Uganda: Gorillas, Shoebill and Rift Endemics
July 10 - 30, 2021
Leader: Jan Hansen
$10,300 from Entebbe
In the minds of many westerners, Uganda conjures visions of dense jungle inhabited by dangerous creatures and unwelcoming native peoples. As children, many of us spent Saturday mornings watching Tarzan and Jungle Jim battle against the dark forces of Africa. Hollywood strengthened these stereotypes with movies like African Queen and The Naked Prey that perpetuated our belief that this was indeed a forboding land visited only by the most fearless explorers. Political unrest and revolution in the 70's and 80's plagued much of central Africa including Uganda and brutal dictators like Idi Amin further solidified the western view that Uganda was not fit for travelers. However Uganda's troubled past is just that....past. Idi Amin has long been gone from the Ugandan stage and the mythology of Tarzan never existed beyond the imaginative minds of young children and Hollywood directors. In fact, Uganda has become a model of progress among East African nations and today is a safe and exciting place to visit. A network of tourist lodges nows exists and roads and other infrastructure are being rapidly improved. The economy in Uganda is strong, the political situation has stabilized and government sponsored development programs for local guides have made wildlife and birding tours in Uganda second to none in Africa
Though there are problems on the northern border with Sudan, our tour does not visit that area. In short, Uganda is a safe and friendly place with an amazing array of birds and mammals to offer the visitor. The country boasts a rich variety of habitats ranging from East African savannah to lush jungle rainforest to swampy wetlands. The tour will give participants an opportunity to see over 500 species of birds and 30 species of mammals. Some of the birds will be iconic African wildlife symbols like the strange and enigmatic Shoebill. And where else in the world would one have an opportunity to stare into the eyes of a Mountain Gorilla? We will visit all of Uganda's famous wildlife parks including Murchison Falls, Lake Victoria, Kibale and Queen Elizabeth. Transporation throughout will be in a 4X4 Safari Land Cruiser with a pop-up roof. The tour will be limited to 6 participants to ensure that everyone in the group always has a window seat. This will truly be the trip of a lifetime that will not only lengthen your life list, but also forever alter whatever stereotypical prejudices you might have toward visiting East Africa.