Project before having lunch and heading on to Kericho (approx 150 km).
Tonight we stay at a well equipped campsite with the opportunity of an optional tea plantation tour.
Included Activities
  • Kariandusi School Project Visit
Optional Activities
  • Tea plantation visit - Free
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Jinja
Leaving Kenya behind, we cross the border into Uganda as we travel towards its adventure capital - Jinja (approx 360 km).
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.
We base ourselves for two nights at a well equipped campsite with stunning views of the White Nile. It is from here that we can organise optional activities such as white water rafting.
Optional Activities
  • Bungee Jump - USD115
  • White water rafting - USD125
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 6 Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
We head approximately 220 km north of Kampala today to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, close to the town of Nakitoma.
Tonight we will stay at the campsite within the Rhino Sanctuary.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was created to reintroduce rhinoceros to Uganda, which had been extinct since 1982. The sanctuary is currently home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda and their goal is to build a sustainable rhino population and relocate rhinos back to their original habitat. In addition to the rhino breeding program, Rhino Fund Uganda also runs community engagement and education programs in the surrounding villages.
During our stay one of the trained rangers will introduce you to the sanctuary and provide you with information about the rhinos. Depending on where our rhinos happen to be when we arrive, we will drive to the closest location and then approach the rhinos on foot. You will then have the opportunity to observe the rhinos in their habitat at a very close, and very safe, distance. The tracking excursion lasts on average about 1-2 hours.
Optional Activities
  • Rhino trekking - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 7 Kaniyo Pabidi Forest
Today we spend the morning at the sanctuary where there is the option to go rhino trekking and learn more about the program.
After lunch we head to Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo Forest for an afternoon of chimpanzee trekking. The Kaniyo Pabidi Forest covers an area of about 8 km within the heart of Kichumbanyobo gate of Murchison Falls National Park.
Kaniyo Pabidi is an eco tourism site, which is part of the Budongo Forest Reserve. The terrain is flat, allowing for good on-foot travelling conditions for the average tourist and the campsite is located on the edge of the chimpanzees' home range, significantly diminishing the risk of a long trekking excursion before contact is made with the group. The site is managed by the Jane Goodall Institute, who ensure appropriate development of the site for eco tourism, while ensuring that the chimpanzee communities are not put at risk. All profits from the venture are returned back into the protection of Budongo Forest Reserve.
Tonight we camp at an eco tourism campsite.
Included Activities
  • Chimpanzee trekking
Optional Activities
  • Rhino trekking - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 8-9 Murchison Falls National Park
If we could not all do the trek the day before, the rest will go this morning. Afterwards we'll cross to the north of the river for an afternoon game drive in the delta.
Depending on timing tonight we will either bush camp in the delta or head to an established campsite at Paraa on the southern banks of the Nile, at the heart of the Murchison Falls National Park.
Uganda's largest national park, Murchison Falls National Park is named for the dramatic waterfalls which result from the Nile exploding through a narrow gap in the escarpment and plunging 43 metres below. Wildlife populations are healthy, having largely recovered from the poaching of the 1980s, and elephants, buffalo, giraffes and antelopes are regularly seen, while lions are becoming increasingly common.
The next day we head off for another game drive in the morning. After lunch we embark on a launch cruise on the Nile to Murchison Falls - the main attraction of this part of Uganda. After the cruise we meet back with the truck and head to the outskirts of the park to camp at the Murchison River Lodge.
Included Activities
  • Murchison Falls Game Drive
  • Murchison Falls Launch trip
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 10 Bush Camp
It is an early start today as we have a rather long drive ahead of us. We are aiming to get as close to Queen Elizabeth II National Park as possible. Along the way we will find somewhere to camp for the night.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 11 Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today we travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the camp.
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.
This afternoon we take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for its birds such as pelicans and eagles, as well as its healthy population of hippos.
Tonight we camp. The campground is basic and has drop toilets and simple showers.
Included Activities
  • Kazinga Channel boat cruise
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 12 Lake Bunyonyi
Today we travel on to Lake Bunyonyi (approx 250 km).
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.
Optional Activities
  • Mokoro hire (per day) - USD20
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 13-15 Kigali/Ruhengeri/Gorilla trek
Leaving Uganda behind, we cross the border, entering Rwanda, and travel toward Ruhengeri (approx 220 km), the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park. Along the way we will stop in at the capital, Kigali, where we will organise a visit to the very moving Genocide Memorial.
