Alex Morgan Interview
A Father-Son Photographic Safari Trekking Gorillas with Don & Alex Morgan
Catching up with father-and-son Outside GO travelers who just might've taken the best photos of Uganda we've ever seen.
PHOTOS BY ALEX MORGAN
Q: Don, you just returned from a 10-day trip to Uganda with your son. Tell us, why did you pick this destination?
DON: I’ve always wanted to experience an up-close visit with the few remaining silverback gorillas.
Q: You were both friends of Phil Osborne, the founder of our original company over 25 years ago. What was it about Phil that got you traveling?
DON: Phil’s enthusiasm for African travel was contagious. And he knew everyone over there.
ALEX: I shared a safari tent with the venerable Mr. Osbourne on my first trip to Kenya 15 years ago. A great kindhearted man, and a loud snorer.
"I’ve always wanted to experience an up-close visit with the few remaining silverback gorillas."
Q: What keeps you coming back?
DON: Each day is different from our daily experiences at home. It opens up new avenues of thinking.
Q: It looks like your itinerary was filled with many days spent trekking for chimps and gorillas in the jungle. What was the most exciting moment in the jungle?
DON: My first live encounter with a gorilla family.
ALEX: There was a moment just as we had crested one of the many steep hills following the Rushegura gorilla group in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that stood out for me. The group we were tracking finally decided to pause in an open area with lots of beautiful broken light, and we were able to spend some time within a few short feet of the family, including an adorable baby boy and a silverback that seemed to be posing for me.
"I knew right away these would be the best photographs of my life thus far."
Q: Alex, your photos are phenomenal. Does your photography inspire your travel, or the other way around?
ALEX: It’s the other way around, for sure. I’ve been shooting for over a decade now, but the last few years have been particularly special, as my dad and I have vowed to do at least one interesting trip per year together, just the two of us. It’s a wonderful opportunity to photograph new places, people, and wildlife and it is also an incredible bonding experience
Q: What surprised you the most about Uganda?
DON: How green and cool the highlands are in the national parks and the abundance of wildlife in those same parks. I went for the gorillas, but really enjoyed all the wildlife. My new favorite bird is the shoebill stork.
ALEX: The sheer size of protected area in the country was amazing to see. Such a complete treasure. We would be driving, sometimes for hours and hours, and still be within the boundaries of a park with plentiful wildlife. Hardly a dull moment. I was also really impressed with the quality and health of the rich black soil, which produced some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables. Almost everyone there, at least in rural areas, is a farmer in addition to their other occupation. They use ancient crop rotation techniques, the importance of which we in the west have sadly abandoned for monoculture.
"There is nothing better than being surprised by the majesty of the moment and being prepared to capture it.."
Q: Where to next?
DON: I’m off to Papua New Guinea next May. Alex and I have also discussed going to see the eagle hunting in Mongolia.
ALEX: I just wish I could retire and follow Dad around, honestly! One trip a year makes it difficult to choose. I’d also like to explore Southeast Asia and more of South America, but you could probably convince me to go just about anywhere. You hiring?
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