Rwanda and Uganda are countries rich in history, culture, natural scenic beauty and biodiversity. Rwanda, known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, is a perfect description of the rolling and green lands, and for the often misty views of the Virunga mountain range with its ring of volcanoes.

We start in Kigali, Rwanda’s bustling capital city, with lunch at Hotel des Mile Collines featured in the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’. Our first mountain trek takes us high up through dense forests to the gorilla’s natural environment. Imagine sitting 10 feet from a majestic gorilla, close enough to observe their behavior, and capture their facial expressions and every movement—sure to be unforgettable memories and impactful images.

Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa because of its magnificent scenery and abundant wildlife, and Ugandans are hospitable with their traditional values reflecting their diverse tribal heritages. These values are expressed in their food, dances, handicrafts, clothing, and organization of societies.

The Bwindi Impenetrable forest is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the original home to the Batwa pygmies. We visit with this almost extinct and now protected Batwas in their reconstructed village outside the forest. We will photograph their traditional hunting techniques, homes, food preparation, ancient performances, and they will teach us about their medicinal plants.


  • - Photograph the mountain gorillas up close in their natural environment
  • - Photograph chimpanzees, golden monkeys, Colobus monkeys
  • - Visit the spectacular Virunga National Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • - See some of Africa’s most beautiful regions and profusion of wildlife
  • - Receive on location instruction


If you are seriously interested in this workshop, please contact us ASAP. Rwanda only issues a very small number of daily permits to visit with the gorillas. For the gorilla trek you must be in good physical condition, able to walk on uneven terrain and narrow jungle trails, and uphill for at least 4 hours.


These workshops are for the serious amateur who has a working knowledge of their camera and for the professional photographer or videographer, who wants to combine advancing their photography skills with an adventurous travel experience. Participants should be highly motivated, technically self-sufficient, physically fit, and capable of navigating in foreign cultures. Participants may work with still photography or video and are encouraged to explore on their own.

All workshops include on location instruction and offer unique opportunities to photograph diverse cultures, rich landscapes, and remarkable architecture. My groups are limited to 8 to 10 participants depending on the location, as this allows for a more personal photography and travel experience, and non-photographing companions are encouraged to attend. 

ITINERARY  (Subject to change)

Pre-group travel depart the U.S. on Sun. Jan. 7, 2018

Day 1          Arrive in Kigali, Rwanda                     Kigali Serena Inn

Mon. Jan. 8    Airport transfer and hotel check in. Kigali is the bustling capital city with a population of two million. The city was founded in 1907 under German Colonial rule, but did not become the capital until Rwandan independence in 1962. The city spreads over four scenicridges and the valleys in between, with the city center located on one hill. Kigali’s peaceful, tree lined streets are clean and safe, and boasts   a selection of international restaurants, boutiques and markets. A   perfect starting point for an unforgettable photography adventure   tracking the great mountain gorillas!

Today you have a free day to acclimate and on your own to visit the Genocide Memorial Center and the food and craft markets. This evening we gather for our welcome dinner at the Hotel Mille Collines featured in the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’. (D)

Day 2          Volcano National Park                       Virunga Lodge

Tu. Jan. 9           Depart early this morning for our drive to the town of Musanze and to the rain forests of the Volcanoes National Park, the last refuge of  the mountain gorilla, and       where half of the world’s wild mountain gorillas now reside. We track the gorillas up these lush slopes to an ideal location to photograph the gorillas in their natural habitat.

Considered one of the most scenic lodges in Rwanda, the Virungais perched high on a hill overlooking the lakes Burera and Buhhondo, with views of the volcanoes Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke. (B, L & D)

Day 3          Volcano National Park                       Virunga Lodge

Wed. Jan. 10 Gorilla tracking – we leave early for a 30 minute drive to the Rwandaisdu Tourisme et Des Par Nationaux office (ORTPN) where we obtain our tracking permits, and for the head range to divide us into groups. The gorillas we track belong to one of the seven habituated families of gorillas of which each family has from seven to over thirty-five individuals in each group. These groups can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.   (B, L &D)

Day 4          Lake Mutanda, Uganda                     Chameleon Hill Lodge

Thu. Jan. 11  After an early breakfast we depart for the Kyanki border crossing into Uganda’s southwest region and to our lodge by the shores of Lake Mutanda adjacent to the impenetrable forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga. Our drive takes us through the scenic countryside of bamboo forests with dramatic views of the Virunga Mountains.  (B, L & D)

