UGANDA – GREAT APES & WILDLIFE PHOTO TOUR 2024
US$8,490 / person sharing
18 – 28 Nov 2023
Penny Robartes and ORYX Photo Tours are proud to present our Uganda Photo Safari, which takes us to some of this wonderful nation’s most thrilling wildlife destinations.
Our photo tour in Churchill’s “Pearl of Africa” begins with a search for the iconic Shoebill, a denizen of large central African swamps, and one of the world’s most sought-after birds. Onwards we go to Kibale Forest in search of our closest living relative, the Chimpanzee. Here we will amble along the gentle slopes in search of these highly intelligent creatures.
The next leg of this journey will take us to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This vast reserve boasts impressive crater scenery, expansive savannas, tropical forests and large herds of Elephant, Buffalo, Uganda Kob as well as the famed tree-climbing Lions of the region.
Our incredible photo tour ends with a visit to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to photograph the astounding Mountain Gorilla. Trekking for these primates is undoubtedly one of the world’s most thrilling wildlife experiences, and with 2 treks offered, we will have wonderful opportunities to spend time photographing and appreciating and these gentle giants, capturing an array of stories in Uganda’s legendary Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Why This Photo Tour Is For You
Today is an arrival day in the Uganda capital for the start of our African photo safari. You will be met at the airport by an ORYX representative, who will escort you to your lovely guesthouse via a short drive (5 – 10 minutes, depending on traffic). Tonight we will meet for dinner and Penny will discuss this exciting upcoming Uganda adventure in more detail.
After breakfast we will head out for this morning’s primary photographic target, the legendary Shoebill. After heading across a section of Lake Victoria, we transfer to motorised wooden canoes and enter Mabamba Wetland, where we will search for this iconic bird. Thereafter, we will continue through rural Uganda to Kibale Forest, where will be based for the next three nights.
We have two full-days in the wondrous forest of Kibale searching for our closest living relative – the Chimpanzee. They are often noisy and, when we manage to come across a troop, their thrilling whoops, shrieks and grunts are likely to betray their presence long before we see and photograph them! Our trekking excursions will take place in the mornings and in the afternoons. Once located, we will have 1 hour to spend with the Chimpanzees, revelling in their antics and documenting a piece of their lives with camera in hand.
We depart Kibale Forest this morning and make our way to Queen Elizabeth National Park. As we near the park, we will pass an area that is dominated by explosion craters (evidence of the regions volcanic origins!) before routing to the boat dock on Mweya Peninsula, where we begin our boat cruise. The Kazinga Channel is home to wonderful numbers of animals: herds of buffalo laze on its shores, frequently in close proximity to the numerous hippo that are resident (some of Africa’s densest concentrations of Hippo can be found here!) along with good concentrations of Nile Crocodile (a recent colonist of the channel). Elephant can often be seen browsing on riverside vegetation, and additionally, birds are found in huge numbers. After our cruise, we will transfer to the remote southern section of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we will spend the next three nights. Photographic targets include Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyaena, African Buffalo (this form sometimes known as Lake Chad Buffalo), Uganda Bushbuck, Hippo, impressive Defassa Waterbuck, Olive Baboon and comical Warthog. Uganda Kob form some impressive leks, fleet-footed Topi scan the grasslands for competitors, and African Elephant stroll through the plentiful savannas, browsing the nutritious Acacia’s that dot the area.
The Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the place to search for “tree climbing lions”. These cats favour larger trees, especially figs, and we will visit a few key areas that regularly attract these cats. Spotting a Lion in a tree is uncommon over most of the Lions range in Africa, however in Ishasha, this behaviour is seen regularly. It is wonderful to see Lions lazing on a bough and enjoying the breeze the elevation affords! Isasha receives minimal tourist traffic when compared to the north of the park, and typically only a handful of game vehicles are to be found in the area at any time. As our camp is the only camp within this section of the park, we have flexibility in the timings of our morning and afternoon drives and will often have a sighting completely to ourselves.
After a final morning game drive, we will transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for our next leg of the journey; 2 days of trekking Mountain Gorillas.
On these mornings, we will head a short distance to the debriefing area (3 minutes’ drive), before departing to the starting point for our hike (this could be a walk from the park HQ, or it could be a drive over 1 hour long). Depending on where our allocated Gorilla family are located, our treks will vary in length and ease from one trek to the next. Upon reaching the Gorillas, we will spend an hour with these gentle giants which is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting and emotional wildlife experiences on Earth.
Although the Gorilla families are habituated, they are still wild and sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, there is a 99% success rate of meeting a Gorilla group when trekking in Uganda.
Today sadly marks the end of our Uganda photo tour as we transfer to Kihihi in time for flight back to Entebbe International Airport with this safari concludes.
As this is a new photo tour, there are no testimonials as of yet.