Jacada Photo Journal: Uganda

Gorillas, lions and many more in the undiscovered heart of Africa
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Written by
Nancy Wong

Published on: June 10th, 2019

Last modified: December 28th, 2023

A true adventurer at heart with an unwavering passion for wildlife photography, James's trip to Uganda was nothing short of extraordinary. Regarded by Winston Churchill as the "Pearl of Africa" and known worldwide for its very moving and peaceful natural beauty, experience Uganda through the lens of James's journey...


Arriving at his destination, James spent much of his first day exploring the streets of Kampala. Walking through the streets downtown is one of the best ways to get a feel of the local lifestyle and gain an introductory understanding of the culture.

Kampala, with an estimated population of 1.5 million people, is Uganda’s most populated city. Here, you’ll find animated characters everywhere — youngsters strolling the streets with baskets for hats, sodas in their hands, and the best accessory of all – big smiles on their faces.

On the Road

En route from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park, James came across a young local boy with a herd of Ankole cattle just off the main road.

The Ankole-Watusi, a breed of cattle unique to Central African nations, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest horn circumference, ever. This young man, striking a pose for the camera, handles over 50 Ankole cattle every day.

Queen Elizabeth National Pak

Early morning, on his last day at the National Park, James experienced a close encounter with a herd of elephants and their babies.

Similar to human beings, baby elephants are virtually inseparable from their mothers for up to 15 years after birth. During this time, they not only develop basic survival skills but forge a lifetime bond of love and loyalty unparalleled by any other species. The photograph here depicts a stroppy young male elephant, playfully flailing his ears and squeaking as our safari van approached.

That same afternoon, James was fortunate enough to come across three lionesses resting in the tree.

According to the ranger, Uganda is home to the only species of lions that dwell in trees. With a window of only 10 seconds or less, this shot was the epitome of good luck and good timing.

Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Deep in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, after three hours of tracking with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), James very luckily came across a Mubare family – the oldest habituated family of gorillas living in Uganda.

Spending an hour just observing them, James managed to get some amazing close-ups of the alpha silverback gorilla in his habitat.

Here is a photograph of James’s UWA ranger and an expert tracker.

At first glance, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers are intimidating, but behind the hard exterior are men built of integrity and honour. They are not men of the military but protectors of wildlife, and their passion for conservation has inspired the masses to continue preserving the precious wildlife in Uganda.