Gorillas and Masai Mara camping

June and July gorillas and Masai Mara trip anyone on this one?

Have been looking forward to doing this for years as been once, but always wanted to see the gorillas again

Heading down from Manchester airport June - Jul trip

Hi Phill 

I'm on this trip. It sounds like a great adventure. I'm really looking forward to it 


I’m on this trip too. Really looking forward to it, can’t wait to see the gorillas and all the other wildlife.


Hi Laura 

So what are you two thinking of doing for the optional extras. I probably won't do the second day with the gorillas but I'm thinking the hot air balloon safari sound great and the white water rafting.

Hi Andy & Laura

Pleased to hear you are both on the trip - am already down for a second gorilla day ( this is my 2nd time with gorillas as I'm a wildlife nut and adventurer).

Rafting might be cool was rafting out in Zimbabwe after Zambezi trip last November. Will see how things go though and how group pans out as likely minimum numbers.

I take it you guys are seasoned travellers too, going to be an epic and may wear out my camera on this years trips.

I probably won’t do the 2nd day with the gorillas either. Not sure about the white water rafting at the moment, not that comfortable with water but I have done it before in Costa Rica though so I might see what the advice is when we get there. The balloon flight is very tempting! 

I have done a bit of traveling, never been to  Africa though so I can’t wait!

Are you both on the group flights? 

I'm out of Manchester to Heathrow then on KLM flights via Amsterdam to Nairobi so might be meeting you there.

Laura I have done Africa lots - once it is seen it gets under your skin and puts the hook in you - you'll come back I gurantee it.

Last time the young gorillas crash tackled and lay on me - that is why 2nd trek day was worth the money to me, even after that I'll want more as that hr flies by but is magical.

Hopefully have some nice pics of their ginger relatives on my return to Borneo in April too. Going to be an epic year

Was your Zambezi trip, the canoeing and wild camping one with exodus? I did that a few years back. I'm tempted to do the second day but it is a lot of money. I'm Into wildlife photography to. I saw orangutans last year in Indonesia. I've done quite a lot of trips now.

Yes, I'm on the group flight. One of my friends has been on safari and had the opportunity to do the balloon safaris but didn't. He said he wished he did it.

That sounds great with the gorillas. One of my friends has a twig in her hair and a gorilla picked it out on this trip.

I'm going to look into the visas for all 3 countries at the weekend. I read something about you can send your passport to the embassy or just do it at the airport. Have you looked into this yet?

Yep it was, cracking trip and plenty of lions and elephants. Excellent conditions and the island camps and river swims after a days paddle were lush

My Nikon was used almost as much as the paddle, was just stunning. Have done Okavango before in canoes and mokoros and thoroughly recommend it ( was in Botswans and Zim again start of last year) and up Kili in Sept. I was mostly in Africa on hols last year feels like.

Balloon if we have numbers I think it will get done unless we have something even better on offer. Done bush flights and sat on side doors of helos and you would not believe how incredible the views are / herds of animals seen.

Visas as need passport end of Feb and then for Borneo in April I will do at airport. 

Andy you Nikon or Canon man? 

This will be first time in the big overland wagons, normally I'm travelling in land rovers or land cruisers - this will seem like air-conditioned luxury so might have to not look like the vagabond I normally am.

Cool, that was a great trip, I really enjoyed that.

Ahhhh I'm canon man so I guess we can't be friends lol I'm going to take my DSLR, compact, gopro and I use my phone for photos and videos to.

Haha I use Canons underwater diving, though now tend to be G7x as they are more than good enough.

I only ask about camera brand is I had a trip where someone kicked a woman's DSLR off a seat getting in a Land Cruiser - lens autofocus stopped working. I only had two lenses with me that didn't work with her older model so couldn't help. I have a few lenses so if someone wanted to borrow one I'd have brought a spare / spare batteries, etc...

That Zambezi was indeed a special trip - including a yellow bellied sand snake that tried to hide in my mates hat, he's terrified of snakes


Oh no, the poor lady. I always get carried away with the amount of batteries and have my compact as a spare incase anything goes wrong and sometimes it's easy to take that instead of a big dslr.

Haha I bet that was a shock for him.


I am also on June/July Gorilla and Masai Mara trip!:)

I am  super excited and nervous at the same time! Have not done a safari trip before, neither camping; nevertheless I am looking forward to it soo much! 

