White Nile Explorer

Uganda Uganda: (IT-UGRT01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/uganda_white_nile_explorer.aspx

Introduction
Uganda Uganda
Welcome to Uganda's latest adventure activity, the Nile Explore on horseback - the ONLY riding tour in Uganda. Together with our partners we offer fabulous riding along the source of the world's longest river, the White Nile. We are the first people to introduce horses to this area of East Africa and the response from the local populace has been tremendous. The horses are all beautiful Thoroughbreds, imported from Kenya and beautifully trained, bombproof, fit and strong. 

We pass through local villages, areas of crops and jungle where you will see spectacular bird life, hopefully some monkeys, and if you are really lucky some of the more elusive animals, like mongoose and water monikers. There is also the opportunity to take your horse swimming in the Nile at a beautiful sandy bottomed bay if you are so inclined. You and the horse stay overnight at the Haven, your luggage will be waiting for you when you arrive. Take an afternoon fishing trip, a sunset cruise or just relax with a book while overlooking one of the biggest rapids on the Nile. Fantastic meals await you in the evening. Of course we included a day of rafting on the Nile - if you are not into rafting, you can choose from several other activities that day.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in different locations.

Description
The lodges and areas we have picked for our safaris have a wonderful atmosphere, an ambiance distinctly Uganda: laid back and easy paced, but with all the modern comforts and conveniences of home. All lodges have magnificent surroundings and a swimming pool. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. WIFI is available at all locations except for Rainforest Lodge. Internet runs on the mobile phone network and is usually good, but sometimes can fail temporarily. You can get phone reception reliably on just about all areas of our safari, except in the forest where it can come and go.
Power is erratic throughout Uganda, all the lodges do have solar power or generator backup, but there are very occasional times when you can still temporarily have no power.
Laundry is available all lodges except The Haven.


Night 1 & 2: Holland Park
The lodgings are right next to the riding stables. Clean and well maintained cottages, each with a double bed and two singles, all have stunning views over the Nile. Built with your comfort and privacy in mind. The single rooms are set back in the Hacienda and are cool, clean, and private.


Night 3 & 4: Rainforest Lodge

A beautiful, secluded eco-resort, newly built to blend naturally into the surrounding rainforest. Stunning cabins will allow you a great night's sleep and you will find all the luxuries you need for a comfortable stay. The resort is complete with a bar, lounge/dining area, many walking trails, and fantastic staff.


Night 5 & 6: The Haven
The Haven is a peaceful and relaxed River Lodge, a perfect hideaway, located at big rapid on The River Nile. You enter at the camping area, which is fully fenced and is where the horses happily graze. The restaurant and bar sit in the middle of the compound overlooking the mighty Nile where its width exceeds 500 meters. All rooms are self contained spacious bungalows (absolutely gorgeous, with showers overlooking the river).


Night 7: Wildwaters Lodge

Nestled in a luxuriant rainforest on its own private island, mid-stream in the mighty Nile, Wildwaters Lodge is breathtaking. Thick riverine forest naturally covers the island and each of the ten timber-floor rooms is nestled amidst the forest with private views over the River Nile and its rapids. The expansive, canvas walled, traditionally thatched rooms each boast private decks with elegant free-standing baths and wash basins carved from the local pink granite. Softly lit with hand made furniture, you can relax in comfort on this island paradise listening to the thunder of the Nile rapids, and the calls of the many species of bird who call the island home. Elevated wooden walkways gracefully link the rooms to the restaurant and bar area and offer an unforgettable walk through the heart of the forest.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.


Meals
All meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on the last day. We also have a break in our rides at least every 3 hours, for either morning tea or lunch so horses and riders can have a drink and something to eat.
Mixed menus of local and international cuisine, prepared to the highest standards Uganda can offer. We have a professional caterer we contract for lunches and lodge food is all European. All organic meat fruit and vegetables from the local area are used in our cooking.
Breakfast and dinner is enjoyed at the lodges while lunch is eaten while on the ride in beautiful locations.
Water should only be consumed from bottles as tap water is not suitable for drinking. We provide plenty of water each day.
Alcohol is included with lunch and dinner.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all dietary restrictions if given prior notice.


This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
All clients must be able to do rising trot for long distances, as well as canter. We can help with less experienced clients by splitting the groups, and have many trails and guides for that purpose but you must be a minimum of strong intermediate riders. Thethe route and length of this ride is physically demanding. You need to be able to canter for extended periods and be competent riding in English saddles. We do ride for at least 4 hours a day (sometimes up to 6) so riding fitness is essential. Many people bring seat savers (bumnahs) and are happy they did!

Terrain & Environment
We ride a huge variety of trails, some winding tracks over steeper ground, hacking up hills to see the magnificent views. Then through dense jungle and over grassy tracks. Every day is different from the day before, the constant change of scenery is a photographers dream. Many people think a ride in Africa will have large wild animals, but in this area, we have an incredible variety of rarer and smaller species of animals, many of which are unique to this area.

