Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure

Valid for all trips departing January 3rd, 2014 - February 5th, 2016 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Meet mountain gorillas and other amazing wildlife on this 2-week overland adventure. Spot chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest and join experienced trackers while travelling deep into the Ugandan forests for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Our overland trucks are an adventurous and inexpensive way to see the highlights while wilderness camping will keep you in the thick of the action. Experience a world apart as you encounter the colourful cultures and wild landscapes of Kenya and Uganda.

  • See a mountain gorilla up close and personal
  • Search for chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest Reserve
  • Photograph diverse wildlife
  • Raft down the White Nile River in Jinja.
Duration: 14 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: 4
You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
Travel Style: Yolo
Adventures for 18 to thirty somethings

Designed for young, budget-minded travellers, Yolo trips maximize time and money by squeezing the most out of a destination. This ain't your typical big-bus tour, though. Small groups, insider access and personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment are the order of the day, every day.

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 & Uganda Gorilla Adventure (DKKU)

Day 1 Nairobi

Arrive in Nairobi and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening. Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the Visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border.

Day 2-3 Eldoret/Kampala (2B,2L,2D)

View varied landscapes as you cross over the Mau Mau Escarpment to Eldoret. Continue into Uganda and across the northern shores of Lake Victoria to camp in Kampala, Uganda's vibrant commercial centre.

With a population nearing 1,210,000, Kampala is the largest city in Uganda. It is located in the district of Kampala at 3,900 ft (1,189 m) above sea level. As with many African cities, traffic is quite heavy and its geographical size is quite large. We don't spend any time within the city and our campsite is located outside of the city.

Please note that these two days are mostly to traverse the large distances between Nairobi and the attractions in Uganda.

Day 2 Estimated Travel Time including stops: 9 hrs
Day 3 Estimated Travel Time including stops: 12 hrs

Day 4 Kalinzu Forest Reserve (1B,1L,1D)

Rise early to beat morning rush hour in Kampala and traverse the country, finishing in western Uganda. Have a leisurely evening and prepare for your chimpanzee tracking the next morning, on Day 5.

Estimated Travel Time: 11 hrs

Day 5-7 Gorilla Tracking/Lake Bunyonyi (3B,3L,3D)

Rise early on Day 5 and enjoy an included chimpanzee tracking excursion through the scenic Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Trek along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley escarpment to visit chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The forest trails offer amazing views over the Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, the Kazinga Channel and the Congo. The Kalinzu Forest Reserve is steeped in mysteries and rich with local legends. Learn about the folklore and uses of the forest from a local guide. Also visit a local tea plantation in the area.

We travel through gorgeous countryside to Lake Bunyonyi, our base for several days in the area. Our time in this lush, magical, mountainous region of Uganda is spent between enjoying the area of Lake Bunyonyi and many activities that it has to offer, and an unforgettable guided trek deep into the forest-sloped volcanoes for a wild encounter of a family of mountain gorillas (Gorilla Permits Included). Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home to approximately half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the world's most endangered ape. One of Africa's major highlights, a close encounter with these amazing animals is simply breathtaking.

Note that the gorilla trek is not particularly easy. The temperatures are high and the incline of the trek is often steep. The terrain includes muddy trails, passing through rivers and other natural obstacles. Once gorillas have been spotted, the guide will venture off-trail, cutting a trail through the jungle.

Ugandan authorities are fiercely protective of this natural treasure and currently permit only a maximum of 8 people per day to visit a given gorilla family. As such, the group will be split into different sub-groups for the trek, and depending on the amount of travellers there are total, different sub-groups may do their trek on different days. In the morning of your trek, you will drive in smaller vehicles to park office and meet with your included local mountain guides and optional porters, who you can hire to carry your personal items. The guides will brief you on the etiquette of gorilla trekking, after which, you set off into the forest. The trek can take from one to six hours and can exceed altitudes of 2500m. The terrain is rough and at times muddy and slippery. It is very important to bring along plenty of water. It can rain in a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential along with protective bags for your camera and accessories. We also suggest dressing in layers as often it's chilly at first until you start trekking and long sleeves and long pants to protect you from Stinging Nettle found in the forests.


