African EdVenture: Wildlife Safari in Uganda

For people interested in wildlife and passionate about conservation, travel to Africa is the ultimate adventure. Join the Minnesota Zoo and Wilderness Inquiry on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Uganda. See chimpanzees, elephants, and lions in their wild habitats. Watch for hippos as you boat along the Kazinga Channel. Track wild gorillas on foot in Bwindi National Park. Our itinerary, customized for the Minnesota Zoo, is packed with activities, educational opportunities, and guided safaris with local rangers.

Uganda, in East Africa, lies in the Nile Basin, in a varied, equatorial climate. Its diversity of ecosystems lends itself to a high diversity of animal species! Over 1,000 species of bird and over 350 mammal species live in Uganda, many in its more than 60 protected wildlife areas. During our ten days in-country, we’ll explore several national parks and visit forests, lakes, and rivers, as well as small cities and tea plantations. We’ll view wildlife from vehicles, from boats, and on foot, with expert local guides. With a small maximum group size, this trip offers you the optimal program to dive deep into a new understanding of Ugandan wildlife and conservation issues.

Date: Wednesday, December 26th, 2018, to Sunday, January 6th, 2019, including travel time (after travel time, this leaves ten days on the ground in Uganda)
Age: Adults 21+
Cost: $3,995 per person, plus round-trip airfare, baggage fees, and your Uganda visa.
Solo Travelers: You will be paired with another traveler for hotel rooms. If you would prefer to have your own sleeping room for an additional $795 fee per person, please register normally online and then email Kristie Nord right after you register: [email protected].  Tell her you are requesting your own room and the additional fee will be added to your order.
Deposit: A $500 deposit will be due at the time of registration. Final payments due by September 1, 2018.

Registration closes on August 1, 2018.

How to Register

Register Online

Accessibility and Experience: No previous experience is required. The activities within the program will require a moderate level of physical health and mobility. Some activities are more vigorous than others. Participants can typically choose alternative options for activities they don’t feel comfortable with or aren’t interested in.

Flights: We will purchase flights as a group through the state travel agency once the trip is full, to ensure that everyone travels together on the same flights. The flight total will be added to your balance online.

Cancellation policy for the Adults Uganda Travel EdVenture 2018-19:
If you cancel your trip…
Prior to August 1, 2018: Full refund of land cost minus a $100 transaction fee
Between August 1 and October 1, 2018:  50% refund of land cost
After October 1, 2018: No refund
(*Any flight payments are not refunded)

If you would like more information on this trip, or to be placed on the interested list for any future trips, please email [email protected].

More Itinerary Information: Following is a list of just some of what we’ll do over the course of our adventure! Email [email protected] for a full itinerary or more information about where we’ll be visiting and staying.

Dec 26: Travel to Uganda
You’ll meet your MN Zoo leader at the MSP Airport for travel to Uganda.

Dec 27: Arrive in Uganda!
Upon your arrival, your local guide will meet you at the Entebbe International Airport (EBB) and travel with you to Victoria View Guest House Bed and Breakfast.

Dec 28: Entebbe – Kibale Forest
After breakfast, depart Entebbe and head west to Fort Portal. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled “Mountains of the Moon” and is famous for the many tea plantations. After lunch in town continue to Kibale National Park. Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at Kibale Forest Camp.

Dec 29: Chimpanzee Tracking- Nature walk
Today the forest opens up for chimpanzee tracking. Kibale Forest is reputable for having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Enjoy a guided nature walk in this tropical rainforest. After lunch, travel to the Bigodi Swamp. The Bigodi Swamp Walk is an initiative of the local community and is known for its rich diversity of birds and primates. Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at Kibale Forest Camp.

Dec 30: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park
After breakfast travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park while passing the region of the Crater Lakes. Have lunch and later proceed on an evening game drive in search of warthogs, buffalo, waterbucks, and elephants. Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at Marafiki Safari Lodge.

Dec 31: Game & Boat launch- Queen Elizabeth
The day begins early for a morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Search for lions, elephants, and buffalos in their natural habitat before returning for lunch. In the afternoon take the opportunity to relax on a luxury boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Abundant birdlife, elephants, buffalos, and hippos make their homes here. Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at Marafiki Safari Lodge.

Jan 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
After breakfast head south, passing the southern sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This part is called Ishasha and is famous for tree-climbing lions. After a short game drive continue to Bwindi National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorillas. Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at Gorilla Valley Lodge Lodge.

Jan 2: Gorilla Trekking – Bwindi
Gorilla tracking–a meeting with the gentle giants of Bwindi National Park! Expect to walk in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before encountering any gorillas. Once you meet with the mountain gorillas, you are allowed to spend one hour with them. Take as many pictures as you want and later return to the lodge. In the evening, you will visit the pygmies (Batwa) for another cultural adventure.   Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at Gorilla Valley Lodge Lodge.

Jan 3: Bwindi- Lake Mburo National park
After breakfast depart Bwindi and head to Lake Mburo National Park. Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Mburo to view the rich bird life and hippos. Tonight will be an early dinner to allow time for a night game drive in an open Land Cruiser. This special game drive provides an opportunity to see the elusive leopard. Overnight accommodations will be at Eagle’s Nest Lodge.

Jan 4: Nature walk- Game – Lake Mburo
Eat an early breakfast before a safari walk guided by a ranger. Lake Mburo is the only National Park where you can experience a safari on foot. Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon, there will be time to visit shops or relax at the pool. Enjoy an evening game drive. Overnight accommodations will be at Eagle’s Nest Lodge.

Jan 5: Departure
After breakfast, you will depart Lake Mburo and drive back to Kampala. Depending on your flight schedule you can join us on a Kampala city tour. You will be brought to Entebbe Airport in time for your flight.

Jan 6: Travel Home