There are few travel experiences in the world quite like tracking the Big Five across the Serengeti and Masai Mara, alongside two expert naturalists. This two-week trip through the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania will see you riding between incredible national parks and beautifully outfitted safari lodges and camps, while giving you the chance to get out and really experience the East African savannah with all five senses.
Arrival transfer. Game drives in Masai Mara Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli, Lake Manyara, and the Serengeti. Lecture from Kenya Wildlife Service. Visit and lecture at Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre. Entrance to Olduvai Gorge. Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Track the Big Five across the Serengeti and Masai Mara, Enjoy daily game drives in Kenya’s premier wildlife park, Meet some of the “Maasai Mamas” and learn about the Clean Cookstoves Project
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Tanzania and Kenya
The Seronera Plains, which lie in the southeast of the National Park and extend into the western Ngorongoro Conservation Area, form the main ungulate calving grounds of the Serengeti. The wildebeest typically disperse into the Seronera plains during the short rains, which fall in late November or early December, before calving in January, and staying put until the end of the long rains from January to early May. Towards the end of April the wildebeest start to congregate on the southern plains in the preparation for the 800km northward migration. The major obstacle faced by the wildebeest on this migration is the crossing for the Grumeti River through the western corridor, which typically occurs from June into early July. From July to October, the ungulates disperse again, with about half of them crossing the Mara River into Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve and the remainder spreading out through the northern and western Serengeti. By late October the animals have generally started to plod back southward to the Seronera Plains, to arrive there in late November when the cycle starts all over again.
2. COMBO TRIP
DKTS passengers will be dropped at the Namanga border crossing en route to Nairobi on day 7 to continue their journey into Tanzania. All other passengers will return to Nairobi.
This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
3. TRAVEL DAYS
This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in Kenya. A safari is about travelling to see animals, so we cover long distances crossing the country to visit different game parks. Once there, we spend the majority of the time viewing game while driving in the parks. This translates to a lot of driving. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.
All lodges will have electricity although many work off generators with limited times.
The power supply in Kenya is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
5. YELLOW FEVER
A Yellow Fever certificate is required if you are traveling to Kenya from a Yellow Fever endemic country. These certificates are required not only for passengers coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission but also those who may have transited through such countries. Incoming passengers who do not have the Certificate and are required to have it will be vaccinated at the Airport if they wish to enter the country. The cost of the vaccination is 1,000 Kenyan Shillings.
6. LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS
It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Nairobi does not arrive, especially with, but not exclusive to, major airlines out of London-Heathrow or Schiphol (Amsterdam). Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centres, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African centre. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately this does happen, and your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Nairobi, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 48 and 72 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Kenya. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. Considering that the customer service standards in Kenya are different from home, and that we find that the airlines are not always pro-active in helping luggage in its care be reunited with its owner, it is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour, and hire someone locally to persist with the your airline to retrieve your luggage. Your CEO or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be able to be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of G Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible. You should always keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
7. FLYING THROUGH LONDON-HEATHROW TO EAST AFRICA?
Please note that regardless of the rules in other centres, travellers flying from, or connecting in, London-Heathrow are currently only permitted one carry-on piece of luggage and one small personal bag (purse, laptop-size bag, briefcase) on board on flights to Nairobi. If you arrive to the security gate with 2 pieces, you will be forced to check-in one of them, which may result in complications noted above. This policy is in place as of the time of writing, though local rules and regulations may indeed change. It is thus advisable to contact your airline directly for the most up-to-date information.
Please note all accommodation is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.
Group Leader Description
Throughout the entire 14-day journey in Kenya and Tanzania, you will be accompanied on your trip by a G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager and leader. He/she organizes the trip, and will be there to assist you when needed. Your leader may be Kenyan or Tanzanian respectively on each of the sections or the same person for both sections. He/she will have a general knowledge base of the region and wildlife and will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. To round out the team, our skilled and experienced drivers are also certified safari guides. You will have two different drivers – a Kenyan who knows the roads, conditions, and wildlife in his country, and a Tanzanian who is the expert in his.
