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Chimp & Gorilla Photo Tour

Overview

This 11-day chimp and gorilla photo tour is held during one of the best months to undertake primate treks in Uganda, during the start of Uganda’s dry season and is hosted by professional wildlife photographers Andy & Sarah Skinner.

Photographing and viewing the highly endangered mountain gorilla is undoubtedly one of the most special wildlife encounters and Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest provides a perfect location for gorilla trekking.  Here the region is home to around 350-400 mountain gorillas divided into 12 habituated gorilla families.

To ensure ample time with the gorillas the tour includes a total of three gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, giving us the opportunity to visit and photograph different family groups. Plus providing the opportunity of photographing different behaviours and interactions between family members. Spending time in the company of these magnificent and gentle creatures is both mesmerising and humbling. A truly rewarding experience that every keen wildlife enthusiast and photographer should experience in at least once in their lifetime.

In addition to photographing the mountain gorillas we also spend time photographing man’s closest relative, the chimpanzee with two full day chimp habituation experiences in the Kibale Forest.  Not only does this area have a healthy chimp population but this this incredibly diverse forest is also home to over twelve species of primates. Including the rare L’Hoest, red Colobus monkey, blue monkey, black faced vervet monkeys, grey mangabey, pottos, baboons and also bush babies.

In addition to primates this photo tour also includes opportunities to photograph predator species with a visit to Ishasha, an area located in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we undertake a total of four game drives. Here the area has become famous for its tree climbing lions, who have become accustomed to lounging on the huge limbs of the endemic fig trees. However, it is not just the Lions that make this part of the park worth visiting, but also the multitude of other wildlife species that can be encountered here. That includes: elephants, buffaloes and other common herbivores include warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob and topi, as well as the sitatunga antelope. In addition to a multitude of bird species.

During our gorilla photo tour we use excellent mid-range accommodations and our transport for the group is provided by two extended Landcruiser’s with a maximum of four guests per vehicle. Providing a spacious experience for both our game drives and for our transits between each area.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three excellent locations offering diverse wildlife and superb photograph opportunities
  • Three gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Two full day chimp habituation experiences in Kibale Forest National Park
  • The ‘tree climbing lions’ of Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Other wildlife viewing opportunities, including iconic African herbivores and a vast array of bird species
  • Only 4 guests in each extended Land Cruiser game vehicle, with roof access, wifi on board and power charging facilities
  • Excellent host to guest ratio
  • A mix of small well appointed lodges with stunning scenery
  • Low single supplements
  • 25% discount on lens hire (discount applies to UK based guests only)

Our Uganda chimp and gorilla photo tour will be characterised by maximising time in the field with ample treks included in the itinerary and also several wildlife game drives. Photographic tuition is provided during all primate treks, game drives and back at the lodge. This will include tuition in both traditional and also creative photographic techniques. We ensure our guests are tutored on how to photograph the primates, both with settings and assisting with compositional advice. In addition to assisting guests on the best ways in which to overcome the challenges of shooting in low light environments. Photographers of any level are all very welcome on this tour as well as keen wildlife enthusiasts.

The Gorilla & Chimp treks

photographing a gorilla chimp and gorilla photo safari Uganda

Due to the habitats in which gorillas are found (dense and tropical forest in hilly regions)  it is important to mention that this chimp and gorilla photo tour trip requires a modest level of fitness. The distance and time in which it takes to locate the gorilla family can vary. The hike can sometimes be challenging and please be prepared to trek anything from 2-7 hours (3-4 hours is often the average). The terrain will likely involve walking over wet, muddy and slippery ground and in the thick vegetation of the forest. Your rangers/guides will of course machete a path for you through the forest. Those considering joining this tour should be also prepared for uneven ground and inclines, sometimes steep when trekking. Therefore, although you do not need to be of ‘Olympic standard fitness! guests should be aware that a reasonable – good level of fitness is required for this photo tour. This also applies to the Chimpanzee habituation, which requires a similar level of fitness.

