Trip Overview

Join AdventureWomen in Uganda in 2020 to hike with primatologists and skilled wildlife trackers through steamy rain forests and open African savannas to observe Uganda’s magnificent mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and tree climbing lions. Discover why Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall were so passionate about these endangered African animals and protecting them through wildlife conservation for future generations.

“When you realize the value of all life you dwell less on past and concentrate more on the conservation of the future.”
― Dian Fossey

On this spellbinding exploration of Uganda’s bio-diverse ecosystems, hike through steep, forested terrain for captivating views of the great apes living free, go on a thrilling game drive and lion-tracking research project, and cruise African waterways to see floating herds of hippos while other animals come to the riverbanks for water.

In Entebbe, get to know your new travel companions, rest for the night, and head the next day to airy Kyambura Gorge Lodge, strategically located at the edge of prime chimpanzee habitat in Uganda. Accompanied by a chimp expert and guide, your search for chimps will take you into the deep valleys of Kyambura Gorge and through verdant Kalinzu Forest. While hiking through Kalinzu you may also encounter other primates, see leopards (or signs of leopards), antelope, wild pigs and hundreds of birds. Keep a lookout for the teal blue Great Blue Turaco and the bizarre Black & White Casqued Hornbill!

In 1981, there were only 254 mountain gorillas left in the world. Today, thanks to wildlife conservation efforts, thankfully those numbers are slightly higher. To begin our search for the still critically-endangered Mountain Gorillas, you’ll stay in Bwindi Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bwindi, a dense cloud-covered forest of jungle, is home to half the mountain gorillas in the world. Hike with a guide and gorilla expert, learning a few tracking tips from the pros, to hopefully catch them lounging in among the dense foliage and trees. When the chimps and gorillas are located, you will have one awe-inspiring hour per trek to quietly observe these majestic and intelligent creatures.

The next day, join a lion tracking research project to observe the curious habits of Uganda’s own tree climbing lion! Learn about their research findings as you look high in acacia trees for languidly swishing tails and floppy big paws or listen for a noisy yawn. Continue your wildlife discoveries with a fascinating cruise on the Kazinga Channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National Park to see elephants, hippos, water buffalo, antelope, pelicans, eagles, and even the sprightly warthog being drawn here to drink.

While you’re visiting this region, get a chance to know some of Uganda’s working women. At a tea plantation, meet the women who plant, pick, roast, and pack their tea and coffee by hand (no machines) and sit down with an entrepreneurial group who launched a multi-faceted, bicycle rental/repair/handicraft enterprise.

Enjoy a fun final evening with your adventurous companions sharing best moments and lasting impressions over a farewell dinner, returning home with the stories, video, and photographs making an inspiring travelogue of your amazing Uganda wildlife adventure.

Let Uganda’s green and gold beauty envelop you for ten astonishing days among chimps and gorillas, big cats, and other precious African creatures living wild and free.

PLEASE NOTE:

Our Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking adventure begins the day after our Tanzania Safari: The Great Migration on the Serengeti trip ends. Experience the best of what Uganda and Tanzania have to offer! You buy only one plane ticket for two vacations!

Main Attractions

  • Meet endangered Mountain Gorillas at home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Learn how to track animals from experienced wildlife guides and primatologists
  • Enjoy a wildlife cruise in Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Stay in comfortable African lodges located deep in the heart of wildlife habitats
 

What You'll See and Do

  • 4x4
  • Animal Tracking
  • Anthropology
  • Birding
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Gorilla Tracking
  • National Parks
  • Natural History
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Entebbe
You will be picked up at the Entebbe airport and transferred to your hotel for the evening.

Dinner is on your own this evening to give you a chance to get over jet lag.
Meals On Your Own

Overnight: Protea Hotel Entebbe

Day 2

Entebbe to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Get up early this morning for your flight from Entebbe to Kasese. The flight will be about an hour and a half.

You’ll be met at the Kasese airport. On the way to the lodge, you’ll stop at Ruwenzori Sculpture Foundation. A selection of sculptures is always on show in the gallery. Cast in bronze by Rwenzori Founders or carved in Moroto soapstone and marble, all of the sculptures have been created as a result of workshops and residencies supported by the Foundation.

Arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. During your stay here, you have a complimentary half-hour massage, so please be sure to schedule it upon arrival.

