Play Polo on the Banks of the Nile, Uganda

You may have played polo in some pretty spectacular locations, but trust me when I say, playing polo in rural Uganda, on a stunning sugarcane plantation is another experience altogether. 80km east of Uganda’s bustling city Kampala, this polo experience offers you not only excellent facilities to improve and indulge in your love for the game, but also the chance to experience rural Africa at its best. The club was set up by two brothers who have helped grow the sport of polo in Uganda, which was only introduced in 2007. In three years the club has gone from strength to strength and now boasts over 20 horses, a smart ¾ size boarded pitch, a newly refurbished club house, changing room with hot showers, a few wooden horses for swing analysis and a riding arena for schooling and exercising. Teaching and coaching will be done by either, the head groom and 2 goaler Joseph, or by the brothers themselves.  The club caters for beginner to intermediate levels, but many of the current polo club members are around 2-3 goalers.

Alongside training and playing polo, you have the opportunity to take a horseback safari through the sugarcane fields, ride along the bank of the iconic and beautiful River Nile and even take to the waters for some exciting rafting on the white rapids. One of the highlights of visiting Uganda is the opportunity for the once in a lifetime experience of seeing the world-famous and enchanting gorillas in the Bwindi National Park. If you are part of a group, looking for an active holiday which combines playing polo with some of Africa’s beautiful landscapes and greatest treasures, then this is the package for you.

Highlights

  • Embrace playing polo in a spectacular location, a smart polo club nestled close to the iconic River Nile and Lake Victoria.

  • Enjoy learning about the culture and life in rural Uganda as you ride through its beautiful landscapes
  • The chance to visit the world-famous and enchanting gorillas of the Bwindi Forest National Park
  • White water raft over the exciting and thrilling rapids of the River Nile
  • Utilise your newly improved skills and play in a weekend mini-tournament with other local polo club members

Quick Facts

  • Where Fly in and out of Entebbe International Airport
  • Length Flexible but proposed itinerary 10 nights
  • When All year round group bookings. Enquire for details
  • Rate For 10 nights = US$ 3969. A full days polo with lunch and refreshments = US$200ppd. Enquire for rates which exclude certain activities e.g. the white water rafting or gorilla excursion
  • Riding Level Being able to ride already will help with beginner polo but the club will take polo players and riders of all abilities
  • Max Group Max group is 10 riders. Can include more non-riding members

Destination Description

This polo safari is set in Kakira, one of East Africa’s largest sugar estates. The polo pitch is set amongst a backdrop of Lake Victoria, and surrounded by 25,000 acres of sugar cane. The breathtaking location makes Kakira an ideal place for beginners and more experienced players to indulge in the sport without the formal atmosphere of some of the Polo Clubs around the world.

The unique experience of combining a polo holiday with safari activities to some of East Africa’s most stunning locations, is what makes this spectacular opportunity unique. You can choose to trek deep into the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in search of the famous mountain gorillas, follow a pack of lions in Murchison Falls National Park (available on request), or navigate the thundering rapids while rafting near the source of the River Nile.

  • Please note this is just a sample plan and itineraries are extremely flexible - they can easily be tailored to your exact wants.
  • Day 1 - 3: Arrive in Uganda and catch a transfer flight to KIHIHI airstrip in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Once here you will be transferred to the Silverback Lodge in Bwindi where you will spend the next 2 nights. The lodge is nestled high up in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with spectacular views of the 124-square-mile UNESCO site. The area is home to approximately 350 mountain gorillas (half of the world’s remaining population), non-habituated chimpanzees, more than 100 other species of mammals, 346 species of birds, and 163 species of trees. It is a chance to really escape into the depths of Uganda’s beautiful and tranquil forests and enjoy the magic of its fascinating wildlife.

    It is here you will get the opportunity to spend 1 day tracking these rare and beautiful creatures through the undergrowth and thick creepers of the dense Bwindi rainforest. Being in company with the most peaceful, rare and most endangered of all the apes, is both a fascinating and humbling experience.

