Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop

Enjoy the exclusive experience of photographing Mountain Gorillas from up close
Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop, Rwanda
Encountering Mountain Gorillas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s both exhilarating and humbling to spend time with these critically endangered primates in their stunning natural environment, and to photograph them from up close. Join us on a Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop in Rwanda, and experience it for yourself. Guided by BBC presenter and professional photographer Trai Anfield, this journey will take you on the finest gorilla treks, in search of the best photographic opportunities. We’ll also introduce you to the wealth of natural beauty, exciting other wildlife, and colourful culture Rwanda has to offer.
‘This is the most emotionally challenging and rewarding wildlife photo shoot I have had the privilege to experience. The intimate glimpse we gain into the family lives of these most human of animals is something you will never forget, especially when you have insightful images to bring back home.” – Trai Anfield
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Encounter Mountain Gorillas from up close, creating incredible photographic opportunities
  • Photograph chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and colobus monkeys in their stunning natural environments
  • Receive photographing tutoring by acclaimed photographer Trai Anfield
  • Visit the most beautiful regions of this spectacular country, including Nyungwe forest, Lake Kivu and the Virunga Massif
  • Explore Rwanda's fascinating culture in the country's capital, as well as its rural areas
  • Enjoy a fully inclusive trip, where accommodation, meals, and transport are all provided
QUICK FACTS
  • Where: Rwanda and Uganda
  • When: August 6-15, 2017
  • Focus: Wildlife Photography
  • Workshop Leader: Trai Anfield
  • Price:  £3895 per person NOW WITH A 10% LAST MINUTE DISCOUNT!
  • Photography Level Required: Suitable for photographers of all levels
  • Fitness Level Required: A reasonable fitness level is necessary
Enquire now

E-Mail us [email protected] or Call 021 423 4150

The Destination

The fact that Rwanda is home to the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas is more than enough reason to venture to this African country; encountering these incredible primates is a privilege that should be high on everyone’s bucket list. It’s also a wildlife photographer’s dream, as the photographic opportunities are both rare and incredibly rich. But the country has more to offer than its gorillas. Nick-named ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, Rwanda displays stunning sceneries of endless rolling hills, equatorial jungles, and bamboo forests. We’ll visit some of these beautiful regions, such as Nyungwe Forest, Lake Kivu, and the Virunga Massif, and we’ll discover and photograph an array of other wildlife, including chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colourful birds, and a variety of reptiles.

A visit to Rwanda would not be complete without exploring its vibrant culture. We’ll venture into the country’s capital Kigali, a peaceful city with a vibrant undercurrent, and capture every day life through city walks. Though mostly associated with its violent past, you’ll find a vibrant, optimistic, and welcoming city. Kigali is, as Lonely Planet described it, “arguably one of the most attractive capital cities in Africa, as well as one of the cleanest and safest.”

 

Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop, Rwanda
Itinerary (2017 TBC)

September 11 - 13

Our journey through the heart of Rwanda begins in cosmopolitan Kigali. Here we will join a community walk through some of the capital's most vibrant suburbs, sampling Rwandan hospitality and day to day life. The Genocide Memorial museum puts the whole of our Rwandan experience in context and, although it can be deeply affecting, should not be missed.

September 13 - 15

From Kigali we head south to Nyungwe forest, breaking our journey with tours of the Kings Palace and National Museum on the way. Nyungwe's pristine forest is home to chimpanzee, colobus monkeys and a plethora of birds. Two nights here gives us plenty of time for trekking, birdwatching and taking in the famed canopy walk.

September 15 - 16

Next is a stunning drive along the shores of Lake Kivu, passing through some of Rwanda's most beautiful scenery en route. An overnight stop on the shoreline gives us plenty of opportunity to capture the landscape and lakescapes in the best light.

