An epic adventure awaits you on this 12-day tour through Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. In the Masai Mara, you'll embark on incredible wildlife safari drives to spot big cats (cheetahs, leopards, and lions) with opportunities to visit a Masai village and learn about this nomadic culture. Visiting G Adventures for Good projects like the Nyamirambo Women's Centre and the Ubuntu Café gives you a grounded, well-rounded understanding of what makes this slice of the continent so special.
- Travel Style : Classic
- Service Level : Standard
- Physical Grading : 4 - Demanding
- Merchandising : New Trips
- Merchandising : Planeterra Project
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your G for Good Moment: Café Ubuntu , Maai Mahiu
Your G for Good Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Local Lunch, Kigali
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Masai Mara National Reserve wildlife safari drives. Safari camping experience. Guest farm stay near Kibale National Park. Chimpanzee trek. Bigodi Community lunch. Queen Elizabeth National Park wildlife safari drives. Guided gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Visit to Kigali Genocide Museum. All national park fees and trekking permits. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Explore the Masai Mara National Reserve, view diverse wildlife in search of the "big five", spend two nights in a safari camp, admire a family of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, trek to see chimpanzees in Uganda, keep your eyes peeled for the plentiful elephant and hippo populations in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Important Notes:1. ACCOMMODATION
Much of the accommodation on the Uganda/Rwanda portion is in simple furnished tents with shared bathroom facilities.
Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common. We appreciate your patience and understanding, as well as your sense of adventure.
2. SLEEPING BAGS
Sleeping bags can not be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari trips
3. AGE RESTRICTIONS - Gorilla Trekking
Please note that all passengers must be aged 15 years or older (prior to start of travel) to go on this tour - there are no exceptions to this as it is for safety reasons and strictly controlled by the Government.
4. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENT
This trip is rated a level 4 physical requirement - travellers should be in excellent physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend strenuous days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas, as well as other primates. Please ensure you meet the requirements as described under "physical rating".4. TRAVEL DAYS
Travelling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. A safari is about travelling to see animals, so we travel to the Masai Mara Game Reserve, and once there, we spend the majority of the time viewing wildlife while driving in the park. This translates to a lot of driving. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.
5. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this tour is a combination of two G Adventures tours in two different countries. Due to local regulations, your local staff (driver/guide, cook) and vehicles will change halfway through the trip, and your group CEO and fellow passengers may also change.
6. YELLOW FEVER
Please be advised that it will be required to show a yellow fever certificate upon entering Uganda and Rwanda and it may be required for Kenya. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
7. LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS
It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Nairobi does not arrive, especially with, but not exclusive to, major airlines out of London-Heathrow or Schiphol (Amsterdam). Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centres, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African centre. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Nairobi, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 48 and 72 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Kenya. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. Considering that the customer service standards in Kenya are different from home, and that we find that the airlines are not always pro-active in helping luggage in its care be reunited with its owner, it is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour, and hire someone locally to persist with the your airline to retrieve your luggage. Your CEO or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
8. FLYING THROUGH LONDON-HEATHROW TO EAST AFRICA?
Please note that regardless of the rules in other centres, travellers flying from, or connecting in, London-Heathrow are currently only permitted one carry-on piece of luggage and one small personal bag (purse, laptop-size bag, briefcase) on board on flights to Nairobi. If you arrive to the security gate with 2 pieces, you will be forced to check-in one of them, which may result in complications noted above. This policy is in place as of the time of writing, though local rules and regulations may indeed change. It is thus advisable to contact your airline directly for the most up-to-date information.
The power supply in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
10. WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
G Adventures can never guarantee the sighting of wildlife, especially when it comes to mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorilla trek is organized to ensure success. Before heading into the jungle, our local guides receive coordinates from trackers on the whereabouts of the gorillas, and the trackers stay with the gorillas until the group arrives.
Tanzania and Kenya
The Seronera Plains, which lie in the southeast of the National Park and extend into the western Ngorongoro Conservation Area, form the main ungulate calving grounds of the Serengeti. The wildebeest typically disperse into the Seronera plains during the short rains, which fall in late November or early December, before calving in January, and staying put until the end of the long rains from January to early May. Towards the end of April the wildebeest start to congregate on the southern plains in the preparation for the 800km northward migration. The major obstacle faced by the wildebeest on this migration is the crossing for the Grumeti River through the western corridor, which typically occurs from June into early July. From July to October, the ungulates disperse again, with about half of them crossing the Mara River into Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and the remainder spreading out through the northern and western Serengeti. By late October the animals have generally started to plod back southward to the Seronera Plains, to arrive there in late November when the cycle starts all over again.
Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas and chimps. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.
As it is very dark and damp in the jungle; please ensure your camera equipment is appropriate for such conditions and that you bring dry bags to protect it.
- Group Leader Description:The CEO (Chief Experience Officer ) will be the group manager and leader. He/she organizes the trip, and will be there to assist you when needed. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. Your leader may be from East Africa, or another country outside of the region, and will have a broad knowledge base of the region and wildlife. To round out the team, you will be joined by an expert driver/guide, and a camp cook. Your driver/guide is skilled and experienced driver and a certified safari guide, and is an integral part of the team. As well, your cook will prepare the camp meals and add some further local flavour to the trip.
During the trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, we use an experienced and certified tracking guide, and armed guards to accompany you for your safety
We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
- Group Size Notes:Max 12, avg 10. The Masai Mara portion of the trip often runs at smaller group sizes and is limited to a maximum of 7.
- Meals Included:11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
- Meals:Shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, fresh vegetables and fruit will be bought along the route from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally be cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Lunches will be either en route, in the wildlife park, or in camp, and will be light meals such as sandwiches or salads. All evening meals will be hot and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Meals will be prepared by the crew with assistance from you if you would like to help cook, this is not compulsory. Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. We do however ask you to wash your own dishes. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
- Transport:7-seat 4x4 safari van, plane, private van, walking.
- About our Transportation:With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vans are designed for wildlife viewing. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor. This style of travel is by no means luxurious, but the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicles allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and to stay and watch that crouching lion prepare for an attack.
Speed governors set to 80kph are used on all vehicles to ensure a safe driving speed. Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
All G Adventure vehicles are regularly serviced and follow a strict maintenance schedule. However given the long travel days and rough conditions of many of the roads in Africa, vehicles can and do breakdown on occasion. If such situations occur all drivers are trained mechanics and any vehicle issues are rectified as quickly as possible so as to not disrupt your trip. Your patience is requested if the vehicle you are traveling in happens to encounter a mechanical fault.
- Local Flights:All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Standard hotel (3 nts), simple furnished tents/rooms (8 nts).
- My Own Room:Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room/Tent" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room/tent for all night stops.
- About Accommodation:Camping in Kenya is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites inside of and nearby the national reserves and parks. These campsites generally are very basic, and we carry tents to pitch at the public campsites.
While camping at the Masai Mara, we stay at a basic permanent, private tented camp. The camp has simple walk-in “safari tents” with single beds & mattresses. There is no electricity for lights or charging batteries. The facilities here are basic, though there are flushing toilets and hot water (when the boiler is working).
Hotel accommodation will be in simple, but comfortable twin-share rooms. All rooms are equipped with adequate mosquito netting (with the exception of your hotel in Musanze, where mosquito nets are not needed due to high-altitudes).
Tented accommodation will be in simple furnished tents on wooden platforms, with shared bathroom facilities. All tents are large, walk-in tents with mosquito-netting, two beds and provided linens.
Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well as your sense of adventure.
- Joining Instructions:If you have not arranged an arrival transfer please make your way to the joining hotel. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is about 20 km from downtown and your hotel. There are a variety of ways to get into the city. The dedicated airport bus takes about 40min at USD 5, however an airport taxi is recommended. This can be booked either inside the airport at an 'information desk' or outside of the terminal. The price is approximately USD 20.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you 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. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
For any issues relating to pre-booked transfers for Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, including delays or missed transfers, please contact our airport transfer operator:
Phelix: +254 729 692 653 (from outside of Kenya)
Phelix: 0729 692 653(from within Kenya)
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Kenya)
Mr. Ashwin Bhatt
During office hours, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
From outside of Kenya: +254 721 474 814 or +254 729 163 545
From within Kenya: 0721 474 814 or 0729 163 545
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, of medium size, as well as a day pack.
For our camping style tours, you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, and liner (if you would like). We provide a walk-in “safari tent” with single beds, mattresses, small pillow and bedding in the Masai Mara, and a tent, small pillow, sleeping sheet, and the sleeping pads, for the remainder of the trip.
