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Usambara Mountain Cultural Trek

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2012 - December 31st, 2012 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Tucked away in northeastern Tanzania, the Usambaras are among the most biodiverse regions in the world. Covered by a thick canopy of tropical forest, the mountains offer terrain and wildlife uncommon throughout the rest of Africa. Using public transport and your own feet, this adventure will take you deep into the hills to isolated villages to meet the people who make this unique land their home, lodging in basic guesthouses along the route. Like vigorous exercise, impossibly fresh air, personal contact and jaw-dropping scenery? Prepare to fall in love.

  • Trekking through rustic villages and indigenous forests
  • Interacting with the local communities and enjoying the magnificent views on offer in the Usambara mountains.
Duration: 7 days
Start/Finish City: Arusha to Arusha
Service Level: Basic
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
  • Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
  • Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
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 Usambara Mountain Cultural Trek (DTUM)

Day 1 Lushoto (L)

Approximate Distance: 235 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4-5 hrs

Meet your CEO and the rest of the group at 6am in the morning for an early welcome meeting then transfer to the bus station for your public bus ride to Lushoto, your base for the Usumbara Mountains. The bus stops in Moshi for a quick breakfast, and after arrival, explore the village during the free afternoon, while preparing for your upcoming 4-day adventure. Any luggage not needed for the trek may by left behind in Lushoto, and picked up upon return on day 10.

Lushoto which is in the Usambara mountains is four hours drive on tarmac roads from Tanzania’s business and financial capital Dar es salaam, three hours from the Kilimanjaro International airport and two hours drive from Tanga.

The Usumbara Mountains are a mountain range in North-East Tanzania, approximately 70 miles (110 km) long and ranging from 20 to 40 miles (30-60 km) in width. Mountains in the range rise as high as 8,000 ft (2,440 m). The viewpoints on the southern and western sides of Usumbara are well known for the spectacular views of Mkomazi and Handeni plains. Mt. Kilimanjaro can be seen on the horizon and at the end of the day the sunset turns areas into tremendous pallets of unforgettable colors.

The Usumbaras are fairly unique in that, being in East Africa, their unspoiled regions are covered in the tropical forest which today remains mainly in the west of the continent. Considered tremendously significant ecologically, there are many protected zones throughout the range which are being expanded and contributed to by the Tanzanian government, associated NGO's and research teams. Several species can only be found in the Usumbara forests, including the Naduk eagle owl, Usumbara alethe, and the Usumbara weaver. Some of the very important medicinal plants such as the Quinine tree are found here.

The surrounding region was among the first in East Africa to be settled, in 1902, by European farmers. The nearby town of Amani was a popular German resort for many years in colonial times. Much of the mountains are used in the production of coffee, sisal, tea, and cinchona, with rice grown in the swampy foothills. The inhabitants are one of the very friendly people found in Tanzania, mostly the Wasambaa tribe.

Day 2-3 Usumbara Trek – Lushoto to Rangwi (2-3 hours), Rangwi to Mtae (3-4 hours) (2B,2L,2D)

Begin the 4-day trek with a morning trip through the Tanzanian countryside.

The trek begins with an uphill hike through protected rainforest, with chances to see the black and white Colobus monkey. You’ll stop for a picnic lunch made on route, enjoying it while surrounded by local farmland and great views. As well, you are trekking through a rural, but inhabited area, so take advantage and interact with the locals en route. Finish your day arriving at a local guest house, the Rangwi Mission where you will stay with the sisters/nuns, who will prepare a fantastic meal.

On day 2 walk through traditional villages and farming areas. Interacting with people, the hike continues to the womens pottery group in the village of Sunga. Here you may learn how to make local clay pots and the folklore of the traditional craft. Spend your night in the Mwivano guest house in Mtae village.

Day 4-5 Usumbara Trek – Mtae (3-4 hours), final day (3-4 hours) (2B,2L,2D)

Starting from Mtae, this walk loops up into the rain forest, stopping at a local school, where passengers are entertained by songs from the students, and have a change to give gifts, interact with the Children, and learn about the school system. Dig in to your picnic lunch en route and back to Mtae in the afternoon. You will spend another evening in Mtae village.

