9 Day Nairobi to Kampala Tour (Uganda & Gorillas Express)
Why book this trip?
If you looking for a good value and short budget trip to cover Kenya and Uganda then this 9 Day Budget Nairobi to Kampala Overland Safari would be for you. We start the tour in Nairobi and make our way through the beautiful East African country experiencing magnificent gorilla encounters before ending in Uganda’s leafy capital of Kampala. To maximise fully on the experience we do suggest adding the Gorilla Permit (optional but recommended).
Includes arrival airport transfer & 1 pre-night accommodation in a dorm room
5% discount for trips booked 6 months in advance or more
|Group Size||Max 26-30|
|Age Range||18 - 55 Years and older|
Departing from Nairobi
Ends in Kampala
We start the tour in Nairobi and make our way through the beautiful East African country experiencing magnificent gorilla encounters before ending in Uganda's leafy capital of Kampala.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Registered Guides
- Transport Per Itinerary
- Gorillas permit
- International Flights
- Airport Departure Taxes
- Departure Transfer
- Travel and medical insurance
- Personal spending money
- Border taxes
- Personal taxes (including departure and border taxes)
- All optional activities
- Unscheduled or optional national / game parks and other activities
- Sleeping bag if needed
- Meals (unless otherwise stated)
- All drinks
- Personal Items
Nairobi – Masai Mara, Kenya
Departing from the bustling Nairobi, we climb the escarpment to our first destination, a viewpoint that overlooks a portion of the remarkable Great Rift Valley. We then descend into the Rift Valley, entering the Masai territory where these farmers are frequently seen tending to their livestock on the roadsides. Passing through the town of Norak, we continue our travels, possibly catching a glimpse of some gorgeous wildlife along the way. We arrive at our campsite in the late afternoon. Acacia Camp overlooks the Meguarra hills as well as the stream that creates a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Masai Mara, Kenya
We leave briefly after the sun rises and embark on a game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve. This reserve is famous for being one of East Africa’s top National Reserves and is home to a broad selection of wildlife species. It is perhaps most well-known for hosting the magnificent Annual Migration, consisting of massive herds of over one million, including wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle that all cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The Masai Mara is most visited between the months of July and October, when these impressive herds feast on the luscious, fresh grazing available in the reserve. Africa’s predators are usually close behind these herbivores and are frequently seen at a kill during this time of year. We game drive some more through a portion of the park, searching for the Big 5 as well as many other species of wildlife who make this reserve their home.
Following our day of game spotting, we have the opportunity to pay a visit to one of the close by Masai Manyattas. These are family compounds where the Masai live in their traditional ways. During the night, we gather around an open campfire and marvel at the magnificent sunset provided to us by the glorious skies of Africa.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Included Activity: Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara – Eldoret, Kenya
Departing early from the Masai Mara, we make our way out of Masai land, passing through the picturesque tea plantations of Kericho before we descend the Rift Valley Plateau and arrive at Eldoret.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Eldoret – Kampala, Uganda
Today is the day we cross the Ugandan border where we spend the night in the capital city of Kampala. A small country, Uganda is abundant with stunning scenery. The landscapes of Uganda vary, from the luscious green regions around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snowy Ruwenzori Mountains in the west as well as the desert-like area in the north. The past unstable politics of Uganda have had a surprisingly positive effect in the country, leaving it free of the commercialism that has taken over so many other areas of Africa. President Museveni’s administration has devoted a large amount of effort and funds in order to restore Uganda to its former glory and status as one of the continent’s most flourishing, and from a tourist’s perspective, one of the most attractive and intriguing countries to visit.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - 8
Kampala – Lake Bunyonyi (optional Gorilla Trekking), Uganda
We leave Kampala in the early hours of the morning and head west to our base at the serene Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and is abundant with various exquisite birds. It is also the starting point of the optional Gorilla trek. Depending on where permits for trekking are currently being offered, we adventure out into the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the DRC, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The costs per permit are constantly being altered and may be adjusted without notice.
