“Under Canvas in the Masai Mara”  

Old World Safari Elegance in Kenya

Oct 4- 12, 2024

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Timeless Kenya is everything you imagine Africa to be and truly the epitome of turning your safari dream into reality. October is the time to go for great weather and to witness ‘the greatest roadshow on earth’ in the Mara. Countless herds of wildebeest, zebra and herbivores cross the rivers south into the Serengeti in search of the rains. The Great Migration, one of the seven wonders of the world, is an experience that changes you. Senses are stirred with the thrill of anticipation of what will happen next. That’s just one of the reasons AFSers consistently rate magical Kenya as their“best vacation experience ever“. It is here where the safari concept began.

  Forget watching National Geographic. Come live it with a front row seat to the abundance of wildlife ! Enjoy exhilarating game drives morning and night when the predators are actively chasing prey. In the Mara, you’re virtually assured of seeing the Big 5- lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo and leopards. It’s as authentic as it gets. You’ll love the new award winning 5 star Fairmont Safari Camp ! Imagine luxury tents with 4 poster beds, huge bath and a private deck overlooking the hippos and crocs in the Mara River below you. Like the ultra- rich, you’ll be spoiled with the spa, pool and gourmet meals. At night there are lectures by Maasai warriors, sundowners and bush dinners under the stars. With your stay here, you’re giving back. Fairmont supports a local Masai village which we will visit. Also Children’s Garden Home for us to delight the orphans with school supplies.

 Each day we add more special moments. Visit David Sheldrick’s Elephant Sanctuary, Ol Pejeta Rhino & Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Lake Nakuru, the Rothschild Giraffe Center, Karen Blixens Homestead, Kazuri Beads, the Carnivore and more. Since 1989, we’ve  sent dozens of groups here , so loved by all, some return again with us. With our smaller groups now, many of you were left behind on the waitlist last year. What’s different about our new Classic Kenya ? It’s our fine tented properties to pamper you throughout. And it’s about our all inclusive best ever price this year that can’t possibly be beat ! The only thing optional is your champagne hot air balloon safari in the Mara over the endless game.

 From colonial Nairobi to luxurious tents in the wild bush, this is an experience like no other and Kenya always delivers. Our 9-day adventure is tailor-made for only 24 animal lovers to photographers. If you’re an AFS Afriholic, you may consider extending this safari with our next Tanzania and Zanzibar trip, whose dates dovetail this trip. They won’t come around again. Now is the time for your ‘Out Of Africa’ adventure of a lifetime.

 

“Wow, Suzy! Our Kenya trip is really gonna be hard to talk. We all were amazed and it just kept getting better each day. You outdid yourself with this itineraries. Thank you for making a difference in my life.” –  Jennifer P.

 

 

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Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

 

Click for a printable PDF Kenya itinerary

Oct 4 – Depart fly USA to Nairobi. (Air details coming in trip tips)

The flights to Nairobi are all overnight, so plan accordingly to leave the U.S. today. Air is easy round-trip to NBO and plenty of airline choices.

Oct 5 – Jambo, Welcome to Kenya!

Land at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International airport.  (One common group transfer will be provided).  The drive to our hotel is about 5 minutes away from the international arrivals. Arrive and check in to the beautiful Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel.

After check-in, the day is free to take advantage of the hotel’s rooftop pool or optional excursions depending on the time of arrival. The hotel is located very close to the Nairobi National Park which allows Nairobi to call itself the World’s only Wildlife Capital by hosting a national park within its borders.

Overnight: Nairobi Crowne Plaza (2 nights)

www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/nairobi/nboir/hoteldetail

 Oct 6 –  Amazing Sightseeing Tour from Nairobi

After breakfast, we enjoy a full day city tour of vibrant Nairobi. Our first stop will be for an incredible experience with orphaned elephants and rhinos at the David Shedlrick Wildlife Trust. This Kenyan wildlife conservation charity was founded in 1977 by Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her late husband David Sheldrick. Its mission is to assist and advise the Kenya Wildlife Service and manage these large orphans who otherwise would perish in the wild. It’s educational and delightful to see the baby Ellies run out for their bottles of milk!

