Culture Safari in Uganda with Gorilla Trekking
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💎 Why we love it ?
The 7 Days of Culture Safari in Uganda with Gorilla trekking commences in Kampala and ends in Kigali or Kampala depending on the traveler’s preference. The 7 days of Culture feature a blend of wildlife and gorillas. The safari involves a game-walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park where the travelers can explore the Rothschild Giraffes, the Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, the Topi, the elands among others. Whole day experience with the Banyankole community exploring the Ankole long-horned cattle and its practices, the crop growing and extensive Banana plantations, the 1520AD eclipse monument and Erijukiro museum tour at Igongo Cultural center, the gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, the coffee tour including coffee roasting on the shores of Lake Mutanda and eventually the Batwa heritage trail exploration in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
🏁 Tour Itinerary: Culture Safari in Uganda with Gorilla Trekking
Day 1: Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park in the southwest of Uganda departing your place of stay at 6:30 is. The drive to Lake Mburo National Park is 240km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive and you will break this journey after driving only 77km from Kampala at the Equator crossing Kayabwe which is a re-known site for photography since most of the travelers prefer taking pictures with one leg in one hemisphere and the other leg in a different hemisphere. There are also geographical experiments that can be carried out for the keen geographers to demonstrate the geographical separation of the north and southern hemispheres. You retreat from this break and continue on the drive to Lake Mburo National Park. You will check in at the lodge and rest for lunch and simple relaxation. In the early evening, you embark on a thrilling game walking safari passing through the impressive savannah ecosystem with lots of Acacia. You enjoy beautiful views of the area including open stretching plains. The walk offers you an opportunity to explore the range of wild games including; Rothschild giraffes, Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, Topis, Warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, elands not forgetting acacia associated birds. Hiking the Kazuma hill offers you one of the magical scenic views in Uganda. Retreat from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.
🏚️ Accommodation: Eagles’ Nest Mburo Lodge
Day 2: Full-Day Banyankole Culture Exploration
Wake up at 6 am and connect to the Enyemebwa center to catch up with the herdmen getting up to do the milking and their daily routine. You arrive and get the milking equipment including the tying rope and the milking pot to actively participate in the traditional hand milking of the Ankole long-horned cattle, from milking you participate in sick animal treating, caring for cows like brushing their body using the locally made fiber brush (Enkuyo) and set out to graze in the wilderness. You enjoy the stimulating sounds that are made by the herdsmen as they set out to the grazing field and be mesmerized by the cows know how to align themselves forming a line headed by those that have a special character of leading others. You retreat back and visit the traditional hut where you find the women churning milk in the churning gourd, from here the guide can take you to explore the crop bit of it exploring the extensive banana plantations where you learn about various banana types and their respective use participate in pruning and weeding using local methods and then participate in initial arrangements for traditional lunch. You take a break from that and rush to the well with red soil that is used for smearing the soil-made water trough, smear the trough and fill it with water and then wait for the cattle to come and water them accordingly. You can opt to have a bull slaughtered and grilled traditionally for you where you can also have it alongside the delicious local sauce that is made without fire called Eshabwe. Join the women as they clean milk pots and smoking them with the help of handmade ceramic and specially chosen tree and grass Species, making crafts and calf pen arrangements. In the evening after the cows have settled in their Kraal, you attend to the traditional performances including citations, dancing, and singing. It is a whole-day encounter that allows you to gain a deep immersion of the local culture. Retire for relaxation and overnight.
