Wear closed shoes for the Masai village visit!
The trip notes were quite explicit about the size of the bag for going in lockers under the seats - this wasn't the case in our truck. The bags stayed in the back and the lockers under the seats were just for a few bits and bobs and valuables. Maybe worth checking if you were about to go and buy a new bag! I think some trucks you do need to unpack.....
The crafts in Nakuru town were cheaper than those on the way to and from the Masai Mara, where one craft 'emporium' certainly quoted outrageous prices. They came down with some bartering - but still £££. You are seen as rich tourists though, so expect people to take their chance. What we have is way more than most of the people you will meet, so you need to decide how much you are prepared to pay.
I liked the reverse itinerary - starting with the genocide museum seems much better than it being the final memory of the trip. Seeing it while jetlagged may also have meant that the full horror did not impact as much as it might have otherwise. Still horrific though.
We were only 11 and it meant we wern't cramped in the truck or in the Mara vehicles - made such a difference.
I really liked the remote campsites - particularly the one in Nakuru NP. It was a real feeling of wilderness, and a world away from the hustle of everyday life.
Cameras don't like rain - as many of our group discovered at the gorillas. Be prepared for them to not do a lot - ours for the most part sat under the hedge. One did get up and beat his chest running down the hill - amazing, but he kind of caught us by surprise! They will be closer than you expect - you will get good photos with a small compact camera.
The extension for the generator to charge batteries in the truck was a little temperamental - but I expect they have bought a new one by now. Take a spare battery as I expect with 16 on a trip charging time will be short - so a spare battery charged when you are in a hotel / guesthouse will be useful.
Get your boots cleaned if they offer at the guesthouse in Ruhengeri - $1 and boots like new! There was a slightly anxious moment when we all just gave our boots away - but they all came back.
We seemed to change money frequently! Sterling or dollars is fine - you can change both. Often would suggest places or sort it for us, I expect other leaders will too. Higher value notes got a better exchange rate. Do watch out though - there was occasionally a little 'miscounting' - worth working out what you think you should get (the leader will tell you) before you handover your cash.
The orphanage would also like shoes and clothes - so if you have a little space in your bag - expecially if doing the reverse trip see what you can fit in.
The only problem with our reverse trip was that Often and Bernard went off to meet the new group - so didn't spend the last night with us. This was a shame.
The Masai village was full of litter. I have no problem with mud, cow manure and traditional lifestyles - after all that is why we want to visit (though I would recommend closed in shoes!). The litter I found upsetting. It felt like us visiting was an easy way for them to make money. I see why that village is chosen (right next to the campsite) but I wonder whether changing the village around every now and then would lead to a better experience.
If mobile contact is important - be warned, not all networks work in all countries. O2 had signal in Rwanda and Uganda - but not Kenya for instance.
Not all optional activities appeared available - especially around Naivasha. The balloon flight weas expensive but worth it - even if we did miss the leopard the non balloonists saw!