21st Congress International Primatological Society
Excursions during IPS 2006 Congress
Attending IPS2006! Now is the time to make your booking for chimp tracking in Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth or Murchison Falls National Parks. Contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority to secure a place.
In the following text you will find descriptions of group excursions to local places of interest which have been arranged by the organizing committee for registered congress participants. Please carefully read through the individual descriptions of the tours and then refer to the information provided if you choose to book a tour. Remember to mention that you are an IPS delegate when making a booking to qualify for special arrangements! Since most tours require a minimum of participants we have restricted some tours to certain days to increase the likelihood of more people joining a trip and consequently bringing down the prices. Nevertheless, if you wish to go on a tour on any other day than stated please let us know and we will try to form groups. You may also use our new feature on the webpage, the IPS Message Board (see link on the left bottom margin) where you can leave messages to find fellow travellers. Also, we will gladly provide you with further information on the tours at the Help Desk during the congress.
Ngamba Island - Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island is a project of the “Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT)” and a member of the Jane Goodall Institute, Uganda. It is located in Lake Victoria, about 23kms south of Entebbe, and consists of approximately 100 acres, 98 of which are covered with rainforest and used by 39 chimpanzees. All of those were rescued from miserable fates and brought to the sanctuary since it was established in 1998. The sanctuary’s mission is to provide best housing conditions for the chimpanzee orphans and to educate local and international visitors about the diminishing natural resources of Uganda and the bushmeat trade which is creating the problem with the orphans in the first place. For more information visit Ngamba Island's website: www.ngambaisland.org.
You will take a boat (about 1.5. hours boat ride, bring sunscreen!) to the island, departing from either the Entebbe Pier or the Congress venue. Throughout the day the chimpanzees are free to roam the forested part of the island but they come very closely to a fenced area when it is feeding time (10.30am and 2.30pm). This is where you can observe them from a raised platform either at the morning or afternoon feeding after being given an informative talk by the island’s staff about chimpanzees and their conservation. Tea and coffee is complementary and you can purchase drinks at the island.
The island also offers fantastic views across Lake Victoria and while you are there you can enjoy watching its rich wildlife: More than 120 bird species and other animals live on the island (crocodiles, monitor lizards, etc), thus a trip to the island is always an unforgettable experience.
For those wishing to visit the sanctuary there are two boats departing on Sunday, 25th June, and Saturday, 1st July, respectively. A special congress price of $20 US (instead of the normal $35US) is offered for these two days only, including the boat ride, complementary tea/coffee and lunch. If you depart on the early boat (leaving the pier at 8am) you will get back to Entebbe around 3.30pm, while the later tour (leaving the pier at 10.30am) will have you back in Entebbe around 5.30pm. Please note that only 50 tickets will be available each day (25 people per boat), so please book early. If you wish to visit the sanctuary on other days you will have to pay the regular price!
BOOKING A TRIP TO THE CHIMPANZEE ISLAND
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you book your trip you MUST mention that you are an IPS delegate! Payments can be made on the day of the trip. The meeting point for this tour is at the conference venue, the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel: There will be a pick-up service at 7:45am for the early departing tour and one at 10:15am for the later tour.
Wild Frontiers (www.wildfrontiers.co.ug) runs trips to Ngamba Island.
Please mention that you are an IPS delegate when addressing address your bookings directly to Lydia at: email@example.com
Jinja - Rafting Tour
The source of the Nile is one of the most spectacular white-water-rafting locations in the world. There are several Grade Five rapids along the way with each one of them providing the ultimate adrenaline rush when you pass through the white waters.
You will be picked up at Entebbe and returned there after a joyful and unforgettable day on the Nile. A light breakfast is served in Jinja before you take off in the rubber boats seating eight people. You will have a nice lunch on one of the lush little islands in the middle of the world’s mightiest river. A big BBQ including free drinks is awaiting you at the end of the tour.
