Right next to the entrance of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is a school and daycare centre which take care of the children in the surrounding villages. Here, as a volunteer you will assist with the schools activities, from teaching to playing with the children. Of course while you are there you will also get the opportunity to see the “Gorillas in the Mist”.
Pre-School/ school Mgahinga
Project fee from EUR 1,200
Your Role as a Volunteer
As a volunteer in Mgahinga, situated in south-western Uganda, you will work in one of Uganda’s poorest regions. When the National Park was expanded, large parts of the population was forced to move, loosing much of their farmland resulting in increased poverty in the region.
At the school volunteers mainly assist with teaching English but also with other subjects. At the preschool volunteers play an important part with assisting in the children’s play time and activities. A volunteers showing their own initiative is always appreciated and often makes a big difference for the people who need help and the people who run the project. Volunteers with initiative and a great attitude are like gold and are incredibly valuable to the project.
- Construction and renovation
- Marketing and Social Media
- Gardening and agriculture
- And many more
You can help out with your knowledge within a specific field!
The Project’s Mission
The project aims to help raise the level of education in the area. In a poverty stricken area, education is one of the most valuable resources.
The projects in Mgahinga run by the organization Mgahinga Community Development Organization (MCDO). MCDO is an umbrella organization for various projects in the area which aims to strengthen communities around Kisoro while protecting its unique wildlife.
While volunteering at the school and preschool, you will be living right next to the entrance of the Mahinga Gorilla National Park. You will have a unique opportunity to see the gorillas that this national park was established for. In a small group together with a guide, you will walk through the dense bamboo forest in search of one of the troops of gorillas. Finding them and spending time witnessing their magnificence and serenity is a once in a life time experience. During the early morning the gorillas are tracked down but a national park guide who then notifies the park where they are. If you would like to include this in your trip you will need to let us know so that it is arranged before you arrival. The price of the permit for participating in this activity is $600.00. Please note that the gorillas forage all over the park, so sometimes move too far to reach them by walking so occasionally a transportation cost is included in the activity – this will cost a maximum of $200.00 which you can pay locally.
How do I book a trip?
You can book your trip with Volunteer Travels by calling us on (+46) 08-23 93 00 or by booking through our website www.volunteertravels.com by clicking on “Book a trip”. You can also email us on [email protected] When you have registered yourself we will send you an invoice with a registration fee of £200.00. The registration fee is later incorporated into the trip price and the amount is then deducted from your final invoice. When you have paid the registration fee you are formally registered. You will then receive preparatory information from us in good time to plan your trip.
Your Everyday Life
You fly to Kigali, Rwanda, where you will be met at the airport by a representative of MCDO. You will then travel to the border, Ruhengeri, which is about a four hour trip. Here you will fill out a visa application for your stay in Uganda. On your first day you will receive an introduction to the project and any other information that you need to have for your stay in Uganda.
Accommodation and Food
While volunteering with this project you will live on the Amajarnbere Iwacu Community Campground (AICC). Here the main buildings and office have electricity. Your accommodation will be a Banda, which is the African equivalent to a rustic cottage that you will share with other volunteers. Breakfast and dinner will be eaten at AICC, lunch will be provided at the preschool or school, depending on where you are for the day. Water and other drinks will need to be purchased yourself and are available at AICC.
Mgahinga is situated approximately 45 minutes from a larger village called Kisoro. You will be able to travel there by car or motorbike taxi. Located in the village is a guesthouse called “Golden Monkey” which is very popular amongst travellers and foreigners living in Uganda. Internet cafés and an ATM (only takes VISA cards) are available and you can buy things that you need for your stay in Uganda if needed.
In the National Park itself there are several activities available for you to participate in. There are a lot of trails in the park to walk or mountains to hike up. With one of the most beautiful tropical forests in the world, this is definitely an area to explore. These activities can be arranged on site and can be done at cost. Volunteer Travels suggests that you carry dollars on you for activities such as this, as it works to your favour. If you would like to arrange other activities found in Uganda, we suggest you organise it through the Golden Monkey.
Uganda is aptly named the “Pearl of Africa”, offering much of what Africa boasts with the unique blend of wildlife, beautiful diverse landscapes and accommodating people. Hiking, rafting, visiting nature parks, visiting the lakes, or just enjoying your surroundings are just some of the things that you can do while staying in Uganda. Standing at 1000m altitude Uganda also offers a fantastic climate which is compared to the European summer, with higher humidity in some areas.
Apart from political clashes that have plagued the country’s history, HIV/AIDS has had devastating effects on the population of Uganda, as well as the economy. However, with increased efforts the Ugandan government and health department have managed to slow the spread of disease.
Uganda has a warm climate year round, as it lies on the equator. It is usually around 25 – 27˚C during the day and 20˚C at night. Uganda has two seasons, dry season and rainy season. Uganda is warmest from December to February with temperatures sometimes rising to 30˚C. Rainy season falls from April – May and again from October – November.
Your flight tickets are not included in the tour price. Once you have booked your time in Senegal you will receive a flight ticket option from one of our travel agent partners. If you are interested in their proposal you can respond to them, or research for a ticket yourself. Please make sure that your ticket is booked for you to arrive in Kigali, Rwanda a day or two prior to your start day at the project, between 06:00am and 02:00pm. Ethiopian Airlines have several flights a day that fall in this time frame. Your last day at the project is a Friday and you will need to book your return flight a day or so after this if you are returning straight home. You can fly home from Kigali, Rwanda or Entebbe, Uganda. Unfortunately, drop-off at the airport on departure is not included in the tour price, however, help arranging suitable transport will be offered. Make sure that your tickets correspond with your project start and finish dates.
It is the volunteers responsibility to acquire the right visa for the trip. Different visa rules may apply depending on your nationality. Visit the embassy web page of your destination to find out what the visa terms are between your country and that destination.
As a volunteer in Uganda you will be responsible for getting insurance to cover illness, injury and theft while traveling. The agent providing a quote on your flight will be able to sell the insurance that you need while volunteering. Included in your tour price from Volunteer Travels, is a liability insurance, covering damages if you unintentionally hurt someone or someone else’s property.
You should contact your general doctor or vaccination centre for advice on what vaccinations you need to travel to Senegal. You will need a Yellow Fever vaccination to enter Uganda. Hepatitis A and B are always recommended by Volunteer Travels, as well as tetanus.