This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|YXOG||Saturday 13 Sep 2014||Sunday 28 Sep 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 20 Sep 2014||Sunday 05 Oct 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 04 Oct 2014||Sunday 19 Oct 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 11 Oct 2014||Sunday 26 Oct 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 25 Oct 2014||Sunday 09 Nov 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 01 Nov 2014||Sunday 16 Nov 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 08 Nov 2014||Sunday 23 Nov 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 15 Nov 2014||Sunday 30 Nov 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 06 Dec 2014||Sunday 21 Dec 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 13 Dec 2014||Sunday 28 Dec 2014||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 27 Dec 2014||Sunday 11 Jan 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 31 Jan 2015||Sunday 15 Feb 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 07 Feb 2015||Sunday 22 Feb 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 28 Feb 2015||Sunday 15 Mar 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 07 Mar 2015||Sunday 22 Mar 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 04 Apr 2015||Sunday 19 Apr 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 11 Apr 2015||Sunday 26 Apr 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 18 Apr 2015||Sunday 03 May 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 25 Apr 2015||Sunday 10 May 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 23 May 2015||Sunday 07 Jun 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 30 May 2015||Sunday 14 Jun 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 20 Jun 2015||Sunday 05 Jul 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 27 Jun 2015||Sunday 12 Jul 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 04 Jul 2015||Sunday 19 Jul 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 11 Jul 2015||Sunday 26 Jul 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 18 Jul 2015||Sunday 02 Aug 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 25 Jul 2015||Sunday 09 Aug 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 01 Aug 2015||Sunday 16 Aug 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 08 Aug 2015||Sunday 23 Aug 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 15 Aug 2015||Sunday 30 Aug 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 22 Aug 2015||Sunday 06 Sep 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 29 Aug 2015||Sunday 13 Sep 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 05 Sep 2015||Sunday 20 Sep 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 12 Sep 2015||Sunday 27 Sep 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 19 Sep 2015||Sunday 04 Oct 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 26 Sep 2015||Sunday 11 Oct 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 03 Oct 2015||Sunday 18 Oct 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 10 Oct 2015||Sunday 25 Oct 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 17 Oct 2015||Sunday 01 Nov 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 24 Oct 2015||Sunday 08 Nov 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 31 Oct 2015||Sunday 15 Nov 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 07 Nov 2015||Sunday 22 Nov 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 14 Nov 2015||Sunday 29 Nov 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 05 Dec 2015||Sunday 20 Dec 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 12 Dec 2015||Sunday 27 Dec 2015||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 19 Dec 2015||Sunday 03 Jan 2016||USD||1530.00|
|YXOG||Saturday 26 Dec 2015||Sunday 10 Jan 2016||USD||1530.00|
Journeys of freedom & discovery. Travelling in purpose-built trucks or 4x4s you’ll see all the highlights but also get far off the beaten track. Led by a professional crew or driver, groups help with the cooking & setting up camp, enjoying a real hands on experience.
Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.
A close encounter with the gentle gorillas of the Rwandan rainforest is an extraordinary African experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. It's just one of the many brushes with wildlife that this unforgettable African Overland adventure has to offer. Roam the verdant plains, lush rainforests, papyrus-fringed lakes and acacia woodlands of Kenya and Uganda to spot lion, rhino, chimpanzee, antelope, hippo, leopard, flamingo and more in their natural habitat. This truly is a stunning journey through a series of incredible landscapes.
Overland journeys are all about freedom and discovery. By travelling in a purpose-built truck you’ll see all the must-see highlights but also get far off the beaten track. These are real adventures where itineraries are changeable and the number of nights in hotels or camping can vary. The tours are highly inclusive and very much hands on. Led by professional crew, groups consist of up to 22 adventurous passengers, sharing the cooking, food shopping and setting up camp.
Kenya is a country full of life and colour; of tribes and tradition and of wildlife and game parks.
In the lively capital of Nairobi there are so many attractions to fill a few days. The Karen Blixen museum was donated by Denmark after popularity of 'Out of Africa'. The location of the museum now is also home to some beautiful wildlife including horses. Most visitors also take in the elephant orphanage and giraffe sanctuary, offering the chance to feed the giraffes from a raised platform.
Of course it's the wildlife that draws most people to Kenya due its excellent national parks and reserves such as The Maasai Mara (also known as the Masai Mara to the Mara to locals), Nakuru and Samburu . Of course most people want to get a snap of the big five but there are also good chances of seeing the lesser predators of the genet, jackal and hyena.