At present, prices are set at US $600 (subject to change). A local transport and handling fee of about US $120 per person is also charged (this fee covers the return public transfer as well as the booking cost of the Wildlife Authority). For tours in the DRC or Rwanda, an additional cost is charged for your visa that will allow you entrance to either country as well as for visa renewal upon re-entering Uganda. It is recommended that you bring along a bit of extra cash for tipping the local guides and rangers. Please be sure to budget well, as permit payments must be made in US$ cash during the pre-departure meeting.
There are only approximately 700 remaining mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei), the species that are known as our closest living relatives. Paying a visit to these placid creatures is an incredibly unique experience that will not be soon forgotten. The gorillas are monitored by park rangers on a day-to-day basis, but their whereabouts is not always known due to them being free roaming animals, therefore a sighting is not always 100% guaranteed. Due to the massive amount of DNA that we share with these beautiful giants, anyone showing signs of a cold or transferable illness will not be allowed to join the trek. Keep in mind that trekking is only available to those over 16 years of age.
The restrictions on the daily amount of visitors trekking to see these amazing animals means that we will be departing on our excursions from our base at Bunyonyi in small groups over three to four days, depending on the size of our group. On the way to the National Park, we snake our way through some of the most stunning scenery in Africa and, depending on where permits are available, we might spend an evening in either Kisoro or Rwanda. The next morning, after packing a tasty lunch to bring along, we transfer to the ranger’s station where we begin our journey to the gorillas. We will be led by our rangers through farming lands, then into thick rain forests and finally, to a family of gorgeous gorillas. This adventure can take from 45 minutes to 8 hours (excluding transfer time) and it can at times be rather exhausting and physically demanding, therefore a reasonable level of fitness will be required. In order to make sure that the gorillas do not get too accustomed to being visited by humans as well as to ensure that no illnesses are caught from us (due to the amount of our shared DNA), the maximum time we are allowed to spend with them is one hour. This will give you more than enough time to observe their incredible lifestyle and makes for a spectacular photographic opportunity. The rangers with whom we trek will happily provide you with the background of the gorilla family you visit, giving you a better insight into their lives in the wild. When your time with the gorillas comes to an end, you will hike your way out of the rain forest and head to your meeting point where you will be taken back to our campsite at Lake Bunyonyi.
During your trek, do not let yourself feel as though you are exploiting these magnificent creatures as the countless number of tourists that make their way to see the gorillas every day plays a crucial role in the animals’ survival. For decades, gorillas have been mercilessly hunted for their hands and heads which are sold as ashtrays and lampshades. In addition to this, an enormous amount of gorillas have died whilst attempting to stop poachers taking their babies in order to sell them to zoos where they hardly ever live for very long. Every bit of the amount you pay for your permit cost to see these remarkable creatures is utilized by park authorities to pay for gorilla protection patrols that aid in preventing poachers from reaching these animals.
Depending on where your trek takes place, you might pass through some of the local villages situated in this area due to the large number of refugees escaping from the Rwandan Genocide or from the constant turmoil in the DRC. The inhabitants of these villages are mostly subsistence farmers and families who farm on the hills of the volcanoes. To witness how these residents have ploughed, planted and harvested their crops in such unusual terrain and settings is quite an extraordinary sight.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
GORILLA TREKKING IS OPTIONAL
Please note that the transfer fee is not included in the trekking price
Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala, Uganda
Once we are done admiring the encounters we have experienced with the gorillas and finished delighting in the tranquillity offered to us by the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, we commence our travels back to Kampala. Crossing the Equator for the second time on this trip, we pull over for the ‘one foot in each hemisphere’ photographic opportunity before having your tour comes to an end. If you have more time and want to head out and experience the city’s nightlife scene, you have the opportunity before saying your goodbyes to the group.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Onward Travel Plans
Due to on the road variable beyond our control (such as border crossings, traffic, delays, etc) on the tours. The end time on the last day can’t be guaranteed and therefore we strongly recommend you stay the night and fly out the next day. Please consult with your booking consultant.
