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Students learning best farming practices at Buyanga Primary School

The Pearl of Africa

Explore Uganda on a 12-day journey to the Pearl of Africa. Engage with Ugandan Jewish community (the Abayudaya), witness breathtaking natural wonders, do a game drive and river boat ride to see some amazing wildlife and there’s an optional add-on to encounter mountain gorillas up close. We’ll be staying in the eastern part of Uganda, where you’ll have a real connection with our partner communities.

You’ll visit Global Village Connect projects, schools and synagogues. You’ll hike beautiful Sipi Falls, and you’ll spend Shabbat with the Abayudaya community. And we will have Kosher Shabbat meals with different communities and their synagogues.  If you’re Shomer Shabbat – no problem.  You can stay in the Guest House – steps away from the main synagogue

You can add on a 3-day gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and an average summertime temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trip Highlights

Visit Global Village Connect's community partners

Selling food

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. 

Buyanga Primary School

School kids farming

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. 

Buyanga Primary School

Visit Murchison Falls National Park, arriving in time for a boat ride to see animals drink in the river. The next morning, go on a game drive where you’ll see monkeys, baboons, lions, water buffalo and elephants, just to name a few! An amazing experience not to be missed.

Buyanga Primary School

chickens in uganda

Meet with the Namatumba Women’s Chicken farm group and visit some of our program beneficiaries. Learn about their business training, their micro grant, and their newly started business, “Moms Yes We Can.”

Spend a Shabbat with the Abayudaya


The Abayudaya (the name means “people of Judah” in Luganda) keep kosher, celebrate Jewish holidays and welcome people from around the world to come and pray. There are approximately 3,000 Jews in Uganda in 14 different villages with 16 synagogues. Enjoy a musical Shabbat, with the Abayudaya community, African style. All are welcome! 

Hike Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls Hike

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.

Gorilla Trekking


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. 

Work, teach, learn, and play alongside Ugandans, building relationships and changing lives. 


Duration: 12 days  

Add-ons: 3-day Gorilla Trek 

Countries: Uganda

Places: Eastern Uganda, Entebbe, Kampala, Buyanga Primary School, Abayudaya community, Kwania, Ben David Primary School, Murchison Falls National Park, Optional Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Experiences: Hiking, River Boat Ride, Game Drive, Coffee Roasting, Optional Gorilla Trek

Ages: All ages

Cost: $3,909: Double Occupancy (10+ people)
$560: Single Supplement

Gorilla Trek Add-on:
$3,960: Double Occupancy (2+ people)
$395: Single supplement 

Trip Description

Day 1-2: November 10-11, 2024 - Depart US & Arrive Entebbe, Uganda

Welcome to Uganda! After your international flight lands, a representative will be waiting for you at the exit gate. Most flights arrive late at night. You’ll overnight in Entebbe.

Accommodation: Protea Hotel

Day 3: November 12 - Drive to Mbale, stop en route to visit Abayudaya community

Drive to Mbale, where we’ll be staying for the next few days. We’ll cross the Nile, have lunch in Jinja, stop en route to visit the Buseta Abayudaya community, meet some of our business training graduates, see their successes and then head onto to Mbale for the night.

Accommodation: Mbale Resort
Meals: B

Day 4: November 13 - Buyanga Primary School visit and hands-on project

A day at Buyanga Primary School, where we have been partnering for the past eight years. 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 14,600 children aged 5-16. Visit our 13-acre farm which provides meals for students, the goat farm, classrooms and meet some of the students who were given goats which help pay their school fees. Spend a few hours working side by side with students doing a hands-on project.

Accommodation: Mbale Resort
Meals: B, L

Day 5: November 14 - Meet Global Village Connect’s project beneficiaries

Meet with the Namatumba Women’s Chicken farm group and visit some of our program beneficiaries. Stop at Tikkun Olam Primary School, a Jewish Primary School, grades K-7. In the afternoon, we’ll meet the students at Putti Primary School and help with a hands-on school project.

Accommodation: Mbale Resort
Meals: B

Day 6: November 15 - Hike Sipi Falls, visit a local coffee farm, shabbat dinner and services Ugandan style

​Hike the Falls or, if you’re not into hiking, relax at the bottom of the falls and meet the group for lunch and then visit a local coffee farmer, roast some coffee and have a cup. Friday night Shabbat at The Stern Synagogue in Nabagoye followed by shabbat dinner with the community.

Accommodation: Mbale Resort
Meals: B, L, D

Day 7: November 16 - Saturday morning services at synagogue; lunch with community

Visit another nearby synagogue for Saturday morning services. Enjoy shabbat lunch with the community.

Accommodation: Mbale Resort

Meals: B, L​

Day 8: November 17 - Drive to Kwania

Arrive in Lira at by 5pm. Have a relaxing evening at the hotel.​

Accommodation: Lillian Hotel
Meals: B

Day 9: November 18 - Ben David Primary School & Kwania Goat Farm

Spend the day with the Kwania Abayudaya Community. Learn how to goat farm and volunteer at the Ben David Primary School, a school serving nursery through 4th grade.

Accommodation: Latitude 0
​Meals: B, L

Day 10: November 19 - Murchison Falls National Park

Drive to Murchison Falls National Park, arrive in time for a river boat ride to see the animals come drink in the river. You’ll see monkeys, baboons, lions, water buffalo and elephants, to name a few.

Accommodation: Paara Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park

Meals: B, D

Day 11: November 20 - Morning Game Drive, then back to Kampala

We’ll embark in the morning on a game drive to see the lions, elephants, giraffes and so much more wildlife. Afterwards we’ll head back to Kampala for a late night departure back to the states.

Optional: afternoon day room at the hotel to freshen up before your flight or stay another three days to see the majestic mountain gorillas.

Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House

Meals: B

Day 12: November 21 - Home at last

Arrive home with incredible stories and photos of this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Optional Add-ons

Day 12: November 21 - Fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, with its 350 square kilometers of pristine rainforest. A sanctuary for approximately 400 mountain gorillas (almost half of the world’s total population), it is also the only forest on the continent where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees coexist. You can spend the afternoon relaxing, take a canoe ride on Lake Mutanda or walk to the nearby village.

Accommodation: Nkuringo Mountain Lodge

Meals: B

Day 13: November 13 - Gorilla trekking

Stare into the eyes of a silverback. Take an amazing and heart-pounding adventure through tangled vines, bush and bamboo to find gorillas. Depending on the length of your trek, you may have time to visit the nearby village or sit and relax as you enjoy the view.

Accommodation: Nkuringo Mountain Lodge

Meals: B, L, D

Day 14-15: November 23-24 - Return to Entebbe for departure to US

Fly back to Entebbe for departure back to the U.S. Arrive in the United States the following day.
Meals: B

Please contact us if you have any questions!



Transportation with our own local guide.

Transport for emergencies is available at all times.

An experienced American guide

Bottled water at hotels and in the vehicle

Meals as indicated, see under daily itinerary

Pre-departure information session


1 gorilla trekking permit per person ($800).

Round trip tickets from Entebbe to Bwindi

Transport to and from airports in Entebbe and Bwindi

Trekking under the supervision of an experienced English-speaking walking guide

AMREF Evacuation Insurance coverage


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


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