Go on safari whilst at Uganda Lodge ...

Uganda Tourism and 4x4 Hire

Uganda Lodge is a great place to stay whilst you work within the local community as a volunteer. But during your stay in Africa we also want to share its ‘pearl’ with you, and, what’s more, our prices reflect the fact that we don’t have any expensive overseas offices to maintain. All of our tours are overseen by knowledgeable locals so you see Africa as it should be seen.

Boasting ten national parks, the jewel in its crown is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is home to over half the planet’s mountain gorilla population and to where we can arrange once in a lifetime tours. Uganda is one of only three countries where the mountain gorillas can be visited in their natural habitat.

Also unique to Uganda are the tree climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park which can also be seen on our tours. For bird-watchers a boat trip on either Lake Edward or Lake George (included in our three day safaris) will give you the chance to see up to 600 different species many of which cannot be found elsewhere.

Our routes are flexible and you can be assured that you will be seeing exactly what YOU want to see in the real Uganda. If you decide to linger awhile or hurry past what you had planned  then that is not a problem. If you have 10 days or longer, then with a vehicle hire you can see quite a large part of Uganda including:

Jinja, Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls, Fort Portal, Bwindi and the mountain gorillas as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Bunyoni (above).

We can organise half or full day trips to explore the area around Uganda Lodge such as large country markets, lakes for boating and swimming, hot springs and remote mountain villages. Vehicle costs will vary please discuss this with Denis in the first instance. You should take into account vehicle maintenance costs and not try to bargain a very low price with private local taxi drivers that are not known to the staff.

A cheap and easy weekend trip away from Ruhanga is to get on a bus to Kabale and then go and stay at Lake Bunyonyi for a night. A few volunteers who have stayed for several weeks have gone across to Rwanda for a few days; a long-distance bus passes our gates each day. An overnight safari to Lake Mburo National Park is another option

Village walks can be taken with our Director Denis, or one of our other staff as your guide – we suggest £2 each for a few hours of their time is a guideline on what to give. The scenery around the lodge is beautiful. Some village families are offering an ‘Authentic Ugandan Meal’ experience to volunteers to supplement their income. Others are making handicraft items to sell., and are willing to give lessons to our visitors.

Safaris

The cost of a fully inclusive 3-day safari from the Lodge to Queen Elizabeth Park is £295 per person with a minimum of four sharing. This includes a boat trip, 4x4 vehicle hire, fuel, park fees, drivers expenses, camping fees and all meals and this can be organised with Denis once you arrive at the project. These prices are fixed to ensure that all costs including vehicle maintenance are covered, and you can be certain that the small profit stays within our project. Once you have booked your place at Uganda Lodge you can also pre-pay for the safari to our UK bank account although this is not mandatory.

Some volunteers have organised a different or longer safari with Denis to Murchison Falls and the Rhino reserve. If several of you join together it can work out relatively  inexpensive as you all share the cost the vehicle, fuel and drivers expenses. We do not advise that you go on a safari into the National Parks without a 4x4 vehicle and an experienced driver and you are strongly advised to discuss all safaris with Denis himself.

Lake Retreat and Bird Watching

The Ugandan Director of the Uganda Lodge Projects in Ruhanga, Denis Aheirwe, has opened basic tourist facilities alongside two different fishing villages within Queen Elizabeth National Park, and both are welcoming visitors who are already starting to benefit the local communities

KASENYI FISHING VILLAGE

This 100 acre site is situated on the shores of Lake George, and is bordered by the National Park and village Community Land. Currently (Jan 2017) there are four comfortable twin Bandas – each with two double beds, bedding and mosquito nets supplied. Each Banda is self-contained and has a basic shower & flush toilet. Village staff will provide meals and supper and breakfast is included in the price of $50 pp per night. Lunch is extra and can also be organised for an extra fee if pre-booked.

Each Banda has a pleasant veranda and a separate large dining shelter is being built. Also camping is $10 per person per night (with your own tents) Light supper and Breakfast is an extra $7 per person. Local staff can cook meals for you by arrangement. There is no power on-site but batteries etc can be charged up overnight by the staff in the nearby village using their solar facilities

This site is very convenient for early morning or late evening game drives on the Kasenyi plains, especially for those wanting see view lion families at close quarters, alongside elephants and antelopes and the possibility of Leopard and hyenas

With over 600 different bird species listed in QE park Lake Retreat is an ideal place to stay and look for shoebills and other rare species. For a small fee local fishermen will take visitors out in the boats to visit nearby islands and a couple of other villages.

