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How Photo Tours Can Help Improve Your Travel Experience — Triple F Photo Tours: Change Lives and Improve Your Photography On Our Photo-Tour to...

Photo Tours are becoming ubiquitous in the travel industry, but not all of them are the same or offer the same experiences to their travellers. I hear from many people that they have been on a photo tour and did not get photo instruction on most excursions, and worse, they did not have any cultural experiences.

What is a photo tour, and how can it help you improve your travel experience?

Simply put, a photo tour is a guided tour through a country, where your host and guide, who is a professional photographer, helps you improve your photography skills on all the excursions you will do.  

A photo tour helps you see and read the light available on every excursion and helps you either learn a new photography skill or improve upon what you already have learned to photograph the scenes in front of you, in real-time and in real life. Furthermore, you are learning new ways to photograph and get feedback on the frequent photo reviews held after the excursion, so you can keep learning and improving as you travel to different places on tour.

Kids in Bombo Town learning how to play the drums, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Kids in Bombo Town learning how to play the drums, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Our Photo Tour to Uganda is outstanding and offers so much more than just learning photography.

For instance, through our company Triple F Photo Tours, we take our enthusiast or amateur (sometimes pro) photographers on a 16-day tour through glorious and bountiful Uganda.  

We start in Kampala with a walking tour of the capital city, guided by a local company, Adventure With Locals, owned by two fabulous women, Rosette and Hannah. 

During our walk, not only are you guided safely through the city as it is a bustling street, and it is easy to get your belongings stolen if you are not careful. But we also teach you how to photograph up close and from afar to get different perspectives. On the walk, we go through Nakasero Market, the largest market in Uganda, bringing together vendors that hawk everything from fruits and vegetables to electronics and clothing. The interactions and photos you will take away are priceless as you get to see the lives of the locals up close and personal. These people are so friendly and love to talk about their lives but remember it's not a free-for-all, and you must always exercise respect and ask permission before taking photos.  

Nakasero Market, Kampala, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Nakasero Market, Kampala, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

See the Only Bahai Temple in Africa on our photo walk.

We also visit the Bahai Temple, which sits up high on top of one of Kampala's seven hills, where you can get a beautiful view of the city from up high. There are only seven Bahai Temples in the world, and only one in Africa, which happens to be in Uganda. The Bahai Temple holds a special place in my heart because my grandfather when he lived there in the '40s, donated supplies to help build the temple. Once upon a time, there existed a plaque in honour of him, however after Idi Amin exiled us in 1972, it was removed and damaged.

We Show You How To Pay It Forward Through our Charity Cameras For Girls.

The next three days are set aside to teach photography and business skills to local females, endeavouring to become journalists. These females face hardships you and I can't imagine. Through our charitable side, Cameras For Girls, and with your assistance, they get to learn viable skills to help them get paid jobs in a very male-dominated country. Not only do you see the power of photography at work. You also learn and impart some of your knowledge to these girls over our three days together. I promise you this experience will be life-changing, and you will not find this on any other photo tour in the market. 

Triple F Photo Tours is a photo tour company with a philanthropic twist. In addition to your photo tour holiday, you automatically sponsor and participate in workshops for local young women training to become journalists and photojournalists as 10% of our profits goes directly to supporting Cameras For Girls.  

Doesn't it make you feel great to be giving back in a meaningful way through travel?

Cameras For Girls students practicing their photography skills in Kampala, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Cameras For Girls students practicing their photography skills in Kampala, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Jinja is the start of the White River Nile.

After the training is complete, we head straight to Jinja for some relaxation and a view into the more peaceful life available to Uganda's citizens. Jinja draws countless travellers for its adrenaline-inspired activities, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and horseback riding. Jinja is also home to the White River Nile, which flows into Lake Victoria. We will spend time practicing reducing our shutter speed to get photos of the silky waters. 

Aside from the River Nile, we will also take nature walks through Mabira Forest, where you will see countless bird species from both ashore and on the two-hour boat ride down the River Nile. On this excursion, you will also visit Old Indian Town, which was left as a memorial to when we lived and thrived in this country. 

Here, you will get ample time to practice all kinds of photography, from photographing birds in flight to photograph the flowing waters to photograph old architecture.  

Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda's National Treasure.

We depart Jinja and head to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda's national treasure. Murchison Falls is where the magic happens! Murchison will give you three things to experiences. First, you will do the game safari drive starting at 5 am as we want to be in the park at first light. Capturing the wildlife with the early-morning light is a photographer's dream, and you will learn how to capture these gorgeous animals with backlighting, front-lighting and overall soft light, which means fewer shadows. 

However, shadows are not our enemy, so you will also learn how to photograph animals on the two-hour boat drive in the afternoon along the shoreline, where you will see elephants, hippos, water buffalo, shorebirds more. 