It is great that we can chat and exchange few ideas:)  and hopefully on the trip it should feel like at least we know each other just a bit :)

In terms of visa, I emailed Marta (the Operations Executive for our trip) and this is what she recommended 

“ As a British passport holder, you will obtain an East African Visa on arrival at Nairobi airport. This visa costs 100USD, covers all three countries, and you only need your passport to obtain it.”

What are guys planning? 

I am thinking of just taking the visa upon arrival at Nairobi.  

I am based in London and flying from  Heathrow too on the group flight to Amsterdam then connective flight to Nairobi so I think we will be on the same flight. 

If anyone is from London and would like to meet up befire the trip give a shout 👌🏻 

are you guys paking any extra “protein bars” for the “journey” or anything like that?  

looking forward to hear from any one of You!




Hi Violeta

Im sure we will all be a bit nervous but Its going to be a great trip.

I think that's what I'm going to do. When I went to Zambia it was really easy to get the Visa at the airport.

I think it would be good if we all meet up at the airport. I've done that before on trips and it's a nice start to the trip.

I don't normally take extra food. I may get a bottle of something though 

Hi Violeta,

I will probably get my visa when we get there too, sounds like the easiest option. 

You don‘t need to be nervous, I did my first solo trip with Exodus last September to Peru and was apprehensive at first but everyone was lovely so it didn’t last long.  Would be great to meet up at the airport.

I probably won’t take extra food, If we get fed like I did in Peru you definitely won’t go hungry! 


Thank you for your reply! Meeting at the airport would be awesom.

Great way to start the trip! 

Any tips on what’s essential to bring ( stuff may not be listed on the trip notes) in terms of camping? What’s it’s a must?!:) As you gusy have done this before ..

thanks so much for your responses!! 

Hi Violetta

Don't be nervous or worry there is nothing to be apprehensive about.

I wouldn't bring much in the line of snacks as depending on campsites a bushcamp they don't like food in tents - may be different here but animals like elephants will investigate if something smells good - so most stuff is secured in the trucks.

Am getting Visa on arrival and have done this lots in Africa. Generally no worries and we'll no doubt all be in the same queue.

I would suggest something to cover your neck / face on dusty game drives. An Arabic shemagh is best travel tool ever as does millions of jobs. I have a couple and use them everywhere from Himalayas to Northern Territories in Oz.

Also bring your own toilet roll in a drybag - happiness is not walking to a camp toilet in a rainstorm to find a matted clump of paper.

Best thing though is bring a sense of adventure and practice smiling for long periods as you will be doing it a lot on these trips.

You are going to have an amazing time, trust me been doing this a lot and Exodus are a fantastic company and their camping will be quite luxurious.

You probably won't have to put up a tent yourself, and if do they are simple clip to pole things that are up in 10 mins. 

Definitely bring a headtorch with spare batteries.

A soap bar you can wash clothes and yourself with in case need to. Earplugs are good ( but can take from a flight) and an airplane style pillow can be handy on loooong drives but not essential.

The kitlist is pretty good and often there is a quick stop at a supermarket near the airport for any last minute things ( normally to buy crisps and water).

Thank you for your responses and for the tips!👌🏻 

I am soo looking forward to the trip and meeting you and no doubt the trip will be amazing! 

Hi all  Can't wait for the trip too!  Vio  - I live just outside London - happy to meet up before if you want to?  Whereabouts in London are you?  

I'd like to do the second gorilla trip - do I need to book in advance does anyone know?? 

one more on board! Lovely to meet you:) 

I live south west Londo. Would be lovely to meet up before if you’d like:)

Aa far as am aware, you neee to book in advance as they are restricted from my understanding

Xx have a wonderful weekend!

am already counting to it!!😊😊

Hi Gill 

It says in the paperwork to be booked in advance so might be worth a call to exodus to make sure you can do it. 

Not long now, I'm looking forward to meeting you all. Have you all had your yellow fever jab? It made me feel a little unwell but it last forever so might be worth getting done earlier than later.

thanks for advice on booking additional trip - maybe too late but i'll call them asap.

Had Yellow Fever years ago so glad it lasts for a lifetime now.  

Vio - send me an email and we can arrange to meet up hopefully before the trip.  SW London isn't difficult for me.  [email protected]   We can talk 'girlie' needs.  I've camped in Africa before - it's fab  just be chilled about it all lol!!