Included in Local Payment
- This tour includes an arrival airport transfer & 1 pre-night accommodation in a dorm room
- Masai Mara Nature Reserve excursion
- Lake Bunyonyi
- Masai Mara Balloon Safari (when available) 550 US$
- Masai Village Visit 15 US$
- Masai Warrior Dancing 10 US$
- Gorilla Trek (excl. transfer & booking fee of US$120)From 600US$
- White Water Rafting on the Nile 160 US$
Important Touring Tips:
- The itinerary is a guide ONLY and is subject to change
- There is a mix of different nationalities, ages and cultures on every tour
- Space in the truck is limited – PLEASE DON’T BRING TOO MUCH LUGGAGE!
- The tours are high adventure tours, so don’t expect European Coach tours or lodge safaris
- The tours are often created in a circular route i.e. where one tour ends, another begins
- The rate is the same throughout the year
- All meals are served from the truck unless specified otherwise
- Should you be travelling to Kenya. The Kenya government has instituted a Zero Tolerance on usage of All Plastic Bags. On the spot fines (400 USD) are being issued.
- Attendance is very important because vital information is shared and you will feel more at ease once you know what to expect.
- Pre departures meetings can last up to an hour.
- The meeting is also a great ice breaker.
What are adventure tours?
These are adventure tours perfect for people who enjoy camping and the outdoors. You get to experience the “real Africa” by camping out at night, sitting around the campfire, taking in beautiful scenery, visiting local shops and getting to know the locals.
What is a typical day?
A typical day on either your camping or accommodated Africa overland tour starts with an early morning wake-up call and a cup of tea or coffee followed by breakfast. Campers pack-up their campsite while comfort travellers check-out of their accommodation and hit the road.
We set off to our next destination travelling through a vast variety of landscapes, making our own new memories with new friends. Each day in Africa offers a new experience from an early morning sunrise hike, quad biking, sky dive or guided nature walk. The options are endless!
We have shorter travel days arriving at our campsite by midday or early afternoon, to enjoy lunch before joining our afternoon activity or simply enjoying a relaxed afternoon at your own pace.
On our longer travel days an early start ensures an earlier arrival at our campsite. We stop off at scenic spots to stretch our legs and take in the scenery, before lunch is enjoyed at a shady spot en-route. A mid- to-late afternoon arrival at our campsite allows us to set up camp, enjoy a beautiful sunset and end the day sitting around the campfire, under the stars.
Our best advice: expect the unexpected as this is Africa! We travel mainly on gravel roads and poorly kept tarmac roads – both setting the pace at which we travel. We do our best to arrive at our next destination, safety is our number one priority and while our overland vehicles are comfortable and spacious, they are not sports cars!
What type of vehicles do we use?
- A custom-built, comfortable, safe and self-sufficient Africa overland truck to withstand the rugged African terrain.
- Various vehicles are used on varying tours, with each offering comfortable seats with ample leg room.
- Each vehicle has large glass windows for uninterrupted views and perfect for game drives.
- Smaller 4×4 land cruiser type vehicles are used for game viewing in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, due to the roads being tougher and too narrow for the overland trucks.
- Each overland vehicle includes a passenger safe to safely keep money + passports + flight tickets + credit cards. The keys are kept with your Tour Leader who will advise of safety requirements in place concerning the safe.
Who is suited to go on an adventure tour?
- Almost anyone can go on an adventure.
- Some level of fitness is required due to accessing the vehicle and spending long days on bumpy roads (can take it out of you).
EAST AFRICA TOURS require a more adventurous, fearless attitude and are suited to a younger traveller.
If you are planning to trek with the Mountain Gorillas or climbing Mount Killi you will need to have a higher fitness level.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON A CAMPING OR ACCOMMODATED TOUR
A camping safari is for travellers who want a hands-on experience of Mother Nature. The guide(s) will do most of the work, but you will be required to assist with various tasks such as preparing the food, washing up, cleaning out the truck and setting up the campsite and your tent. If you dream of a lifetime African adventure, embark on a journey with us sleeping under the stars while listening to the sounds of wildlife in the distance.