On this trip, you may experience several types of weather. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Nairobi. Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state - therefore take old clothing for trekking. Hard-wearing clothes, no bright colours, or no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended.
- Packing List:Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Gardening gloves (Highly recommended for gorilla trekking)
• Neutral coloured clothing (Your clothes will likely get very muddy - therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. No bright colours should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended)
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended.)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: The climate in East Africa varies between the dry and rainy season. Please ensure you bring a windproof rain jacket if you are travelling between April & May, October & November.
- Laundry:Hand washing of clothes can be done at campsites, as most have simple facilities for this. We recommend you bring a non-polluting/biodegradable soap, as well as a roll of simple string to act as a drying line for your clothes. If you arrive in the late afternoon, or if there is poor weather, it may not be possible for your clothes to completely dry. Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). The Kenyan Government has introduced an electronic visa process with effect from July 2nd. Travellers wishing to enter Kenya need to visit www.ecitizen.go.ke and follow instructions for processing their electronic visa in advance of their arrival into Kenya. As this measure was introduced with little advance notice, there is a grace period where travellers may continue to apply upon arrival into Kenya for their visa. You can obtain a visa for US$50. Please note that Kenya is now strictly enforcing a "blank pages, condition of entry". All those requiring a visa on arrival must have at least two blank pages available in their passports. Failure to meet this requirement could mean that entry will be refused. This information is accurate at the time of writing. Though as fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
East Africa Tourist Visa
An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and a confirmation letter received from the Rwanda immigration department if the first point of entry is Kigali, Rwanda. You should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD per person.
Please see below for more information:
Most nationalities need to apply for visa “facilitation” prior to visiting Rwanda. Please check the Rwanda immigration department’s official website – www.migration.gov.rw – which nationalities need a visa and which ones do not – it is VERY important to do this as travelers without the correct documentation with them will NOT be allowed to board their Rwanda bound flight. The visa facilitation is also applied for on this website and you normally get a confirmation in 3-5 working days. Please make sure you apply for this at least a month before your intended arrival to Rwanda. Bring a copy of the visa approval sent to you (VERY important) and pay for the visa at point of entry. Current cost for a 15 day tourist visa is US$ 50 per person (June 2015) – payable in US$ cash only. Please be aware that the US$ notes has to be from 2006 or newer, older notes are NOT accepted for payments in Rwanda.
** Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Rwanda.
Visas for Uganda for most nationalities must be obtained through an Electronic Visa application online in advance, and a payment of $50 USD cash will have to be made upon arrival to the border.
LIST OF COUNTRIES WHOSE NATIONALS DO NOT REQUIRE TO PAY FOR A VISA TO ENTER UGANDA:
Angola, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Burundi, Comoros, Cyprus, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Italy (Diplomatic Passport holders only), Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nationals of these countries are issued gratis (free of charge) visas upon their arrival.
This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
** Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Uganda.
It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country. Please check in with your local consulate and health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
- Detailed Trip Notes:REGIONAL INFORMATION
There are generally two rainy seasons - the short and the long rains. The short rains normally occur from late October through November, and the long rains from late March through to early June. A good time to visit is between late June and October when the rains have finished and the air is coolest. Alternatively, from late December to February or early March is another good time to visit, just after the short rains, but before the long rains; this is the warmest time of the year. The highest season for travellers into the region is in January and February, when the hot, dry weather is generally considered to be the most pleasant. During the rainy season it can be deceptively cold at times and evenings can be cool year round, so ensure you have adequate warm clothing such a a fleece or warm sweater.
The electric current in Kenya operates on 220 volts. Electric plugs types come in at least four sizes and vary throughout the country, however, the two rounded pin standard plug is acceptable in most parts of the country. 3 pin square plugs are most common.
The official languages are Swahili and English. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout.
KENYA - Official Statistics
Full country name: Republic of Kenya (Jamhuri Ya Kenya)
Area: 580,367 km2
Population: 34,256,000-July 2005 est. (31,138,735- 2002 Census)
Capital city: Nairobi
People: 22% Kikuyu, 14% Luhya, 13% Luo, 12% Kalenjin, 11% Kamba, 6% Kisii, 6% Meru, 16% other
Languages: English, Swahili, indigenous.
Religion: 35% Protestant, 30% Roman Catholic, 30% Muslim, 5% Animist
Government: Republic (multiparty state)
President: Uhuru Kenyatta
Major industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, beer, batteries, textiles, flour), agricultural processing, oil refining, chemicals, cement, tourism.
