This 8 day very special safrai – offers the opportunity for a wildlife photographer to combine two incredible wildlife spectacles.
Trekking and photograhing majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and trekking chimps in the Kibale forest. In addition we will be visiting three speical locations in Uganda for some extra wildilfe photograhy spectaculars.
This trip is timed so that it can – if required – be taken as an extension to the Northern Tanzania – Southern Serengeti Wildebeest birthing thus offering a unique opportunity for a wildlife photographer to combine two incredible wildlife safari spectacles and have an extended safari. For more details of the Wildebeest calving safari please visit the necessary pages by clicking here.
Encountering our distant cousins in mist-draped forests of Bwindi’s impenetrable forest is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have taken many groups on just such a trek and all come away not only with amazing photos but having had a truly life changing experience. To look into the deep brown eyes of one of our closet cousins is a real privilege. The exchange, the recognition, the awareness of our shared lineage is obvious. Mountain gorillas are highly endangered, but the good news is that the area I use in Bwindi is home to half the world’s population.
With many years’ experience of the area I have chosen two different locations for our two trekking sessions. There are a number of options available in the forest but these are, in my experience, the best and provide us with an opportunity to see two totally different groups of gorillas in different situations. In both locations our professional guides and trackers will lead us into the forest’s secret paths, looking for a habituated gorilla family. Once found, we will approach the gorillas quietly and settle down to observe them from the statutory distance of between 7 and 10m away. As no one has issued the gorillas with tape measures however they very often come much closer indeed. You’ll spend an hour with the gorillas, watching the adults forage and groom each other while the babies tumble and play. All the time you’ll be under the watchful gaze of the great silverback patriarch. Whilst calmly eating his soft brown eyes are constantly watching you and his family. Witnessing and photographing gorillas is a truly profound experience and one of the reasons that gorilla trekking is such a life changing encounter.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Forest
Trekking and photographing chimps in the wild is another once in a lifetime opportunity. These apes with Gorillas and Orangutans are the closest related to man. They live in family groups of 15 to 20 and each group has a unique personality of its own. As with the gorillas our trekkers know each individual intimately and will share with us their history, family relationships and characteristics. You will recognise many as being similar to our own!
After a pre-tracking briefing, you’ll be guided on an amazing adventure into the forest in search of the chimpanzees. Once sighted, you will spend time with them observing and photographing their daily life – feeding, grooming, nursing their young, howling and screeching, all within their natural habitat. A truly thrilling experience. Tracking a noisy chimpanzee family is a trully unforgettable experience, and the wealth of wildlife in this magnificent forest will delight.
Other wildlife photographic opportunities
No trip to Uganda would be complete without experiencing some of its other wildlife photographic opportunities.
On the road journey between the Gorillas in Bwindi and the Chimps in Kibale we will visit the famous Kazinga channel for a boat trip. This narrow waterway links the small Lake George and to the larger Lake Edward. It is home to a massive concentration of water birds including pied Kingfisher, African Skimmers, Africa darters, fish eagles, pelicans and many others. It’s also home to numbers of crocodiles, hippopotamus and most of the major mammals in the area who congregate on the shores of the channel to bathe, drink and feed.
After the chimp trekking we will visit a local forest for a walk looking for the many other species of primates and wildlife found in the area including; black and white colobus, red colobus, L’ Hoest’s monkey and grey-cheeked mangabey. The birdlife is also outstanding including Toucans, African grey parrot, the great blue turaco, black-and-white flycatcher, black-necked, and yellow-mantled weavers are amongst the highlights.
Just before we catch the flight home we will take a short boat excursion on the Mabamba swamp. This is a bird watchers and photographers paradise but our quest will be the rare and enigmatic shoe billed stork. With their strange bills and prehistoric appearance these amazing and rare birds have even non birders intrigued. Whilst looking for it we will also have opportunities to shoot all the other water birds of the area.
With many years’ experience of East Africa and photographing its wildlife I have designed this trip specifically for the enthusiastic wildlife photographers interested in learning more about their camera and at the same time capturing some memorable images.
Each combined trip will be limited to a maximum of 4 people and is often less. We’ll be staying at small and extremely comfortable bespoke lodges in Uganda. The intimate and relaxed atmosphere of the camps gives you the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience in this prime wildlife area.
Cost for 14 night 15 day trip 2020
Due to the current volatility in the US Dollar and UK Pound exchange rates we have taken the decision to price the holiday in US Dollars and to the airfare separately in UK pounds.
Monies you pay as a deposit will be converted on the day of transfer at that day's exchange rate. If you require this rate can then be "pegged" as the rate to be used when the balance is paid thus ensuring you know the total price of your holiday in sterling in advance. Alternatively you can take a risk on the exchange rates prevailing at the time your deposit is due.
African land element $7,850
Gorilla Trekking permits – 2 @ $700 day = $1,400
Chimp Trekking permit – 1 @ $200 = $200
Plus international economy flights £850 (Unless attending safari as extension to Tanzanina trip).
Total approx £7,755 (including gorilla and chimp trekking permits) plus flights from £850
(exchange rates as at 22nd May 2020)
(unlike some other providers we provide prices including all air fares from London Heathrow, gorilla trekking permits, local internal transfers, full board accommodation, laundry, park fees, guiding fees etc. See detailed itinerary for more information).
It is possible to book this trip with the S Tanzanian trip if required. Please enquire.
The Great Wildebeest Migration is often described as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Natural World” and has been the subject of many a stirring TV program or film. Join me Bob Brind-Surch to experience and, under my expert guidance, photograph this for yourself.
Nowhere else on land is there a movement of animals as immense, over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Masai Mara in Kenya during July through to October.This is an annual wildlife spectacular not to be missed! Each year 1.5 million Wildebeest and 300,000 Zebra make their long trek from the Serengeti north to the Masai Mara. At one point the migration has to cross the mighty Mara River and its tributaries where crocodiles and other predators wait to feast on those unlucky enough to get caught. Those that manage to cross will then be hunted, stalked, and run down by the larger carnivores of which the area is famous.
The Masai Mara has one of the largest densities of lion and other large cats in the world and is without a doubt Africa’s most famous safari destination. The sheer numbers of prey species at this time of year bring out every kind of behavior in the cats and often some spectacular action can be seen.
Each trip will be limited to a maximum of 8 people and is often less. We’ll be staying at Kicheche Bush Camp which is a bit nearer the “action” than some. This is a small private and extremely comfortable camp ideally located to offer the very best game viewing opportunities. With just six tents they can provide a truly individual and tailored approach to our safari whilst enjoying a true wilderness experience in extreme comfort.
In addition to providing great photographic opportunities, this tour has been carefully designed to offer a wide appreciation of the natural beauty of Africa’s wildlife, people and the environment. The itinerary is constructed to give the maximum time in the field in order to provide you with unrivalled experiences and the very best photographic opportunities. I am always on hand to provide ad-hoc photographic tuition and assistance if required. My aim is simple, to ensure you have a highly enjoyable holiday where you can concentrate on your photography with truly unique opportunities to view and capture images of the natural world. All this whilst soaking up the very best wilderness experience in a comfortable and magic environment.
It is possible to book this trip “back to back” with the Southern Tanzanian trip if requiredand subject to availability and at a reduced cost based on separate trips.
Click here for details of the Southern Tanzania trip