Group Size Notes
Max 6, Avg 5.
These meals are provided at the hotels or lodges in which you are accommodated. When an evening meal is not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or your will be advised of a good local establishment. All meals you have during your trip will be prepared from fresh local produce. All hotels cater to vegetarians; however, any other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
7-seat 4×4 safari van/vehicle, private minibus, walking.
About our Transportation
This trip is done in private 7-seat 4×4 safari vans in Kenya and 7-seat 4×4 safari vehicles in Tanzania. With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vehicles are designed for game viewing. If there is a large group, 2 vehicles will be used, and the group will be split up. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor, and during the dry season especially, the roads can become very dusty. This style of travel is the best under the local circumstances, as the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicle allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and to stay and watch that crouching lion prepare for an attack. The journey between Kenya and Tanzania will be done on a private mini bus, varying in size depending on the group size. If you are returning to Nairobi from Arusha at the end of your safari and have pre-booked your “shuttle” transfer through G Adventures, you will travel in a public shuttle; these are large mini buses with seating for 22-24 passengers.
Speed governors set to 80kph are used on all vehicles to ensure a safe driving speed. Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
All G Adventure vehicles are regularly serviced and follow a strict maintenance schedule. However given the long travel days and rough conditions of many of the roads in Africa, vehicles can and do breakdown on occasion. If such situations occur all drivers are trained mechanics and any vehicle issues are rectified as quickly as possible so as to not disrupt your trip. Your patience is requested if the vehicle you are traveling in happens to encounter a mechanical fault.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (3 nts), safari lodge (1 nt), comfortable tented camps (8 nts).
My Own Room
Centrally located in Westlands, our start hotel offers a host of facilities ranging from a beautifully designed pool and health club, excellent conference and banquet facilities, a wonderful courtyard 3 restaurants with delicious food 2 bars, gift shop, hair saloon, laundry service, fully equipped business centre. All rooms are en suites and have hair dryers, tea and coffee making service, mini bar, satellite TV, electronic safety deposit box, 220/115v shaver sockets, hot spot wireless connectivity.
Fig Tree Camp is located on the banks of the Talek River in the world famous Masai Mara game reserve. The Camp is situated on the northern border of the game reserve and its central location makes all areas of the park accessible during game drives. To make an evening a real adventure, at the Fig Tree Camp we stay in luxury tents spaciously lined up along the Talek River, overlooking the plains of the game reserve. Fig Tree Camp is also the base for the Masai Mara balloon safari. Speak to you sales person about pre-booking space.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Situated in the south east ecological niche of the park is the Lake Nakuru Lodge, an oasis of comfort and excellent service, with commanding views of the lesser Flamingo dotted with the Greater Flamingo for which Lake Nakuru is justly famous. It is another world for the visitor, where one easily forgets the hustle and bustle of the city. The lodge blends well with it’s surrounding and the animals often browse peacefully close to the lodge and environs, much to the fascination of the visitors.
Amboseli National Park
A luxurious tented camp with breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Kilima Safari Camp is located in the Kimana area in Amboseli National Park, next to the Kimana Gate Park Entrance. The camp is set out on a 360 acre site with Spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Kimana area of Amboseli is famous for its large elephant population. Clients can enjoy great viewing from their tents which face the Animal water pools and all public areas and guest rooms are set towards Mount Kilimanjaro
The East African Hotel is located in Arusha town, on Old Moshi road just 45 minutes away from the Kilimanjaro International Airport. Rooms are spacious suites with satellite TV, phone, radio/alarm clock, A/C, hair dryer, minibar (additional cost) and personal safe. Property facilities include; a restaurant, bar/lounge, coffee shop, business center with internet, currency exchange, and gym and swimming pool.
Rift Valley Lodge is dramatically located on the very edge of the Lake Manyara. Rift Valley Lodge offers an unforgettable safari experience from its privileged location, for both game viewing and scenery. Elegantly designed as a one level ensemble of thatched tents, its authentic traditional African style decorations create a unique atmosphere that perfectly combine tranquility with adventure. From its privileged position, you have stunning view across the tranquil and beautiful waters of the lake.