On day 5 stop in at Magamba village en route back to Lushoto. Walk to Irente viewpoint and have lunch at Irente farm. Visit a traditional healer on your return walk to Lushoto. Enjoy a well deserved rest and shower upon arrival into Lushoto.

Day 6 Arusha (B,D)

Approximate Distance: 235 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4-5 hrs

After this fabulous experience in the Usumbaras, we have to leave the mountains behind us and start heading back to Arusha, where you can enjoy the last evening with your travel companions and experience a truly unique "local dinner” in the private home of a local family in Arusha – an authentic community experience to cherish forever.

Arusha, also known as Tanzania’s “safari capital”, is undoubtedly the most important center in northen Tanzania. With many protected national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day, it may be possible to see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a modern town, and with its markets, services, and fine location, it is a great base for your safari trip.

Arusha officially became a city on the 1st of July 2006. The primary industry of the region is agriculture with large vegetable producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. The city and its environs are also spotted with large coffee plantations, adding to the area’s charm. Though in recent years, due to the coffee crisis, many local farmers have been badly hit, and now subsistence farming is the most common source of livelihood.

Arusha owes its name from the local Wa-arusha people who resided here for hundreds of years, and is historically and politically significant city within East Africa. In 1961 the official documents ceding independence to Tanzania were signed by the United Kingdom in Arusha. Six years later the Arusha Declaration of Self Reliance in Tanzania was signed. On the 4th of August 1993 the Arusha Accords were signed by representatives of competing factions in the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda. After the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council decided by its Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994 that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The establishment of the tribunal with its employees has influenced the local economy of Arusha.

Day 7 Arusha (B)

Depart Arusha any time.

What's Included

4-day guided Usambara mountain trek, Traditional dinner in local community.

Highlights

Trekking through rustic villages and indigenous forests, interacting with the local communities and enjoying the magnificent views on offer in the Usambara mountains.

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. This trip is diverse in that you will stay in urban and rural areas and trek in the Usambara mountains. Travel by land can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in East Africa. The public transportation we use is different from that at home, so please have an open mind. This tour is about travelling to experience many natural attractions of the region, not just sight-seeing, and so we cover some long distances. Despite this, the wildlife, diversity and scenery of the African landscape, and the local cultural interaction all well worth the experience.

2. A reasonable level of fitness is required for the trek in the mountains, however the hiking is light and at a relaxed pace with frequent stops to enjoy the views, sights, and villages of the area. The hike is also vehicle-supported, meaning you will not have to carry your own luggage.

3. Please note that day 1 is the departure day so you should already be in Arusha the evening before. Accommodation can be pre-booked through G Adventures. A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in morning of day 1 prior to your departure. 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 tour leader with information regarding this group meeting.

4. A Yellow Fever certificate is required if you are traveling to Tanzania 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 or border crossing if they wish to enter the country. The cost of the vaccination is USD$50.

5. LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS FLYING INTO KILIMANJARO: It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Kilimanjaro does not arrive. Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection, 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 Kilimanjaro, 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 Tanzania. You may find that you will be needed to start your trip and you still have not received your luggage. Considering that the customer service standards in Tanzania 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 or hire locally the needed items, and speak to your G Adventures representative to persist with your airline to retrieve your luggage. 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.

6. 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.

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

Group Leader Description

Throughout your entire 7 day journey, 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 a local guides and a cook while in the Usumbara Mountains. 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.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 6.

Meals Included

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners.

Meals

Your meals will be included during the 4 day/3night trek in the Usambara Mountains, as well as a couple other meals along the way. Groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of local cuisine and enjoy each others company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Vegetarian meals are available upon request. Please inform G Adventures prior to arrival in Tanzania. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.

Meal Budget

Allow USD180-230 for meals and drinks (including bottled water) not included.

Transport

Public bus, private vehicle, walking.

