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35 Day Gorillas & Southern Discoverer - Nairobi to Victoria Falls [NV35]
Masai Mara Reserve and Surrounds
Rift Valley Lakes
Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
Dar es Salaam
Mikumi National Park
Victoria Falls and surrounds - Zimbabwe
Africa conjures up images of magical animals, beautiful sunsets and wide open places, and this trip offers all this and so much more. Trek mountain gorillas in the misty rainforests of East Africa, explore culturally-rich Zanzibar, enjoy the hospitality of Malawi, and have adrenalin charged fun in the adventure playground of Victoria Falls. Then there are the famous game parks – the Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater and the Masai Mara, which are some of the best places in Africa to see a whole host of African animals.
This trip begins in Nairobi, Kenya and travels through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, before ending in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
This trip departs from Nairobi early on Sunday morning. Should you wish to explore Nairobi, an earlier arrival should be planned and accommodation booked through your agent or the Africa Travel Co office.
Kenya | Uganda | Tanzania | Malawi | Zambia | Zimbabwe.
Included Highlights Masai Mara National Reserve Great Rift Valley Kampala Lake Bunyoni Lake Nakuru National Park Lake Naivasha Meserani Snake Park & Masai Cultural Museum Dar Es Salaam Zanzibar Ferry Lake Malawi Chobe National Park & Boat Cruise Chobe Overnight Mobile Excursion
Details Trip Code: NV35 Pre Departure Meeting: Held at the Departure Point at 17h00 the day before your departure. Departure Point: Kenya Comfort Hotel Check-In Time: 08h45 Departure Time: 09h30 Local Payment: US$935 Please Note: This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions.
All prices & Local Payments are subject to change.
Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.
Your arrival transfer and pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in your trip price. Should you choose not to make use of these, or in the event that Africa Travel Co was not updated with your arrival details, no refund will be paid for services not used.
Please ensure you’ve received a copy of our pre departure information document with information on what to expect on this overland safari.
For booking purposes please notify our office as soon as possible should you choose not to trek the Mountain Gorillas.
The staff and management look forward to welcoming you aboard and trust that you will enjoy your trip with us.
DAY 1: Nairobi to Masai Mara (L / D) Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi we climb the escarpment to our first stop, a viewpoint overlooking a section of the spectacular Great Rift Valley. Descending into the Rift Valley, we enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We pass through the town of Narok, and continue our drive possibly getting a glimpse of some wildlife along the way. We arrive at our campsite, Acacia Camp in the late afternoon. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve. DAY 2: Masai Mara (B / L / D) We depart shortly after sunrise on our game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve. The Masai Mara is well known as one of East Africa’s best National Reserves and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species. Most famous for the Annual Migration, that consists of the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania; the Masai Mara is most popular between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing here. Following these herbivores are Africa’s predators that are often seen at a kill during this period. We game drive through a section of the park in search of the ‘Big 5’- elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard; along with the many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who make call this wilderness home.
After our game drive, we have the option to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyatta’s – this is a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way. This evening we sit around the camp fire, and watch the sun set over this “Garden of Eden”. DAY 3: Masai Mara to Eldoret (B / L / D Leaving the Masai Mara early, we head out of Masai Land pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Eldoret. DAY 4: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda) (B / L / D) This morning, we cross the border into Uganda where we overnight it the capital city, Kampala. Uganda is a small country of striking physical beauty. Its landscapes vary from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semi-desert region in the north. The political instability that has haunted Uganda in the past has actually had the positive effect of leaving the country free of the over commercialism so common in other parts of Africa. The current administration under President Museveni has devoted considerable effort and funds to return Uganda to its former status as one of Africa's most prosperous and, from a tourist’s point of view, one of the most appealing and interesting countries to visit. DAYS 5 - 8: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni (B / L / D) After an early morning departure from Kampala we drive west into the depths of Uganda to our base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni.
Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice – currently they are priced at US$500. There is a local transport & handling fee of US$65 to US$70 per person (this covers the return public transfer and the Wildlife Authority’s booking fee). For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda (the trip leader will advise at the pre departure meeting as to where the permits have been secured, and will assist with the online visa application for Rwanda en-route if needed), we will also have to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing our Ugandan visa upon re-entry. We also advise budgeting a little extra for tips for the local guides and rangers. Please budget accordingly as payment for the permit must be made in US$ cash at the pre departure meeting.
Trekking Procedures: The mountain gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Berengei), of which there are still only about 700 remaining, are one of our closest living relatives. A visit to these gentle giants in their natural environment is a unique and wonderful experience - one you’ll never forget. The park rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. As the gorillas share much of our DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek. Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old.
Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, we depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. We wind our way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park. Dependant on where permits are available, we may spend a night in either Kisoro or in Rwanda. The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, we are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours (not including transfer time) and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.
You needn’t feel like you’re exploiting these animals. The ever-growing number of tourists trekking them each day play a vital role in their survival. For years they have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which have been sold as ashtrays and lampshades! In addition, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing the babies for sale to zoos, where they have never lived long. 100% of the gorilla permit cost is used to by the parks authorities to finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares and on promoting these wonderful animals.
Depending on where the trek takes place you may also pass through some of the local villages that have settled in this region due to the high number of refugees fleeing from the Rwandan Genocide, or from the continued unrest in the DRC. The villagers in this area are mostly subsistence farmers, and families that farm against the slopes of the volcanoes. It is impressive to see how they have ploughed, planted and harvest their crops in such an unlikely landscape.
*Gorilla Trekking is optional
DAY 9: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala (B / L / D) After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala. We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life! DAY 10: Kampala to Jinja (B / L / D) Today we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or heading to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or visiting a volunteer and community project. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area. DAY 11: Jinja to Nakuru (Kenya) (B / L / D) Departing early, we head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies en route. We overnight outside Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park. DAY 12: Lake Nakuru National Park (B / L / D) This morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park - famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. After our game drive, we head to our campsite, arriving in the late afternoon.
DAY 13: Lake Nakuru to Lake Naivasha (B / L / D) Lake Naivasha, is home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. We spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.
DAY 14: Lake Naivasha to Nairobi (B) After breakfast, we head back to Nairobi usually arriving by late morning, or early afternoon. On arrival we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! DAY 15: Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania) (L / D) This morning we head out of busy Nairobi and travel south crossing the border into Tanzania at Namanga. Tonight we stay at a campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Optional Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow. DAY 16: Arusha to Karatu (B / L / D) This morning we visit the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum. A few minutes’ walk from the campsite is a gallery selling the bright and iconic Tinga Tinga paintings. Alternatively the town of Arusha is nearby to explore. After enjoying lunch at our camp against the backdrop of Mount Meru we meet our Tanzanian guides and transfer into locally operated 4WD vehicles. These vehicles have been adapted for safari use and allow excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches.
Leaving our camp we travel via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and then up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. Tonight we spend the evening at a very pleasant campsite in Karatu (campsite has ablution facilities).
DAY 17: Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park (Optional) (B / L / D) This morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world. Comprising of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Ngorongoro Crater is truly a miniature ‘Garden of Eden’. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino.
After our game drive in the Crater, we head down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we camp (no ablution facilities) in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. Without any fences surrounding our campsite we are truly in the midst of nature!
*If you choose not to do the optional Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater you will remain at the campsite. Please contact us for more information.
DAY 18: Serengeti National Park to Arusha (B / L / D) In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’! Following our morning drive, we retrace our journey back across the plains and along the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience. DAY 19: Arusha to Pangani* (B / L / D) We head to Arusha this morning to stock up on supplies before continuing on towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! We pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by The Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching our lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam. * Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost. DAY 20: Pangani to Dar es Salaam (B / L / D) Today we continue on to Dar es Salaam. Travelling through lush scenery and palm trees, we near the warm Indian Ocean. Today’s drive time is extended due to the heavier amount of traffic heading in to the city, but the sights and sounds of Dar’s vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep you entertained. Look out for the colourful shop-fronts with their sometimes humorous ‘catch phrases’. On arrival in Dar es Salaam we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning. DAY 21: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (B) A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the "Spice Island,” where we have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that’ll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.
