Uganda Photography Holiday: Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and tree-climbing lions with Mattias Klum
31 August – 9 September 2024
Join Sweden’s most internationally renowned photographer and National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum, on a trip to Uganda. During the trip we will photograph everything from chimpanzees and golden guenon to the mountain gorillas of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. But the trip is filled with even more photo opportunities as we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park we photograph both from jeep and boat. the main motif in this particular park is the tree-climbing lions. Mattias Klum is always there to give personal tips and advice and when we are not shooting, we work with image processing, have image discussions and listen to inspiring stories from Mattias
- Guidance from Mattias Klum throughout the trip.
- Visits to no less than four national parks.
- The majestic Mgahinga mountains.
- Photographing ava mountain gorillas.
- Close encounter with chimpanzees.
- The tree-climbing lions.
- Photographing the golden guenon.
- Crater lakes at Kibale National Park.
- Both jeep & boat safaris.
- Inspirational talks and image editing.
Day 1 (31/8) – Arrival and welcome dinner
Arrival at the airport in Entebbe during the day. After that, transfer takes place to 2 Friends Guest House for check-in. After this there is time to relax and maybe take a dip in the pool after the long journey. In the evening you will meet Mattias Klum and have a welcome dinner. (D)
Day 2 (1/9) – Crater Lakes at Kibale National Park
After breakfast we continue our photo adventure towards Kibale National Park, making a few photo stops along the way. If we are lucky with the weather, as we begin to approach Fort Portal, we can get a view of Mount Rwenzori and its snow-capped peak.
In the afternoon we arrive and check in at Turaco Treetops lodge. We will then visit the Kasenda Craters, an area of crater lakes that will give us great opportunities for great photos. One of our stops will be at Lake Nyinambuga, a view that can also be found on Uganda Shilling banknotes. (B, L, D)
Day 3 (2/9) – Chimpanzee Photography
After breakfast it is time to go out to look for chimpanzees. When we find them, we are not only met by fantastic photo opportunities, but we also get to take part in a magnificent nature experience to seeing the chimpanzees in their everyday life closeup.
If we find ourselves recognizing certain parts in their behavior, it is because the chimpanzees share about 99% of their DNA with the human being, something that makes the encounter with these fascinating animals even more interesting. Although the chimpanzees are the main motive for our day, there are plenty of other animals in the forest, including baboons, antelopes, the endangered red colobus monkey and forest elephant. We will stay for two nights at Mweya Safari Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 4 (3/9) – Jeep and boat safaris
In the early morning light we set off on another safari. It is in the morning that the animals are most active and together with Mattias and our experienced guides we look for trails that can lead us to the next photo opportunity. The park has a diverse wildlife ranging from lions and leopards to buffaloes and elephants. When we find our subjects, Mattias will rotate between the jeeps and is on hand to give tutorials and tips. He will also share his amazing knowledge of the wildlife and habitats around us.
In the afternoon it is time to explore the area by boat and we take a trip along the Kazinga Channel. This canal, which connects the two lakes Lake Edward and Lake George, is home to Africa’s largest hippopotamus population and in addition to this mighty animal, we will also be able to photograph crocodiles, antelopes, elephants and much more. After slowly gliding along the canal, we have dinner at the lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 5 (4/9) – Tree-climbing lion
Today it is time for a full day safari that will provide lots of photo opportunities. Our goal for the day is to try to find the park’s tree climbing lions that are often found lying in the fig trees. Nowhere else in the world do lions climb trees as regularly as here and it is a fascinating sight to see these large felines among the branches up in the tree.
Mattias is on hand for tips on everything from composition to how to think about light and much more. After today’s safari, we have moved to the southern part of the park and check in at Enjojo Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 6 (4/9) – Safari and Bwindi Forest National Park
We start with another morning safari and then we move on to Bwindi Forest National Park, which is home to the endangered mountain gorilla. Once arrived we will check in at Four Gorilla Lodge and then it’s time for image processing workshops. Mattias will also talk about his assignments when he photographed the mountain gorillas for the New York Times. (B, L, D)
Day 7 (6/9) – Photographing Mountain Gorillas
Today is the time for the big highlight of the trip. We start early and goes to the National Park headquarters for a walkthrough. We then start our hike into the forest and search for the mountain gorillas. Depending on their location, the hike can last between two and five hours. During the hike we meet lots of other animals that have the forest as their home, ranging from butterflies, frogs, a rich bird life and different kinds of monkeys. The park is also home to the Forest hog, African golden cat, side-striped Jackal, and African sibet cat.
Our knowledgeable rangers are on hand to tell you more about the mountain gorillas and their way of life. Despite the fact that there is a safety distance on how close we are allowed to get to the gorillas, it is not uncommon for them to be curious and sometimes it happens that they come within an arm’s length.
Back at the lodge with the memory cards filled, there will be time for relaxation for the rest of the day. (B, L, D)
Day 8 (7/9) – Golden Guenon
Today is the time for the last photo expedition of the trip. We set out on a hike in the morning to look for and photograph the endangered golden guenon, which is often find at the foot of the volcanic Mgahinga mountains in Mount Gahinga National Park. We start our hike from the bamboo-covered surroundings and move up along the ravines that are lined with forest.
In the afternoon we check in at Ichumbi Hotel Kisoro. After check-in, it is time to select your best pictures from the trip, when Mattias will select the ‘Picture of the Trip’ in connection with the closing dinner. This picture automatically goes to the final of Zoom Photo Tours competition “Picture of the Year 2024” where the first prize is a gift card worth 5,000 SEK (approx $470/£370) (B, L, D)
Day 9 (8/9) – Return home
After breakfast we take the flight out from Bwindi to Entebbe where we land around lunchtime. After that, the journey home is done on your own. (B)
Price: $5,500 / £4,420
- Jeep and bus transportation according to the program.
- A domestic flight.
- Accommodation in a double room in a hotel/lodge according to the program. (Single room supplement: $700 / £ 565)
- Meals according to program (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Safaris by program.
- Boat safari.
- Gorilla permit.
- Chimpanzee permit.
- Local rangers associated with all safaris.
- Park fees.
- Participation and workshops from Mattias Klum during the trip.
- Participation of a host from Zoom Photo Tours.
- Hotel and other local taxes and fees.
- Travel documents and practical travel information.
Excluded: Flights to and from Entebbe. Tip: 10 USD / day to the nature guide who participates during the trip. Cancellation protection and travel insurance
Fly to Entebbe on your own. You should arrive in Entebbe no later than 17: 00 on August 31 and don’t book your return trip earlier than about 17.00 the September 9.
What should I bring?
- Your camera.
- Telephoto lenses up to 500mm or mid-length lenses around 70-200mm, wide angle lenses for example 24-70mm.
- Monopod or tripod.
- A laptop with image editing software
- Extra batteries, chargers etc.
A more detailed equipment list will be provided in the information material you will receive prior to the trip.