Volunteer programme for Green Blue Life Uganda 2019/2020

Dear all, 

The volunteer programme organised by Green Blue Life Uganda is constantly evolving and it is therefore possible that the programme described below will have changed once you participate. It is therefore necessary that all participants are flexible, helpful and respectful. 

It is prohibited to consume alcohol and other illicit substances during the programme.

The programme is not suitable for those who are looking for a relaxing vacation, since active participation is necessary. Since parts of the programme take place in national parks inhabited by wild animals, it is necessary that all participants follow the orders of the leaders / park rangers and respect the wilderness itself. Participants must be in good physical and mental shape. 

Participation can be cancelled four weeks before the official beginning of the programme at the latest. In case participants wish to end the programme early, no financial reimbursements will be given. 

All participants are required to fill out an online form for the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary that will be emailed out a month before the beginning of the programme. All participants are further required to study and sign the Volunteers’ obligations document

Uganda is a magical country and all those who visit will undergo a transformation.

Thank you for your interest,

The Green Blue Life Uganda team

Day 1

The first night of arrival which will be near the airport in Entebbe will
be accommodation in a local friendly hostel and the possibility to exchange
money.

Day 2 – 9

Another part of the volunteer program is focused on the town of Karuma,
located right on the border of the oldest and largest national park of Uganda, Murchison Falls
National Park. This small town is also in the neighbourhood with the river
Nile and sadly, the garbage from the nearby community usually ends up in
this unique national park.

In Karuma, we will be presenting ecological lectures and workshops for the
local schools with the help of the projector. With the assistance of
students we also directly participate in the collection of waste.

​Day 10 – 12

Time for relaxation for all volunteers in our base in Karuma that borders
with the national park.
Those who would like to experience Safari, can take part in an interesting
extra program in this largest and oldest national park of Uganda, which
offers an incredible variety of animal species. It is possible to catch a
glimpse of herds of elephants, buffalo, bearded pigs, giraffes, countless
birds and various types of antelope. From the group of predators you can
meet lions, leopards and hyenas.
Through the heart of the park flows the second longest river in the world –
Nile. Those interested in an organised trip can also take part in the
three-hour boat ride down the river towards the world’s strongest
waterfall, Murchison falls.(extra fee fee /minimum 4 people)

On an expedition on the water surface you will see the herds of hippos,
resting Nile crocodiles and a large number of birds. It is no exception to
catch a glimpse of a large mammals (elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, etc.),
who like to spend time around the river.

Accommodation is provided in tents in the campsite located right in the
heart of the park, where you will witness the life and sound of animals
active at dusk, such as hippos and civets.

A smooth course of action in the park during the nights will be assured by
the professional rangers, who are trained in this type of work, who love
wild animals and nature.


The price of this extra program in the National Park is $250.
The price includes car hire, fuel, entrance for 2 days in NP-Safari,
2 nights camping, night guard secured by a professional ranger, diet and
drinking regime (volunteers prepare meals from our purchased ingredients).

Realization of the trip will take place if there are at least 4 volunteers.

​Day 13 – 19

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a private nature reserve aimed at rescuing white
rhinos. The area has 70 square kilometres. Each rhino is monitored 24/7 by two rangers to
preserve the almost 100% safety for the survival of these magnificent, majestic creatures. In
addition to the 26 white rhinos in the reserve, there are also 40 different kinds of mammals
and it is possible to see hippos, leopards, various kinds of reptiles including crocodiles,
monkeys, various types of antelope and 370 species of birds. The vegetation in the reservation
consists of more densely overgrown savannah and swamp.

Volunteers have the opportunity to actively participate in the creation and
presentation of the lectures/workshops in the local school. The educational theme will be
ecology and conservation of nature. We use a projector for the presentation.

In the field we already have 14 camera photo traps that monitor the life of
the animals and the human activity in the reservation. Volunteers will be
part of the monitoring of the reservation. The content of their work will include the control of the camera photo traps and also the collection of data.
The Program will also be enriched with cooperation with local rangers
directly in the nature reserve.

Day 20

Transfer from Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to Entebbe, relaxing
in nice accommodation near the airport, discussion and summary of the whole
volunteer program.

​Day 21

Breakfast and airport transfer, departure.

Each morning will start with a meeting about the schedule and program of
the day, and also voluntary participation in meditation.

Programme fees

The price of our volunteer programme has been set at: $1,200.

What is included:

  • vegetarian/vegan meals for 21 days
  • transport from and to Entebbe airport
  • eight-day volunteer programme in cooperation with rangers in a private booking and rescue
    station focused on white rhinos (Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary)
  • all transports in Uganda within our program, transport on the river Nile if interested in this
    extra trip to the Murchison NP
  • accommodation for the entire stay. It is a combination of camping for the period of stay in
    the national parks and their surroundings plus 2 nights in a local pleasant hostel near the
    airport in Entebbe.