PLEASE NOTE: Accommodation and Meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, and in accordance with their own budget. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are also a wide variety of optional excursions on offer – please see the price guide on the end of this document for more details.
For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. There are various optional excursions available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the excursion. DAYS 22 & 23: Zanzibar History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you’d like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer. DAY 24: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (D) Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening. DAY 25: Dar es Salaam to Iringa (B / L / D) This morning we leave Dar es Salaam and head south. We pass through the Mikumi National Park where it is possible to view a range of wildlife from the roadside, totally impervious to the passing traffic. We travel towards Iringa where we spend the night in a beautiful rustic campsite famous for its Amarula Hot Chocolates and its steamy showers! DAYS 26 to28: Iringa to Lake Malawi (Malawi) (B / L / D) Winding our way through the beauty of the Tukuyu tea and banana plantations, we head towards Malawi entering the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ through the border post at Songwe. Malawi is a landlocked country with 20% of its total area made up of beautiful Lake Malawi. We travel the length of the western side of the lake, stopping off at various bays and inlets over the next 3 days.
Spend the days learning the game of bao from the locals, scour the markets for a bargain or simply relax on the pristine beaches. Malawi’s temperate climate allows for swimming in the clear blue fresh-water lake all year round. Explore the beautiful shore where you’ll happen upon the local fishermen sorting their catch. Traditional fishing techniques are still practiced and to appreciate their boating skills, try to paddle a dugout canoe yourself! At night you’ll see the ‘fairy’ lights of the fishermen out on the lake. The various beachside campsites along Lake Malawi’s shores offer many optional Excursions including a variety of water sports, horseback rides and a visit to the local village and school (see pricing guide at the end of this document). DAY 29: Lake Malawi to Chipata (Zambia) (B / L / D) We head away from Lake Malawi, and stop off in the capital, Lilongwe, a small city distinctively divided into the old town and the new administrative centre, to stock up on supplies before crossing into Zambia where we spend the night in a beautiful little campsite just 10 km after the Malawi/Zambia border. DAY 30: Chipata to Luangwa National Park (B / L / D) This breath taking park is situated on the Luangwa River in the Eastern part of Zambia, and it is the southernmost of three national parks in this region. South Luangwa was founded in 1938 as a game reserve, 1972 was the year it was declared as a national park, and today it covers over 9000 kilometres squared. Animals such as Giraffe, buffalo and Elephants can be found in abundance. The Luangwa river is home to many a hippo and croc. Day 31: Luangwa National Park to Eastern Zambia (B/L/D) Today we depart this amazing National Park and make our way down south. As we drive, we pass through a few of the villages and towns of Zambia along the way. Prosperous during the copper boom in the 60’s, Zambia was able to build infrastructure at the main mining and farming communities. After the fall of the copper industry, the country was left virtually bankrupt and existing infrastructure was left to fall to ruin. Due to foreign investment and a rise in the mining industry, Zambia is today once again starting to prosper. DAY 32: Eastern Zambia to Livingstone (B / L / D) Heading further south, we journey through the southern Zambian towns mostly supporting local agriculture and farming on our way to Livingstone. The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders) is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and it’s not difficult to see why. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! The Falls can be viewed from the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia - a fantastic photo opportunity. Tonight we have the option of enjoying a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi.
