Okutengatenga dance practice - Bakiiga traditional dances

Good day travelers! If you went to Uganda with us, you are likely to have met the Okutengatenga dancing group. The Dance and Drama group has set their goal in conserving cultural dances and plays. With tourism in the region comes some modernization and over the last years a lot of traditions and culture were lost to western cultures - even in this remote region. Instinct Safaris supports Okutengatenga members with school fees and scholarships in order for them to obtain education and work and become responsible leaders of the community. Many families in the Kisoro and Bwindi region cannot otherwise afford school fees for their children after primary school.

In this video from 2011, recorded around the time Instinct Safaris was founded, Okutengatenga members perform the traditional Bakiiga dance during practice, which originates from the Kigezi region of southwestern Uganda. Enjoy!

If you would like to see Okutengatenga on your own safari with us, please check out our Uganda safaris or let us incorporate the dance and drama show in your tailored itinerary!

12 days in Uganda - an experience of a lifetime

Visiting Uganda with Instinct Safaris was an experience of a lifetime. My friends and I, a group of three women and one 12 year old daughter, travelled to Uganda in September 2015. We were met at the airport in Entebbe by our guides Rabani Turyasingura and Emmanuel Turebomoue. Over the course of the next twelve days they shared with us a wealth of knowledge ranging from Uganda’s history, politics, customs, religions, language, local cuisine, and wildlife.

Rabaniis well informed, personable and very happy to share his knowledge. Emma drove the vehicle with the skill and concentration necessary to navigate the boulder strewn earth packed roads that quickly turned to slippery mudslides in sudden downpours. We felt secure and well taken care of in their company.

They invited us into their world. We hiked in the bamboo forests of the golden monkeys, trekked in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest home to the silverback gorillas. We spent a day searching for chimpanzees in the forest and upon finding them, chasing after them as they ran through the forest to finally settle on their favorite fallen log, where they proceeded to groom each other, while the young ones dangled from vines, rolled off the log, and climbed back on. On each of these treks we were accompanied by rangers and trackers who shared information and took pride in the conservation efforts made to protect Uganda’s wild animals. We had many game drives in the savannas where we saw elephants, zebras, bush buck, water buck, warthogs, and ankole cattle. In Queen Elizabeth National Park we awoke at 6am to a tower of giraffes strolling across the grounds of the lodge. We journeyed north to Murchison Falls, a powerful sight to see as the Victoria Nile crashes through a narrow gorge only 7 meters wide before crashing43 meters to Lake Albert, then continuing on as the Albert Nile. We had a hippo surface from under our boat on the Nile as we cruised past cape buffaloes, Nile crocodiles, monitor lizards, and many, many, more hippos. 

Some Highlights of the Trip

The Switzerland of Uganda:  Arriving at Arcadia Lodge in the late afternoon after a rain storm and seeing the most surreal other worldly landscape as we looked down from the hills to the cloud misted Lake Bunyonyi with its scattered floating islands below. I truly did not feel like I was on planet Earth but had been transported to some other mystical place. In theearly morning it was transformed into a landscape blanketed with fog. 

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:  hiking to see the silverback gorillas. Crouching a few meters from a silverback gorilla, watching as he nonchalantly reaches up to pull down branches and vines to eat. We were so close we could hear him chewing. He knew we were watching but he wasn’t interested in us. The gorillas ignored us as our cameras took photo after photo. Nearby a mother gorilla cradled her 4 day old infant in her arms.

Another highlight much less wild but just as impressive: Our visit to the local school in Rubuguri.  Our guides planned this event with the principal of the school. The children did not know we were coming and we had no idea what to expect. We were met by the children with so much enthusiasm, and high spirits, it was overwhelming. We each planted a tree with members of the Conservation Club.  

There is only one way our trip could have been better and that is if we had had more time to stay. Rabani said we packed eighteen days into twelve!      

 Weebale Rabani, Emma, Instinct Safaris

Save US $200 off your safari this season

Hello, fellow travelers! We start the season off with US $50 off any safari booked with Instinct Safaris until the end of June, 30.06.16. Several discounts in the low season also apply and allow for even bigger savings.

In the case of mountain gorilla tracking in Uganda, the following discounts amount to saving up to US $200 per person. Foreign travelers pay only US $450 instead of US $600, foreign residents pay US $400 instead of US $500, and citizens of the EAC (East African Community - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania) only pay UGX150,000 instead of the usual UGX250,000. This promotion is valid in the months of March, April, and November and makes tracking the endangered mountain gorillas an affordable activity for many travelers on a budget. 

Contact us now in order to find out which of our safaris you would like to join in the Great Lakes Region or if you would like to tailor your very own journey using our customization form. We would be glad to hear from you and make your stay in East Africa a memorable experience!