Next, we visit the Karen Blixen Museum. The former African home of Danish author Karen Blixen, famous for her book Out of Africa, which chronicles life at the estate in the early 1900s.  We’ll enjoy lunch at the Karen Blixen café.  Our visit to the Kazuri Bead Factory in the afternoon will highlight an all women enterprise renowned for making fabulous clay beads and jewelry. The Factory was founded decades ago by an Englishwoman who wanted to help single mothers become self-supporting. The clay beads make great gifts and are as amazing as the story of the Factory’s evolution.

We’ll also the Children’s Garden Home, a community-based, nongovernmental, non-profit charitable organization for orphans, abandoned, abused, desperate and neglected street children. The Home offers parental love, spiritual care, rehabilitation, and non-formal education to nurture the children and unleash their full potential towards living a good life based on self-reliance. Let’s bring goodies to Joy bomb these impoverished kids with a visit they’ll never forget.

Your evening is free to enjoy. There are many things to do and see here both day and night. Visit www.magicalkenya.com

Overnight: Nairobi Crowne Plaza (2 nights)                             B,L

 

Oct 7 – Nairobi – Olpejeta Conservancy – Rhinos, Chimps & More

We’ll leave early after breakfast to make our way to the Northern Frontier region to Olpejeta conservancy. Our journey will take us through the lush Kikuyu farmlands and coffee plantation to the cool Kenyan highlands.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is situated in the foothills of snow-capped Mount Kenya in central Kenya’s Laikipia County, and is a trailblazer in conservation, most famous for protecting the world’s last 3 northern white rhinos. Across the 36,400-hectare conservancy, we may even spot lions prowling the plains, giraffe and elephant munching on whistling thorn trees, cheetah scanning for prey or even elusive wild dog and leopard. It’s one of the largest black rhino sanctuaries in East Africa. Unlike in many protected areas, cattle farming has been built into Ol Pejeta’s conservation plan, benefiting the land and wildlife through strategic grazing, and the people through employment.

We will arrive in time for lunch at Sweetwaters tented camp, an absolute AFS favorite place.  We’ll have time to get checked into our tents and explore the grounds of this stunning enclave in the center of the conservancy. At 3 p.m. there will be an offering of Hot Tea and coffee in the lobby before we have a unique opportunity to visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary and learn more about the day-to-day care of our primate cousins. Chimps are not indigenous to Kenya and these chimps were brought from West and Central Africa after being orphaned or injured. The whole day lends great close-up photo ops.

Game Drive – The visit will be followed by an afternoon game viewing drive in the Ol Pejeta conservancy which offers visitors an unforgettable opportunity to watch and photograph animals in their natural habitat. We’ll return to the camp as the sun sets. Sweetwaters has a water hole to attract plenty of wildlife. Large, elevated tents with ensuite bath and nice swimming pool. Staff can arrange a bush walk with an armed ranger and even the new camel rides here.

Overnight: Sweetwaters Tented Camp (2 Nights)                                B,L,D

 

Thank you and credit to Jeff Jeffaries for some fabulous AFS photos!

Oct 8 – Olpejeta Conservancy – Get your Game Drives on!  

 We’ll spend a full day in the 90,000 acre, award winning conservancy, which is home to large prides of lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and more. Our highly trained and knowledgeable guides will help us make the most of the viewings as we explore Ol Pejeta’s open plains and secret valleys with an astonishing variety of wildlife.

We’ll start out before dawn for a game drive and return for a scrumptious breakfast. The day is one to enjoy at your leisure with lunch at the camp.   Following afternoon tea and coffee, we’ll proceed on an early evening Game Drive before returning for dinner and overnight again at the camp.

 Overnight: Sweetwaters Tented Camp (2 Nights)                                B,L,D

 

 

 Oct 9 – Lake Nakuru   

After breakfast, we set out for a morning drive into thew Great Rift Valley and head to Lake Nakuru National Park. We’ll arrive at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge in time for lunch.

Our lodge is designed in such a way that most chalet-style rooms afford stunning views of the Kenya’s third largest lake and the park. The Lodge incorporates natural landscaping with tall acacia trees, winding walkways and greens dotted with bird feeds. Enjoy the spa, pool, sauna and free Wi-Fi.