Approximately 98% of the gorilla treks are successful but there is no guarantee that you will see the gorillas as they are constantly on the move.

For the rest of your time in the area, you will have the chance of several options of activities to choose from such as : fishing. canoeing on the lake, visiting the local community, renting a mountain bike to explore the area, etc. The area of Lake Bunyonyi is extremely peaceful and is a nature lover's paradise.

Estimated Travel Time to Lake Bunyonyi: 5 hours

Gorilla trek: Expect 4-5 hours of driving roundtrip and a hike between 30 minutes to six hours, depending on your luck spotting the gorillas.

Day 8 Kampala (1B,1L,1D)

Transfer back to the nation's capital. We're covering a lot of ground to get closer to our next stop in Jinja.

Approximate Distance: 520 km

Estimated Travel Time: 12 hrs

Day 9-10 Jinja (2B,2L,2D)

Head south to the shores of Lake Victoria and renowned as the “Source of the Nile”, Jinja is fast becoming the thrill-seeker's capital of Africa. Spend a full day rafting or kayaking down the Nile River, mountain biking in the Mabira Forest, volunteering with a local project, or just enjoying the relaxed vibe of Jinja.

Jinja, the second largest commercial centre in Uganda, is located on the shores of Lake Victoria near to the source of the White Nile. The resident population of Jinja is approximately 106,000 with the majority being Bantu in origin. Lusoga and Luganda are the main local languages.

Bujagali Falls was a waterfall near Jinja where the Nile River flows out of Lake Victoria. Some consider it the source of the Nile, but now the once beautiful falls and world-class kayaking spot have become submerged by the recently built Bujagali Dam.

Approximate Distance: 90 km
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs

Day 11-12 Eldoret/Nakuru (2B,2L,2D)

Travel back into Kenya for a night in Eldoret. In the morning, continue to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. 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 11 - Estimated Travel Time with stops including the border: 8 hrs
Day 12 - Estimated Travel Time including a game drive: 11 hrs

Day 13 Lake Naivasha (1B,1L,1D)

Stop off at the beautiful Lake Naivasha for an included flamingo and hippo spotting boat ride before lunch.

At the beautiful Lake Naivasha, spend your time enjoying various optional activities, such as a walking safari to view giraffes and antelope on Crescent Island, or a visit to the flamingo-filled Green Crater Lake, or simply viewing birds and wildlife around your camp - spotting ibis, lovebirds, fish eagles, hippo, and the black and white colobus monkey on the banks of this scenic lake.

Many animals call the area home; giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the lake's large hippo population sleep the day away out in the shallows.

Our campsite tonight has some basic but great facilities including a bar with games and food.

Approximate Distance: 75 km, Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs

Day 14 Nairobi (1B,1L)

Transfer to Nairobi, where the tour ends upon arrival in the late afternoon.

Approximate Distance: 90 km, Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs

What's Included

Entrance and chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Guided mountain gorilla trek with permits. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

See a mountain gorilla up close and personal, search for chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest Reserve, photograph diverse wildlife, raft down the White Nile River in Jinja.

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. An essential part of your safari is participation. The group is usually divided into small groups and given different tasks which change on a day to day basis, from kitchen duty group (helping in prepare meals and clean up afterwards), the packing group (sets up all tables and chairs outside) and the cleaning group (which cleans the truck by emptying the rubbish bin and brooming). it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your CEOs will do all the meal preparation, but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun! All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable.

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

3. Travelling in Africa can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in both Kenya and Uganda. This overland camping trip is about travelling to see what the region is like, and see some animals in game parks, to trek to see the mountain gorillas, along and some other sights in between. As such, we cover long distances and have long, bumpy travel days to to get to some of these amazing locations. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.