About our Transportation

This trip offers a mix of private and public transportation, the latter including a 24-seater van, to large public bus, and small public minivans. Road conditions can run the full gamut from new to being in very poor condition. This more basic and adventurous style of travel allows our groups to experience a more "real" Africa, and provides plenty of opportunities for mixing with the locals along the way. Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.

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 hotel (1 nt), simple hostel (2 nts), local guesthouse (3 nts)

My Own Room

Not available on this tour.

About Accommodation

Simple hotel (1 nt)
Simple rooms, twin share, with en suite facilities

hostel/guesthouse (5 nts)
Small cabins or simple block rooms, twin share with en suite and/or shared facilities

Joining Hotel

Outpost Lodge
37A Serengeti Road,
Arusha, Tanzania,
Tel: +255 27 254 8405

Joining Instructions

On arrival no transfers are included. Please make your way to the joining hotel. Kilimanjaro International airport is approximately 40km, or 40 minutes, from Arusha. Taxis are available to transfer you to Arusha, and cost approximately USD 50 per car. From Nairobi, Kenya, Arusha is approximately 7 hours by land, including the border formalities. To arrive in Arusha from Nairobi, a seat on a public shuttle bus (leaves daily at 8am) can be pre-booked through G Adventures.

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. 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 the departure day so you should already be in Arusha the evening before. Accommodation can be pre-booked through G Adventures. A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in morning of day 1 prior to your departure. 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 tour leader with information regarding this group meeting.

The tour departs Arusha in the morning of day 1.

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 trip leader (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 G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our 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. G Adventures Emergency Mobile Phone for our Local Office in Nairobi, Kenya: +254 727 208 832. Locally, from Kenya, dial 0727 208 832. Beyond that, you may try our Operations department in Canada:

Toll-free, North America only: 1 800 465 5600.
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

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) on +254 722 874 566.

Finishing Point Hotel

Outpost Lodge
37A Serengeti Road,
Arusha, Tanzania,
Tel: +255 27 254 8405

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are travelling with a large amount of luggage and will be returning to Arusha later in your trip, you may leave a portion of it at the start hotel, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.

It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for in the mountains. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Arusha.

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
-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

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

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

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a fee. Most laundry services are hand-washed and hung to dry, and during the rainy seasons same-day service may not result in fully dry clothes. There will be times when you may want to, or have to, do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Camp sites have a basin where you can wash your own garments.

Visas

All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Please note that upon arrival by air to Arusha, Tanzania, most nationals can obtain a visa for US$50 in $US cash (valid for those who would be permitted a Tanzania visa while still in their own country), though the current cost of a Tanzanian visa for U.S. nationals is $100. This visa is valid for up to 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Kenya and Uganda only. If you are transiting through Uganda or Kenya, you will have to purchase a transit visa en route. These are usually $US20, and valid for 24 hours. Alternatively, for either of these two countries, you may purchase a normal visa for US$30 and US$50 respectively (most nationals), both of which are valid for up to 3 months. 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 2003 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. The best time to visit is late December to early March, just after the short rains, but before the long rains, when the weather is hot and dry weather. Alternatively, another good time is between late June and October when the rains have finished and the air is coolest, though please note that at this time it tends to be cold in the Usumbara Mountains. During the rainy season it can also 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 Tanzania operates on 230 volts, 50Hz. 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.

TANZANIA - Official Statistics
Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania)
Area: 945,087 km2
Population: 38,329,000-July 2005 est (34,443,603-2002 census)
Capital city: Dodoma
People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic
Languages Swahili, English, indigenous.
Religion: 40% Christian, 33% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs
Government: Republic (multi-party state)
President: Benjamin William Mkapa
Major industries: Tobacco, sugar, sisal, diamond and gold mining, oil refining, cement, tourism
Major trading partners: India, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, U.K., Saudi Arabia, China Currency: Tanzanian shilling

