On this epic journey, explore some of the finest national parks in East Africa, from Kenya’s Masai Mara to the incomparable Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Keep your binoculars at hand on a trip to Lake Nakuru, a birder’s paradise; and seek out lions, leopards, and rhino in the wilds of the Serengeti. In between safaris, learn about local customs on a visit to a Maasai community and share a meal with a family in the vibrant Mto wa Mbu village.
- Travel Style : National Geographic Journeys
- Service Level : Upgraded
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Merchandising : Planeterra Project
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Made, Maai Mahiu
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kenya Wildlife Service Talk, Amboseli National Park
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Clean Cookstove Project Talk, Mto wa Mbu
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture, Serengeti National Park
Your G for Good Moment: Café Ubuntu , Maai Mahiu
Your G for Good Moment: Mto wa Mbu Village Visit and Lunch, Mto wa Mbu
Your G for Good Moment: Clean Cookstove Project Visit, Mto wa Mbu. Arrival transfer. Wildlife safari drives in Masai Mara National Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli, Lake Manyara, and the Serengeti. Entrance to Olduvai Gorge Museum. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Track the Big Five across the Serengeti and Masai Mara, Enjoy daily wildlife safari drives in Kenya's premier wildlife park, Meet some of the "Maasai Mamas" and learn about the Clean Cookstoves Project
- 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. MIGRATION
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.
2. COMBO TRIP
DKTNG passengers will be dropped at the Namanga border crossing en route to Nairobi on day 7 to continue their journey into Tanzania. All other passengers will return to Nairobi.
This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
3. TRAVEL DAYS
This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in Kenya. A safari is about travelling to see animals, so we cover long distances crossing the country to visit different wildlife parks. Once there, we spend the majority of the time viewing wildlife while driving in the parks. 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.
All lodges will have electricity although many work off generators with limited times.
The power supply in Kenya is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
5. YELLOW FEVER
It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country(s) visited. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Please note all accommodation is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.
- Group Leader Description:Throughout the entire 14-day journey in Kenya and Tanzania, you will be accompanied on your trip by a G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager and leader. He/she organizes the trip, and will be there to assist you when needed. Your leader may be Kenyan or Tanzanian respectively on each of the sections or the same person for both sections. He/she will have a general knowledge base of the region and wildlife and will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. To round out the team, our skilled and experienced drivers are also certified safari guides. You will have two different drivers - a Kenyan who knows the roads, conditions, and wildlife in his country, and a Tanzanian who is the expert in his country.
- Group Size Notes:Max 6, Avg 5.
- Meals Included:12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners
- Meals:These meals are provided at the hotels or lodges in which you are accommodated. When an evening meal is not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or your will be advised of a good local establishment. All meals you have during your trip will be prepared from fresh local produce. All hotels cater to vegetarians; however, any other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
- Transport:7-seat 4x4 safari vehicle, private minibus, walking.
- About our Transportation:This trip is done in private 7-seat 4x4 safari vehicles, with sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vehicles are designed for wildlife viewing. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor, and during the dry season especially, the roads can become very dusty. This style of travel is the best under the local circumstances, as the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicle allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and to stay and watch that crouching lion prepare for an attack. The journey between Kenya and Tanzania will be done on a private mini bus, varying in size depending on the group size. If you are returning to Nairobi from Arusha at the end of your safari and have pre-booked your "shuttle" transfer through G Adventures, you will travel in a public shuttle; these are large mini buses with seating for 22-24 passengers.
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.
- Solo Travellers:We believe single 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 single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Hotels (3 nts), safari lodge (1 nt), comfortable tented camps (8 nts).
- My Own Room:Please note if you have booked the My Own Room/Tent option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops.
- About Accommodation:Start and end hotels on this tour offer comfortable accommodations with en-suite bathrooms, standard facilities, and wifi. Additional amenities vary from location to location. Please see the hotel listings on the Full Itinerary if you would like to learn more about the offerings of your accommodations.
The tented camp accommodations on this tour are situated centrally, with easy access to the park for wildlife safari drives. Tents are typically spacious with mosquito-proof netting, comfortable bedding, and en-suite bathroom with flushing toilets and camping showers.
Please remember that hotel/lodge/camp standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel.
1) Under certain circumstances we reserve the right to change accommodation and provide something slightly different to what is described, though it will always be of similar or better standard/level.
2) Most lodges and camps do not have 24hr electricity - they usually run on generators which are routinely shut off overnight from approximately 10pm to 5am.
