Gorillas & Horses in the mist, Uganda
12 Days - 11 Nights - 6 Days Riding Safari - 1 Day Rafting - 2 Days Bwindi & Gorilla Safari
Rural Ugandan Villages – Lake Victoria – Mabira Forest – River Nile – Pygmies Tribe - Bwindi Nat. Park – Silverback Gorillas
In 1908 Winston Churchill spoke the following famous quote about Uganda that still resonates in Uganda nowadays: "For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life - bird, insect, reptile, beast - for vast scale, Uganda is truly the Pearl of Africa."
And indeed, the Pearl is blessed with an undeniable natural beauty. In the west, the Rwenzori peaks reach towards the sky, the perfect challenge for bold explorers – Across the nation, parks are home to some of the world’s most exotic animals: Silverback Gorillas, lions and countless others. And last but not least the intimidatingly vast Lake Victoria, the source of the great River Nile is also home to Uganda. Winding roads lead to places of grand beauty and unique cultures for those who dare to explore. There’s a story at every turn, especially from the Ugandan people, who are renowned for their warmth and charm.
On this 12 days trip the idea is to discover rural Uganda in a way few others have before you. With the one and only 4x4xFar; the horse, you will go on a journey of discovery from the saddle.
In the Lake Victoria region the 7 days riding safari passes through rural Ugandan villages and gives an authentic look at life in Uganda and the stunning areas of forest, sugar and tea plantations around the source of the River Nile. The pace can be fast at times as there are barely any fences throughout the country and walking or bridle trails everywhere. You will ride for miles and miles, trough forests, fields or plantations. Ride a huge variety of trails, some winding tracks over steeper ground, hacking up hills to see the magnificent views. Then through dense jungle and over grassy tracks. Every day is different from the day before, the constant change of scenery is a photographers dream. You will see real Uganda, which includes not only the stunning beauty of the River Nile and rural areas but also the village homes, workplaces/trading centres and lives of people who live around the area. You will be fortunate to be able to access these areas as the Ugandan people are friendly and generous.
You will ride from lodge to lodge, will have incredible views over Lake Victoria and the River Nile, canter through the rainforest while birds and monkeys chatter overhead, swim with your horse in the Nile, go for a day of White Water Rafting and visit a local school,...all this before starting Part II of the trip.
After a week in the Saddle you will say goodbye to the horses and the incredible hosts and riding guides Natalie & TJ.
Part II; If your dream is mountain Gorilla trekking, Uganda is the place to go. Rwanda is the only other country in which these gentle giants can be encountered on a trek. For that we take you via a domestic flight to the Bwindi National Park where the new adventure begins.
Few words can describe the thrill of that day’s lifetime experience! Coming face to face with mountain gorillas is a rare wildlife encounter that is exhilarating, humbling and enthralling. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the steep mountain slopes. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this "impenetrable forest" also protects an estimated 460 mountain gorillas - including several habituated families.
Coming up close to endangered Mountain Gorillas in the forests of Uganda is a thrilling lifetime experience that surely ranks on most people’s travel bucket list. Trekking at high altitude (should we say between 1400 – 1900metres) which is much lower than Rwanda….through dense forests and up steep terrain can be challenging, especially in the African heat, but the hour you get to spend with these gentle giants is worth every step! Only 8 guests may trek one gorilla family, at a time. One trek per day/per family.
Trekking - is managed fully by Uganda Wildlife Authority, with a head ranger, security personnel (who are armed as a precaution against wildlife etc) and trackers , with optional porters – who walk with the guests until a family is located. Once the gorillas are found, the rangers take the guests closer to the gorillas – and your viewing time commences.
On this journey of discovery you also visit the Batwa Pygmies of Uganda who live on the outskirts of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They are one of the oldest surviving Indigenous tribes in Africa. They live high in the mountain forests, straddling several East African countries. The Batwa are now also called conservation refugees, as governments scramble to cope with the pressures of population growth and climate change.These People of the Forest are essential to any trip to Uganda, but vastly underlooked, ... you will wander through their lives, and experience the education from people who have lived in the great primeval rainforest for 80.000 years.
A domestic flight will bring you back to Entebbe. This last day will be spend on the shores of beautiful Lake Victoria where Entebbe is located. Entebbe is an attractive, verdant town that served as the capital city during the early years of the British protectorate. Today it’s the relaxed pace of life and nearby natural attractions that give the city its charm.
Welcome to the Pearl of Africa!
Attention; there is no more horse riding in this second part of the journey. The trek to the Gorillas is a trekking on foot. (see day by day description). The riding safari is from day 1 to day 8.