Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 25th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

From dramatic savannahs to the Great Rift Valley, experience Kenya in all its glory. Travel the vast open plains and rolling hills of the Masai Mara and scour the wilderness for Africa’s Big Five. Full-service camping under the big African sky will bring you closer to the region’s wildlife and gets you off the beaten path so you can really experience this land's unique culture. Our small safari vehicles minimize drive times and improve your chances of snapping that perfect shot of some of the most amazing animals on the planet.

  • Explore the Masai Mara Reserve
  • Visit a Samburu village
  • Visit three of Kenya's best game parks and reserves
  • Take in views of the Great Rift Valley
Duration: 9 days
Start/Finish City: Nairobi to Nairobi
Service Level: Camping
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Camping most nights with some hotel stays to start and throughout
  • Private transport to out-of-the-way places in order to keep your gear stowed and secure
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Kenya Camping Safari (DKWA)

Day 1 Nairobi

Arrive in Nairobi any time and make your way to the joining point hotel. A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening on Day 1 of your tour. Upon arrival look for information from your tour leader on the hotel bulletin board regarding the meeting time.

Take today to wander the streets of central Nairobi, taking in old colonial architecture and the brightly coloured crowds to get a feel for Africa. The city’s best attraction is the National Museum, home to most of the great prehistoric finds made by the Leakey family in East Africa, from Ethiopia to the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It also has sections on wildlife, art, geology, local history and a snake park.

West of the city, the suburb of Karen is named after Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa”. Her house is now the Karen Blixen Museum, complete with a garden and tea house, it tells the history of the famous author.

South of Nairobi, in Langata, are a number of the city's best attractions. At the Giraffe Centre, you'll have the option of hand-feeding the rare Rothschild giraffes, plus embarking upon a nature walk with 160 species of bird. The Sheldrick Animal Orphanage cares for young, orphaned elephants. The Bomas of Kenya is a living open-air museum of the tribes of Kenya, including regular dance performances. The Nairobi National Park is just south of the city, and covers 114 sq km. It has over 400 bird species of and populations lions, leopards, and one of the country’s few thriving populations of black rhino.

The name Nairobi is derived from the Masai word for cool waters, which the Masai people gave to a water hole known as Ewaso Nyirobi. In modern times, the sprawling, cosmopolitan city of Nairobi combines the first-world glamour of reflecting-glass skyscraper buildings with abject developing-world poverty. It originated in 1899 from a handful of shacks that marked the end of the railhead during the building of the Uganda railway. Due to big game hunting bringing tourists from Britain, the city expanded dramatically in the early 1900’s. A large number of British nationals settled in the area, prompting more growth and this angered both the Masai and Kikuyu people, as they were losing hunting ground due to the expansion of the city limits. The friction increased and, eventually led to the Mau Mau uprising, which saw Jomo Kenyatta, the future president jailed. Kenya was granted independence from Britain in 1963, with Nairobi as the capital.

Apart from being Kenya’s capital and the main centre of government and commerce, Nairobi is the most significant city in East Africa and an important player on the pan-African stage. It is the diplomatic base for many counties in Africa, with its broad spectrum of international embassies and headquarters for the United Nations, multi-national companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and press correspondents. It’s also the center of the growing safari business of East Africa.

Days 2-3 Samburu Game Reserve (2B,2L,2D)

Approximate Distance: 365 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7-8 hrs

This morning we depart Nairobi and drive north through the farmlands of the Kikuyu people, passing Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain (5199m), on our way to the Samburu Game Reserve. Samburu is a wildlife haven to many species rarely found elsewhere. We enjoy an afternoon game drive in search of the northern species of game that are not seen south of the equator, such as the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa oryx and Somali ostrich. On day 3, we spend a full day game viewing in search of the "Big 5" - elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, and buffalo - in addition to another creature of the area - the long-necked gerenuk (meaning giraffe neck), a graceful antelope that stands upright on its hind legs to feed on tall bushes.

The Samburu National Reserve, situated on the banks of Uaso Nyiro River (meaning brown water), is located in the Samburu district of the Rift Valley province, approximately 350 km north of Nairobi. With an area of 188 km sq, Samburu National Reserve was established in 1948 as part of the enormous Marsabit National Reserve. This region is referred to as the Northern Frontier District because of the war in the 1960's and early 70's with the Somali people. The reserve offers good views of nearby Mount Koitogor and Mount Ololokwe, and thanks to its proximity to the Uaso Nyiro river, a vast variety of animals consider the area encompassed by the reserve their home territory.

