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June 29 - July 8, 2024

from $9,750 USD pp sharing

GORILLAS & CHIMPS: 10-DAY SMALL GROUP PHOTO SAFARI

GROUP SIZE:

6 max.

LOCATION:

Western Uganda

DURATION:

10 days / 09 nights

FITNESS LEVEL:

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SAFARI OVERVIEW

Located in the vast forests of Western Uganda this mind blowing luxury photographic safari will take you into three major wildlife hot spots to photograph the rare Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the unusual Shoebill Stork among much more.

This is not your average photographic safari as this exciting tour allows you to trek through these untouched rainforests here in one of the most bio-divers places on the planet. With a professional wildlife photographer at your side, we are here to help you capture those iconic photographs and improve your editing skills to help your images stand out from the rest.

TOUR DATE

2024: June 29 - July 8

( FULLY BOOKED )

from $9,750 USD pp sharing

Single Supplement: $800 USD

Planning a trip for 2025? View our 2025 Uganda Photo Safari here

BRIEF ITINERARY

DAY 1: Arrival Day

DAY 2: Mabamba Swamp boat tour

DAY 3: Transfer to Kibale

DAY 4: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience 

DAY 5: Chimpanzee Trek

DAY 6: Transfer to Bwindi

DAY 7: Gorilla Trekking

DAY 8: Gorilla Trekking

DAY 9: Fly to Entebbe

DAY 10: Departure Day

(see detailed itinerary below)

Mountain Gorillas, Bwindi
OVERVIEW

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • We offer guests two days with a Mountain Gorilla family as they live their daily lives, foraging and resting. This provides great opportunities to get up close and personal with the rare Silver-backed Gorilla set in the vast Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

  • The chance to experience two days of Chimpanzee tracking with your wildlife photographer to help you gain those iconic photographs. Learn the way these primates wander this vast forest as you capture images of them in action.

  • Kibale Forest offers great opportunities to photograph an additional 12 species of primates and many bird species that your lens will die for.

  • Venture into the marshy swamp lands of Mabamba Swamp to photograph the Shoebill Stork among many other bird species that thrive in this birding hot spot. 

  • This tour offers luxury lodges for every destination that we visit. Our lodges offer all that you need to start your day in the forest and will help you relax after a day photographing wildlife in the rainforest depths.

MEET YOUR PHOTO HOSTS

YOUR GUIDE
Mark Fernley

MARK A FERNLEY

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JAREN A FERNLEY

LOCATION
Mark Fernley

LOCATION

WESTERN UGANDA

This photo tour located in West Uganda takes you into some incredible wildlife hotspots. Mabamba Swamp, Kibale National Park, and Bwindi National Park. The Western region of Uganda holds mountainous forests where numerous species of wildlife such as gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, hundreds of bird species, and much more, roam these magnificent areas.   

EQUIPMENT

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT 

CAMERA BODY:​

  • Guests are encouraged to bring a camera body with a minimum of 24-megapixels to guarantee the best results while on safari. This can be mirrorless or a DSLR, as your photo host is experienced with both and will be able to offer assistance whenever need be.

  • A second camera body is always a great consideration, however, this is not mandatory. This can be used as a backup, or you can keep a second lens attached and switch back and forth between cameras.

LENSES:​​

  • A telephoto lens with a reach of at least 400 mm. This can be a fixed/prime lens or a zoom lens

  • If you intend to bring a fixed/prime lens of 500 mm or more, you will also need a closer range lens. A 100 - 400 mm or similar is a great option, as this will allow you to get full body shots. Chimpanzees and Gorillas can get quite close, but can also be moving, so a zoom lens is preferred over switching between two lenses

  • For the birds of Mabamba Swamp, a telephoto lens is a must. Something with a good reach of at least 500 mm is ideal to capture the birds of the swamp.

