If you’re like us, travelling is about moving through the world with purpose and intent and taking the time to really immerse yourself in new destinations, allowing yourself to surrender, re-energise and connect back to the things that are important.

We don’t want you to simply visit the places we offer in our itineraries, we believe you should feel the places.

Kick your shoes off and ground your feet into the ancient red earth, where the roads are centuries old elephant tracks. We want you to feel excited and connected as you interact with local communities, listening to the amazing folklore and hearing about the lifestyles and rituals.

Stop and feel the raw emotion as that warm tear that falls down your cheek while watching the mountain gorilla babies wrestle and rumble, while daddy silverback watches over them.

It’s all about you, and we want you to return home with your heart and soul full of precious memories and unforgettable moments that you were part of, that you felt and will continue to feel until the day you die.

We’ve done the hard work for you.  We’ve delved through the masses of local tour providers and came up with an incredible selection.

We’re asking you to get behind something that will change the world, forever.  Our giving back model supports The Lunchbox Fund, Kiva and Buy Back Borneo Fund.  Every single time a guest travels with us they feed an orphaned or at risk school child one meal per school day for an entire year!


Tour Host: A member of the Trailblazers Travel team who is there to assist with check-ins, logistics, organisation and generally to keep the group having the best time possible. Your host enriches your holiday with personality and experiences the joy of interacting actively with new people.

Tour Guide: Is an experienced local with in-depth knowledge or the region you are visiting. We believe the best people to show you the heart and soul of a place are the ones that live there! Our guides are not only experts, but they’re also your teacher, your guru and your key to mingling with locals. It could be dropping in for tea with a nomadic Berber tribe in Morocco or striking up a conversation with a Zulu tribe member in South Africa.

Tours that reach a minimum of 10 participants will have a Trailblazers host on tour in addition to your local tour guide.

If a tour falls below 10 participants Trailblazers Travel offers the tour led by the local guides.  You will always be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation on arrival to your destination.  Should a tour be cancelled for any reason, Trailblazers Travel cannot assume any responsibility for any additional costs relating to travel arrangements including travel insurance.

This aligns with our mission to travel responsibly and sustainably and ensure we keep the tourist dollar in the communities and countries we visit.


We can help you organise flights that correspond with your holiday through our independent travel partners who collaborate with the most trusted airlines and companies to secure you the best airfare possible.  Feel free to mention this during the booking process and we can guide you.

Trailblazers Travel charges $50 per ticket per flight to supply this service.

We urge you to follow connecting flight time guidelines and allow ample time for connection.  Any fees associated with a change of flight or having to repurchase flights is a cost borne the travellers and Trailblazers Travel will not be liable for any costs incurred as a result of passengers missing any flight.


Get a bunch of your friends together for an amazing group experience and we are more than happy to provide a FREE trip to the organiser based on twin share accommodation.

For every 10 paying guests, we will provide the 11th persons ground costs FREE. It’s that easy! So rally the troops and start travelling on us!

Conditions apply, contact us for more info.


A single supplement is a charge paid by a solo traveller to compensate a hotel for losses incurred because only one person is using a room. Most hotel rooms are built under the assumption that at least two people will occupy them.

Nearly all hotel and tour pricing is based on double or twin occupancy.


We require a 30% deposit to confirm your booking. The balance is due 8 weeks prior to departure date.  We can always set up a monthly payment plan if this is an easier option for you.  Please contact us for more info.

Prices advertised are based on payment via direct deposit directly into the Trailblazers Travel account.  See below for account details.

Payments via Mastercard, Visa, American Express and PayPal have a service fee of + 2.95%.

Payments for US dollars: exchange rate will be calculated as per our banks’ exchange rate on the day, with all relevant exchange fees to be borne and paid by the traveller.

Direct credit account details:

Account Name: Trailblazers Australia

BSB: 082 855

ACCOUNT #: 696081899

Bank: National Australia Bank


You can make a booking inquiry online, on our contact us page or you can contact us by phone. Some popular destinations are often fully booked so it is a good idea to book in advance. We will send you the booking form to complete and once availability confirmed you will be required to pay a deposit.

You can access our BOOKING FORM here once you are ready.

30% deposit will be required on booking;

70% final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

** We can always set up a monthly payment plan if this is an easier budgeting option for you.  Please contact us for more info.



$50 from every individual booking is donated on your behalf to one of our partners.