Following lunch, we’ll have some leisure time before proceeding on an afternoon game drive. Lake Nakuru is famous for the massive populations of flamingos that number in the thousands during dry season. The Park also contains Kenya’s largest population of rhinos, as well as many primates from baboons to monkeys, giraffe and even leopards.  The surface of the lake occupies about a third of the park. The lake supports a dense bloom of the blue-green algae called Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis from which Nakuru derives its color and draws over 400 species of birds.

Overnight at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge (1 night)                                   B,L,D

 Oct 10 – Lake Nakuru – Masai Mara   

In the morning, we head around 4-hours in our five safari vehicles with pop-up roof for maximum viewing comfort to the legendary Maasai Mara, Kenya’s most famous Game Reserve.  We’ll have a few stops along the way for comfort breaks, a handicraft market and to enjoy the cool savannah fresh air. The Masai Mara borders Tanzania’s Serengeti plains, is home the Big 5.

We check into the dreamy Fairmont tented retreat with impeccable service. Our luxuriously furnished tents with large bath and outdoor rain showers, overlook the Mara River, right on the seasonal path of the Great Migration. There is a spa, outdoor heated pool, horse rides, sundowner cocktails, alfresco buffets, bush dinners, evening lectures on Kenya and cultural dances by the Masai make it truly unique. Enjoy lunch at the camp with an array of culinary African cuisines.

You’ll have some leisure time before we enjoy a late afternoon game drive in this magnificent reserve. The greatest attraction in the Mara is watching the animals in their natural element; a lion’s roar, a cheetah making a kill, the large herds of the migratory wildebeest, an elephant trumpeting and lots of other animal activities are all very fascinating events. We’ll return to the camp after your game drive for dinner.

Overnight at Fairmont Safari Club (2 nights)                            B,L,D

  

Oct 11 – Masai Mara – Balloons, Village Visit, Game Drives

 We set out for a pre-dawn safari game drive in search of animals. The early mornings and evenings are the best times to watch the big cats hunt – lions, cheetah, and leopards. We’ll return for a scrumptious buffet breakfast and mid-morning we’ll visit to a Maasai Boma. As we arrive at the village, we’ll be greeted by excited children and adults with song and dance including the traditional jump dancing. We’ll learn how the village functions, visiting huts (called Manyatta) that are made of cow dung and clay plastered over stick frames. Some of our hosts may not speak English but our guides will interpret for you and the elders. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the history and lifestyle of these Maasai.

After lunch, the afternoon is free.  Then at dusk we enjoy another exciting evening game drive with spotlights in search of the “Big Five” the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and the buffalo. Dinner is back at the Safari Camp.

Optional 5 to 11AM – Morning flight in hot air balloons will be offered early today.  Wake up 5 AM for coffee and croissants. 6 AM pilot breafing and launch.  This is the number one place to ascend in a balloon with panoramic views of the wildlife drama sweeping across the Mara plains below. We rise early for a lift-off at dawn over 1000 feet, floating in total silence apart from the natural sounds below. Celebrate with champagne and a full English breakfast served in the bush in fine ‘Out of Africa’ style. Receive your balloon certificate. 11 AM head back to camp with game viewing en route and return to camp for another breakfast!  It’s expensive (around $495)  but oh so worth it. Full details and headcount later. 

Overnight at Fairmont Safari Club (2 nights)                            B,L,D

https://www.andbeyond.com/our-lodges/africa/kenya/masai-mara-national-park/andbeyond-kichwa-tembo-tented-camp

 

 Oct 12 – Masai Mara to Nairobi (depart)   

 We’ll bid goodbye to our camp after breakfast and make the five-hour journey across the Mara to head back to Nairobi. We’ll have lunch at the legendary Carnivore restaurant that specializes in exotic game meats and an endless buffet for a dining experience you’ll never forget.

Our final stop will be at Nairobi’s Giraffe Center, where you can hand-feed the giraffes. This place saves endangered Rothschild Giraffes. There’s also habituated warthogs, bushbuck and dik-diks wandering around.  Afterward, we will drive back to the airport, where we start our journey home.       B,L

For those that are extending to Tanzania, arrangements will be made to get you to Arusha Serena Lodge in Tanzania.  Details later.  