We offer camping safaris suited to travellers who may prefer to travel in a younger group (aged 18 to 39). Or, you can choose a mixed age group (18 to 60). A camping safari must not be underestimated and will require active participation which means good health and a fair degree of fitness. We have a tour to suit what you have in mind, so please do not hesitate to enquire with us.
During an African camping safari you will stay in large two-man dome canvas tents which are spacious enough for two adults and your luggage. Or, you can opt to have your own tent by including the single supplement (valid on select camping tours).
Your tents are put up and taken down easily – your Tour Leader will show you exactly how to do this and help out when you are unsure. All tents are well-ventilated by means of a tent-door and window, covered with mosquito net. They also include a fly-sheet for the rain.
Most camping safaris include a sleeping mat (please do check with us upon enquiry). You need to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow and towel. All meals are prepared at the truck and you will be required to assist with the preparation.
The African campsites are basic and comfortable and you will be able to upgrade your accommodation at most of the places, but this is subject to availability. Most have warm showers and flushing ablutions, while others may have natural ablutions. Some places visited are bush camps where there are no facilities.
Accommodated safaris are ideal for travellers who prefer to experience African wildlife and adventure with extra comforts. You are surrounded by vast landscapes and wildlife, curiously roaming at your door-step. It is comfort, without the price tag!
Our accommodated safaris make use of a combination of lodges, hostels, bungalows, chalets, permanent safari camps, hotels and traditional huts. Our properties are ideally located at each destination for an authentic experience with incredible views.
We book Twin rooms if you are travelling with a partner or friend and Single rooms for single travellers (including single supplement). Most of the time we stay in 1-3 star properties with en-suite bathrooms in Southern Africa. In Eastern Africa we offer a combination of en-suite and shared bathrooms. In the case of shared bathrooms, you will be sharing with friends on your tour. Please bring your own towels as these are not always provided.
Select accommodated safaris include a camp assistant to help out with the smaller aspects of your vacation.
The standard of the properties varies along the trip. The Southern Africa properties are much more established than the East Africa accommodation. They vary from basic (but comfortable) to lovely properties. Due to the remote nature of the trips, accommodation choices are limited.
Distances and Road Conditions:
Our tours cover long distances so you can see significant amounts of Africa this means that there will be long days spent on the road often with nothing to look at except vast open plains. You can spend between 350km and 650km a day in the truck so it is important to be prepared.
What will you eat on safari?
Our Africa overland vehicles are fully stocked with dry goods at the start of each tour. We buy fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) almost daily to ensure fresh, good quality and tasty meals. Over the summer months fresh produce is not always available due to the heat and humidity, especially in East Africa and Mozambique – so we may have to skip tomatoes from lunch or opt for rice instead of potatoes at dinner.
Each Africa overland camping and accommodated tour include meals as per the itinerary. Often, we may only include breakfast and lunch, allowing you to enjoy dinner at a local market or restaurant. Drinks such as tea, coffee and fruit juice is included with every meal, but exclude bottle water, beer, soft drinks, alcohol etc. – these can be bought en-route or at your campsite bar.
We do cater for most dietary requirements (allergies, vegetarian, lactose-intolerant). Other requirements (gluten-free) may be more challenging on remote routes (i.e. East Africa) where starch is a stable-food in Africa. Please do speak to us about your dietary requirements and we will advise according to your trip. You will be amazed by the variety of tasty meals prepared on an open-fire!
Almost all your meals are pre-prepared over an open campfire or on the gas stove in your overland vehicle. All cooking equipment such as pots, pans, cutlery and crockery is included for you. Excellent hygiene standards are maintained at all times preparing food and washing up of kitchen equipment. Your guides will provide you with a separate washing up basin to wash hands in warm soapy water before and after each meal.
Our camping tours are limited participation tours, whereby we ask you to help out with daily chores (putting up / taking down tents) and help out your guides at meal times (rinsing, chopping vegetables).
So what are the meals like on tour? We have included a few meal options as a guideline:
Tea/coffee and juice + cereals + bread/toast + fruit. Take 2 fruits and keep one for a mid-morning snack. An occasional cooked breakfast (bacon, pancakes, eggs) is made when you have more time to allow for this (normally when you spend 2 nights at the same destination).
