Troop to the Gorillas Trip Notes
Explore one of Africa’s best wildlife experiences on Troop to the Gorillas, safariing through Uganda. Trek rare chimpanzee and mountain gorillas in the misty landscape of Central Africa. Guided by experts to the green highlands of Kigezi, witness the endangered mountain gorillas in southwest Uganda. Discover gorgeous lakes, quaint villages and unforgettable sights, capping it off with a myriad of adventure activities in Jinja, source of the Nile River.
Duration : 9 Days
Destination : Africa
Start/Ends in : Kampala / Kampala
Group Size : 5-15 Pax
Age Req. : 18+
Trip Theme : Adventure, Discovery
Hotels : Camping
Departs : All Year Around
It is our intention to adhere to the route described below but a certain amount of flexibility is built into the tour and on occasion it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations to the published itinerary. Please therefore treat the following as a guide only. This is a participation tour.
Duration: 9 Days
Countries visited: Uganda
When you make a confirmed booking, you will be sent the tour booking documents and a pre-departure booklet with detailed information to help you prepare for your trip. Once you have paid in full you will receive a Travel Voucher giving details of your joining hotel and your ‘ticket’ for the tour and must be given to the tour leader at the beginning of the tour. Kampala (Entebbe – EBB) is well served by several airlines and your travel agent can advise on flights to the start of the tour.
GORILLA AND CHIMPANZEE PERMITS
The Uganda Wildlife Authority imposes strict regulations regarding the gorilla trekking permits. One of these is that permits must be booked and paid in advance. In order for us to do this we must collect your permit money, in addition to your normal deposit, at the time of booking. Like your deposit, the permit money is not refundable if you cancel your tour. The Gorilla and Chimpanzee permit currently (October 2019) cost US$780.00 – US$800.00 per person. Please ask Travel Talk for the equivalent amount in your own currency. Please note: To ensure we obtain gorilla permits we may have to adjust the itinerary slightly from the published
route. Any such adjustment will be explained to you where-ever possible before you leave for Africa. Our focus at all times will be to ensure everyone has the opportunity to do the treks and enjoy the very Africa experience.
This tour starts in Pretoria. The pre-departure meeting is held at 18:00 on the evening prior to departure. The tour departs at 07:00 on day 1 and ends in Durban on day 9.
Tour start and end point in Kampala:
Red Chilli Hideaway
Address: Plot 17, Gangaram Road Mbuya, Kampala
Contact details: Tel. +256 (0)414 223 903
E-mail: [email protected]
Pre-Departure meeting: 18:00 prior to departure day
Tour start time: 05:00 on Day 1
Tour end time: Late afternoon / early evening on Day 9
Adventure Pass :
Every adventure camping tour has an Adventure Pass which is paid to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour (or pre-paid by arrangement prior to your tour). This is separate and in addition to the Tour Price, which is paid before travel, and is paid in the currency listed in the brochure or on the website (usually US dollars in clean, un-torn post 2008 edition notes). The Adventure Pass covers selected park entries, activities and excursions along the way where payment goes directly to the supplier. The purpose of the separate payment is to ensure local suppliers benefit directly from the income.
Please try to keep your luggage to a minimum, bearing in mind that most airlines impose a 20kg limit. It should be brought in a soft backpack or rucksack along with a smaller day bag. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing and warm clothing for the evenings and early morning game drives. You also need a sleeping bag (and small pillow if preferred). We recommended you pack a small torch or headlamp, mosquito spray and a money pouch/ belt that can be easily hidden. Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables and use your hotel safe to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. A power bank is useful for recharging electronic devices.
NB UGANDA PLASTIC BAG BAN – Uganda has a ban on single-use plastic. Prohibited items include single-use plastic carrier bags, shopping bags/packing plastic carrier bags. Ziplock bags and storage compartment bags (e.g toiletries) will be permitted as they are expected to remain in possession of traveller. We do however suggest that you leave these items behind in your country of origin.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.
Inclusions & Exclusions
The tour price covers the following services:
Accomodation : 8 nights camping
Meals : 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
Transportation : Fully equipped safari vehicle, All road tolls and vehicle taxes, All ground transportation
Highlights : Queen Elizabeth National Park, Chimpanzee Trekking
Activities : Mountain Gorilla Trekking Subject to purchasing gorilla & chimpanzee permits.
What is NOT included in the tour price?
- Adventure Pass activities
- Travel insurance
- Meals not stated above
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips & gestures
- Airport transfers
- Optional activities
- NB Lunch & Dinner in Livingstone
Adventure Camping Tour
Traveling on an adventure camping tour is great fun, but it can also be challenging! This is a participation tour and your help will be needed in setting up the camp each night and assisting (usually on a rota basis) with the various day-to-day campsite duties, such as shopping, cooking, and keeping the vehicle and camp tidy. But don’t worry it’s not all hard work and it’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travelers. Your contribution benefits the success of the tour – most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment of the whole trip. Our accommodated tour option travels together with the camping counterpart.
Africa is an adventure destination and travelling here is not always predictable so be prepared to ‘expect the unexpected’ in difficulties or delays which might come our way! However, you’ll soon find that the diversity of the African landscape, the wildlife and the communities we pass on our way, make the sometimes-rough travel and long driving days worthwhile. Come with a sense of adventure and a flexible attitude and you will be sure to enjoy your African adventure across this amazing continent.
