Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Well, it has been two weeks since the end of my Chimps and Gorilla safari to Uganda and Rwanda.   For those of you who missed this trip, I will be running another trip in 2017 - so stay tuned.

I am now some 1730km into the Arctic Circle at Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Several of us took a ship our to an old Russian coal mining island, and in doing so we had our first look at some incredible landscapes along the way.

Primates Safari: Uganda & Rwanda - Day 9

Cloudy, 67° and rain in the afternoon (heavy rain the night before). Altitude at the start of our hike was 7634 feet hiking up to 8644 feet.

Welcome to the Agashya Group, meaning the Special Group. The group is named after a Silverback that joined the group in 2003. Prior to his joining, the original Silverback had passed and the most senior Blackback attempted to lead however he was not strong enough. The dominant females took over the leadership roles in the group for several years. Agashya, un-habituated at the time, joined the group in 2003 as their new leader. At the first, the females did not accept him, and the senior Blackback never accepted him and later left the group. Watching the reactions of the females when researchers and rangers were observing them habituated him. Today, the group is 22 strong with a number of babies and juveniles. The hike was more strenuous than our previous hikes however, photographing the babies (7 and 10 months old) made the hard work worth it.

Check out these photos from two of my clients, Barbara and Kristina.

Tomorrow, we are off to photograph Golden Monkeys before we start our journey home.
Blogging live from the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

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Primates Safari: Uganda & Rwanda - Day 8

Cloudy, temperature 65. Altitude at the start of our hike was 7634 feet hiking up to 8477 feet.

The Hirwa Group is comprised of 19 gorillas and one Silverback. The Silverback, Lucky, is the second strongest Silverback in the entire region. One of the unique features of this group is a pair of twins, which were born to a mother from the Suza Group. Twins are very rare, only seven twins have been born since the late 1960s, and only three pairs have reached maturity. With lots of juveniles in the group, the Hirwa Group had plenty of activity to photograph.

While the trek was not necessarily difficult at the beginning, once contact was established, the group moved a great deal. Apparently, the blackback (adult male), one female and a baby were missing from the group; the Silverback was on the move in an attempt to locate them. The researchers continue to monitor the whereabouts of the blackback to see if he will reunite with the group or form his own. Since the Silverback was on the move, we had keep up with him during the shooting hour, and man, were we exhausted. Due to the thick bamboo and heavy jungle we had to adjust with high ISOs. It was difficult shooting, but many wonderful images were captured.

During our limited downtime, I have been teaching Lightroom and Photoshop (along with shooting techniques). With only two days left in Rwanda, I wanted to share some images my clients have taken on this trip – I am so proud of their work. Enjoy their images.

Blogging live from the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

#‎Rwanda #‎Wildography #‎WildographandSafaris #‎EyesonAfrica #‎VolcanoesNationalPark #gorilla #photography #travelphotography #Africa #mountaingorilla