Chimp Kibale National Park
INCLUDES
Baby Gorilla bwindi

TOUR INCLUDES 

  • Airport pick-up/drop off (Entebbe International Airport (EBB))

  • All accommodation (4 & 5 star lodges)

  • All transportation between lodges

  • One domestic flight (Bwindi to Entebbe)

  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner each day)

  • Purified drinking water, coffee, tea, juice

  • All beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)

  • Gorilla trekking permits (2 days)

  • Chimpanzee tracking permits (2 days)

  • Porters for all Gorilla and Chimpanzee treks

  • All national park entry fees

  • All photographic guidance / tutorials

  • one-on-one photo critiques (optional)

  • Pre-Tour meeting with your photography guide

TOUR EXCLUDES 

  • International/domestic flights

  • Personal Travel Insurance (required for all guests)

  • Premium alcoholic beverages

  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, extra activities, etc.)

  • Activities not listed in itinerary

  • Gratuities/tips for guides/porters/staff

ITINERARY

ITINERARY

DAY 1:

ARRIVAL DAY

The first day is designed for all photography participants to arrive in Entebbe at their own leisure. Untamed Photo Safaris will arrange transfers from Entebbe International Airport (airport code EBB) for each photographer’s arrival.
 
The tour will start at 6 pm on this day, where the group will meet for the first time. Your Photo Host will be awaiting you with welcome drinks as you go through the itinerary, ask any questions, and get to know the fellow photographers in your group. After our briefing/meet and greet, we will move over to the restaurant for dinner. After dinner you will have the opportunity to relax with the others in the group.

 

DAY 2:

MABAMBA SWAMP

After an early breakfast, we will head to the port of Lake Victoria, where we will take a 45-minute motorboat ride across the lake. Throughout this journey, you can expect to see hundreds of Kingfishers diving into the water all around us.

The Shoebill Stork is our top priority of this half day excursion. Once we have seen and photographed the Shoebill, we will spend the rest of our time photographing the hundreds of other birds in the swamp. Other birds you can photograph during this excursion include multiple Heron species, Ibis, Great Cormorants, Egrets, Swallows, and more.

 

We will return across the lake for lunch back at the hotel. After lunch and a bit of rest, the group will meet up for a photo editing/post processing session. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills from your photo host, ask for a one-on-one critique, etc.

DAY 3:

TRANSFER TO KIBALE

After breakfast, the group will leave Entebbe and head west towards the forest of Kibale where the Chimpanzees will be waiting. We will drive through the small town of Mubende, through swampy areas with graceful papyrus beds and woodlands scattered with acacia trees. Along the way, we will stop for lunch at a community located on the equator. There are plenty of souvenir stalls selling locally made products. Guests are more than welcome to take a look around while we wait for our lunch to arrive.

During this drive to the west, guests will have the opportunity to take a glimpse into the lives of the locals as we pass through many small villages made up of grass huts. We will continue to Primate Lodge where we will settle in for the night. Upon arrival, you will be shown to your room to refresh before meeting your photo host back in the main area of the lodge.

 

At this time, your photo host will prepare you for an exciting day head, providing tips and techniques of how to get the best photos of Chimpanzees. Dinner will be served. After dinner you can relax in the main area, or return to your room for an early night with the natural noises of the forest surrounding you.

DAY 4:

CHIMPANZEE HABITUATION EXPERIENCE

This morning will be a very early start at 5:30 am where you will be transferred to Kanyanchu Tourist Center in Kibale National Park. Today you will enjoy one of the most spectacular and amazing primate experiences in the world! We will aim to arrive around 6 am for a quick safety briefing before the group heads into the forest. The joy of this tour is spending up to four hours with the wild Chimps. In the company of forest rangers and your photo host, you will go for a full-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience.

 

This will give you a much longer time with wild chimps than usual. Once you spot the Chimpanzees, the group will have up to four hours to photograph them. We will follow them as they make their way through the forest, eating, playing, resting, etc. Your photo host will be by your side throughout the entire day to ensure that you are able to return with incredible photographs.

