ALL BIG AND SMALL
WITH AWARD WINNING AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
10 DAYS - 9 NIGHTS
Sergio Pitamitz, National Geographic Image Collection Photographer
Award-winning photographer and journalist Sergio Pitamitz has both French and Italian nationality. He is a National Geographic Image Collection contributing photographer. He is mainly concerned with stories about nature, nature conservation and wildlife. As a photographer and journalist, he has traveled in more than 80 countries while carrying out his assignments, crossing all seven continents, from the Americas to Australia, from the North Pole to Antarctica, from Africa to Asia and the Middle East.
He is a contributor of the Italian edition of National Geographic Magazine and his images and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications including BBC Wildlife, Terre Sauvage, Oasis, Africa Geographic, Geo, The New York Times, Time, News Week, Figaro Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic website, as well as other National Geographic publications.
His first book, Wild Africa - with a conservation quote from the famous National Geographic photojournalist Steve Winter and the introduction by the world famous fashion photographer Giovanni Gastel - was launched in 2016 at the international nature photography festival of Montier-en-Der in France.
He is involved in raising funds for the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative through lectures and the traveling exhibition Wild Africa, which shows a selection of the best images of the book.
He has received recognition in many international photography competitions such as Nature's Best, National Wildlife, Oasis and Audubon. He won the NPPA - National Press Photography Association "Best of Photojournalism 2016 - Environmental Category". His photography is represented by National Geographic Image Collection. When he is not commissioned, Sergio conducts photography trips in the polar regions, in Africa and in the habitats of the big cats.
Sergio will bring all of the above knowledge as well as his experience in tracking animals and animal behavior. Sergio is fluent in Italian, English and French allowing for easy communication from no matter where you are. He will be at you disposal and help you to improve your skills on:
Creating great composition
Best way to use the gear that you have
Editing tutorial, whether you are just starting or an advanced photographer
Daily recaps and discussions to help make you a better photographer
Storytelling. Using your images to tell a story and give a perspective
The power of photography as conservation tool
Learning about the environment and the animals
Uganda Photo Expedition
Lake Victoria - Murchison Falls National Park - Uganda - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Lake Bunyonyi
10 Days / 9 Nights
Day 1 : 2 Friends Guesthouse and Lake Victoria
After clearing customs at the airport, you will be warmly welcomed by a representative who will then transfer you to your hotel in Entebbe where you'll have your dinner.
Known as one of Africa’s ‘Great Lakes’, Lake Victoria is world-renowned as the source of the Nile. This massive 6.5 million-hectare lake is three times the size of Wales and is shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is both Africa’s largest lake and the source of its biggest river, the Nile. Its waters are rich in fish life with shimmering shoals of colourful cichlids and large Nile Perch which is sought after by fishermen. It boasts an impressive 3440 kilometre stretch of shoreline and is dotted with over 3000 inhabited islets. Visitors can look forward to a variety of activities including: excellent fishing; wildlife viewing; visiting Ukerewe, the lake's largest island and enjoying the picturesque island beaches and spectacular scenery.
Overnight: 2 Friends Guesthouse
A comfortable retreat in the heart of Jinja.
Day 2: Itinerary Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast you'll meet your guide and leave for Murchison Falls National Park, where you'll have the first afternoon game drive in the park. Overnight and dinner at the lodge, lunch on route.
Murchison Falls National Park
Stretching from the shores of Lake Albert, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest National Park. The Nile River flows through the middle of the park creating the impressive Murchison Falls which is the park’s major attraction. The landscape features dense rainforest, undulating savannah and a diversity of abundant wildlife. Visitors can enjoy prime game-viewing along the Buligi Circuit. The forests are home to numerous primates, including Chimpanzees, and near the river, buffalo, elephants and Rothschild-Giraffes can be seen. Other commonly spotted wildlife include: lions, antelope, waterbucks, hippos and crocodiles.
Overnight: Pakuba Safari Lodge
Pakuba Safari Lodge is located in North West of Uganda on the Eastern Bank of the Albert Nile. The tastefully furnished rooms offer comfort, style and serenity. Here you can enjoy a variety of excursions and activities; from exhilarating Safari drives to boat trips along the River Nile, ending at the foot of Murchison Falls. For the more adventurous, one can trek up to the top of the falls and marvel at the views through the mist.
Day 3: Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park
This day, you will have Morning game drives and in the afternoon, take the launch cruise to the bottom of the Murchison falls, with the option of walking up the top of the falls. Sundowners will be served on the boat.
Day 4: Bugoma Jungle Lodge, Uganda
After a morning game drive you'll leave for Bugoma Forest, after lunch you'll have the first walk in the forest looking for the various species of primates that leave in the area. That's you base to explore the Budongo Forest the next morning.
Budongo Forest is situated approximately 3 hours drive northwest of the capital city Kampala on the way to the prominent Murchison Falls National Park. This is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa as well as habitat to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. The major tourist sites within this forest are: the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, Busingiro Ecotourism site and Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site which are located at boundaries to Murchison Falls National Park and dominated by Mahogany and Iron-wood trees. The 115 kilometer expanse is a remote chunck of the Budongo forest. Its isolation once in a while offers a safe haven for the Lions, Leopards as well as Buffaloes. Early in the morning is the ideal time to set out touring because then you will have an opportunity to find a number of the forest inhabitants licking salt by the forest glades. River Waiga offers refreshment to the various Uganda safaris wildlife species within this forest.
