Monthly Archives: February 2014

Is a private safari vacation for you?

It sounds incredibly luxurious and ultra expensive.  But it turns out a private safari doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive — especially if you’re thinking of going with friends (which we were).  Here’s what we considered, in deciding whether to book a private safari:

Did we want to go with other people, or on “our own”?

We […]

February 20th, 2014|Tour Operators|

13 Photography Tips for Gorilla Trekking

After reading about what the actual trekking is like, here are a few things that I think you may find useful with respect to photographing the amazing gorillas!

1. Should I bring a tripod or monopod?

I would suggest not to. Most of the terrain is very uneven and tangled with underbrush so it’s more probable that […]

February 20th, 2014|Gorilla Trekking|

Things we’re glad we packed for Rwanda

What to bring?  It took us a long time – and many trips to REI – to figure out what to pack.  Plus, we weren’t just going on safari — we were also going gorilla trekking!
Here’s what was particularly useful in Rwanda:

Hiking Boots:  The hike to visit the gorillas was full of mud and buffalo dung.  It was […]

February 20th, 2014|Gorilla Trekking|

What to expect on a Gorilla Trek (part 2)

After hiking in the forest for a bit over an hour, our guide suddenly stopped us.  To our left, there were a few gorillas hanging out, just ahead.  We were totally, completely in awe.  Then we kept going.  After another 15 minutes or so, he stopped us.  By the way, if this sounds easy, it […]

February 20th, 2014|Gorilla Trekking|

What to expect on a Gorilla Trek

At around 7am, we drove to a central meeting point.  There seemed to be about 50-60 tourists there, and a lot of guides as well.  They had coffee and tea, and while we drank coffee and woke up, the guides talked.

It was good to get there early!  There are quite a few different gorilla families, […]

February 20th, 2014|Gorilla Trekking|


We had a lot of questions about electricity and power before we went.  Just as reference, we brought along a tablet and also had camera batteries to recharge.  We used the tablet mainly for downloading photos at the end of each day.

Here are a few comments:

connectivity:  Once we got there, most of the places we stayed […]

February 20th, 2014|Travel Logistics|


We needed visas to enter Tanzania, and followed these instructions:  We had to mail our passports in to get the visas, so you may want/need to allot time for that.

Rwanda doesn’t require a visa for US citizens, for a stay of less than 90 days:

We got our visas in advance of the trip, just to […]

February 20th, 2014|Travel Logistics|


Below were the suggested vaccinations (and yes, we got all of them!) from the travel clinic, for both Rwanda and Tanzania.  Since we were going to both countries, I didn’t track the requirements by one country versus another.  (Obviously, these requirements can change over time.)

We had most of these already, from previous travels.  The one […]

February 20th, 2014|Travel Logistics|


It actually took us a while to figure out luggage restrictions!  I thought this would be really simple to figure out, but for two reasons, it wasn’t.

First, we had a short flight between Rwanda and Tanzania.  And, for some reason, this was really confusing to me!

Second, I couldn’t figure out the ideal luggage size restrictions […]

February 20th, 2014|Travel Logistics|

Balancing Act! Monopod, Tripod or Beanbag?

One of the things we really debated was whether to purchase a tripod.
Should I bring a monopod?

I found a monopod to be a big help.  Don’t get a hiking monopod for a DSLR like I first did.  I tried a Leki with the camera adapter kit but it felt so flimsy, I knew it would […]

February 19th, 2014|Photography Tips|