Africa | Photography | Adventure

Ultimate African Photo Adventure
Mountain Gorillas & Serengeti Migration
June 2022

Ultimate African Photo Adventure
Mountain Gorillas & Serengeti Migration
June 2022

Photograph the Big Five.

OVERVIEW

Come and experience two of Africa’s most amazing bucket list experiences: see the mountain gorillas up close and in the wild, followed by the Great Migration in the Serengeti. For 13 magical days the only thing separating you from gorillas is the glass of our lens, the experience is peaceful, majestic, and unlike any other in the world.

After time in Uganda you will fly to Tanzania’s vast Serengeti plains, where you will spend time between two different camps in this vast landscape. Finish your safari at Ngorongoro Crater (this is a 3-day extension to the safari), surrounded by the most beautiful landscape on the continent, abundant wildlife and superb tented accommodations that win design awards.

Andy Biggs and I have selected properties for all locations on this trip to ensure the best wildlife viewing, comfort, excellent dining and superb service throughout. Andy is one of the foremost African wildlife and landscape photographers in the world and has planned and led dozens of safaris. This gorilla and migration safari is based on Andy’s and my own experience in designing safaris that exceed your expectations. If you have dreamed about your own Gorillas-In-The-Mist experience, see the Great Migration, set amongst the best hospitality available, this is the trip for you.

THE SCHEDULE

June 16, 2022

BOMA HOTEL ENTEBBE - Entebbe, Uganda

On your arrival in Entebbe you will be met by our local representative, who will assist you across the terminal and drive you to check in at the hotel.

The Boma Hotel is Entebbe’s original and most exclusive hotel, set in tropical gardens in a leafy suburb, a short drive from Entebbe International Airport. Rooms combine the modern comforts one expects today with the charm and character of the original 1940’s home. Relax and get settled in for your first evening in Africa. Tomorrow brings your first day of adventure.

June 17, 2022

Fly from Entebbe to Kihihi

Today you will fly from nearby Entebbe airport to the remote airstrip of Kihihi, where you will be close to the mountain gorillas. You will be transferred from Kihihi to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, which will take around 90 minutes.

En route you will drive through the Switzerland of Africa area known as the Kigezi Highlands, with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With all the past volcanic activity in this area the scenic beauty is breathtaking. Arrive at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge in time for lunch. Get settled in and enjoy the gorgeous grounds, your comfortable room and meet up on the veranda for a pre-dinner cocktail as the sun sets. Get ready for tomorrow, which is going to be a magical experience.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park’s 331 sq. kms of montane and lowland forest jungle lies in southwestern Uganda, 540 kms from Kampala. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and accessible only on foot, it is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa and it provides habitat for over 90 mammal species (including 11 primates), 346 species of birds (including 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics), 202 species of butterflies, 163 tree species, over 100 species of ferns, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and other endangered species.

Bwindi is most notable for its 340 Mountain Gorillas, about one-third of the world’s population of this critically endangered primate.

Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge offers a truly unique Uganda jungle safari experience. A cozy fireside bar and lounge in the main building offers the chance for you to relax while sharing stories of your gorilla tracking experience with other guests.

Overnight Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge

June 18, 2022

Mountain Gorilla Trek

Wake up and prepare for the unforgettable experience! After an early breakfast we will transfer to the park headquarters for our pre-gorilla tracking briefing. After the briefing we will head off into the forest in the footsteps of the mountain gorillas. We will be guided by experienced gorilla trackers on the slopes of the volcanoes. We will start from the site where the gorillas were encountered the day before and from here the gorilla tracking begins. It is a humbling experience to stand just feet from man’s distant cousins as they eat rest, play and bond with their young. Follow the mountain gorillas as they range freely in the impenetrable forest. We are allowed an hour with the gorillas.

The trekking can take from 1 to 5 hours, sometimes even longer, depending on the location of the gorillas as they range freely in the impenetrable forest. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world.