KIVA – microfinance lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries who are unable to access traditional funding.  See more on the communities and individuals we have helped through our loans by clicking here.

BUY BACK BORNEO – We are raising funds to help purchase 7.7 acres of forested land in Sukau under NGO, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST) Society as part of our contribution towards increasing habitat for wildlife including the Borneo pygmy elephants, orangutans, sun bears, exotic birds and other various wildlife. To find out more click here. 

By travelling with us, you quite literally change the world!




We want our travellers to have the best experience possible. Yes, wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, and we believe it’s best to view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. We request all of our travellers to refrain from visiting any venues that exploit animals or use them for any forms of entertainment.

Facilities displaying captive animals and advertising activities like cub petting, walking with lions, elephant riding or handling of wildlife must be avoided. While they may appear fun and educational, or even claim to be working in the name of conservation, they are unnatural and stressful for the animals involved.

The cub petting and lion walking industry directly contributes to the exploitative breeding and canned hunting of lions (and other predators) and is especially rife in South Africa. Currently, almost 8,000 predators are being held in terrible conditions, living in cages and/or confined areas; none of this has anything to do with conservation. If we don’t act now, that number could blow out to over 12,000 within the next few years.

The recently released feature documentary Blood Lions (www.bloodlions.org) has brought the horrors of predator breeding, canned hunting and a variety of other exploitative activities to the world’s attention. The film is a compelling call to action to have these practices stopped.

Trailblazers Travel, an African-based safari and eco-tourism operator support Blood Lions and its aims.

The group includes many leading non-consumptive safari and ecotourism companies across southern and east Africa. Whilst predator breeding and canned hunting practices are currently confined to southern Africa, we stand together as a pan-African industry in joining our voices with the global call for having them stopped.

And we do so for good reason:
 The established predator research and scientific community do not recognize any of the breeders or operating facilities as having conservation merit.
 In marketing themselves, breeding facilities confuse the conservation messages and priorities, specifically with lions, which in turn results in a misdirection of vital funding that negatively impacts wild lion populations.
 There is sufficient evidence to show that their activities put additional pressure on wild lion populations: intensive breeders have illegally acquired new genetic stock from the wild, and the burgeoning lion bone trade remains a risk because of an illegal demand for bones from wild lions.
 We are deeply concerned about the welfare conditions of the animals kept in these facilities.
 Canned hunting does not reduce the hunting pressure on wild lions and is unethical.
We strongly request that the respective authorities take note of the mounting global opposition to these practices and begin a process of shutting them down.

Furthermore, we commit ourselves to the following:

1. To not knowingly book or otherwise support any breeder or operator that contributes to the cycle of breeding, exploitation and senseless killing of predators. This includes all petting and ‘walking with lion’ facilities.
2. To continue our support and promotion of the formal conservation community in their endeavours to secure the survival of Africa’s predators in the wild. Without wild lions and the rest of the predator guild extant in functioning ecosystems, there will be no African tourism industry; a calamitous situation for many economies.
3. To continue in our own endeavours towards wildlife conservation and economic development wherever we operate across Africa.
4. To continue supporting an ethical and responsible interaction with Africa’s wilderness and wild animals.
5. To continue promoting Africa as an authentic, wild and rewarding tourism destination.

We urge all of our passengers, crew and staff to please THINK before you VISIT, CUDDLE, WALK, VOLUNTEER or SHOOT. You have the power to stop lions being bred for the bullet.


Animal welfare concerns the health of an animal’s physical and mental state. At Trailblazers Travel, we believe that an animal’s welfare should be measured against the Five Freedoms – universally accepted pillars established to protect animals living under human control. These are:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour
  • Freedom from fear and distress

We accept that the welfare of wild animals is compromised in captivity, and captivity is only acceptable when it is in the animal’s best interests and the highest possible standards of care are given to that creature.


Horses, donkeys and camels are considered domestic or working animals. These are the only animal rides that are offered as an included activity on our trips, and only when the well being of the animal has been previously established. General things to look out for:

  • When riding donkeys or camels during our trips, helmets are generally not available to travellers. We, therefore, need to ensure that only slow moving and even-tempered animals are provided by the operator.
  • Riders should choose an animal that is appropriate to their size.
  • Animals should not carry more than half their body weight and less in hot conditions or on steep declines. If extreme temperatures are experienced, animals should not be ridden.