Once the gorillas have been located we are then allowed one hour in which to photograph them, this is a time limit set by the Ugandan wildlife authorities and is done so as to minimise the impact on the gorillas and also to reduce the risk of transmission of illnesses from humans to gorillas. As per park regulations guests are required to maintain a 7-metre (23ft) distance between themselves and the gorillas.

The two full day chimp habituation experiences that are featured as part of this chimp and gorilla tour differ from the standard Chimp treks that restricts the amount of time with the chimps. Instead this full day is part of the chimp habituation program. In your which your time will be spent, often alongside the researchers following and photographing the chimps for many hours, and as a result provides superb photographic opportunities. Your participation, is part of the habituation process and entails getting the chimpanzees used to the presence of humans (to remove the fear of humans from the group. This is a process that takes up to two years – and today you are part of that process by your all-day presence in the forest. This experience also gives us the opportunity to get to know more about Chimpanzee behaviour, as well as learning and understanding how to identify the various individuals.

Porters are available for each guest on all chimp and gorilla treks at a modest cost of around $20 per trek to assist with carrying your camera gear. Not only are these porters a great asset for assisting on the trek and  helping you with the terrain but importantly hiring a porter is also a valuable way of helping the local community benefit from wildlife tourism in the area.

The Game Vehicles

With a maximum group size of 8 people, we will use two extended modified game viewing vehicles. These are large and comfortable 4×4 Landcruisers that provide ample rom during game drives and for the drives in between locations. The vehicle features opening/sliding windows and a large pop-up roof. Together with charging facilities, onboard WiFi, supply of photography bean bags and a fridge stocked with cool drinks and fruit. 

June 5th 2019

Upon arrival to Uganda, you will be met at Entebbe international airport (international flight client own arrangements/cost) and from here you will be transferred to the Boma Hotel for an overnight stay. Later in the evening you will meet the rest of the group and your hosts Andy & Sarah Skinner for dinner (cost of dinner not included). This provides the perfect opportunity for your hosts to discuss the days ahead and for you to get to know your fellow travellers on your chimp and gorilla photo tour. Overnight: Boma Hotel (Including breakfast)

June 6th 2019

After breakfast you will check out of Boma Hotel and thereafter will be transferred to Papaya Lake Lodge near Kibale Forest National park. Our transport for the group and for the duration of the chimp and gorilla photo tour will be in two extended seven-seater Landcruiser’s. The journey will take approximately 5-6 hours, during which we will take rest stops and stop at any points of interest along the way. This will include a lunch stop at Fort Portal. Kibale Forest national park is commonly known as the primate capital of the world due to the its highest concentration of the primate species. It is also a home to one of man’s closet relatives the chimpanzee. As well as around twelve other primate species residing here. Upon arrival you will check in at Papaya Lake Lodge, where we will stay for three nights. After settling into our rooms and time to rest we will meet for dinner as a group. Overnight: Papaya Lake Lodge (Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).  

June 7th 2019

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred (a drive of around 45 minutes) to the Kanyanchu tourist centre for briefing, orientation and allocation of the ranger guide. Before setting off for the full day chimpanzee habituation experience, taking a packed lunch with you. You will thereafter enter the forest following the trails in search for the man’s closest relatives, the chimpanzees. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are in for a treat with about 335 species recorded including the endemic Prigogine’s ground thrush. Guests should be aware that the day starts early and can involve a lot of trekking through the forest and starts with the group first finding the chimps (usually from where the last group left them the evening prior) as they arise from their nests. You need to be prepared to be out in the field all day and to have a level of fitness that allows you to trek over uneven slippery ground and often experiencing inclines. The group will then follow the chimps and stay with them all day, usually until the chimps’ bed down for the evening. After a rewarding day you will return to the lodge. Later in the evening we will take dinner as a group and share stories from what we are sure will be a memorable day. Overnight: Papaya Lake Lodge (Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).