Mount Kenya is the country's highest mountain and is the 2nd largest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro. Standing at a height of over 5000 metres, it towers over the surrounding plains and is no mean feat to scale with most climbers regarding it as more of a challenge that it's taller cousin in Tanzania.
Kenya's music scene is one of the most eclectic in the whole of Africa. With over 40 regional languages across the country, the folk music of Kenya is incredibly varied. Many of the regions have their own type of music, and one of the most inspiring is the Polyphonic style of the Maasai region in which chanting makes up the song's rhythm.
Tribes all over Kenya are proud of their products, whether it is music or textiles or food. The staple diet is mainly maize based and although each region has its own specific taste, there are many that are common across the country. One of these is Sukuma wiki. It is a phrase that means "to push the week". This meal is full of seasonal vegetables which will last a family a week.
Kenya does pack a lot into a small space but don't underestimate the country, in terms of tourism it is Africa’s biggest hit!
Rwanda is a landlocked republic situated on the eastern rim of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley. It is part of the watershed of Africa's two largest river systems, the Nile and the Congo. Much of the country is covered in mountains, especially in the volcanic Virunga chain protected by the Volcanoes National Park. The two main tribal groupings are the Hutu and the Tutsi. The 1994 genocide was just the most recent chapter of a long and bitter relationship between the two groups. In recognition of this, whilst in Rwanda we will organise a visit to the Genocide Memorial at Kigali. Rwanda has made enormous progress in rebuilding itself following the troubles, and is rapidly acquiring a reputation for the warmth of the welcome provided to travellers.
In the Parc National Des Volcans, the volcanoes reach above the clouds and it is home to the rare mountain gorilla. Treks to see the gorillas are the major attraction for tourist to Rwanda, providing vital income for the country as well as unforgettable experience for the traveller. There are also many animals in Rwanda. Elephants, rhinos and monkeys are a few of the 'big ticket iteams', but there are early 200 species of mammals and over 700 species of birds.
There is a welcoming feeling that brings the opportunity to join in with the amazing traditions and experience what Rwanda has to offer.
In the heart of East and Southern Africa lies the wonderful country of Uganda, which Winston Churchill famously called the 'Pearl of Afrcia'
Uganda is brimming with national parks, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one the most visited and contains the most astonishing number of different fauna including 100 different types of mammal and over 600 species of birds.
The capital of Kampala is situated at the south of the country and has many museums, theatres and markets that line the streets. Explore and discover the wonderful history of a capital that is built on seven hills.
Jinja is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda. This is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and for the eco-traveller who wants to do something really worthwhile. The area is beautiful and is located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria. The most popular activity here is the white-water rafting trip down the Nile.
Many locals use the national produce of bananas to from a way of life. One product made is an alcoholic drink called Tonto. The juices are combined with grains and fermented for two days, creating a smooth taste. Many dishes in Uganda have an English, Arab and Indian influence, creating a unique taste. Most meals are served with a centre of soup or stew, and this tradition makes a beautiful icon of Uganda.
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your kitty, insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
If you arrive early, you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
Stay in a simple hotel with swimming pool, restaurant and en suite bathrooms.
Hotel (1 nt)
Drive north-west past great views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park, situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley (170 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
Stop along the way in the town of Gilgil where we'll learn more about one of our foundation projects, the Saidia Children's Home Project. This project isn't just about the children - they also have a 'Grannie' project which helps elders too. More info is on their website: www.saidia-gilgil.org.uk/.
Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around a flamingo-filled lake, makes it a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours many rhinos and will be the best chance to get a great picture of these magnificent beasts.
Arrive in time for a short evening game drive along the shore of the lake.
Tonight's campground is beautifully located - but it's very basic, having drop toilets and basic showers.
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Up early this morning, we only have tea or coffee before going back into the park for a morning game drive.
Return to camp for brunch before driving to Eldoret (200 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.
Camp on the outskirts of Eldoret.
Cross the border into Uganda and travel on to its capital city, Kampala (390 km, approx 8-9 hrs).
Kampala is the capital of landlocked Uganda. With a population of over 30 million, it's one of the five countries that make up the East African Community. It's a country of great cultural diversity and in recent years has been one of the most progressive in the region in terms of health education relating to HIV.
Once the heart of the Buganda Kingdom, Kampala is a bustling city spread over several hills and valleys.
Camp on the outskirts of the city.
