The Great Ape Adventure (A Wildeye / GAFI Project)

Trek to see/film wild mountian gorillas and chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda, whilst learning about and participating in conservation projects to protect our close relatives.

A unique itinerary is planned to give participants an incredible opportunity to see wild great apes and engage in their conservation – see full itinerary below – highlights include: mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, visiting the Ngamba Chimp Island Sanctuary, several game drives featuring lions, elephants, monkeys, buffaloes and more, learning about and participating in conservation projects such as tree-planting, teaching local people about the value of wildlife, and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project, staying at Dian Fossey Lodge.

Accommodation will be in a variety of hotels and lodges – links to these are provided in the itinerary below. Full board is provided throughout. Single supplements are available.

As well as local guides and specialists you will be accompanied throughout by Madelaine Westwood (founder of GAFI (The Great Apes Film Initiative) and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project).

The gorilla trekking can be up to 9 hours so you must have a fair degree of fitness. This trip is suitable for video and stills photographers and sound recordists as well as anyone wanting the ultimate great ape adventure. If you wish to document the trip using video, stills and/or sound, the experienced tour leaders can assist you with this throughout.

(photo on the left © Jonathan Kersley during our 2015 trip)

‘Our expedition to Uganda was an experience of a lifetime! We met some wonderful people and were amazed by the wildlife and diverse countryside. All highly recommended!’
‘It was an amazing trip and such a thrill to see the gorillas. The tree-climbing lions and the chimpanzees were all highlights as well as the hundreds of lovely school children and their singing and dancing.’
‘Quite simply a life-changing experience!’
‘What a wonderful time we had, all seems like a dream now. Madelaine you are an unsung heroine for the amazing work and contribution you have made, thanks for organising our trip of a lifetime!’
‘The gorilla trek was the best day of my life!’
A huge thank you for organising such a rich and varied experience that was both awe inspiring and humbling in equal measure.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Monday 5th November 2018): Arrive at Entebbe Airport.
On arrival at Entebbe international Airport, you will be met by our drivers/guides who will transfer you to the Airport Guesthouse in Entebbe for dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Ngamba Chimp Island.
After breakfast, drive to the pier to take a boat trip to visit to Ngamba Chimp Island Sanctuary. View the morning feeding at 11am and also visit the vet unit at the sanctuary. After, cruise back to the mainland and arrive in time for afternoon lunch at the hotel. After lunch visit the Entebbe Botanical Gardens which have a colony of vervet monkeys as well as numerous birds and tropical plants. Dinner and overnight at Airport Guesthouse in Entebbe.

Day 3: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park.
After breakfast, drive through Kampala, the capital city, and head to Kibale forest. Arrive in time for lunch in the restaurant. After lunch explore the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. This area is recognized for a extensive array of biodiversity among which are several primate species like the red colobus monkey, baboon, black & white colobus monkey, blue monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey and the L’Hoest monkey as well as a large variety of birds. If water levels are too high for a swamp walk we will go for a forest walk or community visit. Dinner and overnight at Kibale Forest Camp.

Day 4: Chimp tracking.
Go for morning chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest. After tracking, have lunch before driving out to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Dinner and overnight at Buffalo Safari Resort. (An extra option for this day, if we arrive in time, is a boat cruise along Kazinga Channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake Gorge, you will see many bird species as well as hippos and buffalo: US$30 per person)

Day 5: Ishasha – Bwindi.
After breakfast, checkout and drive to Ishasha sector. Take a game drive through this sector and search for tree-climbing lions and other animals. After game drive, lunch at Savannah Hotel and drive to Bwindi National Park for gorilla trekking. Dinner and overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.

Day 6: Gorilla trekking day.
Wake up for early morning breakfast before a briefing from the ranger guides. Carry packed lunch and bottled water with you. Depending on where you find the gorillas in the forest, trekking can be estimated between 1-9hrs and the trekking success with experienced guides is at 99%. The permits allow for one hour in the presence of the gorillas. After trekking, go back to the lodge and relax. Depending on what time you come back from trekking, you will go for a community walk and visit some projects around the area as well as local orphanages and the Batwa people community who have been resettled from the forest to promote gorilla conservation. They used to depend on the forest for food and they are known as good hunters and fruit-gatherers. Dinner and overnight at Gift of Nature Lodge or Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.

