Kenya & Uganda holiday, Maasai Mara & mountain gorillas

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

2016: 5 Oct, 15 Oct, 26 Oct, 5 Nov, 16 Nov, 26 Nov, 7 Dec, 17 Dec, 28 Dec
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kenya & Uganda holiday, Maasai Mara & mountain gorillas

Environment

We visit a number of parks throughout the trip, the money paid to visit these areas directly goes on conserving the wildlife and provides an alternative source of income to the local people to poaching. With specific referance to the Mountain Gorillas.The Mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers are difficult to verify, it is widely assumed that there are only around 850 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support them because the money spent on permits directly funds their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in community development work Ė as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is improves.

On out trip we provid the option of visiting The Nígamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a sanctuary is managed by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust. CSWCT is a partnership between six organizations committed to the welfare and conservation of primates. Nígamba was set up to provide a partial solution to a poaching problem: approximately 5,000 chimpanzees are killed each year for the bush meat trade and a consequence of this illegal practice is dozens of orphaned infant chimps. The island is covered in primary rainforest (that is, itís never been logged) which is the perfect habitat for chimps; it is also 25 Km offshore, so itís safe and secure. Each individual chimp is carefully vet-checked before being integrated into the troupe and the population that has been created is a non-breeding population.

Where appropiate on the trip we offer game viewing from a bicycle or by foot. We also ensure that when non low carbon forms of transport are used that they are shared.

Community

All the accomadation that we have chosen to use on on this trip practises responsible tourism, in one form or another. This ranges from supporting local initiatives such encouraging guests to go to local womens co- op knitting group to buy garments , to planting a tree for every person that rafts with them, to preserving ancient excavations. All provide local employment.
We issue all our travellers with a Field manual that not only is full of useful information regarding health and visas and practicalities about their trip but also outlines the need to travel in an environmentally and culturally sensitive manner.

At home, our office supports the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. We encourage our workers to travel as environmentally sensitivly as possible either by car share, bus or bicycle. We operate a flexi start to fit in with our local bus timetable.

We support the work of the Book Bus, a uk based charity that promotes literacy projects in Africa and South America.

Reviews of Kenya & Uganda holiday, Maasai Mara & mountain gorillas

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The animals. If you're doing this trip you're probably very interested in seeing lots of African animals in the wild. This trip did not disappoint. Even though we missed the migration, we still saw so much. I also did the optional gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and the chimpanzee trek in Nigezi Wildlife Area, both of which I'd recommend.

The most physically challenging things were the rafting on the Nile River and the biking into Hell's Gate. I also highly recommend both. The rafting was a real thrill and the bike ride is beautiful and more intimate than game driving.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I booked early September, thinking I'd catch the great migration. But we missed it. So to be certain to catch it I would have tried to do August if I did it again.

The white water rafting is very advanced, but there are options along the way. So we had a more wild boat and a less wild one. I would highly recommend it as someone who has only rafted a couple times.

For game driving, you'll see more by hiring the smaller trucks.

Bring books to read or things to listen to on the long truck rides. I found reading things related to what we were seeing really enhanced the trip for me.


3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I had not planned to do the Masai Village visit, but once there I decided I might as well just do it since I was there. But it was almost worse than I'd feared. The tour of the village was not all that interesting, and it really was just the commodification of a culture that is dying out. After charging $20 for a not that interesting little tour, they really pressure you to buy trinkets from them afterward. I think there are inherent conflicts between people from rich countries going on tours in poor countries that aren't really gonna be resolved by a travel agency. But I did not feel good about the dependency of the Masai being encouraged by this visit.

I felt similarly about the orphanage visits. I did do one of them though as it included a hike and boat ride around Lake Bunyoni. It was kind of fun interacting with the kids. But it also encourages a dependency relationship.

Our main tour guide was good at discouraging people from encouraging begging (by giving out trinkets and money to kids). Even though some people on our tour did it anyway. They certainly recognize that giving money to organizations is better than to individuals, but the question is what organizations are actually going to benefit local people more?

Environmentally speaking, I feel that these trips have a positive impact overall. The gorilla trek is very expensive, but it seems that money is going to a very good cause of protecting one of the last existing habitats for wild gorillas. Our main guide was clear that we cannot drive anywhere we want in the parks to get close to animals, because of the impact on the habitat, even though people on our tour wanted to. The exception was the Masai Mara, which is a reserve and not a park so the rules are apparently not enforced. Since we rented smaller vehicles (which I highly recommend) we had Masai drivers, not our tour leaders driving us around. These drivers drove all over the grass, creating new tracks everywhere, and getting imposingly close to the animals. I would recommend people to discourage your drivers from doing this.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. It delivered on my expectations and fulfilled a dream of mine.

Read the operator's response here:

21st Sept 2016.

Hi Peter,

Thank you for the feedback posted on the Responsible Travel website.

I think you have hit the nail on the head and identified the dilemmas that the safari industry faces.
ē When you distil the conservation of wildlife to its most pure form, the wildlife needs to be left absolutely alone. But to engage people in the plight of wildlife they need to have a wildlife encounter and to see things for themselves.

ē Vulnerable human communities need hard currency from the developed world, but how can they obtain it without creating a dependency on hand-outs? People in the West donít know about these remote communities until their paths cross during a visit to Africa.

ē Gorillas need hard currency for the conservation of their species. But who audits the flow of funds? How are local residents benefitted? And how does the preservation of a species on the brink impact this tricky equation?

Tough questions. And this is precisely the most important aspect of travelling: we become aware of the dilemmas, informed of the details of a situation and motivated to do something about it when returning home.

You clearly travelled with your eyes wide open. East Africa has a special quality and quite remarkable natural heritage. Iím glad you enjoyed your travel experience.

Mark.

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Kabale Chimps and Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a head torch - you will need it as the lights are so dim! A fan for the hot nights is useful too

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes definitely

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a tough trip - very early starts and late finishes with a lot of hours spent driving but a real education and experience.

Read the operator's response here:

Welcome home RK. It's great that everything went to plan and that you enjoyed your close encounter with Uganda's primates. Good comment about the head-torch and I shall add it to our "Uganda Field Manual" to assist future visitors to the Mountain Gorillas.

Popular similar holidays

Gorilla Safari & the Masai Mara

Gorilla Safari & the Masai Mara

Superb safari and trip to see gorillas

From £3259 - £3949 18 days including UK flights

Kenya wildlife camping safari

Kenya wildlife camping safari

Game watching morning, afternoon and night

From £1575 8 days excluding flights

Safari in Amboseli & Tsavo National Parks, Kenya

Safari in Amboseli & Tsavo National Parks, Kenya

Explore Amboseli and Tsavo - close to nature experience

From US $1250 - US $1750 5 days excluding flights

Kenya safari & beach tour

Kenya safari & beach tour

Your tailor-made Kenya Safari & Beach holiday

From £2000 - £3450 11 days excluding flights

Convert currencies