3) Lodges and camps are NOT equipped with fans or air conditioning due to the electricity constraints listed above.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Our driver will be waiting for you with a National Geographic Journeys sign with your name on it, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There most likely will be many signs, so please check carefully for your name. In the unlikely case, you are unable to find the guide after 30 minutes, please call our our local support line
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel via your included transfer. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app.
If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer. Check-in time at your start hotel will be in the afternoon.
Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1.
Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO 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.
- 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, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
We strongly advise you to pre-purchase your entry visa prior to arrival as queuing for the visa at the airport can cause long delays in clearing customs. This is especially relevant if you have pre-booked an airport transfer.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer, it is necessary to make contact with our representative, who waits with a G Adventures sign outside the secure baggage-retrieval area, within 1.5 hours (90 minutes) of your flight's scheduled arrival time. No refunds will be granted if you fail to make contact with our representative within this reasonable time. After such time, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions.
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you receive notification of a flight schedule change outside of 48 hours before your flight is scheduled to arrive, please contact us to advise of your new flight details.
From within Australia - 1-300-796-618
From within Canada or the United States - 1-800-465-6500
From within the UK - 0870 999-0144
From anywhere else - +1-416-260-0999
*Important note* If you are advised of the flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please contact the airport transfer operator listed as the emergency contact for your tour which can be found below. 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.
- 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 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
- Finishing Point Instructions:This tour ends on day 13. You are free to depart any time this day.
Kilimanjaro International Airport is approximately 40km and 40 minutes from Arusha. A taxi is 50-60 USD per car, but we recommend that you contact your airline in Arusha, as some airlines may have a free airport shuttle from Arusha.
If you are returning to Nairobi, Kenya, there is a public shuttle bus that leaves Arusha at 8:00am and 14:00pm daily to Nairobi. It is a direct bus, and with border formalities, the trip usually takes 6 hours. Our finishing point hotel offers this service with their own buses, and this can be organized the evening before at your hotel. In addition, for your convenience, you may pre-reserve a seat on our partner shuttle service through G Adventures.
- 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, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are travelling with a large amount of luggage and will be returning to Nairobi later in your trip, you may leave a portion of it at the start hotel, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.
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 safari trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Nairobi and Arusha.
- Packing List:Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• 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
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
• 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:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge. You should write a list of items that you send for washing. It will be difficult for hotels to have your laundry ready if you arrive in the late afternoon and leave the next morning, so the lodges in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti would be best, since you are in each of those locations for at least 2 days.
- 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.
A visa for Tanzania can be obtained when entering the country by land with the group, for most nationals for a standard fee of US$50, though the current cost of a Tanzanian Visa for U.S. nationals is $100. The border post we cross to enter Tanzania is called Namanga. This is also valid for up to 3 months, with multiple entries among Uganda and Kenya permitted. 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 you should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD.
Please see below for more information:
It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country(s) visited. 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:American Dollars that are series 1999 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, because of past forgeries.
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 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 electric current in Tanzania operates on 230V, 50Hz.
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.
TANZANIA - Official Statistics
Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania)
Area: 945,087 km2
Population: 38,329,000-July 2005 est (34,443,603-2002 census)
Capital city: Dodoma
People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic
Languages Swahili, English, indigenous.
Religion: 40% Christian, 33% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs
Government: Republic (multi-party state)
President: Benjamin William Mkapa
Major industries: Tobacco, sugar, sisal, diamond and gold mining, oil refining, cement, tourism
Major trading partners: India, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, U.K., Saudi Arabia, China Currency: Tanzanian shilling
• The name is name made up from an amalgamation of TANganyika and ZANzibar.
• Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa (although not in Africa as a whole, the Sudan is 3 times larger); it’s landmass covering an area of just over 945,087 sq. km (including Zanzibar).
- This makes Tanzania about the size of France, Germany and Switzerland combined; 3 times the size of the entire British Isles or one-tenth the size of the whole of the USA.
- Tanzania’s population at the last official census was 31.3 million, with approximately one third being classified as “urban”.
- Agriculture forms roughly half of GDP and agriproducts (e.g.: coffee, tea, tobacco, cashew nut, sisal, cotton) some 75% of export earnings. • Dodoma, in central Tanzania, is the political capital of the country although Dar es Salaam is the effective trading and business capital, with its safe harbour ("Dar es Salaam” means “Haven of Peace”), international airport and population of some 1.75million.
- 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 Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES, or KSH)., and in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH).