Serengeti National Park
Maisha Classic Tented Camp is a mobile tented camp strategically located to cover the game routes and migration corridors of the vast Serengeti Plains. The camp offers unique comfortable accommodation in a traditional time-honoured safari style and provides you with the opportunity to enjoy a real safari camp experience. A cosy mess tent is located in the centre of the camp where the finest in bush cuisine is served by our dedicated safari crew. The evening unwinds around the campfire, during which you might learn about Masai culture from a local elder, discuss the arrangements for the following day with your CEO or simply soak up the nocturnal orchestra that pervades around the bush.
Country Lodge is located near the bustling town of Karatu, just outside of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Spacious cottage rooms all include a fireplace and are tastefully furnished with netted king or twin beds, tables, writing desk and camp chairs. Relax on comfortable outdoor furniture on the verandah and enjoy the lush garden setting, watch the sun rise or set before heading out on your safari or retire to our main lodge for breakfast or drinks and dinner.
Please remember that hotel/lodge/camp standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel .
1) Under certain circumstances we reserve the right to change accommodation and provide something slightly different to what is described, though it will always be of similar or better standard/level.
2) Most lodges and camps do not have 24hr electricity – they usually run on generators which are routinely shut off overnight from approximately 10pm to 5am.
3) Internet is only available at the start hotel in Nairobi and Arusha.
4) Lodges and camps are NOT equipped with fans or air conditioning due to the electricity constraints listed above.
P.O Box 14287 00800 Nairobi
Fax: +254-20-4445818, 4448977
Cell: 0733 601613/4, 0722 205486/7
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) will partially close the runway at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) during off-peak for rehabilitation as part of the ongoing expansion and modernization works at the facility. The landing strip will be closed daily between midnight and 6am beginning April 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016.
Passengers are kindly advised to contact their airlines to confirm their flight schedule in advance (particularly if flights have been scheduled to arrive within these times) and please update us with any changes to flight itinerary that may effect arrival transfers.
An arrival transfer is included on this tour when you arrive on day 1, or when you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
National Geographic Journeys is only able to pick you up at the airport if you inform us in advance of your arrival flight’s details. If this has not been done, please make your way to the joining hotel. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is about 20 km from downtown and your hotel. There are a variety of ways to get into the city. The dedicated airport bus takes about 40min at USD 5, however an airport taxi is recommended. This can be booked either inside the airport at an ‘information desk’ or outside of the terminal. The price is approximately USD 20.
Otherwise, please look for our driver, who will be holding a sign with the National Geographic Journeys logo and your name on it. He will be in front of INFORMATION DESK just outside the secured baggage retrieval area. At times there are taxi drivers who will want to get your business, so please be aware of them and look for our National Geographic Journeys representative.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, though a brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening of day 1. Here you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Upon arrival to the hotel, look for a notice from your CEO with information regarding this group meeting. If you arrive late and miss the meeting, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
The tour departs Nairobi in the morning of day 2.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
We strongly advise you to pre-purchase your entry visa prior to arrival as queuing for the visa at the airport can cause long delays in clearing customs. This is especially relevant if you have pre-booked an airport transfer.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer, it is necessary to make contact with our representative, who waits with a G Adventures sign outside the secure baggage-retrieval area, within 1.5 hours (90 minutes) of your flight’s scheduled arrival time. No refunds will be granted if you fail to make contact with our representative within this reasonable time. After such time, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions.
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you receive notification of a flight schedule change outside of 48 hours before your flight is scheduled to arrive, please contact us to advise of your new flight details.
From within Australia – 1-300-796-618
From within Canada or the United States – 1-800-465-6500
From within the UK – 0870 999-0144
From anywhere else – +1-416-260-0999
Important note If you are advised of the flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please contact the airport transfer operator listed as the emergency contact for your tour which can be found below. We will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
For any issues relating to pre-booked transfers for Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, including delays or missed transfers, please contact our airport transfer operator:
Patrick: +254 707 889 920 or +254 732 874 566 (from outside of Kenya)
Patrick: 0707 889 920 or 0732 874 566 (from within Kenya)
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Hotel
East African Hotel
Old Moshi Road, Corridor Area,
P.O. BOX 2291,
Ph: +255 757 600 100, +255 782 005 075
Fax: + 255 27 205 0074
Finishing Point Instructions
This tour ends on day 13. You are free to depart any time this day.
