Uganda

Cacao Wildlife Safari

Feb 5 - Feb 14, 2022

Adventure Overview

This signature Origin Adventure embodies our pursuit of fair trade partnerships and sustainable coffee and cacao production in Africa. This trip represents the epitome of African wildlife. We’ll join our sourcing partner Latitude Trading Company and meet the farmers who grow our beans.

The Great Apes of Uganda

During this hands-on cacao and coffee trip, we will hike with chimpanzees, track gorillas, wild elephants, and lions. We'll be staying in premium lodgings throughout our journey with plenty of time to relax, swim, enjoy local food... and of course we'll be tasting tons of raw cacao, local chocolate and fresh coffee.

Yoga On This Adventure

Optional meditation and yoga will be infused throughout the journey to heighten our awareness of the beauty and energy of the region. Lead by Linda Domino, we will use asana to keep our bodies attuned for service and adventure, relaxation practices for rest and nurturance, and mediation to assimilate the vibrance, abundance, and grace this experience has to offer.

Adventure Highlights:

  • Hike through the lush rainforest while tracking Chimpanzees and Gorillas
  • Whitewater rafting down the Nile river
  • Learn about the coffee supply chain and see first-hand how global pricing impacts farmers
  • Learn about cacao and coffee farming, harvesting and processing
  • Meet the farmers who grow our beans and see the hard work that goes into what they do
  • Learn about how sustainable farming and ethical sourcing can lend itself to a thriving ecosystem and healthy economy
  • Safari through Queen Elizabeth National Park and scout wildlife

Places We Will Visit

Fort Portal

Located within the state of Puebla, this city is one of the five most important colonial places in Mexico. Due to its history and architectural styles, ranging from Renaissance to Mexican Baroque, the city was named a World Heritage Site in 1987. This city is famous for mole, poblano, chiles en nogada and Talavera pottery; all of which we will experience and explore while within Puebla.

Bundibugyo

The heart of our journey will take place in the quaint mountain villages of Jonotla. Its rugged terrain is surrounded by volcanic peaks ranging up to 4,000 feet elevation. Founded in 1180, Jonotla is rich with cultural and spiritual significance. There is a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe on the highest point in the community where her miraculous image appeared in 1922. We'll spend several days in this region hiking, swimming, planting, harvesting, and processing coffee while living near our local family friends in this enchanted little town.

Kibale Forest National Park

Located high in the hills of the Serra Norte Mountains, this picturesque town was founded in 1547. The towns friendly atmosphere invites exploration of its cobble stone streets, markets, cafe's and local artisan shops.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

El Tajin was named a World Heritage Site in 1992, and is one of Mexicos most important pre-Columbian archeological sites. The city flourished from 600 to 1200 A.D; when many temples, palaces, Mesoamerican ball-courts and pyramids were built.

Semili National Park

Off the beaten path and surrounded by lush vegetation lies the wide beaches and clean waters of the Emerald Coast. We'll spend time here relaxing, swimming, surfing in the clear and inviting waters.

Bukonzo Coffee Cooperative

The coast to the North of the port of Veracruz offers pristine beaches with abundant vegetation. Its golden sand and emerald-green waters along the Gulf of Mexico will make you lose yourself in the exuberance of Veracruz. The calm waves are perfect for swimming or diving.

City Of Kampala

The capital of Mexico and the most populated city in North American, Mexico City will be an immersion into Mexican culture. Mexico City is also one of North America's oldest capital cities, and one of two cities founded by Native Americans. Here you'll find preserved architecture, great food, and a sense of one of Mexico's most bustling cities.

Accommodations

Tentative Itinerary (Sat, Feb 20 through Sun, Feb 28)