Juice + bread + cheese + cold meats + salads + fruit (make a sandwich for a mid-afternoon snack)
Juice + fresh rolls + green salad (or rice salad or pasta salad) + fruit.
Tea/coffee and juice + chicken curry + rice, grilled or roast chicken + salad + garlic roll, grilled chicken + vegetables + salad, fish braai + salad, steak + veggies, pasta, stir-fry + rice, casserole, braai (barbeque) + salads + jacket potatoes, soup + fresh rolls.
Tea, coffee and cordial drinks are supplied with meals but other cooldrinks and alcohol can be purchased along the way.
What about children on tour?
- Due to the nature of overland tours the minimum age limit is 18. Younger travellers (10 to 17) travelling with a parent(s) will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the tour, time of travel and tour availability. We do have select tours offering Family Departures, suited for children aged 10 to 17.
- Privately arranged charter tours’ age limits will be assessed based on the route and type of tour you choose.
- Please bear in mind that the Gorilla Trekking tours have a minimum age limit of 16 years.
Packing for your tour:
Packing sensibly is essential for your Africa Overland trip. One backpack and one daypack are needed and these can weigh no more than 25kg. A duffel bag is preferable as it will fit into the lockers on the truck, but you can also take a backpack with a compact, flexible, soft shell (without a hard frame). Please do not take suitcases. The airlines implement a 20kg per person limit on international flights for your luggage (your main bag) and a further 5 kg for carry-on luggage (your day bag). A good idea is to include a spare bag for curios that you may purchase, but don’t forget to include this in your weight for your trip home. A moneybelt is a useful item for keeping your money safe and hidden.
Take along comfortable, casual and semi-casual “wash & wear” clothes. Cotton is a good material for when it is hot, and fleece for when it gets cold. Pack clothes that don’t crease easily as the laundry facilities are limited. Find clothes that can be mixed and matched easily and are colour co-ordinated. A great item of clothing is zip-off pants. These double-up as shorts or trousers and are useful for when the weather changes. Reversible clothes are also very convenient and will help to reduce space in your bag.
- 3-4 short sleeved shirts or T-shirts
- 2 pairs of trousers or 1 pair and 1 skirt – try not to pack jeans as they take a long time to dry
- ¾ pants
- Warm sweater or fleece top
- 1-2 pairs of shorts
- Tracksuit pants
- Light sweater or sweatshirt (can also be used as an additional pillow)
- Warm fleece top
- Underwear and socks
- Hat/peak cap/bandana
- Water/wind-proof jacket
- Boots or sturdy trainers
- Beach towel and/or sarong
- Sandals or thongs (need to be waterproof if you want to go white-water rafting)
- Personal toiletries
- No electric shavers
- Hand sanitiser/wipes (waterless sanitisers are convenient)
- Baby wipes/wet wipes
- Face wash
- Travel pillow
- Spare pillowcase
- Sleeping Bag
- Fleece blanket
Medication/first aid kit:
- Prescription medication
- Anti-histamine cream or tablets
- Antiseptic cream
- Sunscreen (high factor) and lip balm
- Water purifying tablets
- Pain killers
- Eye drops
- Diarrhoea medication
- Dehydration salts
- Elastoplasts/band aids
- Insect repellent (Malaria is a big problem in Africa, so the more protection the better)
- Sterile dressings
- Water bottle
- Book (you can swap with the rest of the group)
- Extra memory/film for your camera (remember to set at the highest resolution as you might want to enlarge the pictures)
- Head torch
- Zip-lock bags (medium sized for cameras, snacks, trash etc.)
- Extra batteries
- Travel power strip ( a compact three-plug unit that includes two USB connections. With just one wall plug you can charge five gadgets) Buy on Amazon and will help to reduce space in your bag.
- Biodegradable laundry detergent
- Vaccination certificates for some areas
- Small scrubbing brush
- A padlock for your luggage locker in the truck
- The power plugs in SA have 3 round pins. East Africa has British power plugs.
- There will be washing facilities at most campsites which you can make use of.
