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18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland (Under 39’s)

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer travelling around Kenya and Uganda allowing you to see the gorillas in the wild.

  • Price Beat Guaranteed
  • 10% early bird discount (6 months or more)

FROM

R22,480 R17,984

+ Optional Gorilla Trekking ZAR 8970


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There's a special on for this tour!

  • Departing: 11/11/2017 | 20% discount | Tour price: ZAR17,984
  • Departing: 09/12/2017 | 20% discount | Tour price: ZAR17,984
Tour Style Camping
Countries Visited Kenya, Uganda
Starts Nairobi
Ends Nairobi
Group Size Max 24
Age Range 18 - 39 Years
 

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland (Under 39’s) Tour Overview

Departing from Nairobi
Ends in
Nairobi

This Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer trip is an opportunity to observe rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and explores Kenya's most popular game parks. Trek the gorillas hidden in the lush rain forest of Uganda and spend time observing these magnificent animals. Ending off with two nights game viewing in the Masai Mara Game Reserve , home to the wildebeest migration - this is a memorable African wilderness experience.

  • Price Beat Guaranteed
  • 10% early bird discount (6 months or more)

Highlights

  • The Great Rift Valley
  • Lake Nakuru National Park Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
  • Maasai Mara excursion with small vehicle*
*Highlight is part of the Adventure Activity Package Pass

Included

  • All tour highlights
  • 2 person dome tents
  • Fully equipped safari vehicles
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • Mattresses
  • Service of two crew
  • All road and vehicle taxes
  • All ground transportation
  • Meals as indicated

Excluded

  • Adventure Activity Package Pass and Excursions (optional)
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Departure taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Sleeping bag
  • Optional activities
  • Drinks, tips, items of a personal nature
  • Meals in Nairobi (2 nights on days 14 & 15)

SKU: CAE2522
 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland (Under 39’s) Itinerary

Day 1

Nairobi – Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Kenya, being East Africa’s most popular safari destination, warmly welcomes visitors who have come to witness their beautiful country. The Kenyan capital of Nairobi has grown vastly in recent years, but still maintains a relatively small city centre as well as a city market that has much to offer. It is recommended that you arrive at least a day before departure in order for you to recover from any jetlag as well as to have some time to yourself in which you will be able to relax and have a chance to see the city.

Departing from the gorgeous Nairobi in the morning hours of Day One, we begin our descent into ‘the Great Rift Valley’, a gigantic fissure in the Earth’s surface that stretches from the Red Sea all the way to Madagascar. On the way, we stop at a specific lookout point to drink in the majestic views provided to us by the African landscape.

The overnight stop we take is close to Lake Nakuru National Park, abundant in fauna and flora located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. The shallow soda lake within the park is home to a wide variety of extraordinary birdlife, specifically flamingos (attracted by the abundance of algae in the lake) that, when gathered in their massive numbers, form a dazzling pink ‘fringe’ around the edges of the water. This resplendent lake also attracts wildlife such as buffalo, lion, black and white rhinoceros, leopard, warthog, baboon, antelope and a large assortment of smaller animals too. We then embark on an afternoon game drive searching for more elusive and diverse wildlife, led by local guides and smaller safari vehicles in order to obtain a more intimate experience with African nature.

Trip Highlights: Lake Nakuru National Park, Great Rift Valley view
Accommodation: Punda Milias Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 190kms
Approximate Driving Time: 4 hours

Nakuru Safari overland - Kenya

Day 2

Lake Nakuru – Eldoret, Kenya

From Nakuru we continue northwest, through the highlands, toward the town of Eldoret which is en route to the Ugandan frontier. During this day’s journey we cross from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere, over the Equator where we spend some time learning about the significance of the crossing and resting for a bit, giving photographers a chance to capture a beautiful portion of their trip. We then head to Eldoret, the town whose name originates from the Maasai word Eldore meaning ‘stony river’ inspired by the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River. The town is the 5th largest in Kenya with the fastest growing population of approximately 194,000.

At night, we reside outside of the town in an exclusive campsite complete with a bar/restaurant area located in a modern day cave accompanied by river streams, waterfalls and wooden bridges. Here, we can put our feet up for the evening and enjoy a sundowner whilst soaking in the warmth emanating from the central open log fire.

Trip Highlights: Equator crossing
Accommodation: Naiberi Overland Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 150kms
Approximate Driving Time: 3.5 hours

Day 3

Eldoret – Kampala, Uganda

Today we make the cross into Uganda – a country that is a rich painting brought to life. With its breathtaking natural scenery and vibrant collection of tribes and cultures, it’s no wonder it was termed by Winston Churchill as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. The locals are warm and friendly people and the landscape is overwhelmingly beautiful.