Pace
We understand that our clients have different preferences on what they would choose for the pace of the safari. For this reason, we regularly split groups as we have 1 guide per 2 clients. Riders who wish to take it easy are able to ride at a leisurely pace, while those up for a faster paced ride, can also branch from the group at certain places on the rides to indulge in some fast canters and gallops. We also have a break in our rides at least every 3 hours, for either morning tea or lunch so horses and riders can have a drink and something to eat.

Horses
We have 20 beautiful horses, from 17hh down to 13.3hh. All our horses are well-schooled, responsive, very fit and we pride ourselves on having the right horse for everyone. Most of them are also eventers that compete regularly in Kenya. We own Irish Sports Horses, Thoroughbreds, American Saddlebred crosses and Ethiopian ponies.
We have a Canadian veterinarian, fully trained in horses, to assess the animal. In the case of lameness, a new horse is brought to the scene and the injured animal taken home for treatment.

Guides
This safari is led by Natalie who is assisted by Ugandan riders, grooms and other staff. Natalie is and an expert horsewoman from England. She has years of eventing, pony club, trekking, and stable experience and is a very able lady.
All our guides are trained to replace loose or lost shoes, and all horses are checked by the farrier prior to departure.

Equipment
Riding helmets are mandatory and we suggest people bring their own helmets and chaps, although we can provide them free of charge if necessary.

Safety and Emergency Procedures
Uganda is one of the safest countries in the world.
We consider the safety of our riders and horses to be the top priority. All riders are briefed before we set off. All staff and guides are first aid trained, both for human and horses. A fully stocked first aid kits follows us on safari and we have 24-hour access to doctors and clinical facilities.
We have a very good mobile telephone network and have access to it at all times on the ride. All guides carry mobile phones, which have fully charged batteries and phone credit. In the event a rider or horse cannot be moved we immediately contact home base, who locate us from pre-determined GPS points enroute. A vehicle is sent to the scene of the accident, with a doctor if deemed necessary.

Non-Riders
We do offer a simultaneous trip doing motorbike riding for non-riding clients. You can always contact us for further details on that.

Your hosts
Natalie arrived in Uganda in 2000 and fell in love with the beauty of the country and the wonderful people. She met TJ in 2004 and they then purchased a piece of land on the banks of the Nile and carved out home and stables from scratch. Along with daughter Kya, now 13, they breed, train, compete and instruct in dressage, show jumping and cross-country disciplines. Natalie also is an Equine Osteopath and as well as riding gets to judge competitions as well.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
 
Pick-up in Entebbe, Uganda for 9:00am then transfer to Jinja. Lunch and pre-departure chat on a River Nile boat cruise.
Riding: Approx. 1.5 hour short ride in the late afternoon to warm up and try out horses around the local village and along the banks of the River Nile.
Accommodations: Holland Park Jinja  (Please note single rooms are further back from the river at this lodge).
Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 2: Sugar and Tea Plantations Ride
Approx. 4 hours ride through various plantations and villages, over some hills with stunning vistas of the countryside. Picnic lunch. Fabulous views and open terrain, rural villages, and sugar and tea plantations. Long canters are possible for those who want to indulge.
Accommodation: Holland Park
Meals: All meals

Day 3: The shores of Lake Victoria Ride
Approx. 5-6 hours riding. We truck our horses to our start point and visit our local school while the horses are being moved. Feel free to bring any primary age books you can spare to donate to the library! We then ride around an enormous peninsula that lies in Lake Victoria with lunch overlooking the lake. We pass by views of the source of the Nile and Jinja town. We ride to an end point and then travel to the lodgings by vehicle, where the horses stay with us.
Accommodation: Rainforest Lodge
Meals: All meals

Day 4: Forest explorer ride
Approx. 3.5 hours exploring Mabira forest and surroundings with a morning tea stop on the way in the thick jungle. We will be looking for rare forest primates (a subspecies of Grey cheeked Mangabeys) that are only found in Mabira forest. There are also lots of spectacular birdlife. Late lunch back at the Rainforest Lodge. In the late afternoon you can relax at the pool, get a massage back at the lodge, or wander the forest.
Accommodation: Rainforest Lodge
Meals: All meals

Day 5: Rainforest Lodge to The  Haven
Approx. 5 hours riding through the Mabira forest and then into the tea plantations where we stop for lunch. Another couple of hours in and out of the forest until you arrive at the Haven lodge. Great spot for a swim in the river or at the swimming pool while overlooking some stunning white water rapids.
Accommodation: The  Haven
Meals: All meals

Day 6: Rafting/adventure sports or rest day and swimming the horses
Today you can head out to experience some of the most beautiful white water rafting in the world (warm water thrills and spills). Please note rafting is optional you may prefer to rest or do some of the other adventure activities in the area. Quad Biking, Bungee Jumping, Kayak school, Mountain biking or a birding trip on the river.
Accommodation: The  Haven
Meals: All meals

