Premium Uganda, Rwanda & Kenya

Trip Code: YGPKC

Why we love it

With your gorilla permit included in the price of the trip, spend a day through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to get close to Uganda's rare mountain gorillas for an unforgettable hour. There’s also a chance to do a second trek that can be booked on request at an additional cost. Please refer to the itinerary for more details., Get close to nature with two fantastic Feature Stays – a carbon neutral lodge in in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and a camp located deep within the Masai Mara Game Reserve., Sit down to dinner with a local park ranger during an Exclusive Experience, learning about life in the wilderness and their special relationships with the mountain gorillas. This is one dinner conversation you've likely never had before!, Visit a local Maasai community known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. During this Exclusive Experience, you’ll be welcomed by traditional Maasai warrior song and dance and learn about this remarkable and ancient culture., Enjoy Exclusive Experiences as you visit Elsamere Conservation Centre to learn the story of Elsa and their conservation trust over a high tea lunch, then spot hippos and unique birdlife on a boat trip on Lake Naivasha.

Is this trip right for me?

Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, humid, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous walking. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours up and down hills (perhaps pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs). But the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty.

The gorilla trek is a shared activity. You may be split into different groups according to fitness level, and be accompanied by other travellers on your trek. However there will only be a maximum of 8 people per gorilla family, plus a local Uganda Wildlife Ranger, and trackers.

Purpose-built 4WD Safari Landcruisers are used for the duration of the trip.

As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many some starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

There's a long drive from Lake Mburo to Bwindi (approximately 6 hours) with plenty stops to rest and take photos, the journey will be just as beautiful as the destination.

Important information

1. This trip requires a higher non-refundable deposit (AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900) in order to secure the included gorilla permit. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 45 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
4. This trip finishes after lunch in Nairobi on Day 13. Please do not book any flights out of Nairobi International Airport (JKIA) until after 8pm this evening. A departure transfer can be booked for an additional cost.
5. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Masai Mara is possible on this itinerary. Please see the itinerary above for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
6. Please note that the Gorilla Permit included is only valid for one day on Day 4. For those who are interested for a second trek, please consult your booking agent about purchasing the second Gorilla Permit.
7. On Day 6 of the June 2022 departures, the trip will not cross the border to Rwanda, but will instead return to Kampala. Rwanda will not be visited due to a current COVID 19 quarantine requirement. The night of Day 6 will be spent in Kampala, and passengers will fly to Nairobi on Day 7. No services in Kenya will be affected.
8. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED:
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable.
- Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Camera with spare battery or power bank.
- Binoculars

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate.
- A good book, a journal or smart phone with music player.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER:
Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery or powerbank just in case.

CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:
In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches., GORILLA TREK:

Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. You will need a comfortable pair of waterproof hiking boots. Some of the foliage in the forest has sharp spikes and can be prickly. A typical gardening glove with a hard surface on the palm will make it easier to grab onto trees and bushes as you pull yourself up the hillside. It's also a good idea to pack a pair of long socks so that you can tuck your trousers into them and avoid any ants or insects getting to your ankles. Your rain jacket for the trek should be a neutral or dark colour as bright coloured clothes are not permitted in the park., PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA
While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned.
Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

Physical rating

 
2

You'll need to be fit enough to trek to the location of your family of mountain gorillas. This may involve up to 5 hours of walking up and down hills, in hot and humid conditions and through tropical (and at times thick) foliage. There may be mud underfoot which will make the trekking slippery. You'll be expected to carry your own personal needs for this trek including water and a rain jacket as well as your camera equipment.

For the remainder of the safari, you do not need any real fitness besides the ability to get in and out of the safari vehicles. The step up into the overland truck, while not overly high, can become tiring, as can the constant setting and packing up of camp. You need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down at least 8-10 times a day. Please also note that the roads, particularly in Kenya, are in quite poor condition and you may experience a fair amount of bouncing around.

Joining your group

Le Petit Village Hotel, Plot 1273, Ggaba Road, Nsambya, Kampala, UGANDA, Phone: +256 312 265 530

This thatch-roofed hotel meets the needs of a variety of discerning travelers, with intimate rooms that are decorated in Safari Chic rustic elegance,making it the perfect place to relax in understated luxury.

Joining instructions

An airport arrival transfer is included in your tour. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre trip accommodation booked through Intrepid. Entebbe International Airport is approximately 44 kilometers from the Ugandan Capital City, Kampala.

If you have advised your flight arrival details, your transfer driver will be waiting for you at the international arrivals hall, holding a board with the Intrepid logo and your name. If you are unable to find your driver or need to advise of a flight delay, please call Intrepid’s representative in Uganda +256 752 504 301 or Intrepid’s Kenya office 24-hour number +254 733 523 813.

If you are making your own way to the starting point hotel, taxis are available outside of the arrivals hall for approximately $70-$100 USD.

Finishing your trip

Ole Sereni Hotel, 18187 P. O Box 18187 - 00500, Nairobi, KENYA, Phone: +254 203901000

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 11

Lunches included: 9

Dinners included: 10

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

LODGE-PACKED MEALS:
There are a number of days on this itinerary where your breakfast or lunch will be a ‘packed picnic meal’ provided by our lodge. Packed meals usually consist of a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a juice, and a snack such as potato chips/crisps, nuts, muffin, or a muesli bar. On some days your crew will shop and prepare lunches themselves using the truck picnic gear and utensils. This usually happens when we have early morning game drives and want to get into the park by sunrise, are out in National Parks all day, or in some instances, en-route to our next destination when there is little or no alternatives.

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

Intrepid's local Operator: +254 788 585 065

Intrepid's local Operator: +254733523813

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

If you require a Sleep Apnea Machine to sleep please ensure that it is battery operated. Lodges and Permanent Tented Camps are often powered by generators which are turned off during the night.

Transportation

On this trip we use 8 seater 4x4 safari vehicles. For smaller groups of up to 6 travellers we will use 1 safari vehicle and for larger groups between 7-12 we will use 2 vehicles.

There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience that is right for you.

African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.


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