*Important note:The chimp experience is restricted to group sizes of around 6 people for each chimp family. Therefore, on this day our photography group will divide into two groups, with 4 guests and a photography host each visiting a separate Chimpanzee group. For those travelling with a husband/wife/partner or sharing a room with a friend we will endeavour to keep you together on the Chimp treks. Whilst finding the chimpanzees is not guaranteed this experience comes with a very high success rate of over 90% chance of encountering the chimp family.

June 8th 2019

After an early breakfast, you will again be transferred to the Kanyanchu tourist centre for briefing, orientation and allocating the ranger guide before setting off for the second full chimpanzee habituation experience. Taking a packed lunch with you. The program today will follow a very similar program as per the previous day, including splitting our photography group into two smaller groups of 4 people, each with a photography host. On this day we will endeavour for each group to experience a different chimp family then the day previous, and where possible to travel with a different photography host then the day prior (please note this is not guaranteed, but Andy and Sarah will do their best to arrange this). Later in the evening, you will return to Papaya Lake Lodge and where will enjoy dinner together as a group. Overnight: Papaya Lake Lodge (full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner)

June 9th 2019 

This morning after breakfast we will check out of Papaya Lake Lodge for a road transfer to the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National park. The journey time will be approximately 3-4 hours in duration, including rest stops along the way. This part of Queen Elizabeth National Park is an area made famous for its’ tree climbing lions as well as lots of other animal species such as elephants, buffaloes and other common herbivores include warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob,topi and the sitatunga antelope.

Upon arrival, you will check in at Ishasha Jungle Lodge for lunch and relaxation. Later in the evening, you will go for the sunset game drive at the Ishasha sector and for a chance to see the famous tree climbing lions, which like to rest on the large limbs of the endemic fig trees. After our game drive we will take dinner as a group. Overnight: Ishasha Jungle Lodge (full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).  

June 10th 2019

On this day we will go for a morning game drive, where we hope to encounter the tree climbing lions as well time to view and photograph as lots of other animal species such as elephants, buffaloes and Uganda kobs. After our morning drive we will return to the lodge for a lunch break, and then later take another afternoon game drive until sunset. We return to the lodge, where we will enjoy dinner as a group. Overnight: Ishasha Jungle Lodge (Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner)

June 11th 2019

This morning we will take our last morning game drive in the Ishasha region, before heading back to the lodge for an early lunch. After which we will take a 5-6-hour road journey to the southern section of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park. Home to over half of the world’s remaining population of the highly endangered mountain gorillas. Upon arrival to the park, you will check in at Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge, where we will stay for the next 4-nights and our base for the highlight of our trip, which includes three gorilla treks. In the evening we will take dinner as a group. Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge(Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).  

June 12th 2019

After breakfast you will be accompanied by your driver/guide and hosts to the park headquarters for a briefing at 08:00hrs. Carrying a packed lunch with you. Porters to assist with carrying your camera bags can be arranged and are provided upon request at the headquarters with a cost (not included) of around $20 USD. Please advise your host/local guide if you wish to take this option, if you think you may take this option it is advisable to carry this extra amount of USD with you. You will then be divided into groups depending on the gorilla family you have been allocated to track. Thereafter, you will proceed into the forest and start your gorilla trek, following the trails in the forest. During the gorilla trek, you may also encounter other different primate species as well as a variety of bird species.

Once the gorillas have been located we are then allowed one hour in which to photograph them, this is a time limit set by the Ugandan wildlife authorities and is done so as to minimise the impact on the gorillas and also to reduce the risk of transmission of illnesses from humans to gorillas. As per park regulations guests are required to maintain a 7-metre (23ft) distance between themselves and the gorillas.  This is truly a rewarding and unforgettable experience that you will live to remember forever. Later in the evening we will join as a group for dinner. Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge(Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).  

