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Intimate Gorilla Research Experience

Uganda, Africa

Greg Downing
Photography Tour with Greg Downing
6 Days, Maximum 4 participants
Join Greg Downing on a truly special and one-of-a-kind gorilla adventure in the African rainforest for a unique and fascinating opportunity to visit and photograph a special family of mountain gorillas which has been recently habituated - with a whopping 4-hour viewing time each trek!

Trip Highlights

  • Exclusive trekking experience with extended viewing time of 4-hours each trek
  • As much viewing time as the equivalent of 12 normal 1-hour treks
  • Interact with researchers and learn everything you need to know about these special and endangered Mountain Gorillas
  • Only 4 participants allowed; no other photographers with our small group
  • Domestic airfare included; no long drives to your destination

Dates

Main Trip, 4 people maximum

  • October 30–November 4, 2019 (SOLD OUT)
  • October 29–November 3, 2020 (4 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

Price from $10,400
Full details

Want to talk first?

Call 1-888-667-0559 or 410-239-8025, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Eastern Time. You can also send an email to editors@naturescapes.net.

Exclusive Access

We’ll travel to the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a unique and fascinating opportunity to visit and photograph a special family of mountain gorillas which has been recently habituated. We have been given exclusive access limited to only 4 clients and we will be working alongside researchers and the habituation team who are studying and monitoring this group. We will be the only 5 photographers there!

4-hour Extended Viewing Time

Unlike all other Gorilla Treks we will have 4 times the viewing time on each trek with a total 4-hour viewing/photographing limit each day. We may even be able to stretch that a little bit depending on the conditions. With these three treks you will be spending the equivalent amount of time as 12 normal treks - no one else can offer this! We may see various other possible primate species such as Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabey and others, but the primary focus will be on the Gorillas. We are not releasing the family name to the public in order to protect the exclusivity of this experience.

We'll be working alongside the researchers

We'll be photographing and observing gorilla behaviors, interactions with one another and their young—all while accompanying the researchers and habituation team to view, study, photograph and learn about this special family —an incredible opportunity—one that you won't want to miss!

Uganda Gorilla

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). You will be greeted by our ground agent and assisted through Immigration and Customs and then you’ll transfer for dinner and overnight at the Boma Guest House. You will be free to explore the gardens or rest up by the pool after your flight, should you arrive early enough.

Participants who are extending from Tanzania to Uganda will fly together from Serengeti or Arusha. Flight arrangements are being made. Others may arrive any time in Entebbe on this day.

Entebbe - Overnight Boma Guest House – Bed and Breakfast basis, dinner on your own account.


Uganda Mountain Gorilla

Day 2

Early breakfast at Boma Guest House and then transfer the airport, proceed through to the domestic check-in point for your bush flight to Bwindi (Departs Entebbe @ 7:00 AM, Check in time - one hour in advance). Note that flight schedules are subject to change.

Upon arrival at Kisoro airstrip, meet your guide for a briefing and start an hour’s scenic drive towards Southern Bwindi forest, driving through the meandering village roads while overlooking the Lake Mutanda, the volcanoes and farmlands. You may stop along the way for photography and interaction with the local communities.

Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, go for a village walk, interact with the local communities and get to learn their lifestyle. Rest up, as the days ahead will be demanding. Meals and overnight;

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Gorilla Safari Lodge

Uganda Mountain Gorilla

Day 3-5

Extended Gorilla access to a research Family/Habituation Experience & Community experience;

You will visit the research family group in Bwindi/Rushaga – Gorilla Habituation experience. The rain forest is spectacular, heavily vegetated and dense landscape crisscrossed by numerous animal trails, allowing access for trekkers. You will join the research team as they observe and document Gorilla behavior. This is an added benefit for photographers and Gorilla-centric guests due to the extended timeframe with the family thus an opportunity to get the best images and in-depth understanding of the Gorillas - (Normally only an hour is provided to visitors, but because of our conservation efforts, we have an exclusive arrangement to spend about 4 hours with the Gorilla family).

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is best known for the fascinating gorillas as it hosts more than half the remaining population of the endangered mountain gorillas, where the time taken and terrain varies according to the movements of these fantastic apes.

The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long lasting memories of a truly unique experience.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Gorilla Safari Lodgee

uganda gorilla

Day 6

Fly to Entebbe – Connect to international flight.

After Breakfast, start for Kisoro airstrip in time for your 8:25 AM flight arriving Entebbe Airport at 11:25 AM. Depending on the weather, you may have the best views of the Volcanoes, villages and Lakes as you take off, proceed to the airport and connect to your onward international flight. You may need a day’s room today, depending on your flight schedule, so please let us know in advance so that we can book and advise any extra cost.

Please book return flights departing Entebbe after 1pm. Note that flight schedules are subject to change.

About Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in East Africa. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. It comprises 331 square kilometers (128 sq mi) of jungle forests and contains both montane and lowland forest and is accessible only on foot. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.

The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, and the diversity of species is a feature of the park. The park provides habitat for some 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. Floristically Bwindi is amongst the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns.

The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds (such as hornbills and turacos). It is perhaps most notable for the 400 plus Bwindi gorillas, more than half the world's population of the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas.

uganda gorilla

Includes

  • All accommodations; 5 nights, based on double occupancy (single rooms are limited and are at an additional cost of $562).
  • At Boma guest house, booked on Bed & Breakfast basis.
  • All meals.
  • Services of guides and drivers.
  • 3 gorilla treks each with 4-hour viewing time (not including trek in and out)..
  • All game park fees and professional guides.
  • Airport transfers to and from hotels.
  • All ground transportation.
  • Air transportation from Entebee to Bwindi and Bwindi to Entebbe (RT).
  • Bottled water and snacks on treks and while on the road.

Does Not Include

  • Additional tips for staff, porters, guides and camp staff (may be arranged in advance).
  • Fees for passport, immunizations, visas, and insurance.
  • Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks while on safari.
  • Laundry, phone, and other items of a personal nature.
  • Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary.
  • Optional personal porter services while trekking (USD 15 to USD 20 per trek).
  • International airfare.

Dates and Cost

Dates

Main Trip, 4 people maximum

  • October 30–November 4, 2019 (SOLD OUT)
  • October 29–November 3, 2020 (4 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

  • Trip: $10,400 (2019); $10,800 (2020)
  • Deposit: $5,000
  • Single Supplement: $570

Trip Details

Dates

Main Trip, 4 people maximum

  • October 30–November 4, 2019 (SOLD OUT)
  • October 29–November 3, 2020 (4 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

  • Trip: $10,400 (2019); $10,800 (2020)
  • Deposit: $5,000
  • Single Supplement: $570

Single Supplements

Single supplement fees reflect our actual cost and are subject to availability. If you're a single traveler and we're unable to place you with a roommate, we will need to place you in a single room and charge a single supplement.


Travel Ratings

Moderate to Difficult Activity: Uganda requires hiking fairly long distances in sometimes rough terrain.
Intermediate to Advanced Photographers: You should have a good knowledge of your camera system as this is not a teaching workshop. Greg is always there to help while shooting but this is not a formal workshop.
Based on Land, Air
Non-Photographers: Yes, No Discount

Leaders and Guides

Greg Downing

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and...Continue reading

Photo Gallery

Registration

To register for this trip fill out and submit your registration form. A non-refundable deposit (above) is required to reserve your spot. See the About Our Trips page for cancellation/refund policies and other important information.

Want to talk first?

Call 1-888-667-0559 or 410-239-8025, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Eastern Time. You can also send an email to editors@naturescapes.net.

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