Day 5          Batwa Trail                                     Chameleon Hill Lodge

Fr. Jan. 12    Today we visit with the Batwa (Pygmy) tribe, hunter-gathers and fierce warriors who depend on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. When the park was established the Batwa, an indigenous tribe, were evicted from the forest and forced to abandon their nomadic lifestyle. To survive they now work for local farmers. We photograph the Batwa demonstrating their traditional  hunting techniquesand the unique custom of women performing songs in a cave. (B, L & D)

Day 6          Lake Mburo National Park         Mihingo Lodge

Sat. Jan. 13   This morning we depart early for a daylong drive to Lake Mburo Pantional Park,a vast area of wetlands, dry hillsides, rocky outcrops, forests, lakes, swamps and a vast wooded savannah home to Zebra, Eland, Bush Buck, Buffalo, Klipspringer, Leopards, Hyena, Impala, and in the swamp the rare Sitatunga Antelope andCrocodiles.

Our lodge is an escape into the wilderness! This family run lodge is perched high on a rocky kopje, whose pre-Cambrian granite boulders were formed over 500 million years ago. It has spectacular views over the vast savannah landscape, and from its watering hole you can watch the wildlife. An unusual feature of the lodge is a horse safari to see the wildlife. 

(B, L & D)

Day 7          Kampala, Uganda                             Emin Pasha Hotel

Sun. Jan. 14  This morning take an early morning hike to the equator returning by 9 to pack and for our drive to Kampala. (B & L)

Day 8          Kampala – Sipi Falls                          Sipi River Lodge

Mon. Jan. 15 Today we drive 4 hours through the northeast to the small trading center of Sipi, 45km from Mbale. The village is home to a series of three spectacular waterfalls the most famous being the 99m high Sipi Falls, which cascades downhill from the upper slopes of Mount Elgon into the Kyoga Basin.

Our lodge is set on 17 acres of private grounds, which includes the 80m Kapsurur Falls, several caves, and some of the best Arabica coffee in the world. Sipi Falls is located just outside Mount Elgon National Park the second largest volcanic base in the world! Ourlodge grows its own Bugisu Washed Arabic coffee as well as purchases beans at fair trade prices from the local farmers. The region is also   known for itsdelectable Sipi River honey. (B, L & D)

Day 9          Sipi Falls                                                 Sipi River Lodge

Tu. Jan. 16   Spend the day exploring the region, hike to the waterfalls and caves, tour the coffee plantation and bird watch. (B, L& D)

Day 10        Sipi – Moroto                                          Lia Springs Hotel

Wed. Jan. 17 After an early breakfast we depart for Moroto located at the foot of Mount Moroto and the Karamajong tribe, aka Manyatta or Boma in Swahili. Their village known as a Kraal is constructed of huts surrounded by fencesmade of wood and thorns to keep the cattle in and the rivaling tribes out. The Karamajong are related to the Maasai in Kenya, and live a similar lifestyle.    (B & L)

Day 11        Moroto – Murchison Falls                  Chobe Safari Lodge

Thu. Jan. 18  Today we drive to Murchison Falls National Park and to the Chobe Safari Lodge by the banks of the Nile River. The falls was the backdrop for John Huston’s famous film ‘The African Queen’. The Falls Conservation Area is Uganda’s largest protected game reserve, and boasts a host of wildlife such as elephant, lion, waterbuck,  buffalo, leopard, and in the river the rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, crocodiles and hippos.   (B, L & D)

Day 12        Murchison Falls – Kampala

Fri. Jan. 19    today we return to Kampala and your flight home (B)

Workshop Fee

The workshop fee is $9,750.00 and includes shared accommodations, group hotel transfers, all regional transportation, private touring, full time private English speaking guides, part and gorilla permits, some meals, visa support, all gratuities for our guides and drivers, and on site photography instruction. A deposit of $1,250.00 must accompany your registration forms and the Liability Waiver. The final payment is due by Oct. 1, 2017. At the time of registration, the deposit will be taken by Maine Media Workshops.  All further correspondence, finances, etc will be handled directly by Arlene Collins, the instructor.

Not included

International flights, single supplement accommodations, travel and medical evacuation insurance, visa fees, personal expenses and items, personal

Photography fees, and meals and beverages not indicated on the itinerary, and any optional activities. The single supplement charge is $1,400.00.




