Complete East Africa Trip Notes
Trip code: GACE
Trip valid from: 01/01/2012
Trip valid until: 30/06/2013
Trip length: 22 days
Trip starts in: Nairobi
Trip ends in: Kigali
Maximum group size: 24
- 'Fighting Poverty Through Education' - Meet The Students Of The School Of St Jude
- Game Drives In The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Serengeti
- Tented Camp Stays
- The 'Garden Of Eden' Of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater
- Game Drives In The Masai Mara
- Masai Mara's Mammal Migrations
- Lake Naivasha's Hippos
- The Flamingos Of Lake Nakuru
- The Children Of East Africa Mission Orphanage
- Ride The Nile At Jinja
- Get Cheeky With Chimps, Ngamba Island
- Drink Waragi – Ugandan Banana Gin
- Game Drives In Queen Elizabeth National Park's Diverse Habitats
- Gorilla Trekking In Parc National Des Volcans
- Kigali's Genocide Memorial - A Monument To The Courage And Resilience Of The Rwandan People
Covering four countries over an enthralling 22 days, this safari is a combination of our 'Tanzanian Trails' and 'Masai Mara & Mountain Gorillas' adventures. Tanzania’s two main drawcards are the celebrated grasslands of the Serengeti and the outstanding Ngorongoro Crater. Both are so well known that they need little introduction. The Serengeti Plains/Masai Mara ecosystem is one of the largest in Africa, covering some 15,000 square kilometres (about a quarter of the size of the Australian state of Tasmania and three times the size of Wales). It supports the largest concentration of plains animals anywhere in the world, along with plenty of predators. Nearby is the ancient crater at Ngorongoro, measuring 20 kilometres in diameter and the largest unbroken, intact and unflooded caldera (collapsed cone of an ancient volcano) in the world. Often described as a ‘natural zoo’, the crater offers outstanding opportunities for seeing a large variety of wildlife, including the highly endangered black rhinoceros. Before venturing into these wonderful wildlife arenas, we first spend time at a very inspirational school and learn how one Australian woman's dream of fighting poverty through education has become a reality. Seeking out the poorest of the poor and providing the support required to help these children to complete primary and secondary education, this school hopes to set the foundations for the future success of Tanzania as this generation move forward into adulthood.
The Masai Mara is an area of incredible natural beauty and also home to a plethora of flora and fauna, making it one of the greatest natural wildlife theatres in the world. It is a great place to begin our safari and to get our first taste of game viewing African style. From here two of Kenya's Great Rift Valley lakes await - the freshwater Lake Naivasha and the alkaline Lake Nakuru. Camping on the shores of Lake Naivasha we quickly become aware of the immense numbers of hippos and variety of bird life that resides here. There are a great range of optional activities available here and time is set aside to enjoy these. Nearby Lake Nakuru forms the centrepiece of Lake Nakuru National Park, best known for the millions of flamingoes that carpet the lake with a soft pink colour. This park is excellent for white rhino sightings and is also home to the usual array of grazing animals. We are proud to support the work of the East Africa Mission Orphanage (EAMO) and we get to experience the daily life at this very special project. Sharing dinner with the children and spending time with them at school will provide us with many touching memories.
Uganda, often referred to as 'The Pearl of Africa', offers many treasured highlights and memories. Our exploration begins in Jinja, located at the point where the Victoria Nile River flows out of Lake Victoria. Here we have our chance to get our adrenalin fix by participating in some optional adventurous activities, but the more cautious amongst us can just explore some neighbouring villages and get a taste of Ugandan life. Our close relatives at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary provide some interesting insights into our own human behaviour and the trip out to the island also incorporates some superb scenery. Queen Elizabeth National Park is a true wildlife haven that we explore in-depth on game drives and also on an awesome afternoon boat trip on the Kazinga Channel.