 

 

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Land Price $ 3795 per person twin share based on 24 participants   $60 collected with booking for drivers, porters, lodge staff, restaurant meals.

Deposit $500

Includes:  All lodging, meals, tours, game drives as listed in the itinerary

Not included:  International air from USA, Kenya entry visa $51.  Bring gratuity envelope of USD $70 (On arrival, we divide into four groups with four drivers. Gratuities to your personal ranger will be with you entire trip. Please consider $10 per day direct to him when you say goodbye.)

Gratuities for ranger guides and lodge staff will be added to your invoice later for ease of distribution.

Lonely Planet Says…

Prepare to be thrilled by ..,. Our past to AFS groups rated in their “best vacation ever.” You are wise to choose this exotic country with us as it is too challenging to do on your own with all the regulations to follow. We’ve got you covered. Just start reading up on it before you go. The history here is fascinating. Our itinerary is an explorer’s delight with mystical monasteries, ancient temples stunning stupas and active fun.

We have a wonderful group of xx solo travel lovers so far. We need more so please tell your friends. Some of you are extending after AFS Nepal whereas some have visited Nepal and are doing Bhutan on its own. For now, connect with each other on your private group Facebook page and revel in the anticipation of joy ahead 

Trip Tips are designed to answer trip-related questions. It’s your responsibility to read this information.  Updates and addendums will be posted here.  Check back from time to time.

  • PAYMENT TIMELINE:  2nd deposit of 50% due June 1, final payment due July 1.  Wetravel, our data management company, offers the option to pay by check electronically without any fees. Simply follow the instructions provided. Please note that there will be a processing fee for credit card payments at the time of purchase. By opting for this, you are helping us mitigate costs and giving us the best price. If you prefer to pay by check, please write a check to Adventures For Solo Travelers, take a photo of it, and text it to 770-432-8225. We will then electronically process your payment at no charge to you.  No need to mail it.

Your fearless GTL (Gracious Trip Leader, not a guide but a liaison between our guides and group to ensure things run smoothly.)

TBA

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Trip Prep:

  • Read the revised Heading Abroad with AFS, especially if you are new to AFS.
  • Ensure your passport is valid 6 months after return date with two blank pages.  We recommend renewing your passport well ahead of any planned international travel. Take a photo of your passport to store in the cloud or bring a copy. If you lose your passport, US embassies now except a digital copy from your email.  Also good to scan any docs, Covid test, trip tips, etc.
  • To speed through US Customs download Mobile Passport.  Look in your App Store for details.
  • Notify bank and cc company of travel dates so they don’t block charges.
  • Vaccines – Bring your vaccine card.  Don’t laminate vaccine card as some countries won’t accept it.  You can take photo of both sides and store on phone.
  • All airline rules differ.  It is imperative to read your airline rules on their website to ensure a smooth departure!  Airlines are in the process of making routing and scheduling changes now. Always check your flight before departure.
  • VISA –  Kenya requires a visa to enter, which you complete online https://evisa.go.ke/    It’s too soon to get a visa, will email you and tell you when. We’ll also give you information and help you complete the application.

Fitness level – 2   (No trouble walking.)

General Air Info – Now it’s best to get air sooner than later. Consider flying in early to ensure you’ll be there once the trip begins.   Always download and use your airline’s app! Use app to track your booking, delays, bags, to show boarding pass and to contact them. If you have a flight problem go to the airline’s website “contact us” page or reach them by text, social media, Skype or call their international number.  Also, premium credit cards often offer many air perks, assistance, insurance, lounge passes, global entry and more. Read more at www.tpg.com for best cards.  Many say they want to fly business class but don’t realize fare range from 4K to 9K. We do have two good contacts that can get the sea seats at nearly half cost.   Alen@skylux.com or ali@business–class.com. Tell them Suzy sent you.

Group Air with Airport Hotel Transfers  It’s easy and hassle-free to travel together.   No group air due to small group size.  Air is easy USA to Nairobi Kenya.

