Mountain Gorilla photography tour, Rwanda & Uganda

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01273 823 700

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mountain Gorilla photography tour, Rwanda & Uganda

Environment

We believe in the power of photography; the power to create incredible experiences, and the power to make a positive impact. That’s why we founded our own Trust, a non-profit organisation that uses photography to make a positive impact on both a social and conservation level. We finance the running costs of the Trust, so by just by joining one of our workshops, you're indirectly contributing. (So all you have to do to make a difference is have the photo adventure of a lifetime!)

Through this Trust, we provide free professional photography to charities doing environmental and conservation work; images they can use for fundraising and communication purposes.

Using Photography for Wildlife Conservation:
If you join our Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop, you'll be given the option of donating some of your wildlife images to an online photography database; a database that offers free use to charities that work in wildlife and nature conservation. The images have been used by organisations like WWF.

In addition, our photography guide on the trip, Trai Anfield, will donate a percentage of the print sales of her gorilla images to the Gorilla Doctors, an NGO that supports the conservation of Mountain and Lowland Gorillas through veterinary projects.

Ethical Practices during our Gorilla Treks:
During our gorilla treks and other wildlife expeditions, we will follow the rules set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and keep a respectful distance to the wildlife. We’ll be accompanied by expert local guides, who will assist us in acting responsibly and respectfully around both the Mountain Gorillas and the other wildlife.

Carbon Footprint Compensation:
To compensate for our carbon footprint, we sponsor a tree for each participant, which is planted by Greenpop in their reforestation or urban greening programs in Southern Africa. We'll give you a ‘tree ring,’ a key ring that has the coordinates of their tree, so that you know exactly where it’s growing.

Recycle and Water Policies:
During our photography workshop in Rwanda and Uganda, we work with strict trash policies. We will recycle our trash as much as possible, and we’ll keep the use of plastic bottles to a minimum by providing our guests with reusable water bottles.

At our office in Cape Town, we recycle, compost, and minimise the use of paper by predominantly working with digital files.

Community

Apart from supporting conservation initiatives through our photography, we also support social nonprofits. We provide free professional photography to charities that do valuable work and can use the images for fundraising purposes.

Through our Trust, we also run PhotoVoice workshops for youth in underprivileged South African communities. We identify talented young individuals with an interest in and talent for photography, and provide workshops where we encourage them to tell their stories, and the stories of their communities, through photography. We teach them creative self-expression, and the power visual images can have. Participants are encouraged to raise awareness about issues that matter most to them, which stimulates positive activism.

Cultural Photography:
Wherever possible, our photography workshops visit local communities and spend time learning about the local culture and meeting people. We try not to just pass through; we encourage our photographers to truly learn and engage. During our Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop, we'll be visiting several communities in both Rwanda and Uganda, where we'll learn about and photograph several grassroots community nonprofits. Our participants will have the option of donating their images to the NGOs, so that they can use them for communication and fundraising purposes.

Supporting Local Economy:
We use local operators on the ground in Rwanda and Uganda, and all on the ground staff is local. All staff members are given fair salaries and given allowances to participate in courses in order to encourage up-skilling. Our local partner was recently rewarded by the Ugandan Tourism Board for the training they provide for their staff and guides. Our partner also supports several community projects; a school in Arusha, Tanzania, (Kizongo College) and Akatagyenda in Uganda; an organisation that educates local communities on ways of turning tourism into business opportunities.

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