COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS AND WORKSHOP TRAVEL

Gorilla and Chimp Trekking, Safari in Kenya

March 4–15, 2023

Join us in Kenya and Uganda for a safari like no other. We will focus on two of Africa’s iconic primate species, the mountain gorilla and the chimpanzee, along with an opportunity to see not only the “Big Five” but also so much more!

Apes in Africa are under increasing threat, and the reserves we’ll visit provide one of the last remaining strongholds for these animals anywhere in the world. We’ll be tracking habituated families on foot, with a chance to get quite close. Our goal is peaceful, meaningful encounters, with ample opportunity to capture great images of natural behaviors and interactions.

To learn more about what it is like on a gorilla trek, read this first-hand encounter with a drunken gorilla.

We’ll begin our journey in Kenya, where we’ll spend four days in one of our favorite wildlife areas: Lewa. Situated near the base of Mt. Kenya—Africa’s second tallest mountain—Lewa Wilderness is one of Kenya’s oldest, most private, and most wildlife-rich safari destinations. The Craig family has passed down from one generation to the next a distinct passion for wildlife, conservation, and tourism, and they proudly continue to run Lewa Wilderness lodge with these tenets in mind. This place is as much a home as it is a truly unique and personal safari experience—while located in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, we’ll have the opportunity for rich game viewing without the crowds. There is a very good chance of seeing all of the “Big Five” and Lewa is one of the only places where visitors regularly see both black and white rhinoceros. With the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kenya and the diversity of scenery from open plains, rolling hills, valleys, escarpments and rivers, Lewa is perfect for our photographic safari experience.

We’ll travel next to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to visit with the mountain gorillas. Treks will start early in the morning. A minimum of two hours hiking is usually required to see the gorillas, but can involve a full day if they’ve moved a longer distance away. It’s all up to them, but either way it’ll be more than worth the effort!

For the chimpanzees, we will be based in Kibale National Park. In addition to chimps, we’ll also be looking for other species of primate—forested, wildlife-rich Kibale is home to 13 species, including black-and-white colobus monkey, red colobus monkey, blue monkey, and L’Hoest’s monkey.

Travel between camps is by private bush planes and we have secured a generous extra weight allowance for our flights so that you can bring the necessary gear. Game drives will be in custom Land Cruisers with only one photographer per row.

Expect plenty of photography instruction in the field, post-processing guidance, and image reviews.

Your Pro

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Location

Uganda and Kenya

money
Tuition

$18,995

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Dates

March 4–15, 2023

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Fitness Level

Moderate

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Availability

Open for Registration
Limited to 7 Guests

Itinerary

About the wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.

This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.

March 4, 2023: Fly into Nairobi, Kenya at anytime today (or before). We will meet you at the airport, walk you through passport control, customs, get your luggage, and get you into your car for transfer to Tamarind Trees Lodge. Welcome dinner this evening, where we’ll discuss our safari adventure.

March 5–8, 2023: After breakfast we’ll have a short bush plane flight to Lewa. The game viewing at Lewa is unmatched, and we guarantee you’ll be awed by the quality, quantity, and diversity of wildlife! In addition to the twice-daily game drives, you can also take advantage of other activities such as walking safaris, horseback riding, and even a vintage airplane ride.

March 8, 2023: Today we’ll transfer by air (bush plane and commercial flight) from Lewa, Kenya to Entebbe, Uganda. Overnight at The Boma Guest House.

March 9–12, 2023: After breakfast, we have a short ride back to Entebbe airport, and then a flight to Kasese. Check in to Kyaninga Lodge, our home for the next three nights with the chimps. Deep in the evergreen rainforest of Kibale, you will come face to face with man’s closest living relative. Kibale forest is the best place in the world to see Chimpanzees in the wild. The forest is frequently used by documentary film-makers, including the great Attenborough. With the highest density of Chimpanzees in the world, and with 13 other rare primates, the enormous Kibale forest is a world treasure.

March 12–15, 2023: After our last breakfast at Kyaninga, we’ll fly bush plane from Kasese to Kihihi, where we will then have a short road transfer to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, where  we will be gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.. Ecologically respectful, contemporary-yet-classic in style, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp blends in sensitively with the dramatic African mountain landscape and, situated uniquely inside the national park, you are only minutes away from the start of your gorilla trekking adventure.

The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Many of the expert guides have been involved in this process since the beginning and are able to explain the complicated etiquette involved in meeting a giant silverback. This is an opportunity afforded only to a select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group every day. Tracking through dense forest with steep slopes means that participants do need to be physically fit to enjoy the track. Once the gorillas are located, spend a maximum of one hour with them before returning back to camp.

March 15, 2023: This morning we will fly bush plane from Kihihi to Entebbe, where we’ve arranged for day rooms at Boma Hotel. Flights home or elsewhere can be made for any time after 2:00 PM.

Gallery

Fitness

Moderate: You must be able to walk in the forest for 1–4 hours to the gorillas. There can be elevation gain and the temperatures can be warm.

Flights

Arrive Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), Nairobi, Kenya anytime on March 4, 2023. Depart Entebbe International Airport (EBB), Entebbe, Uganda after 2:00 PM on March 15, 2023.

What to Bring

Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $2,500 supplement.
  • All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
  • All permits and park fees
  • All transportation during the workshop
  • Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
  • English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from Lisa LaPointe
  • Image reviews and post-processing instruction
  • Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
  • Internal bush plane flights during the workshop
  • House beer, wine, and spirits

Not Included

  • Travel to and from Nairobi Kenya and Entebbe Uganda, and the flight from Nairobi to Entebbe.
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
  • Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
  • Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
  • Anything else specifically not listed as included.
  • Single rooming available for $2,500 supplement.

Payment Terms

  • Your non-refundable deposit of $6,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
  • Further non-refundable payment of $6,000 is due by August 1, 2022.
  • The non-refundable balance is due not later than November 1, 2022.
  • In addition to our standard Terms and Conditions, for this workshop all payments are non-refundable, and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation.
  • Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.

Testimonials

“I don’t know exactly how long we were hiking before we came upon them, but I remember looking up, gulping for the thin air of the mountains and spotting two gorillas hanging from a tree. While gorillas are capable tree climbers, they are ground dwellers. Generally, if there are gorillas in trees, they are children at play. If you’ve ever doubted that animals are rather like humans, just a few minutes with a family of gorillas will dispel that notion. They may not be our closest genetic relative, but they are certainly our behavioral relatives.

I stood rooted in place as the children played. Despite this family being habituated to the presence of people, I felt like any move I made would disturb them. Like the entire scene was unfolding before me in a bubble that I might inadvertently pop. ”

— Sivani Babu, Gorilla Trekking '14

“Not one of, but THE BEST planned and organized trip I’ve ever been on. Local guides were amazing. Food and camps awesome. Lisa’s guiding and teaching was very good and very appreciated. Muench Workshops should be proud of a well-put together safari! ”

— Isabel Guerra Clark, Gorillas Chimps Kenya Safari '22
Behind the Scenes
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