accomadations and ballon ride

Hey Lesley,

 I am going on the AYU trip on Sept 05/09- besides the Acacia camp in the Masai Mara- could you please tell me where else we stay?

Also is the hot-air ballon ride really worth all the money? What are the chances of being able to go if you book the balloon ride there as opposed to before hand?






This question actually goes out to anyone that may be able to answer it- however I noticed that Lesley usually answers questions about the AYU trip- but if anyone- exodus staff or travellers can answer it please let me know.




Hi Jess,

Sorry for the delay in writing. There are a few of us who answer the posts here but I can answer yours!  I cannot give an exact list of acccommodation as we sometimes vary the campsites, there are often a few campsites close to each stop.

Hotel night: In Kigali we aim to stay at Chez Lando hotel, in the centre of Kigali and just 10 minutes from the airport. Whilst in Ruhengeri we stay at a small hotel/camp called Fatima's.

Campsites (general information): At Lake Bunyoni we use a camp right on the lake shore - its a beautiful setting. There are a choice of camps close to Jinja and again we use a camp on the banks of the Nile. Naivasha, there are two camps on thew banks of the lake. I stayed at Fisherman's camp at Naivasha on the AYU trip I did. All the campsites above have restaurant and bar facilties and there is the possibilty to upgrade to bandas or rooms. At Nakuru we stay in the National Park on your departure. The facilities are very basic but it is a unique experience - I have never seen the stars shining so bright!

I am sorry that I cannot be more specific on the campsite names.

In answer to your question about the balloon trip. I understand it is expensive - there are only 2-3 companies that offer balloon trips in the Masai Mara. Many people however cite this as one of the highlights of the trip. You have to rise very early but the drive from our camp to the start point is through the park. On the trip I was on, the clients who did the balloon trip saw a pack of lions on the way. They then saw them from the air - an amazing experience. It is possible to wait to book locally but obviously availabilty cannot be guaranteed as it is popular. I would recommend just having a look at some of the reviews on the AYU trip pages and then deciding if you want to go for it or not.

I hope this helps a little,

 Best regards,




Thanks you aswered lots of my questions, however I have a few more..sorry. I saw on another blog you wrote about the Acacia camp in Masai mara- do we stay there on our trip AYU Sept 5/09?

Also what do we NEED to bring? sleeping bag? liner?obviouslyclothes,sunscreen/waterbottle/binoculars/etc..  

also how do we meet up wit the group- we are flying from london but not sure if we are on the same flight as we are coming from Canada. 

How much spending money do you approximate? 

Sorry for all the questions but it seems that if we lived in the Uk and was booking we would get a pkg containing all the info.




Thats ok - no problem!

Yes, I did not mention about the Masai Mara accommodation as you had aleady acknowledged it. On all trips we stay at Acacia Camp in the Masai Mara.

With regard to packing, please read through the trip notes for your forthcoming trip - we offer advice on essential items and recommended items to pack in there. You will need to take a sleeping bag - we recommend a 3 season sleeping bag as in Rwanda/Uganda, it can get cold at night. I would also recommend taking a sleeping bag liner. 

Around 3 weeks before departure you will get your joining instructions with full information on meeting the group. The group flight for this trip is the overnight Kenyan Airways flight departing London on 4th September. At present I believe it arrives in Nairobi at 06:30am. If you arrive at a similar time then you can arrange to meet the group transfer at Nairobi airport. Please contact our sales or operations department to arrange this.

Re: spending money. You will need enough US dollars to cover the visas and any extra gifts/food you would like to purchase. The majority of meals are included - and the local cook is great!. I changed around 30USD in Rwanda for spending money and 50USD in Kenya and Tanzania for incidentals but if buying larger souvenirs you will need more.

I believe you should have the trip notes but if not, please download them from (All departures - Nairobi to Kigali)

Many thanks,



Thanks again for answering all my questions.

 We are one the same flight as everyone else out of London to Nairobi landing 6:30 am so meeting up should be easy.

Are you leading this trip when I go?



No I'm afraid I am not leading the trip - I work in the product department here in the UK but I have been out and met many of our guides in East Africa. We use local leaders and they are great - Often led the AYU trip when I was there and was a star - have a look at some of these reviews about all the leaders. I hope you have a great trip!

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