DAY 33: Livingstone to Chobe National Park (Botswana) (B / L / D) We leave Zambia and cross the border into Botswana at the Kazangula Ferry. Once we’ve completed the border formalities, we continue to the town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the Chobe River. The Chobe River forms a border between Botswana and Namibia and Zambia and is the main water source to the Chobe National Park. After lunch, we have time at leisure to relax. In the afternoon, we leave for our Chobe National Park Overnight Mobile excursion – an overnight experience in the wilds of the Chobe National park. Chobe is one of Botswana’s premier game parks, renowned for its large elephant herds. Spend the afternoon in search of wildlife while we game drive to our camp within the park where we spend the evening surrounded by the night-time noises of the local wildlife. Look out for the rare Sable and Roan Antelope on your game drive, with their majestic backward slanting horns, or try keep a count of the Lilac Breasted Roller’s that swoop by! After our night in the bush, we head out early to continue our search for wildlife, before packing up the camp and heading back to Kasane.
DAY 34: Chobe National Park to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (Brunch) Once returning to camp, we get back on our truck and continue to the border of Zimbabwe. Once we’ve completed border formalities, we have a short drive to the nearby Victoria Falls. Named after the famous World Heritage site and Water Falls, the town of Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and surrounded by the Victoria Falls National Park. Our campsite is conveniently situated in the centre of town, and within walking distance of the adventure booking agents, restaurants and shops. A 20 minute walk down the main road takes you to the entry point to view the falls, which are situated between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders), was named by David Livingstone on his explorations, and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At 1700 m wide and around 100 m high, this is the world's largest sheet of falling water and a memorable sight on any African Safari! After our adventure activities briefing (see price guide at the end of this document for options), the afternoon is spent relaxing at the campsite’s swimming pool, viewing the Victoria Falls, or exploring the many sights and delights of this town! DAY 35: Victoria Falls (B) After breakfast, we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime! We suggest booking additional days after your trip to take advantage of the optional excursions available at Victoria Falls. OPTIONAL Excursions include elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, walking with lions, a visit to the crocodile ranch, boat cruises and golf at The Elephant Hills Resort. Adrenalin junkies can bungee from the Victoria Falls Bridge connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia or abseil down the Batoka Gorge - neither activity is for the faint hearted! All year round, flights in fixed wing, micro light and ultra light aircraft or helicopters provide an aerial perspective over this magnificent World Heritage Site. White water rafting on the Zambezi is world class. Beside the excitement of the Grade 5 rapids, there are the "floats," where there is time to admire the scenic cliffs and the occasional wildlife on the riverbanks.
Inclusions & Exclusions
Excludes: Flights, Airport departure taxes departure transfer, visas, meals unless otherwise stated, travel insurance, laundry, Gorilla Permit, personal items & tips. Local Payment: US $ 935 Why pay local payment? Local payment is compulsory and is paid in cash to the trip leader at the start of your trip and is used to cover the daily US dollar expenses of running the trip and includes, amongst others, game park entrance fees, camping fees, tolls, entrances and food. We ask that you bring along your local payment contribution, if applicable, in US$ cash, as this is the easiest currency to exchange in Africa.
Includes: Meals, activities and accommodation as per itinerary. Meal Key: B-Breakfast L-Lunch D-Dinner
1. GENERAL Thank you for choosing Africa Travel Co. for your African adventure. The following information is provided to assist you in preparing for your trip.
All of our trips are camping trips. They are designed with people who have an adventurous spirit in mind, who‟d like to visit East, Central and Southern Africa, but only have a limited time frame. The nature of overland travel is such that it is generally better suited to the young (and young at heart), but we do not impose an upper age limit. We provide all cooking and camping equipment, with the exception of your sleeping bag & mat on all of our trips.
Transport is on specially converted Mercedes or MAN trucks that are completely self-sufficient - carrying all the necessary equipment, passenger's luggage, fuel, fresh water and food stocks. In addition, all Africa Travel Co. vehicles carry a range of spare parts and the driver is well versed at fixing common faults. Before each truck begins a trip it will have been thoroughly serviced and overhauled, but it is comforting to know that in the unlikely event of a breakdown the necessary spares and experience are available.
Accommodation on our trips is in two person dome tents with mosquito nets over the door and window areas, a sewn in ground sheet and a separate flysheet. The only exceptions to the above are our NN7 Kilimanjaro Climb and our VV10 Best of Botswana that are operated by local suppliers. The accommodation & transport for these is specified in the relevant trip information.
