April 3, 2014 – Uganda
Posted on April 7th, 2014
Our private flight to Entebbe, Uganda, took a little more than an hour, carrying us over Lake Victoria and across the equator. Upon touchdown, we once again enjoyed private VIP conduct through customs and immigration, as we transferred to waiting Cessna safari planes for our flight to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the rare and elusive mountain gorilla.
On arrival, we settled into a comfortable gorilla trekking eco-camp reserved exclusively for us on the edge of the forest. Guests visited one of three mountain gorilla families over the course of our two-day stay – with only eight guests allowed to observe a family at a time. Our group enjoyed exclusive access to the gorilla families in the area and every guest successfully completed the trek, spending an unforgettable hour watching our closest biological relatives forage, play and interact.
When we weren’t out gorilla tracking, we ventured into the forest to meet with local Batwa pygmy tribal members and immersed ourselves in their culture. We also enjoyed visiting with children at a local school and stopped at a hospital built and operated entirely on donated funds, both of which are supported by Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP). There was also an opportunity to meet with a traditional medicine man who shared his insights into the healing properties of forest plants.
Back at camp, we learned about how Uganda pioneered the mountain gorilla habituation process and how it benefits both travellers and the gorillas, from a Uganda National Park ranger.
By the time we once again boarded our private jet to depart the high mountain rainforest, we shared a deep sense of satisfaction that comes from experiencing something priceless. A short two-hour flight ahead of us lay Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a visit to another UNESCO World Heritage Site – the historic rock-carved churches of Lalibela.