Leaving Uganda we then spend time with the majestic mountain gorillas on the slopes of Parc National des Volcans. Coming face to face with endangered gorillas in their own environment is a real privilege and an experience that will be indelibly etched in our minds. There is no real way to describe the intimacy of getting close to these giants – for many, it is a deeply moving experience. Quite simply trekking to visit mountain gorillas is one of those ‘must do’ things and Rwanda offers the best opportunity to achieve this. Unlike most other companies Gecko’s pre-purchases gorilla permits from the Rwandan authorities to ensure that we are able to offer them for each departure. When you have paid the trip deposit and the gorilla permit fee in full and have provided us with the necessary information, then your gorilla permit is guaranteed. Please note that the Rwandan government may revoke or change permit conditions at any time (including after purchase) without prior notice. Gecko’s Adventures does not accept responsibility for loss of enjoyment or compensation resulting from any changes beyond our control. Our final stop is the Genocide Museum, a sobering but extremely moving experience where we learn of the recent atrocities in Rwanda, but also gain respect for the way the people have chosen to move forward.
NairobiToday is an arrival day, so you may arrive at any time. A pre-departure meeting takes place at 6pm at the hotel. You may choose to eat at the hotel restaurant this evening or venture out to one of the many fine restaurants that Nairobi has to offer (own expense).
Arusha(Driving time: approx 8 hours) We depart Nairobi at 9am and cross the border at Namanga to enter Tanzania, before travelling on to Arusha. Arusha, also known as the Safari Capital of Tanzania, throbs with activity and we can expect to see several safaris heading off – or returning after a week in the bush. Here, we set up for our first night of camping in Tanzania. (B, L, D)
School of St Jude - Mto Wa Mbu(Driving time: approx 2 hours) This morning we visit a very special school in Arusha. The School of St Jude was founded in 2002 by Gemma, a young Australian woman, for orphans and very poor children of Arusha. The school was founded on Gemma's belief that not only was a good and accessible education a right for all children in the world but without it, Africa's rate of development would continue to lag behind the rest of the world. Under the banner of 'Fighting Poverty through Education' the school provides a totally free education to over 90% of the pupils, including supplying transport, uniform, stationery, snacks, water and a hot meal. The opportunity for sponsorship at St Jude is given to the brighest and most ambitious children of extremely poor families, after a series of tests designed to measure potential and poverty levels. Whilst on a guided tour of the school we are given more information on how it operates and the success that it has achieved. We have time to visit children in class, before joining them for morning tea. We may hear some singing and see some of the children displaying special skills. This is a morning that is certain to touch our souls and fill us full of optimism. Leaving Arusha we will travel on to Meserani where will stop for lunch. There is the opportunity to explore a snake park or visit an excellent Masai museum, as well as purchase crafts from the local Masai women (time permitting). We will then continue on to our campsite at Mto Wa Mbu. (B, L, D)
Serengeti National Park(Driving time: approx 8 hours; game drives: variable) Continuing toward Ngorongoro, we stop on the top of the Rift Valley escarpment for an incredible view out over Lake Manyara before continuing to the Serengeti Plains. These massive grasslands seem to stretch as far as the eye can see, and beyond! Over a million wildebeest roam through the park, along with a multitude of antelope species and significant populations of lion and cheetah. We spend two days exploring the plains on game drives as well as checking out the rocky outcrops, or ‘kopjes’, which are a favourite resting spot for the predators. We spend two nights camping inside the park - perfectly situated for the opportunity to hear the night time serenade of the African savannah. Please note that the campsites in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are national park campsites and have no shower facilities. These are the only public campsites available and the facilities are basic in the extreme. There are no fences surrounding the campsites and wildlife is free to roam at leisure. The toilets are pit toliets and are not cleaned regularly. As mentioned, there is no water for showers or for washing up. As a result the water tank on the vehicle will be required for cooking. You will need to purchase bottled water at your own expense for this part of the tour. However the opportunity to camp in the middle of the Serengeti Plains and on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater are real highlights and incredible experiences that you are unlikely to forget. