Gorilla and Chimp Trekking, Safari in Kenya
March 4–16, 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.
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 ventures. 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 at Primate Lodge, in Kibale National Park. The trailhead for chimp trekking is quite close to the lodge. 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.
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 4–16, 2023: We’re finalizing all the details of this safari, but we’ll hold a spot for you, just click on the “Get Notified” button. No deposit required right now.
“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.rrI 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. ”