Uganda Photography Safari with Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Shoebill, Tree-Climbing Lions
Currently available as a tailor made photographic safari
11 day 'must see' Uganda photography safari including 2 mountain gorilla treks, chimpanzee full day habituation experience and trek, shoebill canoe safari, tree-climbing lions, birding options and landscapes.
Small group - max 6
Tour leader: Trai Anfield - award-winning gorilla photographer, film maker and presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Living World
" If there's one single wildlife experience I would recommend doing as soon as you possibly can it would be mountain gorilla trekking. And because I know that this is a once in a lifetime experience for most people, I believe in doing it right: the tour includes a minimum of two gorilla treks, two chimpanzee treks and a taste of all the other incredible wildlife highlights that Uganda has to offer, as I wouldn't want you to miss out on anything while you're here - it's that special! "
Trai Anfield, Tour Director
Uganda is a real African gem, and our journey here allows us to experience the finest gorilla treks with the most experienced and charismatic guides, to seek out the full range of Ugandan primates including chimpanzee, colobus and red monkey, and to search out many other mammals, birds and reptiles that share their complex and rewarding ecosystems. Most notable of these are the legendary tree-climbing lions and the extraordinary Shoebill.
On this comprehensive Uganda photography safari we tour the most beautiful regions of this spectacular country, including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth II National Park and the wetlands of Mabamba. We will also have the opportunity to photograph some superb Rift Valley scenery, and discover Uganda's upbeat culture along the way.
'This is the most emotionally challenging and rewarding wildlife photo shoot I have had the privilege to experience. The intimate glimpse we gain into the family lives of these most human of animals is something you will never forget, especially when you have insightful images to bring back home'
Trai Anfield, Tour Director
Taken on my Uganda photography safari, this image of a gorilla peeking through a hole it has chewed in the bark of a tree, won the WildArt Photographer of the Year category Eyes in March 2021.
"Congratulations Trai - well deserved - and I can unreservedly recommend visiting gorillas with you - an amazing experience and I am so proud of my photos only made possible with amazing subjects and your guidance."
Charlotte Angus, UK
Uganda Photography Safari Highlights
2 days of Mountain Gorilla trekking
Full day of chimpanzee habituation
Additional half day chimpanzee trek
Dugout canoe safari for shoebill
Kavinga Channel private boat safari
- Tree-climbing lion tracking and survey experience
- Look out for crowned crane, Uganda's national bird
Apres trek cultural experiences
Experienced photographic tutor Trai Anfield
Individual tuition to suit your experience levels
Private 4x4 vehicle transfers throughout
Only 1 internal flight - mindful of the environment
Great guides and porter service on treks
Excellent full board accomodation
Safari supports primate conservation
Combine back-to-back with Zimanga 2022 for the ultimate African photography experience
Uganda Photography Safari Sample Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive on your international flight and overnight in Entebbe
Day 2: Early morning safari in a private small boat searching for Shoebill. Then continue to Kibale and check in to our accommodation for the next two nights. Pre-chimpanzees photography briefing in the evening before an early night!
Day 3: Full day chimp habituation experience:
Expect a humid, physical day suitable for clients with medium to good fitness levels. We will keep an eye out for the13 different species of primate that live in the forests of Kibale, including black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, bush babies and of course more than 1,000 chimpanzees, making it one of the world's best destinations to get close to, observe and photograph our closest relatives. Well over 300 bird species have been recorded here, and buffalo and forest elephant make Kibale their home too, so there is plenty to look out for along whichever route the chimpanzees take us.
Day 4: Morning chimpanzee trekking, with fully habituated groups, then transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP for private late afternoon boat safari on the Kazinga Channel.