Major trading partners: Uganda, Tanzania, UK, Germany, UAE, South Africa
-At 580,367 km2 the country is two and a half times the size of Britain.
-The population is over 30 million and has one of the world’s fastest growth rates.
-Kenya gained independence in 1963 after 80 years of British rule.
-Most Kenyans are subsistence farmers.
-Coffee and tea are grown commercially and tourism is also a huge income for the country. The country is still in huge debt though and has few mineral resources and corruption is again a problem.
-The country lies on the equator and has good national parks and Mount Kenya the second highest peak in Africa. It also has good beaches and colourful people. Nairobi is the capital and Mombassa the countries port city.
- 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 and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:The local currency in Rwanda is the Rwanda Franc. In Uganda it is the Ugandan Shilling.
Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES, or KSH)
Shillings can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency.
Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Larger note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should something unforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Departure Tax:USD40, usually included in most international air tickets.
- Tipping:Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.
Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward.
The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:
CEO: $5 USD (per day)
Driver: $5 USD (per day)
Supply crew: $2-5 USD (per day)
Local guides: $1 USD (per couple of hours)
Restaurant/café servers: 10% of the cost of the bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required).
Trekking Guides in Uganda and Rwanda:
Certified Safari Guide/Driver: $10-15 USD (full day)
- Optional Activities:Nairobi
- The Carnivore Restaurant (51-82USD per person)
- Railway Museum (6USD per person)
- David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Visit (26-65USD per person)
- Karen Blixen Museum (34-73USD per person)
- National Museum (21-33USD per person)
- Bomas of Kenya Tour (26-65USD per person)
- Masai Mara Balloon Safari
- Bigodi Swamp Walk (20USD per person)
Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Kazinga Channel Cruise (30USD per person)
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Porter Hire (20USD per person)
- Health:We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
- South Africa
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
- Safety and Security: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. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
- Trip Specific Safety:Nairobi
-Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), traveller’s cheques, flight tickets and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit in your hotel room/reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures Adventure clients.
-Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc
-Please don’t wander through the city at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
-People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people!
-Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are most likely con men and try to get money from you in one way or another
-People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often con men, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari!
Please refrain from taking photos of police stations, airports, bus stations, immigration are border crossings, army barracks and personnel, or any government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.
Please exercise caution in the cities and always take a pre-arranged taxi if you go out at night.
At all times, please abide by all National park/reserve rules and always follow interactions from guides/trackers specifically, these are set to not just protect the wildlife but also to protect you.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any 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 our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:Minimum age of 15 years for this trip.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Itinerary (12 days)
Arrive at any time.
Journey through the Great Rift Valley on the way to one of the most famous national parks in Africa. Enjoy a late afternoon wildlife safari drive in the hopes of spotting the "big five".
Enjoy an early wildlife safari drive when animals are most active. Opt to visit a Masai village, learn to dance like a warrior, stop in the manyatta (family compound) and learn about this nomadic culture.
Enjoy a final wildlife safari drive before the journey back to Nairobi.
Travel from one bustling East African capital city to another. Relax in Kampala and await the second part of this epic adventure.
Take the scenic route to Fort Portal at the edge of Kibale National Park. Spend the night on a guest farm listening to the sounds of monkeys and birds.
Kibale National Park
Explore the evergreen rainforest and trek to spot chimps in the morning or afternoon. Enjoy a traditional lunch in the Bigodi Community.
Kibale NP/Queen Elizabeth NP
Continue on to Queen Elizabeth NP, stopping at the equator. Head out on a wildlife safari drive in the afternoon. Keep your eyes peeled for warthogs, elephants, buffalo, five different species of primates, and hippos.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Take an early morning wildlife safari drive and enjoy lunch inside the park. Opt for an evening cruise along the Kazinga Channel.
Queen Elizabeth NP/Bwindi Impenetrable NP
Enjoy the scenic drive south, with views of forests, volcanoes and lakes. Spend the night on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Rise early for the tour's main highlight – gorilla trekking!
Cross the border into Rwanda, then head to the capital city, Kigali. Visit the genocide museum to learn more about the dark history of this fascinating country. Enjoy lunch at the G Adventures supported Nyamirambo Women's Centre. Tour ends on arrival at hotel.