Africa provides an ever-changing environment, power failures, water, and fuel shortages, temperature fluctuations, and other uncontrollable/unplanned situations do occur. You will need to remain flexible, understanding, and good-humored. “African time” can be difficult and frustrating for those who are used to a very structured life, so this is something to keep in mind!
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, and meals as indicated.
What’s Not Included:
Excursions (optional), visas, travel insurance, flight departure taxes, airport transfers, optional activities, tips, drinks, sleeping bag and items of personal nature.
Gorilla & Chimpanzee Trek:
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 we may have to trek on different days. If at any chance our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country, eg Rwanda (instead of Uganda) 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 guide line only. This applies to Day 3 – 5 of this tour.
We use 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in groundsheets, zip-up insect screens, and foam mattresses. We mainly use campsites, which usually have reasonable wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool.
PRE/POST TOUR ACCOMMODATION
This tour departs Kampala early on Day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive at least the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and to acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation and transfers for you – please call or email us with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.
If time allows, we also suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of this part of Africa. Your Tour Leader can help with post tour accommodation if required and there are a variety of activities and excursions in the Kampala area that you can arrange locally. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can pre book your accommodation at the time of booking your tour.
See below for a guide to extra accommodation costs. These prices are a guideline only and are subject to change so please check with Travel Talk for current prices.
24-seater, self-contained, custom-built vehicle with on-board tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers. Travel times indicated are approximate and do not include stops en-route.
Game Park Visits
To maximize the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit.
Travel Advice, Visas & Insurance
The table below indicates the visas required for travel to the countries on this tour but should be treated as a guide only. At least one month prior to travel seek confirmation from embassies or a visa specialist, that these requirements are still current. For UK citizens the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) offers free up-to-date travel info: www.fco.gov.uk.
This information is provided as a guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change. Please note, visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling.
We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Africa and follow the advice of the UK Foreign Office (FCDO). For the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/
We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:
Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/
New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
USA – https://travel.state.gov/
All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance
Health & Safety
The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels
Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.
Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.
Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.
Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.
The table below indicates the vaccinations suggested for travel on this tour but should be treated as a guide only. You should seek professional medical advice from your GP or clinic at least six weeks prior to departure. Please note some areas visited are malarial. We recommend you speak to your doctor or travel clinic about appropriate anti-malarial tablets.
C = Compulsory, R = Recommended, * = If travelling from infected countries a certificate of proof may be required. NB: To be used as a guide only.
Please see your GP or travel clinic for up-to-date medical advice. Alternatively, contact TravelTalk for any queries or advice regarding vaccination requirements.
The best time to visit Africa is from September to December, when the dry and warm weather across the continent offers the ideal conditions for safari trips in the southwest, sightseeing in the Cape region, and adventures in East Africa.
It is also the best time for game viewing in the wilderness areas stretching from west to east. Southern Africa’s majestic animal migrations take place during these months, creating fascinating views of wildlife for the best photographic experience.
Your chances of witnessing animal births are high, especially in Southern Africa’s national parks. Trips to Africa from September to December have a lot to offer if you wish to witness the incredible wildlife diversity and the intriguing local life.
Check out our weather guide for the best time to visit Africa.
Naturally you will require extra money for your own personal spending on the tour, for Activities and Excursions, snacks, drinks, souvenirs, tips and items of a personal nature. Everybody has different spending habits but as a guideline we suggest you budget US$15-30 per day. Also keep US$ cash for relevant airport taxes and visas needed, optional activities and any additional accommodation before or after your tour.
Spending money is best carried as cash in either US dollars(US Dollars in clean, un-torn, post 2008 edition notes), South African Rand, Sterling or Euro which can be exchanged on arrival and as you travel. Your guide will give general guidance
about spending during the tour.
Currencies are as follows: Uganda – Shilling
ATM machines are found in Kampala. Please note they are sometimes unreliable (and therefore should not be relied upon).
Credit cards can be used to pay for optional activities although charges may be may be high by western standards (+/- 5%).
As in many areas where tourism is an important contributor to the economy it has become customary to offer a small gratuity to local staff at the end of the tour if service has been of a high standard. Naturally, this always remains at your discretion.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS
To give you maximum flexibility on the tour we offer a number of optional activities on the tour. To help budget, approximate prices are listed below in US$ unless otherwise stated. All prices are subject to change and availability.
Essentials to Bring & Internet
-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/
-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)
-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)
-Personal medical kit and medicine
-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)
-Reusable water bottle
-Ear plugs and eye mask
-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
-Comfortable, closed walking shoes
-Wind/water proof jacket
-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather
-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather
We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.
Rules to Follow
We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.
We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.
You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.
If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.
Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/
Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.
We strongly believe that you get the most out of a journey by respecting the culture and people of the places you visit. On our tours, we try to travel in a way that benefits the communities we pass through and minimizes the negative impact on the environment. This can be from ensuring the campsites and accommodation we use are clean when we leave and dressing respectfully in conservative areas to getting involved with local charity projects. We ask that you are open to this when you travel with us. Being proactive in responsible travel helps develop cross-cultural understanding and friendships with the local people and will greatly enhance your experience in Africa.
Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/
WIFI on tour:
While WIFI is becoming more common in some areas of Africa we cannot guarantee the speed, cost or reliability during your tour.