Some of the Activities to enjoy within this forest include:
Birding; the forest is among the most ideal places in Uganda to have a guided bird watching tour by the Royal Mile that extends from Nyabyeya Forestry College to the research station.
The Chimpanzee Tracking experience: is the number one priority here. Starting in October up to January, the time when the fruits are shorter in supply, the chimps move a lot covering a wider area so the success of seeing them drops to about 50% rate. Fortunately there is a diversity of Accommodation facilities available from where you can base to enjoy Uganda tours ; Chimpanzee trekking as well as the exciting forest walks.
Uganda, or the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as it was famously dubbed by Winston Churchill, is characterised by relatively dry and flat savanna in the north, with verdant mountains in the West, and vast dense and remarkably lush forests in the central region. The nation is home to an astonishingly diverse range of African wildlife including the highly endangered mountain gorilla which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A popular spot for wildlife watching is Queen Elizabeth National Park, which hosts four of the Big Five, a flock of flamboyant flamingos and the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Outdoor enthusiasts can get their adrenaline fix with plenty of whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, quad biking and horse riding facilities on offer. Add to this some friendly locals, a burgeoning cultural scene, and a capital city full of lively bars, clubs and restaurants, and it is easy to see why Uganda has gained itself a reputation as 'Africa's friendliest country'.
Day 5: Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast you'll meet your guide and leave for Budongo Forest, where you'll start the chimps trekking. then you will drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (~3Hrs), through volcanic crater lakes, and on a clear day one can see the famous “Mountains of the Moon”, The Rwenzori Mountains. This park which boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game park or reserve in the world and also Uganda’s second largest National Park, the 1,978 sq km has everything from open savannah to rain forest. Queen Elizabeth has over 100 mammal species, and an astounding 606 bird species, making it a premier safari destination.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Located in southwestern Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the county’s most popular parks. Volcanic craters, grassy plains, tropical forest and giant lakes connected by a channel inhabited by abundant hippos, are what you will see at the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park has almost 100 types of mammal and 606 different bird species, including the peculiar shoebill. The Kasinga Channel alone is said to contain the world's largest concentration of hippos, and other wildlife includes buffalo, the rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, Defassa waterbuck and elephant. Don't miss the Kyambura Gorge, which is home to habituated chimpanzees.
Overnight: Mweya Safari Lodge
Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains aptly described as the 'Mountains of the Moon' and overlooks the Kazinga Channel which links two of the Nile's great lakes – Lake George and Lake Edward. Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness. All of the rooms have wonderful views of the channel. The Lodge offers a range of activities and attractions: game drives, boat trips, wild life viewing and more.
Day 6: Ishasha Jungle Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Morning game drive in the Mweya Peninsula, after lunch you will take a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, 32 Kms long followed by a game drive. This water system has the highest concentration of Hippos in the world and you will get quite close to them. See also crocodiles, buffalos and other game that drink from the channel, also marvel at the abundant ornitho-life that is supported here. After the cruise departure towards Ishasha Sector of the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
As previously described
Overnight: Ishasha Jungle Lodge
Ishasha Jungle Lodge is located 2km off Katokye Gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park along River Ntungwe. This is the perfect location for your photographic safaris in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a stopover on the way to Bwindi National Park. The lodge is surrounded by riparian forest vegetation and acacias Savannah. Ishasha Jungle Lodge is a small eco-friendly lodge, entirely made with local materials and African art with its raised en-suite wooden deck cottages (now they are 4), spacious rooms and bathroom, all finished with canvas. The restaurant offers international standard menu and dining area. Ishasha Jungle lodge uses clean energy and power. Solar systems give 24hr power and hot water to all cottages. All bulbs are of low energy consumption. Solar fridge provides safe storage and cold drinks. Cooking is provided with clean sources like gas and alternative charcoal. Attention is given to waste management disposal and recycling of any materials. Water is safe as it comes from a borehole.
Day 7: Bakiga Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Morning game drive in the Ishasha Sector, looking for the famous tree climbings lions. in the late morning you'll move towards Bwindi is a home to over half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. Interactingwith these gentle giants is one of the most moving experiences that Africa has to offer and should not be missed! The ancient rainforest of Bwindi spans 321 sq km and boasts 90 mammal species, including a range of primates, as well as 23 Albertine Rift endemic bird species, including the African Green Broadbill, the Bar Tailed Trogon and many others. Relax in the evening and get ready for the following day’s gorilla tracking.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Located in southwestern Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities. The rugged landscape features dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys and steep ridges. This untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its breathtaking natural beauty and unique ecological significance. Aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other drawcards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot and a variety of butterflies. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes.