There are over 50 species of wild animals in the reserve, including the “Big 5”. With roughly 450 indigenous bird species in the reserve, and many aquatic species in the Uaso Nyiro River, this reserve is one of the most diverse in Kenya. It also has a wonderful mixture of acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation.

The local population of the neighbouring communities are of the Samburu tribe, a clan of the Masai people, some of whom we will meet during our Samburu village visit. Historically nomadic people, the Samburu live in a tradition largely untouched to modern development. They have maintained their culture by continuing their ancient traditions as nomadic pastoralists, often herding their animals to fresh pasture and water, we will likely see them near the river along the reserve boundaries.

Day 4-5 Lake Nakuru (2B,2L,2D)

Approximate Distance: 348 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7-8 hrs

Descend into the Great Rift Valley enjoying stunning views of the escarpment on the way. Lake Nakuru is a shallow soda lake with over 460 species of birds. On Day 5, embark on a safari within Lake Nakuru National Park, in search of the resident black and white rhino, buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard.

Kenya's fourth largest town and the capital of the Rift Valley province, Nakuru, meaning “dusty place” in the Masai language, is a cheerful and vibrant agricultural town with a variety of coulourful local markets. We camp outside of the town itself, at the edge of Lake Nakuru National Park, the area’s principal highlight and best natural attraction. Time and weather permitting there may be an opportunity to visit a local tea farm and see how the tea is grown, picked and produced.

Lake Nakuru National Park began in 1961 as a small protected territory, only encompassing the famous lake of the same name, and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Now it has been extended to include a large part of the area’s grassland savannahs and woodland slopes, and covers an area of roughly 188 km sq.

The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide the sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are better than in other parks. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again translocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Numerous other mammals can be seen, including zebra, impala, gazelle, waterbuck, lion, warthog, bushbuck, many buffalo, and even at times leopard.

Day 6-7 Masai Mara (2B,2L,2D)

Approximate Distance: 368 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7-8 hrs

After breakfast, we depart for the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. With its vast open plains and distinctive flat-topped acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit here! In the afternoon we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our permenant tented camp, our base for our time here. Then we make our way into the reserve for an afternoon game viewing drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino.

Day 7 starts with an early morning game drive, since the best time to spot wildlife is in the early hours of the morning. The day continues with more game viewing as you criss-cross the rolling hills of the African savannah. You will also have a chance to try the optional balloon safari, in addition to stopping at a Masai village to learn about, and interact with, the local Masai people.

The Masai Mara (also spelled Maasai Mara) is a game reserve in south-western Kenya, which is effectively the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Named for the Masai tribes people, who are the traditional inhabitants of the area, and the Mara River, which divides it, the reserve is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual migration of the wildebeest every September and October, a migration so immense to be called the Great Migration. Thousands of wildebeest die in the crossing due to crocodile attacks. The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving an immensity of herbivores: some 1,300,000 wildebeest, 360,000 Thomson's gazelle, and 191,000 zebra.

With an area of 1510 km sq., the Masai Mara is not the largest game park or reserve in Kenya, but it is probably the most famous. The entire area of the park is nestled within the enormous Great Rift Valley that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to Mozambique. The terrain of the reserve is primarily open grassland, with clusters of the distinctive acacia tree in the south-east region. The western border is the Esoit Oloololo Escarpment of the Rift Valley, and wildlife tends to be most concentrated here, as the swampy ground means that access to water is always good. The easternmost border is 224 km from Nairobi.

The Masai Mara is perhaps most famous for its lions, though the other members of the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhinoceros) are as well found. This said, the population of black rhinoceros is severely threatened, with a population of only 37 recorded in 2000. Hippopotami are found in large groups in the Masai Mara and Talek Rivers, and many cheetah, zebra, impala, gazelles, hartebeest, warthog, ostrich, topi, the Masai giraffe, among other mammals, all consider the “Mara” their home territory. As well, the large Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders. Like in the Serengeti in Tanzania, the wildebeest are the dominant inhabitant of the Masai Mara, and their numbers are estimated in the millions. Around July of each year these animals migrate in a vast ensemble north from the Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October. These numerous migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by a block of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena.

The Masai Mara is a also major research centre for the spotted hyena. Additionally, over 450 species of birdlife have been identified in the park, including vulture, marabou, secretary bird, hornbill, crowned crane, ostrich, long-crested eagle, and pygmy falcon.