🏚️ Accommodation: Eagles’ Nest Mburo
Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Erijukiro Cultural Museum
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and at a 33km distance, you make a stop at Igongo Cultural Museum. The tour to the Erijukiro Museum exposes you to counts of collections of all tribes of southwestern Uganda dating back to their traditional era. You also enjoy the artworks including the impressive sculptures of ancient great men like the Muguta y’ Butaaho and the Ishe’ Katabaazi not forgetting the magical cow Mayenje g’ishinjo which sparked off the war between Nkore and Buhweju. You continue on the drive to tour the 1520AD Eclipse monument overlooking the Igongo Cultural Center. You can opt for a hill climb other than driving there which is a magical experience to encounter. You explore the great heritage attached to the eclipse monument. The Cows of Ankole kingdom had been totally confiscated by King Olimi I of Bunyoro and the Banyankole were starving. And then a wonder happened when King Olimi I was from raiding the cows of Rwanda and the total solar eclipse occurred when had reached Biharwe. He and his men thought that something terrible was going to happen to them and they abandoned the cows and run to Bunyoro. When the eclipse was over, the Banyankole found cows all over and they believed that they had been sent by God from heaven in response to their cries. Thus they called them “Enduuga Mwiiguru”. Retreat from the activity and continue on the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park arriving in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner, and overnight
🏚️ Accommodation: Rushaga Gorilla Camp
Day 4: Gorilla Trekking & Attend the Bakiga Performances at the Lodge
This is a special day dedicated to the mountain gorillas. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park supports a minimum of 400 mountain gorillas which on a global scale are given as critically endangered. Therefore, undertaking the gorilla trekking experience in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi is such a life time endeavor that will create lasting memories. You gather at the respective park headquarters for briefing in the morning at 8 am where you are also allocated the respective gorilla families to track. From here, you head to the forest in the company of the armed ranger guides that will lead you up the gorillas. The walk is beyond the ordinary as it involves traversing the dense jungle whose thickness would at some points necessitate using a machete to make a path, hiking the challenging landscapes some of which are steep and slippery at times under the canopy of the mature forest which forms darkness even during the day. You are treated to impressive bird songs and beautiful flowers through the experience. The encounter tends to take 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements and one hour is availed to you to have a direct touch with the gorillas. Upon approaching gorillas, their reaction is not predictable as it can include them giving you a courteous welcome, minding less about you, and charging against you. However, as a result of habituation, Mountain gorillas are always welcoming with the Silverback beating a little of his chest to demonstrate his might and also welcoming you to the group. The young gorillas are very playful and are at times not aware of the 7m rule thus can try to draw closer to even touching on your body – save it by taking some steps away to observe the distance. You are not limited in any way to ask as many questions about gorillas and their habitats along with taking pictures so long as you have the opportunity to do so. Retreat from the activity and transfer back to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening, you are treated to the thrilling traditional performances of the local tribal group of the Bakiga exploring their energetic dance. Their dances and songs are thrilling and would definitely make your evening colorful.
🏚️ Accommodation: Bakiga Lodge / Rushaga Gorilla Camp
Day 5: Transfer to Kisoro – Coffee Tours on the Shores of Lake Mutanda
You drive to Kisoro and embark on the coffee exploration tour on the shores of Lake Mutanda while enjoying the magical views of Virunga Mountain and the waters of Lake Mutanda and other lakes and rivers in the area. The coffee exploration tour allows you to learn the traditional practices of coffee growing including planting, maintenance, and harvesting. You do the coffee roasting and explore the coffee processing from the garden to the cup. Retire overnight.
🏚️ Accommodation: Kisoro Rest Travellers
Day 6: Undertake the Batwa Heritage Trail & Relax at the Lodge
Embark on the Batwa Heritage trail exploration after breakfast. You connect to Mgahinga Park headquarters Ntebeko and get briefed before starting the trek to the forest following the Batwa trail in the company of Batwa guides detailing their great heritage embedded in their ancient home. You learn their wild honey harvesting means, the traditional medicinal plants, the treehouses, the hunting techniques, the edible roots, and plants before arriving at Garama Cave which was the central place for their converging while still in the forest. The Batwa chief used to reside here. In a cave, the Batwa women will treat you to impressive performances including their ancient songs. It is a moment of wonder and a deep exploration into the Batwa culture that is at the stake of fading away. The Batwa trail takes 6 – 7 hours after which you retire for relaxation at the lodge, dinner, and overnight.
🏚️ Accommodation: Kisoro Travellers hotel
Day 7: Drive to Kigali Rwanda or Entebbe Kampala
Terms & Conditions
Booking Terms & Conditions (INSPIRE AFRICAN SAFARIS)
1. Our contract
All bookings are made with Inspire African Safaris Officially Registered as Airways Travellers Ltd. By booking a trip with us you are deemed to have agreed to these Booking Conditions (which constitutes the entire agreement between you and us) and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The services to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation product description.
2. Deposit requirement
You are required to pay a deposit of 25% of the total price per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed (please note that increased deposit requirements apply for some trips). For trips in which the total amount is less than or equal to $2000 you will be required to pay the total amount upon booking. If your booking is made within 60 days of the departure date then for any trip the full amount is payable at the time of booking.
For trips including gorilla tracking you will be required to pay for the gorilla permit in full (US$700 for Uganda and US$1500 for Rwanda). The gorilla permit fee is non-refundable.
3. Acceptance of booking and final payments
If we accept your booking we will issue a confirmation. A contract will exist between us from the date we issue the confirmation.. Payment of the balance of the trip price is due 40 days before the departure date. Please note that full payment is required earlier for trips more than 5 days, or custom trips. If this balance is not paid on or before the due date we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled without refund. We will endeavor to offer you the most convenient and safe methods of payment.
4. Your details
In order for us to confirm your travel arrangements you must provide all requested details with the balance of the trip price. Necessary details include full name as per passport, date of birth, nationality, passport number, passport issue and expiry date and any pre-existing medical conditions you have which may affect your ability to complete your travel arrangements. If you are 70 years of age or over we also require you to complete and forward a Self-Assessment. Your booking cannot be confirmed without provision of these details.
