Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Southwestern Uganda. With one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, this park is home to approximately 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, and 220 species of butterflies; however, it’s most known for its incredibly diverse array of flowering plant species – over 1,000 different species!
Many visitors and conservationists are also drawn to the park for its endangered mountain gorilla population. The park contains 340 of these gorillas, nearly half of the world’s entire population.
About the Project
Volunteers will be challenged to use their individual skills, experiences and interests to design their own grassroots project that contributes to the health, environment, businesses, culture, tourism, and/or education of a remote rural community that borders Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Day-to-day support from the local staff will help volunteers to clearly define their goals, while still allowing them a high level of independence to creatively construct a meaningful initiative.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Upon arrival, you will have a consultation with a personal advisor to help develop your ideas and kickstart your project. Some ideas to start you off are:
Become a Health Ambassador: Educate others about basic health habits, including first aid, nutrition, dental health, water, sanitation, and disease prevention.
Run a mobile business clinic: Support interactive workshops and mentor individuals and groups to discuss, plan, innovate and grow sustainable local enterprises.
Develop the local tourism industry: Help the local community be a part of Uganda’s emerging tourism industry. This might include designing and developing trails, training local guides, hospitality training, marketing assistance, and planning of events and cultural performance activities.
Apply your marketing skills: Share your skills to market a variety of goods, including coffee and honey.
Teach and train to teach: If you’re a trained teacher, you’re welcome to share your input with local teachers and provide general classroom support. If not, there are plenty of opportunities to teach English, computer skills, business, and other topics to children and adults. If you like reading, you’ll enjoy expanding our Story Time project with the children in local village schools.
Contribute as a conservationist: Collect seedlings in the forest to start a garden, search for flora specimens for the research database, and assist with educating the local communities on the importance of conservation.
Share your agricultural expertise: Improve techniques and promote the diversification of crops for nutritional, environmental and entrepreneurial benefits.
Start an arts-and-crafts venture: Use your creativity to build upon and hone the considerable local talent and help to develop ongoing hand-made craft sales.
Utilize your love for sports: Get active in the Athletics Club. Play football, volleyball or go running with energetic kids and adults. The annual Mountain Gorilla Trail Run welcomes help with organizing, fundraising, and training local athletes - and you can even compete!
A typical day: Breakfast is served from 7:00 – 9:00 am before you head off to your morning project. After a lunch break from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, you’ll continue working on your project until 5:00 pm, at which point you’ll be taken back to your accommodations in time for dinner at 7:00 pm and free time to relax, chat with other volunteers or hang out in the local village.
Please note that all volunteers will have a schedule designed specifically for them and their project, and will either work alongside our local project coordinators or with other volunteers. No two days will be the same!
Accommodations: You will be staying at the volunteer house within the community with up to 3 other volunteers per room. The house is comfortable and provides stunning views into the Bwindi Forest. Hot rainwater showers are available and electricity is solar powered. Please keep in mind this is a remote and rural location so Western amenities and luxuries may not always be available.
Food: Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast consists of fresh fruit, toast, eggs, pancakes, tea and local hand-roasted coffee. Lunch is typically eaten out in the field, and dinner is usually Western or Ugandan cuisine (beans, sweet potatoes, rice, chapattis).
Internet: Free WiFi is available
Laundry: Weekly laundry service is provided.
For an additional fee, you can take advantage of all that Uganda has to offer! Please let us know if you would like to sign up for any of the trips below following registration.
Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi
Safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Climb the Virunga Volcanoes
Minimum age 18
Immunizations (yellow fever vaccine is mandatory; please consult your local travel clinic regarding additional vaccinations)
Enthusiastic and self-motivated
Police clearance form