Day 8 Nairobi (B,L)

Approximate Distance: 285 km
Estimated Travel Time: 7-8hrs

This morning we make our last game drive in the Masai Mara before heading back to Nairobi. In Nairobi you have an opportunity to buy some lovely local handicrafts, or exchange some photographs with your group in the late afternoon, before enjoying your last safari evening together.

Day 9 Depart Nairobi (B)

Depart any time.

What's Included

Samburu village visit and game drives. Lake Nakuru visit. Safari in Lake Nakuru National Park. Game drives in Masai Mara Game Reserve. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore the Masai Mara Reserve, visit a Samburu village, visit three of Kenya's best game parks and reserves, take in views of the Great Rift Valley

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. The idea of camping in Africa can be a daunting one. For those not accustomed to ‘roughing it’ for a few days we offer a full camping service. All tents are pitched for you, meals are prepared and served and the washing up is done by G Adventures staff. This leaves you with more time to enjoy your surroundings and is ideal for first-time campers who may be worried about the challenges such a trip can entail.
When camping we are exposed to the elements, and whilst there are times when the weather is fine and temperatures are pleasant, there may be days when it is foggy, rainy and cool. In certain locations there may also be a number of bugs. These factors, however, should be seen as minor downsides to a camping experience which will allow you to get up close to the beautiful nature that Africa has to offer.
All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply canvas dome tents with built-in mesh insect nets on the doors and windows. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable. Please note drinking water, ice, and fire wood are not provided but can be bought locally with the assistance of the Chief Experience Officer.

2. Sleeping bags can not be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari trips

3. 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 Game 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.

4. 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 game parks. Once there, we spend the majority of the time viewing game 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.

5. A Yellow Fever certificate is required if you are traveling to Kenya from a Yellow Fever endemic country. These certificates are required not only for passengers coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission but also those who may have transited through such countries. Incoming passengers who do not have the Certificate and are required to have it will be vaccinated at the Airport if they wish to enter the country. The cost of the vaccination is 1,000 Kenyan Shillings.

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.

8. Please note that 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.

9. The power supply in Kenya is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.

Group Leader Description

Throughout the entire 9-day journey around Kenya, you will be accompanied on your trip by a G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO). To round out the team, you will be joined by an expert driver/guide, and a camp cook.. 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 from East Africa, or another country outside of the region, and will have a general knowledge base of the region and wildlife. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. 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.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 10

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners.

Meals

When an evening meal is not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or your will be advised of a good local restaurant. All camp meals you have during your trip will be prepared from fresh local produce. 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. Many lunches will be provided en-route 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. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.

Meal Budget

Allow USD30-45 for meals and drinks not included.

Transport

7-seat 4x4 safari vehicle(s), supply vehicle for equipment when necessary.

About our Transportation

This trip is done in private 7-seat 4x4 safari vans. With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vans are designed for game viewing. If there is a large group, 2 vehicles will be used, and the group will be split up. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor, and during dry seasons, the roads can become very dusty. 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.

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

Simple hotels (2 nts), full-service camping (4 nts), permanent tented camps (2 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room 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.

The campsite in Samburu are basic - being a public camp run by the local council. You will have no electricity, only gas lanterns in the evening, access to shared bathrooms with long drop toilets and cold showers. These first 4 nights camping will be in dome tents. At the Masai Mara, we will stay in a simple permanent tented camp. These are 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

The idea of camping in Africa can be a daunting one. For those not accustomed to ‘roughing it’ for a few days we offer a full camping service. All tents are pitched for you, meals are prepared and served and the washing up is done by G Adventures staff. This leaves you with more time to enjoy your surroundings and is ideal for first-time campers who may be worried about the challenges such a trip can entail.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Boulevard
Harry Thuku Rd
P.O. Box 42831 - 00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0) 20 222 7567/8/9
Cell: +254 (0) 722 200 755 / (0) 733 623 727
Fax: +254 20 317 825

Joining Instructions

On arrival in Nairobi, an arrival transfer is not included. 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 a pre-booked transfer, please look for the driver, who will be holding a sign with the G Adventures logo on it. He will be in front of INFORMATION DESK just ouside the secured baggage retrieval area. At times there are taxi drivers who will want to get your business, so please be aware of them and look for our G Adventures representative. For security purposes, your name will not be on the G Adventures sign. As well, please do not tell the driver your name straight away, but rather ask the driver FIRST to tell you who they are meant to pick up. This will ensure that you go with the right driver.

