Day 1: Addis Ababa – Entebbe
After arriving in Addis Ababa, board connecting flight to Entebbe. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 2: Kampala
This morning, you will drive the Entebbe’s pier to set sail for a cruise to Ngamba Chimpanzee Island. The island was originally designed to serve as an orphanage for chimpanzees. Let the guide show you the grounds & at 11:00am you will get to watch as chimpanzees have their mid-morning feeding. Early afternoon you will depart the island & once back in Entebbe you will enjoy lunch before heading north to Kampala. In Kampala, you will visit some of the city’s popular attractions & monuments like what is left of the Kasubi Tombs, a burial ground for four 19th & 20th century Buganda kings or the Namirembe & Lubaga Cathedrals. Your day in Kampala will conclude with an evening church service at one of the area churches & then a transfer to your overnight in Kampala.
Day 3: Kampala
Today is a chance to learn about the historic & cultural roots of Uganda. You will drive through Kampala to neighboring Nakawuka, a small village whose day-to-day life continues to blend the past & present. In the village, you will meet with community members, leaders & artists. They will give you a glimpse into life in ancient Uganda as they teach you about the village’s traditions. As you spend time with the villagers and enjoy a meal, experience Nakawuka culture as they dance, sing, play music & demonstrate craft making. After your visit, you will stop in & tour the Katereke Prison. The prison was a part of a brutal time in Buganda history, the oldest Kingdom in Uganda, where potential political rivals were captured & held. Following visits to other historical stops like Nagalabi, a coronation site, you will return to Kampala for your overnight.
Day 4: Namugongo - Jinja
You will leave the capital today to head to the Namugonga Martyrs Shrine. Located south of the capital, tens of thousands of people travel to the shrine daily to pray through the help of the 22 Uganda martyrs. The shrine is part of a Catholic Basilicia which honors the sacrifice the martyrs made for the Christian faith. Beyond its spiritual element, the church is unique & beautiful in design. From the church head to Jinja, the second largest town in Uganda as well as situated on the country’s southern border alongside Lake Victoria. Here you will visit a sugar cane & tea plantation to learn about some of the most profitable agricultural industries in Uganda. The next destination will be particularly exciting for bird watchers. Drive through Mabira Forest which is home to an exotic & diverse set of bird life. After lunch, continue onto Bujagali Falls. Observe locals navigate rafts & fisherman ply their trade. As you return to the city of Jinja, you will get to see some of the remnants of British colonialism in old colonial-style architecture. Your overnight tonight is in Jinja.
Day 5: Mbale
Today you will continue east to visit the beautiful Sipi Falls, one of a series of three waterfalls that sit on the edge of Mt. Elgon National Park. The topography of the park means the climate is much cooler along the Falls, so it’s a scenic spot to unwind, relax & literally cool down. Alongside more traditional river activities like rafting & boating, there are a number of different activities for the adventurer. You might choose to go on a rock climbing trip along the Falls. That afternoon, a guide will lead you are the park & Falls. From the hike, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Karamoja Plains, Mt. Elgon & Lake Kyogo. Your overnight this evening is in Mbale.
Day 6: Mt. Elgon
Experience Mt. Elgon up close & personal today as you make your way to Kapkwayi to begin a three hour hike around the mountain. Mt. Elgon is actually an extinct volcano & though today it only reaches a height of 14,176, Mt. Elgon was once taller than Mt. Kilamanjaro in pre-historic times. During your hike, keep your eyes peeled for antelope, elephants, buffalo & monkeys that roam the mountain as well as the nearly 300 bird species flying above. Before you head back to the lodge to relax, have lunch at the Forest Exploration Center.
Day 7: Mbale
While in eastern Uganda, you will visit the town of Mbale & home of the original Impact Ministries church which is now part of a fellowship of 140 churches across Uganda. Part of the church’s primary mission is child care. During your visit you will have the chance to see the Ministry’s orphanage as well as learn about the project from its founder & overseer, Mr. Patrick Okabe. Mr. Okabe will lead you around the premises, showing you life at the orphanage on a day-to-day basis. The remainder of the day you will have the chance to spend time & engage with the children & aid Mr. Okabe on the day’s projects. That evening you will return to your Mbale accommodations for your overnight.
Day 8: Mbale
Return to the Impact Ministries Orphanage today to spend more time with the kids as well as helping out at the facility. Whether its tutoring, sharing stories, songs & games, or helping with laundry, food preparation & other daily chores, there is always a way to help out!
Day 9: Return to USA
You will head back to Kampala this morning, then to Entebbe for a farewell lunch & boarding your return flight.