Our first night is spent camping in Uganda’s attractive and hilly capital, Kampala. Here you will find bustling roadside traders, quaint local markets and busy matutu (mini-bus taxi) stands.

Trip Highlights: Kampala
Accommodation: Red Chilli Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 400kms
Approximate Driving Time: 7.5 hours

Day 4

Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Leaving Kampala, we begin our travels toward Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we once again cross the Equator. Along this journey you can expect to see lush green hillsides, flourishing banana plantations, steep mountains and dense forests along with herds of Ankole cattle boasting astonishingly long and curving horns that roam the roads and paddocks freely.

The area in which we camp is a short distance away from the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you will have some leisure time to use at your disposal, perhaps taking a walk in the surrounding areas or mingling with the local community.

Trip Highlights: Equator crossing
Accommodation: Simba Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 240ms
Approximate Driving Time: 5 hours

Day 5

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

In the morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park where we take in awe-inspiring views of the mountains that separate Uganda from Central Africa as well as Lake Edwards and Lake George. The Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts over 500 bird species and 100 mammal species, making it one of the most biodiverse national parks in the world.

Close to the park, we visit the Kyambura Gorge to begin our trek to seek out the chimpanzees. Unlike their bigger cousins, the mountain gorilla, chimps live predominantly in the trees. Nevertheless, the experience of seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat remains an incredible one. We spend another night at the Simba Camp before making our way to Lake Bunyonyi.

Trekking permits will be issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people per group.

Trip Highlights: Queen Elizabeth National Park entrance and game drive
Accommodation: Simba Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - 8

Queen Elizabeth National Park – Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla trek day, Uganda

Our next destination is Lake Bunyonyi (‘Place of many little birds’). This lake is 900 metres deep and is the second deepest lake in Africa. When we are not trekking to see the mountain gorillas, there are 29 islands that can be explored by boat where you can spend the time at your leisure. You will be split into groups over the next three days, while each group takes turn in trekking to see the gorillas, and the remainder explore Lake Bunyonyi.

Lake Bunyonyi

Here you will have time to hire canoes to row on the lakes, visit some of the local tribes, or spend some time with the children in the orphanages. There is also plenty of bird watching and walks that you can go on. Or you can relax at the camp and read or journal.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Only 700 gorillas remain in this region of Africa, mostly within the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. (Occasionally we will travel to Rwanda to sport the gorillas.)

On the day of the trek, the group gathers in the early morning to be introduced to our local guide and tracker. Following this, we walk in small groups, trekking through the lush rainforest. This journey can be physically demanding at times due to uneven terrain and the hilly forest itself, but the privilege of spending quality time with a family of these gentle and peaceful primates definitely makes the effort well worthwhile. Even to people who live permanently in the continent, this trek and encounter with the gorillas has proven to be one of the most exciting wildlife experiences in Africa.

The usual protocol once our group has located a gorilla family is to sit down and simply observe the magnificent creatures for about an hour, which is the time set strictly by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Gorillas are rather sociable, living in groups of between 12 and 20, each usually led by the alpha male – the ‘silverback’, named so due to the silver hair on his back that begins to grow once the male gorilla attains maturity. You will find that the gorillas and their tendencies are remarkably human-like, especially in the social interaction that takes place between the gorilla family members and their play time, in which their children are encouraged to engage. Photographers may take as many photographs as they like, but are under strict instructions not to use any flashes. There are also certain restrictions to those who wish to videotape their experience, too.

Your permit allows for one trek and gorilla viewing with your time limited to one hour. However, because the authorities maintain strict limits on the amount of visitors permitted to view the animals each day, we may spend several days in the area so as to allow for all members of the tour to complete their trek and viewing.

PLEASE NOTE: Depending on the availability of the chimpanzee and gorilla permits, the tour itinerary may vary in day to day running order which is based on the brochure itinerary. From time to time, keep in mind that we may have to trek on different days. If, by any chance, our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country such as Rwanda, this may entail extra visa fees (although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to days 5-8 of this tour.

For those not trekking, the day is free to explore the surroundings or unwind at camp by catching up on some well deserved rest and relaxation. On the last day in Lake Bunyonyi you could participate in a day of trekking or you could take part in the many optional activities on offer here.

