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AYU - Gorillas & Masai Mara - End of Nov

Anyone else out there on this trip?


Hi, I'm going on this trip and very excited !!! Have you done anything like

this before?

Hi Sarah,

 No, I've not really done anything quite like this.  I went to Costa Rica in a similar type of holiday 5 or 6 years ago, but haven't travelled alone since then.  Really looking forward to it, as I've not seen any of Africa, and the trip looks really exciting and interesting.  Just need to get all the bits and pieces sorted before hand!  Only 7 weeks away now!

 How about you?  Have you done anything like this before?  Not sure what to expect in the group in terms of ages and mix of couples and singles - have you heard anything?



I've just recently been on this trip - it is wonderful and you will have a great time.  If you have any questions about what to take etc then please let me know and I will try and answer.

Kind regards


Hi Andrea,

 Thanks for the message.  Are there any general tips you would offer in terms of things to take / things to see / things to be wary of?  Would you say it is better to have local currency or would US Dollars cover all 3 countries?  I'm just trying to decide whether to sort visas in advance of going or on arrival - would you have any advice on that front?

 Thanks again


Hello Andrew

For currency, I changed £50 worth of Kenyan shilliings before I went, the rest I took in US dollars which are fairly straightforward to change.  If you take a range of denominations that helps as lower denominations are needed for tips and higher denominations get you a better exchange rate.

I got my visas before I went but it's no problem getting them on the borders and you will need the correct amount of US dollars for this.

In terms of things to take, I suggest stationery/children's clothes for the orphanage/school, a couple of pairs of zip off walking trousers, some T shirts and a couple of long sleeved shirts.  Taking travel wash or washing powder is good as you can hand wash things as you go along and then get everything washed for you at Jinga.  I also suggest taking diarrhoea tablets (though I didn't need them, others took immodium at various points along the way) and antiseptic hand gel.  Also, be sure to take plenty of camera memory cards and a spare battery which you will be able to charge in the truck/accommodation.  I took proper rain gear but ended up using the emergency poncho a couple of times and taking plenty of plastic bags is also a good idea.

 I hope this helps.

Kind regards



Hi Andrew

I should have mentioned that it's useful to take toilet roll and wet wipes too.

Kind regards


Hi Andrea,

 Thanks for the information.  That's a great help.

I may be back with more questions later on!

Do you have your next trip planned yet?

 Thanks again.

Best wishes


Hi Andrew

Please feel free to ask as many questions as you wish and I'll do my best to come up with a coherent answer!

We are all still enjoying our gorilla and safari photos being uploaded onto Facebook and Photobox (plus boring as many friends as poss with holiday tales)!.  Some of our group are also planning to meet up in London shortly.  I have booked some flights to Sri Lanka in Feb mind you - always need to have the next holiday to look forward to!

Kind regards


Hi Andrea,

 Which way round was the trip you did?  My trip is Rwanda first, and so I was wondering what you would recommend for the time in Kigali on the first day (as I understand it, there is free time in the city after arrival at the airport).  As I will be travelling on my own, I would be interested in knowing whether it is safe to see on my own, or whether it is better to try and join up with others in the group.

 Hopefully all set in terms of the rest of the stuff, so it's just what happens before the group gets to know each other better that I wonder about!

Thanks for the info so far


Hi Andrew

Like you, I did the reverse itinerary.  Members of our group arranged to meet in Heathrow and had a 6 hour wait in Nairobi airport for the transfer so had already got to know each other a bit.  I suggest at Nairobi airport that you turn right and head all the way along to the cafe at the end and stay there until you need to board your flight as it's the only place worth hanging out for any length of time. 

The first afternoon was spent recovering from the travelling and packing the lockers in the truck as well as getting familiar with the hotel bar.  We also had a briefing from the tour leader in the afternoon.  The hotel is a bit out of town and it's quite a long taxi journey in and not a huge amount to see when you get there.  We did a city tour (which I thought was worth doing to see the genocide memorial centre and get a feel for the city) on the morning afterwards (i.e. the Sunday) before heading off to Ruhengeri.

I hope you have a fab trip




I just returned from this trip at the weekend, it was fantastic. We went from Nairobi thorugh Kenya, Uganda and finished in Rwanda with the gorillas. There is an airport lounge in Nairobi that you can pay to use on a long layover (we had 8 hours and it was worth every penny). Kigali seemed very safe but highlights are covered on the city tour that is arranged for you.

Definitely worth packing some things for the visits to schools / orphanages that are available en route. I went to visit one at Lake Bunyoni and wished I had some gifts ( I unloaded the contents of my medical kit there!). They have literally nothing so if you have space (there is a generous luggage allowance though not a huge amount of storage on the truck) I would take some posters for the walls eg. alphabet / numbers or a world map for example. Perhaps something like tennis balls or rubber balls to play with and the girls were keen to have dolls. Pens and pencils would be nice too but only if you have paper too as they didnt seem to have any.

Loo roll can be bought on the way as can some snacks and drinks but there are some long days of driving with long gaps between breakfast and lunch so some muesli bars went down well as did bags of sweets that we all passed round!

There is a charger on the truck for phones / batteries etc but can only be used when on the move. A head torch would be a must to take and a pillow cos there arent any. Wet weather gear also essential. It wasnt ever really chilly but the truck can be a bit blustery so a hoodie or fleece or something was useful. You will need decent boots for the trekking. Take US$ cash and change it as you go along, the leaders have this all sorted. They take credit cards at Jinja for the rafting / bungy jumping and at the ballon flight centre in the Masai if you havent booked in advance otherwise there are really not any ATMs and very few banks. The credit cards will have an additional 10% added if used.

Have a brilliant time, wish I was still there!



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