  • Day 1, Saturday Feb 20: Fly into Mexico City (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México)
    • Arrival into Mexico City and join up with our group at the Mexico City Airport. Depart as a group to Puebla City. About a 3 hour drive.
    • Dinner and overnight in the historical district of Downtown Puebla City.
    • Evening Accommodations: Puebla City Hotel.
  • Day 2, Sunday Feb 21: Explore Puebla City and travel to Jonotla Town
    • After breakfast, we’ll explore the famous architecture and shops in downtown Puebla City.
    • We'll eat lunch at an iconic restaurant on the downtown Zócalo square.
    • After lunch we’ll take a scenic 4 hour drive to Jonotla town, a small coffee farming community in the Sierra Norte Mountains where we will stay for four nights in the company of our old Himalayan Institute friends.
    • Evening Accommodations: Hotel in Jonotla.
  • Day 3, Monday Feb 22: Coffee Farm Volunteering
    • We’ll reconnect with our old friends and host family in Jonotla, and tour and volunteer on their family coffee farm.
    • After lunch we’ll walk through the village and swim in a naturally formed swimming pool inside the forest.
    • Later, we’ll roast fresh coffee right off of the farm on an open fire while discussing the importance of fair-trade pricing within the coffee sector.
    • Evening Accommodations: Hotel in Jonotla Town.
  • Day 4, Tuesday Feb 23: Tree Planting and Day Trip
    • After a traditionally prepared breakfast, we will undertake a coffee tree planting project.
    • We’ll spend the afternoon in nearby town called Cuetzalan where we’ll shop and dine.
    • In Cuetzalan we will visit a local not for profit run by a group of tradional healers and participate in an optional Temescal and get traditional massages.
    • Evening Accommodations: Hotel in Jonotla.
  • Day 5, Wednesday Feb 24: Mountain top hike and caves
    • We will team up with a kids club and take on some art projects as a group
    • Afterwards we will hike to the famous El Pinon. This Mt top is an iconic pilgrimage point known for the miraculous appearance of the virgin of Guadalupe.
    • After lunch we will have free time to pack up and enjoy the town one last time.
    • Evening Accomidations: Hotel in Jonotla.
  • Day 6, Thursday Feb 25: Travel to the Gulf Coast
    • After four inspiring nights in Jonotla town, we’ll say goodbye to our new coffee farming friends and depart for the ancient ruins of El Tahin.
    • At this World Heritage site, we will explore the ruins and observe a traditional birdman ceremony called the "Papantla flyers".
    • After lunch, we will drive to the Gulf Coast and overnight beachside at the beautiful Costa Esmerelda.
    • Evening Accommodations: Hotel on the Gulf Coast.
  • Day 7, Friday Feb 26: Explore the Emerald Coast
    • We’ll have a full day for swimming, surfing, exploring the coast or just relaxing and reading a book.
    • Evening Accommodations: The Emerald Coast
  • Day 8, Saturday Feb 27: Travel to Mexico City
    • After breakfast we will travel to Mexico City through the beautiful country sides
    • Check into our hotel
    • Take a tour of the iconic Mexico City
    • Special farewell dinner party with traditional Mexico cuisine
  • Day 9, Sunday Feb 28: Departing Flights From Mexico City (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México)
    • We'll catch our flights home from Mexico City.
    NOTE: This is the tentative agenda, it can change due to time, weather, group energy capacity, or other constraints.

Registration

  • Registration ends Dec 15, 2020
  • Price: $2,450 per person (excludes airfare) *
  • An $850.00 deposit per person will secure space. Balances must be paid by Dec 15, 2020. *
  • Please wait to book airfare until the tour organizer confirms our minimum person requirement has been meet. *

Registration Instructions: Complete our Tour Participant Agreement form (TPA) by clicking the blue "Register Here" on below. Once approved, we will send you a payment link to make your payment (in full) as well as additional information. Please email Jeff at Jeff@mokaorigins.com with any questions.

Register Here

*The above rates include ground transportation in Mexico, accommodations, all meals starting with dinner on arrival night and ending with breakfast on departure day, all coffee and chocolate activities, taxes, and service charges (gratuity is included).

Pricing excludes:

  1. All travel to/from Mexico. Guests are responsible for getting themselves to Mexico City Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México) in Mexico where they will be greeted and transferred to Puebla City.
  2. Alcoholic Beverages.
  3. Additional Excursions.
  4. Other exclusions may apply and are covered in the Tour Participant Agreement.
Jeff Abella, Co-Founder Moka Origins

Jeff Abella, Moka Origins

This trip will be lead by Moka Origins Co-Founder Jeff Abella, who comes with more than 12 years of international humanitarian experience, both directing projects, as well as leading tour groups abroad. Specialty coffee, craft chocolate, family and empowered communities are key motivations for Jeff. Jeff has been working on international development since 2007. His passion for social entrepreneurship has led him to participate in the establishment of humanitarian projects in West Africa, and Central Mexico and to founding Moka Origins in Pennsylvania. Jeff currently serves as the Director of Global Humanitarian Projects for the Himalayan Institute, and the Managing Director of Himalayan Institute Cameroon. Jeff serves as Chairman of the Sacred Link Foundation, and founded JobLink Cameroon. As CEO of Moka Origins, Jeff manages marketing and brand strategy, while also overseeing relationship and impact at origin.

Linda Domino

Linda Domino, Sacred Trails

Linda Domino will serve as yoga guide for this journey. She has been a friend of Moka Origins since guiding her first retreat at the Himalayan Institute in early 2018. Linda has been practicing and teaching yoga and mediation for nearly 20 years and has guided numerous yoga retreats. She attended the inaugural Origin Trip to the Dominican Republic this past June. It was transformational, and inspired her new venture, Sacred Trails, committed to curating gatherings, events, and conscious travel experiences that inspire inner growth and awakening! Linda embraces travel and immersive cultural experiences as a way to see ourselves and others with renewed clarity, love and compassion. She believes it awakes our sense of purpose and unity and she is eager to share it with others!