Africa photography

The Pearl of Africa

You can feel a country’s soul through its people’s eyes; the hardships and struggles, the pride and the love, all written on the faces of young and old alike. In Uganda, faces light up for the camera as an outsider makes his way down a dusty trading road, into a town to sample local offerings of coffee and honey. For many, the camera is a welcome delight, a crystal ball in which they see a different version of themselves. But for every eager smile, there can also be hesitation. The distrust of a foreigner who must earn his photograph can be visceral in a population accustomed to struggle and survival. The vastness of Africa is daunting, yet its soul can be inviting, as one photographer makes his way through the different regions of Uganda. 

closer look to communities in africa

Author Magazine story Africa Safari photography

Author Magazine story Africa Safari photography

Known as “The Pearl of Africa”, Uganda’s diverse landscapes range from deep valleys and lake regions, ideally suited for safari adventures, to the mountainous Western borders where gorillas roam free and wild. Traveling by car and boat along the borders of the Congo and Rwanda, and up through the Equator line in the heart of the country, Author Magazine photographer Bryan Tormey experienced the daily life of Uganda’s people. From the frenzy of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, to the trading boats navigating the Nile River, into the rich coffee exporting towns along the Western border, he immersed himself in the everyday culture of native Ugandans, capturing the soul that vibrates through the country. 

Author Magazine exclusive story Africa Photography Safari and within the community

Author Magazine exclusive story Africa Photography Safari and within the community

Author Magazine exclusive story Africa Photography Safari and within the community

The people of Uganda share the rich land with a myriad of animals, making it a country prime for safaris and tourism. From the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park, lion conservation that protects the regal species, where hippos, buffalo, and elephants freely wander in the open savannah and lakes, Tormey makes his way south to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Home to almost half of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population, Bwindi translates to “impenetrable” and aptly describes the sprawling, lush protected land that houses innumerable species of plants and animals. If the people of Uganda represent the country’s soul, the animals are certainly the heart. They are revered, protected, honored, and coexist in harmony with local Ugandans who are trusted to guide outsiders through this special and unique world.

Exclusive Author Story Safari in Africa

Exclusive Author Story Safari in Africa

Exclusive Author Story Safari in Africa

Exclusive Author Story Safari in Africa

Exclusive Author Story Safari in Africa

Exclusive Author Story Safari in Africa

Our drive-by story around Uganda

“While traveling around Uganda, I tried to capture the everyday life of people through my lens. We decided to make our journey via a car, ferries, and an assortment of boats around Africa’s pearl. Starting in the city of Kampala, and making our way North East to the small forest region of Pakuba, we first started our adventures. We slowly traveled south, along the border of Congo until we reached the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and rested for a few days immersing ourselves in the mountains and home of Africa’s coffee exports, and all it had to offer. Shortly after heading West to the lake region of Mburo until finishing our journey back up north to the city of Kampala.

Exclusive Author Magazine story inside Africa communities

The best way to get a feel for the local culture is by having your feet on the ground, as they do. Putting yourself in others’ shoes, and experiencing life from sun up to sun down surrounded by localism. Many of these images are shot from dust-filled roads, narrow Nile River passages, and homes of the beauties that took us in and showed us a glimpse of their world. It’s funny when photographing people of different cultures. Some embrace the camera and love the moments it brings. They often want more to see the images and others you have taken. Smiling big, and ‘Showing off’ in front of the camera. While others, hide and get agitated at the mere sight of you pointing a camera at them. I enjoy both sides of this coin – it’s beautiful to watch people turn on a show and flaunt their feathers. It’s just as exciting to see people shy away and hide from the lens. It’s this reaction that starts the conversation and interest in why they feel this way. With these individual images, I hope you find joy and curiosity in the African Pearl, known as Uganda, and encourage you to try it yourself.”  – Photographer Bryan Tormey

By Elizabeth Kramsky 

Photography by Bryan Tormey