When you return to the lodge, you will be able to have a well deserved rest before grabbing your laptop and meeting the group in the main area for a photo critique and editing session. Since the group is likely tired, we will just quickly look through photos to get an idea of what we can try for the following morning.

DAY 5:

CHIMPANZEE TREK

Today, the group will have another early morning wake-up call, with breakfast being served at 5:30 am once again. The group will be transferred to the same national park entrance as the day before, but today’s trek will be a bit different.

On this day, we will visit a different family of Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest. These Chimps have gone through the entire Habituation Experience and are therefore a bit more used to the presence of humans. This trek only allows the group to spend one hour with the Chimps, but it is a great opportunity to get some photographs that you may have missed the day before. You may find that you are able to get a bit closer to the Chimps in this troop and they will stay in the same place for longer, allowing you to get a clear shot.

 

The group will return back to the lodge for lunch and spend the evening going through their photos. We will start selecting our best photos and get some editing in on this evening.

DAY 6:

TRANSFER TO BWINDI

After an early breakfast, we will make our way towards Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This drive will take us through some beautiful landscapes of mountains, lakes, hills, and bamboo forests. People call this area the "Switzerland of Africa" due to its incredible natural beauty. You will also pass through some quaint local villages along the way, giving you an insight into the Ugandan culture. We will stop off for lunch along the way around mid-day in a local village.

 

We will arrive at Gorilla Safari Lodge where you will feel as if you are in the clouds. This incredible location puts you right in the middle of this remarkable ecosystem. With the sounds of Forest Elephants thrashing through the mountainous forests, to the hundreds of bird species surrounding the lodge, this area is like no other.

 

A pre-gorilla trek photo tutorial will take place on this evening.

DAYS 7 - 8:

TRANSFER TO BWINDI

Guests will have an early breakfast before we gather our gear and get transferred to the starting point, where park rangers will be awaiting us. The rangers will give us a briefing on how to behave when in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas. They will tell you what is ok to do and what is not ok. As we are venturing into the Gorilla's territory, we have to make sure that we treat them with complete respect and follow the rules of the rangers.

 

The trek to find the Mountain Gorillas will all depend on the conditions of the trails, the weather, and the location of the Gorillas. While sometimes the hike can be just two hours, other times it can take closer to five or six hours to come in contact with them. Either way, seeing the Mountain Gorillas makes it all worth while.

 

You will be able to spend an entire hour photographing the Gorillas as the eat, play, and rest. We will stay with the troop as they move through the vegetation, getting into the best positions possible to gain those incredible photographs.

DAY 9:

FLY TO ENTEBBE

After an exciting week, the group will wake up on this day at their leisure. Breakfast will be served, and the group will make their way to the airport. This is about an hour and a half drive, winding through the mountains surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Upon arrival at the airport, we will get checked in and board our chartered flight back to Entebbe. A very quick flight, landing back in Entebbe before you even know it.

 

We will get checked into our accommodation for the night at the Protea Hotel. This evening, the group will meet for one last photo editing session accompanied by some celebratory drinks to wrap up an incredible primate photo safari. Our last dinner will be served here in the hotel restaurant on this evening.

DAY 10:

DEPARTURE

As this is the last day of the photo safari, it will look a bit different for each guest depending on your departure flight or onward travels. If your schedule allows it, breakfast on this day will be our last meal together and the tour will finish at 10 am on this morning. Your photo host and driver will say their goodbyes after breakfast.

ACCOMMODATION

The accommodation provided at all locations of this tour gives you a more than comfortable stay after an adventurous day of wildlife photography. The lodges will give you a true feeling of what Uganda has to offer. With our local and incredibly friendly Ugandan staff we will ensure your stay with us to be unique and fulfilling. Untamed provides English speaking wildlife photographers and local staff at all accommodation during this luxurious photographic safari.

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Primate Lodge, Kibale 3
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