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Conservation Area(Driving time: approx 8 hours (incl. game drive)) We enjoy a final early morning game drive, before heading back to break down camp. We then traverse the southern part of Serengeti National Park and cross over into the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area. On the way to our campsite there is the option of visiting the small museum at Olduvai Gorge (time permitting), which documents the discovery of 1.8 million year old human-like fossils. We arrive at our campsite on the rim of the crater in the early evening – be warned that it gets very cold up here! This campsite is another government campsite and has equally primitive facilities, but is often frequented by buffalo, elephant and zebra. (B, L, D)
Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha(Driving time: approx 8 hours) At the heart of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the crater, which is a volcanic caldera some 20 kilometres wide that contains an abundance of wildlife and bird life. Ngorongoro is often referred to as a microcosm of Africa, with forest and grasslands, as well as freshwater and soda lakes. We transfer into Land Rovers and head down to the crater floor, where we spend the morning exploring this outstanding wildlife sanctuary. The crater is home to several black rhinos and, with luck, we may have the opportunity to seeing some of these highly endangered animal. (National park regulations stipulate that vehicles are only allowed a maximum of six hours in Ngorongoro Crater.) After an exciting morning in the crater we head through Karatu to Mto Wa Mbu and return to our campground in Arusha, where a hot shower and cold drink awaits! (B, L, D)
Arusha - Nairobi(Driving time: approx 8 hours) This morning we bid farewell to some of our fellow travellers who are ending their safari in Arusha. We retrace our path back to Namanga to exit Tanzania and re-enter Kenya. We should arrive back at our Nairobi hotel in the mid afternoon. After checking in you have time to relax by the pool or catch up on some emails in the business centre. A pre-departure meeting takes place at 6pm at the hotel. This meeting will cover the next fourteen days of the tour and provide us with a chance to meet our new fellow travellers. (B)
Masai Mara National Reserve(Driving time: approx 7 hours; game drive times variable) Leaving Nairobi we travel down into the Great Rift Valley and the Masai Mara region, where we spend two nights and enjoy a full day's safari. As dusk falls we may see a variety of animals in the vicinity and listen to the sounds of the African night from our camp. We explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives and witness the wonderful procession of wildlife that inhabit this area. Wildebeest, zebra and gazelle are plentiful and, with luck, we may spot lion or cheetah keeping a casual eye on their movements. Elephant, giraffe and eland are also commonly sighted, along with plenty of bird life. Whilst in the region, we also have time to experience some of the Masai culture and you may choose to visit a local village, where you can experience the dancing and singing for which the Masai are renowned. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Lake Naivasha(Driving time: approx 6 hours) This morning we depart the Masai Mara and head to the nearby freshwater Lake Naivasha, where we set up camp on the banks of the lake. Tonight we can fall asleep to the sound of grunting hippos! This afternoon is at leisure to take in one of the optional activities of the area. You may choose to visit Elsamere, the former home of writer Joy Adamson of ‘Born Free’ fame, and learn about her life and work, before enjoying a sumptuous afternoon tea. Alternatively you can take a cycling tour into Hell's Gate National Park, to try game viewing on two wheels! Another great option is a nature walk in Crescent Island Sanctuary to see just how close you can get to the resident animals such as giraffe, zebra and wildebeest, on foot. Please note that these activities will be offered if time permits. Time may be reduced according to road conditions and hours of daylight (season). (B, L, D)