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
After breakfast, we drive to Kampala City. If time allows, it's a great place to wander around on foot, exploring many of its markets and shops.
Travel on to Kibale Forest National Park (350 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
The most accessible of Uganda's major rainforests, Kibale Forest National Park is home to the highest concentration of primates in the world, with twelve different species recorded. The main attractions are the park's 500 chimpanzees, which have been habituated to human visitors. More closely related to humans than any other living creature, the chimpanzees are a delight to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.
We'll take a 2-4 hour walking safari that gives us the amazing opportunity to watch the way the chimps feed, climb trees, respond to humans and care for their young ones. It's a phenomenal experience and a real highlight. This is a guided walk through thick hilly jungle. You'll need to take water bottles, raincoats, good walking boots and perhaps a walking stick.
There's plenty for you to see and do in this beautiful area, including walks to villages, tea plantations, rivers, lakes or just relaxing around the campsite.
Camp in a basic campground that has showers and flush toilets.
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take a game drive on our way to the camp (200 km, approx 5.5 hrs).
Queen Elizabeth National Park is beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George. During our time in the park we hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
Take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife, as well as its healthy population of hippos.
Stay at a basic camp on the grounds of a lodge which has drop toilets and basic showers.
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Travel on to Lake Bunyonyi (250 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
Located in the south-west of Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi - meaning 'place of many little birds' - is home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.
If time allows, one of the best ways to admire the landscape is from on the lake itself by hiring a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro). They can be hard to master at first but great fun.
Our campground has flush toilets with basic showers.
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Cross the border into Rwanda and travel toward Ruhengeri, via Kigali (200 km, approx 6-7 hrs).
Rwanda's capital, Kigali, is a great place to explore on foot - from its market areas to the infamous Hotel Rwanda.
Visit Kigali's very moving genocide memorial. We may visit the memorial on the way to Ruhengeri or on our return.
Ruhengeri is the gateway to Volcanoes National Park.
We allow two days for gorilla visits as you are assigned a trekking group/time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day, or even over two days, depending on the time of permit issue and group size. There is a maximum group size of eight on each gorilla visit.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than eight per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.
When you are waiting for, or have completed, your gorilla visit, your leader will provide you with options and ideas on how you can spend your time in the area around Ruhengeri.
Stay in dormitories at a local church mission.
Dormitory (3 nts)
Travel to the border with Uganda where we'll complete the border formalities. It's possible for most nationalities to purchase a re-entry visa at this land crossing but please check before travelling. Then head to Lake Mburo (420 km, approx 9-10 hrs).
The flora of Lake Mburo National Park is acacia woodland, different to most other parks in East Africa, which means its fauna is also different to other reserves. It's the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals including zebras, impalas, buffalo, leopards, hyenas and jackals. There are five lakes within the park which are home to hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while the papyrus swamps provide cover for the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. This small park is less well-known among tourists so it's much quieter than some of the more famous East African parks.
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Before breakfast we have a two-hour guided walking safari through the Lake Mburo National Park allowing us to see some of the animals and spectacular birdlife.
Travel from Lake Mburo to Jinja via Kampala, stopping en route at the equator (340 km, approx 7-8 hrs).
Jinja is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda. Located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, this is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and the eco-traveller who wants to do something really worthwhile in a beautiful area.
Camp at a scenic riverside retreat with showers and flush toilets.
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Begin the journey back to Nairobi, making an overnight stop outside the town of Eldoret along the way (300 km, approx 7-8 hrs). Continue on to Nairobi early the next morning (370 km, approx 7-8 hrs).
One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.
On arrival in Nairobi we'll be dropped at our finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but we are able to book you additional accommodation in Nairobi. Please ask at time of booking.
Important: Please don't book any international flights until after 9pm this evening.
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
You'll need to be fit enough to trek to the location of your family of mountain gorillas. This may involve up to 5 hours of walking up and down hills, in hot and humid conditions and through tropical (and at times thick) foliage. There may be mud underfoot which will make the trekking slippery. You'll be expected to carry your own personal needs for this trek including water and a rain jacket as well as your camera equipment.
The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day.
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and some included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases. Please check our website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.
Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.
A trip kitty of USD1465.00 CASH will be required.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The official currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES).
The official currency of Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX).
The official currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc (RWF).
The best way to manage your money in Africa is a mixture of cash and an ATM card (best to have both Visa and MasterCard).
Cash is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.