I also had my yellow fever jab done! Not fun haha:) but it’s for life so guess it’s wort it.

am also doing the rabies jab. 

Expensive business! 🙉 

Gill, I’ll drop you an email in a mo👌🏻  


Hi Gill, 

Nice to meet you! Not long to go now and I’m getting very excited! I think you do have to pre-book the extra day as you need a permit.

I had my Hep B booster yesterday and my tetanus, polio and Diptheria. I’ve got yellow fever and typhoid next week! 


Hi Laura - great to meet you too - not long to go now!  Guessing from comments you'll be coming from the North and we'll all meet up on the Heathrow flight.  If anyone is near London, Vio and I plan to meet up beforehand.    The Balloon flight is amazing - do it if you can.  I wont be doing 'water stuff' as I'm not a water babe i'm afraid.  I'll stick to the wildlife not wild water lol.  

I’m actually just north of London. I live in Bedfordshire, takes me about 40 mins to get into central London on the train. Would be happy to meet up with you both.

I'm just back from hanging out with orangutans in Malaysia ( Monday night return) so thinking about next trip is the only thing keeping me sane - apart from paying final balance on Tuesday.

Yep permits are in advance but if unavailable many years ago someone lucked in when a space appeared - someone in another group had high temp so no go for them.

Remember to photograph or photocopy the yellow fever booklet as if lost you pay a lot less + a copy is proof enough as well if need to transit a place to get home and they want to see it.

You will all have an amazing time and looking forward to meeting you all - I'm the northern monkey meeting you in country.

Oh and if you have forgotten anything there will likely be little stops at bottleshops or it is a group - someone will have it and share it. 

It is going to be a great holiday

That’s a great tip for the yellow fever booklet, thanks Phill 😊

How was the orangutangs? I struggled to choose between this trip and that one! 

Yeah Borneo was great but to be fair either of the trips are going to be incredible. The itinery is good and last few nights in the Danum Valley were very special.

I think we just figured out where you are going next 😉 will show you photos when get to Africa.

Anyway this trip you will love too and hopefully make some incredible memories.

One thing I will warn any folks who've never used strong mozzie repellent ( DEET 60% or above) it stains some clothes and melts plastics. I have destroyed a couple of watches and the odd bit of kit in my time. So don't bring your fav t-shirt or like. Craghoppers stuff like Nosilife gear is fantastic but still use mosquito spray.

Also if you want cheap Africa clothes then 5 sand coloured Fruit of The Loom t-shirts will set you back a tenner. Afterwards can donate or clean and reuse on another trip.

Just don't turn up in DPM Camo gear as you look daft sat in a land cruiser trying to blend in like Elma Fudd, equally neon bright colours on a walk aren't good either - most antelope and deer see in black & white but predators and apes are trichromats. I have a cracking pic of 4 guys in Luangwa all in green with cameras and their with a guy in boardshorts and a a bright yellow tshirt... they didn't like him much.


Vio and I are in touch on email and plan to meet up early June.  Would you like to email me (mentioned above) and we can include you in our plans?  


I'm trying to work out how much money to bring on our trip and in which currencys. What's everyone else thinking? I might ring exodus to find out if you can pay for the extras like hot air balloon safari by card. I'm thinking it would be good to have mostly US dollars and get some local currency from cash points out there or do you think we should take some of all 3 currencys?

Has anyone else started packing yet lol

Received  an email with your commen but somehow does not show here... 

I sent am email to Marta a while ago with few questions, among being the money. 

This is what she recommendEd: 

4.       All cash you bring with you, is advised to be in US dollars. For most things in all countries you may pay with US dollars, otherwise you may easily change dollars to the local currencies while in the countries. In general in is safe to carry your money with you, however, as anywhere in the world, it is only wise to separate your money and don’t have it all in one easily accessible place.

Hope you’ll find this useful. 

I was thinking of around $300/400?  

What are you guys thinking?

We also need to consider visas which must be paid in cash. 

Not sure about you guys but it’s been few weeks already since I’ve started collecting stuff all in the rucksac haha! Can that

be called  packing alread?😅  

Getting excited by the day! 

Enjoy the week ahead all! 


Ps: for some reason I can’t delete th below 🤔

 this is useful Received

Hi Vio 

That's strange, I wonder if this one will work.