September 16 - 20

Then we head for the mountains and our last base, Musanze, gateway to the gorillas in Virungas National Park. Our lodge near Musanze is a cosy and welcoming haven from the chilly mountain nights, with great food and local cultural experiences all important aspects of your stay in the area. Each day in the mountains begins with a traditional wecome in music and dance, then we set out on our trek to find the undisputed highlight of our trip, the mountain gorillas. The fragile nature of the gorillas’ existence becomes apparent as we trek deep into the forests of the Virunga mountains, one of their few remaining habitats. (Please note that while porters will carry our photography kit and belongings, a reasonably good level of fitness is required to negotiate the steep and rough terrain for several hours.)

Dates:

TBC 2017

Price:

£3449 per person (Single occupancy supplement is £485.)

E-Mail us [email protected] or Call 021 423 4150

The price includes:
  • International flights
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • All transfers during the workshop
  • Photography tuition throughout the trip
The price doesn’t include:
  • Visas
  • Trekking permits
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Drinks
The Photography

During this photographic adventure, you’ll have exciting opportunities to explore city photography, landscape photography, as well as wildlife photography. However, the main focus, and undoubtably the highlight of this photography workshop is photographing Mountain Gorillas. This is a unique experience and an absolute privilege.

This is a photographic experience that we truly have to work for – we have to be prepared to trek steep paths hacked out of dense undergrowth for between 2 and 6 hours in order to find our family group. Gorillas change the location of their sleeping nest each night and it is only thanks to our dedicated guides, who track them day after day, that we will be able to find them. When we reach our gorilla group, the photographic opportunities are incredible. While we are always fully respectful of the need to keep a distance of seven meters from the gorillas, the animals themselves might choose to approach us, as they are inquisitive and assertive. So they might come very close indeed – an awe inspiring experience!

We will encounter the gorillas on two separate day treks, with a less physically challenging but very rewarding trek to photograph the region’s golden monkeys in between. These beautiful and charming primates are easier to access than mountain gorillas, often gather in great numbers, and provide excellent photographic opportunities. We can also expect to photograph a variety of other exciting wildlife, including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, chameleons, and stunning tropical birds.

 

MOUNTAIN GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP Gallery
MOUNTAIN GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP Gallery
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS

Throughout this gorilla photography workshop, you’ll be guided by Trai Anfield, a professional wildlife photographer with an impressive portfolio. She’ll provide photographic tutoring, both during theory sessions and in the field, and will be able to offer assistance with technical issues, composition, and post-production. Since we’re traveling in a small group, there will be plenty of time for individual tutoring.

WORKSHOP LEADER
Trai Anfield
More about Trai Anfield

Trai Anfield has an impressive CV. She is a photographer, workshop leader, video journalist, producer, and meteorologist. She spent 13 years presenting the weather forecast and hosting various programs for the BBC, before deciding to combine her love of photography, conservation, and travel to set up an independent production company several years ago. This allows her to photograph the natural world, host wildlife photography workshops around the world, and support a variety of conservation charities that she is passionate about. Trai still presents The Living World, BBC Radio 4’s flagship natural history program, and she also writes wildlife and environment articles for various magazines.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

Trai recommends the following gear:

  • Camera body (and a spare of some description – even just a phone)
  • Plenty of spare charged batteries
  • Plenty of spare cleared memory cards
  • Lenses – given how close we are to the gorillas, I find my 70 – 200mm f2.8 very useful, although wider habitat shots from a 24-70mm and detail shots at 300 or even a 400mm are also very effective indeed, especially when shooting through foliage. Faster lenses (those that allow a wider aperture and have lower f-stop values) will work best here, as we will often be shooting in cloudy conditions and in the shadow of undergrowth and trees. They will also give a shallower depth of field and therefore a more pleasing blur to the surrounding foliage.
  • Please note it is not permitted to use flash photography anywhere around the gorillas. Flash must be switched off altogether.
  • Tripods and monopods are also forbidden here, as unfortunately some of the gorillas have memories of poachers attacking them and their families with spears, sticks and other weaponry. They can’t distinguish between camera supports and these weapons, and may be disturbed by any sight of similar looking gear. Your walking sticks will also be collected on approaching the gorilla group.
  • Some kind of waterproof cover for your camera and lens – doesn’t have to be mega-expensive, I’ve used real cheapies from the internet and they’ve done the job without weighing me down.