What is not included:

  • return flights
  • Uganda visa – Visas can be applied for electronically at least 4 days prior to departure. A successful visa application requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • vaccination – Yellow fever vaccination completed at least 8 days before arrival is required to enter Ugandan territory.
  • antimalarials – Uganda belongs to countries with a high risk of malaria. Malaria prevention tablets (prophylaxis) are highly recommended. Always get thoroughly informed on the pros, cons, side effects and usage.
  • travel insurance – All volunteers are required to have a valid travel insurance covering the whole duration of the programme.

​Each programme date is limited to a maximum capacity of 10 people to allow for the greatest impact and a genuine hands-on volunteer experience.

Dates

1 Feb. 15, 2019 March 7, 2019 10 5 no
2 June 6, 2019 June 26, 2019 10 2 no
3 July 4, 2019 July 24, 2019 10 2 no
4 July 31, 2019 Aug. 20, 2019 10 2 no
5 Aug. 28, 2019 Sept. 17, 2019 10 6 no
date start end group size booked fully-booked
6 Oct. 3, 2019 Oct. 23, 2019 12 2 no
7 Oct. 31, 2019 Nov. 20, 2019 12 0 no
8 Dec. 13, 2019 Jan. 2, 2020 12 0 no
9 Jan. 16, 2020 Feb. 5, 2020 12 0 no
10 Feb. 20, 2020 March 11, 2020 12 0 no
11 March 26, 2020 April 13, 2020 12 0 no
12 April 30, 2020 May 20, 2020 12 0 no
13 June 4, 2020 June 24, 2020 12 0 no
14 July 9, 2020 July 29, 2020 12 0 no
15 Aug. 11, 2020 Aug. 31, 2020 12 0 no
16 Sept. 10, 2020 Sept. 30, 2020 12 0 no
17 Oct. 15, 2020 Nov. 4, 2020 12 0 no
18 Nov. 19, 2020 Dec. 9, 2020 12 0 no
date start end group size booked fully-booked

New dates will be added with time.

Application and payment

Prospective volunteers need to fill in the electronic application form and pay a deposit of $360 to the organisation’s account via bank transfer. Please always double check that the information you have input in the bank transfer form are correct.

Bank account details

Green Blue Life Uganda Limited

<account details will be provided soon>

To help us process your application and deposit payments efficiently, please make sure to include VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME 2019 and your name as a reference. All deposits are non-refundable.

The remaining sum of $840 must be paid to the corresponding bank account no later than a month before the programme commencement date. The actual payment cut-off date will be announced in due time.

Volunteer programme application form

Possibility of a personal meeting with the mountain gorillas

The Ugandan impenetrable National Park (UNESCO) is one of the most suitable places across Africa for observing mountain gorilla. The Park is home to roughly half of the global population of mountain gorillas (450 individuals), chimpanzees, elephants, forest antelope, 350 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies.
This trip can be arranged. If you want to make sure that you really see the gorillas, you need to buy a permit for the so-called Gorilla Trekking.

These permits are sold by the Uganda animal protection authority - the Uganda Wildlife Authority and are available to be purchased from the central office at the Kampala. We will be happy to help you to purchase this permit subject to separate negotiation.

The price is determined by the Ugandan government at $600. Card payment is $15 extra.

This is a half-day trip and the allowed time spent close to the gorilla family is one hour. The trekking takes place with the assistance of the trained park managers, who also serve as guides. In case of great interest in the meeting with the biggest and most precious animals, it is recommended to purchase a permit for 4 days which extends the full trip with us. This meant that you will fly to Uganda for a total of 25 days.

The complete price (including the entrance fee $600) to see the mountain gorillas as an extra trip is $1,100.

The price includes a ticket to see gorillas, 4 nights camping, car rental + driver + fuel, full boarding (breakfast/lunch/dinner), tent accommodation and transfer to Entebbe airport. This is a 14-hour transfer.

Minimum of 2 volunteers is required for a realisation of this trip.

Useful tips and travel advice

Location

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. All international flights arrive at the Entebbe International Airport which is located about an hour drive from the capital Kampala. There are several flight route options with stopovers in Istanbul, Dubai and Nairobi to name but a few. We personally use the Prague – Dubai, Dubai – Entebbe or Prague – Amsterdam, Amsterdam – Entebbe connections. We will pick you up at the airport and drop you off after the program ends.

​Weather and climate

Thanks to large parts of the country being occupied by a plateau, Uganda boasts a fairly mild tropical climate compared to other countries in the equatorial region. Historically, this part of Africa enjoyed two rainy seasons – April and November. The rest of the year remained fairly dry, particularly in the northern parts of the country. Recent environmental and climatic changes, however, are rendering accurate predictions of weather conditions and patterns increasingly difficult. Be ready for both intense heat and rain. Frequent showers are to be expected particularly at the cloud forest site. It is necessary to be prepared that on warm days the temperatures are around 27 degrees and the wind is usually cooler. If you are interested in a trip to see the gorillas we recommend to take warmer clothes as the temperature is around 20 degrees. The temperatures are cooler, especially at night.

