Cycad plants have existed for almost 300 million years. Not only do they predate dinosaurs, they lived alongside them (did dinosaurs eat them?) They certainly outlived them!
The Encephalartos whitelockii cycad is endemic to one sole location, Mpanga Gorge. This rarely-visited destination of waterfalls and jaw-dropping scenery is one of the African cycad’s most beautiful.
Recently 16 adventure travel guides and adventure experts joined Matoke Tours staff to explore western Uganda’s Rwenzori region: a night walk in search of nocturnal mammals and a safari cycling trail in Queen Elizabeth National Park were just two of the new adventure tourism products. For most guides, this was their first visit to Mpanga Gorge too.
Female guides are at the forefront of all our training programmes and field visits. Matoke Tours DMC guide training and product development. Mpanga Gorge Cycad Trail Uganda.
In the words of participating adventure travel guide Paul Turyagumanawe:
“What a great few days it’s been, from mammal watching in the dead of night, to exploring a beautiful cycad sanctuary, surrounded by a gorge with some of the best waterfalls off the beaten path, to a taste of the hiker’s high of the Rwenzoris. Our imagination, so beautifully stretched, will not shrink back anytime soon.
And like they say, what one learns is most influenced by those one learns it with. From the guidance of some of the most senior guides in the country, to being shown around by the most accomplished site guides anywhere. It’s amazing, how this amazing team was put together.
I personally, like everyone else on this trip, look forward to putting into practice what has been learnt. I’m a fuller guide than I came, more adventurous, and definitely more wholesome. Thanks again, Matoke, for your visionary leadership“
Matoke Tours is amongst the frontrunners in developing and promoting adventure tourism in Uganda through the 3-year Adventure Tourism Uganda development program, whose aim is for currently unexplored regions to receive an equal share of tourism revenue. We also want to offer travelers unique and undiscovered – responsibly-developed – activities that create immersive adventures and facilitate genuine interactions with local communities.
Photos by Paul Turyagumanawe