DISCOVER TRAVEL WITH MEANING
A unique and diverse journey starting in Kigali (Rwanda), trekking through the Gorilla Highlands and cloud and equatorial forests of SW Uganda, ascending the high Virunga Volcanoes, travelling across lakes by local boat, and experiencing the savannah of the Albertine Rift Valley, ending in Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria. The journey provides opportunities for chimp and gorilla tracking.
2024: Inaugural journey June 23rd to 9th July
Experience this spectacular area of equatorial Africa on foot and by local boats in a way that no other visitors to the area do. Get off the beaten track and interact with the local Abakiga and Banyruanda people. Be guided by the indigenous forest people (Batwa) learning their forest wisdom, following their paths and visiting their ancestoral sites. Experience massively different habitats from high volcanic peaks, through cloud and equatorial forest, through rich smallholder farmlands, across island splattered crater lakes, through forested gorges to the Albertine Rift savanna. Experience at close quarters incredible varied wildlife including primates( Monkey, chimps, gorilla), Big game (elephant, hippo buffalo etc.), stunning birdlife, reptiles and insects.
• Visiting 3 National Parks - Mgahinga, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth and the stunning and varied habitats and wildlife. • An exploration and trek through 3 varied forests with indigenous Batwa forest guides (Echuya, Mgahinga and Bwindi and Kyambura Gorge).
• Explore Batwa culture, walk Batwa trails and visit Batwa cultural sites as part of our collaboration with indigenous forest people.
• Travel by boat across stunning lakes Bunyonyi and Mutanda including travelling by local dugout canoe as part of our journey.
• Spend 4 nights camping with local households exploring the culture and lives of the Abakiga people.
• Stay in private huts on the edges of Mgahinga and Bwindi Forests with opportunities to see varied wildlife and birds.
• Have the opportunity to ascend two of the stunning high Virunga – Mount Sabinyo (3634m) and Mount Gahinga (3474m) and experience the vegetational zones from bamboo, through virgin forest, into the giant heather and lichen forest and to the otherworldly high alpine zone.
• Take a private wildlife launch down the Kazinga channel of Queen Elizabeth National Park viewing big game and birds at close proximity.
• Track and view chimpanzee along the forested Kyambura Gorge where birdlife abounds and hippos populate the river.
• Take a boat on Lake Victoria to view rare Shoebill Stork and other lake birdlife.
• Potential to include the unique experience of Mountain Gorilla tracking as an optional extra to the journey.
See downloadable brochure for a detailed itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali (Rwanda). Night in Kigali hotel
Day 2: Vehicle transport from Kigali to Lake Bunyonyi (3-4 hours). Night in hotel lodge.
Day 3: Trek (8.5km) and boat exploration of lake Bunyonyi and its islands. Night on a locally owned island- homestay camp.
Day 4: Cross Bunyonyi by local dugout canoes. Trek to edge of Echuya Forest (6.5km). Night in a homestay camp.
Day 5: Trek through Echuya led by Batwa guides (indigenous forest people) and trek to lake Kayumbu (16.6km). Night in homestay camp.
Day 6: Trek to edge of Mgahinga (Virunga) National Park (18km). Night in homestay camp.
Day 7: Trek along the Batewa trails of Mgahinga forest with Batwa guides (6.9km). Night on self contained community huts.
Day 8: Optional ascent of Mount Sabinyo at 3634m (11.4km) or tracking Golden monkeys or guided nature walks in Mgahinga national park. Night in community huts.
Day 9: Ascent of Mount Gahinga at 3474m (optional - 10.7km) and vehicle transport to South shore of Lake Matanda. Night on Lake Matanda self-contained permanent tents.
Day 10: Boat journey across Lake Matanda, ascent of Chameleon hill and trek to Rushaga at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (13.7km). Night in local lodge huts.
Day 11: Potential Gorilla Tracking day or community/nature walks. 2nd night in local lodge huts.
Day 12: Trek through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with Batwa guides (12.4km) and night in Buhoma Community camp self-contained huts.
Day 13: Community exploration in Buhoma and vehicle transportation to Queen Elizabeth national Park (4 hours). Night in rooms/huts at a local lodge.
Day 14: Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge, wildlife boat launch down the Kazinga channel to see big game, potential sunset driving safari. 2nd night in Lodge.
Day 15: Drive to Entebbe (6-7 hours) Night in Hotel by Lake Victoria.
Day 16: Exploration of Entebbe by boat and foot including boat to spot birdlife and nesting shoebill storks. 2nd night in lakeside hotel.
Day 17: Departure from Entebbe.
This is an amazing and diverse journey.
We will travel across volcanic crater lakes by local dugout canoe, along village trails, through equatorial forest teaming with life to the soaring Virunga Volcanoes with their other-worldly Africa Alpine vegetation culminating at the habitat of the Mountain Gorilla.
This journey has been developed based on founder, Gavin Anderson's, longstanding and intimate knowledge of Uganda and the Virunga area. Having lived in Uganda for 9 years, Gavin has been involved in development activities for over 25 years. He was also Chairman of the Mountain Club of Uganda, pioneering journeys in the Virunga and other mountain and rural areas of Uganda.
"A unique experience, very much into the heart of the Dolpo-pa, unlike other treks which speed through the landscape and seldom touch the culture."
"It's as if we were part of a BBC documentary on the indigenous people of Dolpo. An amazing experience."
“Incredible journey to one of the most beautiful places on earth with the opportunity to interact in a meaningful way with locals— gaining deeper insights and enjoying the warmest of welcomes.”
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