Lake Naivasha - East Africa Mission Orphanage(Driving time: approx 2 hours) This morning we have time for another optional activity in Lake Naivasha before lunch. We then travel to the town of Nakuru to stock up on supplies before reaching the East Africa Mission Orphanage, where we camp on its grounds. This afternoon we will be able to meet the children and this evening we share dinner with them at the orphanage. They love to practice their English skills and also are excited to know more about the world - be warned they will have lots of questions for you over dinner! The East Africa Mission Orphanage looks after more than 200 children ranging in age from 2 to 20 years of age. The complete needs of the children, including full school education, are provided for by the orphanage. This orphanage is actually the result of the dream of one family, who arrived in Kenya in 1997 with nothing more than two suitcases each. It is a charitable institution, registered with the Kenyan Government for the purposes of caring for the thousands of homeless orphans, who would end up either dying a premature death through malnutrition, walking the streets in search of food or turning to prostitution as a means of survival. The orphanage is taking up the challenge to reach out to these children before they have to fend for themselves out in the streets. We are proud to help support the efforts of this family and their incredible orphanage, and is excited to be able to take clients right into the orphanage itself! (B, L, D)
Lake Nakuru National Park - East Africa Mission Orphanage(Game drive times variable) This morning we travel to the nearby Lake Nakuru National Park for a full day of game driving. Lake Nakuru is particularly noted for its populations of white and black rhino, Cape buffalo and the elusive leopard. Many other animals abound here including the Masai giraffe, which is often sighted quite close to the many roads in the park. Lake Nakuru is one of several soda lakes in the Rift Valley. Rich in algae, it attracts large quantities of flamingos and at times the surface of the lake resembles a moving carpet of pink feathers. In the evening we return to our camp in the orphanage. (B, L, D)
East Africa Mission Orphanage School - Kenyan Highlands(Driving time: approx 2 hours) This morning we spend time with the children of the orphanage in their classrooms. We get to sit in on class with the children and join some of them in their lessons. The children are taught by paid, qualified local teachers, according to the curriculum of the Kenyan school system. However they also receive the additional benefit of having all their classes conducted in both English and Swahili, which assists them to learn English fluently. After packing up camp, we bid farewell to the children of the orphanage and head up to the western highlands, which is the agricultural heartland of Kenya. Vast tea plantations cover the region around Kericho and our campsite is located in the midst of an actual plantation. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to learn more about the tea industry in Kenya and how the crop is cultivated. (B, L, D)
Jinja - Nile River(Driving time: approx 8 hours) A long drive of 350 kilometres takes us from the Kenyan Highlands to the Ugandan Riverina. Leaving Kericho we cross the equator into the northern hemisphere before passing through Kisumu and getting our first sighting of Lake Victoria. From there the road continues onto Busia border post - one of the busiest in east Africa. We then continue past lush banana and tea plantations before reaching Jinja, located at the point where Lake Victoria empties into the Victoria Nile, which merges with the Albert Nile to later become the White Nile River. John Hanning Speke proclaimed Jinja to be the source of the Nile in 1858, but this was disproved in 2004 and the true source of the Nile is now accepted to be a small stream in Nungwe, Rwanda. We spend two nights camped at Bujagali Falls, on the banks of the river. This is a spectacular spot, situated on a section with raging rapids, forested islands and an abundance of bird life. These falls have become east Africa's adventure centre and we can be enticed by optional activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, horse riding and quad biking. (2B, 2L, 2D)
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary - Entebbe(Driving time: approx 1 hour) We leave the Nile River and retrace our path to Lake Victoria before circling part way around the lake to Entebbe. At Entebbe we travel by boat to Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria, where we visit a chimpanzee sanctuary. Covered by rainforest, this island is home to 39 orphaned chimpanzees and here we have the opportunity to observe these cheeky primates close to their natural habitat. We suggest you arrange a packed lunch from your hotel the night before, as only drinks and dry snacks only are available on the island. Remember to bring a hat, sunscreen and swimming gear. After leaving Ngamba Island we head on to our campground at Entebbe. (B, D)
