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13 October 2023 - Photo Safaris, Photography Travel Tips, Uganda

What to Expect from Gorilla Photo Safaris in Uganda

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be up-close with one of the most captivating and complex species? If so, make sure you take on gorilla photo safaris in Uganda, where the lens of your camera becomes your window to the soul of the wild.

But, what do gorilla photo safaris involve? Embarking on one of these safaris is like stepping into a world where time stands still, and the boundaries between humans and the wild are blurred. This adventure combines the thrill of trekking through dense jungles, the amazement of encountering gorillas in their natural habitat, and the opportunity to capture their soul-stirring moments on camera. These photo safaris not only offer you a chance to see gorillas in Uganda but also provide a tangible connection to the vital conservation efforts safeguarding their existence.

Why Should I Choose a Gorilla Photo Safari in Uganda?

If you’re still somehow not convinced about how Uganda gorilla tours and safaris can be an amazing experience for you, we’ll tell you all about the many reasons as to why you should consider attending and experiencing one of these in Uganda, the country which inhabits more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

Stunning Scenery

As an adventurer with a camera in your hand, you’ll find more than just gorillas during gorilla photo safaris in Uganda; you’ll discover many stunning landscapes waiting to be photographed. Some of those landscapes may include beautiful sunsets, the stunning scenery of the dense jungles, and so much more.

You will also get to dive deep into the heart of Uganda’s rich culture. Whether you’re capturing the beauty of a local village or the intricate details of traditional clothing, your camera becomes a bridge that connects you to the soul of Uganda. So, pack your gear, charge your batteries, and get ready for a photo safari that’s not just an adventure but a vibrant collection of colors, cultures, and unforgettable moments!

a gorilla sitting under the tree

Photo Credits: Will Archer

Experienced Guides

In Uganda, professional guides aren’t just guides, but real life encyclopedias of the jungle with a knack for deciphering the gorillas’ behavior. These guides will reveal to you the subtle nuances of gorilla life, from the dynamics within their families to the little quirks that make each of them unique.

Apart from learning and seeing gorillas in Uganda, you’ll also get to absorb nuggets of wisdom about conservation, ecology, and the delicate balance that keeps this wild wonderland thriving. At the end of your experience, you’ll have been inspired, have your perspective shifted, and have come away with a more profound connection to the natural world.

Adventure and Trekking

Trekking through the forests during gorilla photo safaris in Uganda is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not everyone gets to experience. Every rustling leaf, every echoing birdcall, and every distant growl, they all build an atmosphere of exhilaration, reminding you that you’re a visitor in the gorillas’ enchanting realm.

Don’t worry, it’s not all heart pounding drama; it’s a journey of discovery, a chance to unravel the mysteries of the wild. As you continue venturing into the forest, you’ll stop being an observer and start being a part of the wild. If you think you can take on this fascinating journey, get ready for a thrilling experience through Uganda’s beautiful forests!

Professional Guidance

Throughout your journey on a photo safari in Uganda, a pro photographer will be your guide, mentor, and personal tutor. They’ll assist you in framing the perfect shot, adjusting your settings for that epic wildlife moment, and providing insights that will elevate your photography skills.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started in photography or a seasoned pro, this safari is your chance to sharpen your skills and create visual stories that will leave everyone in awe. If you’ve ever dreamed of improving your photography skills while trekking through mesmerizing landscapes and getting up close and personal with one of the most magnificent creatures, these gorilla photo safaris in Uganda are your golden ticket to adventure and artistic growth.

Unique Wildlife Experience

Uganda can be considered as a stage for one of Earth’s most extraordinary spectacles. It’s one of those rare spots on the planet where you can venture into the untamed forests and find yourself in the midst of mountain gorillas, at a relative distance.

However, the show doesn’t stop with mountain gorillas, there is also a lot of extraordinary wildlife waiting for you in Uganda! As you journey through this captivating country, you’ll encounter a diverse cast of wildlife, for example, various monkey species swinging through the trees, lions basking in the golden savannah sun, and elephants walking gracefully across the plains of the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

a baboon baby carried by its mom

Photo Credits: Kaleel Zibe

What Should I Expect from a Gorilla Photo Safari in Uganda?

Here are eight things you should expect during gorilla photo safaris in Uganda!

1. Expert Guided Tours

During your trip, knowledgeable guides will be your trusty companions. These experts will guide you in your journey to see gorillas in Uganda, unraveling the mysteries of their behavior and helping you find the subtle gestures and interactions that make these animals so fascinating. They’ll also unveil the secrets of the forest ecosystem which will turn a simple trek into a deep dive into the green world that surrounds you.

To ensure you learn as much as possible, we recommend you to bring a small notebook along, as that’ll help you in the key to unlocking a deeper understanding of the wild wonders.

2. Limited Group Size

When you finally go on your thrilling safari adventure, expect to be part of a small, close-knit group. This is a carefully crafted strategy to ensure that your encounter with the gorillas is as intimate and respectful as possible.

Keeping the group size small is a harmonious way of coexisting with these incredible creatures and respecting their natural behavior.

3. Close Encounters

Gorilla photo safaris in Uganda offer you an incredible opportunity to witness the beauty of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. While your encounter with them is obviously unpredictable to some degree, the local guides are so brilliant at tracking them that your chances of spending some time with gorillas is very high.

While the time window may be short, don’t underestimate the magic of this brief encounter! Within this short window of time, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the world of these mountain gorillas. You’ll witness their astonishing grace and power, while also creating cherished moments that will last a lifetime.