*Important note: Gorillas treks are usually restricted to group sizes of 8 people Therefore, our Gorilla trekking day our photography group will divide into two groups, with 4 guests and a photography host each visiting a separate gorilla group. For those travelling with a husband/wife/partner or sharing a room with a friend we will endeavour to keep you together on gorilla treks. Whilst finding the gorillas is not guaranteed this experience comes with a very high success rate of over 90%.

June 13th 2019

You will start this day with an early morning breakfast in the lodge, thereafter proceed to the park headquarters for the second gorilla tracking experience. Carrying a packed lunch with you. Once again, our photography group will be divided into two groups, with 4 guests and a photography host each visiting a separate gorilla group. As with the chimp trekking we will endeavour to allocate you a different gorilla family to track. Thereafter, proceed in to the forest and start your gorilla tracking experience. As per the previous day, once they are located you will have one hour to spend with the gorillas. Later in the evening, you will return to Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge for dinner as a group. Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).

 June 14th 2019

Once again, we take an early breakfast at the lodge and this day will be for your third encounter with the gorillas. By 8am you will set off with the rangers into the forests for the third gorilla tracking experience, taking lunch with you, again with the potential of visiting another different gorilla group. Once again, our photography group will be divided into two groups, with 4 guests and a photography host each visiting a separate gorilla group. You will have one hour for photography. Later in the evening, you will return to Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge for dinner as a group. Overnight: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge(Full board basis, including breakfast, lunch & dinner).  

June 15th 2019

Sadly today concludes our gorilla photo tour. After breakfast we will be transferred to the airstrip (approx. 1 hour away) for a morning internal flight to Entebbe. On this flight we have purchased additional luggage, which will provide each guest with an additional 8kg of luggage (luggage should be restricted to a total of 23kg). Upon arrival to Entebbe (at about 11-12pm) you will meet our ground agent office representative, who will be ready to transfer us for a hot lunch and a short safari debrief. You will thereafter be transferred back to the airport for your connecting international flight.

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Boma Hotel, Entebbe (1 night)

The Boma Hotel is Entebbe’s original and one of its most popular hotels, a small boutique style property that is set in tropical gardens in a leafy suburb. As it is only a short distance from Entebbe International Airport is provides a perfect location from which to start our safari and is very popular with international travellers. Facilities at the hotel include a bar and restaurant, lounge areas, swimming pool, craft shop, Wi-Fi and luggage storage. The restaurant serves a mix of home-made European style meals, with a dash of Indian, Thai and Mediterranean choices.

Each of the rooms at the hotel are individually decorated and vary in a mixture of African and European décor and have been designed to reflect the original colonial architecture. Guest rooms have beds complete with mosquito nets, complimentary bottled water, a private veranda, en-suite bathroom and satellite TV.

Double seeded room used for chimp and gorilla photo safari

Papaya lake Lodge (3 nights)

Papaya lake lodge is a property with an excellent attention to detail, it is surrounded by the lush, evergreen landscape of the Ugandan Great Crater Lakes region, with stunning views over the majestic Ruwenzori Mountain Range. The lodge features a spacious restaurant and bar. Together with a beautiful pool set on its own scenic terrace. The pool offers a beautiful 360-degree unobstructed view of the surrounding wonders of nature: The Crater Lakes, the Mountains of the Moon and the countless fruit and spice plantations.

Accommodation is in luxurious cottages with superb views of the Lyantonde Lake. Each spacious cottage features a stone decorated bathroom, with en-suite facilities. Each unit is equipped with deckchairs and a veranda to soak up the beautiful views

twin bed room at bwindi chimp and gorilla photo safari

papaya lake lodge swimming pool used during chimp and gorilla photo safari

Ishasha Jungle Lodge (2 nights

Ishasha Jungle Lodge is an idyllic small lodge located only 2km off Katokye Gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park along the River Ntungwe. This is the perfect location for your photographic safari in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a perfect stopover on the way to Bwindi National Park. The lodge is surrounded by riparian forest vegetation and acacias Savannah. Ishasha Jungle Lodge is a small eco-friendly lodge, entirely made with local materials and African art, with its raised en-suite wooden deck cottages, spacious rooms and en-suite bathroom, all finished with canvas. The restaurant offers international standard menu and dining area. The lodge uses clean energy and power. Solar systems give 24hr power and hot water to all cottages. Wi-Fi is also available.