Queen Elizabeth National Park(Driving time: approx 8 hours plus; game drive times variable) From Entebbe we journey on to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a stunning reserve that covers almost 2000 square kilometres and includes an array of habitats. On arrival we embark on an afternoon game drive in search of some of the 100 different types of mammals and over 600 different species of birds that have been identified in the park. This national park certainly has one of the highest biodiversity ratings in the world! We spend two nights camped in the Mweya area, located on the edge of the Kazinga Channel. The following morning is spent game driving, whilst our afternoon is set aside for enjoying a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel. Whilst rhino, giraffe, zebra and impala are not encountered here, the other main species are all present along with some rare ones such as Ugandan kob, sitatunga, giant forest hog and topi. The afternoon's boat trip on the Kazinga Channel is a highlight for all, but especially so for birdwatchers. Many species can be sighted including the bizarre looking shoebill (or whale-headed) stork, which stands over one metre in height! The Kazinga Channel is said to contain the world's largest concentration of hippoptamuses, but interestingly not many crocodiles! (2B, 2L, 2D)
Queen Elizabeth National Park - Ruhengeri(Driving time: approx 7 hours) This morning we leave Queen Elizabeth National Park for the long drive to Rwanda. Our drive to Kabale reveal glimpses of rural Ugandan life and we are sure to be greeted by many 'waves' from the children on the roadsides along the way. The drive from Kabale to Kisoro is only 80 kilometers, but takes about three hours as we have to negotiate two mountain passes. From Kisoro we reach the border and cross into Rwanda, the 'Land of 10,000 Hills’. After completing immigration formalities we enter a new world, switching to driving on the right hand side of the road and hearing French being spoken, as it is the predominant language in Rwanda. Travelling to our campsite we catch glimpses of the endless mountain ranges and enjoy breathtaking views, which the country is renowned for. We spend the next two nights on the outskirts of Ruhengeri. (B, L, D)
Gorilla Trek - Parc National des VolcansThis morning we check in at the headquarters of the Parc National des Volcans for our gorilla trek. The Parc National des Volcans cover an area where a chain of volcanoes link to form a natural border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bamboo and rainforest covers the slopes of the park, providing the perfect sanctuary for the endangered mountain gorillas. After a brief safety talk we set off with our guide in search of these magnificent apes. Our guide is fluent in English and will pass on information to us that will ensure we understand more about the gorillas and how they live. The gorilla families may either be close or further afield and they may also be on the move, whilst we are trekking. Be prepared for what can be a long and tough climb in damp and humid conditions, and our guides may have to use their machetes to cut paths for us to pass through. We are likely to get within metres of the family we are tracking and will be able to spend an hour observing these magnificent primates. Please note that gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases and you should advise your guide if you are suffering from a cold or anything similar. It would be irresponsible to risk the health of even one of the last 700 remaining mountain gorillas that are still living in their natural habitat. Returning to base we travel back to our campsite, where we have the chance to relive the events of the day over a well-earned meal. (B, L, D)
Kigali(Driving time: approx 2 hours) Leaving Ruhengeri we begin our two hour drive through verdant, rolling hills of Rwanda as we travel south-east to the capital, Kigali. Our final activity is a visit to the Genocide Memorial, recently opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Whilst this disaster occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it can only be seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. Time spent at this memorial will be an emotionally moving and important way to understand the sheer courage and resilience of people of this beautiful, tiny nation. Our tour comes to an end after our visit to the memorial. Please note that accommodation for tonight is not included, but can be booked separately If you are flying out of Kigali today, you should not book your flight to depart prior to 1.45pm. It is also vital to re confirm any flights out of Rwanda. These schedules change regularly and often by more than a few hours. These must be checked to save any problems with your departure. Transfers to Kigali Airport are also available at additional cost. (B)
Itinerary VariationWhile the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Take your pick: hunt for tigers in northern India, listen to monkey chatter and birdsong in the jungles of Costa Rica and Peru or gawp at the Galapagos’ diversity. And of course, there's the big one: Africa. The names alone evoke images of wildlife: the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Kruger. And the reality’s even better. Africa’s got the lot, so go beyond the Big Five by hiking to close encounters with gorillas in Uganda’s forests, walking with lions at Zimbabwe’s Antelope Park, or canoeing past crocs on the Okavango Delta. From the Cape’s loveable penguins to Egypt’s loping camels, Africa’s animals await.