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, though a brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening of day 1. Here you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Upon arrival to the hotel, look for a notice from your CEO with information regarding this group meeting. If you arrive late and miss the meeting, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

The tour departs Nairobi in the morning of day 2.

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.
Sales offices:
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.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
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:
Patrick: +254 707 889 920 or +254 732 874 566 (from outside of Kenya)
Patrick: 0707 889 920 or 0732 874 566 (from within Kenya)

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
Emergency number
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: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
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, 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 wish to leave a portion of it at the start hotel, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.

For our camping style tours you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, small pillow and sleeping sheet (if you would like). We provide the tent and the sleeping pads.

It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game 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.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
-Windproof/waterproof jacket
-Small towel and swimwear
-4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
-Long-sleeved shirt or sweater for evenings
-1 pair of shorts
-2 pairs of long trousers
-1 pair hiking pants/track pants
-Comfortable shoes
-Winter hat/Warm hat, warm gloves/mittens
-Warm sleeping bag
-small travel pillow
-Sport sandals
-Sun hat, Bandana
-Sunblock
-Sunglasses
-Watch or alarm clock
-Water bottle
-Purification tablets or filter (bottled water is also available for purchase)
-Pocketknife
-Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
-Money belt
-First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
-Toiletries (biodegradable)
-Hand sanitizer gel/Sanitizer wipes
-Toilet paper
-Camera and extra memory card/film
-Extra batteries (recommended)
-Electricity Plug Adapter
-Binoculars

For donation: notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children

Optional Items: reading/writing material, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks

Documents:
-Passport (with photocopies)
-Travel insurance (with photocopies)
-Yellow fever certificate
-Airline tickets (with photocopies)

-Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
-G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
-Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

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. Your start/end hotel also has laundry service for a fee.

Visas

All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Please note that upon arrival by air to Nairobi, Kenya, you can obtain a visa for US$50. This visa is valid for up to 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Tanzania and Uganda only (the "single entry" part means single entry within the East African Community). A transit visa, which is valid for 6 nights / 7 days within Kenya, for one entry into Kenya only, costs US$10 OR 10 GBP OR 10 EUR or 10 SWF. 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.

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.

REGIONAL INFORMATION
Climate
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.

Electricity
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.

Language
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

INTERESTING FACTS
-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

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, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($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

USD40, usually included in most international air tickets.

Tipping

Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as 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 separate envelopes for the CEO, the driver guide and the support staff. These three envelopes can then be presented to the staff at the end of the trip. This often works the best and the group as a whole 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 client format: Chief Experience Officer: US$5-7 (full day); Certified Safari Guide/Driver: US$3-5 (full day); Camp Cook, Supply Driver US$2-3 (full day); Local guide (optional activities) $1 for a couple hours; Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required).

Optional Activities

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

All prices are listed in US dollar amounts, per person, and are examples of the entrances fees charged - this does not include hiring transport to/from the destination. And the majority of the activities should be paid in local currency.

Nairobi
Bomas of Kenya $9
Giraffe Centre $11
Karen Blixen Museum $12
Nairobi National Park $60
Nairobi Safari Walk, Animal Orphanage and Impala Sanctuary $20
National Archives F.O.C.
National Museum $10
Railway Museum $5
The Carnivore Restaurant $35 set meal

Outside Nairobi
Masai Mara balloon safari $430 - $450
Masai village tour $20 per village

Please note, the optional Masai village visited in the Masai Mara is not to everyone’s taste. The Masai have been known to use aggressive sales techniques to pressure tourists into buying trinkets. G Adventures does not endorse this activity as we feel this experience does not represent an authentic village, nor do we feel that the entrance fee represents good value. Proceed with caution!

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

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.

Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor for travel in East Africa. Be aware that Kenya has many regions where malaria is present. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Travellers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. An important item to include is a liquid or gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes, as they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help, but good, clean, and inexpensive bottled water is widely available throughout the entire trip. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you must inform G Adventures prior to the purchase of the tour, and upon arrival, to the CEO so he/she can be prepared to help you.

Sand flies and Mosquitos:
Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitos are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings. Protective clothing, and insect repellent are highly recommended during these times.

Malaria:
This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying the parasite. These mosquitos are found at altitudes of under 1,800m, and thus can be found in most areas that we visit on this tour. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.

Sun:
It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.

Hydration
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two litres of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when travelling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.

Diarrhoea:
It is normal for people travelling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.

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:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

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!

Photography
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.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

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

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

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 customerservice@gadventures.com 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.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.