Uganda wildlife vacation

“An eight-day, tri-centred journey around Uganda’s wildlife wonders, guided by a company founded by a Ugandan local and primate expert.”

Highlights

Kibale National Park | Queen Elizabeth National Park | Bwindi Impenetrable National Park | Gorilla trekking | Chimpanzee trekking | Visit to tea plantation

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Map

Check dates

2018: 28 Sep, 5 Oct, 12 Oct, 19 Oct, 26 Oct, 2 Nov, 9 Nov, 16 Nov, 23 Nov, 30 Nov, 7 Dec, 14 Dec, 21 Dec, 28 Dec, 29 Dec
2019: 5 Jan, 12 Jan, 19 Jan, 26 Jan, 2 Feb, 9 Feb, 16 Feb, 23 Feb, 2 Mar, 9 Mar, 16 Mar, 23 Mar, 30 Mar, 6 Apr, 13 Apr, 20 Apr, 27 Apr, 4 May, 11 May, 18 May, 25 May, 1 Jun, 8 Jun, 15 Jun, 22 Jun, 29 Jun, 6 Jul, 13 Jul, 20 Jul, 27 Jul, 3 Aug, 10 Aug, 17 Aug, 24 Aug, 31 Aug, 7 Sep, 14 Sep, 21 Sep, 28 Sep ...
Our top tip:
Bring a cushion for comfort value – there are some long road journeys on this trip.
Trip type:
Small group, max. 10 people.
Activity level:
Moderate, with hefty hike on gorilla safari.
Accomm:
Mountain and forest lodges.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome with no surcharge for single room.
Included:
Full board accommodation, gorilla and chimpanzee watching permits, airport transfers, 4x4 transport, boat trips, cultural visits, full time guide.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Uganda wildlife vacation

Environment

This is a wildlife adventure that takes you to the top 3 destinations in Uganda and during this safari we ensure that you participate in the conservation efforts geared to saving the endangered species of the wild in Uganda.

Depending on your itinerary, you may visit the chimp conservation project by the local community en-route to Bwindi from Queen Elizabeth N.P. you support the local community directly through entrance fees and guide fees which they use to look after a variety of chimp species in this region.

This safari involves driving long distances both to the destinations and during game drive therefore we always find ourselves moving with packed food and drinks. This we do using plastics recyclable bottles especially for water and other beverages and paper packs for food that are also biodegradable. This is good for our environment and keeping our surrounding clean.

In “Bwindi” which means a muddy swampy place full of darkness by the local community is a home of over 10 species of primate of which we find the endangered Mountain Gorillas which have since attracted conservation efforts driven by the tourism activities in the region. Whenever one visits the forest they contribute 60%of there park fees to the community projects, 20% to improve park management and 20% to ecological monitoring and research aimed at conserving the remaining wildlife in this forest. Therefore you directly contribute to the conservation of the primate species during this adventure.

Community

This safari enables you to meet the local people in many areas like the in the chimp conservation area en-route from Queen Elizabeth park to Bwindi. There all activities are conducted by the locals and also give you a chance to know there tradition and culture and visit their crafts market to support them. In addition the Bwindi region where we do track Gorillas is surrounded by the local people. Here you get to take village walks guided by the local guides, visit there local libraries and craft shops and also have some local entertainment by the local or traditional dancers especially the children.

Economically you end up directly supporting the local people through the use of the local transport like small motor bike locally called the “bodaboda.” Also during the Gorilla tracking activity you are encouraged to use the services of a local porter or helper to carry your luggage for you since in many instances the tracking can go for long distances and involves climbing very steep landscape. Other areas where you can support the local people is in Mbarara at the Igongo cultural site where they exhibit there cultural and traditional items for sale. Then the local drums manufacturers in Mpigi district en-route To Kampala.