This afternoon you have your choice of activities. You can go on a short gorge walk, a beekeeping tour, or just enjoy the pool.

Enjoy a lively welcome dinner as you get to know your fellow travelers this evening. Share stories and learn about why each woman in your trip is excited to explore Uganda!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Day 3

Queen Elizabeth National Park
Only seven guests at a time can trek to see the chimpanzees. Half of your group will do this day as written below, and the other half will do the activities in the opposite order. This is to ensure that the chimps are as well protected as possible.

After an early breakfast, transfer to the Kyambura Gorge, which is a stark contrast with the surrounding grasslands. Start tracking chimpanzees, one of the closest relatives to humans. The chimp population is very mobile, and viewing can be unpredictable. Plan on a strenuous hike for about two and a half hours. Be prepared with all-weather gear.

Have lunch back at the lodge after your time with the chimpanzees.

Head out on a cruise on the Kazinga Channel, which flows between Lakes Edward and George. Kazinga is home to one of the greatest concentration of hippo in Africa and herds of elephant, buffalo, and other animals come to drink at the waters edge. The channel is a magnet for waterbirds, with great flocks of pelicans and others birds on the shore, and a great spot to see African fish eagle. The boat trip will be about two hours.

Enjoy time to relax at your lodge this evening before dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Day 4

Queen Elizabeth National Park
Heading out with a lion researcher is one of  the most interesting experiences you can have in Uganda, and is only possible within Mweya Peninsular of Queen Elizabeth National Park under the Uganda Carnivore Project. Join the researchers in the field as they track lion in their natural habitats. This will happen either in the early morning or the late afternoon, and tracking lasts between one and three hours.

Enjoy lunch at the lodge. Choose an optional activity offered by the lodge, or just relax by the pool.

A drama group will put on a performance late this afternoon. Enjoy the show before sitting down to enjoy another delicious dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Day 5

Queen Elizabeth National Park
Depart early this morning for the Kalinzu forest  where you will go trekking and look for chimpanzees. You have about a 50% chance of seeing chimpanzees, but the plant life and birds you will see along the way are rewarding as well. The hike will be between two and two and a half hours.

Have lunch back at the lodge.

The Omwani Women’s Coffee Cooperative is a community-based initiative designed to provide vocational training to women and an alternative, but sustainable source of income. Eleven local women and their families are actively involved in the cooperative. At least 30% of the group is HIV positive and many are widowed. They tend to over 1,500 Arabica and Robusta coffee plants in 100 acres of rejuvenated land, and process the coffee by hand at a communal processing plant. Members of the cooperative commit to growing the coffee organically, without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Learn from the women about their lives and families.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Day 6

Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Pack up and leave your lodge this morning, driving through Queen Elizabeth National Park. Search for tree climbing lions as you travel through the park. Arrive at your lodge in Bwindi in time for lunch.

Enjoy the afternoon at the lodge. There is a beautiful walk to a river at the edge of the property that you might want to try. Have dinner as a group this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Bwindi Lodge

Day 7

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Head out this morning on a gorilla trek. There are a maximum of eight tourists allowed in a group, so your group will split into two. Other tourists might join your trekking group as well. You’ll carry your packed lunch in your backpack, and you’ll trek for two to eight hours. If you prefer to not carry your backpack, you can hire a personal porter for $15-20 at the trailhead. You’ll want hiking boots, waterproof pants, a waterproof jacket and thick gloves (think gardening gloves) to protect from nettles.

On this trek you have a 90% chance of seeing the gorillas. Once you locate a group of gorillas, you are allowed to spend one hour with them. Enjoy your lunch somewhere in the forest along the way.

Return to the lodge late this afternoon and share stories with the women in your group about your gorilla experience.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Bwindi Lodge

Day 8

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Simple tea processing in partnership with the local communities began at the lodge in 2013. Head out to see how tea is grown, picked, and traditionally processed in Uganda. You will learn how black, green, and white teas are produced and differentiated.

Walk through the local village and learn about the community as well as Bwindi Community Hospital. The hospital started as a health clinic under a tree and now provides vital medical and educational services to over 60,000 people.

After lunch at the lodge, visit the Ride for a Woman project. Women started a business to rent and repair bicycles. Since the start of their business, they have evolved to do other projects including weaving and sewing. They are also starting a budget accommodation for backpackers. Try your hand at weaving as you get to know these remarkable businesswomen.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Bwindi Lodge

Day 9

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Head out on another gorilla trek today. Hike up and down the steep, densely forested hills. Coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an awe-inspiring moment.