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

5. G Adventures can never guarantee the sighting of wildlife, especially when it comes to mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorilla trek is organized to ensure success. Before heading into the jungle, our local guides receive coordinates from trackers on the whereabouts of the gorillas, and the trackers stay with the gorillas until the group arrives.

Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas and chimps. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.

Group Leader Description

On this journey, you will be accompanied on your trip by 2 crew members - a Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and a CEO driver.

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. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. All of our CEOs in southern and East Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Your leader will be from either southern or East Africa depending on which part of the tour you are on.

All of our overland truck drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. All of our cooks will organize and lead the meal preparation, and have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

In Uganda, during the actual gorilla trek we use an experienced and certified local mountain guide, expert gorilla trackers, and armed guards to accompany you for your safety.

We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.

Group Size Notes

Max 22, avg 20.

Meals Included

13 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners.

Meals

As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. In Nairobi after your tour, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.

All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Please note that even though our cooks will try their utmost to provide you with a varied and interesting meals, the choices might be somewhat limited, based on what is available on the local market.

Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and 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 and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.

Your CEOs will do all the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties.

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 USD50-70 for meals and drinks not included.

Transport

Overland truck, minibuses, walking.

About our Transportation

This trip is done in a large 24 seat overland vehicle for most of the trip. This mode of transport allows the entire group to travel together, and sits higher, great for game viewing and to enjoy the scenic landscape.

Road conditions can run the full gamut from new to being in very poor condition. This style of travel is by no mean luxury, but it does allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and reaching some out-of-the way parts of East Africa where the traditional safari crowd would not dare to go.

Here’s a quick look at the well-equipped G Adventures overland truck:
- Storage for main luggage in a compartment under the seating area (accessed from the outside of the truck). Day packs can be stored at your feet (there is plenty of room).
- Onboard safety box(es) for valuables.
- Front view windows
- Large sliding windows, great for game viewing
- Kitchen equipment
- Intercom between seating area and driver
- Inverter for battery charging (South African plug - 220-240V)

Please note that our trucks do not have on-board bathrooms. Nor do they have seats that recline as often reclining seats will break, and thus you will have some seats that recline and some that don't.

In addition to the overland truck, in Uganda for the gorilla trek, we split the group into smaller vans in order to arrive in a more timely manner to the trail heads of the park.

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

Participation camping (11 nts), bush camping (1 nt), basic hotel (1 nt).

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 East Africa 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. We stay at designated campsites inside of and nearby the national parks. These campsites generally are very basic, and we carry tents to pitch at the public campsites.

The campsites in East Africa are generally good, but basic. Luxury here will mean electricity for charging, warm showers, flush toilets, shelter for eating. Rustic camps have no electricity, simple or no bathing facilities, and squatting long-drop latrines. Expect to see both extremes, though most fall somewhere within that spectrum.

All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes less than 10 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors.

We travel with our own portable camp chairs with a comfortable back-rest, and we utilize our own cooking equipment to provide the group good quality camp meals.

In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.

Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.

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 just outside the airport, 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. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

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 Representative (Uganda)
During office hours, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm:
Ben
From outside Uganda: +256 414 340 533 or +256 312 260 559
From within Uganda: 0414 340 533 or 0312 260 559

After hours emergency number
From outside Uganda: +256 772 616 021
From within Uganda: 0772 616 021

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 operator or 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

Finishing Point Instructions

The tour ends upon arrival into Nairobi, in the late afternoon, at the Hotel Boulevard in central Nairobi. In order to avoid any necessary issues with timing, please book your outgoing flight from Nairobi from 21:00 hrs or later.

There is no included accommodation for this night in Nairobi. You may choose to pre-reserve post-tour accommodation at 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 for other legs of a longer tour, you may leave a portion of it at the start hotel in Nairobi, 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.

