Weedy Sea Dragon and diver

Weedy Seadragon Tours and Private Guiding

Weedy Seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)

Want to see one of the rarest most elusive creatures in the underwater world? Then Sydney is the place to dive. The east coast of Australia has some of the best underwater habitats in which the Weedy Seadragon thrives.

But they are not always easy to find as they camouflage themselves in the kelp that resembles their colour and features. I have been diving in Sydney for over 20 years and know the underwater terrain of many of the dive sites across Sydney north and south.

I have been photographing the various stages of the Weedy Seadragon’s life cycle in order to gain valuable data and learn more about their behaviour and population along our coastline.

Weedy Sea Dragons closeups by underwater photographer Scott Portelli

If you would like to join a private guided tour to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures, I can organise dives around Sydney to some of the best hotspots for seeing Weedys.

Weedy Sea Dragon and scuba diver underwater

These beautiful coloured dragons are closely related to the seahorse, being a member of the Syngnathidae family.

Weedy Sea Dragons

Join Our Weedy Seadragon tours

gorilla among leaves photograph taken on tour with Scott Portelli

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda & Uganda

There is nothing more intimate than being up close and personal with some of the most impressive creatures on the planet, the rare endangered Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda. There are two trips running, one will be a 6 day trip with 2 permit days and an optional 3rd in Rwanda. The other will be a 6 day trip with 2 days in Uganda trekking with the mountain gorillas and and an optional 3rd day with the Gorilla sin Uganda. If this is on your bucket list, now is the time to go. there are less than 800 Gorilla’s left in the Mountains.

Check out what it is like to spend time with these amazing primates that are virtually on the brink of extinction. This is your chance to see these beautiful Mountain Gorillas in their natural environment:

Gorilla Trekking Rwanda (6 day tour) 2018

Synopsis of Trip:

Where: Rwanda
When: March 2018
Length of tour – 6 days
Group Size: Maximum 7 people
Pricing:  £6,235 British Pounds

Download Rwanda Itinerary

For more information call us on +61 (0)402124453

Gorilla Trekking Uganda (6 day tour) 2018

Synopsis of Trip:

Where: Uganda
When:  April 2018
Length of tour – 6 days
Group Size: Maximum 7 people
Pricing:  £5350 British Pounds

Download Uganda Itinerary

For more information call us on +61 (0)402124453
or

Contact Us

Gorilla Trekking Uganda Rwanda 2016

 

Includes: accommodation & meals as stated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner), airport meet/greet & airport transfers as per itinerary, private professional English speaking driver/guide & private 4×4 vehicle throughout, transfers to all visited areas as per itinerary, park entrance fees as per itinerary, four Gorilla Permits per person.
Excludes: international flights, possible fuel surcharge, possible departure tax, early & late check in/out at lodges/camps/hotels, visas, tips, items of personal nature, items not mentioned in the `Includes` section

 

Day by Day Sample Itinerary Rwanda (6 day trip)

Day 1

Kigali – Volcanoes National Park

Upon your arrival into Kigali International Airport (KGL), you are met by your private professional English speaking driver/guide and private 4×4 safari vehicle and head up to the Volcanoes National Park. Note that arrival should be before 1pm, for those arriving on later flights, please book a night in Kigali beforehand. A ‘true island in the sky’, the Volcanoes National Park is home to some of the worlds few remaining Mountain Gorilla, which were first studied here in 1959 by George Schaller, and through the 1960’s by Dian Fossey and her colleagues. In the afternoon you’ll have a briefing where Scott will take you through the next few days and ensure you are properly prepared for your encounters with the gorillas!

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel – You will find a warm welcome at Five Volcanoes, which is ideally situated close to the park headquarters for the start of the gorilla treks. The hotel comprises of 13 double/twin en-suite rooms and a two bedroom VIP cottage. After a day of trekking what better way to relax than in the sparkling swimming pool followed by a visit to the sauna and/or steam room. The hotel also has on site massage rooms to help you unwind even further.

Day 2 -3

Volcanoes National Park

Enjoy 2 days of gorilla tracking. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to either one of ten habituated family groups. An early breakfast and you’re off to the park headquarters at Kinigi to register and be allocated your gorilla family for today. Once this is done, you set out by vehicle to the start of on your gorilla safari. The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany you on your gorilla tracking, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts.

Scott will guide you through how to get the best out of your photographs and in the evenings, go through them with you so you can improve your skills in following days.

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 4

Optional Gorilla Trek, Golden Monkey or Dian Fossey Visit

Today you have a chance to either track the gorillas another time, head out in search of the golden monkeys or visit the remains of the Karisoke Research Centre where Dian Fossey worked, which includes a chance to visit the meadow of where her mountain hut used to be, with views of Bisoke, Karisimbi and Sabyinyo peaks. These activities must be booked at time of booking and are not included in the quote. For those who wish to relax at the lodge and recuperate after the last day’s activities, then this is of course also an option!

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 5

Optional Gorilla Trek, Golden Monkey or Dian Fossey Visit

Today you have a chance to either track the gorillas another time, head out in search of the golden monkeys or visit the remains of the Karisoke Research Centre where Dian Fossey worked, which includes a chance to visit the meadow of where her mountain hut used to be, with views of Bisoke, Karisimbi and Sabyinyo peaks. These activities must be booked at time of booking and are not included in the quote. For those who wish to relax at the lodge and recuperate after the last day’s activities, then this is of course also an option!

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 6

Volcanoes National Park – Kigali

Breakfast at the lodge. Hot lunch or packed lunch from the lodge depending on flight departure time (earliest flight should leave at 2pm). Drive back to Kigali and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Gorilla Trekking 2017 Trip Report

Have a read of the Gorilla Trekking Trip report visit to Rwanda and the Volcanoes National Park:

Video Footage from our 2017 Trips:

 

Tonga 2014 season

Tonga – Still Paradise

I have been visiting Tonga for 13 years and spent many hours on the water photographing Humpback whales and I can tell you, every time I get in the water with these magnificent creatures, I am just as excited as the first time. Tonga has so much to offer, picturesque landscapes and underwater environments makes this place paradise for Photographers, and don’t forget the added bonus that you can swim with whales. It really is still paradise. Every year I see something  different or have one of those unforgettable encounters. This year I had a baby whale shoot up from the depths and breach half a meter in front of me, exhilarating to say the least. This year Travel & Fashion Blogger, Laura McWhinnie from This Island life did an interview piece about her time in Tonga with us, check out the article here:

http://www.thisislandlife.com/travel/swimming-with-humpback-whales-an-interview-with-scott-portelli

http://www.thisislandlife.com/travel/swimming-with-humpback-whales-in-vavau-tonga

This year we started the Tongan Fluke Collective, which encourages visiting photographers to donate Fluke shots to help ID the different individual whales that come to Tonga each year. You can find out more about the program here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tonganflukecollective/ – Anyway we will be running a number of Photographic tours in the next year or so to various destinations, so stay tuned.

If you want to see some of the Video footage you can see this season’s wrap up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcreHs7qcq0

Tonga 2014 season still paradise collage swimming with humpback whales  and through caves

Tonga 2013

Tonga Whale Swim 2013 Season: Amazing Surprise Wildlife Encounters

We had an amazing 2013 Season in Tonga this year filled with a multitude of mothers and calves and encounters with a number of creatures that were an unexpected surprise. We were swimming with and photographing Whales, Manta Rays, Blue Marlin, Leopard sharks and even a 15 metre long creature from the deep.

You can see all the photos from the 2013 season at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottyportelli

We are already looking forward to next season!

Tonga 2013

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