5. Cancellation by the traveler
If you cancel some or all portions of your booking cancellation fees will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation of the cancellation. If you cancel a trip:
- 60 days or more prior to departure, we will retain 0% of the deposit
- less than 60 days prior to departure, we will retain 100% paid by you in connection with the booking.
You are strongly advised to take out cancellation insurance at the time of booking which will cover cancellation fees. If you leave a trip for any reason after it has commenced we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services.
6. Cancellation by Us
We may cancel a trip at any time up to 30 days before departure, subject to clause 13. We may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel your trip, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date, or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.
7. Booking amendments
If you wish to transfer from one trip to another or transfer your booking to a third party you must notify us at least 30 days prior to the proposed departure date. A fee of $200 per person per change will apply (in addition to any charges levied by hotels, ground operators or airlines).
If you notify us less than 30 days prior to the proposed departure date the refund policy applicable to cancellations will apply. Transfers to a third party are only permitted where the transferee meets all the requirements in relation to the trip, and transfers to another departure can only be made to a departure within the current validity period.
Amendments to any other arrangements made in conjunction with your trip will incur an $200 administration fee per booking per change. This fee is in addition to any charges levied by hotels, ground operators or airlines. No amendments are permitted to your booking within 10 days of departure.
8. Understanding of Risk and Assumption of Risk
You hereby acknowledge that you have voluntarily applied for the trip / tour designated by your booking agent or on this receipt or form. I understand that you may travel to remote countries and areas that are inherently risky and that may include high degrees of danger from natural and human factors, and other similar activities associated with foreign travel. You are prepared to assume the risks associated with this trip / tour including: forces of nature; terrorism; civil unrest; war; accidents; and transportation including land vehicles, boats, and aircraft that are not operated or maintained to standards found in your country.
You also assume risks associated with altitude, illness, disease, physical exertion, and alcohol consumption, knowing that access to evacuation and/or suitable medical supplies and support may not be available. By signing, clicking, responding, taking a tour, or proceeding any further past this point of communication, you agree to take full responsibility for your own actions, safety and welfare, except for unanticipated events including injury, illness, emotional trauma, or death. You also understand that you will be a member of a group and will conduct yourself in a way that will not endanger the group or yourself. You understand that if you fraudulently represent yourself as fit for this trip, you may be removed prior to or during the trip at your own expense. You agree to these statements in totality without plan to pretend you didn’t know or expect any of these absolutely crucial requirements.
By booking with us you understand that travel, international and domestic, is not an inherently predictable or safe activity. It can be as safe as a day at home in your country, but it involves a risk of delay, theft, injury, disease, or death. By taking a tour and making a contract with us you are waiving your right to sue or seek legal action against compensation from us through any lawsuit, at home and abroad. You understand that travel is subject to all sorts of unpredictable forces and many known risks in the country in which you live and depart from, the transportation that conveys you, and the places in which we operate. You are to examine the country in which we provide tours closely and decide for yourself whether you would like to make a contract with us, and if you decide to make this contract then you waive your right to seek compensation for any minor and severe misfortunes, including but not limited to injury and death. You are to read the news and keep updated on the situation on the country. We have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage, nor if you cancel mid-trip, will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements. In addition, you understand that tours with wildlife or nature are subject to the forces of nature and the decisions of the animals and circumstances of weather. On any given tour it is not guaranteed to see the animals you wished for, that inhabit the destination, or to have the most ideal weather to see the destination itself.
The land price of your trip does not include:
- international or internal flights unless specified
- airport taxes and excess baggage charges unless specified
- meals in the city hotels
- Visa and passport fees
- travel insurance
- Optional activities and all personal expenses.
10. Prices & surcharges
We reserve the right to impose surcharges up to 30 days before departure due to unfavorable changes in exchange rates, increases in airfares or other transportation costs, increases in local operator costs, taxes or if government action should require us to do so. In such instances we will be responsible for the first 2% of the additional costs and you will be responsible for the balance. If any surcharge results in an increase of more than 10% of the trip price you may cancel the booking within 5 days of notification of the surcharge and obtain a full refund.
11. Age & Health requirements
Minimum General Policy: For the majority of our trips the minimum age for children is 12. All travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for the child’s day-to-day care. Please note we cannot guarantee triple or joining rooms for families; accompanying adults may be required to share with others in the group on a twin share basis. The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years.
Maximum General Policy: For the majority of our trips we have no upper age limit, though we remind you that gorilla and chimp tracking can be physically demanding and a Self-Assessment form is required for all people 70 years and over.