Day 7: Tree planting and drive to Kisoro Town.
After breakfast we join local villagers in planting trees. This is one way of promoting gorilla conservation projects as this will reduce pressure on the forest from the surrounding community in the form of firewood and timber. You will also be promoting environmental conservation because the trees planted will reduce carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. After lunch, drive from Bwindi through rolling hills commonly known as the Switzerland of Africa to reach Kisoro Town. Overnight at Dian Fossey Lodge/Travellers Rest, Kisoro.

Gorilla
Day 8: Pedal Powered Cinema project.
Visit a local school to witness the Pedal Powered Cinema project. Further tree-plating with the school children. Dinner and overnight at Travellers Rest.

Alternative options for this day include: a drive to Mgahinga National Park for a day trekking to view golden monkeys and other wildlife. The endangered golden monkey is endemic to the Albertine Rift, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers a rare chance to track these striking creatures, high in the dense bamboo forests on the Gahinga trail. This optional trek will cost an additional US$90. OR there is the option of a further gorilla trek on this day for an extra cost for the permit of US$450 per person.

Day 9: Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, drive  to Lake Mburo National Park. Take a game drive after lunch during which you may see zebras, many species of antelope, hippos and numerous birds. Dinner and overnight at Eagle’s Nest tented camp, with superb views over Lake Mburo National Park.

Day 10 (Wednesday 14th November 2017): Drive back to Entebbe for return flight home.
After breakfast drive to Entebbe. Lunch at Anna’s Corner before transferring to the airport for your departure flight.

Personnel

Madelaine Westwood
Madelaine WestwoodTour Leader
Madelaine is the founder of GAFI and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project. As a wildlife filmmaker for over twenty years, Madelaine has learned that moving images can have a powerful effect upon the people who view them. With a background in documentaries working with broadcasters such as National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, Channel 4, plus five years in commercials and corporate films, Madelaine decided to use this experience to try and reach the people who needed to see the films the most – those who live and work in the areas most affected by environmental damage, climate change, habitat loss and species extinction (click photo to read more).

Travel Information

Visas: Required for Uganda.
From UK: Cost US$50. For a visa application see https://visas.immigration.go.ug/

Immunisations: Check with your health clinic and Fit for Travel or MASTA
Advised to be in date for; Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis A, Diptheria, Yellow Fever.

Malaria: Protection recommended – check with your health clinic.
See Travelpharm.com for travellers’ medication and health supplies.

Insurance: It is essential you take out comprehensive travel insurance. Whichever insurance you choose please ensure it provides adequate cover for both you personally and also for any equipment you may be bringing with you.

Booking Information

Dates: 5-14 November 2018
(if flying from the UK you will most likely be flying out on 4th November and returning on the 15th)

Costs:
UK£3,395 per person – includes all local travel, accommodation and full board, activities, park fees, gorilla trekking permit, chimp permit. The cost also includes a £100 donation to GAFI to enable them to continue their great ape conservation projects.
Single supplement: UK£250 – please state if you wish for this when booking.

Does not include: international flight to Entebbe (which you book yourself – cost from UK is about £400-£600), bar bills, tips and the final lunch at Anna’s Corner. We will send suggestions for flights when we confirm your booking.
Optional extras include a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel (if we have time on Day 4 – cost US$30), trekking to see golden monkeys (on Day 8 instead of the pedal-powered cinema project – cost US$90) or a second gorilla trek (also on Day 8 instead of the pedal-powered cinema project – cost US$450).

Booking: To apply for a place please complete the form below, you will then be forwarded to a page which explains how to pay the deposit/fee to secure your booking (the deposit is £500 per person as permits need to be booked far in advance).

Your full name as shown in your passport
Email address
Which date are you applying for?
Mobile phone number
Passport number
Nationality
Date of Birth
How will you be travelling and where from?
Briefly, what you do now, and why you want to go on this trip?
What equipment (if appropriate) will you be bringing with you?
Do you have any special dietary or medical requirements?
Do you require a single room (£240 supplement)?
How will you be paying the deposit/fee?
Where did you hear about this trip?


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