After lunch, you can go for a forest walk to see the Muyanga Waterfalls (It takes approx. 3 hours there and back). You will hike with some light climbing and finally slope down to the valley where ends up in the fascinating waterfalls view of water dropping from 100 feet. It is a sight to behold and everyone should endeavor to check out the waterfalls while they are in Buhoma as part of their gorilla trekking trip. This is dependent on how long our mountain gorilla trek takes and is an optional activity if you are feeling energized.

Overnight Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge

June 19, 2022

Mountain Gorilla Trek

Wake up and prepare for the second day of unforgettable experiences. After an early breakfast transfer to the park headquarter for our pre-gorilla briefing and then set off into the forest in the footsteps of the mountain gorillas. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including waterproof bags for cameras and lenses. It is important to drink plenty of water, which will be provided.

Overnight Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge

June 20, 2022

Fly to Entebbe and Overnight

After breakfast we will drive to Kihihi and fly back to Entebbe, where we will spend the night at Boma Hotel Entebbe, meeting up for dinner and talking about our experiences with the mountain gorillas. The trip will change markedly tomorrow, as we depart the Virunga massif and fly to the open plains of the Serengeti.

June 21, 2022

Fly to the Serengeti

Today is your day to see the famed Serengeti. The Serengeti, Tanzania’s second largest national park, covers nearly 6,000 square miles of grassland plains, savanna, kopjes, hills, woodlands, and riverine forests. The Grumeti, Mbalageti, and Mara River systems serve as critical water sources and are often excellent sites for wildlife viewing.

Beyond the heralded migration of wildebeest and zebra, the Serengeti is best known for its big predators, including cheetah and leopard, as well as large prides of lions and clans of hyenas. Other commonly seen animals include gazelle, buffalo, giraffe, topi, hartebeest, ostrich, and jackal, but it is the full diversity of wildlife and habitats that you will truly find amazing. The greater Serengeti ecosystem actually covers the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Masai Mara in Kenya, and numerous surrounding wildlife-protected lands. Combined for a total of almost 17,000 square miles, this is larger than the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island all together.

Arrive at Olakira Migration Camp in time to relax, get settled into your tents and have a leisurely lunch. Your first afternoon game drive awaits after a short while. From the comfort of your tent, you will enjoy your first night in this extraordinary wilderness. This is the Africa you have wanted to see and now you are there, where you ought to be.

Olakira Migration Camp is unique in that you can choose to sleep under the stars, under a protective screen or you can close the annex to your bedroom and sleep in your bed in a more traditional location. The choice is yours; just tell the housekeeping how you would like your sleeping arrangement and it will be all taken care of. This is the best sleep you may ever have, so take advantage of it during your stay at Olakira.

You will have access to two unique photographic vehicles, which will allow you to get more unique angles to better your photography. These vehicles will be available for use during your time in the Serengeti. The vehicles are open and the sides can fold down, allowing for lower viewing angles. Since open vehicles are not allowed at Ngorongoro Crater, the vehicles will only be available for our time in the Serengeti. Our third vehicle will be a more standard open vehicle, so we will rotate through the different vehicle experiences.

You will spend 4 nights in the northern Serengeti at Olakira Migration Camp

June 22, 2022

Northern Serengeti

A typical day on safari will look something like this: wake up to the sounds of the night and early morning with a cup of tea or coffee that will be brought to your tent by the staff. Slowly get ready for your morning game drive, gather in the main dining tent for more coffee, tea, granola, toast and fruit. Don’t worry about food, because you will be well taken care of for your dining needs. All dining desires and dietary needs are handled professionally.

After a quick bite we will get in the safari vehicles and depart camp, possibly around sunrise or shortly thereafter. We will search for signs of nighttime activity. We often hear lion roars early in the morning and it is great to head out quickly to see what they are up to, as this tends to be their most active time of the day.