The site is situated approx. 20 kms off the Katunguru-Kasese Road – close to the Equator. To go directly to the campsite and sleep there it is not necessary to have a park permit, but you must not go on any game drives or boat trips without one. Park boundaries are clearly marked

KISENYI FISHING VILLAGE 

Do not confuse these two villages with similar names – KISENYI is about 2kms off the road running through Queen Elizabeth National Park between Ishasha and Katunguru Bridge over the Kazinga Channel, and it borders Lake Edward – with views of Congo on the far side.

Here Denis has a smaller area of land about 5 acres and currently it is possible to pre-order meals in advance and also book for al-fresco camping at $10 pp per night. We are in the process of building basic accommodation (April 2017) and may be able to loan tents in the meantime. Again the land borders the Lake, the National Park and the fishing village.

Note that the site at KASENYI is about 30 minutes from Katunguru (on the main road) and KISENYI is about a one hour drive from the same place – both are on reasonable murram roads.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A PARK PERMIT TO ACCESS AND STAY ON EITHER SITE, but as they both adjoin the park and are unfenced, there is a good chance of seeing many animals at close quarters.

For more information please email info@ugandalodge.com or telephone Denis on +256 701536197 or +256 77476809

Gorilla Trekking

 

Tracking the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural surroundings is arguably one of the most exciting wildlife encounters to be had in Africa. Approximately 800 mountain gorillas remain in the wild today, with their habitat spread across the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We can arrange an overnight gorilla trekking expedition to Bwindi Impenetrable national park with the following details:

Only 80 permits are issued per day to trek through the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Please advise us as soon as possible if you would like to trek so we can secure your place. We require full payment in advance, your full name, nationality, date of birth and passport number. If for some reason a permit cannot be issued, you will receive a full refund.

Gorilla Permits

We can often obtain a gorilla trekking permit for you by request PRIOR TO YOUR STAY but you should pay for each permit into our Uganda Lodge UK bank account before you leave and we need your passport number.

As any profit from the Lodge and safaris goes towards school maintenance and improvements we do not give refunds on days spent away on trips and safaris during your volunteering period.

Cost

Individual permits booked through the Lodge cost £700. However if more than one volunteer is trekking at the same time, the cost reduces to £600 per person.

The cost includes your trekking permit, transport to and from the Lodge, all meals, and overnight accommodation. You will need to purchase your own drinking water and snacks.

Clothing

Wear your sturdiest walking shoes, long socks, long thick trousers and sleeves for protection against insects. A waterproof jacket and small backpack is also recommended to carry water and your packed lunch.

Hiking sticks can be hired or purchased at the gorilla trekking base to assist with your trek. 

Only 80 permits are issued per day to trek through the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Please advise us as soon as possible if you would like to trek so we can secure your place. We require full payment in advance, your full name, nationality, date of birth and passport number. If for some reason a permit cannot be issued, you will receive a full refund.

Day One

  • Depart Lodge mid-morning and travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (5 hour drive)
  • Opportunity to stop at Kabale; a major trading centre about half way to the National Park
  • Arrive at guesthouse mid-afternoon
  • Three course meal served for dinner at guesthouse

Day Two

  • Breakfast served from 6:30am at guesthouse
  • Depart guesthouse at7:30am for gorilla trek basecamp (half hour drive)
  • Trekkers receive briefing from guide before departing for gorilla family at approximately 8:30am
  • Trek to gorilla family can take anywhere between one hour to up to five hours one way (although one to two hours is typical
  • Once you have reached the gorilla family, you are permitted to spend one hour with them
  • A packed lunch is provided and eaten either en route or on the way back to basecamp
  • Depart for Lodge upon arrival back to basecamp. Arrival time back at the Lodge is dependent on how long it takes to trek to the gorilla family

Important Information

Gorillas are susceptible to many human diseases, and it has long been feared by researchers that one ill tourist might infect a gorilla, resulting in the possible death of the whole troop should no immunity exist. For this reason, you should not track gorillas when you a potentially airborne infection such as a flu or cold, and should turn away from the gorillas if you need to sneeze in their presence.

The trek itself also presents some physical challenges to any reasonably fit adult. Other variables include how recently it has rained, which affects conditions underfoot, and the effects of altitude, as tracking in Bwindi takes place at around 1,500m above sea level, which is still enough to knock the breath out of anyone who has just arrived. Some prior fitness and trekking practice is recommended.

Please note that as any profit from the Lodge, trips and safaris goes towards school maintenance and improvements we do not give refunds on days spent away on trips and safaris during your volunteering period.