- Please remember to bring some environmentally friendly washing
- We suggest you take along crease-free clothing as the facilities available for ironing are limited
Safety on Game Drives:
- When on safari be as quiet as possible at all times and don’t make any sudden movements, this will ensure you don’t disturb the animals and get the most out of your game drive.
- Do not jump off the truck at any time.
Accommodation (Pre Tour):
- It is highly recommended to arrive a day before your tour starts so that you do not miss out on the pre departure meetings as it covers important information you need to know for your trip.
- It is strongly advised that you arrive a day before the tour starts.
- We do advise letting us know as soon as possible in order for us to make the best hotel reservation for you.
- Post accommodation can be very easily arranged.
- Ensure that the guides know of your medical conditions!!!
- Let them know how you are feeling.
- AIDS is an enormous problem in Africa so please be careful and practical, condoms are cheap and freely available.
- A First Aid Kit is available on the truck for any emergencies.
- Please ensure you seek medical advice from your travel doctor before visiting Africa.
- You should consult your travel doctor or travel clinic for the latest requirements for Hepatitu A (Havrax), Yellow Fever, Tetanus Booster Shot, Rabies
- If you are entering a Yellow Fever infected area, you will be required to have a vaccination which can be done at Travel Clinics.
- Obtain an international Certificate of Vaccination with a valid stamp.
- Yellow Fever – Valid for 10 years and mandatory for most African countries. It is compulsory to produce a yellow fever certificate when entering Kenya, Zanzibar and Malawi and for taking part in the Gorilla Trek. Failure to present this may result in entry being refused.
- We also recommend that you ask your doctor about: Typhoid, Tetanus, Hepatitis, Meningitis, Polio, Hepatitis A&B, Cholera
- Tents have mosquito nets in the vents and it is not generally necessary to bring a separate mosquito net unless you plan to sleep outside, under the stars(in which case you are recommended to bring one)
- Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and is more prevalent in areas where there are high concentrations.
- Malaria is a serious problem in Africa, but if you are cautious and use mosquito repellent and take your malaria tablets you will be safe.
- Main points to keep in mind about malaria:
– Cover your skin with long shirts, pants and socks as most mosquito bites occur below the knee.
– Make sure your mosquito net is tightly closed and doesn’t have any holes in it.
– Use an effective prophylactic and speak to your doctor about options for anti-malarial tablets
– Always cover yourself with mosquito repellent, especially at sunset.
– Please know that malaria cannot be cured!
- Dehydration is a common ailment on tour.
- You should be drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water per day
- It is preferable to drinking bottled water to avoid diarrhoea, but your guide will advise you as to whether you can drink the water or not.
How others can reach you:
- The easiest option to keep in touch with your loved ones at home is to buy a SIM card of the respective country you are travelling in.
- You are not permitted to take photographs at the border crossing, government buildings and military institutions.
- No photographs of the army, police are allowed.
- Some tribes do not allow their pictures to be taken so please ask your guides before photographing whether it is permissible or not.
- A fee may have to be paid for photographing the local people.
Crew and Guides
Your tour crew are people with a heart of gold and love living in Africa! With an in-depth knowledge of the local culture, history and wildlife, your crew are committed to ensuring a memorable African overland tour, 24/7.
- Most overland tours include two crew members (Driver and Tour Leader) working as a team managing tour finances, planning activities, preparing meals and ensure you safely experience Africa.
- Our larger group overland tours (maximum 26 to 30) include a third crew member (Camp Assistant or Cook or Translator – tour depending).
- A pre-departure meeting is held the day before your tour, where tour crew will brief you on the nature of your tour and what to expect. At this point they would also collect any local payments needed for your tour.
- We have select shorter small group tours including one crew member, responsible for driving and tour management. It is perfect for an exclusive, personalised African experience.
- All overland guides and crew undergo extensive training courses, lectures and field instruction on an on-going basis. Specialised guides are contracted for special interest tours (including school and University group tours) or language tours (Spanish and German) or private overland tours (on request).