SUGGESTED  AIR SCHEDULE HERE

Check-in at XX counter at the XX airport 3 hours before departure at XX time on DATE.  Upon return on XX date, allow 2 hours to connect to your flight home.

Doing Own Air– Sometimes we offer group air but find few people book sometimes find better rates on own direct from hometown.  This provides you better flexibility to go early or extend at trip end.   We recommend you now book flexible air tickets that can be refunded or changed.  (For decades, AFS presented group air to make your trip totally hassle-free. Guides greet you on airport arrival and if any flight changes, we had your back.  Sadly now, only around 10% want group air and often meet can’t minimum.)

We like Google Flights, Kayak or Momondo.  3rd-party booking engines like Expedia, make it near impossible to handle air problems.  Buy direct from airline or pay a travel agent to ticket you.  Buy travel insurance and have a flight backup plan.  If you need help air,  our guy Delhi can help, email flights@diversedestination.com with your exact air dates, destination, passport name and details with birthdate.   Also, Ali from Above9 Travel or SkyLux can help you with business class seats by combining award points and cash.  ali@above9.travel  Ph. (855) 777-6336 x1015 or Alen Monvel at SkyLux Travel, Direct Line: 844-207-1756. alen@skyluxtravel.com

Airport Transfers-  With travelers arriving and departing on different days and times, it is insurmountable to manage. Group air airport transfers are based on set time. Without group air, there can no longer be any pick-ups or drop-offs.  Unfortunately, now like other tour companies, transfers are your responsibility. (We’ve spent weeks each trip making spreadsheets of each person’s air to send to the supplier and then flights change. We then hire a guide, driver and pay airport parking fees. Last year in groups only half showed up as guides waited hours looking for others. Sometimes no AFSers showed up without informing us.) Transfers are not expensive. First, google your arrival airport website to see transfer tab. Suggestions to appear like airport bus, taxi details, Uber and more. Then connect on group Facebook page to set up sharing transfer cost if you like.  If you go early and check-in AFS hotel before group arrives, it’s your responsibility to change rooms with your roommate if necessary day one when trip begins.

Meet Up With Group- On Day 1 a time will be set to meet the group at the hotel for a briefing. More on this later.

Baggage– Think light to ease your burden, not like you’re fleeing your homeland.  You change hotel properties several times. 1 carry-on bag& 1 medium suitcase not to exceed 45lb checked bag – weigh on a bathroom scale.  If you overpack by adding pre-or post-trip luggage, make prior plans as to where to stow the excess luggage. You may be responsible for any overage charges. Apple AirTags work great to track checked bags when the airline cannot, also good for carry-on.   Leave space for great souvenirs. Be sure to attach ID inside and out of carry-on and checked bag.

Packing – (Winter vs. Beach) Check Google Weather a week prior to departure. Temps should be in the XXX.  Read Packing 101 in Heading Abroad with AFS

 This trip is so easy and totally casual. Simply pack summer clothing with a light jacket for nights and long flights. Think umbrella, daypack, wide-brim hat, sunscreen, comfy sneakers, … swimsuit, beach gear, wet shoes.

Gifts for local children-school/orphanage – kids love balloons, puppets, lollipops, school supplies.) / modesty

Electric– Don’t forget a portable backup charger, cords, gadgets, etc. Cell phones and tablets do not need a converter; you only need an adapter plug.  AFSers often leave charger cords in room, so be sure to double-check your room before check out. All properties have hairdryers.

See https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com

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Money Matters – Always bring some cash!  You will need some cash for personal tipping, meals, and shopping. $400 cash should suffice.    Change currency on arrival at airport, bank, or hotels or withdraw local currency from an ATM.  Note -independent ATMs are risky due to skimmer scams. Safest ATMs are at airport and banks. Always shield your pin number when entering.  Bring newer bills 2016 on as some countries won’t take old or slightly damaged bills.

Master Card and Visa widely accepted.  Amex rarely accepted.   Credit cards are far safer than using your debit card. I use my credit card for most purchases.  Many cards now offer no foreign transaction fees. (Some countries in Africa and Asia require new bills dated after 2016. Older bills not accepted when changing money.)

