Uganda highlights tour

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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 highlights tour

Environment

On this itinerary 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.

Before you depart for Uganda you will receive a detailed travel pack in which we outline the rules and regulations for gorilla trekking. 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.

On this itinerary you will also trek deep into the Kibale Forest to track the troops of chimpanzees that live there. As with the gorilla tracking, similar rules and regulations have been set out by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to govern this activity in order to protect the chimpanzees and their environment.

You will visit several national parks on this itinerary – including Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Murchison Falls NP. In our detailed pre-departure travel pack we have included a note to remind you not leave any litter in the national parks – everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to the wildlife.

Throughout Uganda we use locally owned and managed hotels, guest houses, lodges and camps - such as Ndali Lodge in Fort Portal. We believe that by using locally owned properties, rather than international chains, we ensure that as much revenue as possible remains in Uganda, and it also provides a more authentic travel experience for our clients.

Fresh water is limited in many areas of Uganda, therefore we encourage our clients to take short showers and to use water sparingly. We ask our clients to follow any environmental policies that their hotel, guest house, lodge or camp may have in place - for example, they may give guests the option to not have their towels or bed linen washed everyday and by reducing the quantity of towels/linen they wash, they reduce water consumption, energy and use of detergents.

Recycling facilities are limited in Uganda, however many properties have bins to collect plastic bottles. All glass bottles should be returned to the place you bought them to be re-used. In our detailed pre-departure travel packs we include a note to advise clients that they should take their empty shampoo and shower gel bottles back home and recycle them at home. We also request that people take all batteries home with them as they cannot be safely disposed of in Uganda.

Community

We are committed to responsible, sustainable and ethical tourism in Uganda and we’re proud to work with a fantastic supplier who shares our core values with regards to responsible tourism practices. We also use expert local guides who offer our clients a fascinating insight into Uganda’s wildlife and culture.

One of the accommodation options we use on this itinerary is Ndali Lodge in Fort Portal, at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains and the base of the Kibale Forest. This lodge has established a wonderful partnership with the local community. As well as providing employment and development opportunities, the lodge also provides sponsorship to over 20 students from pre-school through to university. In 2013 the lodge built a new nursery school for up to 90 children in the local area and it continues to support education initiatives in region.

During your time in Uganda we encourage you to try to interact and engage with the Ugandan people as this will offer a much more meaningful and enriching travel experience. We recommend that you talk to your local guides and drivers and make an effort to get to know them!

This itinerary is flexible and we can include cultural experiences such as spending the night in a Karamojong kraal in the northeast region of Uganda. This is a wonderful opportunity to interact with Karamojong people and get an insight into their way of life - you’ll be able to help collect vegetables, herd the cattle, prepare dairy products, play local games and listen to the Karamojong warriors tell stories as you sit around a campfire.

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.

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