My name is Happy, and I am the proud co-founder of a Conservation Foundation working closely together with Bwindi National Park, home to almost half of the remaining world’s Gorilla population, and communities adjacent to it. Our goal is to promote sustainable conservation and eco-tourism, as well as community development.
Let me give you a short overview on how we hope to achieve these goals.
First and foremost, we are finishing up a new building, just 50 meters from the Bwindi National Park gate, which gets to serve as community development centre for Rushaga village and surrounding villages near the gate. The building will serve as centre where women can do tailoring and give other women trainings in these highly needed skills. Next to that there will be a craft shop, where we try to divert from others in the region, but which can also serve as a place where kids can come to learn crafts at a young age. On the first floor there will be a library, with books available for tourists, but mostly for children and rangers working near the gate. This way we hope to encourage the local community to read more (especially in English). There is a balcony, with a beautiful view on the Southern region of the National Park where we serve tea and coffee for those who just went for Gorilla Tracking. We hope it can be a place where tourists and local people can mingle and exchange ideas and perspectives.
Furthermore, I am currently building a lodge at the top of Bugambira Hill in Rushaga village. Just a 10 minute walk up the hill you will find a restaurant under construction. This restaurant is currently the best place to get internet access, which therefore makes it a good spot to hang out or get some work done. Near the restaurant we plan to build at least two cottages, where volunteers or other guests can stay during their time here. The income generated by this lodge will also serve as investments for the improvements for the other projects we try to establish.
Next to the construction for the lodge and the community centre, we are continuously improving our gardens which produce almost all our vegetables. Furthermore, we are trying to get people to Rushaga and its beautiful natural surroundings. There is so much to enjoy here other than Gorilla tracking. In line with our view on eco-tourism development, we try to find ways to use our plastic waste in building materials. But since most of our processes still need a lot of resources, we try to improve on these ideas, so if you are keen to find useful ways we can recycle our waste, come visit the last frontier of Bwindi and lets brainstorm together.
Prática de idiomas
Ajuda em projetos ambientais
Projetos de construção/faça você mesmo
Cuidar de animais
Ajuda em fazenda
Ajuda com computadores/internet
During your time at our place you will be staying at the only locally owned lodge in the region, Nshongi Camp, which is located just a 5 minute walk from the village and lies directly at the border of the National Park. The staff welcomes you and will be your guides to get to know the village. They will take good care of you and your daily needs, serve great meals (which you can help them with) and share your ideas about hospitality. If you please, they will teach you how to cook with charcoal, wash your clothes by hand, and make sure the boiler is heated to have a nice warm shower after a day of work.
During the work, you will learn how to prepare a nursery bed for future crops, transplant the crops, and take care of the vegetable gardens (if they are left alone by the elephants from the Park). Furthermore, you will learn how to build with limited materials such a panga, a chisel, and a manual saw. The local carpenter will take you by your hand, and explain the materials you use in detail in English. You will learn that resources are everything when building a new construction. I am Happy to discuss our views on improvements for the projects and the future of the community here, since I think this is our way forward.
Next to all these cultural exchanges, you will immerse yourself in the nature of Bwindi, as you can listen to the elephants walking through the forest and if you are lucky spot the Gorilla’s or come eye to eye with one of the forest elephants. They walk through the camp at night every now and then. Monkeys become your friends as you watch the impenetrable forest from the viewing point/terrace at the camp.
Este projeto pode envolver crianças. Para mais informações, veja aqui nossas diretrizes e dicas.
We are building a wood restaurant and rooms for volunteers at the top of Bugambira Hill in Rushaga village in front of Bwindi impenetrable national park home of almost half of the remaining world's gorilla population. We are looking for people with skills in construction, painting and designing. Furthermore, we are open to any suggestions you have to improve the lodge where you stay. We have ongoing projects in several areas, and its up to you how you can be of best service for them. You can help in structuring the projects, by writing protocols, proposals, and instructions for future trainings. Otherwise, you are welcome to join the carpenter, which will teach you gladly how to build with local materials.
Other things that could be considered, are the open mind and knowledge spillovers from all over the world.
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HOW TO ARRIVE: Since the village is so near the Bwindi National Park, the roads to the village are not suitable for a bus or other public transport. Suggested ways to come here (please make sure you contact me with your plans of transport before arrival) are getting a bus to Muko, and from there we can arrange a bodaboda (30.000 UGX during day/40.000 UGX during night), or pick you up with a car (price depending on time and fuel prices). Another option is to come from Kisoro Town by BodaBoda (30.000 UGX) or find shared transportation on Monday and Thursday around 14.00h, from a truck from Kisoro to Rubuguri (5.000 UGX) and from there take a BodaBoda (10.000). Hitchhiking is also doable, however it can take a long time waiting. We will plan your transportation together, if your travel schedules are shared with me.
Once you arrived at Nshongi Camp, we have three options of accommodation. They are all part of the locally owned lodge from Silver, just located at the border of the National Park and 5 minute walk from the community centre.
1. One room with 4 beds (two deckers) for volunteers only.
2. One room with a Queen Size Bed, suitable for a couple or in case you are the only volunteer.
3. Camping site in case you prefer to use your own tent/vehicle.
We have two showers and two toilets available for volunteers (+one open shower). The boiler is heated everyday to ensure a warm shower, and toilets are kept clean and paper is available. Outside the toilets there is a washing facility, as well as at the restaurant of the lodge.
Kitchen & Food
The lodge restaurant is the place to hang out, read a book, or listen to good music (the Staff really likes it). They cook your breakfast, lunch and dinner at your suggested time. Breakfast often includes fresh fruits and an a couple of eggs to your taste (with toast). Lunch is served as warm meal, with vegetables that are available (often Irish potatoes or rice with vegetables). Dinner can be pasta, rice, Irish potatoes with anything to your liking. Just ask and discuss and they will be open to your suggestions. If you like to buy your own food, there are some shops in the village where you can get some fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, you can walk or take a BodaBoda every Friday to the Rubuguri market and buy fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, or drinks to your liking. The people in the village are overall very helpful in finding your needs.
You can plan your free time to your own wishes and budget. You can go for community walks, go up to the restaurant to have some me-time, go for nature walks or dive deep into the local community and join the pubs in the village. Read a book on the viewing platform at the lodge, or just listen to the sounds of the forest.
For longer trips, you can go to lake Mutanda, Lake Bunyonyi, or visit Virungas and Queen Elizabeth National Park. There you can do Game Drive and see the tree climbing lions, waterbucks, hyena’s, Ugandan Kobs, Bufallo’s, Crocodille’s, Elephants, and a lot of birdlife (but this is normal if you are staying at Nshongi Camp).
Acesso à internet
Acesso à internet limitado
Pode hospedar famílias
Este anfitrião pode fornecer espaço para vans.
Dogs and cats
Mais de 2
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week