Highlights of Uganda safari holiday

Travel Team

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2020: 31 Oct, 16 Dec
Accessible overview:
This holiday is a little unconventional because, compared to a beach holiday, it requires your active participation. We are all different and an activity that’s straight forward for one person may not be straight forward for another. Some destinations have age restrictions, others may require specific planning, and you may have some personal requirements. There is almost always a way of making an itinerary work for everyone and over the years we have acquired considerable experience in making the impossible possible.
Limited mobility:
Everything that we do is tailor-made so if you have restricted mobility we will ask you some specific questions which will facilitate us to exercise a proper duty of care. Once we have the information from you we can liaise with in-country hotel managers, safari drivers, stable owners or whatever is required to dot the is and cross the ts.
Given notice, we can arrange the entire programme for a wheelchair traveller. The vehicles we use on this trip are standard safari vehicles, so we can assist you getting into and out of the vehicle, but you won’t be sitting in your own wheelchair during travel; it will be stowed in the back.
When we reach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest we engage a couple of additional porters to carry you in a rather grandly titled “King Chair”. This is in effect a stretcher with a seat, complete with seatbelt, while an additional porter carries in your wheelchair. When we reach the gorilla family you have the choice to remain in the King Chair, or transfer to your own chair. You must be aware that this is a rainforest, so the trek may be uncomfortable at times and reaching the gorillas can take several hours. However, when you are sitting just a couple of metres away from the gorilla family, all the difficulty fades into the mist. Please note that we also have to charge an additional £300 to cover the hire of King Chair and additional porters.
Smaller hotels, lodges, mountain huts and suchlike don’t have wheelchair access, but if you’re OK to be physically assisted, we can with pleasure provide that assistance.
Blind or partially sighted:
There is no one rule fits all: please speak to us and we will run through the specifics of a given itinerary. As an example we have experience of a rider with 90% sight loss who completed a riding safari in Rajasthan. His wife accompanied him to provide an interpretation of the terrain ahead, and we paired him with an ultra-reliable horse. There was no jumping involved. Information in braille is not generally available overseas but local support from dedicated personnel is excellent.
Deaf and limited hearing:
Air travel is feasible, even for a solo travelling deaf person. Once in-country we tend to hold daily briefings which can be summarised and relayed one-to-one from group leader to specific client.
'Free from' food:
We send all travellers a questionnaire specifically asking about their dietary needs and any allergies. This is standard practice. Do please be as thorough as possible in the information you provide us.
Some of the countries in which we operate do not offer equal rights to the LGBT community, Uganda being one of them. Outward displays of affection may be inadvisable but we can offer advice and guidelines to ensure you have a safe trip.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We visit a number of parks including Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo National Parks. 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. Operating in the parks also provides an avenue of employment that allows local people to remain in their home area rather than migrate to urban areas which the lure generally exceeds the reality.

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 as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is improves.

On this trip there is opportunity to see many animals of the savannah such as lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and leopard as well as rainforest primates and Great Apes including the Mountain Gorilla. We feel seeing them in the natural environment spreads the word of conservation globally and local guides help guests to view all wildlife in a responsible manner.

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

Our group size throughout the trip is limited so as not to overwhelm both the communities we visit, and the environment.

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

The Impacts of this Trip

All the accommodation that we have chosen to use on this trip practises responsible tourism, in one form or another.

The visits to local communities on this trip are organised by our supplier who works with Akatagyenda. This was established as an umbrella organization representing communities in destination areas of S. Western Uganda. Tourism in Uganda offers one of the best hopes for increasing the income of local people and at the same time preserving 'protected areas'.

Uganda, as a tourism destination, has become more suited to the smaller scale, environmentally focused tourism called Eco-tourism. Akatagyenda aims to form a symbiotic relationship between tourism, indigenous people and nature in environmentally sensitive areas.

It encourages communities to develop tourism activities that they can plan, manage and develop themselves. They highlight the need to maintain the more traditional agricultural based economies as well as the introduction of tourism.. This is essential to the well being of the community and the tourism industry that they are trying to create. Community tourism can involve everyone. Those in the community, who do not speak English, have poor education levels or work experience can still be employed as porters, to transport water and firewood, in trail and compound maintenance and for construction as labourers. These are not dead-end jobs, and community members will find opportunities to move into other positions as they develop the needed skills

The feedback we receive consistently about the guides are they are very good and been trained and cared for by our local supplier.

We issue all our travelers 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.


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