About Us …
Established in Uganda in 2013, Silverback Travel Company is widely admired as the region’s prime ecotourism operator. We give our visitors life-changing journeys in some of the most remote and pristine areas in East-Africa and in so doing we help conserve Africa’s spectacular biodiversity and share ecotourism’s benefits with the Local Communities!
Our destinations success is built on our passion for Gorillas (Primates) and the technology that connects us with you. Our expertise is based on firsthand travel in every destination that we recommend and because we are 100% independent, we only work with the best, tried-and-tested suppliers. We don’t call our travel consultants and Safari Experts lightly – they earn this title through regular travel, intensive training and written examinations.
If you want to get to know us, talk to us. Don’t be nervous if you’re a long way off from making a booking – we want to hear what excites you about going on safari in Uganda or Rwanda. Being good listeners is at the heart of our old school approach to service and if we take the time to get to know you, we can tailor-make your vacation, filling it with extraordinary experiences and personal touches. That’s when we become your travel partner, the co-creators of a voyage as an individual as you are.
We believe in going above-and-beyond because we know it makes all the difference to the moments and memories you’ll treasure decades from today. It’s why we don’t sell one-size-fits-all tours or the cheapest deals in the region. It’s why we provide 24-hour back up on every single day of your safari at no extra cost!
We are a full service Destination Management Company (DMC) offering a complete range of accommodations, transfers and touring options to singles, couples, families and midsized groups we also offer the entire region from Uganda, Rwanda down to Tanzania through our regional partners and create bespoke itineraries as well as off-the-shelf packaged itineraries, as noted below –
- Wildlife Excursions
- Primate Adventures
- Photographic Safaris
- People & Cultural Expeditions
- Birding Excursions
MEET THE TEAM
A Co-Founder & Director for Marketing, Matthew is born and raised in Montreal Canada. He discovered Africa through his friendship and now business partner Awel Uwihanganye, whom he met while at college. This initial interaction with Africa resulted in what has become a long life passion of wildlife adventure, through photography, film and travel across southern and east Africa.
Working on productions for the Animal planet, National Geographic and the Smithsonian Channel, Matthew has lived and worked in many African countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Namibia.
Currently Matthew is working on an exciting project with National Geographic as a first cameraman and field editor on a film entitled “Lions of the Lakeshore”
Samuel Rukundo is our General Manager, handling critical business of making our clients travel experience comfortable and stress free. He brings to the company critical experience in logistics and travel management, having worked in chain supply management for over five years. Rukundo also has a 7 years experience guiding experience, where he has led more than 300 trips, on Wildlife, Culture, Photography and Bird Watching Safaris, in both Uganda Rwanda and Tanzania.
A graduate from Nkumba University with a Diploma in Tourism Operations & Management also holds a Bsc. Wildlife & Forest Management from Nkumba University, Samuel is a member of the Uganda Safari guides association and the one of the best Bird Guide (Ornithologist) in Uganda & Rwanda, his hands on approach to business represents the best of human skills necessary in ensuring client safety and satisfaction.
We focus on protecting and enhancing environmental and social sustainability within our destinations and not just focusing on the business. We have gradually developed tools for measuring ‘green’ destinations and we have managed this through our partners – Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA.
GETTING MORE OUT OF YOUR HOLIDAY| – Responsible tourism is about bringing you closer to our local cultures and environments by involving local communities, neighboring these tourism communities. It’s about doing this in a fair way that helps to ensure that they will give you even warmer welcome. The best examples are site guides from the local destination, they will open your eyes to their cultures and ways of life far better than an expat guide could ever do – they will also earn a much needed income from you.
The responsible traveller prefers smaller groups, and to meet some local people .They don’t like being herded about in a large crowd like nameless faces and understand that travelling in smaller groups makes local people and cultures more accessible.
The responsible travellers want to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter. They want deeper and more real travel experiences. It values authenticity – experiences integral to local people’s traditions, cultures and rituals – rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism.
At the same time the responsible traveller understands that some cultural experiences are best kept private, and that their visit would be an intrusion. They believe that travelling with respect earns them respect.
Responsible tourism is about re-discovering how to experience nature and to be in it, feeling it, smelling it and learning about it rather than just looking at it. Through this they replenish their souls. They would rather get out on foot than sit in a big bus, and are determined to leave no physical evidence of their visit but their footprints.