The lodge rooms are based on private cottages scattered around the property and widely spaced to ensure privacy. Each cottage offers 2 beds, which are en-suite with bathroom with shower facility. All cottages face the savannah and river Ntungwe.

private cottage used during chimp and gorilla photo safari

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (4 nights)

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge is a beautiful property situated on the South of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with stunning views over the forest, the magnificent Virunga Volcanoes and the Great Albertine Rift Valley. The Lodge provides a fantastic base for our gorilla trekking activities. In 2016 the lodge was awarded as Uganda’s leading Safari Lodge at the World Travel Awards. The lodge exudes a charm and ambience, making it the perfect location in which to relax after a tiring days trekking. The location of the lodge provides access to seven gorilla families.

The main areas of the lodge comprise of a cosy restaurant serving fantastic homemade meals and freshly baked bread, a bar and a coffee-shop with amazing views over the mountains beyond.  The guest rooms are a mix of terrace rooms and private cottages, all with en-suite facilities. Private cottages also have their own fireplace. A private two-bedroom villa is also part of the property, each bedroom with its own separate entrance/terrace and its own private bedroom, private ensuite bathroom and fireplace. The private villa is generally used for those who have requested double rooms

view from bwindi chimp and gorilla photo safari

twin room at bwindi chimp and gorilla photo safari

Click Here to Request Full PDF Brochure

Total Cost

The cost of this safari is £5785 per person and based on two persons sharing a twin/double room. Single supplements are charged at £690 per person and guarentee sole occupancy throughout

Cost Includes

Group/Individual transfers from Entebbe Airport – Boma Hotel (5th June)

Group Transfer from Entebbe Airport – Boma Hotel (15th June)

1-night on breakfast only basis at Boma Lodge

3-nights on full board basis at Papaya Lake Lodge

2 nights on full board basis at Ishasha Jungle Lodge

4-nights on full board basis at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

2 x full day chimp habituation treks

3 x Gorilla treks

All fuel for duration of your safari

Soft drinks/water/fruit during road transfers

All packed lunches where applicable/stated

Services of 2 x local driver/guides

2 x extended land-cruisers with pop-up roof for game viewing, on board Wi-Fi, charging sockets and fridge

All national park fee & car entry fees

1 x internal flight from Bwindi to Entebbe (With 23kg luggage limit)

Lunch on last day in Entebbe (15th June)

Flying doctor’s medical assistance

Services of 2 x photographic hosts

Provision of bean bags for safari game viewing

Not Included

International Flights to/from Entebbe, Uganda

Water, soft & alcoholic drinks while in lodges/hotels

Evening dinner at Boma Lodge (5th June)

Services of porters on gorilla/chimp treks

Visa's, vaccinations & travel insurance

Tips & gratuities

Items of a personal nature

Personal snacks

Laundry

How to Book

To book on this Uganda chimp & Gorilla photo safari please contact us. We are required to secure all gorilla & chimp permits well in advance for each client and these are paid in full. Therefore, we would require a non-refundable deposit please of £2300 per person to secure your space on this tour. With the remainder payable 12 weeks prior to the travel date.

We are able to take payments for deposits and final balances via bank transfer or payment via credit or debit cards.

Please note: If you are a single traveler and wish to share room with another single traveler we will do our best to partner you with another single traveler, also willing to share and of the same gender. However, if no sharing partner is available by the time of when final balances are due the single supplement will need to be applied and will be added to your final balance. In the event of this you will then be provided with your own single room throughout.