Passengers are expected to participate in all aspects of the trip. This means pitching and dismantling your own tent and, on a roster basis, helping with the daily chores such as cooking, washing up and truck cleaning. On all of our trips we have a Safari Cook, although we do ask you to assist in the food preparation and shopping. Bargaining in the local markets and helping produce a meal for between 10 and 30 people, can be great fun. The advantages of group travel are achieved when the group works as one. Sharing the responsibility for the roster duties, as well as the packing and security of the vehicle, equipment and belongings will help to make the groups collective experience an enjoyable one.
2. BEFORE YOUR TRIP PRE-DEPARTURE MEETINGS AND DEPARTURES The Pre-Departure Meetings usually last for approximately one hour and are a great opportunity for you to meet your fellow travellers. The meetings cover a range of topics and important information that should make you feel a lot more comfortable with how your trip will operate as well as ways for you to maximise your experience. Please make every effort to attend this meeting or advise your travel agent or Africa Travel Co. directly, if you know you will be unable to attend.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct documentation to complete your trip. The Trip Leader cannot stop or alter a trip because you don‟t have the correct paper work. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip. You should have at least one blank page for each country to be visited. TIP: We advise you to bring a photocopy of the first 4 pages of your passport, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it. Most visas, for most nationalities, are obtainable on arrival at each border. However, you must check with each consular office of each county we visit prior to your departure as to what the visa requirements are. Make sure you check this, way in advance of your departure, so that, if required, you have enough time to get them. This is completely your responsibility. For more information please see: http://www.projectvisa.com/. LUGGAGE AND WHAT TO BRING As a guide, we recommend you keep to your airline's restriction – no more than 20 kg. The truck has limited luggage space, so we recommend you bring along a backpack (preferably with built-in frame) and a day bag. We do not recommend large suitcases. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry, but avoid nylon and other synthetics as they can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Please remember that Africa can be much colder than you might expect, particular at night and in the early morning, so pack accordingly.
Suggested list of what to pack: -PASSPORT & photocopy -VACCINATION CERTIFICATE & photocopy -TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY & photocopy -MONEY & AIRLINE TICKETS -underwear & socks -personal toiletries -2 long sleeved shirts or blouses -spare contact lenses & solution / spare glasses -3 – 4 short sleeved shirts or t-shirts -sleeping bag & mat -2 pairs trousers or 1 pair & 1 skirt -water bottle -1 – 2 pairs shorts -pen knife -tracksuit pants -torch & spare batteries -light sweater -small sewing kit -heavy sweater -washing soap for clothes -water/wind proof jacket -clothes line & pegs -comfortable walking boots or trainers -small scrubbing brush -sandals or flip-flips -sealable plastic bags -1 set of smart clothes & shoes -camera & spare batteries/charger -Hat -extra memory card/film -Swimsuit -binoculars -Towel -universal plug adapter -watch (inexpensive) -reading material -sunglasses (inexpensive) -music (our vehicles are equipped with stereos)
ITINERARY FLEXIBILITY This information and the itinerary we‟ve given you, are intended to serve as guidelines only. Each trip must be flexible to allow for all variables that are beyond our control - such as adverse road conditions, complications caused by the weather, unstable political situations, etc. Our trips generally run as planned, and you‟ll, more than likely, get see everything listed, if not more.
Please Note that any trip travelling via Nairobi or Victoria Falls and any trip where we‟ve added another truck to a departure date because of passenger demand, may have a Truck and/or Crew change. ONWARD TRAVEL As already mentioned, conditions in Africa are constantly changing and we can therefore not be held responsible for disruptions and delays that may cause you to miss your connections. We recommend that you allow 1 to 3 days after the completion date of your trip before flying out. 3. HEALTH & WELFARE MEDICAL / HEALTH All of our vehicles carry a basic first aid kit that is used in emergencies. Passengers will be asked to replace any item they use. We would therefore strongly advise you to bring your own medical kit, which you‟ll be able to get at any reputable medical store.