    Return to Entebbe and transfer to Kakira.
  • Day 4 - 8: For the next 4 nights, stay at All Friends Guest House in Jinja. Each morning the Kakira Nile Polo Club vehicle will collect you, and bring you to the polo club. The days are flexible but will follow the rough format of:

    10am - arrive at the club
    10.30: Morning tea or coffee at the club house
    11am: 2 hours of training and playing practice on 3 to 4 horses
    1pm: Lunch at the club
    2pm - 4:30pm: Further practice or practice chukkas
    5pm: Social drink at the club before heading back to Jinja

    At least one afternoon of your stay you can choose to do a horseback safari through the sugarcane fields to a stunning view point, and enjoy a lovey champagne picnic on the plantation.

    The trip will be timed to fall over a weekend in order to give you the opportunity to play with the other polo club members. You can show off your newly improved skills and play in some competitive chukkas. After a morning warm up and practice, 4 competitive chukkas will be played on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Day 9: Today you have the opportunity to take on the infamous rafting on the River Nile. You will be transferred to the rafting site, approximately 30 minutes from Jinja, for 9am. Once there, a safety briefing will take place before you set out.

    The rafting is a fantastic and thrilling experience and you can tailor the route depending on your ability, and bravery! There is the opportunity to take on the grade 5 rapids, or go with a guide on a gentler voyage. The flora and fauna on the way down the river is beautiful, lots of monkeys and other wildlife - no crocs though, don’t worry! Biggest danger: sunburn.

    The rafting finishes around 4.30pm; you can then enjoy a delicious BBQ and a well-deserved beer afterwards, before heading back to Jinja.
  • Day 10: Wake up with the sun on another beautiful African morning and be transferred to a stables just 15 minutes away. There is the opportunity to do a 2 hour hack along the banks of the river. Taking in the beautiful and peaceful landscapes that edge this life giving water flow. Longer, overnight rides can be arranged which take you down to a stunning lodge called The Haven; the lodge boasts spectacular views of the river and surrounding scenery. The overnight excursion will be at an added cost.

    Spend one final night reminiscing over the holiday's adventures.
  • Day 11: Transfer to Entebbe International Airport for your flight home.

Dates:
Open all year round

Rate:

For 10 nights: US$3969

Included:

  • All accommodation
  • All meals and soft drinks
  • Gorilla 1 Day Permit
  • Flights for gorilla excursion (travel to Bwindi by road is available at a lower cost but there is a transfer time of +6 hours)
  • 5 full days of polo
  • Horseback safari through the plantation with champagne picnic
  • Rafting day on the River Nile
  • Day horseback safari along the River Nile
  • All transfers mentioned in the itinerary

Not Included:

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Any extra food ordered outside of meal times
  • Gratuities for staff and any items of a personal nature

Silverback Lodge

Silverback Lodge is nestled in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in western Uganda. The lodge is only a 5 minute walk to the national park and has stunning panoramic views of the valley and forests that surround it. The verandas look over the 124-square-mile UNESCO site which is home to approximately 350 mountain gorillas (half of the world’s remaining population), non-habituated chimpanzees, more than 100 other species of mammals, 346 species of birds, and 163 species of trees.

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2 Friends Lodge

2 Friends is a family business and both the hotel in Entebbe and the guest house in Jinja is run by Icelandic Diana, Swedish Jouko and their children.

2 Friends Guest House is simple but clean and has a great atmosphere with outstanding comfort and service. There are 16 rooms all with quirky decoration and big light-giving windows. The small scale allows for a personal and intimate ambiance. The lodge is located in a secure area with 24h/7 private security. All rooms are smoke free and contain room service, private bathroom, fan, flat screen TV and free wireless Internet.

Restaurant “All Friends” next door serves an International cuisine of good standard from a big menu, has a pool table and fun bar area.

Number 1 ranking on Trip Adviser.

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