Uganda Flying Safari (shell)

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Uganda Flying Safari (shell)

Environment

On this vacation you’ll visit Uganda’s well known national parks - Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ishasha, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Murchison Falls. By visiting these parks and paying the entrance fees you are helping to fund ongoing conservation activities, including paying for park rangers, improving infrastructure, and improving the livelihood of communities (please note we include the national park entrance fees in your vacation cost).

On this Ugandan adventure you’ll also visit villages which are off the main tourist trail as we believe that it is important to spread the benefits of tourism to more remote communities.

As this itinerary is only 10 days in duration, you’ll fly from Entebbe to Queen Elizabeth National Park, from Kihihi airstrip (near Bwindi National Park) to Murchison Falls and from Murchison Falls back to Entebbe. By flying between these destinations you’ll avoid spending long days in a minivan, driving on bumpy roads, and you’ll make the most of your time away. If you prefer, we can offer an alternative version of this vacation without the flights where you will drive between destinations rather than fly but of course this will be a longer itinerary due to the time spent on the roads.

We believe that overall this vacation helps to support and promote conservation efforts in Uganda’s national parks and has benefit to local communities which you might not have time to visit if you weren't able to fly between given the significant distances covered.

On this vacation you’ll track endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Well managed tourism practices have helped to save the last of the mountain gorillas from extinction, and your trekking permits and national park fees contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts in Bwindi National Park. Revenue generated from gorilla permits funds conservation activities, including buying medicine, paying veterinarians and park rangers, improving infrastructure, and improving the livelihood of communities living around Bwindi forest.

Before your departure you will receive a detailed travel pack in which we outline the rules and regulations for gorilla trekking in Uganda. These regulations will be repeated to you by your guide before you embark on your trek and it is essential that you adhere to them. You will not be allowed to track them if you’re suffering from any illness including a cold or flu which can be transmitted to the gorillas. You will be instructed to talk in a low voice whilst you’re with the gorillas and you’re requested to keep a seven metre distance from them. You must not touch the gorillas under any circumstances - although they are used to seeing people on a daily basis, they are wild animals and they can sometimes react unexpectedly so it is essential that you listen to your guide’s and trackers’ instructions. You will also be advised to disable the flash on your camera before you get to your group of gorillas as flash photography is not permitted.

You’ll have the chance to spend up to one magical yet fleeting hour quietly observing the gorillas in their natural habitat and it will undoubtedly be an experience that you’ll never ever forget. Unfortunately your time with the gorilla family will pass too quickly and after one hour you must follow your guide as they lead you out of the forest. Should you wish to spend longer with the gorillas we offer a unique opportunity to participate in a full day Gorilla Habituation Experience, run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, which allows you to spend up to four hours with these magnificent creatures. By participating in the Gorilla Habituation Experience you are supporting the crucial work in habituating gorillas and ensuring their survival. Please ask us for more details about this.

We also highly recommend that you participate in the Batwa cultural experience during your time in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is a fascinating full day excursion offers an opportunity to hike in the forest with a Batwa guide and learn about the history, culture and traditions of the Batwa pygmies who inhabited Bwindi forest for centuries.

One of the accommodation options on this itinerary is Murchison River Lodge - a wonderful family-owned lodge on the southern bank of the River Nile overlooking Murchison Falls National Park. We love the eco-friendly elements at this lodge - the cottages are all equipped with solar lights, they don’t have fans or air conditioning, and the water is heater by solar panels!

During your stay here we recommend that you visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. This 70 square km sanctuary currently protects 20 white rhinos and it’s a true success story after the extreme poaching that killed the last rhino in Uganda in 1982.

Community

As mentioned above, one of the accommodation options on this itinerary is Murchison River Lodge. One of the reasons we love this lodge is because it encourages the philosophy ‘think global, act local’ and this is reflected in the number of staff employed from the local area. The majority of the staff had never worked in the hotel industry before, but with encouragement and enthusiasm they now have a fantastic team who will ensure that you have a wonderful stay.

The lodge is outside of the national park which means that it is possible to take a guided walk around the local community. Your guide will be one of the lodge’s staff members and they will be keen to show you their village, their home and their way of life. This guided walk is typically 2-3 hours in length and can easily be arranged whilst you are staying at the lodge. All donations made from the walk go back to the community. Please remember to ask before taking photos within the village.

We additionally support local guides and drivers as well as the work of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority on this trip.

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