Suggested contents include: -pain killers -anti-malarial, medication -plasters / sterile dressings -eye drops -insect repellent -anti-histamine tablets / cream -antiseptic cream -sterile wipes -water purification tablets -anti diarrhoea remedy -re-hydration salts -lip balm -sun screen / after sun lotion -moisturiser / body lotion MALARIA Malaria is endemic in most parts of Africa. It is your responsibility to take precautions against catching it. First and foremost, don‟t get bitten!!! Wear long sleeved shirts and trousers when mosquitoes are most active - early in the morning and evening! Use plenty of insect repellent with a high level of DEET on any exposed areas – neck, wrist and ankles!!! Consult your doctor prior to leaving for Africa so that they can prescribe suitable anti-malarial medication. For further information see http://www.alib.co.za/aftrip/malaria.html. VACCINATIONS Please consult your doctor / immunisation centre for the relevant vaccination requirements for the countries through which you will be travelling. Most countries you visit will require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate if you‟ve been into an area that‟s infected. Your home country will also probably need the Vaccination Certificate if you‟ve been into an infected area. Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal meningitis, Diphtheria and Tetanus are all prevalent in much of Africa and while it is not compulsory to be vaccinated against these, all precautions should be taken to prevent them. TIP: We advise you to bring a copy of your yellow fever vaccination certificate, which you store away from the original, just in case you lose it. All travellers wishing to partake in the gorilla trek excursion will be required to present their yellow fever vaccination certificate to the park‟s officials prior to their trek. INSURANCE Personal travel insurance is compulsory to join all of our trips. All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. This should include, at least, comprehensive medical cover including the cost of airlifting you to a specialist hospital. Make sure that you will be covered when participating in Adventure Activities, like white water rafting. We recommend you make sure your possessions are covered for both theft and damage. We also recommend you cover yourself for Cancellation and Curtailment Fees if you are unable to travel due to sudden illness, airline strikes, etc. NB: A copy of your Insurance Policy must be handed to your Trip Leader at the start of your trip. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via SA Tours and Safaris. Please enquire with our consultants for further information. 4. WHILST ON YOUR OVERLAND TRIP OUR OVERLAND SAFARI VEHICLE’S All of our trucks are either Mercedes Benz or MAN trucks that have been designed, modified and built to ensure your safety and comfort. All our vehicles carry full cooking and camping equipment, cassette players, exterior and interior lighting, long-range fuel tanks and 300 to 400 litre water tanks. (Bring along an adapter to connect your CD / MP3 players to the cassette player.) They have either all forward facing seats or a combination of forward and backward facing seats with little tables between. A few of our trucks have a few side facing seats right in the front of the truck, but the rest of the truck has forward facing seats. Keep in mind, bench seating often faces inwards, so while you can communicate with your fellow travellers, it‟s not advantageous for game viewing and photography. Our trucks have soft cushioned seats. Our fleet of overland trucks have fitted windows that slide to open. SECURITY We cannot stress enough, the need for you to be alert whilst travelling in Africa, as petty theft is common. Don't bring any unnecessary, expensive jewellery with you. Keep an eye on your belongings, at all times. There is a safe on each truck where we suggest you store your travel documents and money. We recommend you photocopy all of your travel documents, which you keep separately from the originals.