Overnight: Bakiga Lodge
Bakiga Lodge is situated in Ruhija, Bwindi, a one and a half hour drive north of Kabale town and just 1km from the Gorilla tracking meeting point. With stunning views across the valley onto Bwindi forest, Bakiga Lodge is an ideal location to base your Gorilla trekking or bird viewing tour, while at the same time supporting community development. The Lodge offers accommodation of 2 twin tents and 2 family Cabins, all self-contained with en suite bathrooms. Facilities at Bakiga Lodge include onsite parking, a restaurant and a bar.
Day 8: Bakiga Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Today after an energizing breakfast, you will embark on your gorilla trek. Before 8 am report to the ranger station for registration and briefing by one of the rangers; the guides will then lead you through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track the gorillas.
The trek can take anywhere from half an hour to 7 hours – a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking boots. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas – sadly enough there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left. You are allowed exactly one hour with the gorillas before returning to the base station.
Day 9: Birdnest Bunyonyi Resort, Lake Bunyonyi
After breakfast you'll have the second Gorilla Trekking in an other area of Bwindi Forest, to see in this way another Gorilla's Family. In the afternoon you'll proceed towards Lake Bunyonyi to rest and relax after the trekking.
Located in southern Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is said to be the second deepest lake in Africa. Home to a variety of water birds, Lake Bunyonyi is known as the ‘place of little birds’. This spectacularly scenic lake is dotted with magical, mystical, misty islands and surrounded by verdant, undulating, terraced hillsides. It is a popular stop off on the way to the famed gorillas and unlike many lakes in East Africa, it is croc, hippo and bilharzia free. Highlights include camping on one of the islands, the epic scenery, swimming in the lake’s crystal clear waters, bird watching, canoeing, and hiking.
Overnight: Birdnest Bunyonyi Resort
The Birdnest Bunyonyi Resort is located in South-West Uganda. Its position at lake Bunyonyi means the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and even Tanzania are nearby. The lake is well known for its great variety of birds of all sizes and is surrounded by the green hills covered with the farming terraces which define the look of the region. The hotel is positioned at the shore of the lake, offering a spectacular view of these amazing surroundings.
Rooms come with standard amenities including a TV with DSTV and free Wi-Fi. Facilities and activities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, pool table, canoe trips, motor boat trips, canoe trekking, nature walks, batwa visit, gorilla trekking and bird watching.
Day 10: End of Itinerary
After breakfast departure towards Kampala. Lunch on route, and arrive at Entebbe Airport on time to get on you out bound filght.
LEARNING FROM THE BEST: Sergio Pitamitz
These guided tours offer an excellent opportunity to learn from the best photographers represented by National Geographic Image Collection.
As explained above, Sergio Pitamitz is one of them. You will have all the time to learn from him and get personal coaching on photo techniques and creative approach.
At the same time with an intense experience of nature, it is a unique experience that certainly takes your photographic skills to another level.
RATE PER PERSON SHARING A DOUBLE ROOM
GROUP SIZE MIN 4 MAX 8
Rate per person base 4 pax (sharing 1 vehicle) € 6100,00
Rate per person base 6 pax (sharing 2 vehicles) € 6030,00
Rate per person base 8 pax (sharing 2 vehicles) € 5.700,00
• Arrival and departure airport transfers
• ALL Accommodations as per itinerary with all meals
• All park entrance fees
• Services of a qualified English Speaking Driver Guide
• Transport in 1/2 x 4x4 vehicle
• 1 liter bottle of mineral water per person per day while on a road safari in a vehicle
• 2 Gorilla permits and 1 Chimp permit per person as specified in the itinerary. Gorilla viewing is subject to availability of permits, which are limited. Any gorilla permits required should be purchased when booking. There is a minimum age limit for gorilla tracking which is strictly 15 years. Gorilla permit prices are subject to change without warning.
• All International Flights + Taxes
• Travel & Personal accident insurance
• Tips & personal expenses such as telephone calls…etc.
• Excursions not detailed in above program
COMPLETE TRAVEL AMOUNT MUST BE PAID BY DEFINITIVE RESERVATION
After booking you will receive a payment request and pay the full amount in advance by bank transfer.
That way everything is arranged and your trip is reserved. You will receive an invoice from that.
In case of cancellation of the trip from the organization on site due to exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances, such as extreme weather conditions, death, war conflicts, aviation failures, no refunds are possible for those reasons. You can always go to your travel insurance.
What if I have to cancel my trip?
In case of cancellation you should always inform us as soon as possible. Since we also have to pay cancellation costs with our partners, in some cases we also pay a cancellation fee.
Below, in the general terms and conditions and in the travel information you receive, this is explained in detail each time.
You can always approach your cancellation insurance for this.
ATTENTION: For this trip very specific cancellation periods and reimbursement conditions apply:
You can cancel up to 6 months before departure with a reimbursement of 25% of the total travel sum.
Less than 6 months before departure you must pay the full travel sum and there is no refund possible.
YOUR CONTACT PERSON AND HOW TO RESERVE?
1. DOWNLOAD THE RESERVATION FORM HERE AND COMPLETE IT
2. EMAIL IT TO YOUR CONTACT PERSON:
THEN YOU WILL RECEIVE TRAVEL INFORMATION AND FURTHER DETAILS
MARTIN STEENHAUT - WILDPIX GUIDE