In Search of Great Stories – Press Trip 2015

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Photo: Marcus Westberg

“Who would have thought that a bunch of journalists and photographers could coexist in complete harmony for a whole week?” said a source close to the Gorilla Highlands Press Trip.

Photo: Marcus Westberg (left), Jiro Ose (right)

Nobody surely thought like that on the morning of 16 November 2015. The activity started with such rainfall in Kampala, and with such weather forecast for the Gorilla Highlands, that surviving the week while keeping your gear dry seemed to be the very best anyone could hope for. There were two camping nights planned – both on islands, one of them remote and rural – and one day of hiking towards Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, followed by two days of outdoor activities inside the park.

Photo: Isaac Kasamani

The brave ones who said yes to the challenge were:

Isaac Kasamani, AFP
Edward Echwalu, Reuters
Joshua Moturi, IHA Africa Today
Ashton Juma, Africa24 Media
Millicent Akeyo, Africa24 Media
Jiro Ose, Redux Pictures
Josh Hamby, Busoga Aerial
Marcus Westberg, freelance
Jossy Muhangi, Uganda Wildlife Authority
Katharina Lahner, Gorilla Highlands volunteer
Edward Lewis, UNDP/UNWTO/UTB project consultant

Photo: Jiro Ose

Perhaps they were convinced by the chance to see mountain gorillas and golden monkeys? Maybe the selling point was extensive contact with Batwa “Pygmies”? Or had they simply promised themselves to somehow stay strong until the Silverchef cooking competition?

Photo: Miha Logar

The weather turned out to be pretty decent for the rainy season (below you see theMutanda Island Lodge boat and campsite).

Photo: Marcus Westberg

With the help of hired generators and excursions to urban areas, work could be done as they went. TV footage and photos were uploaded on the go.

Photo: Miha Logar

Awesome footage was collected.

Photo: Jiro Ose

Sweet things could be tried, for example a coffee tour between Lake Mutanda and Kisoro.

Photo: Marcus Westberg

Adventure was sought, like camping on one of the peaks of Mt Sabinyo and attempting to catch the sunrise at the top (well…).

Photo: Marcus Westberg

Finally, after days of basic life, the comfort of Volcanoes Gahinga and Travellers Rest was an appropriate treat… Not to mention the flight back to central Uganda instead of wasting another day in the bus.

Photo: Jiro Ose

To quote a source with insider knowledge: “This week really was incredible. I’d hesitate to attend another press trip, because I don’t think there’s any way it could be as much fun as this one!”

Well, Gorilla Highlands will certainly try to make the next one even better!

Gorilla Highlands Press Trip 2015 was supported by UNDP, UNWTO, UTB and UWA.