The responsible tourism understands local people’s relationship with environments, and that income from tourism can be a powerful incentive for conservation and values diversity of people, cultures and environments.
They believe that they can grow as individuals through these experiences, and that their trip can make a positive contribution towards conserving global diversity.
Above all else the responsible traveller wants to cut loose and experience their world. The experienced responsible traveller knows how difficult it can be to do the right thing – and is humble and learns from their mistakes. Whether they travel independently, or through a leading responsible travel operator, the responsible traveller makes and experiences a difference.
OUR EXPERT SAFARI GUIDES
Matthias MUGISHA | – Born in 1969, Matthias Mugisha is a Ugandan photojournalist who got his first camera at the age of six. Over the years, he has moved through all of Uganda’s National Parks, climbed all the major mountains in the country and walked through forests photographing the country’s biodiversity. He was recognized for his exemplary photojournalism by the Foreign Correspondents Association of Uganda and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung when he won the overall award for news single and took both the 2nd and 3rd positions for environment single under the Uganda Press Photo Award 2012.
In 2013, he was the winner of the 1st and second best Uganda Photo Press Awards 2013 in the Nature Category. He is currently working of a Coffee Table Book about birds. Uganda has about 50% of the African population of birds and about 11% of the global bird species.
Matthias Mugisha was the main photographer for Uganda Wild Life Authority (UWA) website photographic content launched in May 2012.
Bob Asiimwe | – Born 26years ago is the youngest on our team. Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Mukono Christian University. Asiimwe grew up In Bwindi Neighboring the Mountain Gorillas in the section of Buhoma, which influence his love and purpose for tourism in his hey days! Bob has worked with Silverback Travel Company since 2013 where he has delivered a recommendable work for the company!
Derrick Rukundo | – Derrick has led many trips in Uganda and Rwanda for the last one decade, he is our operations manager and also doubles as our head guide. He was born in Kigali Rwanda, after the breakout of genocide at the tender age him and his siblings transferred to Kampala Uganda where he was raised by his big sisters. Who saw him successfully complete his Diploma in Tourism Operations and Management also in Customer Care. Derrick has continued to live in Kampala with his family and currently has one daughter. His hobbies and interests include watching football, reading and spending time with his young family when not on the road. He started guiding in 2013 after meeting his namesake “Rukundo” who has seen him grow to become one of the successful guides in East Africa.
Derrick has added to his training and professionalism during his employment with certificates in Wilderness Medical Associates First Aid certificate, 4×4 driving (high range and self recovery), a bird guiding course in 2015 and advanced certification in professional guiding from Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA). He has put his passionate interest in wildlife and experience caring for clients together to become an excellent all round guide and is often chosen as the lead guide for our larger safari groups.
WHY TRAVEL WITH US …
Silverback Travel company create voyages, not holidays. A voyage is an immersive involvement, changing how you view the wild places of Africa and the world. In addition to creating such life-changing voyages for our visitors in some of the most remote and original areas of East-Africa, we are also helping to conserve Africa’s spectacular biodiversity and share ecotourism’s benefits with rural people. And in case you need more reasons read below……..
24/7- Hour Grand Support
Travel can be unpredictable, so our teams are dedicated to providing you with support every hour of the day. Whether you need to confirm a booking, make a change or add to your itinerary, our teams are here to help 24/7.
Customized to costume your interests
Not so interested in Gorillas? Bounce the tours we arrange to visit Bwindi and the Volcanoes National Parks. Maybe a photographic Expedition Instead? Or visit the Karamanjongs in Kidepo valley? We can add more cultural & home stay sites to your itinerary. We can include options as specific as walking Safaris in Lake Mburo National Park …whatever you can think up, we can plan for you in East Africa.
Our commitment to responsible travel means that every voyage is undertaken with the greatest respect for the destinations we explore and the local people we meet. Those who travel with Silverback Travels, do so with the assurance that the conservation and protection of the ecosystems and cultures we visit is of the utmost importance to both of us, as individuals and as a company. Respect for the places we travel to is at the heart of everything we do.
Experienced Safari Guides
All of our tour guides are locals to the country or city they help you explore. Equipped with international-standard first aid training and years of experience, our guides will help you get closer to the heart and spirit of East Africa while providing you safety and security.