Join fellow Alumni in this once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the last remaining apes in Uganda, affectionately called the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill. Only 800 mountain gorillas still make their home in the primeval forests of central Africa. This trip enables you to intimately experience these animals and other primates in their natural habitat while learning first-hand about the history and cultural heritage of this fascinating country.
Prof. Nathaniel Dominy, the Charles Hansen Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems, and Society (EEES), will lead this trip. Prof. Dominy's research focuses on the behavior, ecology and functional morphology of humans and non-human primates to better understand how and why adaptive shifts occur during primate evolution. He is a veteran-leader of Dartmouth's Gorilla safari trips.
Your journey will begin in Entebbe- a small town on the shores of Lake Victoria and in close proximity to the vibrant Ugandan capital of Kampala. Built on seven hills, it is the gateway to the interior. Traveling to Murchison Falls National Park will bring to the site where “The African Queen” was filmed featuring the famous Humphrey Bogart. The Victoria Nile bisects this park and finally squeezes through an 8-meter (26.2 feet) gorge that forms the falls. Here you will get a taste of the East African wildlife and a haven for bird watchers. In Kibale Forest — one of the loveliest and varied tracts of tropical forest in Uganda — you will come face to face with 13 species of primates including chimpanzees. Not for the faint-hearted, this is an adrenaline rush listening for their screeching chatter as they search for fruit and berries.
Traverse past Africa’s third-highest mountain- the Rwenzoris – or Mountains of the Moon and World Heritage site to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Named after the reigning British monarch, it is one of the most popular parks in Uganda and the place to see the famous tree-climbing lions.
Our final stop will be to the world-famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for the ultimate gorilla tracking experience. The mist-covered hills of the park are home to at least 320 mountain gorillas - roughly half of the world’s population. It is a thrilling experience to trek for several hours in search of their nests and come face to face with our closest non-human relative.
For those who wish to continue with the gorilla trekking adventure, optional journeys have been added for a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe, Uganda
Day 2-3: Murchison Falls National Park
Day 4-5: Kibale Forest National Park
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 7-8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Day 9: Scenic flight to Entebbe; Departure
Professor Dominy is the Charles Hansen Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems, and Society (EEES). He studies the behavior, ecology, and functional morphology of humans and nonhuman primates. He has worked in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia since 1999, and he has received grants and fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Packard Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Explorers Club, and the Royal Geographic Society. His research philosophy is to integrate tropical fieldwork with mechanical, molecular, and isotopic analyses in order to better understand how and why adaptive shifts occurred during primate evolution.