7 Reviews of Uganda wildlife vacation

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Reviewed on 27 Jul 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing the chimpanzees and gorillas of Uganda, and the beautiful countryside.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The most common questions we've been asked and total misconceptions are whether it is a safe country and if there is a lot of poverty. Uganda is extremely
safe, particularly with this kind of tour. People are too busy engrossed and immersed in their own lives to be interested in the foreigners passing through and the typical Western image of starving Africa was nowhere to be seen on the route we took - instead it was full of abundant farmlands, vibrant atmospheres
and for the most part busy people. The other tip would be on malaria - despite being a high risk zone, we only had mosquitoes in the Queen Elizabeth Park and
even then only one or two. In using repellant did not get any bites, having said that it's probably not worth the risk to skip the anti-malarials but we were
advised they could be used as treatment rather than prevention and probably would have opted for that had we known.
Specific to the trip - we did the 7 day tour which is a perfect amount of time. Bear in mind there is a lot of driving between locations which is ultimately
necessary but be prepared as the tour description glosses this up a bit, but in effect it's just long drives to get to the next activity point. If you have longer spend more time in the Fort Portal area (where the chimps are) as this was the nicest region we were in and do some mountain trekking!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, although the tour didn't seem to be significantly different from other tours and groups that were following the same route and there were limited
opportunities to meet with and interact with local people. The points we did interact with locals were still official 'tours' as such, but they were certainly
interesting and allowed us to buy produce directly from locals which was a highlight of the experience. Likewise the gorilla and chimpanzee tours are pre-
configured for conservation etc Uganda - you can only do it through one route. So yes absolutely, but I'm not sure there was anything in the tour specific to
this that would have otherwise been unavailable from traveling in Uganda separately, although absolutely Responsible Travel do link you up to the firms like this one that are reliable and responsible which doesn't just apply to the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The vacation was fantastic - the company looked after us extremely well (our flight was cancelled and the airline lost our luggage, and Jackson and his
team really saved us by rescheduling the itinerary and getting our stuff to us). Driver was very entertaining company and gave us a good tour and insight, and
the tour length / itinerary. etc was absolutely perfect. Could not recommend it or Uganda itself more.

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Chimpanzee trekking - we were on the move quite fast through the forest and there was a strong element of discovery and anticipation. Spending so much time in the company of the chimps and experiencing a wide range of their behaviours was amazing - more than I could have hoped for. The gorilla trekking was memorable because of the sheer closeness and size of the animals and the behaviours we observed were also memorable. On the human side, the community walk was much more than I anticipated - it was a privilege to witness villagers demonstrate their crafts in their own language and without any sense of 'show' or touristical element - i really felt that they were sharing a genuine part of their lives eg making banana brews and processing coffee beans.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go for it! Be adventurous - you are in safe hands and the wildlife experiences you will have will last a lifetime. The lodges, especially at Kibale Forest and Queen Elizabeth national park, are excellently run with attention to detail. Travel lightly, both in clothing and intent - minimise your own impact by being mindful of the culture and facilities (or lack of) in the country you are visiting. Enjoy every moment, especially encounters with the warm, friendly people as well as the animals.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


For the most part. I was a lone guest and would have preferred some company and to share the carbon impacts - i will enrol on acarbon offset programme to help compensate for the travel - you could offercarbon emission estimates for trips or responsible offsetting at the tme of booking. The accommodation services were all using single use plastics eg straws, soaps, biscuits - it would be good to encourage the tourism industry to become single use plastic free - the campaign is growing in the UK and Uganda has no recycling facilities. I declined to buy or use plastic bottles and used sterilisation tablets - it would be good to make clients aware of their own impacts - there were large piles of waste in some towns. My biggest impact was travel and I'd like to offset that.