The 20 mile long Kazinga Channel links two spectacular lakes - Lake Edward and Lake George and is a haven for wildlife. Boat is of course the best way to explore the channel, with the chance of elephant, buffalo, crocodile and one of the highest concentrations of hippos in the world. There are birds aplenty too, with African Skimmer a highlight, along with 11 different species of Kingfishers, Great white Pelicans, Open-billed Stork, Pink-backed Pelicans, Saddle bill stork and Black Crake, Cormorants, Black bee-eaters, Black-rumped Buttonquail and Jacana among the throng. We round off our day with a late evening game drive to our lodge in the Mweya region of the park
Day 5: This morning our group will focus on a relatively new activity in Ishasha, which is the chance to track Lions off-road as part of scientific monitoring of one of the prides inside the park. Game drives and transfer to Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we will overnight.
Day 6: Early morning safari with bush breakfast then, for the final phase of our Uganda tour, we head for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for gorilla trekking. Our lodge is home for the next three nights: a cosy and welcoming haven from the chilly mountain nights, with great food, wildlife all around the grounds, and local cultural experiences right on your doorstep.
Pre-gorillas photography briefing in the evening, before an early night!
Day 7: Your first day of Gorilla Trekking.
Each day in Bwindi starts with an early breakfast and transfer to the park headquarters, from where we set out on our trek to find the undisputed highlight of our trip, the mountain gorillas. The fragile nature of the gorillas’ existence becomes apparent as we trek deep into the forests of Bwindi, one of their few remaining habitats.
Treks in Bwindi can occasionally be relatively short with relatively easy terrain, though more usually this is a photographic experience that we truly have to work for – we must be prepared to trek steep paths hacked out of dense undergrowth for between 2 and 6 hours in order to find our family group. Gorilla encounters are worth every step though, making this a day you will remember for the rest of your life! Gorillas change the location of their sleeping nest each night and it is only thanks to our dedicated guides, who track them day after day, that we will be able to find them. Porters will carry our photography kit and belongings, but a medium to good level of fitness is required to negotiate the steep and rough terrain for several hours.
When we reach our gorilla group, every minute and every shot counts… but do also remember to stop clicking and take time to fully experience being in the presence of these truly incredible animals.
We will encounter the gorillas on two separate day treks, with opportunities to experience Ugandan rural life in between..
Day 8: Free day for your own activities, with the chance to go on birding and/or community walks, and the opportunity to edit photos and book an individual photography review with Trai.
Day 9: After an early breakfast, you will once again be transferred to the park headquarters for your second day of Gorilla Trekking, refreshed and ready to set out again thanks to your restful day in between.
Day 10: After a well-deserved later start you will be transferred to Kihihi airstrip for your scheduled flight to Entebbe. On arrival, you will be met and either transferred to your overnight accommodation, or head straight to checkin for your homeward flight connection.
Day 11: For those staying overnight there is the option of a second canoe trip for Shoebill and other swamp birds, otters etc (cost not included) before a final transfer to Entebbe international to connect with your homeward flight, or on to your next adventure with Trai at one of our other top African destinations!
Your Most Asked Question: How Close Will We Get To The Gorillas?
Please note that on every gorilla photography safari we are always 100% respectful of the need to remain 7m from the gorillas, and always operate under the strict guidance of our trek leaders...but gorillas are inquisitive and assertive, and often approach us, so we can at times be very close indeed - an awe inspiring experience!
For more Gorilla FAQs please click here
An example is this huge silverback, who pushed past us on the track so closely that we could no longer take photos - he was way too close for Trai's lens to focus! All she could do was hope that her wrist mounted GoPro would capture the moment. We all had to make ourselves very humble as this mighty king aproached - deeply respectful and awestruck.
How did this encounter look from Trai's point of view? Have a look at the video clip below!
The above sample itinerary includes:
2 gorilla tracking permits, 1 full day chimpanzee habituation permit, 1 x half day chimpanzee tracking permit, lion tracking experience permit, boat safari, canoe safari, all entrance fees to the included National Parks, excellent accommodations with all meals mentioned on full board basis, bottled drinking water, 1 flight from Bwindi to Entebbe with an additional baggage allowance of 15kg above the standard 15kg allowed, all Ugandan road transfers in private 4x4 custom built safari vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide, all photographic tuition with Trai Anfield.
International flights, visa, personal insurances, optional extra activities, gratuities, personal expenses.
Go BIG in Africa!