Gratuities – (Prepaid)  It’s protocol to tip our local guides, assistants, porters, wait staff, drivers and ground staff. Guidelines have increased globally, but around $10 to $15 per day should cover all for the trip.  A $xx total will be added to your invoice. Please understand this is only the suggested minimum.  For ease of distribution, your GTL will tip the different ground services for the entire group each day.

Tipping on own – If service is stellar, feel free to give more directly.  All we tourists leave behind is our reputation. I carry a stash of US ones in an envelope to draw from as needed. Porters – AFSers roll bags to their room.  If you use a porter, please tip.  For group lunches or dinners included, please leave $2 for waitstaff!

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Communication– Internet is available. With smartphones, be sure to check with your provider for rates and coverage for international phone plans before departure. Data Roaming rates can be expensive. To reach home – Texting, iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook messaging when using WIFI. Be cautious using public Wi-Fi without using VPN. Without VPN never open attachments or view financial or personal accounts on the Internet while abroad.  Phone calls, text messages, and data usage of all kinds, it is crucial to understand that, unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, every use of your phone incurs a data toll. That means that viewing and downloading email, browsing the web, viewing social media, and mapping all incur data charges, as do applications that we sometimes assume to be “free,” such as Skype and WhatsApp. Unless you are connected to Wi-Fi, however, WhatsApp is using cellular data, so you are getting charged at your provider’s international roaming data rate.  Facebook Messenger Phone is an easy free way to make calls.

Get Smart: Avoiding Hackers on Vacation.  Thieves not only want your money but also your data.    Change passwords often. Check device security settings before you leave for your trip. Back up, update, and encrypt your devices and data using a virtual VPN.

  • Bottled water is always best abroad, as our gut isn’t accustomed to local tap water.
  • Remind full of pickpockets in big cities, especially at night.  Never carry your passport outside of the room.
  • Grab a business card from hotel before heading out on own to show taxi driver where to go.
  • Travel health – Drink bottled water. Avoid street foods. Bring Imodium. .  Load up on antioxidants like vitamin C to zinc. (Need meds or shots? Book a Tele-chat with a travel doctor for shots and meds at runwayhealth.com)

Health – Bring Imodium just in case. All our meals are pure and water is filtered. Bottled water provided throughout. Don’t use ice outside hotels. (Poverty – India, you’ll see an eyeful of poverty omnipresent. The beauty is found in its humanity with dignity inherent in the spirit of the people here who possess virtues of simplicity, hard work, gentleness and perseverance. No beggars will harass you. Humbling to see them so happy with so little.)

Photography – Before taking pictures of locals, know it is polite to ask.  Your AFS Private Facebook Group Page is a great way to share your best shots with each other. AFS loves photos with group participants (not typical churches, monuments, or any shot that looks like you pulled it off of the net, etc.) for our website. The best photos are ones that include a group member with a local, children, animals, or at iconic sites in the same frame!

Retail Therapy – (XXXgoogle country shoppingXXX)

Websites of Interest:

(XX destination tourism and tourist boards)

(these * are optional tabs)

Chewing-  XXX

Accommodations –Accommodations – Our itinerary has links to each hotel.  Hotels can change, but it’s rare.

Roommates –  Single supplements have significantly increased in price– if available at all.  Save money and buy yourself an awesome local gift. We all live alone, but save money when traveling by rooming together. Suzy spends a lot of time on roommate matching.  99% of our clients are wonderful and you’re only in your room to sleep at night.   The best option is to invite a friend.  Note, kindness begets kindness.  Many of our seasoned travelers bring headsets to drown out any excess noise.  We share rooms only to sleep at night.  (If AFS room list ends up with unbalanced gender, and forces a single room, we will offer it to all in group or share the added cost. If none want it, if you were the last to book we may have to remove you from the trip.)

AFS Optionals: (When offered)

Leisure Time –  For your free time, it’s best to arrive and ask our local expert guides for suggestions.  We notice many newer clients pre-plan many activities on the AFS trip well before they arrive, often with disappointing results.  Our daily itineraries are pretty full, but there will be some free time. Expert travelers revel in the element of surprise in a new destination and allow the wind to blow them where it will. Use Google Maps on your phone to find everything nearby.