1.       Reservations & Payments

A deposit of $1,250.00 per person is required to confirm your reservation for the2018 Rwanda & Uganda Photography workshop.Final payment in full is due by Oct. 1, 2017. Arlene Collins Photography, LLC, reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the stated due date.

2.       Cancellations

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. If you cancel 90 days or more prior to departure, a refund less an administration fee of $750.00 and less any payments made to travel agents, hotels and sub-contractors will be issued. No refunds are issued if you cancel within 90 days prior to departure. For payments not refunded consult your insurance carrier. Refunds cannot be made to participants who do not complete the workshop for any reason at all.

3.       Basis of Rates

All prices are quoted in US dollars. Due to unforeseen circumstances including but not limited to the rising cost of airfares, ground transportation, fuel surcharges, accommodations and currency fluctuations prices are subject to change. Therefore, Arlene Collins Photography, LLC reserves the right to amend trip prices or levy a surcharge on the cost of the trip without prior notice.

4.       Insurance

Trip Cancellation and Baggage insurance protection andEmergency Medical Evacuation, Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection are strongly recommended. Camera equipment, computers and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk, and we accept no responsibility for lost, damaged or delayed property. Suggested travel insurance companies are CSA www.csatravelprotection.comandAIG, Allianz travel and for medical/air evacuation the air rescue card.

5.       Itinerary Changes

The itinerary is subject to change without prior notification.

6.       Passports and Visas

A valid passport is required for all travels. You are required to notify Arlene Collins PhotographyLLC, under which nationality your passport is registered. Collins Photography Workshops will notify you, if your destination requires a visa for U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens are required to contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements pertaining to their trip. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. Your passport must have an expiration date of at least 6 months upon completion of this trip.

7.       Medical Issues

All participants must be in good health. You must advise Arlene Collins Photography, LLC, prior to booking, of any health, physical, emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or adversely impact the other participants.

8.       Single Travelers

Arlene Collins Photography LLC makes every effort to honor shared and single supplementary requests. However, shared accommodations cannot be guaranteed and the single supplement rate will apply, if we cannot provide accommodations.

9.       Liability Waiver

Every participant is required to sign the liability waiver before the trip, acknowledging awareness and acceptance of the risks associated with the workshop and related travel. 

10.     Responsibility & Photography To ensure a safe photographic experience you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  Arlene Collins has the right to eject any person from the workshop for disruptive behavior, compromising the group’s safety, enjoyment or violating the law.





Terms and Conditions for Travel Workshops

1. Reservations & Payments

A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the start date of  your workshop unless stated differently in the course description..  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.

2. Cancellations

Please review our cancellation policy at

3. Basis of Rates

All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.

4. Insurance

It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses.

5. Itinerary Changes

The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.

6.  Passports and Visas

A valid passport is required for all international travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered.  Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.

7. Medical Issues

All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.

8. Liability Waiver

Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.

9. Responsibility & Photography

To ensure a safe  experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop. 

Sign and Return Waiver Form



Arlene Collins

Arlene Collins specializes in documenting remote cultures and changing civilizations around the world. She currently produces and leads international photography workshops, offers a master photography class and topic-specific short courses in her New York City studio, lectures in the United States and abroad, and consults privately with a number of clients.

Arlene studied with Lisette Model.  She is an Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design, and for 15 years she taught in the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Arlene is a world traveler, and the list of countries she has not yet visited or worked in continues to shrink. She has photographed in more than 60 international locations. She has lectured in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), at the Fototeca Center in Havana, Cuba, and at the Istanbul Center of Photography in Turkey, and she has taught workshops at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City; ROSPHOTO, the Russian State Center of Photography in St. Petersburg, Russia; at the Three Shadows Photography Center in Beijing, China; and in Lahore, Pakistan. In addition, Arlene has led intensive workshops to Turkey, Morocco, Mali, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bhutan, Argentina, India, Cuba, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and to Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

Arlene has created several long-term photography essays, including Boxing in New York City, Moscow, and Bangkok, and essays on the Rodeo in New Jersey and Voodoo in Western Africa, and she has documented the abandoned sites of Pripyat and the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in Ukraine, and the Vogelsang Russian military base in Germany. As she continues her international travels, Arlene also adds to her ongoing photographic essay on “UNESCO-designated” World Heritage Sites.

Arlene continues to travel and teach workshops around the world. Recently she returned from photographing in North Korea, and she plans to conduct upcoming workshops in Georgia and Armenia.

Course Dates

Jan 8 to Jan 19


$9,750 (single supp $1,400)

Class Size