Day 7: Swimming with Horses and Ride to Wild Waters Lodge
Optional up early for swimming your horse in the Nile. A beautiful bay with a sandy bottom, no hippos or crocs, then back for breakfast at the Haven. For your final ride we will be riding to a lookout for a bird's eye view of the Nile before stopping for a drink at another stunning vista overlooking the Nile. A fast paced ride to finish at Kalagala Falls. Say goodbye to your horse and board a boat to a breath-taking lodge. Located on an island in the middle of the Nile with massive white water all around the lodge. Enjoy the pool in the afternoon that is actually a part of the Nile.
Accommodation: Wildwaters Lodge
Meals: All meals

Day 8: Departure day
Drop off at the airport after 2:00pm.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch

-----------------------------------

Our safari has set accommodation which is all pre-booked, however sometimes we do swap our riding days or activities around due to weather or to accommodate various situations. Uganda tends to get small intense storms that may not last long and effect small localized areas. We can potentially find ideal riding conditions each day. We will cover all the rides on the itinerary, it may not be in the order described. Please be aware this flexibility is to get you the best riding or activity conditions possible each day. 

Our safari does give riders the chance to swim horses in the River Nile. It is an optional part of the ride. We swim the horses in the river where there is a sandy bottom, and no crocodiles or hippos. 
 


Rates and Dates for White Nile Explorer

Rates include:

Accommodation in lodges, full board food, drinks during the ride, fully equipped vehicle while out riding, horses, tack, park entry fees, camp helpers, grooms, guides, one day white water rafting (or alternative option)

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20197 day trip, AP Lodge Safari$4000
    • Single supplement$625
      If willing to share but we cannot find another rider$315

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2019 Transfer from/to Entebbe included

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 09/01 - 09/08 8d / 7n 7 day trip, AP Lodge Safari 4 /8 Reserve
A 2019 09/29 - 10/06 8d / 7n 7 day trip, AP Lodge Safari 4 /8 Reserve
A 2019 12/28 - 01/04 8d / 7n 7 day trip, AP Lodge Safari 4 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:
Dates are available any time of the year on request with 4+ riders.

Rates do not include:

Airfares, visas, vaccinations, items of a personal nature, transport outside of stated, optional activities and tips

Other Info
Meeting: Jinja
Airport: Entebbe
Transfer: Kampala

Climate:
                                                Jinja area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

84

84

83

81

81

80

80

81

82

82

82

82

Average Low Temperature (°F)

63

64

65

65

64

63

62

62

63

64

64

63

Average High Temperature (°C)

29

29

28

27

27

27

26

27

28

28

28

28

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

18

18

18

18

17

17

17

17

18

18

17

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

5

6

9

13

12

7

6

8

9

10

11

9

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Being about 50km north of the equator and at 1100m above sea level, Jinja enjoys a tropical climate. Most days are between 21°c and 30°c. The hottest months of the year are November to March. However, Uganda is known for its temperate climate.

We have 2 rainy seasons per year:
-          the short rains from late October to November
-          the long rains from April to May

We still do safaris in the wet season on our wet weather trails. Our horses are acclimatized to damp conditions so safaris are only postponed by us if it is raining heavily at the booked time of the safari. Our supplied raincoats ensure you don’t get cold even if it does rain while on safari.

It still rains in the dry season and can be heavy; it is just not as regular as in the wet seasons.

What To Bring:
The below is a recommended list but not comprehensive. In a tropical climate light cotton clothing is the most comfortable and this can be worn throughout, but it can occasionally get cool in the evenings, so a jumper or fleece is worth packing, as well as a lightweight spray jacket. Swimmers and a rash shirt for rafting are a good idea. We do supply large army poncho raincoats that are also stored in the saddlebags. We can provide helmets and half chaps if you don’t want to bring your own. Please note: it is mandatory to wear helmets on our safaris. Please be aware that we transfer all luggage from lodge to lodge via vehicle and the horses have small saddle bags for water, lunch, cameras etc.

- A pair of hiking boots and/or riding boots
- A pair of half chaps **can borrow if necessary
- A pair of jodhpurs/breeches
- A small daypack suitable for riding if you have large cameras etc
- An appropriate riding helmet (mandatory) **can borrow if necessary
- A pair of long trousers
- A long sleeved shirt
- Sandals
- Raincoat
- Mosquito repellent
- Sunscreen
- Sun hat
- Swimming Costume
- Shorts
- T-Shirts
- Fleece
- Sunglasses
- Anti-Malaria medication
- Travel Insurance documentation
- Cameras, rechargers, film etc
- Adaptor Plug (We use UK  plugs in Uganda 230v at 50Hz)
- Water bottle
- Earplugs (bush babies can keep you awake)
- Head light
- $US or Traveller's Cheques
- Passport and relevant visas if you need to get them beforehand
- Toiletries and personal items

In general lightweight wash-and-wear clothing - something for any of the varied conditions in Africa:- hot, cold, wet or dry.