We are able to provide details on mandatory health requirements; however, we are not medical experts. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain proper and detailed medical advice at least two months prior to travel for the latest health requirements, recommendations for your destination and any costs. Where you do not do so and either are not allowed to enter any country, or suffer personal injury or death as a result, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer nor will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements.
12. Passport and visas
You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas, permits and certificates for the countries in which you will visit during your trip. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the duration of the trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits and certificates for your trip; please refer to the website or contact us for details. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.
13. Travel insurance
Travel insurance should be taken out at the time of booking for any trips. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects.
You appreciate and acknowledge that the nature of this type of travel requires considerable flexibility and you should allow for alternatives. The itinerary provided for each trip is representative of the types of activities contemplated but it is understood that the route, schedules, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport may be subject to alteration without prior notice due to local circumstances or events. We will however in the best of our ability and in consideration of safety and time include all of the components stated in our product itineraries.
15. Change of itinerary
While we endeavor to operate all trips as described, we reserve the right to change the trip itinerary.
Before departure: If we make a major change we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible, if there is time to do so before departure. The definition of a major change is deemed to be a change affecting at least one day in five of the itinerary. When a major change is made you may choose between accepting the change, obtaining a refund of money paid on the land portion of the trip only or accepting an alternative tour offered.
After departure: We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or events outside of our control. In such emergency circumstances the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you: please note that by booking a tour or service you also hereby agree to carry emergency funds to be used in such instances, just as embassies require proof of means of subsistence to enter some countries. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itinerary such as visas, vaccinations, or non-refundable flights.
16. Authority on tour
Our group trips are run by our professional guide. The decision of our guide is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any person participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by our guide, break local law, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the guide may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked or to report you to local authorities and law enforcement and immigration. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our travel guidelines. Antagonism of the tour and customer service staff on a trip and harassment or insulting of guides will lead to termination from a trip without refund.
17. Acceptance of unknown factors
You acknowledge that the nature of the trip is adventurous and participation involves a degree of personal risk. You will be visiting places where the political, cultural and geographical attributes present dangers and physical challenges greater than those present in our daily lives.
We use information from government foreign departments and reports from our own contacts in assessing whether the itinerary should operate. However, it is also your own responsibility to acquaint yourself with all possible relevant travel information and the nature of your itinerary. You acknowledge that your decision to travel is made in light of consideration of this information and you accept that you are aware of the personal risks attendant upon such travel.
18. Limitation of liability
You hereby release and discharge Inspire African safaris, and its agents, associated persons, contractors, and employees from and against any and all liability arising from my participation in the trip / tour or provided service. You agree that this release will be legally binding upon yourself, your heirs, successors, assigns and legal representatives; it being your intention to fully assume all risk of travel and to release Inspire African Safaris and everybody associated with it or in communication with you in relation to it and your trip or service from any and all liabilities to the maximum permitted by law.
- liability for any loss, death, injury or damage which you may suffer (directly or indirectly) in connection with or arising out of your participation in a trip, or any breach of the Booking Conditions, is excluded.
- you release us and our officers, employees, agents and representatives from any liability and expressly waive any claims you may have against us arising out of or in connection with your participation in a trip.
- any condition or warranty which would otherwise be implied by law into these Booking Conditions (Implied Warranty), is excluded.
To the extent an Implied Warranty cannot be excluded, our liability in respect of the Implied Warranty is limited to (in our absolute discretion):
(i) the provision of a similar trip to an equivalent value; or
(ii) a refund of the total amount received by us from you in connection with your booking.
Any claim by you is excluded to the extent that it is for indirect or consequential loss, loss of profits or economic loss, however it arises, or for indirect, special, punitive or exemplary damages.
19. Claims & complaints
If you have a complaint about your trip please inform your tour leader or our local representative at the time in order that they can attempt to rectify the matter. If satisfaction is not reached through these means then any further complaint should be put in writing to us within 30 days of the end of the tour.
In the event that any term or condition contained in these Booking Conditions is unenforceable or void by operation of law, or as being against public policy, then such term or condition shall be deemed to be severed from this contract or amended accordingly only to such extent necessary to allow all remaining terms and conditions to survive and continue as totally binding.
21. Photos and marketing
You consent to us using images and spoken and written content and quotations of you taken during the trip for advertising and promotional purposes in any medium we choose. You grant us a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, irrevocable license to use such images for publicity and promotional purposes.
Any personal information that we collect about you may be used for any purpose associated with the operation of a Trip or to send you marketing material. The information may be disclosed to our agents, service providers or other suppliers to enable us to operate the Trip.
23. Applicable law
The laws of the Government of Uganda, govern these Booking Conditions to the fullest extent allowable. Any disputes in connection with a trip or these Booking Conditions must be initiated in the courts of Uganda.
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