Each of the countries visited on this tour has their own currency, and all 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, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($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 rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
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 somethingunforeseen 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:USD30, 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 a 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 a 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: $5-10 USD (per day)
Driver: $5-10 USD (per day)
Local guides: $1 USD (per couple of hours)
Safari Supply Driver (Serengeti Balloon Ride): $3-5 USD (per full day)
Restaurant/café servers: 10% of the cost of the bill
- Optional Activities:Masai Mara
- Masai Mara Balloon Safari
Serengeti National Park
- Serengeti Balloon Safari (599USD per person)
- IIkidinga Village Hike & Visit (110-185USD per person)
- Arusha National Park Tour (200-500USD per person)
- Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre (Free)
- 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!
Many of the above precautions should also be taken in Arusha, however this town generally has a more relaxed and friendly vibe. But due to carrying 70% of the tourism in Tanzania, there are many beggars, street sellers and safari touts. These are best avoided by a polite but firm NO THANK YOU!
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.
- 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 prostitutes 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 use prostitutes.
- Travel Insurance: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 CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. 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:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- 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.
- Max Pax:6
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout and certified driver/guide.
Itinerary (13 days)
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
Travel to our comfortable tented camp, located in the heart of the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve. Head out for an afternoon safari through vast, acacia-dotted plains, driving past throngs of wildebeest, zebra, and giraffes; and keep an eye out for lions, elephants, and the rest of the African “big five.”
Opt for an early morning hot air balloon safari, or embark on a wildlife drive to track the animals that traversed the savanna during the night. View ungulates like Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi and eland antelopes—as well as their stealthy predators—at one of their most active times of the day. Continue your exploration on a late afternoon safari, discovering the timeless landscapes of Masai Mara.
Masai Mara/Lake Nakuru National Park
Depart early for Lake Nakuru, known for harbouring flocks of pink flamingos and a rich variety of bird species. Stop en route at Café Ubuntu, a G Adventures–supported project that trains and employs local women and mothers of children with disabilities. Visit the craft centre to meet some of the women who create the wares sold there, then sit down for a delicious farm-to-table lunch. Continue to our safari lodge inside Lake Nakuru National Park, and seek out the resident rhinos on a late afternoon wildlife drive.
Lake Nakuru National Park/Amboseli National Park
After a morning safari around Lake Nakuru, venture south to the renowned Amboseli National Park, situated at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro—the world’s highest freestanding peak. The grass and marshlands surrounding the mountain provide prime habitat for elephants, making the park one of the best places in Africa to see these majestic animals.
Amboseli National Park
Immerse yourself in the drama of Amboseli on morning and afternoon safaris. Encounter local Maasai tribespeople and the resident elephant herds, and keep an eye out for the savanna’s smaller creatures—including some of the more than 400 bird species that have been identified here. Meet a representative from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), a government institution dedicated to managing Kenya’s wildlife, and gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding ivory poaching and elephant conservation.
Amboseli National Park/Arusha
After a morning of wildlife viewing, continue the journey to Arusha, gateway to the Serengeti and the northern parks of Tanzania.
Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park
Visit Mto wa Mbu village for a guided cultural walk and a traditional lunch with a local family. Continue to our safari camp located outside Lake Manyara National Park. The camp provides unobstructed views of the Rift Valley Escarpment. Embark on an afternoon wildlife safari drive with phenomenal wildlife viewing and search out the famed tree-climbing lions.
Lake Manyara National Park/Serengeti National Park
Travel to a Maasai village to learn about the G Adventures–sponsored Clean Cookstoves Project, dedicated to providing clean-burning cookstoves to Maasai communities throughout Tanzania. Enjoy a presentation by a Masaai woman on the impact of the project, and take a guided tour of the village, visiting traditional homes or bomas and helping build a new stove. Continue to our safari camp in Serengeti National Park, stopping en route at the Olduvai Gorge Museum and Visitor’s Center—located near the site where National Geographic archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered early hominid fossils and stone tools in 1960.
Serengeti National Park
Immerse yourself in the splendor of the Serengeti, one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife reserves. Discover the park’s iconic creatures on an optional hot-air balloon safari at sunrise, and set out in a 4x4 on morning and afternoon game drives through the rippling grasslands. With luck, spot all of Africa’s “big five,” and visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre for a talk by one of the visiting scientists.
Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro
Depart the Serengeti this morning, looking out for the park’s wild denizens along the drive. Check in to our comfortable tented camp in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy a fiery African sunset from the deck.
More than 12 miles in diameter, the Ngorongoro Crater is the largest non-flooded caldera in the world and is inhabited by some 25,000 animals. Descend into this green-walled paradise early in the morning on safari, riding past herds of zebra, gazelles, and buffalo, and keep your eyes peeled for a pride of lions or a lone leopard. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the floor of the crater; then drive to Arusha.
Depart at any time.