- Although overland guides are trained and qualified, remember they are still human. The nature of their work and duration of overland tours, places an enormous demand on them and can be taxing at times. Please treat them with respect and enjoy getting to know them. They are great people!
Climate and Weather Conditions:
- The weather in Africa can be unpredictable and extreme so be prepared for this.
- You can find out the type of weather to expect on your tour from your consultant.
- Always wear sunscreen from October to April.
- Temperatures can drop to below zero from June to September.
- It does rain in Africa!
- Like with any 3rd world country you will encounter informal vendors offering you better rates than the banks. We suggest you don’t work with them for security reasons.
- Please do not display your foreign currency in public.
- A valid passport is required for all international travel.
- Having all the necessary documentation for your trip is your own responsibility therefore you need to find out by your travel agent what the essential documents for the trip are in order to avoid any complications on tour.
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after returning from your trip.
- In certain cases foreign passport holders require entry, re-entry or departure permits and/or visas to enter a country.
- Have enough pages for all visas, at least 2 pages free for every country visiting – the Border Security is strict with this rule
- A copy of your passport should be given to your guides for safety reasons.
- Must be valid for 6 months after the date of departure from Africa.
- Avoid using more than one passport to avoid visa payments when travelling
- Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and African Overland Tours will not be held responsible for the traveller being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas.
- Ensure you have a valid onward/return ticket to leave the country when the tour ends, otherwise you need sufficient funds in your bank account.
- Visiting the Okavango Delta, you may need a double entry visa for Namibia and or Botswana
- Botswana Tourism Levy: As of 1 June 2017, Botswana has implemented a tourism levy of US$ 30 per person to be paid in US Dollars cash once you enter.
- Compulsory! No one will be allowed on a trip if you don’t have this. It is for your safety should anything happen while on tour (especially when in a remote location).
- It is compulsory to have comprehensive adventure travel insurance, on all overland tours. We require your travel insurance details upon booking your vacation, to include on the passenger list.
- Most travel insurance policies do not include cover for adrenaline sports and adventure activities. These include white-water rafting, sky diving and bungee jumping. So double check your policy inclusions.
- WorldNomads Insurance offer adventure travel insurance and, most importantly, cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend your travel insurance includes cancellation and curtailment insurance. The majority of tour departures are guaranteed (confirmed to depart) but in the unlikely event of a tour departure being cancelled, you would be protected.
– In the case of credit card insurance, we recommend you check the fine print to ensure you have adequate cover as credit card companies offer a standard option. Sometimes, just for a simple problem, you may have to be airlifted to South Africa as many public hospitals in Africa are below western standards.
– If you choose to use your credit card insurance, you will need to call your bank to obtain your policy details. This is how:
- Phone your bank
- Give them your Bank Card Number
- They will ask you to verify your account
- Then you need to ask for the insurance company name
- Then you need to ask for the policy number
- Remember to keep the telephone number you dialled
A single supplement is an additional charge you will pay for your own room. Single supplements are optional on camping tours, but compulsory on accommodated tours if you are a single traveller. Single supplements do not cover Activity Packages.
Optional activities are not included in the tour price because not everybody wishes to do them. Sometimes the activities are not available due to time, season or weather conditions
What is a Local Payment?
- A number of adventure overland tours are made up of a Tour Price + Local Payment.
- The Tour Price is pre-paid to secure your tour seat and include operational costs associated with each tour, such as; guide salaries, fuel, vehicle servicing, maintenance, road tolls and taxes.
- The Local Payment is a portion of your overall tour cost paid on the morning of tour departure, in either US Dollars cash or ZA Rand cash (tour depending). It includes “on tour” expenses which cannot ordinarily be pre-paid such as: food, camping, national park entry, included activities.
- A selection of tours are made up of a Tour Price + Optional Activity Package.
- The Tour Price is pre-paid to secure your tour seat and include operational costs associated with each tour, such as; food, camping (or accommodation), national park fees, guide salaries, fuel, vehicle servicing, maintenance, road tolls and taxes.
- The Optional Activity Package combine the popular activities available on the tour, giving you the option to pre-pay this package (and so carry less cash while travelling) or; you can pay it on the morning of departure to your Tour Guide in ZA Rand cash.