***PLEASE NOTE: MANY BUSINESSES AND BANKS IN EAST AFRICA DO NOT ACCEPT US DOLLAR NOTES OLDER THAN 2004. IF YOU ARE BRINGING USD, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND LARGE BILLS IN GOOD CONDITION, 2004 SERIES ONWARDS ONLY. ANY OLD OR DAMAGED NOTES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED. IF YOUR KITTY PAYMENT IS REQUIRED TO BE PAID IN USD, IT MUST BE PAID WITH BILLS NO OLDER THAN 2003 SERIES***
EUR or GBP are also widely accepted. The South African Rand can also be used widely in countries of Southern Africa. When changing money, only use reputable authorised money exchange vendors and never anyone on the street. There are many instances of travellers being given counterfeit notes or being tricked when money is being counted out.
Some people like to carry traveller’s cheques for back up emergency cash. While traveller’s cheques are undoubtedly the safest way to carry money, they are becoming harder to cash around the world and can often result in unfavourable exchange rates and commission charges. They are no longer accepted in many locations in Kenya & Tanzania. It can also be tricky to reach banks during banking business hours which are often short in many African countries. Note: Receipts for traveller’s cheques are required by banks and money changers.
With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.
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, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Imaginative Traveller destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
This trip finishes upon arrival in Nairobi on Day 16. Please do not book any flights until after 9pm this evening.
Gorilla Permits need to be bought in advance. In order to secure them, an additional non-refundable deposit of ( AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900 ) is needed to secure the permit at time of booking. We also require full passport details at time of booking. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 90 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking. Full kitty payment is applicable on Day 1 of the trip.
On the 1st of June 2012 the Rwanda Development Board increased the Rwanda Gorilla Permit price from USD500 to USD750.
We have absorbed this increase for all of our 2012 departures with trekking dates within 2012.
However all departure dates with trekking dates in 2013 will have an increased kitty price as a result of this increase.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
THIS TRIP REQUIRES YOUR KITTY PAYMENT TO BE MADE IN USD. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS NEEDS TO BE PAID WITH BILLS NO OLDER THEN 2003 SERIES. OLD OR DAMAGED NOTES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Maximum of 22 travellers per group.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The Single Supplement doesn't apply to nights 9-11 spent in a dormitory.
Camping (with facilities) (11 nts), Dormitory (3 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person dome tents.
The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants.
There may be the occasional night stop, when we stay in the grounds of a hotel or at a campsite which may also have cabins available. In this case there may be a choice of camping or upgrading to a room (at additional cost).
Keep in mind that if we are staying in dormitory accommodation, you may have to share with other passengers or be split into same sex rooms. Check with your travel agent before travelling about the possibility of upgrading to a private room.
Campsites do have facilities but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic (the toilets may be a squat-style hole in the ground). There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Wild camps have no facilities at all.
Not all campsites are as basic as this description - it's just to make sure there are no surprises for you.
15 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 14 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.
Your cook (East Africa only) will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day. If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.
A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. There may be a chance on occasion to buy your lunch. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.
On the more remote sections of your trip (for example in West Africa & North Africa), your food and diet will be dependent on what is available locally as well as tinned and dry ingredients.
One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Overland vehicle
Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. The fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above.
There are many long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience which is right for you.
African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver.
Intrepid runs some of our basic overland trips in conjunction with our partners Dragoman Overland (please refer to Trip Notes (Important Notes) to see if your trip is run in conjunction with Dragoman) and as such the demographics of the crew may vary on each departure - if you are travelling on an Intrepid-operated departure your crew will usually be Kenyan; if you are travelling on a Dragoman-operated departure your crew will be Westerners with an African cook.
Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well)
Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Imaginative Traveller trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment.
While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.
Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping.
Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.
Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc.
If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun.
We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Kivi Milimani Hotel
Phone: +254 735491064
The Kivi Milimani hotel is very simple but clean, comfortable and safe. All rooms have en suite with hot water. The hotel's surroundings are lovely with a pool area perfect for relaxing and groovy retro (but original!) 70's bar and restaurant.
If you have pre-booked a transfer please look out for our representative holding an Intrepid board with your name at the arrival terminal.
If you fail to see our representative walk to the Grand Voyage Travel Agency Desk which is located at the right side of the arrival terminal, down the stairway, next to the Airtel office and request your transfer.
