Volunteer Travel in Uganda – Episode 360

categories: africa travel

Hear about volunteer travel in Uganda as the Amateur Traveler talks to Shara Johnson about her experience volunteering at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center and her subsequent adventures exploring Uganda including an unheard-of solo trek to see the mountain gorillas.

Shara is keen on volunteer travel and found that she could work with the chimpanzees at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center which she found to be an excellent start for her trip. She actually lived on the zoo grounds. Volunteer travel is not free but she found it worthwhile although a lot of work. She spent a lot of time cutting up fruit. She made some friends there, especially 2 chimps named Nepa and Sara.

Not only did she get a chance to interact with some of the furry residents but she made local contacts that led to a less expensive and more unusual visit into this African country. She did couchsurfing in a mud hut at a rural school near Lake Bunyoni. This the day after splurging on a stay in the Queen Elizabeth National Park Hotel.

She also went chip tracking near Budongo Forest National Park which is much less expensive and easier to book than going to see the mountain gorillas. Add in a visit to Murchison Falls, an unexpected visit to a witch doctor, a visit to the crater lakes in the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon) and Shara created for herself a unique African experience.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

SKJ Travel
Uganda pictures on SJK Travel
Uganda Wildlife Education Center
Gorilla Tracking
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Chimp Trekking
Entebbe International Airport
Murchison Falls National Park
Nile Special Beer


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

One Response to “Volunteer Travel in Uganda – Episode 360”



One thing I’d like to add … something I wish I had known beforehand is that nobody will exchange USD currency that is printed prior to 2006. Maybe you can find someone to give you less than the current exchange rate, but by and large, nobody will touch a pre-2006 USD bill. I had brought some $50s with me for emergency exchange if I couldn’t get my ATM card to work or something. At one point I needed to use some, and half of them were not accepted … put me in a bit of a bind. If I had known the pre-2006 thing, it would have been very helpful. So check the dates on your bills before you pack them!

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