Kilimanjaro International Airport is approximately 40km and 40 minutes from Arusha. A taxi is 50-60 USD per car, but we recommend that you contact your airline in Arusha, as some airlines may have a free airport shuttle from Arusha.
If you are returning to Nairobi, Kenya, there is a public shuttle bus that leaves Arusha at 8:00am and 14:00pm daily to Nairobi. It is a direct bus, and with border formalities, the trip usually takes 6 hours. Our finishing point hotel offers this service with their own buses, and this can be organized the evening before at your hotel. In addition, for your convenience, you may pre-reserve a seat on our partner shuttle service through G Adventures.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are travelling with a large amount of luggage and will be returning to Nairobi later in your trip, you may leave a portion of it at the start hotel, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.
It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this safari trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Nairobi and Arusha.
-Cash, credit and debit cards
-Vouchers and pre-departure information
-Required visas or vaccination certificates
-Yellow Fever certificate
-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
-Small towel and swimwear
-4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
-Long-sleeved shirt or sweater for evenings
-1 pair of shorts
-2 pairs of long trousers
-1 pair hiking pants/track pants
-Sun hat, Bandana
-Watch or alarm clock
-First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Reusable water bottle
-Water purification tablets or filter (optional)
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge. You should write a list of items that you send for washing. It will be difficult for hotels to have your laundry ready if you arrive in the late afternoon and leave the next morning, so the lodges in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti would be best, since you are in each of those locations for at least 2 days.
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity).
The Kenyan Government has introduced an electronic visa process with effect from July 2nd. Travellers wishing to enter Kenya need to visit www.ecitizen.go.ke and follow instructions for processing their electronic visa in advance of their arrival into Kenya. As this measure was introduced with little advance notice, there is a grace period where travellers may continue to apply upon arrival into Kenya for their visa. You can obtain a visa for US$50.
A visa for Tanzania can be obtained when entering the country by land with the group, for most nationals for a standard fee of US$50, though the current cost of a Tanzanian Visa for U.S. nationals is $100. The border post we cross to enter Tanzania is called Namanga. This is also valid for up to 3 months, with multiple entries among Uganda and Kenya permitted. Please note that Kenya is now strictly enforcing a “blank pages, condition of entry”. All those requiring a visa on arrival must have at least two blank pages available in their passports. Failure to meet this requirement could mean that entry will be refused. This information is accurate at the time of writing. Though as fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
East Africa Tourist Visa
An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and you should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD.
Please see below for more information:
Detailed Trip Notes
American Dollars that are series 1999 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, because of past forgeries.
There are generally two rainy seasons – the short and the long rains. The short rains normally occur from late October through November, and the long rains from late March through to early June. A good time to visit is between late June and October when the rains have finished and the air is coolest. Alternatively, from late December to early March is another good time to visit, just after the short rains, but before the long rains; this is the warmest time of the year. The highest season for travellers into the region is in January and February, when the hot, dry weather is generally considered to be the most pleasant. During the rainy season it can be deceptively cold at times and evenings can be cool year round, so ensure you have adequate warm clothing such a a fleece or warm sweater.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES, or KSH)., and in Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (TSH).
Each of the countries visited on this tour has their own currency, and all can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
USD30, usually included in most international air tickets.
Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelop. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Chief Experience Officer: US$5-7 (full day); Certified Safari Guide/Driver: US$3-5 (full day); Local guide (optional activities) $1 for a couple hours; Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required).
Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.
All prices are listed in US dollar amounts, per person, and are examples of the entrances fees charged – this does not include hiring transport to/from the destination. And the majority of the activities should be paid in local currency.
Bomas of Kenya $65
Karen Blixen Museum $12
Nairobi National Park $60
National Archives F.O.C.