After an exciting game drive, we return to camp for a proper breakfast or we may take a bush breakfast with us. The staff loves to mix things up so anything can and will be done for you to exceed your expectations. Sometimes breakfast is at 9am, sometimes it’s a brunch at 11am and sometimes you have a proper lunch that is served at 1pm back at camp. One thing is a truism while on safari: you will be well fed and never want for more dining opportunities. After some time off back at camp we will meet back up for high tea in the mid-afternoon, usually around 3:30-4:00, then head back out on our late afternoon game drive.

It’s customary to stop around sunset to enjoy a glass of wine, soda, sparkling wine or beer if you aren’t photographing wildlife. It is great to get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs to enjoy the absolutely stunning landscape in all directions.

Overnight Olakira Migration Camp

June 23, 2022

Northern Serengeti

Now we have more time to explore the northern Serengeti, watching closely for the elusive cheetah, the graceful Thompson’s gazelle or the tiny dik-dik, an antelope barely two feet tall. There are countless other unique and fascinating sights for you to see. You are in the land of the Great Migration and there is no telling exactly when highly dramatic moments will occur.

Overnight Olakira Migration Camp

June 24, 2022

Northern Serengeti

We may head to an area where lions congregate on rock outcroppings or continue our game drives in areas in and around camp, depending on what we are seeing and how you feel about reaching out farther into the Serengeti. Another wonderful and fulfilling day in and amongst the wildebeest migration.

Most of us know about the Great Migration from nature programs that capture some of the most thrilling moments on film. Often misunderstood, the migration is a perpetual, year-round process involving over two million wildebeest and 250,000 zebra who roam the plains quietly (and sometimes noisily), in search of food and water. While some antelope and hyena may follow the herds, other animals remain in their territories or have separate migratory patterns. The migration’s most dramatic moments often happen when you are staying still and are enjoying being in the moment.

Overnight Olakira Migration Camp

June 25, 2022

Northern Serengeti to Central Serengeti

Today we depart for the central Serengeti on a short flight. The northern Serengeti is higher in elevation than the central and southern, and the annual rainfall is also higher. As a result, you will see the vegetation change from one camp to the next. Get settled into your comfortable tents and enjoy your afternoon game drive in a new region of the Serengeti. This region of the Serengeti will offer a very different view, with undulating hills and plains as far as the eyes can see. The grass will also be taller, the iconic umbrella acacia trees abundant and resident herds of grazing animals in front of camp.

This is still big cat country, so keep your eyes open for cheetahs, lions and leopards.

Overnight Dunia Camp

June 26, 2022

Central Serengeti

Rise early and hit the trail when you are ready. Photograph in the pristine, first light of day before returning to camp for lunch. Have a rest and explore more of the central Serengeti this afternoon, perhaps taking in the nearby More Kopjes, which are ancient granite outcroppings that are famous for resting lions.

Overnight Dunia Camp

June 27, 2022

Central Serengeti

Today will be a great day to have a picnic lunch underneath a large shade tree that overlooks the Serengeti Plains. The vast plains of the Serengeti will be seen in all directions, with frequent hills, abundant wildlife and fertile landscapes.

Fall into your bed tonight, knowing you have seen one of the most magical wilderness locations on earth: the mighty Serengeti.

Overnight Dunia Camp

June 28, 2022

Flight to Kilimanjaro and End of Safari

Depart camp after breakfast and fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met by our driver and transferred to Rivertrees Country Inn, where you can have access to a day room so you can freshen up, repack and get ready for the international flight back home. Evening transfer to the airport, in order for you check-in for your flight back home.

OR

June 28, 2022

Extension to Ngorongoro Crater

This morning you will have your final game drive in the Serengeti and a breakfast at your leisure. A late morning flight is scheduled to fly to the Ngorongoro Highlands, followed by a drive up to the crater’s edge. Arrive at your camp with time to freshen up, enjoy a late lunch and relax. This will be an excellent time to read a book with the most beautiful of sunsets in all of Africa. We also visit one of the local Maasai villages for some wonderful portrait photography opportunities.

