Responsible tourism: East Africa adventure vacation, safari, gorillas & beach
This tour includes a Gorilla Trek to see the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Uganda. All permits for this excursion are made through the Ugandan Wildlife Authority with a limited number of permits being made available each day. The full cost of these permits $500 are controlled by the Wildlife Authority. The funds go towards conservation and protection of the Mountain Gorillas against deforestation and poaching. The money also goes towards educating the local community. The rangers are all highly trained and have been working in the area for many years. Their job is to make sure that the gorillas are not interfered with.
There are strict regulations in place to protect the gorillas, not only from poaching but from too much human interaction. Trekkers are strictly limited to spending just one hour a day observing the animals. Before departing on the trek, trekkers are given a detailed briefing about what to expect, what their conduct must be and what to carry with them. Trekkers are told not to take any food near the animals, they must leave their walking sticks away from the animals view to not frighten them and are not allowed to trek if showing any sign of sickness to prevent disease transmission.
We also visit the Masai Mara National Park and the Serengeti National Park on this tour. Our entry fees to these contribute to the conservation efforts and protection of the wildlife found there.
This tour also goes to further efforts to help communities in need. The included excursion to the Batwa Pygmy Village gives travelers the opportunity to learn about the challenges of the local communities around Lake Bunyonyi. The cost of this excursion goes directly to the local community who have been able to build their school using the funds. Travelers are also able to donate further to this community and even have the opportunity to purchase school equipment from the nearest town and they can donate any unwanted clothes to the village.
Accommodation- We always ensure that we use locally owned hotels and campsites that contribute to the local economy. Many of the campsites we use provide economic support to the communities surrounding it through employment, education and healthcare. A particular example of this would be the campsite we use in Arusha which runs the only snake bite clinic in the region.
Reviews of East Africa adventure vacation, safari, gorillas & beach
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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 27 Nov 2016 by Alessandra Hool
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Gorilla Tracking was just outstanding. Many other highlights of the tour (camping in the Serengeti, visit of local villages, rafting the Nile) were also great.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Prepare for long truck, bus and jeep rides, bring maybe a sleeping pillow or similar. Mattress is not necessary and a sleeping bag just for two nights, so don't bother to waste too much space for this. Hiking boots for the gorillas are a must. Don't miss out on the Pygmy village!
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Definitely felt that the locals profit from the tourism, and the local co-workers were really well picked. The places we visited seemed to be great wildlife conservation and one had the feeling that our visit contributed to animal protection. Probably too much flying and driving for a good climate balance...
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
It was a great and adventurous vacation and we were an amazing group. On the downside, some of the "non highlight" activities were not too well picked and often demanded even more driving and waiting time. Support of tour leader varied.
Read the operator's response here:
Question 3: Thank you for your feedback Alessandra. We are so pleased to hear that you had such a good trip! We go to great efforts to give as much back to the local communities we visit as possible. We recently helped to repair some of the buildings in the Batwa Pygmy Village which you visited in Uganda and we regularly contribute to the campsite in Arusha which to helps treat snakebites in the local area. Our trucks are carbon-friendly and traveling in this vehicle rather than lots of private vans helps to keep the carbon footprint low. Traveling in trucks also makes those long travel days more enjoyable as the roads are quite poor.
Question 4: We are sorry to read that you thought some excursions could have been better. The optional excursions are kept optional as some enjoy them more than others and we prefer that travelers are able to pick and choose what they want to do. Regardless, we would welcome more detailed feedback on these activities - same with comments on your tour leader. We are always working to improve our services.