The award winning, ethical, affordable and life changing charity volunteer expedition to the stunning country of Uganda

Trek with local guides through around Crater lakes surrounded by extinct volcanoes, forests and breath taking views everywhere you look until you reach the Jungle home of the worlds last wild Silver Mountain Gorillas. Spend time with the king of the jungle before relaxing on the banks of the river Nile. Then work with us in a local school to install a brand new playground for the children to enjoy for years to come. All this whilst making life long friends, memories and having the time of your life.

About the Gorilla Trek

Day by day

Our volunteers have helped us to achieve

Why chose East African Playgrounds Gorilla Trek

Safety

Costs

Project dates

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About the Gorilla Trek

Not your standard volunteering expedition project

Our 21 day Gorilla trek is like no other volunteering project. Hiking through one of the worlds most Beautiful regions surrounded by rain forests, extinct volcanoes, stunning creator lakes and breath taking views. Trek through the Jungle home of the world last remaining Wild Mountain Gorillas to spend time in the presence of these Amazing animals. Relaxing on the banks of the worlds longest river and that is just the first half of the project. As a volunteer you and your team will work alongside our expert playgrounds designers, builders and local communities to build and install a brand new playground and run creative play programs for the children of a remote village to enjoy for years to come. You will be part of a team full of enthusiastic like minded students who want to volunteer in a ethical manor and make a huge difference whilst also having the experience of a life time. No other project gives you so many opportunities to experience such a wide range of experiences whilst making such a huge difference to children living in remote villages, the communities living next to the Gorilla and the gorilla themselves. If you’re ready for the experience of a life time then join one of our teams today.


Mixing epic experiences with ethical adventures

The Gorilla Trek is all about giving students the chance to have a once in a life time experience whilst also making the biggest impact possible. You will return with inspiring stories, experience and new friends. What you will leave is a legacy of safe, fun and creative places for some of the worlds most disadvantaged children to play.

By joining the Gorilla Trek you also support the conservation of the Gorilla habitat, the development of the communities who live side by side with the gorillas and the training of former street children at builders and welders in East African Playgrounds training workshop.


Day by day on The Gorilla Trek

1. Welcome to Uganda

Leave behind the stress of Uni exams and arrive in Uganda, which is also known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ due to its beauty. Our UK Volunteer coordinators welcomed you at Entebbe international airport and you head to the Ugandan wildlife animal sanctuary overlooking the beautiful Lake Victoria.

2. Animal sanctuary team briefing

You wake up on your first morning at Uganda’s Wildlife Sanctuary. This is where young safari animals, who have been saved from poachers, are cared for. After your orientation and briefing from our volunteer coordinator you get the chance to meet some of the infant animals that have been rescued.

3. Travel passed the equator

After the Wildlife sanctuary you and your team travels down to the southwest of Uganda. We make a special stop off at the Equator line before arriving on the shores of the stunning Lake Bunyoni for a swim, beautiful meal, camp fire and to meet your awesome Ugandan trekking guides.

4. Trek and canoe in the wilds

You start your trek by taking traditional wooden canoes around the beautiful Kyabahinga peninsula before hiking to the summit to take in the breath-taking views and scenery. These days include visits to the local brewers, herbalist healers, stays on amazing community islands and a mix of hiking and canoeing.

5. Hike through forests

Your team enter the enchanted Echuya forest, home of some of the last Batwa Pygmy tribes. You’ll meet Pygmy elders who will guide you through this amazing forest before breaking into the rolling hills and views of the three ancient volcanoes in the distance as you push on to the Jungle home of the Gorillas.

6. Gorilla in the Mist

Waking early to see the mist rising from the Jungle your team will join the trackers and trek to a Gorilla family. You spend time in the presence of the king of the Jungle and his family before heading back out to base camp for a cold beer and to share experiences and tails of the day.

7. Relax on the Nile

After a week of trekking you head to the source of the mighty River Nile to relax, unwind and experience one of the best sunsets in the world. For a few days you can chill by the pool, relax in hammocks or even get your adrenaline fix Whitewater rafting, quad biking, horse riding or even bungee jumping!

8. Playground building

Your team spend a week living in an amazing village community working alongside our playground building team to install a brand-new playground and help run creative play sessions for the children of the village. You’ll experience first-hand why Uganda has the reputation as one of the friendliest places on earth.

9. Playground opening

Nothing can prepare you for a Uganda village playground opening party! Singing, dancing, speeches, games, food and hundreds, if not thousands, of excited children playing in their new playground for the first time. One of our volunteer’s favourite days and one that will stay with you forever.

10. Home or more adventure

Time for you to either say your good buys to your Guides, Playground builders and your host community and head home with loads of new experience, friends and stories to tell; OR, you can continue your advert by adding a safari or white-water river expedition to your Gorilla trek.


Our volunteers have helped us achieve all of this ...


Why choose East African Playgrounds Gorilla Trek

Award winning

Our project have been recognised with several awards

We’re extremely proud of our projects and work exceptionally hard to make them the best student volunteering expeditions on offer. We’ve won numerous awards for the ethics, sustainability and impact of our projects. We’re associated members of the Duke of Edinburgh award, program partner of UNICEF, PLAN International and other international organisations.