Vehicle security is a part of trip life and is one of your roster duties. The vehicle should never be left unattended, except when we are staying in a guarded campsite. Although every precaution will be taken, neither Africa Travel Co, nor its agents and employees can accept any responsibility for anything deposited in the safe or left on the vehicle. SPENDING MONEY Only you know to what extent your spending habits will tax you! Africa is not as cheap as a lot of the travel books would have you believe and as such we would recommend that you allow for between U$30.00 to U$35.00 per day for things like bottled water, snacks, drinks and curios. This obviously depends on how much of curio shopper and drinker you are!!! You will also have to budget for any Optional Excursions you‟d like to do. We advise you to bring your spending money in both cash preferably in US dollars. Credit Cards are not widely accepted. If you‟re travelling in East Africa, U$ notes should be clean, un-torn and printed after 2001. Larger denomination notes attract a better exchange rate, but we suggest you bring along a mix of both small and large denomination notes. You may need to change only a small amount to tide you over in a country and you should try to get rid of each country‟s currency before you leave that country as you won‟t be able to change it anywhere else! Your trip leader will advise you on when & where to change to local currencies. OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS Please budget accordingly for any of the optional excursions listed for your trip. While we do list a guideline to the prices for these, they may increase without notice by the local operators. Gorilla Trek: Please familiarise yourself with our document on trekking procedures and costs for the excursion. This can be downloaded from our website, or on request from our office. CREW ATC camping trips have 3 crew members - your Driver, Trip Leader and Safari Cook. Your Driver & Cook are generally Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Namibian or South African. They have a wealth of experience and are more than happy to share it with you. Your Trip Leader is generally African, European or Australasian. They have travelled through Africa, either independently or as a passenger. Most of our crew have been on the road for a number of years and have vast experience in running successful trips throughout the route we travel. NB: Your Trip Leader is not a “Tour Guide” in the normal sense. They are not experts in all aspects of the culture, history and wildlife of each area. They are employed to ensure the smooth running of your trip. That said, all of our crew have a passion for Africa and have acquired much knowledge of each area, which they‟ll happily share. For more in-depth information there are usually books on board the truck for your use, but if you have a specific interest like bird watching for example, consider buying one of the guides listed at the end of this document.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, like impassable roads or group safety, it may be necessary to make alterations to the planned itinerary. If this is necessary, the Trip Leader will discuss the issue with the group and alter the itinerary accordingly. The Trip Leader will obviously consider the wishes of the group, but there may be occasions where they have to make an unpopular decision. In ALL matters relating to the trip’s running, the Trip Leader’s decision will be final. WHILST ON SAFARI On the Kenya to Cape route (or vice versa), it is possible to stay in a secure campsite every night and there are few nights when a shower or a beer are not available - whether they be hot or cold, respectively, is another matter! Sometimes conditions can be challenging and if it‟s raining you‟ve still got to put up your tent. Africa is a vast continent so some of the drives can be long and there are a few patches of bumpy roads. There maybe a few hiccups in the itinerary when a bridge is washed away or there‟s a mechanical emergency. But, none of these will spoil your trip if you approach them with the right attitude and a sense of humour. "TAKE ONLY PHOTOS, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS". Africa is a diverse and unique continent with both a very beautiful and a very ugly side to her. Wherever possible, we try to let you experience Africa first hand so that you may get a better understanding of what makes her so unique.
We ask that you leave her as you find her. Respect the locals. Ask before taking a photo. You probably wouldn‟t enjoy suddenly being accosted by a group of tourists taking pictures of you! Some people believe that you take away their spirit when you photograph them, so ensure you show them the same courtesy you would appreciate, and ask for permission. Bargaining for curios is the norm. It is a great way to interact with the locals, but bear in mind they‟re trying to make a living, so don‟t bargain just for the sake of it. Be prepared to pay what you think the item is worth.
You will see some of the absolute poverty that grips much of the continent, but will amazed at how people with seemingly so little are able to triumph over their circumstances to come out on the other side with such a generous spirit. In many of the places you visit, you will experience begging in some form or another. Whether or not to give has caused many a heated debate. The answer is entirely personal, but consider the long term consequence of your decision. If you‟d like to distribute goodies, why not ask for permission to take a photo, a smile or a song from the kids and as payment you could let them have a goodie. Please bear in mind that while the kids in your hometown may find sweets a real treat, their moms and dads haul them off to the dentist regularly to get their cavities filled. Many of the areas you visit will not have access to dentists, so instead of sweets, why not bring along some fruit or pens/balls/old clothes/etc. which will be happily received by the kids but won‟t leave them toothless. LOCAL LAWS All passengers are required to obey the laws of the countries we travel through. Any passenger found in possession of contraband, non-prescribed narcotic drugs or firearms will be asked to leave the trip immediately, with no refund of the Trip Price. PHOTOGRAPHY Africa is a photographer‟s paradise. There will be a few opportunities to download your photos, but these will only be in the bigger centres. We therefore suggest you invest in an extra memory card with a high storage capacity so that you won‟t have to delete your precious memories. If your camera still uses film, bring along a good stock, as film can be scarce (and, when available, expensive). Consider bringing along a re-sealable polythene bag to protect your camera from the dust.