As a general guide, look out for the following before riding or walking with  domestic/working animals:

  • The animals should look well fed.
  • Their coats should be in good condition and without sores (check near the mouth, shoulders, spine and belly, as these areas are typically in constant contact with harnessing equipment). Wounds may also be hidden under a saddle or harness. It is NEVER acceptable to use wild animals for riding.
  • The animal’s eyes should be clear, bright and alert.
  • Handlers should not use physical force (including hitting or beating with crops, sticks or hands) to control or maneuver the animal.
  • Passengers should never feed the animals.
  • Check your donkey or horse for ‘firing’, where the animal’s legs are burnt with red-hot metal. Practitioners believe this ‘traditional healing’ method will make the animal ‘strong’.
  • Never overload a horse-drawn carriage.
  • Never ride with more than one person on the back of a horse or donkey.
  • Consider your own weight when riding – aim to choose an animal appropriate to your own size and weight.
  • Praise owners whose animals are in good condition.


In some parts of the world, you may meet local people who have taken animals from the wild so tourists can pay to have their photos taken with them. We advise our groups NOT to participate in this activity – it’s not known how these animals are treated. Are they drugged? Are they fed properly? Are they kept in inadequate conditions? Bottom line, unless it’s a sweet little cat or an eager dog, walk away – the profile pic isn’t worth it.

We also discourage people from visiting venues that offer animal shows, ‘selfie’ opportunities or direct interaction with wild animals. The animals involved in these activities are sometimes taken from the wild, bred in intensive conditions, taken prematurely from their mothers as babies, and submitted to cruel physical and psychological conditioning to make them compliant and perform on cue. Visiting these venues perpetuates a cycle of animal cruelty.

For more information on our pledge to animal welfare see the BORN TO LIVE WILD PLEDGE tab in the FAQ’s.


We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Sustainable Travel International to give you complimentary membership in the Travel Better Club, an online community and interactive training course for travellers just like YOU who want to positively impact the people and places you visit.

Join the club to share your experiences with like-minded travellers, get tips and advice and enjoy more rewarding travel experiences!

Enrolling in the club is easy and free! To get started, simply register at http://travelbetterclub.org and enter coupon code “iTravelBetter” to waive the enrollment fee!


Trailblazers Travel is a social enterprise meaning it is a business that trades to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment.

We make their money from selling goods and services on the open market but reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community. So when we profit, society profits. 

In short, a social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, rather than maximising profits for external shareholders.

  • We work together with local partners
  • Local partners reach further than just the workplace
  • We make as small an impact as possible on the environment and as large an impact as possible on the development of the local employees and surrounding communities


What kind of climate should I expect?

Borneo has an equatorial climate, which means it is generally hot and sunny all year with a relative humidity of around 80%.

The average temperature in the lowlands is 32°C, while in the highlands it is around 21°C.

Temperatures remain stable throughout the year, giving the climate a sense of uniformity on a day-to-day basis.

Do you cater to dietary requirements?

Yes. Please inform our tour consultants at the time of booking of any food requirements or allergies and we’ll make the necessary arrangements.

Do I need a Visa to enter Malaysia?

To enter Malaysia, a passport or internationally recognised travel document must be VALID for more than SIX (6) months from date of entry.

Visitors from most countries are not required to obtain a visa and receive an immigration stamp upon arrival at the airport or other entry points. Nationals of Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America and Other European Union are EXEMPT from obtaining visa for visits NOT exceeding 90 Days (3 Months).

To find out more which countries have visa-free entry and the length of stay allowed, please visit the Immigration Department of Malaysia website.

Should I purchase travel insurance before travelling to Malaysia?

Yes. Trailblazers Travel require that your purchase travel insurance before traveling to Borneo and is mandatory on all our tours.

Due to the nature of some tours (e.g. adventure trekking, hiking, mountain climbing etc.), we recommend you select a travel insurance policy that covers not only your medical expenses (including emergency repatriation) but also personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage. Doing so can prevent major disruptions and additional costs.

What vaccinations will I require?

In addition to being up-to-date on routine vaccinations (i.e. measles/mumps/rubella/tetanus etc.), we recommend other vaccines such as Typhoid (food & water borne diseases), Hepatitis A (food and water borne diseases) and Hepatitis B (liver infections). Sabah and Sarawak are rabies-free.

What kind of electrical travel adaptor will I need?

The electricity supply is 230/240 volts at 50/60 hertz. The 3-pin electrical sockets used in Borneo are similar to those used in Britain.

Are these trips good choice for solo travelers?

