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Responsible tourism: Uganda gorilla express tour
The camps and lodges are small establishments catering for a maximum of 20 guests and with an ecological footprint as small as possible whilst at the same time ensuring that international standards and visitor expectations are met.
Construction is from local materials, for example commercially farmed wood, with designs that do not require huge foundations and thick brick walls or use canvas tents that can be easily removed at the end of the term of occupation.
Power sources are predominately solar which are used for lighting and limited power supply for charging of computers and cameras. We do not generally offer facilities for hair dryers and other items needing large amounts of power.
Water heating is done with efficient refuse burners or wood fired stoves that use shavings and off cuts from the local saw mills. No indigenous trees or supplies from within National Park areas are used.
Water supplies are rainfall and gravity fed whenever possible, but where pumps are used they are small independent ones that are linked to storage facilities where it can be efficiently monitored. Use of water is strictly controlled with “bush showers” being used as opposed to piped in water in our tented camps.
Low flush toilet systems are installed where possible at the camps /lodges and all the linen, towels and other washing is done by hand and sun dried rather than commercial washing machines and dryers.
Guests are encouraged to not have fresh linen / towels each and every day as an added way to also saving on water usage.
Waste disposal systems are designed and implemented in line with Ugandan environmental laws and international practices.
We support local industry by buying as many products manufactured within Uganda as possible when designing and building the lodge or camp – woven bed spreads, local furniture, matting, baskets and local art for décor.
We employ local Ugandan staff in our lodges and camps including in management positions. We also actively encourage their growth and advancement within the organisation often with internal training to assist in this process. Our first source of staff is always from the local communities around the area where the lodge / camp is based and only if skills required are not available do we search elsewhere.
Supplies of fresh food are done locally whenever possible. Menus are tailored to utilise the best of the fresh fruit and vegetables currently available – this is generally a seasonal thing as within Uganda there is a large range of suitable fresh produce available. Local community projects such as Amagara vegetable project in Bwindi are used for the regular supply of fresh items.
Dry goods and manufactured goods are also purchased locally with the emphasis on Ugandan products – tea, coffee, honey, flour, and sugar to name a few. We avoid using products of manufacturing companies known to not be eco-friendly, e.g. recently there was a sugar company involved in a dispute over use of primary forest land and we no longer purchase their brand of sugar.
Reviews of Uganda gorilla express tour
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by Doris Reismann
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
I can`t cone it down to one thing. It was the combination of a wonderful country, spectacular wildlife and the welcoming atmosphere of the people and staff in the extraordinary lodges. The tour was locally made possible due to an excellent guide who made the logistics right there smooth and pleasant, who was very knowledgeable and highly motivated to provide a good experience for us in a cheerful and safe atmosphere. Tracking the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was of course one of the highlights and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Get some information about the gorillas, their habitat and behavior before seeing them. Follow the recommendations in terms of health and safety issues, it makes the vacation much easier and carefree.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, it seemed as in Uganda tourism is just evolving, we could help people and their problems right then and there, though of course, our contributions must remain minuscule considering the dimension of support needed. I met very optimistic and creative young local people, who deserve all our support and help.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
A fantastic experience, a bit more time would have been great, a lasting impression of fragile yet intact nature and wildlife, very welcoming and friendly people my rating would be between 4-5 stars