Packing essentials

  • Waterproof jacket, raincoat or poncho
  • Pair of solid walking shoes
  • Pair of comfortable trousers
  • Long sleeve T-shirt/shirt and a warm sweatshirt or jumper 
  • Comfortable pair of sneakers and a pair of sandals/flip flops
  • Cap/hat is an absolute must

​​All programme participants will be provided with a tent and a quality sleeping bag. Feel free to bring your own if you prefer.​

To lead by example and to minimise the use of disposable plastics, all volunteers are asked to bring reusable food containers, a set of cutlery and a vacuum flask to store hot beverages. Apart from a few areas high in the mountains, bottled water is currently the only safe source of drinking water - a sad fact we cannot do much about at the moment. To keep our plastic waste generation as low as possible, we always buy drinking water in large containers. Tap water in Uganda is only safe to drink after boiling.

Food

Sealable containers for food, cutlery, tea/coffee. We do not want to be part of the culture of disposable plastics and we strive to minimize their use. Only bottled water is drinkable in the country, and we cannot influence this at the moment. Tap water is drinkable after boiling. Drinking water can be bought in a big barrels and can be arranged by us.

Planning vegetarian and vegan menus as well as daily meal preparation is done by volunteers themselves. Are you looking forward to trying delicious exotic fruit and veg yet?

Malaria and mosquitoes

As mentioned above, Uganda belongs to countries with a high risk of malaria and purchasing antimalarials is highly recommended. To be able to make an informed decision, it is advisable for all volunteers to carefully study both prophylaxis and stand-by treatment options.

The first step in protection against malaria, however, should always be long sleeves, trousers and mosquito repellents. This is particularly important after 5pm when mosquitoes become active. Your chosen repellent brand should contain as high a percentage of DEET as possible. If you intend to transport a mosquito repellent in your hand luggage, always keep in mind there is a 100ml size restriction on all liquids.

People, wildlife and safety

Uganda is one of the safest countries in Africa, and people from across its many different communities generally are respectful and kind-hearted. As in any urban area in the world, caution and a watchful eye is advised in particularly crowded areas, although larger groups have also proved to act as a pickpocket deterrent.

In nature reserves and parks, close encounters with wild animals, especially when sudden and unexpected, can turn very dangerous. This mainly applies to large mammal species such as buffaloes, elephants and hippos to name but a few. Lions, leopards and hyenas have all been occasionally spotted in the Semliki Wildlife Reserve. It is more of a rarity but has to be taken into consideration nonetheless. We will move around in groups and all volunteers are expected to follow instructions given out by group leaders, guides and rangers. Activities not included in the programme’s schedule must be discussed with a programme team representative beforehand.

Electricity, water and hygiene

Safe drinking water will be available at all times. Sufficient shower (sometimes hot) and sanitary facilities are also available.

Electricity, hot water and wireless internet connection can be relied on approximately 60% of the time. Staying in the African wilderness, we cannot guarantee uninterrupted provision of utilities. A high capacity power bank definitely comes in handy.

In Uganda the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern and is also used in the UK. Uganda operates on a 240V supply voltage and 50Hz. To be able to use your personal electrical appliances safely, ensure you pack the right type of travel adapter where needed.

Spending money

As stated above, the programme fee covers accommodation, food and local transportation costs. Any additional expenses are to be considered solely at the discretion of each individual. Our recommended allowance for the whole duration of the programme is $150.

Programme requirements

All programme participants must be over 18 years old. All underage participants must be accompanied by an adult. Each person is responsible for their own behaviour and is obliged to follow all instructions with no exception.

Most of our time will be spent in national parks and nature reserves. Therefore, respect for animals and the environment is essential. A reasonable level of physical as well as mental fitness is also required.

FAQ

Why should I pay to volunteer?

The funds received will be used for the whole project in Uganda. All of our organisation’s revenue goes towards the running and administrative costs of the Green & Blue Life Uganda project. Our top priority is the purchase an off-road vehicle to facilitate transportation of volunteers. Other means of public transport such as coaches and local buses are highly unreliable and can be very time-consuming. There is no rail network in Uganda. 

Last but not least, we would like to buy a land on the border of the national park or a nature reserve, where we can create a base for our programs and volunteers. We plan to build a cottage or a large tent, of course, as gentle as possible to the local nature.

We also want to start working with the locals so that they can benefit with a financial contribution to help conserve the nature, and to stop poaching.

Who is this programme not for?

Our volunteer programme is not intended for those who wish to spend some time away on a relaxing holiday. The programme requires an active approach and participation in all its aspects.

Pre-departure checklist

  • Passport – Must be valid no less than 6 months after return.
  • Visa – Visas can be applied for electronically no later than 4 days prior to departure. A successful visa application requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • Malaria – Uganda belongs to areas with a high risk of malaria and all treatment options should be carefully considered. 
  • Yellow fever – Yellow fever vaccination completed no later than 8 days before arrival is required to enter Ugandan territory and the entry into the.country is not possible without proof of the vaccination card. This is checked at the airport.
  • Travel Insurance