INTERESTING FACTS
• The name is name made up from an amalgamation of TANganyika and ZANzibar.
• Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa (although not in Africa as a whole, the Sudan is 3 times larger); it’s landmass covering an area of just over 945,087 sq. km (including Zanzibar).
- This makes Tanzania about the size of France, Germany and Switzerland combined; 3 times the size of the entire British Isles or one-tenth the size of the whole of the USA.
- Tanzania’s population at the last official census was 31.3 million, with approximately one third being classified as “urban”.
- Agriculture forms roughly half of GDP and agriproducts (e.g.: coffee, tea, tobacco, cashew nut, sisal, cotton) some 75% of export earnings. • Dodoma, in central Tanzania, is the political capital of the country although Dar es Salaam is the effective trading and business capital, with its safe harbour ("Dar es Salaam” means “Haven of Peace”), international airport and population of some 1.75million.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The local currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH). The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally into Tanzanian Shilling is the $US, however the British Pound and Euro are also widely exchanged as well. Large denomination notes attract the best exchange rates ($US 50, $100). $US notes that are older than year 2003 are generally not accepted everywhere and can be very difficult to change. In addition, $US notes prior to 1996 are worthless in East Africa, as they are not accepted and impossible to exchange. Travelers’ cheques are also difficult to exchange in many places, especially in Tanzania, and often get a lower rate. Debit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs.). The Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards; it is harder to find machines that accept Cirrus cards.

While there are many ATMs in Arusha, Tanzania, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank. Barclays Bank is known the have the ATMs that accept the most foreign bank cards. 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. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best, with travellers cheques being your last resort. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

In Arusha, Tanzania, there are numerous Bureau de Change on Sokoine Road in the center of the city near to the Clock Tower, the city’s landmark.

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, may be included in the international air ticket

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: Chief Experience Officer: US$5-7 (full day); Local guide: US$3-5 (full day); Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required).

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 Tanzania 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 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 tour leader so he/she can be prepared to help you.

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.
* Use bed nets.
* Inspect vehicles for tsetse flies before entering.
* Avoid bushes. Tsetse flies are less active during the hottest part of the day; they rest in bushes and will bite if disturbed.
* 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

Arusha/ Usambaras
-People are generally friendly in Arusha and while you are trekking in the Usumbaras, but don’t let people take advantage of you
-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 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 organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
-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 con men and will ask you for money.
-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.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

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)

Associated Planeterra Project

Planeterra – The G Adventures Foundation supports the work of Youth Challenge International in Africa.

Youth Challenge International (YCI) is a non-profit, charitable organization that combines community development, health promotion and conservation in projects conducted by international teams of volunteers. By involving youth in the solutions to the issues they face, YCI aspires to a world where young men and women aged 10 to 25 have access to education, healthcare and meaningful employment. Youth in Africa, South America and Asia face huge challenges and YCI is working right now to provide them with education on HIV/AIDS and basic employment skills training.

To achieve these aims YCI works within an international network and global constituency for youth. International volunteers aged 18 to 30 play a key role in the planning and implementation of development projects. Since 1989 YCI has successfully involved over 2000 Canadian youth volunteers in the implementation of our programs in developing countries such as Tanzania, Guyana, Costa Rica, and Vanuatu.

Each year we work with the staff at YCI to determine which African programs are in need of support. Through fundraising efforts and matched donations from travellers we have provided financial assistance to the following YCI programs:

The Planeterra Foundation has supported YCI's work in improving young men and women's lives in Tanzania. The ravages of HIV/AIDS combined with poor employment skills training for youth have lead to a loss of hope and reduced opportunities for young people. YCI addresses these problems by implementing three-day employment skills training seminars and HIV/AIDS education workshops for young men and women across Tanzania. These seminars and workshops have reached over 1,000 rural Tanzanian youth during the coming year - youth who typically receive little in the way of HIV/AIDS education or employment skills training.

Planeterra has also supported the research of a pilot project so that YCI may develop new partnerships in Kenya and Ghana and continue to develop their valuable programs within Africa.

Your donation is critical to YCI and your support will help them to continue their effective and valuable work within Africa.

For more information about this project and/or to make a donation please visit our website: www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

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.