I recently came back from a photography trip where I visited Uganda and a small part of Rwanda. It took me a long time to pick the country to visit and I almost ended up going to Philippines. Thank God I didn’t, because it was during the time when the typhoon hit the islands. Eventually I decided to come back to Africa and chose Uganda. Many years ago I watched a movie called Gorillas In The Mist and since then mountain gorillas were on my bucket list to see and photograph. My flight back home was via Juba, Sudan, but I changed it last minute due to a hunch – I was able to avoid the conflict that happened there during at the time of my flight back.
People in Uganda are generally pretty warm and inviting. Although many cannot speak English well, it is impossible not to notice how sincere their smiles are. This was definitely one of those trips which is going to have a special place in my memory. After returning back home from trips like this I always evaluate my life and priorities. It is so nice to see how people in these poor African countries can find happiness in such simple things and they do not need to surround themselves with luxury “toys”. Below you can find a few photographs of people, beautiful nature, amazing scenery and of course wild animals. I’ve also made notes bellow some images to further explain what is being shown.
A portrait of woman is sitting near her house and cleaning rice. She then will sell the rice along with few other items and use the money to buy a whole chicken. Meat is expensive and most people only eat it during holidays. Christmas is coming and a lot of people in Uganda buy meat(goat or chicken) for the Christmas dinner. Sometimes a purchase is split between a few families if none of them can afford to buy it on their own.
90% of Uganda is located 900-2,000meters above sea level. This particular region is above 2,000 meters. You can see how all of the land including slopes that exceed 60 degrees(!!) in some areas are covered by small farm lands. First, the owner of the land has to walk many miles to reach it and then climb up or down to get to the small piece of land they own.
Early morning sunrise. I took this portrait of a woman who walked 2 hours from her village to reach a small piece of land she owns in the region I described above. She will work until evening and then head back home.
Saw this woman sitting near her house as I was exploring her village and I just had to approach and take a photograph.
A boy in a mountainous village is playing with a ball made from plastic bags and he is really good at it for his age. I can really see him playing the big league in the future if he continues advancing and finds a way to try out.
Boy playing soccer while looking after the cattle. They received this ball from a tourist.
I am trying to catch some action of boys playing soccer while they are looking after the cattle.
This portrait was taken near a main road. This man came here in hopes to sell bananas and plantains he grew on his farm.
I have to mention, surprisingly, bananas we get here in Canada are sweeter than the ones in Uganda. I absolutely loved tomatoes there though. They are extremely tasty and flavorful.
Trying to explore another village deep in the mountains.
I brought a few small gifts for him and it was heartbreaking to see tears in his eyes as he could not understand why I am doing it. I had no guide to translate and he didn’t speak any English.
Another fascinating portrait. This woman was really shy and took a while to adjust her head piece and clothing in order to look beautiful. I think she is absolutely beautiful and angelic
This family portrait was taken not far from Kabale city. Kids didn’t really understand why they had to stand and look at the camera 🙂
I was invited by this woman to share a lunch with her at the house. He husband died not too long ago and was left alone with 6 kids. She makes money by selling jewelery, raising cattle and farming. He eldest sun is 17 and youngest daughter is 4. They all help her. The lunch was very tasty. We had sweet potatoes, ugali, roasted cabbage and peanut porridge.
a man is sitting near a bar. What you see here is an empty bar. There’s nobody here as it is an early morning. In the evening this bar will be full. Bars tend to produce their own alcoholic drinks and the most popular is Banana Gin.
Banana Gin is believed to cure early stages of Malaria. I’ve met people who told me they were cured from Malaria by this method.
A few dozen kids sing and dance
Kids singing and dancing. They seemed to genuinely enjoy what they were doing.
I arrive to Kabale late in the afternoon before going to see gorillas in the morning.
Don’t he look like a young version of Cuba Junior or Denzel Washington? 🙂
Really early morning, sunrise and I am heading to see mountain gorillas. We’ve been driving for more than an hour to start gorilla tracking. There are appx only 800 mountain gorillas left in the world. There are none in zoos as they don’t survive in captivity.
After about an hour of tracking, we finally find a family of gorillas. Permits that cost $600US allow only an hour per day to be spent with a family.
I got very lucky as this family was friendly and allowed to be very close. One adult gorilla walked so close, it touched my hand.
A portrait of an adult male gorilla. He is really big and it is a bit scary to be so close and see him stare.
This one is really small. Probably the size of a large cat 🙂
Located 1950 meters above sea level! It’s absolutely beautiful
Rwanda, walking towards Batwa people village( also called pygmies or bushmen)
After a really long trek, I finally reached Bushmen tribe.
They have no land of their own as they were kicked out from the forest they lived in by the government a number of years ago and now have to rent a piece of land from a person who wants them out. With absolutely no social assistance or any support from the government, they are trying to survive in any way they can. Most can’t afford to buy shoes and forced to walk around barefoot. In the rocky areas they live, it is not comfortable and often painful.
There are many similar tribal villages in Uganda and Rwanda and many partially rely on help from NGOs in order to survive or improve their living conditions.
Bellow are a few images of this tribe
He are a few wildlife images from Uganda:
This little baby is learning to walk 🙂
This crocodile is vegetarian 🙂 I was surprised to hear it,but I observed many birds and animals walking around it without being harmed. I’ve heard similar stories when I was in Asia as well. When a lone crocodile is raised among other animals it can treat them as family.