12 days 11 nights
This comprehensive 12-day journey is jam-packed with the beauty of southwest Ugandan culture. You will encounter mountain gorillas, indigenous villages, and organizations striving to make a difference. Famous for its stunning scenery, lovely lakes, and deep forests, venture into this region’s vibrant, authentic communities for an unforgettable experience.
A warm welcome from your Experience Curator upon your arrival at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport (EBB), and a swift transfer to your accommodation in Kampala. Accommodation: Cassia Lodge (www.cassialodge.com) OR Humura Resort (www.humurauganda.com)
Visit a jewelry workshop owned and operated by local women entrepreneurs, who handcraft accessories out of locally sourced raw materials. Through a 3~4 hour beading class, learn how to make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets out of recycled paper materials and take home your very own creation. Stroll the markets and browse the different heritage craft shops to find your perfect souvenirs. Homemade baskets, paintings, batiks… the choice is endless. Accommodation: Cassia Lodge (www.cassialodge.com) OR Humura Resort (www.humurauganda.com) Meals: B/B
Travel to Mpabire village, the birthplace of Ugandan drums and home to generations of specialized craftspeople honing this traditional art. Your host will guide you through the step-by-step process of crafting traditional musical instruments, such as the Ganda drum made from cow leather and Musizi tree. Learn how the drums are used as a centuries-old means of communication, and distinguish between the signals for danger alert, and call to action. Plant a tree on community land to counter the effects of your carbon footprint. Stop by the equator monument at Kayabwe village for a cannot-be-missed photo and water experiments. Arrive at Ishaazi Farm Lodge, a working Ankole long-horned cattle farm, for lunch, followed by a local ghee-making experience. Accommodation: Ishaazi Farm Lodge (ishaazifarmlodge.com) Meals: Full board
Experience a morning on the 150-acre pristine savannah grassland farm. Your host will guide you through the home of 80 long horn Ankole cattle with fascinating details about the livestock, culture, and conservation efforts. Be up close and personal with the cows, and try your hand at milking them. After lunch, you will be on our way to Lake Mburo National Park in time for an afternoon boat ride. Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock (www.rwakoborock.com) OR Eagle’s Nest (www.naturelodgesuganda.com) Meals: Full board
Start your day with a guided nature walk in the National Park. An armed ranger escorts you through the savannah and acacia woodland for up-close wildlife viewings of zebras, giraffes, impalas and more. Next stop is a historical location in western Uganda that comprises the Batooro, Bakiga, Banyoro, and Banyakole tribes. The Igongo Cultural Center is a fascinating collection of Ankole history, art and culture. Take a break and savour some local cuisine before continuing on to Edirisa Cultural Museum of the Bakiga, with a complete homestead replica, to discover their traditional weapons, tools, and cooking methods. Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for a two-night stay. Accommodation: Arcadia Lodge Bunyonyi (arcadialodges.com) OR Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort (lakebunyonyirockresort.net) Meals: Full board
After breakfast, take a boat ride to the nearby islands where you will be treated to colourful, breathtaking panoramas of terraced gardens. As the name Bunyonyi (“many little birds”) implies, the lake is a birdwatcher’s heaven. Step off the boat onto one of the islands and revel in the idyllic scenery on your way to a traditional healer. Spend an enlightening two hours as you experience traditional African medicine and healing. Ride back to your accommodation for lunch and a leisurely afternoon. Accommodation: Arcadia Lodge Bunyonyi (arcadialodges.com) OR Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort (lakebunyonyirockresort.net) Meals: Full board
Today we head to Buhoma in Bwindi Forest National Park, home of the mountain gorillas, for an eye-opening Batwa village experience, the original inhabitants of this tropical forest. Marvel at the Batwa swag dance, which combines high jumps, clapping and loud pitch singing, for the ultimate welcome. Join a 30-minute forest excursion and have a go at alternate ways to ignite a fire. There will be an opportunity to purchase a memento from the women’s display to support and conserve their way of life. Your overnight stay for the next three nights is at Ride 4 a Woman Guest House, an innovative organization working to empower local women. Accommodation: Ride 4 a Woman Guest House (ride4awoman.org) Meal: Full board
You will be working at the Ride 4 a Woman community center this morning alongside a group of ladies from 11 different communities. Your workshop guide and founder Eveyln will guide you through the organization’s many projects that improve the lives of local women and support their children’s education opportunities. Take part in culinary classes, basket weaving, and pedal sewing a scarf and apron. After lunch, bike to the women’s homesteads to discover firsthand the positive impact the organization has had in their lives. Accommodation: Ride 4 a Woman Guest House (ride4awoman.org) Meal: Full board
After an early breakfast, we head to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for an exciting gorilla trekking. Registration and briefing begins at 8am, after which the guide will lead you through thick underlying vegetation and over rocky mosses on the lookout for the gentle giants. The trek lasts between 1-4 hours, so a certain degree of fitness and good walking shoes are a must. Once a family of gorillas is located, you are allowed one hour of viewing before returning to the base station. Accommodation: Ride 4 a Woman Guest House (ride4awoman.org) Meals: Full board
After early breakfast, we embark on our return journey to Entebbe, with a stop in the town of Mbarara for lunch. Accommodation: Kisubi Forest Cottages (kisubicottages.com) OR Airport Link Guest House (airportlinkguesthouse.com) Meals: Half board
Fill your morning with all things Buganda, one of the oldest kingdoms in Uganda, as you wade through its rich history at three notable sites. Your first stop is the Buganda Parliament (Bulange), where your guide takes you through its architecture and Baganda monarchy. Continue on to the Royal Palace (Lubiri) through the Royal Mile, a straight route connecting the two major seats of the kingdom that enables the king to commute without bends or obstacles. The Palace itself is rich in history, such as the hidden jail where former president Idi Amin and Milton Obote tortured and executed their political opponents- a tragic period in Bugandan past. Take a breather at Kabaka’s Lake, dating back to 1886 and arguably Africa’s largest hand-dug lake. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and return to your accommodation for a relaxing afternoon. Accommodation: Kisubi Forest Cottages (kisubicottages.com) OR Airport Link Guest House (airportlinkguesthouse.com) Meals: Half board
Your Experience Curator will transport you safely to Entebbe International Airport in time for your returning flight home.