Students learning best farming practices at Buyanga Primary School
The Pearl of Africa
Explore Uganda on a 10-day journey to the Pearl of Africa. Engage with partner communities, learn traditional dance and drumming, witness breathtaking natural wonders, and encounter mountain gorillas up close. We’ll be staying in the eastern part of Uganda, where we’ll have a real connection with communities we’ve been working with for years. We’ll visit Buyanga Primary School, teach, meet students and teachers, learn to cook Ugandan style, meet with women’s groups, hike Sipi Falls, white water raft in the Nile and you’ll have the option to spend Shabbat with the Abayudaya community. You can add on a 3-day gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest and a 2-day safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and an average summertime temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Visit Global Village Connect's community partners
Global Village Connect’s partners include Buyanga, Hadassah, Tikkun Olam, Putti and Ben David Primary Schools , Hope Music and Dance Troupe and Buseta, Apac, and numerous communities in eastern Uganda. Learn about our projects that are helping the communities you’ll be visiting such as our “Give a Goat” program to help students pay for school fees, school farms so students can eat lunch, goat farms, women’s business training, and vocational projects. You’ll hear directly from the beneficiaries about their successes,, their challenges and you’ll learn a bit about life in Uganda.
Music and Dance in Uganda
All Ugandan’s learn to play music and dance in primary school and each year, there is a national music and dance contest performed by the best schools around the country. Try some drumming and dancing and learn the various dances unique to the different regions and tribes of Uganda.
Hope Troupe is a vibrant group composed of musicians and dancers. When Covid hit and they were unable to perform for years, Global Village Connect supported Hope Troupe to develop a sewing training program that establishes a steady source of income. Visit some of the women now supporting themselves by sewing and selling their clothing.
Buyanga Primary School
Located in the eastern region of Uganda, the Buyanga Primary School enrolls approximately 1600 children between the ages of 5 and 16. That’s a lot of lunches, the only meal of the day for some students. That’s why we planted a 13-acre farm. We gave goats to students in need to help pay for their school fees and built a goat farm. We also support a number of boarding students. We will have an opportunity to visit students in their homes and in their community. If you want to donate a goat to a kid in need as part of our community support, you can meet your beneficiary. Try your hand at milking a goat or making a traditional Ugandan meal or teaching class or sports development.
Spend a Shabbat with the Abayudaya
The Abayudaya (the name means “people of Judah” in Luganda). They keep kosher, celebrate Jewish holidays, and welcome people from around the world to come and pray. There are approximately 3000 Jews in Uganda in 14 different villages with 16 synagogues. Enjoy a musical Shabbat, with the Abayudaya community, African style. All are welcome!
White Water Rafting on the Nile River
Home to some of the world’s finest white water rating and other adventure activities. Whether you are a first-timer, family, or high adventure enthusiast, you’ll find your perfect white water adventure. The water is warm, the scenery is beautiful and you can choose to do a wild rafting with grade 5 rapids or a mild float with no rapids, perfect for those with young kids or who prefer a relaxing experience throughout.
After an early breakfast, you’ll head to Entebbe International Airport for a flight to Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest. This flight across central Uganda offers a view of the beautiful mountains, hills, cultivated terraces, tropical rainforest, bamboo forests, and the majestic chain of the Virunga Volcanoes.
The thrill of spending time observing the endangered mountain gorillas is an awesome, exciting experience to be remembered. The trekking can be anywhere from a 30-minute hike to a 6-hour hike, depending on the location of the gorillas. There are 3 groups of 8 trekkers per day in each group. The hike can be easy or rigorous. Getting up close to the amazing endangered animals is an unforgettable experience, not to be missed!
Upon returning, relax at the lodge or drive up to the “Top of the World” the name given to the football field, high up in Nkuringo which offers amazing views over the peaks and forests around Nkuringo.
Queen Elizabeth National Park Safari
Queen Elizabeth National Park and its picturesque terrain boasts open savannah, papyrus swamps, forested gorges, grassy plains, tropical forests, volcanic craters, crater lakes, and an amazing number of wildlife. The park has the highest concentration of elephants found in Uganda and is said to have the highest density of hippos found anywhere in the world. Its lion population is also unique – in their very special habit of climbing giant fig trees. Queen Elizabeth boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world.
This trip is offered in combination with the gorilla trek. You’ll fly into Bwindi for the gorillas and then drive to Queen Elizabeth with an optional hike through the forest on your way to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. When you enter the park, you’ll pass through the Ishaka sector, with its tree-climbing lions, and then drive on through to your accommodations with plenty of opportunity to view the animals all along the way. The following day, you’ll head to the Kyambura Gorge, where you’ll get out to look for the chimpanzees. In the afternoon, you’ll take the boat down the Kazinga Channel and the following morning, you’ll fly back to Entebbe for your flight home.
Hike Sipi Falls
Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls that cascade down the slopes of Mount Elgon, and each one offers a unique and spectacular view.
In addition to the Sipi Falls hike, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit a local coffee farm and experience the coffee-making process firsthand.