Amending tour pre-or post-trip. We honor your independent spirit, but encourage you to extend more days at the trip’s end when you’re acclimated well to the destination.  If you add another country, we often see many AFSers on Facebook urging others to join them what do you consider the cost of tours, transport, hotels, etc.  Stopovers are great to add, but understand AFS has no responsibility for the quality of your trip.

Private Facebook Group Page  –  The benefit of the Private FB Group Page is that you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to your fellow travelers before departure and share trip photos during and after the tour.  The link can be found in your Wetravel welcome letter after your initial deposit.  (We found that some never read the Trip Tips jumping right to the Private FB Group Page assuming they will get all trip info needed. Often, they only receive rumors or misinformation. All important information is ALWAYS emailed to each participant and posted in Trip Tips under UPDATES. Nobody misses a thing.)

Emergency Contact – AFS phone or text 770-432-8225, or email us at https://www.afstravelers.com/contact-us/    More contacts will be provided with your Final Docs email 2 to 3 weeks before departure. Your guide can handle a call home for a true emergency. Do not expect to use your trip leader’s cell phone; you’ll need to use your own.

Cancellation Penalty –  At booking, we sent you our terms and conditions. Click here for our Terms & Conditions   Briefly, on land packages we’ll refund your deposit less 50% until 5 weeks prior trip’s final payment due date.   Any cancellation after this date will result in full forfeiture of your deposit. AFS reserves the right to resell or otherwise use the canceled space at our discretion.

Travel Insurance– While travel insurance is optional, in today’s world we highly encourage you to get standard coverage to cover trip interruption and cancellation.  Best source for all is www.insuremytrip.com.   CFAR or cancel for any reason covers Covid but is expensive.  Note that no company covers for fear.

Preexisting conditions – If you would like the security of travel insurance and have a pre-existing condition (elderly parent, medical, etc.), you must purchase insurance within 15 days from your initial trip deposit in order to assure full coverage.  The trip cost can be amended or adjusted as needed after your initial purchase (eg. like adding an air ticket cost later). You can buy travel insurance at any time, just know that there may be some possible limitations if purchased outside the 15 day period.  We like TravelSafe, Allianz or Seven Corners.

Travel Psychology 101  – Prepare for your departure joyfully with no contempt before investigation upon arrival. Please understand that with travel, things are not like at home and changes may occur. Great trips work best for those with an open mind, flexible attitude and adventuresome spirit.  If changes occur, embrace them with serendipity. Who knows?… The unexpected may prove to be a better experience.  Adapt and go with the flow with a laid-back attitude.  Be spontaneous. Be tolerant of foreign cultures in respecting their centuries of traditions. Embrace the differences. Be curious, not shy. Smile – locals will sense your energy of kindness and kindness always begets kindness.  Our common goal is to experience different cultures, make new friends, get great photos, have large fun, and return home safely with memories worthy of recollection.

The best spirit of an Explorer requires the openness of a child – Suzy

“When traveling, remember that a foreign country isn’t designed to make you comfortable.  It’s designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clinton Fadiman

Please note that AFS is non-partisan – With our homogeneous groups, we all want to focus on the common denominator – our love of travel.  In today’s divisive world, we suggest members not discuss politics and if you must, please practice my rule of TOK:  Tolerance, Open-mindedness and Kindness.

Please be advised that the operation of some tours may need to be rearranged or modified to suit local conditions, but all activities stated will be included.  We are here for you to address any questions about your trip. In time, we believe travel will begin to normalize with less rules and we appreciate your cooperation until then.  Now more than ever before, travelers value the privilege of travel to explore our world. You’ve been waiting so long, it’s time for recess!

Please be advised that the operation of some tours may need to be rearranged or modified to suit local conditions, but all activities stated will be included.  We are here for you to address any questions about your trip. In time, we believe travel will begin to normalize with less rules and we appreciate your cooperation until then.  Now more than ever before, travelers value the privilege of travel to explore our world. You’ve been waiting so long, it’s time for recess!

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