Absolutely. Our tours tend to attract a great mix of solo travelers, families, friends, etc. we can often match you up with another group traveling on the tours so long as it lines up with your dates and tour availability

What are the accommodations like?

Most hotels have private bathrooms, hot water and clean, comfortable rooms except in instances like Laban Rata climbing hut on Mount Kinabalu or rural-family run guesthouses. We also strive to use charming accommodations that are locally owned and characteristic of that area.

Can I book extra nights of hotel accommodation before or after my tour?

YES. Simply get in touch with us to make necessary arrangement here

What happened should I have an emergency, and I can’t proceed with the tour? Can I postpone the dates?

This can be done, however do take note of our terms and conditions as several conditions do apply shall amendment or postponement occur. This is because we have prearranged fees and payment in order to secure your reservation. Subject to availability.

What is your group size?

We take a maximum of 12 persons on tour and on our speedboats. For special interest groups and those travelling in groups will travel separately as private tours.

What should I do if I need to change or cancel my booking?

Please contact your Tour Consultant as soon as possible if you wish to change or cancel your booking. Any cancellation requests must be submitted to us in writing via email. We regret that we are unable to issue a full refund for cancellations.

Do you offer discounts for children?

We offer discounts for children for most tours published on our website. The discount depends on the age of the child and on the type of service being offered. Please contact our tour consultants for more information.

What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?

You are advised to travel light especially if you are travelling to Sukau and the islands. For travel to Selingan Island, guests are advised to bring the suitable luggage for short overnight stay.

Will somebody pick me up from the airport upon arrival and how will I identify the person when I reach the airport arrival hall?

YES, most of our tour packages include airport transfer (pick-up and drop off). Our tour guides can easily be identified as they are wearing Borneo Eco Tours uniform with logo while holding a placard bearing your name.

What are the age restrictions on your tours?

Most of our tours are family friendly, so there are no age limits. Do take note that some of our adventure/trekking tours are of strenuous level and requires a certain level of fitness. Please refer to the Physical Level of each tour, which are indicated wit 1 (Easy), 2 (Medium); and 3 (Strenuous). Strict adult supervision is required at all time to ensure the safety of children throughout the tour.

How much should I tip?

Tips are NOT included in the tour and package price. Tipping is not mandatory in Borneo but will be greatly appreciated by the guides and captains.

Our guests often ask us whether or not they should tip their guides and captains. You can use tipping to reward exceptional service, particularly for those who go the extra mile and work beyond the normal eight hours day. This will encourage those providing the service to continue doing so for you and others.

For general guidance, you can tip your guide and captain RM10 – 20 ($4 – $7) per person per day. For Specialist Guides, you can double the tipping amount to RM20 – 40 ($8 – $15) per person per day DEPENDING on the expertise, level and quality of service provided.

Is it safe for me to drink tap water in Borneo?

We strongly advise you NOT to drink tap water in Borneo unless it is boiled. However, tap water is safe for cleaning teeth and personal hygiene. In our efforts to reduce waste in Borneo, we highly recommend that you bring your own water bottle to refill along the way.

What is included in my tour?

Our tours are INCLUSIVE of:

  • Van, coach or boat transport – and occasionally other forms of transport – as detailed in each specific itinerary
  • Accommodation and meals as detailed in each specific itinerary – included Breakfasts are indicated with a (B), included Lunches with a (L), included Packed Lunches with a (PL), and included Dinners with a (D).
  • Transfers as specified in each itinerary
  • Entrance fees as specified in each itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Our commitment to corporate social responsibility

What is NOT included in my tour?

Our tours are NOT INCLUSIVE of:

  • Tipping
  • Airport and other transfers that are not specified in each itinerary
  • Domestic flights (unless specified)
  • Some meals that are not specified in each itinerary
  • Optional excursions and sightseeing
  • Travel visas
  • Camera fees
  • Personal expense money
  • Travel insurance and medical fees
  • Other items that are not mentioned in each itinerary

Do you provide luggage storage?

If you wish to store your luggage, you can simply drop off your luggage at our Sandakan office or jetty. Please kindly inform in advance shall you wish to store your luggage.

What will the meals be like on my tour?

Simply AMAZING! Food in Borneo is not one particular kind of food, but instead a unique culinary spectrum of tastes and textures. Borneo has plenty of simple yet delicious dishes, which are mainly pickled or preserved. The staple food in the interior areas include rice, noodle, fish, meat, local vegetable dishes and fresh fruits. In the city, you can easily find restaurants catering to different tastes such as Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Indian, Western and many more. Fresh seafood is the most popular menu selection and it is widely available in the city.