Duration: 10 days
Add-ons: 3-day Gorilla Trek or 5-day Gorilla trek & Safari
Places: Eastern Uganda, Entebbe, Kampala, Buyanga Primary School, Abayudaya community, Nkuringo, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Experiences: Hiking, Whitewater Rafting, Drumming, Dancing, Cooking, Optional Gorilla Trek and Safari
Ages: All ages
Cost: $3519: Double Occupancy
$600: Single Supplement
Gorilla Trek Add-on:
$2952: Double Occupancy
$300: Single supplement
Gorilla Trek & Queen Elizabeth Safari Add-on:
$4505: Double Occupancy
$350: Single supplement
Add-ons include local RT flights, a $700 gorilla permit, accommodation and meals as indicated
All costs are based on double or triple occupancy and a minimum of 10 total participants.
Day 1-2: October 14-15 - Depart US & Arrive Entebbe, Uganda
Welcome to Uganda! After your international flight lands, a representative will be waiting for you at the exit gate. Overnight in Entebbe.
Day 3: October 16 - Drive to Mbale, stop en route to tour Tikkun Olam School
Head to Mbale, where we’ll be staying for the next few days. Cross the Nile, have lunch in Jinja, and stop en route to visit one of our partner schools, Tikkun Olam Primary School.
Day 4-5: October 17-18 - Full day at Buyanga Primary School Project
We’ll be doing a hands-on project, experiencing village life and Ugandan culture, and spending time with the students. Buyanga Primary School, in eastern Uganda, enrolls 14600 children aged 5-16. Visit their 13-acre farm which provides meals for students, their goat farm, classrooms and meet some of the students who were given goats which help pay their school fees. You’ll have an opportunity to visit local families in their homes.
Day 6: October 19 - Meet Global Village Connect’s beneficiaries, African drumming and dancing
Meet GVC’s beneficiaries and learn about vocational and business training programs. You’ll have a traditional African drumming and dance lesson. There’s an option to spend a musical Shabbat with the Abayudaya, Ugandan style.
Day 7: October 20- Hike Sipi Falls and visit a local coffee farm, Optional Shabbat Ugandan style
Hike Sipi Falls and visit a local coffee farm where you can participate in shucking and roasting your own coffee with Patrick’s dad and his family. Alternatively, you can spend Shabbat with the Abayudaya community. Visit one of the Synagogues for Saturday services.
Day 8: October 21 - White water rafting
Home to some of the world’s finest whitewater rafting, the water is warm, the scenery is beautiful, and you can choose to do a wild rafting adventure with #5 rapids or a mild float with no rapids at all. Spend the day on the river, and enjoy lunch on an island in the Nile.
Day 9: October 22 - Visit the women entrepreneurs & Ndere Dance performance
Meet the women who are empowering themselves and their families through their small businesses. These women graduated from our business training program and are thankful to be earning income and able to pay for their children’s school fees.
Day 10: October 23 - Kampala historical visits & departure
Take a historical tour of Kampala and gain insight into the politics and history of Uganda, including the role of the Kabukah (the king who currently resides in Uganda), and the tragic reign of Idi Amin, and learn about the effects of colonialism in Uganda.
Depart Uganda or stay overnight in Entebbe for gorilla trekking
Day 11: October 24 - Fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, with it’s 350 square Kilometers of pristine rainforest. It’s a sanctuary for approximately 400 mountain gorillas (almost half of the world’s total population ) and is also the only forest on the continent where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees coexist. You can spend the afternoon relaxing or walking to the nearby village.
Staring into the eyes of a silverback is and amazing and heart-pounding adventure through tangled vines, bush and bamboo.
Day 12: October 25- Gorilla trekking
After breakfast, drive to Bwindi National Park for your encounter with endangered mountain gorillas. Trekking can range from 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on the location of the gorillas. There are 3 groups of 8 trekkers per day and many rangers to lead the way and accompany you. Upon return, relax at the lodge or visit the “Top of the World” for some stunning views of Uganda.
Day 13: October 26- Return to Entebbe for night departure or continue on to safari
Fly back to Entebbe in the morning and spend the day in Entebbe before departure or continue on to a wildlife safari in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enjoy the ride. When you enter the park you’ll pass through the Ishaka sector, with its tree-climbing lions, and then drive on through to your accommodations with plenty of opportunity to view the animals along the way.
Day 14: October 27 - Queen Elizabeth National Park
Head to Kyambura Gorge, where you’ll get out to look for the chimpanzees. In the afternoon, you’ll take the boat down the Kazinga Channel to see the animals come to drink at the river’s edge.
Day 15: October 28 - Back to Entebbe for departure
Fly back to Entebbe from Queen Elizabeth, spend the day in Entebbe and evening departure back to the U.S.
Day 16: October 29 - Arrive in U.S.
Arrive in the US
Please remember that this is a guide only and we typically customize each trip.
Please contact us if you have any questions!
Transportation with our own local guide.
Transport for emergencies is available at all times.
Bottled water at hotels and in the vehicle
Pre-departure information session
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to and from Uganda
Health and travel cancellation insurance (medical evacuation and cancellation insurance required)
All items of a personal nature
Alcoholic and other drinks and snacks between meals