Venture to the 'Pearl of Africa' and experience a rare opportunity to witness gorillas in their natural habitat and contribute to ongoing primate research and conservation efforts to help ensure the survival of this critically endangered species.
|June 13 - July 12||C||30 days||$7,680||Available|
Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn internationally recognized certifications, documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.
Uganda Gorilla & Chimpanzee Conservation offers 3 natural science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 30 hours of documented community service.
It’s a long travel day to get to Entebbe, but once you arrive, hit the ground running! The group gathers just outside the capital city and then transfers to the banks of the Nile. Settle into a comfortable small lodge and try to get some sleep before the next day’s adventures. Participate in orientations to this new and remarkable environment while getting to know your new group members. The next day you all embark on a team-building, high-adrenaline adventure navigating the rapids of one of the world’s longest rivers. Jump out during calm waters for a swim and enjoy a well deserved lunch on the riverbank while keeping an eye out for some of Uganda’s famous wildlife, like cormorants, egrets and even monkeys.
Transfer back to Entebbe and then a beautiful boat ride across Lake Victoria takes you to Ngamba Island, a sanctuary established for rescued chimpanzees. Join the rescue center’s dedicated team as they work to ensure the health and welfare of our closest living relatives. You contribute to the success of the community by fulfilling the needs of each day which may include activities such as food preparation, enrichment exercises, collecting behavioral data and maintenance of facilities. Gain an appreciation and understanding of chimpanzees through your unique experiences on the island and through academic discussions on ecology, feeding behaviors and social behaviors.
Pile into an off-roading vehicle and make your way over bumpy roads and into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, A UNESCO World Heritage Site. The almost impenetrable jungle is a haven for a huge variety of primates and other animals. The most famous residents are the approximately 300 – 400 mountain gorillas, nearly half of the total population of this critically endangered species living in the wild. The only way to see the gorillas is a difficult, muddy, off-trail, jungle hike in mountains that may be over 8,000 feet in elevation. It’s not easy, but the difficulty of the terrain and extremely limited number of permits contributes to the protection of these gorilla families. If you are lucky, the few hours you may spend near the gorillas is an experience unlike any other and you are sure to gain a greater appreciation for the world’s largest primate. The focus of your time in Bwindi is to develop a deeper understanding of the conservation policies that have led to an increase in mountain gorilla populations. On nature walks and visits to nearby towns you speak to guides and members of nearby communities to understand the impact of the regulations on the people and wildlife of the region. Learn about primates’ role in the forest, the complex threats they face and even more complex conservation strategies that are being used to protect their unique mountain habitat.
Leave Bwindi National Park and travel over more bumpy roads toward Kibale National Park. Enroute you traverse the savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park in search of the area’s famed lions, elephants and other African wildlife. Arrive in Kibale ready to begin the research project phase of program. Become acquainted with this new forest. Less dense than Bwindi, but still teeming with wildlife, this is the home of 13 species of Ugandan primates. While still living and cooperating as a group, with the final exam behind you there is more time for independent projects. Engage in life at the research station, learn from resident researchers and partner with them to develop your own focus for an independent or small group research project. Living at the edge of the forest, there are ample opportunities for informal observations, nature walks and organic learning opportunities. Join experienced guides for a chimpanzee habituation trek, a practice that allows wild chimps to become accustomed to human presence and therefore contributes to a growing interest in ecotourism. Engage with local communities and develop a deeper appreciation for the research being done here. Develop your research project and prepare to present your project to your peers.
The final stop is beautiful, Queen Elizabeth National Park. It may be famous for its elusive tree-climbing lions, but there is so much more to see. Drive from Kibale toward the crater lakes and relax on in this beautiful new place. Take in the surroundings and go on boat safari in search of everything from elephants to buffalo, hippos and maybe even a leopard. You and your group members present the projects you’ve developed over the past several weeks and celebrate all you have accomplished during a farewell celebration. The drive back to Entebbe is full of shared stories, reflective moments and soaking in your last few hours as a group.
Trip tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodation and activities from the time you arrive on location. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees and optional college credits. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.
Airfare is not included in the program tuition cost, mostly because students join our programs from all over the U.S. and other countries around the world. Some programs also have internal flights which are not included in the program tuition, and we’ll provide details on exactly how to book those once you are enrolled.
For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.
Step one: submit your initial application online with a $35 application fee. If there is space, you can secure your spot with a $1000 deposit while you complete the secondary application. Step two: we will send you login details to complete your secondary application (academic reference, personal statement, interview, transcript). Once we accept your secondary application pieces and you’ve paid your deposit, your place on the program is secured!
Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.
We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past. For more information, click here.
Most participants come alone, so there is no need to be concerned if you don’t know anyone else on your program. It’s normal to be a little nervous about not knowing other students in advance, but within a day of starting your program you’ll be laughing and sharing exciting adventures with new friends.
Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to call our office.
We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.
Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.
Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).
We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.
Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.
We provide an extensive packing list for each program that we revise every year based on student and instructor feedback, and most of the items you probably have already. If you’d like to look at a packing list for a certain program, just let us know and we can email the most current version to you.
We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot (pending your acceptance into the program), and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).
In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.
We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit www.broadreachfoundation.org for more information and to apply online for scholarships.