Grand Voyage Travel Agency:
Mobile: +254 722 430646 / +254 722 717336
Tel: +254 722 717336 / +254 722 260627
If you are making your own way to the hotel, there is a taxi stand outside the airport building. A taxi should cost approximately US$20, and must be paid in Kenyan Shillings.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Kivi Milimani Hotel
Phone: +254 735491064
The Kivi Milimani hotel is very simple but clean, comfortable and safe. All rooms have en suite with hot water. The hotel's surroundings are lovely with a pool area perfect for relaxing and groovy retro (but original!) 70's bar and restaurant.
If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
It's possible to book a taxi to the airport via our hotel - please inquire at the reception. The price will be approximately US$20 in Kenyan shillings.
In the case of an on ground issue or problem the Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813
In case of genuine crisis or emergency (ONLY), you can reach the local operator on: +254-736-213-383.
We also have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked. Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: Yes - Visa required
Belgium: Yes - Visa required
Canada: Yes - Visa required
Germany: Ye - Visa required
Ireland: Yes - Visa required
Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
South Africa: Yes - Visa required if travelling for more than 30days
Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
USA: Yes - Visa required
Kenyan Visas can be obtained at point of entry for most nationalities, although some are required to purchase visas in advance. You MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you'll need new (post-2003), clean US dollars cash. The cost is around US$50. Currently you don't require a multi-entry visa between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (eg. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa). If your trip visits Rwanda and re-enters Kenya you may require a double entry visa to Kenya, depending on the border guard on the day. This can easily be purchased at the border if required.
Visas are required by most nationalities, including the EU, US and Australia. Visas are available at point of entry to most nationalities. Some nationalities are required to obtain visas in advance - you MUST check before departure. If you plan to purchase your visas on arrival, you will need new (post 2003), clean American dollars cash and the cost is around US$50. When on one of our gorilla itineraries visiting Rwanda, you may require a double entry visa to Uganda. This is dependent on the border guard of the day and can be easily purchased on re entry from Rwanda for nationalities which qualify for visa on arrival. Please allow US$50.
Visas are required by all nationalities and need to be obtained in advance. You can apply for this visa online at www.migration.gov.rw.
You'll need to apply for an Entry Visa on their website (Services tab, Visa) which should take approx 2-5 days to come through. You must print this Entry Facility out to present at the border.
If you are asked to provide an address in Rwanda on your visa form, please use the address below -
Centre Pastoral Notre Dame De Fatima
Avenue de la Nutrition
Supporting Documents may also be required - the embassy will contact you if they require these.
The visa costs approx US$60 payable on the border with the exception of USA, Germany, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, nationals where the visa is free of charge.
Note: Rwanda is constantly updating its visa information; therefore we recommended that you check the website carefully for the latest up to date information www.migration.gov.rw
Exit Kenya - Malaba
Enter Uganda - Malaba
Exit Uganda - Katuna
Enter Rwanda - Gatuna
Exit Rwanda - Gatuna
Enter Uganda - Katuna
Exit Uganda - Malaba
Enter Kenya - Malaba
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than 66cm deep, 30cm wide, and 30cm high. You will need to bring your own lock for your locker. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock with a long shackle.The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks shouldn't have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” socket which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. We suggest you bring a mix of normal and rechargeable batteries and the appropriate recharging unit. Hotels and many campsites have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.
We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
A sleeping bag (we recommend a 3–4 season). It can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. Pillows are not provided so please bring a travel pillow along. While we provide a mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer and choose to bring their own mattress.
A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
A headlamp or torch is recommended for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the toilet in the middle of the night.
You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. You will need a comfortable pair of waterproof, hiking boots. Some of the foliage in the forest has sharp spikes and can be prickly. A typical gardening glove with a hard surface on the palm will make it easier to grab onto trees and bushes as you pull yourself up the hillside. It's also a good idea to pack a pair of long socks so that you can tuck your trousers into them and avoid any ants or insects getting to your ankles.
All Imaginative Traveller travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Imaginative Traveller reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about 3 litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
There have been confirmed cases of Ebola in the Kibale district of Western Uganda since July 2012. We recommend all travellers exercise caution by avoiding physical contact with people whilst travelling in neighbouring regions. Please see the WHO website (http://www.who.int) or speak to your doctor for more information.
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. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.
We have become aware of passengers being approached outside of our starting point hotels by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or claiming to be Intrepid employees selling Urban Adventures or Intrepid trips. These people are not employees of Intrepid nor registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you' should suffice. If this does happen to you, please advise your leader or the reception of your hotel immediately so that the person can be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for more information:
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our 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 Imaginative Traveller travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Carbon Offset C02-e 464.00 kgs per pax.
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