You might be wondering, “Is gorilla trekking safe?”, but, rest assured, your local guides ensure that the encounters are safe for everyone involved. This includes the gorillas, of course; while we’ll get quite close (and close enough for amazing images), you’re stopped from going any closer than ten meters. This is to minimize any stress or disruption to the gorillas’ daily routines, allowing them to go about their lives undisturbed. (Note that the rule doesn’t apply for gorillas, and that they can come closer to you, if they choose so.)

4. Photography Opportunities

You can obviously expect to capture stunning photographs of gorillas in their natural environment. As you frame your shots, you’ll get to capture and see gorillas in their unscripted, natural habitat, engaging in their daily routines, and revealing their innermost expressions. If you’d like to know more about how to go about taking pictures of the gorillas, make sure you read tips about mountain gorilla photography!

5. Improve Your Skills

On your gorilla photo safari in Uganda, you’ll have the privilege of being under the guidance of a seasoned professional photographer. They’ll not only assist you in capturing stunning images of these magnificent creatures but also provide invaluable insights and tips to help you develop and refine your photography skills. It’s an exceptional opportunity to learn from the best while immersing yourself in the beauty of Uganda’s landscapes and wildlife.

6. Varying Weather Conditions

Uganda can be characterized as having unpredictable weather patterns, which is why if you’re interested in gorilla photo safaris in Uganda, you should expect a variety of weather conditions. If you were to ask us what the best time to see mountain gorillas in Uganda is, we would recommend you to travel during the dry season, which can be between December and February, and between June and August.

To conquer these varying weather conditions, pack smart, for example, opt for comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing that will keep you dry during trekking, sturdy hiking boots for navigating rugged paths, a rain jacket, and a hat to protect you from the sun. Additionally, a well-padded backpack for your camera equipment is a must, as it will not only safeguard your valuable gear but also make it easily accessible as you seek out those perfect shots.

two chimpanzees behind the plants

Photo Credits: Will Archer

7. Cultural Immersion

Your journey in Uganda is also a chance to delve into the local and vibrant culture. You’ll engage with locals, share stories, and learn about their cherished traditions that have been passed down through generations. This is a great opportunity to step into their world, connect with their daily rhythms, and gain insight into the deep-rooted cultural significance of gorillas in Ugandan society.

8. Scenic Forest Treks

The thrill of gorilla photo safaris in Uganda is not just about finding the gorillas, but also about the adventure itself. This is an adventure that will immerse you in the sights and sounds of the untamed forest with towering trees and beautiful landscapes. In the end, your photographs will tell the story of the gorillas and also the enchanting world in which they live and thrive.

9. Various Wildlife

In addition to the awe-inspiring experience of encountering mountain gorillas, your journey in Uganda promises a rich tapestry of wildlife encounters. From majestic lions and elephants to the playful antics of chimpanzees and a diverse array of other fascinating species, Uganda’s wildlife scene is a living testament to the country’s incredible biodiversity. Your adventure will be filled with sights and sounds, where each day brings new opportunities to witness the wonders of the animal kingdom in their natural habitat, making it an unforgettable safari experience.

10. Physically Demanding Experience

Since trekking can be very physically demanding, you’ll need to be in reasonably good physical shape to navigate these challenging landscapes. The uneven trails, elevation changes, and the excitement of the journey can be physically taxing, so it’s essential to maintain your energy levels.

To ensure you’re up for the challenge, make sure you’re carrying sufficient water, especially in the humid rainforest environment where you’ll be sweating more than you realize. Additionally, packing energy-boosting snacks like granola bars, nuts, and fruits will keep you fueled and energized throughout the trek. Maintaining your stamina is important so that you can fully enjoy the exhilarating journey of finding and photographing gorilla families amidst the wild beauty of Uganda.

a funny looking monkey with white facial hair

Photo Credits: Kaleel Zibe

Best Gorilla Photo Safari in Uganda

Uganda Wildlife Photography Workshop

In this workshop, you’ll get to be right there with the gorillas, in their wild and untamed habitat. It’ll give you a chance to witness these majestic creatures up close and to photograph them like a pro. You also won’t be navigating this journey alone as you’ll be joined by a renowned professional photographer, Emil von Maltitz, who will be your guide and mentor throughout the entire trip.

While you getting to see gorillas in Uganda and photographing them definitely steals the spotlight, there’s a whole cast of wildlife waiting for you. Our top three destinations are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where you’ll encounter the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, Kibale Forest Park, a lush rainforest teeming with primates and birds, and Queen Elizabeth National Park, a landscape that offers stunning vistas of savannah, wetlands, and forests, home to a remarkable array of wildlife.

If you’re wondering how much seeing gorillas in Uganda costs, the workshop fee starts at £7950 and covers everything you need for this unforgettable journey, from comfortable accommodations to most of your meals (except for dinner on the first day). Plus, we’ve got your internal flights, park entrance fees, chimpanzee trekking permits, and, of course, Emil’s expert guidance, all sorted. The only things not included are the gorilla trekking permits ($700 per trek), international flights, travel insurance, and drinks.

Read more about our gorilla photo safaris in Uganda!

Get Ready to Experience Uganda Gorilla Photo Safaris!

We hope that this glimpse into the world of gorilla photo safaris in Uganda has ignited your curiosity and sparked your interest. As you can see, the question of what gorilla photo safaris involve has a lot of answers, which is why it is truly a remarkable adventure. Whether you’re an experienced photographer looking to add new dimensions to your portfolio or a nature enthusiast eager to capture the beauty of Uganda’s wild landscapes, this experience promises to be nothing short of life-changing.

If your heart is set on embarking on this incredible journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team at Penda is here to assist you every step of the way, from answering your questions and addressing your concerns to helping you plan the perfect photo safari that aligns with your interests and preferences.

This blog was written by Gabriel Ruiz

This blog was edited by Eric Black.

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