On this trip you may experience several types of weather. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Nairobi.

We suggest you take something warm eg tracksuit, fleece or pullover for the mountainous areas i.e. Bwindi National Park. It is at a higher altitude and will therefore be cooler in the evenings - a jersey, anorak/wind jacket and tracksuit pants would be suggested. It will also be necessary to take some wet weather gear as it does rain in the mountainous areas of Uganda on a regular basis. We suggest lightweight rain gear for the walk to see the gorillas.

While gorilla trekking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy/slippery. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long pants to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. (Tracksuit pants often get caught on bushes, thorns, etc and jeans can get very heavy when wet). Gloves are also highly recommended – just cheap gardening gloves will do. Tuck your long pants into your socks/boots to avoid biting insects. Also take a water bottle, and a day pack for camera gear and to carry your jacket if it’s too warm.

Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state - therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. Hard wearing clothes, no bright colours, or no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended.

Checklist

-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
-Windproof/waterproof jacket and pants
-Gardening gloves
-Waterproof hiking boots
-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
-Sleeping bag
-small travel pillow
-Sport sandals
-Sun hat, Bandana
-Sunblock
-Sunglasses
-Watch or alarm clock
-Water bottle
-Insect repellent
-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

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

Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, maps, guidebooks, bag or pouch for camera equipment during hikes

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 dossier
-Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Hand washing of clothes can be done at most of the campsites. 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 in Nairobi also has a laundry service for a fee.

Visas

All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.

Please note that upon arrival by air to Nairobi, Kenya, you can obtain a visa for US$50 in cash (with fresh dollar bills). This visa is normally valid for up to 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Uganda and Tanzania only. 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.

Please note that a visa is necessary for entry to Uganda, available on arrival for most nationalities; a visa is obtailable for US$50 in $US cash (valid for those who would be permitted a Uganda visa while still in their own country). This visa is valid for 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Tanzania and Kenya only.

Border crossing from Kenya to/from Uganda through Malaba Border Post.

This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.

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 Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX, or USH), and in 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 an envelope. 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: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Driver / Camp Cook / CEO US$3/4 each, per day worked, per traveller.

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.

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.

Please note that the price of this tour includes all national park and permit fees for the gorilla tracking experience in Uganda. As such, you will not be expected to pay any other fees in order to take part in this amazing experience on this tour—we include all fees of this activity within the selling price.

KENYA
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
Elephant orphanage USD6 (only open from 11am-noon daily, approx. 30 mins from hotel)

UGANDA

Jinja
Rafting Half/Full day $115/$125
Tandem Kayak Half/Full day $85/$125
Quad Biking Half/Full day $70/$110

Bunyonyi
Bird Watching $5
Nature Walk $5
Canoeing $8 per canoe
Traditional Dance Show $20
Fishing $5
Boat Tour of Lake $20/15 mins, $25/1 hr.

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 and Uganda have 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 and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes 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.

Yellow Fever Certificate Notes:
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to South Africa from a Yellow Fever endemic country. Entry into South Africa when travelling from the following countries (but not limited to) will require a Yellow Fever Certificate: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This rule is also applicable to airport transit. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited (such as Botswana and Namibia), after visiting an endemic country such as Zambia, then a Yellow Fever certificate will still be required on entry into South Africa.

A valid Yellow Fever Certificate is also needed for entry into the following countries when coming from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Malawi and Zambia.

East African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness): This is a serious parasitic disease that is always fatal without treatment. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies, found only in parts of Eastern and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent African trypanosomiasis.

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. 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.

Precautions against insect bites:
* Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants at all times.
* Wear khaki or olive-colored clothing. Tsetse flies are attracted to bright and dark colors.
* Inspect vehicles for tsetse flies before entering.
* Use insect repellent. Although repellents have not proven effective in preventing tsetse fly bites, they are effective in preventing other insects from biting and causing illness.

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), other valuables 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.