Trip Highlights: Gorilla Trek, Lake Bunyonyi
Accommodation: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Gorilla Trek area, camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast x3, Lunch x3, Dinner x3
Distance Covered: +/-240kms
Approximate Driving Time: 5 hours, Trekking for gorillas or rest days
Optional Activities: Island boat trips US$25 – US80, village walk US5, Traditional dance US$30, Bird watching US$5, Canoe hire US$5

Lake Bunyonyi

Day 9

Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala, Uganda

Saying goodbye to Lake Bunyonyi, we make our way back across the Equator, stopping for photograph opportunities if we did not have any en route to Queen Elizabeth National Park . We pass lush pastures and the northern reaches of Lake Victoria, which is the largest lake in Africa, all en route to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, where we will be spending the night. Kampala is known for its great food and entertainment and, if time allows, you are welcome to take the night out and try the local cuisine as well as enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the locals.

Trip Highlights: Equator crossing, Kampala
Accommodation: Red Chilli Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/-550kms
Approximate Driving Time: 10 hours

Day 10 - 12

Kampala – Jinja, Uganda

We leave the capital, driving a short distance to Jinja, situated on the fresh, grassy banks of the longest river in the world, the River Nile. British explorer John Hanning Speke first recognised Lake Victoria as ‘the source of the Nile’ in 1862, settling a long running debate about Africa’s (and the world’s) longest river. From Lake Victoria, the Nile begins its 4132 mile course through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt, leading to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our campsite is on the banks overlooking the Nile River. Here, we will have the opportunity to try our hands at the art of rafting. This is definitely an exhilarating day for any adventure-seeker who loves the thrill of white water. In the Jinja area, you will also have the chance to roll up your sleeves and make a difference at a local children’s school project – Softpower. This project is a locally run voluntary programme that aims at constructing and improving schools in the Jinja area. Any contributions from you, even just a few hours of painting or plastering, is always welcomed and appreciated. Other activities that you can take part in during your stay in Jinja include mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and for the adrenaline junkies, even bungee jumping!

The following day is free to explore this beautiful place or participate in the many optional activities on offer. For those seeking a more relaxed day, taking time to visit the local community or spend your time relaxing at the camp. Spend the day on the banks of the Nile discovering the community, the town of Jinja and the stunning views of the river or participate in the variety of activities on offer here.

Trip Highlights: Jinja, Source of the Nile, optional activities
Accommodation: Nile River Explorers – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Distance Covered: +/-80kms
Approximate Driving Time: 1.5 hours
Optional Activities: Bungee Jumping US$110, Quad biking US$80, White water rafting US135, Community School Project US$40, Nile Cruise From US$25, Nile sup from US$20, Kayak from US$20, Fishing trips from US$60, Mountain biking from US$30

Day 13

Jinja – Eldoret, Kenya

Following our refreshing stop at Jinja, we head back across the border to the frontier of Kenya and onwards to the town in which we will be camping for the night – Eldoret. The evening is dedicated to celebration with your fellow adventurers where everyone is encouraged to share their favourite experiences and stories around the campfire.

Trip Highlights: Eldoret- Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Accommodation: Naiberi Overland Stop – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/-300kms
Approximate Driving Time: 6 hours

Day 14 - 15

Eldoret – Nairobi, Kenya

Today we cross the Equator once more and begin to make our way South, towards our base just outside of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The next day is a relaxing day where you are free to explore the city and surrounding areas. Our tour leader will be able to help arrange local optional excursions for you.

Trip Highlights: Equator, Nairobi, optional excursions
Accommodation: Karen Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast x2, Lunch
Distance Covered: +/-250kms
Approximate Driving Time: 4 hours
Optional Activities: Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage US$105, Giraffe Centre US$10, Karen Blixen Museum US$20

Day 16 - 18

Nairobi – Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya – Nairobi, Kenya

Departing the city early in the morning, we travel back across the Great Rift Valley, this time to the Masai Mara National Reserve, enjoying the splendid views on the way. We travel in small, specialized vehicles, enabling us to have much more intimate wildlife views. Two nights will be spent camping on the edge of the Reserve, giving you time to explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives. The magnificent continent of Africa is represented extremely well by the vast, sweeping plains, the low hanging acacia trees, the abundant fauna and flora and the awe-inspiring view of the horizon.

The ‘Mara’ is crossed each year between the months of July and October by massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals during their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains toward the southern Tanzania. The length of the animals’ stay is dependent on rainfall and subsequent grass growth throughout the rainy season. Predators, such as lion, cheetah and leopard as well as scavengers, such as hyena and vultures, shadow the grazing animals in wait. This enormously spectacular congregation of wildlife forms a fantastic display of Africa’s natural resources and inhabitants. This being said, however, the Mara is still excellent for game viewing at most any time of year and, regardless of when you can visit, we aim to see as many of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ as possible (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) as well as an array of other wildlife. It is from the Mara that we return to Nairobi where we will usually camp overnight.

We travel back to Nairobi where our tours comes to an end.

