Trypanosomatids are flagellated protozoan parasites of invertebrates, vertebrates and plants. Some species, found in the subtropics and tropics, cause chronic diseases in humans and domestic animals. The surface of the trypanosomatid provides a shield against environmental challenges, ligands for interaction with host cells, as well as receptors and transporters for the uptake of nutrients. Communication between the parasite and its environment is confined to the flagellar pocket, an invagination of the plasma membrane around the base of the flagellum. In this review, the authors discuss endocytosis, secretion and membrane trafficking in Trypanosoma and Leishmania.