- Activity packages are optional 98% of the time and covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on the tours.
- It is more convenient to pay these upon your arrival or on the first day of the tour.
- If you do not pre-book a particular activity it may not be available and you may be disappointed.
- Your spending money, visas and optional activities needs to consist of a combination of Cash and Traveller Cheques in the currency quoted (tour specific). Credit cards are only accepted at some places (mostly larger cities) and throughout South Africa.
- Visas are not accepted in East Africa.
- In Southern and East Africa, additional credit card surcharges from 5% to 8% may be charged when using your card. It is best to use it only in case of emergency.
- US Dollars, GB Sterling, Euro and select international currencies are used within Africa, with US Dollar being the most popular. You will find food, taxi, accommodation and optional activity prices are all quoted in US Dollars.
- US Dollars cash notes must be issued POST 2005. No notes pre-dated are accepted due to fraudulent notes rife in East Africa. You can pre-order US Cash notes from your local bank or foreign exchange office prior to arriving in Africa.
- It is best to bring a combination of larger denominations (USD100 and USD50) to pay for your Local Payment and smaller denominations (USD50, UDS20, USD 10 and USD5) for spending money, visas and optional activities.
- ATMs are found throughout South Africa and other major towns and cities through Africa. However, you may not have access to an ATM for a few days, or they may be out of order. Please note that when drawing money from a local ATM, you will receive local currency.
- ZAR is mostly used in South Africa and Namibia. We recommend USD for Botswana, Mozambique, Livingstone and Victoria Falls area.
- Most of the major Southern and East African cities do have credit card facilities available however they may charge you a surcharge to use the facility.
- Visa and Mastercard are the two most widely used accepted credit cards in Africa, while diners or American Express may not always be accepted
- There are full banking facilities in the major towns based on weekly business hours. Here you can change money and withdraw cash from a credit card. Visa and Master Card are preferential, as other cards may not be widely accepted.
- Various countries require you to pay an Airport Departure Tax when departing on an international flight.
- Varies from US$10 – US$60 depending on the departure time
- The truck has a safe for passports, money, credit cards and flight tickets only!
- Keep your cameras, cell phones, iPad’s and other digital equipment close to you at all times (preferably in your day pack) as the operator will not be held responsible for anything that goes missing.
- Leave your valuables at home!
- Be vigilant and cautious at all times.
- Always walk in a group, especially at night.
- It is advisable to have travel insurance for your personal items.
Quality and Protection:
- We are proudly bonded SATSA members. Our membership number is 1712.
- We are also insured by SATIB.
- SATSA is the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association and offers protection to international travellers against the possible loss of deposits (or monies paid) to a SATSA member (tour operator, car rental company, accommodation provider etc.), in case of liquidation. It is underwritten by Lombard Insurance and Lloyds of London.
- SATSA is the driving force behind improving standards of tourism in South Africa, as offered by its various members (tour operators, car rental companies, accommodation provider etc.).
- “Should a SATSA member who is a South African tourism business operation, run into financial problems, the bonding scheme allows the client to claim back their deposit without having to prove in a court or to the liquidator whom or what was paid, but simply to produce the relevant documentation to SATSA.” – Michael Tatalias, CEO SATSA.
- Satsa Bonding Offers financial protection on all monies paid.
- Make sure your vaccination requirements have been done at least 4 weeks prior to your tour
- Remember to make sure your VISA is valid for you to go on tour
- Remember to reconfirm your flights. Airlines vary in their requirements but we suggest you reconfirm 48 – 72 hours before your departure homebound
- Remember to take your passport, vaccination certificate and flight tickets with you ( a photocopy of these is a good idea)
- Remember to take a copy of your insurance policy with you
- Remember to take your travel voucher to give to your crew at your pre-departure meeting
- Remember to take your Adventure Pass in US $ cash (unless pre-paid)
+ Local Payment USD 490
+ Gorilla Trekking Permit (Optional) Fr USD 720 - USD 780
Currency conversion estimated