Trip Highlights: Great Rift Valley, Masai Mara Game Reserve, game drives, red robed Masai warriors
Accommodation: Masai Mara – Chronicle Tented Camp, Nairobi – Indaba Camp
Meals included: Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 2
Distance Covered: +/-300kms
Approximate Driving Time: 5 hours (first day), Full days including game drives (second day), 5 hours (third day)

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.

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland (Under 39’s) Activities

Included in Adventure Activity Package Pass:

  • Lake Nakuru National Park Excursion*
  • Maasai Mara Excursion
*Highlight is part of the Adventure Activity Package Pass


Other Activities

Uganda Lake Bunyoni

  • Boating on the lake (islands) $25-80
  • Village Walk/Nature walk $5
  • Traditional dance $30
  • Bird Watching $5
  • Canoe Hire $5
Jinja
  • Bungy Jumping $110
  • Quad Biking $80
  • Nile sup From $20
  • Fishing Trips From $60
  • White Water Rafting $125
  • Community Schools Project $40
  • Kayak From $20
  • Mountain biking From $30
Subject to change

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland (Under 39’s) Dates

Tour datesEnquire
 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland (Under 39’s) Pre Departure

Pre-Departure Information

Pre-Departure Meeting

  • Pre-departure meetings are usually held the evening before the tour starts.
  • Most overland tours begin in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es salaam, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Windhoek, Swakopmund, Cape Town or Johannesburg and held on the evening prior to the safari departure date at 6pm.

Zanzibar Excursion

  • If Zanzibar is included in your tour, you will enjoy an excursion to the Zanzibar Island which includes a ferry ride for about approximately 2 hours
  • The overland vehicle remains in Dar es salaam while you explore the island.
  • Your accommodation on the island is included on the Adventure Pass, but not the meals (Lunch and Dinner)
  • More information on the tour will be given while on tour
  • You will only need a backpack for your excursion to the island (Your main back pack will be left at the truck).
  • A list of items to pack for your excursion are the following:
  • Passport (the island considers itself ‘apart’ and you must carry your passport when entering and leaving)
  • Yellow Fever Certificate (Compulsory!)
  • Change of clothes in your day pack, swimsuit, sun screen, hat, small first aid kit and towel, anti-malarials
  • Money : * US$ 10 – $25 per day (other meals)
  • US$ 75 – 150 (drinks, curious, local tours, etc)

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.

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

Camping Tours:

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 Tours:

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:

Breakfast:

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).

Lunch:

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.

Dinner:

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.

Drinks

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.

Clothes:

  • 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
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Water/wind-proof jacket
  • Boots or sturdy trainers

Beachwear:

  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach towel and/or sarong
  • Sandals or thongs (need to be waterproof if you want to go white-water rafting)

Toiletries:

  • Personal toiletries
  • No electric shavers
  • Hand sanitiser/wipes (waterless sanitisers are convenient)
  • Baby wipes/wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Moisturiser
  • Face wash
  • Facecloth

Sleepwear:

  • Pyjamas
  • 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
  • Moisturiser
  • Dehydration salts
  • Elastoplasts/band aids
  • Insect repellent (Malaria is a big problem in Africa, so the more protection the better)
  • Sterile dressings

Extras:

  • 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
  • Pens
  • 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.
  • Penknife
  • Watch
  • Biodegradable laundry detergent
  • Vaccination certificates for some areas
  • Cash
  • 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.

Laundry:

  • 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.

Personal Health:

  • 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.

Vaccinations:

  • 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:

  • 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:
    o Cover your skin with long shirts, pants and socks as most mosquito bites occur below the knee.
    o Make sure your mosquito net is tightly closed and doesn’t have any holes in it.
    o Use an effective prophylactic and speak to your doctor about options for anti-malarial tablets
    o Always cover yourself with mosquito repellent, especially at sunset.
    o Please know that malaria cannot be cured!

Water:

  • 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.

Photography:

  • 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

Tour Crew:

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.

The Guides:

  • 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!

Street Vendors:

  • 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.

Passport:

  • 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

Visa:

  • 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.

Insurance

Medical Insurance:

  • 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).

Travel Insurance:

  • 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

Single Supplements:

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:

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.

Activity Package:

  • 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.

Money Matters:

  • 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.

Credit Cards:

  • 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

Banking facilities:

  • 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.

Departure Tax:

  • 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

Security:

  • 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.

Quick Checklist

  • 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)

Checklist

  • 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 flights 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)




FROM

R22,480 R17,984

+ Activity Package (Compulsory) USD 600

+ Gorilla Trekking Permit (Optional) ZAR 8970

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