The boats and safety equipments are up to international standards and there is a guide on every boat who will give you instructions on paddling before you depart and safely guide you through the rapids. Swimming abilities are required, though just in case! Please remember to bring sunscreen and/or a hat, a comfortable pair of pants and a T-Shirt!
Book your rafting trip now on any day you would like to, except on the opening day of the conference, Monday, 26th June 2006. The full-day trip including transport from Entebbe, gear, all meals and all drinks costs only US$85!
BOOKING THE JINJA RAFTING TOUR
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you book your trip you MUST mention the IPS congress in order to qualify for our special rates!
Nile River Explorers (www.raftafrica.com) run these trips and also contribute parts of their profits to the development of local communities (www.softpowereducation.com).
Please address your bookings directly to Jon Dahl at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrift (www.surfthesource.com) runs the same trips.
Please book at: email@example.com
Kampala is built on seven fertile and very green hills. Those hills do not only provide a stunning background for the bustling city but also for its vivid history. The area of Kampala has always been the heartland of the Buganda kingdom and within the capital there are numerous impressive royal buildings. On your cultural tour you will visit the Kasubi Tombs, a royal palace enclosure built in 1881 where four former Kabakas (kings) of the Buganda people are buried. The tombs are Africa’s largest thatched mausoleums and are located on the Kasubi Hill. From there you will continue to the campus of Makerere University and the Bahai temple, Africa’s biggest temple building.
After a lunch break you continue to Uganda’s National Museum which contains a display of Uganda's cultural heritage including ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions, archeological items and a collection of traditional music instruments.
The tour through Kampala finishes with a visit to the local Arts & Craft Village where you can find great souvenirs and crafts in a relaxed atmosphere.
These tours are arranged for Wednesday, June 28th and Saturday, July 1st. The full-day trip including transport, a guide, a lunch buffet and all entrance fees for only US$ 62 ( min 6 people)
BOOKING THE KAMPALA CITY TOUR
Bookings will be done through the IPS committee.
Jinja and Mabira Forest Reserve
Jinja lies 100 km north-east of Entebbe. After passing Kampala the road turns into a scenic drive passing by tea plantations and the beautiful Mabira Forest Reserve, your first stop. The Mabira Reserve was rehabilitated with help from the European Union and now provides a pleasant gate-away from the bustling city of Kampala. At the Forest Interpretation Centre you can learn more about the park’s animals and plants. The reserve’s 306km² of forest offer a trail system catering for people of all ages and abilities. On your walk your guide will help you spot some of the Reserve’s 300 bird species and if you are lucky you will get to see some primate species.
You then continue to Jinja, passing the impressive Owen Falls Dam as the main road runs across the top of the dam. It is this dam and the adjoining power station that supplies all of Uganda with electricity. In Jinja you will have lunch at Jinja Nile Resort and visit the Source of the Nile, the place where the mightiest river on earth begins its majestic journey towards Egypt. Afterwards, you will see two spectacular falls, the Sezibwa falls and the Bujagali falls, providing you with stunning views across the Nile and good chances to spot bird species in thick woodland along the river course.
These trips are set up for Tuesday, June 27th. The full-day trip including transport, a guide, a lunch buffet and all entrance fees for only US$ 80 (minimum 6 people)
BOOKING THE JINJA AND MABIRA FOREST TOUR
Bookings will be done through the IPS committee.
Mpanga Forest Reserve
The trip starting at Entebbe will lead you to the Mpanga Forest Reserve. The reserve lies about 40 km southwest of Kampala along the road to Masaka. It was established as a scientific research site in 1953 and covers 450 hectare of medium-altitude, ever green rainforest characteristic of the vegetation that once extended over much of the northern Lake Victoria hinterland. The reserve provides habitat for 200 tree species, 140 bird species, more than 200 butterfly species and several primate species including baboons and red-tail monkeys. Especially remarkable are the very large and high trees throughout Mpanga. The entire Park is criss-crossed with an extensive network of paths from which visitors can view the many different animals and plant species.