By using high quality lodges, where available, eg nature lodges at Kibale and QE, responsible travel and primate world safaris are helping to improve standards of eco-tourism and lessen the impact. The compost toilets at QE are to be commended and I know that the owner of the nature lodges is investigating ways to reduce their plastic waste eg by buying bottled water in bulk. Also it was clear that the staff at the nature lodges had a really pride in their work and their service was outstanding. The community walk, as mentioned, was also outstanding and should be more widely promoted including by Kibale National Park - it is all part of the experience and it's important that local people can both share their culture and see the benefits of responsible tourists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolutely fantastic. The operator and my guide, Remmy, did everything they could to make sure that my trip was exactly what I wanted and more. They were polite, helpful, experienced, communicative and good company. My guide Remmy went the extra mile to share experiences with me that he realised I would enjoy, such as local foods en route. Thank you and thanks to Responsible Travel for helping me with the booking.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Angie Polkey for taking time to review your vacation experience in Uganda. We are glad that you enjoyed and you traveled responsibly regarding the impact on the communities you visited and the efforts to conserve the environment.

We shall take into consideration emphasis on the highlights and tips you have mentioned for our future vacations.

Reviewed on 25 May 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Experiencing the local food & culture, which my guide ensured were as accessible to me as the tourist activities I had planned.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Get to know your guide and let them get to know you to make the most of your trip. My guide Remy learned that while there were tourist activities I wanted to do, I also wanted to experience the local culture, and that I like to hike, so he added in as many activities that could incorporate those interests as possible.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, it was wonderful to visit local villages and see the direct impact my visit had on them. We did a community walk, where the inhabitants of a very small town walked me through their day-to-day life and activities such as the brewing of banana juice, beer and gin, as well as a conversation with a medicine man. I learned a great deal from this activity, and it was explained to me exactly how the proceeds from my trip benefited the local people.

I also felt that this trip supported conservation when I learned about the amazing things
Uganda wildlife services are doing with proceeds from gorilla and chimpanzee treks to conserve the forest and the species within. Most of the places I stayed on this trip were powered by solar energy, which helped me to feel that I was reducing the environmental impact I may have made with another organization.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I would rate my vacation as highly as possible. I cannot say enough good things about this trip and the organization. It was everything I had hoped for and more. I would recommend it to anyone considering a trip to Uganda and to those who weren't.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Jacklyn Tuckey for taking time to review your vacation experience with us in Uganda. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay and had an impact on the communities you visited too. We take note of the of the emphasis on the guest-guide connection especially at the start of the vacation in order to pay more attention to individual needs and expectations during the vacation as this will indeed help to create the best vacation experience for our future guests. We appreciate your contribution to responsible tourism in Uganda!

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Hard to say as it was a very memorable trip. Of course the gorillas and the chimpanzees were amazing but probably the exciting part was the white water rafting !! Our guide Remmy made every day an adventure.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you use the tour operator we used.....

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so, the tour company made sure of it

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent - definitely one of my highlight tours

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The chimpanzee and gorilla trek

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The vacation fell well below the standard that you would expect for the cost, and failed to deliver its itinerary

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


No as the missed excursions were to projects,

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Poor

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking time to write a review and choosing to visit Uganda with us. We appreciate this vacation fell below your standard and we thank you for being able to visit various places and also support the local people and communities like the Local restaurants you ate from, the Local porters you hired during the Gorilla tracking, Visiting the Traditional Palace in Fort portal and the Bigodi Community Swamp walk were you supported the Community tourism.

In some accommodation places you did not like the food and this we have addressed with the management in order to improve the service.

We always strive to provide the best vacation experience and have taken your comment on board in order to improve the level of service with all our Local partners.

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Being so close to gorillas, chimpanzees and other amazing wildlife - including tree-climbing lions.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Definitely take gloves for the gorilla tracking!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


An incredible experience - would thoroughly recommend. Great company and guides.

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I was able to get up close and personal with the Mountain Gorillas. A very special memory...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Understand the level of physical activity and potential minor discomfort you will encounter so that you can be prepared. Little things like bringing appropriate footwear, gloves, camera equipment that can bear rough treatment, all of this is good to know before you start the tour.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, I stayed in environmentally-friendly/ minimum footprint accommodation, and was able to directly support the local communities by the purchases I made and the activities I undertook.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was wondrous and truly excellent, and I will always remember it. It is right up there with seeing the bears fishing for salmon in Alaska, the orang-utans in Borneo, and the Northern Lights in Scandinavia...

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