What is the Internet access like?

All major towns in Borneo have internet access. Coverage and speeds in rural areas are patchy. Restaurants, cafes and fast food joints often have Free Wi-Fi. There are some hotels in Borneo that still charge a fee for in-room internet access. However, internet access is often free in hotel lobbies and certain public areas. Sukau Rainforest Lodge has free lounge and in-room Wi-Fi for all guests. Internet speeds in Borneo are generally slow to medium.



For some it is fun and for some, it is a learning experience! Whichever it is to you, it’s an opportunity to throw yourself head first into all that is India. It’s a time for possibly meeting new people, an insight into their daily lives and a chance to appreciate the complexities that separate our normal lives.

Trains are a major source of transportation in India. To adjust the train fares to everybody’s budget various travelling classes are provided. For long-distance trains, the travelling class may be categorized as (from highest to lowest) AC First Class, AC II tier, AC III tier, Sleeper Class and general. For short distance or day trains the traveling class could be categorized as AC Executive Class, AC Chair Car and general.

For comprehensive information on your train travel in India, please read our blog by CLICKING HERE.


You need to know: 

Seeing the enigmatic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is a life-changing experience; something that you’ll forever remember.

Lead by a highly trained guide, you’ll trek through dense rainforest in search of a gorilla family to observe. As you see the young gorillas race about playing, the females cooing over their babies, and the brash posturing of a silverback, you’ll begin to understand the enduring fascination with these almost human creatures.

It truly is a bucket list worthy experience.

Before you embark on your once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trek, there are a few things you should know. Unlike a game drive, you’re much closer to the action when on a gorilla trek. Read on to learn the important things you should know before paying a visit to these gentle giants.

My number 1 tip is hire a porter before you start your trek. Your porter is your best friend while climbing and will help and support you.  He will take photos for you, carry your back pack and be there with a keen hand when the going gets steep.  And by employing him for those few hours, creates sustainable tourism for the local community and helps them understand how essential it is to keep the gorillas safe and the tourists visiting.  You will make a real impact on their lives.

About Mountain Gorillas

A subspecies of the Eastern gorilla (the other being the lowland gorilla), the mountain gorilla is the largest primate in the world, and also one of the most endangered. Poaching and habitat destruction have led to a situation in which there are only 840 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, with the majority of those residing in Rwanda and Uganda.

Unlike the smaller primates that spend a lot of their lives in trees, mountain gorillas are ground-dwellers who prefer to live in open canopy forests where light reaches the forest floor. They are herbivores whose diet consists of roots, leaves, vines, stems, and bamboo.

Despite being capable of bipedal movement, gorillas are predominantly knuckle walkers who move about on all fours. Females choose their breeding partners based on their ability to protect them, and groups of gorillas range in size from anywhere between a mated pair to up to thirty individuals. On average, ‘families’ of gorillas are comprised of nine gorillas.

Male mountain gorillas stand approximately six feet tall and can weigh up to 200 kilograms, while females are smaller at under five feet in height and weighing around 100kgs. Despite their size, mountain gorillas do not range widely and tend to keep to a relatively small area of their habitat.

Best Time to Visit

While it is possible to go gorilla trekking throughout the year, the dry season tends to be the best time to enjoy a gorilla trek. Not only does the wet season tend to make for more difficult hiking conditions, but the rain also encourages the gorillas to seek shelter – making them harder for you to observe.

Depending on the country you are in, wet season falls during different months.

  • Rwanda: The short wet season is from October to November, while the long wet season stretches from mid-March through to June.
  • Uganda: The wet seasons are March-May and September – November.
  • Congo: North of the equator, the wet season is April to October. South of the equator, wet season stretches from November to March.

Fitness & Health

It is not possible to predict ahead of time just how long you’ll be hiking before you encounter a gorilla family. Some people spend as little as 40 minutes hiking before they come across gorillas, while others can spend up to seven hours.

For this reason, it is recommended that all gorilla trekkers be in good physical and mental condition.

As gorillas are susceptible to human-borne illnesses, you are not permitted to participate in a gorilla trek if you are sick.

Rules & Codes of Conduct

As gorillas are wild animals and an endangered species, there are a number of rules that must be followed when tracking them and observing them.