After lunch you will head back towards Kampala, stopping at the point where you are crossing from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere, the Equator! If you wish to support the local community you can see interesting experiments in regards to the Equator and there are some pleasant shops for your souvenir hunting.
This trip has been arranged for Friday, June 30th. The full-day trip including transport, a guide, a lunch buffet and park entrance fees for only US$ 50 (minimum 6 people)
BOOKING THE MPANGA FOREST AND EQUATOR TOUR
Bookings will be done through the IPS committee.
Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (Mbarara University)
This four day trip takes you to visit the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. ITFC is a field-based research institute of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, established in 1991. The institute carries out a range of conservation-oriented research programmes in the Albertine Rift Montane Forests of south-western Uganda, including research into forest ecology, behaviour and ecology of gorillas and other endangered species, and the interactions between the forest and the surrounding community, as well as a long-term ecological monitoring programme. The trip can be combined with an excursion to track the mountain gorillas in Bwindi, for those wishing to do so. ITFC is located within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, near the park’s southeastern edge at approximately 2350m altitude. For more information on ITFC see: www.itfc.org.
The tour will take you by minibus on Day 1 to the nearest town of Kabale to meet ITFC vehicles and to continue your way to the institute. The drive to ITFC takes you through the highest part of the park at over 2600m. On Day 2 and Day 3 you will visit the field station, and have the opportunity to meet researchers working there, and to go on forest walks.
Alternatively, you can track gorillas on Day 3. Note please Gorilla tracking permits are not organised by the local IPS committee. You will need to arrange your permit yourself beforehand (www.ips2006uganda.org/excursions_gorilla.htm). On Day 4 of the tour the group will return to Kampala. Those who book a permit to visit the gorillas after this field trip could stay on in Bwindi, but would need to arrange their own transport back to Kampala.
The four-day trip including transport and three nights of accommodation with full board for only US$ 145. (NOTE: The trip is restricted to a maximum number of 12 people and leaves Kampala on 1st July 2006!)
BOOKING YOUR TRIP TO THE INSTITUTE OF TROPICAL FOREST CONSERVATION
Please address your bookings directly to the IPS committee.
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC)
Whoever needs a rest during the conference should definitely take a stroll through the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. Here you can see many of Uganda's local animal species and some exotic ones, represented by more than 200 animals kept in spacious enclosures. Mixed species exhibitions simulate Uganda's ecosystems of savannah, wetlands and rainforest and present amongst others the rare Shoebill Stork, lions, white rhinos, chimps and other primates, ungulates and many reptiles. There is also a designed forest walk with lots of information and a garden which explains the medical use of local herbs. Watch out for free ranging vervet monkeys while you walk through there! Also try to spot as many of the 200 recorded bird species while taking a walk along the shores of Lake Victoria or have a coffee at the snack bar.
Opening hours: Daily from 09:00am - 18:30pm, last admission: 17.30pm
Location: UWEC is located on the same street as the Imperial Botanic Beach Hotel. The road branches off Entebbe's main road (UWEC is located about 0,5 km walk from the junction). Simply follow the sign on the main road (a large rhino) or just ask anyone on the street or a taxi driver if you get lost.
Admission fee: Adults: 10.000 USH, Children: 5.000 USh
Internet Page: www.uweczoo.org
Entebbe Botanical Gardens
You have heard enough about primates and need a break? Then it is time to relax in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens! In the park you will find many interesting trees, shrubs and plants to look at and for the braver ones there is a spider walk with lots of live exhibits hanging off the trees. Like anywhere in Uganda you can also observe a large range of local bird species so don’t forget your binoculars.
Opening hours: Daily from 09:00am - 18:30pm
Location: See the map provided in your conference bag
Admission fee: Adults: 1.000 USh