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Gorilla Photographic Safari

Gorilla Photographic Safari

Dates: Please note that this photographic safari is customised on demand and there is currently no fixed dates arranged. We will happily assist in arranging a tailor made safari to this destination to your requests and requirements.

Group size: N/A

Tour Leader: Tom Way

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Coming face to face with a wild Mountain Gorilla is a once in a lifetime experience. You will be captivated and amazed by the size, power and intelligence of these critically endangered mammals.

Tom Way in association with Busanga Safaris, is offering you the chance to join him on an unforgettable trip photographing, and observing Gorillas trekking into the beautiful National Parks of Uganda and Rwanda. Tom will lead you up high into the deep forests, and through the thickest bush to take your first magical views of an almighty silverback or the smallest infant. He will constantly be on hand to give as much guidance and tuition as required to ensure you come away with great images from your experience. This trip includes 4 trekking permits to maximise our chances of wonderful encounters with the gorillas. Our gorilla permits allow one full hour a day with the Mountain Gorillas watching and observing their behaviour, so this trip is definitely not only for the keen photographer of all levels, but also for the wildlife enthusiast aswell.

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A percentage of your gorilla permits will contribute back into the gorilla conservation so you will be directly helping preserve these amazing mammals in the wild. The encounters are limited to 1 hour per day to prevent the chance of transmitting any disease, and limit our impact on the gorillas. Within this hour we can expect to see the dominant and powerful silverback keeping a watchful eye over the group. Different females nursing month old infants, and young adolescent gorillas swinging from the trees. It is sure to be the quickest hour of your life, but one that will live with you forever.

A typical day on a Gorilla Safari

The accommodation we have chosen for our trip is the Mahogany Springs Lodge in Uganda, and the Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Rwanda which are set beautifully in the surrounding mountainous forests. This accommodation provides comfort and serenity within the mountains with good food.

After an early breakfast and a briefing from our guide we begin our trek around 8:30am. The length of the treks vary from 15 mins to 5 hours depending on where the trackers find the gorillas. Once we have found the group we will have one hour with them before leaving them in peace and usually finding a suitable spot to have our packed lunch. Once back at the accommodation we have time to relax and unwind with the option of waterfall walks/bird watching or reviewing your images with Tom in the later part of the afternoon. Tom will be on hand in the afternoons and evenings to help with both critiquing images, and giving advice on post processing. We will then meet for a well deserved dinner whilst perhaps discussing what images we would like to achieve the next day.

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Suggested Itinerary:

 

Day 1: Depart for arrival in Entebbe

Day 2: Arrive in Entebbe no later than 11am where Tom will meet you and take the connecting flight to Buhoma. We will then drive for 1 hour to Mahogany Springs Lodge for a chance to settle in, and enjoy our first meal looking over the famous forest of Bwindi.

Day 3: First Trek to see the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Day 4: Second Trek to see the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Day 5: Transfer day, drive to Kinigi and check into Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Day 6: First Trek to see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

Day 7: Second Trek to see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda then transfer back to Kinigi, and check into Flame Tree for an evening meal.

Day 8: Transfer back to airport and fly out of Entebbe.

Day 9: Land back at point of origin (dependant on carrier)

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Equipment/Clothing:

In terms of camera equipment one of the most important things is weight. I certainly advise hiring a porter for your days trekking but you still need to keep your kit bag light. We can be 7m from the Mountain Gorillas so a 70-200mm lens is the perfect lens for this trip. If you are able to use a 2.8 lens that would be even better as the light in the deep forest can be very poor at times. A 300mm 2.8 is also a good option, however there can sometimes be little room to reposition yourself. As a support a monopod is the best option. A tripod is certainly not advisable.

We are travelling in the rainy season in the hope we do get some rain to increase the vibrant colours, lessen the contrasting light, and also add texture to the gorillas fur. This requires good rain gear for both your camera and your bag. No flash will be allowed with the Gorillas, make sure you allow for plenty of spare cards and batteries. You will be able to charge equipment from after 5pm in your rooms.

In terms of clothing it will still be warm although it is the rainy season. So lightweight clothing with a waterproof top, and bottom layer is advised. Trousers are best to stop the forest inhabitants crawling up your legs whilst you are taking that all important shot, and a long sleeved top is also best. Good hiking boots are essential aswell as long socks that you can tuck into your trousers. The fire ants can give an irritating bite! Hat and sunglasses if you wish, and also a good tip is to bring gardening gloves. When the route to the Gorillas is steep you may be looking for any spikey root to hang onto, so the gloves will help protect your hands.

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Please note: These are wild animals and although our trackers promise a 99% chance of seeing the Mountain Gorillas there is no knowing how far the walk will be to see them. At times it could be a 10 minute walk from our lodge, at other times it could be as much as a 5 hour hike into the mountains. The route could be steep up and down, and challenging. I strongly suggest hiring a porter for the trek (minimum wage $15) who will aid you hugely in reaching the gorillas. (If you do wish to discuss fitness levels further with me then do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.)

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Price:

£4250 based on suggest itinerary. Can we adjusted to meet your requirements.

(Costs are base on a twin room sharing basis with single supplements available on request.)

This trip is ATOL bonded with Busanga Safaris (ref:10422). Gorilla Permits are non refundable and non transferable.

Includes:

All Accommodation

All meals

4 x Gorilla Permits

Internal Flights

Photographic Guide

Safari Vehicle

Driver/English Speaking Guide

Mineral water in vehicle

 

Excludes:

International Flight

Dinner on the last evening (Flame Lodge)

Visa

Sundry Items

Drinks

Tips/gratuities

 

This trip has been designed for the ultimate Gorilla enthusiast. With four treks it gives you the perfect opportunity to come away from this trip not only having amazing sightings, but a collection of very strong images.

If you have any questions at all about this trip please do not hesitate to get in contact with either Tom (07876 333787) or Tony at Busanga Safaris (01628 621685). To see a full blog post about my last trip to photograph mountain gorillas, please click on this link: http://tomwayphotography.co.uk/penetrating-the-impenetrable/

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