September 14 – 24
White Water Rafting the Nile (rating: 8.5/10)
We’ve white water rafted the Nile, have you? We’ve heard the Zambezi (near Livingstone, Zambia) offers a slightly better trip, but come on, it’s the Nile. This trip included ten rapids of at least grade 4, and through Nile River Explorers we really did feel like we were rafting with some of the best guides and safety kayakers in the world (two had just returned from the world championship). The rapids were “gnarly” and the safety was top class, making for a very memorable day.
Gorilla Trek (rating: 9.5/10)
Although quite expensive, seeing a family of endangered mountain gorillas was well worth the cost. The trek to the gorillas is not for the physically unfit, but it offers amazing views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that are almost worth the cost of admission themselves. The actual viewing of the gorillas depends on luck, but if you’re worried that this is just like an expensive zoo, don’t be. It’s is definitely an incredible experience.
Lake Bunyonyi (rating: 7/10)
When not trekking gorillas, we were camping next to the deepest lake in Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi. The lake is gorgeous and there is plenty to do on it and in the surrounding hills, including canoeing to islands and nearby villages, platform jumping into the lake and visiting a nearby school. Most of all though, we used the time to relax. If you are planning on doing the gorilla trek, this would be a good nearby spot to spend a day or two.
We can’t stress enough how happy we were with the Acacia tour we did. We bumped into many independent travelers along the way, and there’s no way we would have been able to kick off our world trip navigating Africa on our own. Sign up for the longest Acacia tour you can afford then don’t worry about anything except showing up with the right stuff – you won’t regret it.
Also, bring lots of bug spray and some sort of rain gear – the constant rain sure made a nice muggy environment for mosquitoes and other bugs!