If you are visiting the gorillas, make sure you familiarise yourself with your camera settings as flash photography is not permitted. If you‟re planning on videoing your trip, make sure you bring along an extra battery as it isn‟t always possible to re-charge you batteries every day. WARNING - Under no circumstances should you attempt to photograph government buildings (including borders), police, military personnel or any government official. It is not unknown for people to have cameras confiscated if officials even suspect a photo has been taken. If in doubt, ask. CHARGING OF BATTERIES Most of the camp sites have electrical points, so you should be able to charge your batteries every 3 to 4 days, provided they have electricity, which is not always guaranteed. We recommend you bring along 2 sets of rechargeable batteries as well as 2 sets of normal batteries, so you can be guaranteed of having working batteries.
OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS Below is a selection of Optional Excursions available on this trip. Please Note - these prices are approximate and are subject to change - where activities occur away from your base, there may be an additional transfer cost. KENYA: Masai Mara Balloon Safari (when available) Masai Village Visit Masai Warrior Dancing Elsamere Visit, Home of Joy Adamson Naivasha Hells Gate NP Naivasha Boat Hire (Max 7 Pax) Naivasha Horse Riding Naivasha Crescent Island Tour UGANDA: Gorilla Trek (excl. transfer & booking fee) White Water Rafting on the Nile Nile Bungee Jump Soft Power Community Project Quad Biking 2 hrs Horse Riding 2 hrs Chimpanzee Sanctuary (5 - 8 pax) Trip T-Shirt TANZANIA: Serengeti / Ngorongoro Crater Masai Village Visit From Olduvai Gorge Zanzibar: Zanzibar Fast Ferry Return Transfer to Nungwe
Zanzibar Accommodation Spice Tour including lunch Prison Island Snorkeling Trip Dolphin / Jozani Forest Diving, Snorkeling & Fishing Dhow Sunset Cruise Motorbike/ Car Hire From +local drivers license / insurance MALAWI: Freshwater Diving at Kande Beach Horse Riding at Kande Beach 2Hr / 3Hr (Bush, Beach & Swim) Village Walk & Meal at Kande Beach Village Walk at Chitimba Beach Traditional Healer Visit Livingstonia Mission Hike - 30km return Carving Lessons & Local Fishing. *Price to be negotiated on arrival ZAMBIA: Zambezi Sunset River Cruise (Incl Meal & Drinks) ZIMBABWE: Please ensure that you pay for activities in Victoria Falls with Cash or Traveler’s Cheque’s Only Victoria Falls National Park Entry (viewing the Falls) Trip T-Shirt VICTORIA FALLS: White Water Rafting-Full Day River Boarding combo Raft & Board Canoeing on the Zambezi-Half Day/ Full Day Half Day Adrenaline - George Swing, ZipLine & Flying Fox Bungee Jump (111m) Tandem Bungee Jump Elephant Back Safari Walk with Lions Micro Light over the Falls-15mins Micro Light over the Falls-25mins Helicopter Flight over the Falls 12 mins Helicopter Flight over the Falls 19 – 25 mins Zambezi Sunset Cruise Horse Safaris - 2Hr Novice / 3Hr Experienced *Combo Deals Available
*Although traveller’s cheques may be accepted for the Serengeti/Ngorongoro Excursions, they are subject to a surcharge of at least 5%.
**Please note that all accommodation & activities in Victoria Falls must be paid for in US$ cash (GBP & ZAR also accepted at a lower rate).