Think about the feeling you get after completing one of the world’s great treks: seeing Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate after gruelling days on the Inca Trail; looking down on Africa from its summit, Kilimanjaro; relaxing by Pokhara’s perfect lake after tackling Annapurna’s rugged tracks. The legs might ache but the feeling of pride in your achievements is overwhelming. More than that though, trekking gets you up close and personal with the world’s finest landscapes and many interesting cultures. Walk through remote jungle to visit the tribes of northern Thailand and Vietnam, or explore China’s iconic Tiger Leaping Gorge by foot, and you’ll find the country opens up in a whole new way, the slow pace all the better for appreciating the surroundings. It’s definitely better to travel than to arrive – particularly when the travel’s all on your own steam.
The trek itself can be long and difficult through some rough terrain. Conditions are generally muddy/slippery and there are some uphill sections that may be very steep. The rainforest is often hot and humid. The trip is graded as 'Active' and you must be able to cope with the rigours of walking for up to (and sometimes more than) four hours in this environment.
Please be aware there will be some long travelling days over rough terrain in dry and dusty conditions. The sealed roads are generally very badly maintained and at times we also use dirt roads – which are worse. Occasionally they may even become impassable due to poor weather conditions, causing us to re-route the itinerary. You must be prepared for a fair bit of bouncing around. Meals on this trip will be quite basic, as the variety and availability of fresh food is sometimes very limited. You will go up to three nights in a row without shower facilities and there may not be hot water when you do get shower facilities. If you feel this will be a problem, may we suggest you consider a safari in southern Africa.
• Gecko’s experienced English-speaking local safari leader, professional driver, and camp cook who will prepare all included meals.
• Gecko’s specialist English-speaking local site guides in the Ngorongoro Crater and on the Gorilla trek.
• Transport in a custom-built safari vehicle with large opening windows for unrestricted game viewing (maximum of just 24 clients).
• 17 nights camping in large dome tents, with mosquito netting and a foam mattress provided. Camp sites include: in the middle of the Serengeti Plains; on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater; on the banks of Lake Naivasha; in a 'bush camp' on East Africa Mission Orphanage’s farmland; on a tea plantation; and at Bujagali Falls.
• 2 nights in a tented bush camp located on the Masai Mara park boundary.
• 1 day in Lake Nakuru National Park; 1 day in Parc National des Volcans; 2 days in Masai Mara National Reserve; 2 days in Queen Elizabeth National Park; and 4 days in Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro Conservation Area (including all park entrance fees, where applicable).
• Game drives in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
• Gorilla trek in Parc National des Volcans, including one pre-purchased gorilla trekking permit.
• Visit to the School of St Jude which is 'Fighting Poverty through Education'. Guided tour of the school, visiting the children in class and joining them for morning tea.
• Dinner and time in the classroom with the children of the East Africa Mission Orphanage.
• Boat trip to Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria to visit a chimpanzee sanctuary.
• Boat trip on the Kazinga Channel.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Lake Manyara; Genocide Memorial in Kigali.
• Free time to explore Lake Naivasha.
International flights, local payment, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre-tour or post-tour accommodation, all other meals, drinks, sleeping bag, pillow, all optional additional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature, laundry and flights (unless specified).
21 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 19 dinners
17 nights Camping,2 nights Tented bush camp,2 nights Hotel
Single room supplementMost of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.
4WD vehicle,Boat,Custom-built safari vehicle
camping equipment,sleeping mat
This trip includes 1 day in Lake Nakuru National Park, 1 day trekking gorillas in Parc National des Volcans, a visit to a chimpanzee sanctuary, 2 days in Masai Mara National Reserve, 2 days in Queen Elizabeth National Park and 4 days in Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
*prices below are guide onlyArusha - Masai museum visit
Masai museum visit- US$15
Guided tour through snake and reptile park- US$10
Take a guided walk into the adjoining Masai village.- US$25
An early morning hot air balloon safari over the Masai Mara National Reserve.- please contact us for price
Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, Karen Blixen Museum and the Giraffe Centre- US$65
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Masai village and cultural walk- US$20
An early morning hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti plains.-
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
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.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
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.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Imaginative Traveller & Gecko's Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Gecko's Adventures. Gecko's is an Australia based company with more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code shared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Gecko's travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 09/03/2012