Financial protection

Images of Wildlife Photo Tours & Safaris is the trading name of Images of Wildlife Ltd. A company registered in England & Wales. Company No: 10566301. We are a member of  Protected Travel Services (Membership Number: 5221).

As full members of Protected Travel Services we are able to offer the highest financial protection. All monies you pay to us are financially protected in line with the 1992 Package Travel Regulations via a trust account. This means that your funds are secure in an independent trust account and will be protected against our failure from the moment you pay to the day that you return from your trip. This includes protection for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to the trust account, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Images of Wildlife Ltd or any of our local suppliers paid from the trust account

To book a place on this safari please fill in the details below with detail of how many spaces you wish to secure. Once a member of our team receives the email we will provisionally hold your place/s while a booking pack is sent out by email with details of the deposit payment required.

We are required to secure all gorilla & chimp permits well in advance for each client and these are paid in full. Therefore, we would require a non-refundable deposit please of £2300 per person to secure your space on this tour. With the remainder payable 12 weeks prior to the travel date.

We are able to take payments for deposits and final balances via bank transfer or payment via credit or debit cards.


This form sends your name and email to us so that we can correspond with you in relation to your above request. This information is not shared with any third parties. Please check our privacy policy link on this page for more information.

Check the box below to accept our privacy policy before sending

Financial protection

Images of Wildlife Photo Tours & Safaris is the trading name of Images of Wildlife Ltd. A company registered in England & Wales. Company No: 10566301. We are a member of  Protected Travel Services (Membership Number: 5221).

As full members of Protected Travel Services we are able to offer the highest financial protection. All monies you pay to us are financially protected in line with the 1992 Package Travel Regulations via a trust account. This means that your funds are secure in an independent trust account and will be protected against our failure from the moment you pay to the day that you return from your trip. This includes protection for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to the trust account, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Images of Wildlife Ltd or any of our local suppliers paid from the trust account

location 

at a glance

5th - 15th June 2019

11-Days/10-Nights

£5785 Per Person (approx. $7500)

Single Supplement £690

Mid-Range Accommodation

Group Size: Max. 8 Guests

Sold Out

REQUEST A BROCHURE

gorilla photo tour


This form sends your name and email to us so that we can correspond with you in relation to your above request. This information is not shared with any third parties. Please check our privacy policy link on this page for more information.

Check the box below to accept our privacy policy before sending

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The Guides

 

We are a friendly husband and wife professional wildlife photography team and both self-confessed wildlife and nature addicts. With 14 years experience of photographing wild species in wildlife prolific destinations around the globe. We share the same passion of capturing the beauty of the natural world through our photography, that drives us to spend endless hours in the wilderness. You can read more about us both individually by clicking the link below.

We both have a broad and in-depth knowledge of wildlife species across Africa, Canada and India gained through our extensive time in the field. In addition to completing recognized guiding qualifications. We love nothing more than to share this knowledge and passion for nature and photography with our guests on safari.

Our work has been recognized in a number of renowned international photography competitions. Most recently (2017) Sarah was awarded the overall winner in the mammal’s category in the prestigious GDT European Wildlife Photographer of The Year Competition. In addition we are regular contributors to various international photographic magazine publications and our work has also been featured in several commercial book publications. You can read more about recent awards and publications by clicking the link below.

We have a wealth of experience in leading photo safaris to a large number of wildlife destinations. In addition, for the last three winter seasons we have also both worked in Sweden guiding guests to photograph the aurora borealis. We currently run photographic tours to Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, India and Canada. Our tours cater from beginners to advanced level photographers, that would like to develop their skills to the next level. With our photographic experience and subject knowledge this ensures we are well placed to provide guidance in the field and help our guests achieve their desired images. Click on the ‘Why Travel with us’ link below to find out more about our photographic tours & safaris.

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