  • At all times, you must obey all instructions given by your guide. Your guide knows the gorillas very well and will direct you as to where it is safe to stand.
  • Keep a minimum distance of 7 metres between you and the gorillas at all times.
  • If the dominant male gorilla (silverback) approaches you or charges aggressively, it is very important that you not back away. Remain where you are, low downward, and adopt a submissive, crouched posture.
  • Never make any sudden moves or loud noises.
  • If approached by a young gorilla, never touch it! Your touching a young gorilla might create a confrontation between your group and the dominant male.
  • If a gorilla stares at you, do not hold eye contact. Look away and down.
  • Never use a flash when photographing gorillas. Try to limit the number of photos you take.
  • You must be in good health when tracking gorillas. Gorillas are susceptible to human borne respiratory infections and you put them at risk if you visit them while ill.
  • Each gorilla family can be visited just once per day by groups of no more than eight people. Your time with the gorilla family is limited to a single hour.
  • Children under the age of fifteen are not able to join a gorilla trekking safari.

While gorillas are not aggressive in the way that predators are, they are still wild animals capable of hurting people if they feel threatened. It is imperative that you follow all instructions your guide gives you.

As these are wild animals, we cannot guarantee that you will see them. While most groups do encounter a family group, we cannot give refunds if you do not spot the animals. The fee charged goes to the park for the ongoing conservation efforts.

What to Wear

The hike through the rainforest to reach the gorillas can be strenuous, so it is important to dress appropriately and comfortably for the trek.

Due to the rugged nature of the land, you’ll be passing through, it is advisable that you wear a long-sleeved shirt, trousers, and a good pair of lightweight hiking boots or joggers to protect against scratches. You may also wish to wear protective gloves, although these are not necessary.

As temperatures can vary greatly during the day, it is also advisable to bring along a light jumper and a light, breathable rain jacket or poncho.

You’ll also wish to bring along a small backpack in which to store your extra clothing, water, lunch, and your camera gear.

While on your gorilla trek, you should wear neutral coloured clothing that is comfortable. See our ‘What to pack for Safari’ list in the FAQ’s.

What to Expect When Gorilla Trekking

As the gorillas you’ll be tracking are wild animals, it’s accurate to say that no two gorilla trekking expeditions are the same.

One group might get lucky enough to find their group almost immediately, while another may trek an entire day and come up empty-handed. Thankfully, visitors get to observe gorillas more often than not.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the gorilla tracking experience, it is important that all participants be of good physical health and come adequately prepared to tackle a hike of varied length and difficulty.

Porters are available for a small fee, please support these local workers. A porter can carry a single bag for you, making your travels a little easier.

After meeting with your guide, you will travel on foot to the place where your gorilla family was last seen. The tracker will then examine the evidence in the area to discern in which direction the family might have moved.

As you move along, the tracker will examine footprints, scat, and other clues to get a clearer picture of where the gorilla family has moved. As gorillas are capable of venturing to areas virtually inaccessible by humans, the hike can sometimes get quite difficult – moving over rough ground, dealing with thorny or stinging undergrowth, or climbing up steep hills.

Your guide will move at a moderate pace, as it is his job to get you to the gorillas with enough time to spend an hour with them and still make it back to the park gate before dark. While you will occasionally stop to rest and you’re welcome to pause to take photos, you should be prepared to move at a good pace throughout the day.

When you draw near to your gorilla family, you’ll likely smell them long before you hear or see them. Your guide will move ahead making soothing sounds to ensure the gorillas that you are friendly, and will then direct you where best to stand. Following his instructions is important, as it is his job to ensure the gorillas do not feel threatened and act accordingly. He will position you so that you can be seen by the silverback.

While observing the gorillas, it is important to maintain at least 7 metres of separation between you and the gorillas. If you are approached, it is important not to touch the gorillas. It is also important not to hold eye contact, use flash photography, or make loud noises.

On occasion, a male gorilla may charge towards the group beating his chest, hurling vegetation about, and acting aggressive. It is crucial that if this happens, you do not back away. Instead, remain where you are, lower your eyes to look at the ground, and adopt a submissive posture. This behavior is rarely an actual sign of aggression against humans, and is instead a display of dominance.

Your time with the gorillas is limited to one hour. This time limit has been carefully chosen to ensure the gorillas do not get too stressed. As used to visitors as the family groups are becoming, they often end the visits themselves after an hour by vacating the area.

If you find yourself unable to complete the gorilla tracking for whatever reason, your guide will advise you as to whether you should return to camp with your porter or whether it is better to remain where you are and await their return.