Cool, thanks for that thats good. I'll probably take 400 then 

Lol its not just me then. I've been buying some new bits and getting my gear together Saturday 😁 

Haha!! Nop, you’re not the only one  🎒 !!   

Yeah, think $400 it’s a reasonable amoun. (Excluding visa.) 

Also its a worry if you carry too much cash on you ...🙉 

My torch is usb chargeable, am sure I’ll be able to charge it if need be! ?

Same goes for mobile haha!  

Ennjoy your evening!



Was just reading but cant see  how much can we actually carry?

holt plus cabin bag?

anyone know? 🤔

Hi Everyone,

I was thinking US dollars would be the best option. Especially as you have to pay for extra excursions with dollars. 

Not started packing yet but I’m looking at my pile of kit I’ve accumulated and my rucksack and wondering how the hell i‘m going to get it all in! 

I should imagine you’ll be able to find out weight limits on the airline websites. 

Good evening everyone.

Just joined the forum and been reading your comments. Any one else going to Kenya via Addis Ababa? 

Looks like a great adventure filled holiday.  Not too sure about  paddle boarding with the hippos as an optional extra!

Clive & Dani

Standard operating procedure is to pack a bag, find a dozen extra things, repack it and then repack it 2 nights before due to go.

Standard flights is 23kg bag but I would aim for below 20kg probably 15kg as have carry-on daysack besides. Just my way. More stuff is just more stuff to keep track of and camping it just takes up sleep space when you have a kit explosion trying to find the one thing you need.

Simple stuff like different colour drybags for different stuff saves faffing.

You will be surprised just how much you can fit in a 70l duffel bag and 30l daysack. 

Just compress the sleeping bag and stick that in first. Will show you what space actually have. If not got one get a cheap compression sack and your sleeping back will become a tiny thing.

Cash taking dollars and a reserve of pounds can convert if needed.

The trip notes advise how much spending but I'd add 10% as notes can be out of date.

Hot air balloon is $500 so will probably take $500 + the $500 for any expenses split into separate stashes. I am including a couple of optional activities in that. I do lots of trips though so will use any spare dollars.

Without doing activities you need min 

$100 - $150 visa

Tips ( optional)

$50 guide tip

$ 25 crew

$ 30 kitty for tips

Is getting close.

Nice to hear from you Clive & Dani

Hi all  I thought it would be good to know how many are on the trip.  There will be 18 of us!  8 men and 10 ladies.   It'll be fun!  

I also asked and they do take credit cards for those extra trips.

Should make for a fun dynamic as there will likely be a spread of people for the different activities and different age groups / interests


Hi everyone not long to go now.

No long indeed!  🤗

days are dragging now 🙈 

Yeah it will all come round and we'll be enjoying time away from work and back to simpler things.

Hope your meet-up went well and everyone has all the kit they need. I will try and bring one of the bird guidebooks for East Africa too if have space in daysack. Adventure starts soon

I am flying KLM out of Heathrow is that what the group are on?

Anyone doing Addis try and see if there is lounge access as it isn't the best airport - did 8 hr layover there once and think I counted every bead in the souvenir shop.


All sorted I think haha!

Yes, was lovely meeting Laura and Gill! 

I believe we are all on same KLM flight to Amsterdam and then Nairobi. 

 see you all soon!

have a good day!


Hi everyone, not long now. Hows every ones packing going? I think I'm pretty much packed now. I'm not getting notified to new messages on here. On other trips the group has had a WhatsApp group chat so we can meet up at the airport and to share photos of our adventure. Shall I set one up for us? My number is 07780116332 

I wouldn't post your phone numbers or email addresses on a public forum folks.

Andy deff will share photos post trip always upload to Google Drive for everyone or can Dropbox. Happy to share number with you but advise not to post them on internet. Like yourself Whatsapp group post trip is how share the links for photos.

If you are all heading to T5 can arrange a time at a shop / restaurant. I'll be easily identifiable as my daysack has a small Pudsey bear hanging off it 😊

Usual haunts to meet are Hamleys/Giraffe, Wagamama or the Starbucks coffee stand near gate A11.

 Happy to meet and will be landing in London 2pm from Manchester.

Packing starts proper Sunday...

If Andy does decide to remove his phone number people could DM him there number or ask for it that way as it will be secure

Just over a week to go 🦍😱 and looking forward to it - coming to Heathrow from Wales - be good to meet at the airport - I will probably head for the bar 🙄

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