Overnight Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp

June 29, 2022

Ngorongoro Crater

At sunrise we depart for the bottom of Ngorongoro Crater. Your first glimpse of the crater floor is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The world’s largest unbroken caldera, the crater is a geologic marvel, and in addition, boasts some of the densest wildlife populations in the world. You will take the steep, scenic descent road onto the crater floor. This mini-ecosystem of savanna, forest and small lakes sustains a huge number of non-migratory animals year-round. You may see lion, cheetah, flamingo, warthog or hippo, to name just a few, all within the 10-mile-wide caldera.

After lunch or later on in the afternoon you will return to camp, high up on the ridge and overlooking the vast caldera beneath you. At this elevation, temperatures are cool year-round, so be sure to bring a sweater. Take advantage of the roaring fire, sit in a comfortable chair, admire the canopy of stars overhead and talk about the day’s interesting sightings.

Overnight Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp

June 30, 2022

Flight to Kilimanjaro and End of Safari

Depart camp after breakfast, descend down to the Lake Manyara airstrip and fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport. We will be met by our driver and transferred to Rivertrees Country Inn, where you can have access to a day room so you can freshen up, repack and get ready for the international flight back home. Evening transfer to the airport, in order for you check-in for your flight back home.

Day room at Rivertrees Country Inn

Cost

The cost of the Ultimate Africa Photo Safari is $17,990 USD per person, double occupancy. Single supplement cost is $20,490.

The 3-day Ngorongoro Crater Extension is $2,750.

This bespoke adventure is limited to only 7 photographers. A $5,000 deposit is due at signing, by check made out to: LPFA. However, you must first send an email indicating your intent to register, as available slots will be based on the date of that commitment email. I will then send you the mailing address. Please note on the check that payment is for “2022 Africa Safari”.

If you plan to participate in the Ngorongoro Crater Extension, please so indicate in your email. A separate deposit check for $1,000 per person should be included. Please note on the check that payment is for “2022 Ngorongoro Extension”.

Attendees must be at least 16 years of age.

The remainder of the Safari fee will be billed to you in 2 additional installments (March and October, 2021). Payment is due within 15 days of each billing.

Deposits are refundable as follows: 100% by March 30,2021; 50% by July 30, 2021; 25% by November 30, 2021. If fewer than five people do not sign up, the trip will be cancelled and 100% of all funds returned.

All trip fees are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.

What Is Included?

  • Accommodation on a shared basis (single rooms available - please inquire)
  • Private meet and assist services at the airport in Entebbe
  • Road transfers to/from the airports and the hotels
  • All internal air flights (with additional weight allowance)
  • All meals while on safari
  • Breakfasts at Boma Hotel Entebbe.
  • All permits and park fees for the game drives and mountain gorillas.
  • Private vehicles and drivers for all road transfers throughout the trip.
  • The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Tax.

What Is Not Included?

  • International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Entebbe, Uganda and back home from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • Dinner/drinks in Entebbe on your arrival evening
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Laundry cost at hotels and lodges.
  • Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc.)
  • Any activities not included in the itinerary

Additional Information

It is highly encouraged for travelers to have travel insurance, whether for medical reasons and/or for trip interruption reasons.

You will receive regular communications from me from the time you register to the actual trip. Well before the trip I will send you a detailed letter with suggestions for camera equipment, photo accessories, clothing, baggage, insurances, weather, what to expect, inquiring as to your dietary preferences, and more. Of course, you may always contact me with specific questions.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, as necessary. We will attempt to notify travelers of changes, if they occur, as far in advance as possible. Any additional costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

Date
Thursday, Jun 16, 2022 08:00
Thru
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022 08:00
Deposit
5000
Total Price
17,990 DBL
Notes
13 days / 12 nights - The photo adventure of a lifetime, tracking The Big Five and cheetahs hunting, as well as the incredible Mountain Gorillas. $17,990 per/person double occupancy; $20,490 per/person single occupancy.