Amendments to South Africa’s Immigration Act 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002), regarding travel documentation requirements for children, came into effect on 1 June 2015. All travel documentation must be available for presentation on arrival into and departure from South Africa.  To find the information applicable to children (under 18 years of age) when travelling to or from South Africa please visit this website.  You can find the Parental Consent Affidavit here


Best time to visit – most of our safaris and tours are all year and each season has its own pros and cons. Game viewing is best during the dry winter months, but during summer you will still see many animals and the vegetation is lush. Summer is also great for swimming and other outdoor activities.


These usually coincide with school holidays. South African school holidays take place over April, June, September, and December to February, and these are peak times for the game parks and reserves.


Some camps run generators that are switched off at certain times. Some campsites are electrified, some partially so. Campers should bring a 25m extension cord fitted with a 240 Volt blue plug. Exceptions to amenities will be indicated either on the camp listing, or during the booking process. Some camps have cell phone receptions. All our lodges have restaurants and shops.


It is entirely safe to drink the tap water, but bottled water is available at the various restaurants and convenience stores, should visitors prefer it.


Although the Kruger Park is a malaria area, and guests are advised to take precautions, travel is quite safe. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended, but please talk to one of our agents for more information. It is advisable to take only children above the age of five into the Kruger Park We also offer numerous safari options in malaria-free areas.


In most cases, a gratuity or service fee is not included and tipping is at your discretion. Standard tips are as follows: Transfers – ZAR 10 per person Restaurants – 10-15% for good to exceptional service Rangers – ZAR 50-100 per drive


Some lodges offer Wi-Fi, usually in common areas. We strongly advise you, however, to disable the geotagging function before posting any animal sightings as this could help poachers find their next kill.


Please enquire regarding children as rules and regulations change.

We are also represented on SafariBookings.com


What you need to bring will vary according to the type of tour you have chosen, the countries you will be visiting, and also the time of year in which you are travelling.  Generally speaking, however, you should try to pack as light as possible. Please note that this packing list is a guide only, and is not meant to be a complete packing list.

Travel documents:

  • Passport including any visas required for the trip.
  • Vaccination certificates if required
  • Travel Insurance details (including 24-hour emergency contact telephone number)
  • Flight tickets / e-tickets
  • Tour confirmation voucher
  • Credit card & cash
  • Photocopies of important documents (passport, etc. – please keep them separately from your actual documents). We also recommend that you leave a copy at home, with a family member or a friend)
  • Spare passport photos, sometimes required for visa on arrival or toher.
  • Driving licence if you intend to hire a car whilst abroad (international licence are also a good idea)

Personal health:

  • Toiletries
  • Personal medication / prescriptions / prescription glasses or contact lenses
  • Personal medical kit
  • Hat, sunscreen and sunnies
  • Malaria prophylaxis if necessary (please check with your doctor or travel clinic regarding the area you are travelling to)
  • Insect repellent
  • Aspirin / Paracetamol
  • Anti-diarrhoea pills.  Travelan is a product that reduces the risk of travellers’ diarrhoea caused by e. coli (better know as Delhi belly or Bali belly). Available over the counter at most pharmacies.
  • Any chronic medication


  • Clothes that are easy to wash and fast drying are recommended, especially for longer trips
  • Ex-military or military-style clothing is not recommended in any areas
  • If going on safari, please bring some neutral-coloured clothing, such as beige, green, brown (no bright colours please)
  • Some smarter clothes are also recommended for nights out
  • Warm windbreaker/fleece for winter and cool days and game drives
  • Long-sleeved top and trousers for evenings when mosquitoes are out
  • Jeans / trousers / shorts
  • T-shirts / cotton shirts
  • 50+ rated UPF cover up for sun protection. This sun poncho is a perfect choice and colour.
  • Raincoat
  • Some warm clothes for sunrise/sunset game drives
  • Hiking shoes / closed-in shoes for walking safaris, especially in the Kruger (sandals are not allowed) and the Okavango Delta.
  • Sandals / flip-flops / thongs

Travel accessories:

  • International plug adapter
  • Mobile phone* and charger

* PLEASE NOTE: We strongly advise you, however, to disable the geotagging function before posting any animal sightings as this could help poachers find their next kill.