Ruhengeri is our base for the next three nights, however if all the trekking permits are issued for the group to trek on the same day, we may use our third night to stay in Kigali, in which case the visit to the Genocide Memorial will take place then instead.
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.
While you are waiting for, or have completed your gorilla visit, your leader will provide you with options and ideas on how you may wish to spend your time in the area around Ruhengeri.
While in Ruhengeri we stay in dormitories at a local church mission.
Included Activities
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial
  • Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Optional Activities
  • Venge Village walk - USD20
Accommodation
Hostel (3 nts)
Day 16 Lake Mburo National Park
Today we travel to the border with Uganda where we will complete the border formalities. Please check before travelling whether you need a multi-entry visa. We will then head to Lake Mburo (approx 420 km).
Tonight we will camp on the shores of the lake at a stunning location surrounded by wildlife. While tonight's campground is beautifully located, it is very basic, with drop toilets and basic showers.
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)
Day 17 Jinja
Before breakfast today we have a two-hour guided walking safari through the Lake Mburo National Park, allowing us to see some of the animals and the spectacular birdlife. After breakfast we travel from Lake Mburo to Jinja, via Kampala, stopping at the equator.
We camp tonight at a scenic riverside retreat with showers and flush toilets.
Included Activities
  • Guided walk
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 18 Eldoret
Today we leave Uganda behind as we head back over the border into Kenya, and to the cheese town of Eldoret.
One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.
We stay tonight at the Naiberi River campsite. It is created on a hilly tribal land which was once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of the time. The campsite is Indian owned so tonight we will feast on an included Indian banquet.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 19 Nakuru National Park
After breakfast we make our way to Nakuru, approximately 200 km from Eldoret.
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.
Tonight we will stay at a beautiful campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Nakuru town. Depending on what time we arrive we may have the option of a farm visit.
Included Activities
  • Game Drive, Lake Nakuru National Park
Optional Activities
  • Dairy farm visit - Free
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 20 Nairobi
We are up very early this morning as we head out in safari vehicles for an early morning game drive of Nakuru National Park. After lunch the truck will meet us again and we'll head back to our campsite in Nairobi, arriving early evening.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 21-23 Masai Mara/Nairobi
This morning we head off in our Land Cruisers to the Masai Mara for the next 2 nights.
Our large bags will be left behind and stored in a secure location in Nairobi. You will need to bring along a smaller day pack for this trip.
We recommend you pack:
Clothing for 3 days (Including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers)
A waterproof jacket
Toiletries (Including Sun screen, insect repellent)
Camera & charger
Small towel
Head torch
Water bottle
Books/journal/playing cards etc
Personal snacks
A huge area of woodlands and open plains backed by the striking Esoit Oloololo Escarpment, the Masai Mara is home to all of the Big Five. Keep an eye out for prides of lions, herds of elephants and, if you are lucky, a stealthy cheetah or leopard. In the rainy season this area is flooded by over a million wildebeest on their annual migration.
Both nights are spent in the same camp. Facilities are ready-made tents with twin beds (Including bedding so no need to bring any sleeping gear), toilet and shower areas and a bar serving soft drinks. Camera / phone charging facilities are available at an extra cost for a few hours each evening.
The following morning we have an early breakfast before setting off in the Land Cruisers again for a full day of game driving.
On our third day here we start with an early morning game drive after breakfast, before heading out of the Masai Mara and returning to Nairobi for the night.
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1000
  • National Museum - USD10
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 24 Arusha
Back on the truck today and we have a full day's drive of approximately 300 km as we cross the Tanzanian border on our way to Arusha.
Tonight we'll stay in a well equipped campsite on the outskirts of Arusha where we will prepare ourselves for heading into the Serengeti.
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.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 25-26 Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro Crater
Today we are up very early, leaving our truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into 6-person jeeps and heading out for our three day excursion.
While here we stay at one of the camps within the National Park. The camp where we stay is very simple but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and the nocturnal noises. Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.
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'.
The following morning we are up very early as we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive. There is also the option this morning of a hot air balloon flight, which must be pre-booked at the time of booking.