National Museum $10
Railway Museum $5
The Carnivore Restaurant $35 set meal
Masai Mara balloon safari $500
Masai village tour $20 per village
Please note, the optional Masai village visited in the Masai Mara is not to everyone’s taste. The Masai have been known to use aggressive sales techniques to pressure tourists into buying trinkets. G Adventures does not endorse this activity as we feel this experience does not represent an authentic village, nor do we feel that the entrance fee represents good value. Also, you will be visiting an authentic Masai village in Tanzania as part of the itinerary. Proceed with caution!
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure.
Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor for travel in East Africa. Be aware that Kenya and Tanzania have many regions where malaria is present. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Travellers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. An important item to include is a liquid or gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes, as they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help, but good, clean, and inexpensive bottled water is widely available throughout the entire trip. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you must inform G Adventures prior to the purchase of the tour, and upon arrival, to the CEO so he/she can be prepared to help you.
Sand flies and Mosquitos:
Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitos are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings. Protective clothing, and insect repellent are highly recommended during these times.
This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying the parasite. These mosquitos are found at altitudes of under 1,800m, and thus can be found in most areas that we visit on this tour. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.
It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two litres of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when travelling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.
It is normal for people travelling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
-Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), traveller’s cheques, flight tickets and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit in your hotel room/reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures Adventure clients.
-Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc
-Please don’t wander through the city at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
-People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people!
-Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are most likely con men and try to get money from you in one way or another
-People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often con men, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari!
Many of the above precautions should also be taken in Arusha, however this town generally has a more relaxed and friendly vibe. But due to carrying 70% of the tourism in Tanzania, there are many beggars, street sellers and safari touts. These are best avoided by a polite but firm NO THANK YOU!
Please refrain from taking photos of police stations, airports, bus stations, immigration are border crossings, army barracks and personnel, or any government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
Associated Planeterra Project
Planeterra-Supported Clean Cookstove Project
Planeterra is partnering with the Masai Stoves & Solar Project to install clean cookstoves across the Rift Valley. You will visit either the Masai village of Esilalei or Losirwa where you will get a chance to meet and learn from one of the Masai women engineers that have worked to install clean cookstoves in a traditional boma (group of homes). You will get to experience the impact of what cooking over an open fire stove is like before seeing the transformation that occurs when a clean cookstove is installed. Our grassroots partner designed this stove in collaboration with Masai women, to guarantee it is what they want and in each community trains a team of women to install them in homes. They are not only a benefit to the health and environment of the community, but to the economic activities benefiting women in these villages. Your visit has directly supported community improvements in these areas.
Planeterra – The G Adventures Foundation supports the work of Youth Challenge International in Africa.
Youth Challenge International (YCI) is a non-profit, charitable organization that combines community development, health promotion and conservation in projects conducted by international teams of volunteers. By involving youth in the solutions to the issues they face, YCI aspires to a world where young men and women aged 10 to 25 have access to education, healthcare and meaningful employment. Youth in Africa, South America and Asia face huge challenges and YCI is working right now to provide them with education on HIV/AIDS and basic employment skills training.
To achieve these aims YCI works within an international network and global constituency for youth. International volunteers aged 18 to 30 play a key role in the planning and implementation of development projects. Since 1989 YCI has successfully involved over 2000 Canadian youth volunteers in the implementation of our programs in developing countries such as Tanzania, Guyana, Costa Rica, and Vanuatu.
Each year we work with the staff at YCI to determine which African programs are in need of support. Through fundraising efforts and matched donations from travellers we have provided financial assistance to the following YCI programs:
The Planeterra Foundation has supported YCI’s work in improving young men and women’s lives in Tanzania. The ravages of HIV/AIDS combined with poor employment skills training for youth have lead to a loss of hope and reduced opportunities for young people. YCI addresses these problems by implementing three-day employment skills training seminars and HIV/AIDS education workshops for young men and women across Tanzania. These seminars and workshops have reached over 1,000 rural Tanzanian youth during the coming year – youth who typically receive little in the way of HIV/AIDS education or employment skills training.