  • Photographic: Video / Camera and charger / spare batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Towel (even on accommodated tours, some places do not necessarily provide towels)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Postcards & photos from home to share with the locals


  • Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables

NB:  Please do not keep all your cards and cash in one wallet. Keep a backup card and some cash separate.  It is your responsibility to ensure you keep your valuables safe at all times.


Follow this link to WhatPlug Info for comprehensive information on which adaptor, sockets, plugs or power source is required for your destination.



Mandatory on all Trailblazers Travel tours.  Please refer to our Travel Insurance page to apply.

Why get travel insurance?

Travellers without travel insurance are personally liable for covering any medical and associated costs they incur. The Australian Government won’t pay for your medical treatment overseas or medical evacuation to Australia or a third country.

Get full cover

You should make sure your travel insurance covers all medical expenses for injury or illness, as well as theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellations or interruptions to flight plans.  You must ensure the cover is comprehensive and covers the country/countries you are visiting and covers all activities you plan to undertake.

Your family may foot the bill

If you are uninsured, you (or your family) are personally responsible for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents.

Accidents happen

Accidents can happen to anyone, and medical costs overseas can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Australians have faced financial hardship to cover these costs when things go wrong.

 Buying guide

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has teamed up with independent consumer advocate CHOICE to provide two simple travel insurance guides for you, the Aussie traveler, to help you get the right insurance for your trip.

Read the CHOICE travel insurance buying guide

Download .pdf (2MB)

Cheat sheet

Don’t have time to read our full guide? Check out the cheat sheet for all the essential information.

Read the cheat sheet

Download .pdf (291KB)


Visas, including transit visas, travel documents and passports are the passenger’s own responsibility.

You need to ensure that you have at least 6 months validity on your travel document/passport from the date of your return.
You must ensure that you are aware of any health requirements for your travel destinations.

Vaccinations are strongly recommended for certain destinations.
You need to contact your local doctor who will advise you of these requirements.
Please note that vaccinations may be recommended some period in advance of travelling.
If you are travelling internationally, you may need travel documents such as a passport or travel visa.

Travel advice:

The Australian Government’s Smartraveller website publishes country-specific travel advice, including safety and security notices, health issues, and other issues to be aware of before travelling.
Governments reserve the right to change the visa conditions of entry into their country, so it is for this reason that we ask all clients to organise their own visas through the applicable embassies or, through a specialist visa company. For up-to-date visa information please log-on to the Australian Government’s www.smartraveller.gov.au website or to organise visas please visit visalink.com.au.

Customs / Border Protection:

When travelling to another country, be prepared to show customs agents the following documents:
Proof of citizenship, such as a valid passport or a government-issued photo ID.
Travel visa, if required by the country you are visiting.
Customs declaration form, provided by flight attendants or cruise staff.
See the Australian Government’s Smartraveller/ relevant country’s Customs (Border Protection) websites for further information.


In general, your passport should be valid for at least six months after your return date, and passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible. You can apply for or renew your passport on the Australian passport office website.

We recommend that passports contain at least 2 blank pages for each country visited. Some countries require 4 pages.  You can find more information on the Australian Governments Department of Foreign Affairs www.passports.gov.au website.

Minors (children under 18) travelling abroad without parents or with only one parent may be required to present additional documents such as (but not limited to) notarised permission letter and/or unabridged birth certificate. Some other countries have similar requirements; check with the consulates of all countries you’ll be visiting to learn more.

You can check if the country you’re visiting requires blank pages and how many on the Smart Traveller website — choose your country and look at the entry and exit requirements.


Travel Health Information can be found on the Australian Governments Department of Health website.

Before you leave, it is important to research every country you will visit and to get advice that is tailored to your health needs. The risk of acquiring an infection and the appropriate preventative measures can be different for older travellers, children, pregnant women or those with underlying chronic diseases.

You will also find some great information on the Australian Governments smarttraveller.gov.au website.


Governments reserve the right to change the visa conditions of entry into their country, so it is for this reason that we ask all clients to organise their own visas through the applicable embassies or, through a specialist visa company. For up-to-date visa information please log-on to the Australian Government’s  www.smartraveller.gov.au website.

You can also look up whether you’ll need a travel visa on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade visa requirements page, or on the Visa Central website.


Please ensure you advise all food allergies, health issues and any other concerns of this nature on your booking form at the beginning of the booking process, so that this can be managed effectively throughout and suppliers/restaurants etc can be advised.  Every effort is made to meet your expectations during this experience, but it is necessary for you to make any special requirements known prior to arrival.