For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and need to be arranged in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.
If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot and help inflate the balloon. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your accommodation.
Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
We exit the Serengeti around lunchtime and head back through the conservation area to our campsite on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Again our campsite is very basic. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take warm clothes for this night.
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Balloon ride - USD500
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (2 nts)
Day 27 Mto Wa Mbu
We are up with the sun this morning as we make an early descent into the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, where we will spend approximately 3 hours game driving in the crater.
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 we will return to Mto Wa Mbu and participate in a community village project before finally heading back to camp for an evening relaxing at the campsite's bar, reliving our safari experience.
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.
Responsible Travel Note -
You will notice some Masai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater. While it is of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as businesses. You will be charged an entry fee of USD20 and the Masai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We would very much prefer that Intrepid clients choose to bypass this activity as we feel it negatively impacts the Masai culture and your perception of this culture. This is why we stop by Mto Wa Mbu on the way to the crater so that you may experience some culture in a more authentic environment.
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 28 Marangu
If we didn't get the chance yesterday, then after breakfast this morning we will participate in the local community village program before getting back on board our truck to head high onto the slopes of Kilimanjaro, and to the village of Marangu (approx 230 km).
Our camping area is the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel with views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The small village of Marangu is located on the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. The fertile fields are irrigated by streams that are fed by Mt Kilimanjaro's glaciers.
Included Activities
  • Usambara Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 29-30 Dar es Salaam
Leaving the cool slopes of Kilimanjaro behind we have a long travel day today as we travel further south towards the coastal city of Dar es Salaam (approx 560 km).
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's old capital, means 'Haven of Peace'. Many of its buildings display Arabian influence and the port area is fascinating to visit with its ocean-going dhows and inshore ngalawas (out-rigger fishing canoes).
Once in Dar es Salaam we set up camp on a balmy beach outside of the city. The camp is in the grounds of a hotel and has flush toilets and showers. Feel free to jump in the ocean and have a swim before dinner!
The following day is free for optional activities, or you may simply like to relax on the beach.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 31-33 Zanzibar
Catch the ferry over to Zanzibar and spend the first night in Stone Town.
Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar's rich history involves everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast invokes images of what the island was like back in the days of Livingstone.
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.
The next day we take a spice tour and have a local lunch before heading to the northern beaches for optional activities or relaxation.
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.
The third day is free for optional activities.
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar Spice tour
Optional Activities
  • Snorkelling - USD40
  • Prison island tour - USD25
  • Scuba diving - USD90
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Day 34 Dar es Salaam
Today we transfer back to the ferry (approx 90 minutes) and return to our campsite by the beach outside Dar Es Salaam.
Optional Activities
  • Dhow trip - Free
  • Fishing - Free
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 35 Iringa
Heading for Malawi, we head through Mikumi National Park. The journey today is approximately 550 km. We stay at a campsite in the grounds of the Kisolanza Farm in Iringa tonight.
Set into the slopes of a cliff overlooking the Little Ruaha River, Iringa was built by the Germans in the late 19th century as a fortified defence. One of the highlights is the markets, which attract vibrantly clad locals and nearby tribespeople. It is also a great place to try the legendary Dabaga chilli sauce.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 36-38 Lake Malawi
Today we cross the border into Malawi and travel to our beautiful lakeside campsite at Chitimba (approx 510 km).
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.
The next day we drive along the shore of the lake to Kande Beach where we have the rest of the day, and the following day, free for optional activities. Make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians, easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.
Optional Activities
  • Guided village walks - USD10
  • Horse riding - USD50
  • Snorkelling - Free
  • Scuba diving - USD75
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 39 Lilongwe
Today we head approximately 350 km to the capital, Lilongwe. If we make good time today then we will have the afternoon free to explore the town and its many markets and shops.
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.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 40-41 South Luangwa National Park
Our journey today takes us approximately 250 km, across the border into Zambia and to the stunning South Luangwa National Park.
We stay here for two nights in a boutique campsite bordering the national park. During our stay we take an early morning game drive and an evening game drive.
South Luangwa National Park is probably the best park in Zambia to see hippos and crocodiles - the Luangwa River has vast numbers of them. The plains beside the river are populated with many kinds of buck, kudu, gazelle and also the red lechwe and Thornicroft giraffe which are unique to Zambia. The park is also renowned for its large elephant population, although you will notice that the elephants here are smaller in size than their counterparts in the plains of East or Southern Africa.