You’ll either have a packed lunch today or have lunch at the lodge – it depends on how long you have to trek to find the gorillas.

Take this afternoon to relax after your strenuous trekking day. Walk around the property, read a book, or chat with your AdventureWomen friends.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an amazing journey through this truly spectacular country.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Bwindi Lodge

Day 10

Bwindi and Depart
Leave the lodge early this morning and drive to Kihihi. Catch your flight to Entebbe, arriving mid-day. Connect with your international flights at the Entebbe airport.
Breakfast

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Uganda



Arrival and Departure Information

March 9 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda (EBB) on March 9, 2020.

Depart: Depart Entebbe, Uganda (EBB) on March 18, 2020 after 4:00pm.

November 3 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda (EBB) on November 3, 2020.

Depart: Depart Entebbe, Uganda (EBB) on November 12, 2020 after 4:00pm.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Activity Level

We rate this trip as High Energy. Our High Energy adventures are designed for women who enjoy more of a physical adventure and crave being on the go! You should be prepared for itineraries that include (but are
not limited to): a full day of biking on rolling terrain, hiking 5-8 miles on moderate to steep trails, being active at high altitudes, whitewater rafting, or skiing. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more at: https://fitfortrips.com/partners/adventure-women/
You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that
adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Uganda, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Uganda.

Money

US Dollars are widely accepted in Uganda, and you can use Visa and MasterCard at both the Kyambura Gorge Lodge and Bwindi Lodge for any incidentals.

Suggested Gratuities:

  • Gratuity suggestions will be advised closer to departure.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

March 9 Departure Final Payment Date: December 10, 2019
November 3 Departure Final Payment Due Date: August 5, 2020

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Entrance fees and all gorilla and chimp permits
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guides throughout the trip
  • Drinking water
  • Gratuities for lodge staff, drivers, and baggage handling
  • One AdventureWomen Ambassador

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Uganda
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Protea Hotel Entebbe
This hotel is ideally located on the glistening shores of Lake Victoria and is convenient to the Entebbe airport. With elegant furnishings and a warm, inviting feel, the hotel’s decor and rooms create a comfortable atmosphere. The outside terrace, with its own special ambiance and superb lake views is the perfect place to take it all in.

Kyambura Gorge Lodge
This eclectic contemporary safari lodge has been converted from an old coffee store to create a breathtakingly beautiful space. The lodge is located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park with sweeping views of the rolling savanna, the distant mountains of the moon, and the sunken Kyambura Gorge.

Bwindi Lodge
Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge has dramatic views of the forest canopy across a serene stream. The gorillas frequently come to relax in the verdant bush around the lodge! The lodge features a guest lounge and dining area that bring the feel of the forest into the stylish interiors. The main living area has a central fireplace which acts as a focal point for you to relax and discuss your gorilla tracking experience. An outdoor terrace showcases dramatic views of the impenetrable forest and is a great place to spot the monkeys and birds hidden in the foliage.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

As you get ready to pack for your adventure, have a look at The AdventureWomen Store at www.theadventurewomenstore.com - we have picked out our favorite travel clothes and outdoor gear to help make packing easy for you. You can also see our recommendations for this trip on the AdventureWomen Pinterest page.

Luggage Restriction:Your luggage must be packed in a completely soft-sided duffel bag (it can have no hard frames or wheels), and your duffel and carry-on cannot weigh more than 33 pounds total.

Uganda has dry and wet seasons, although it can rain even during the dry season. Your trip is on the cusp of the wet season. The views are usually better because the rain clears the dust! Expect temperatures from the high 60s to mid 80s during the day, and be prepared for weather changes.

Uganda is fairly conservative, so please plan to cover your shoulders and wear longer shorts.

Clothing and Gear

  • Soft-sided duffel bag
  • Daypack with rain cover
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are broken in!)
  • 1 pair comfortable walking shoes
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket for cool evenings
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Thick gloves (like gardening gloves)
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Socks
  • Sandals
  • Gaiters (optional)
  • Hiking poles (optional - the ranger guides will also make walking sticks if necessary)

AdventureWomen Essentials

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (optional; 8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters/power bank
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen water bottle
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit

  • Prescription medicine you usually take (in original containers)
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686