In the newest addition to its renowned safaris that delve deep into a country’s conservation efforts, Wilderness Travel is taking travelers on a 12-day excursion to what is often called the most beautiful country in Africa, Uganda. The Ultimate Uganda Safari, available for just one departure in September 2019, traverses this spectacular, yet less-visited country and includes many bucket-list adventures, including tracking the endangered mountain gorilla, sailing the Nile to the powerful Murchison Falls and spotting four of the Big Five.
“As on so many Wilderness Travel trips, we put the guest front and center in the midst of the fantastic conservation work taking place in our world,” says Barbara Banks, director of marketing and new trip development for Wilderness Travel. “In Uganda, by visiting Murchison Falls, guests contribute to the protection of the largest remaining population of endangered Nubian giraffes, and by employing local trekking porters in Bwindi, they assist the local community through an association that funds schools and other projects. These are just a few of the ways they can experience and impact important community and conservation projects.”
A visit to Murchison Falls, the country’s largest and oldest national park, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see this powerful point where the entire Nile River is forced through a 20-foot gorge and then falls 150 feet to a pool below. The movie “The African Queen,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, was filmed there, and Ernest Hemingway survived two small plane crashes in the area.
The falls also have some of the best game viewing in the country, by both boat and vehicle, including large elephant herds, lion sightings, some of the largest concentrations of hippo and crocodile in Africa and more than 450 bird species (including the rare and bizarre shoebill). Additionally, it’s the best place to see the endangered Nubian (formerly called Rothschild) giraffes in the world, as it is home to the largest remaining population.
Home to half the world’s population of the highly-endangered mountain gorillas, another stop on the trip is Bwindi, a World Heritage Site. There travelers will have two thrilling excursions (many companies offer just one) tracking the gorilla clans on the mountainsides to observe their behavior.
Travelers also have the opportunity to have lunch at the home of a local community leader, Tinka, in Kibale to experience Ugandan cuisine. “Tinka has a gentle, kind and wise demeanor and appreciates the cultural connectivity that comes in dining together,” says Banks. Kibale is home to 11 primate species, and guests will enjoy a “marsh walk,” navigating the wetland on a network of raised trails and bridges as they spot baboons, monkeys and more.
A safari drive and boat trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, concludes the adventure and provides game viewing and access to large concentrations of hippo, elephant and other wildlife as they come to the water’s edge to drink.
Prices for the trip are currently being finalized, but those interested may visit the trip page or call 800-368-2794 for updates or to book the trip.