Finally, we head off for a hike to the top of Murchison Falls, where you will get the opportunity to sit astride the falls and hear the roar of the falls while capturing gorgeous photos of this phenomenon. If you are lucky, we might even get to catch a rainbow that usually appears over the mist of the falls. Learning how to photograph water as it flows by you in a stream or rushes past in the falls means changing your shutter speed. You will learn how to adapt to the quickly changing scenes in front of you to get awe-inspiring photos to take home and share.

After two fantastic days in Murchison, we head to the bustling city of Fort Portal in the Kasese district of Uganda. Fort Portal is our starting point to see all that Kasese offers, such as the amazing Amabere Gyanimwiru, a hidden cave and falls. Or the hot springs of Semuliki National Park, or the Bigodi Wetlands, where you will hopefully see the rare Shoebill Stork, which is unfortunately critically endangered. You will learn how to photograph this elusive bird and others and how to develop a respect for wildlife, especially one that is critically endangered like this one.  

Murchison Falls, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Murchison Falls, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Kasese District is a cultural hot spot in Uganda.

In Fort Portal, we also meet many amazing people from different ways of life, but they all have one thing in common: the love they have for their culture. 

You will meet cocoa growers and buyers and hopefully taste the raw cocoa fruit, which, when harvested, creates cocoa powder.

You will view the culture by interacting with the Bakonzo Tribe, who will give us a dance lesson dressed in their tribal clothing. You will also see the various tea farms that litter the countryside. The tea region has special meaning to me because my aunt and uncle owned one of the largest tea farms when we lived in Uganda, and they lost it all when we had to leave. The farm is now one of the most thriving tea farms in all of Uganda. 

Here you will learn how to take action shots of the dancers and portraits of the various people you will meet along the way. You will understand how culture is one of the most important facets of travelling and that the interaction you have with the Ugandans will leave you with a full heart and a desire to return again and again.

In Kasese, we will also go for a nature hike through the Rwenzori Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Stanley at the Margherita Peak, named after the famous explorer Stanley. On a clear day, you can see the snow-capped peak from the bottom of the mountain. Here we will also get a view into the lives of the people who break stones at the mine all day long to have food to put on their table. It gives one an appreciation for what we have. The hike through the mountain will introduce you to various photography opportunities, including wildlife, such as the elusive chameleon to the multiple monkey species and the local porters and guides who work for the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

After Kasese, we head off to the Kyambura Gorge to see the massive chimps. Their screeches will alarm you but be assured it's just a call for their mates to join them where they are. For the most part, you will see them high up in the canopy, so you will need a telephoto lens as you try to capture them eating figs in the trees. However, sometimes you will get lucky as I did on our last tour and see them grooming each other on the ground. Being so close to these animals is awe-inspiring, and you will get photos you could never dream of. I will be by your side, guiding you on capturing what you see, especially if the chimps are on the ground as other travellers will be vying for shots and sometimes step into your picture. I will teach you how to get photos by changing your positions to evade others in your photos while doing the same and respecting the other travellers you see as well.

Bakonzo Tribe in Kasese District, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

Bakonzo Tribe in Kasese District, Uganda @Amina Mohamed Photography

The Climax of our tour is the gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 

From Fort Portal, we travel to the Climax of our photo tour through Uganda. We will visit the mighty mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  Before we get to this event, you will visit the local people in the community surrounding the forest who depend on local tourism to subsist. They make local crafts, coffee and honey that all support the community and the livelihood of the gorillas. You get to photograph artisans at work as they carve gorilla statues and other handicrafts. You get to taste some of Uganda's finest Rainforest Coffee endemic to this region. 

The Gorilla trek is something special on its own. It is vastly different from trekking the chimps as the trek through Kyambura and Kibale National Forest are primarily flat. Bwindi is steep in some places and flat in others. It's also a high-paced trek that can be taxing on some who are not used to moving fast; however, luckily, you will have a porter to carry your belongings, and you can rent walking sticks to help you navigate the forest. 

Furthermore, our partner in Uganda, Venex from Rwenzori Safaris can arrange for our group to travel to the first group of gorillas, which is a mere 1-2 miles away, rather than the other groups, which can take hours to reach.

Once we reach the gorillas, we only have one hour to photograph them. The UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) is very tight on timing, so you need to get as many shots as possible in that allotted time. It can get challenging if it rains or if the gorillas are in an area where the overhead canopy is so thick that no light gets in. I will teach you how to photograph them in the available light to shoot under pressure and under different lighting scenarios that we cannot control.

Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Image courtesy of Google Images

Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Image courtesy of Google Images

We Aim To Go Above and Beyond Expectations on our Photo Tours

At Triple F Photo Tours, we aim to offer a humble, approachable, yet generous feeling and environment where our travellers feel like they are learning, creating, and giving back, bringing a much-needed sense of balance to developing world tourism.

Learning photography is doing not just watching. On our photo tours, you will get plenty of opportunities to practice and take beautiful photos while experiencing all that our various destinations have to offer, all while giving back in a meaningful way.

Look for news to come very soon about our photo tour to Costa Rica in February 2022.

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