While we are staying in South Luangwa National Park we may have the chance to organise an optional visit to Kawaza Village to experience rural life in Zambia. Kawaza is a social centre for many of the surrounding smaller villages and is situated about 10 km from the national park. As far back as 1997 it has been the centre of a community tourism project. The local villagers of Kawaza genuinely want to share their culture with visitors so that they see not only the wildlife but also the local life of the people who live in the area. Usually we will take part in or watch on of the village's two dancing groups. Normally the women's group will perform local dances and stories and discuss everyday life in rural Zambia. They are very keen for guests to join in, and they will cook a traditional Kunda midday meal for us.
The Kunda, who live throughout the Luanda Valley, have been here for thousands of years. Like all traditional farming and hunting communities in this part of Africa, they have suffered over the past years with diminishing resources. At Kawaza the villagers are now benefiting directly from our visits, and have a stake in the local tourist infrastructure. Each year the village decides what to do with the money, whether it be school supplies, a water pump or local medicines.
Please note that during the wet season (January to March) it may not be possible to visit this village.
Included Activities
  • Game drives
Optional Activities
  • Evening game drive - Free
  • Kawaza Village Visit - USD25
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 42 Luangwa River
Today is a drive day of approximately 520 km as we head south towards the Lower Zambezi area. Tonight we stay at a campsite on the banks of the Luangwa River.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 43-45 Lower Zambezi
Drive to the banks of the Lower Zambezi where we meet our guides for a briefing and confirmation of the following days' activities.
The next two days we spend canoeing along the Lower Zambezi River.
The Zambezi Valley has been known outside of Africa for thousands of years. Legends suggest that the kingdoms of Hiram, Solomon and Sheba were enriched with goods originating from the area. More recent history records some of the explorations of hunters, missionaries and slave traders along this part of the Zambezi River.
Nowadays the Lower Zambezi has very different adventures in store - the prime pursuit being a canoe safari. All our gear is carried in the canoes and camps are erected on islands in the river along the way. Everyone gets involved in setting up camp and cooking.
Included Activities
  • 2 day canoe trip on the Lower Zambezi
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 46 Choma/Livingstone
After breakfast we have an early morning transfer by road or boat (depending on season) back to the truck and then drive on to either Choma or Livingstone depending on time.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 47-48 Victoria Falls
Cross the border to Zimbabwe for an early start to Victoria Falls. Upon arrival in Victoria Falls we will arrange your optional activities, and either visit the falls, or arrange the visit for tomorrow.
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.
Next day is departure day. If we were unable to visit the falls yesterday, we will do so today.
For those of you who are planning on spending a few extra days in Vic Falls there are various activities and excursions available - either on the water, on land or high above it all. Choose from white water rafting, canoeing, horse riding, abseiling or gorge swinging (please see the 'Optional Activities' below for more details on what you can see and do around Victoria Falls).
Included Activities
  • Visit Victoria Falls
Optional Activities
  • Bungee jumping - USD130
  • Gorge swing - USD90
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (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 ( Dragoman ) (.)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    We must emphasise that the routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only. We intend following the route detailed but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. Or it may be because we find a better, more interesting route. While actually en route, unexpected hospitality, a local festival or a great place to chill out can determine our exact route and itinerary on any given trip.
    Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group.
    Culture shock rating

    The comforts of home are more of a rarity. English isn't common and the food will be quite different to home. It's important to observe some of the local customs to not cause offence. Many of the locals’ standard of living may be confronting.
    Physical rating

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
    Physical preparation
    In these parts of the world you'll need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climate; from hot deserts through to the cold of high mountain areas.
    Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days and dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You'll need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up, and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step-up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge if you are physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day.
    You'll need to be fit enough to trek to the location of your family of mountain gorillas. This may involve up to 5 hours of walking up and down hills, in hot and humid conditions and through tropical (and at times thick) foliage. There may be mud underfoot which will make the trekking slippery. You'll be expected to carry your own personal needs for this trek including water and a rain jacket as well as your camera equipment.
    Included activities
    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.
    Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
    Kitty
    On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and some included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases. Please check our website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.
    Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.
    You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.
    If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.
    Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.
    Kitty does not cover food while staying in hotels and hostels.
    KITTY CHANGES:
    We constantly monitor local price changes and exchange rate fluctuations that could affect kitty expenses. Final kitty contributions are likely to be different from those quoted in the brochure or at the time of booking so you must check the final amount just before departure.
    As our kitty is flexible the indicated amount is indicative only. Follow the link below to view the kitty amount for your departure date.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
    There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it is customary for local guides (not Intrepid group leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service. You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
    Money Exchange
    The best way to manage your money in Africa is a mixture of cash and an ATM card (best to have both Visa and MasterCard).
    CASH:
    Cash is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.
    ***PLEASE NOTE: MANY BUSINESSES AND BANKS IN EAST AFRICA DO NOT ACCEPT US DOLLAR NOTES OLDER THAN 2006. IF YOU ARE BRINGING USD, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND LARGE BILLS IN GOOD CONDITION, 2006 SERIES ONWARDS ONLY. ANY OLD OR DAMAGED NOTES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED. IF YOUR KITTY PAYMENT IS REQUIRED TO BE PAID IN USD, IT MUST BE PAID WITH BILLS NO OLDER THAN 2006 SERIES***
    EUR or GBP are also widely accepted. The South African Rand can also be used widely in countries of Southern Africa. When changing money, only use reputable authorised money exchange vendors and never anyone on the street. There are many instances of travellers being given counterfeit notes or being tricked when money is being counted out.
    TRAVELLER'S CHEQUES:
    Some people like to carry traveller’s cheques for back up emergency cash. While traveller’s cheques are undoubtedly the safest way to carry money, they are becoming harder to cash around the world and can often result in unfavourable exchange rates and commission charges. They are no longer accepted in many locations in Kenya & Tanzania. It can also be tricky to reach banks during banking business hours which are often short in many African countries. Note: Receipts for traveller’s cheques are required by banks and money changers.
    VISA AND MASTERCARD:
    With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
    The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
    At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
    Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
    Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
    An Airport Passenger Service Charge of US$20 is levied on passengers embarking on international flights. Departure tax of US$30 is also levied on passengers departing on international flights, but is usually included in the cost of your ticket.
    Important notes
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    Please note this Intrepid trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Your departure will be run in a Dragoman vehicle with a Dragoman crew.
    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.
    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 90 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.
    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.
    Accommodation
    Camping (with facilities) (36 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (5 nts), Hostel (3 nts), Hotel (3 nts)
    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 introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    Meals
    All meals when camping
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    USD 400.00
    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
    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.
    As from 1 January 2011 a new law in South Africa has been introduced whereby the cross border transport agency are no longer allowing foreign-registered vehicles to enter the country. We will be working with a local South African operator for the South African section of this tour who will be providing the services of an alternative vehicle* and driver vetted by Intrepid. Your Intrepid leader and cook will still accompany you on this section and your itinerary will remain unaffected.
    *The vehicle used on this section will be an overland vehicle similar in style to an Intrepid vehicle. However for smaller groups which don't require a large vehicle, smaller land cruiser style vehicles may be used.
    Group leader
    On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver. (Depending on your group size – from time to time your leader will also be your driver)
    Your Intrepid 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.
    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. Our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.
    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, making camp chores easier. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.
    We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and driver; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
    Joining point
    Kivi Milimani Hotel
    Milimani Road
    Milimani
    Nairobi
    100
    KENYA
    Phone: +254 735491064
    Joining point description
    The Kivi Milimani hotel is very simple but clean, comfortable and safe. All rooms have en suite with hot water. The hotel's surroundings are lovely with a pool area perfect for relaxing and groovy retro (but original!) 70's bar and restaurant.
    Joining point instructions
    There is a taxi stand outside the airport building. A taxi should cost approximately US$20, and must be paid in Kenyan Shillings.
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Victoria Falls Rest Camp and Lodges
    Stand 5 Parkway
    Victoria Falls
    ZIMBABWE
    Phone: +27 0216836444
    Finish 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.
    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.