Planeterra has also supported the research of a pilot project so that YCI may develop new partnerships in Kenya and Ghana and continue to develop their valuable programs within Africa.
Your donation is critical to YCI and your support will help them to continue their effective and valuable work within Africa.
For more information about this project and/or to make a donation please visit our website: www.planeterra.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout and certified driver/guide.
Allow USD165-215 for meals not included.
12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: DKTNG, ID: 24252
Day 1: Nairobi
Our trips throughout Kenya and Tanzania have a maximum group size of six travellers in addition to a CEO and a driver who are both trained safari guides. That means everyone gets a window seat and twice the insight about the astounding wildlife all around you.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2: Nairobi/Masai Mara (1B, 1L, 1D)
After breakfast, we depart for the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. With its vast open plains and flat-topped acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit here. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our safari camp, our base for our time here. Then we’ll make our way into the reserve for an afternoon game viewing drive, with excellent chances of seeing the Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino.
Masai Mara Game Drive
Safari vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 386km)
Day 3: Masai Mara (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy an early morning game drive. The day continues with more game viewing as you cross the rolling hills of the African savannah. Also enjoy a late afternoon/evening game drive.
Masai Mara Game Drive
Day 4: Masai Mara/Lake Nakuru National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
After breakfast, we embark to Lake Nakuru National Park for a hot lunch and an afternoon safari game drive in search of the resident black and white rhino, buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard.
Lake Nakuru Game Drive
Kenya Wildlife Service Conservation Talk
Day 5: Lake Nakuru National Park/Amboseli National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
After a morning game drive venture south to famed Amboseli National Park located at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The snow-capped peak of the mountain dominates every aspect of the park, providing the ultimate photo backdrop.
Lake Nakuru Game Drive
Day 6: Amboseli National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy morning and afternoon games drives today. During your down time relax at camp, enjoying views of Mt Kilimanjaro and game who visit the camps watering holes.
Amboseli Game Drive
Day 7: Amboseli National Park/Arusha (1B, 1L)
Today we cross into Tanzania, stopping at Arusha, a picturesque town that sits at the foot of rugged Mt Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain. Spend some time exploring the town and its bustling markets, and try a sample or two of the fresh locally grown coffee.
Upon arrival into Arusha, you may be joined by other G Adventures travellers starting the Tanzania safari portion of the trip in Arusha.
Amboseli Game Drive
Border Crossing (Kenya – Tanzania)
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 286km)
Day 8: Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
This western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment is truly stunning. It provides a backdrop for your search of the park’s bird life, tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippos, and baboons. The afternoon is spent game viewing along the main road that winds through a lush, cool forest that’s dominated by large ficus trees covered in bromeliads and ferns.
Mto wa Mbu Village Cultural Walk
Lake Manyara National Park Safari
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 130km)
Day 9: Lake Manyara National Park/Serengeti National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Planeterra Clean Cookstove Project Visit
Planeterra Clean Cookstove Project Talk
Olduvai Guided Tour
Serengeti National Park Safari
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 220km)
Day 10: Serengeti National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)
Embark on afternoon and morning game drives in our compact, safari 4×4, that features a pop-up roof for optimal wildlife observation. Visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre, where wildlife researchers and scientists are working on projects within the National Park and surrounding protected areas. Enjoy a lecture by one of the visiting researchers. Topics will vary based on the studies being done at the time. Opt to take a sunrise balloon safari.
If you have pre-booked a Serengeti Balloon Safari Theme Pack, your flight will be early in the morning. You will miss the morning game drive, but you will have a much better view from above.
Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Day 11: Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro (1B, 1L, 1D)
Continue game viewing on the drive out of the Serengeti to our comfortable tented camp. Relax this evening enjoying the African sunset with a cool drink overlooking Lake Eyasi.
Serengeti National Park Safari
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 160km)
Day 12: Ngorongoro/Arusha (1B, 1L)
Depart early into Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site for a game drive and picnic lunch. In the afternoon, drive to Arusha for the final night.
Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 200km)
Day 13: Arusha (1B)
Depart at any time.