Not any old overseas expedition

Designed by us run by us

The Gorilla Trek like no other experience. Breath taking scenery, trekking through forests, across the base of volcanoes, canoeing across creator lakes, jungle trekking, time with the endangered gorilla, relaxing on the beautiful Nile, volunteering in a local community and all run by us in both the UK and Uganda.

Ethical

At the centre of everything we do

With many ‘voluntourism’ companies making money from unethical projects we pride ourselves on doing things differently. We’re a charity, we aim to make a difference to the lives of children and youth in Uganda, not make money for shareholders. We’ve won awards for the ethical and sustainable nature of our volunteering projects.

High Impact

See the impact you have

Simply put our volunteers have a HUGE impact. The funds they raise help us support the local communities we trek with, the conservation of the Gorillas habitat and their protection and vocational training for former homeless youth. Volunteers help us give disadvantaged children safe places to play by building an epic playgrounds.

Affordable and transparent

You see where the money is spent

As a charity we feel it vital to give students an affordable option when looking for international volunteering experiences. We keep costs low, are transparent with were money is being spent and are proud to be able to offer a low cost, high support, ethical and epic projects in Uganda.

No third-party companies

A charity doing things the right way

We don’t work with any ‘gap year’ or ‘challenge companies’ and run our projects in-house and with our charity partners in Uganda. This means that we know the project inside out, as we designed it and run it, and means we are able to give you higher levels of support.

Sustainable Volunteering and trekking

Long lasting impact

We have won awards for the sustainable impact of our volunteering and trekking projects due to the way that we work with local communities and local suppliers. We are proud of the impact that the our projects have had on such a large number of communities and disadvantaged youth and children.

Leading University volunteering expedition charity

Over 9 years of experience

We work in partnership with over 30 Universities in the UK and have been running projects since 2009. By partnering with Universities directly we’re able to give volunteers more support on campus and benefits than external projects. We’re the most experienced charity running volunteer projects in Uganda and have been commended for our work and projects.

Cultural exchange

Get involved and immersed in Uganda culture

You will live with our fantastic Ugandan team and our UK support team within a local community. You will be fully immersed in Uganda culture and life from Arts and crafts to herbalists and traditional dancing, you’ll experience it all. It will be an experience that stays with you for ever.

Safety and support

It is our number one priority

We take health and safety seriously by following the highest industry stands, the British Standards 8848 in international volunteering expeditions. Our policies are externally evaluated and reviewed annually. In-depth risk assessments and planning, 24/7 in person in country support from our UK team and assessments from University partners are just parts of our comprehensive Health and Safety and support. Learn more about our Support and your Safety here.

 



Safety

High quality, ethical, supportive award winning international expeditions and volunteering projects

We take a highly professional and personalised approach in supporting all of our volunteers and to our Health and Safety policies and procedures. With ten years experiences in running international expedition and volunteering projects in Uganda We are the charity leading the way in volunteer support, sustainability and health and safety. As full associated partners with the ‘Duke of Edinburgh award’ we follow the highest industry standards when it comes to Health and Safety, the British Standards:8828 ‘Specification for the provision of visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities outside the United Kingdom’ and have our policies and procedures externally reviewed.
 
You will find that you are supported at ever stage of your project, from sign up and UK support and training to 24/7 in person support from our UK team in Uganda. Uganda is not just a destination for us, it has been our home for the last 10 years and East African Playgrounds has developed into one of the leading charities in Uganda working in partnership with UNICEF, Save the Children, The Ugandan Government and many other international organisations. You can be assured that you will not only have the experience of a life time but that you will also feel supported, prepared, safe and welcome in Uganda.


Costs

What's Included?

We pride ourselves on running the highest quality, ethical international volunteering projects, whilst providing our volunteers with the best levels of support both in the UK and on project in Uganda. The Gorilla Trek was developed and is run by East African Playgrounds to give students a safe, supported, ethical life changing experience. Whilst also benefiting both East African Playgrounds and our work, The work of a Ugandan Social enterprise in developing the communities surrounding the Gorilla Home and also to support the Uganda Wildlife authority in the preservation of the forest and protection of the Gorillas. We have won several awards for the sustainability and ethics of our volunteering program and also the support we give our students. We also keep the costs as low as possible without reducing on quality by providing the full program in house.

The Gorilla Trek includes:

  • Airport pick up and well come by East African Playgrounds UK team member at Entebbe International Airport
  • Acclimaiastion and orientation training
  • In country expedition travel
  • In country support vehicle (complete with water and snacks)
  • All on expedition and on project meals (excluding rest days when you have a choice of options)
  • Guides, camping equipment, water and all accommodation (camping and back packer accommodation)
  • Cultural activities (brewing, crafts, herbalists and music)
  • Organised events and BBQ evenings
  • East African Playgrounds UK members of staff in Uganda along with Ugandan support staff
  • Comprehensive East African Playrgounds training sessions and program at your university
  • Rest day break overlooking the banks of the river Nile in one of the most beautiful backpackers in East Africa
  • 24/7 in person project leader in Uganda
  • Local Sim cards to enable communication with home and our UK and Uganda office if needed
  • Full Time UK team to support and guide you pre departure and to assist from UK if needed
  • Gorilla permits

Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Vaccinations
  • Visa
  • Personal Travel insurance

East African Playgrounds can advice on expenses not included


Project dates

June 2019

July 2019

August 2019

September 2019