    If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
    Emergency contact
    Dragoman 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1728 862 222 This is an answer-phone. If calling outside UK office hours for non urgent questions, please leave a message. There is a number provided to call for a 24 hour manned mobile, in case of genuine emergency. For further emergency contact details go to:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    KENYA:
    Australia: Yes - Visa required
    Belgium: Yes - Visa required
    Canada: Yes - Visa required
    Germany: Ye - Visa required
    Ireland: Yes - Visa required
    Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
    New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
    South Africa: Yes - Visa required if travelling for more than 30days
    Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
    United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
    USA: Yes - Visa required
    Kenyan Visas can be obtained at point of entry for most nationalities, although some are required to purchase visas in advance. You MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you'll need new (post-2003), clean US dollars cash. The cost is around US$50. Currently you don't require a multi-entry visa between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (eg. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). If your trip visits Rwanda and re-enters Kenya you may require a double entry visa to Kenya, depending on the border guard on the day. This can easily be purchased at the border if required.
    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.
    TANZANIA:
    Australia: Yes - Visa required
    Belgium: Yes - Visa required
    Canada: Yes - Visa required
    Germany: Ye - Visa required
    Ireland: Yes - Visa required
    Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
    New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
    South Africa: Yes - Visa required
    Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
    United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
    USA: Yes - Visa required
    It is recommended you purchase your visa in advance at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad. The cost is approximately US$100 depending on nationality and should take 1 business day. At the present time you do not require a multi entry visa to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (eg. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). However if your trip visits Tanzania twice after a visit to a country other than those listed above, you may need to purchase two visas.
    It is also possible to obtain a tourist's visa for a single entry at any one of the following main entry points to Tanzania, subject to the fulfilment of all immigration and health requirements:
    -Dar es Salaam International Airport
    -Zanzibar International Airport
    -Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)
    -Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya border point)
    -Kasumulu Border crossing
    -Isebania Border crossing
    MALAWI:
    Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US don't require a visa to enter Malawi for stays of up to 90 days. All other nationalities should check with their respective embassies for more information.
    ZAMBIA:
    Zambian visas are required by most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. All nationalities should check with their nearest Zambian Embassy for more information. For most nationalities, Zambian visas are available at the point of entry. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you will need US$ cash.
    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.
    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.
    CAMPING EQUIPMENT / MATTRESS:
    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're travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter the weather. Pillows are NOT provided so please bring a travel pillow along.
    We don't provide a mattress so please bring your own (a Thermarest / inflatable mattress is recommended).
    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.
    LOCKER SPACE:
    The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than 66cm deep, 30cm wide, and 30cm high. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock with a long shackle.The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks shouldn't have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
    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. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
    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.
    Health
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    YELLOW FEVER:
    A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
    It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
    TYPHOID:
    It is recommended that if you are travelling to Harare you make sure that your Typhoid vaccinations are up to date. There has been an outbreak of typhoid in parts of Harare, with over 1500 cases reported since October 2011. For more information speak to your doctor and see the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
    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:
    TRAVEL ADVISORY:
    Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:
    The vehicle has fully lockable doors and windows, which is an obvious advantage, but it will probably be necessary to guard it at times and everyone should be prepared to share in this responsibility.
    In most areas there is very little to fear from the point of view of violence. But in all areas 'tourists' are a tempting target for pickpockets and con-men. Always be aware of this and be especially careful when leaving banks or money-changers, in any crowded areas, etc. NEVER leave things lying around - they will almost certainly get stolen. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to always be security conscious and to take all necessary precautions. Great inconvenience and distress can be caused by having your documents or possessions stolen.
    A few of our past group members have had the unhappy experience of having their belongings stolen before the trip starts. Beware of carrying your passport and other valuables around with you in cities. We strongly suggest you deposit your valuables in your hotel safe on arrival.
    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.
    HORSE RIDING:
    Horse riding is an option available to groups on this trip. Please note however that horse riding is usually not covered by your travel insurance and helmets are not always available. If riding without a helmet is a concern then you should bring our own.
    WATER SAFETY:
    Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    When packing be aware that dress standards can be conservative in some parts of Africa. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts in culturally sensitive areas: Mosques, small villages, etc. We recommend a mixture of loose, lightweight clothing and warm clothing for the evenings. Topless sun bathing is unacceptable through out the whole of Africa.
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Responsible Travel projects
    Organisations and projects currently supported 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 1393.00 kgs per pax.
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