17 Days Birding Special

Overview

Last revised: 7 months ago

This Hardcore Birding safari in Uganda is designed exclusively for the serious birders, twitcher, or avidlister. We provide you exceptional access to key birding sites where we scope out Ugandan endemics, rarities, and elusive, secretive bird species. Our guide will focus on getting you the birds that you need rather than on general wildlife. They are skilled in calling birds with their lip whistles and will do everything possible to meet your expectations. Target birds will range from the smallest AfricanPiculet, Dwarf Honey guide, African Green Broadbill, to the large HandsomeFrancolin, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, Shoebill, RwenzoriTuraco, and Secretary Bird. Bring your most-wanted bird list along!

Day 1: arrival at Entebbe Airport
DAY 2: Birding at Botanical gardens & Mabamba swamp
Day 3: Drive to Murchison
Day 4: Bird watching in Royal mile
Day 5: Game Drive & Boat Cruise
Day 6: birding at Delta Boat and drive to Hoima
Day 7: Drive to fort portal
Day 8: Birding In Semuliki
Day 9: Chimpanzee &Bigodi swamp walk
Day 10: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
DAY 11: Game Drive & Boat Cruise
Day 12: Drive to Bwindi
Day 13: Bird Watching in the forest
Day 14: Gorilla tracking
DAY 15: Drive to Lake Mburo
Day 16: Lake Mburo
Day 17: Drive to kampala

Day 1: arrival at Entebbe Airport

Your tour guide/drive will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to hotel or lodge of your choice to rest as you wait for your marvelous and memorable safari to all Uganda national parks for the birding adventure. It depends on your time of arrival.

Accommodations
Mid-Range:
Boma Guesthouse
Meal Plan: Bed only

Day 2: Birding at Botanical gardens & Mabamba swamp
After your breakfast, you will the drive to Botanical gardens Entebbe. Here you will be able to watch birds include golden backed weaver, Ross’s turaco, swamp flycatcher, broad billed roller, open billed stork, red chested sunbird, orange weaver, sedge warbler, splendid glossy starling, squacco heron, grey headed gull, and many others.

After you will then drive to Mabamba Swamp. Mabamba, which is the best spot for watching different bird species; including the magnificent African shoebill. Most of the birding is done by use of the canoe. Look out for the splendid nervous shoebill stork both in the sky discovering the heights and down in the muddy swamp, observe the swamp flycatcher, black crake African water rail, squacco heron, lesser jacana, purple swamp hen, common moorhen, African jacana, African pygmy goose, white faced whistling duck, blue breasted bee-eater, winding cistcola, goliath heron and many more. In the evening you will drive back to your lodge

Accommodations
Mid-Range:
Boma Guesthouse
Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast

Day 3: Drive to Murchison
Your guide will pick you from your lodge and brief through how your safari is going to go. You will then drive to Murchison falls National Park with a stopover in Masindi for lunch. Along the way, you will visit the Zziwa rhino sanctuary which was set up to reintroduce white rhinos to Uganda. You will then precede passing through the rain forest “budongo” which has got also some primate species, like chimpanzees, baboons and different types of monkeys. Here you will also get chances of some bird species along the way.
Driving hour: 6 to 8 hours

Accommodation
Mid-Range: Budongo Eco-Lodges
Meal Plan: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4: Bird watching in Royal mile
After early breakfast, you will then head to one of Uganda’s best bird watching sitesKaniyoPabidi and Rabongo forests which is ideal for educational tours and are a bird watchers paradise since they allocate a great opportunity to identify birds, you will continue to the Royal Mile for a full day walk within the forest trying to look out for bird species like, Brown Twin-spot, Cameroon Somber Greenbul, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Forest Robin, Little Green Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Great Sparrow-hawk, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Crested Guinea-fowl, Tambourine Dove, Grey Parrot, African Emerald and Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoos, Yellowbill, White-throated Bee-eater, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet and many other birds. The Royal Mile is so called because this has historically been a leisure spot for the traditional King.

In the late afternoon you drive to your lodge, have dinner and relax.

Accommodation
Mid-range:-
Murchison River lodge
Meal Plan: - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Game Drive & Boat Cruise
After your morning breakfast to warm up for the morning, you will go for a morning game drive with your guide and ranger helping in the search for various bird species including the Blue-naped bird headed Gonolek, Silver bird, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black-headed Batis, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver and the highly localized White-rumped Seedeater, White-crested Touraco, Double-toothed Barbet, Warbler, , Grey Kestrel, Red-winged Grey, Heuglin’s Francolin and many others.And on way, you will have an opportunity to see animals like; Rothschild Giraffe, Jackson Hartebeest, Elephant, Lions, Waterbucks giraffes, buffalos, and a variety of Savannah woodland birds.You will go back to the lodge at mid morning for lunch.

In the afternoon after your lunch, you will go for an afternoon boat cruise on the Victoria Nile. The boat ride takes you to the downstream of the delta where abundant water birds can be viewed. On the way you to the delta of the Nile, you will be able to see various animals like; hippos, crocodiles, and much other savannah wild life taking water. For the bird lovers, you will see lots of them; watch out for the legendary shoe Bill and many other bird species like Black-headed Gonolek, Spotted Dikkorp, yellow-throtedlongclaw, Kittlitz’s plover, Water and Senegal Thicknee, Blue naped and Soeckled mouse birds, Spur-Winged Plover, African wattled Lapwing, Purple -Backed Starlings, Crowned Lapwings and many other birds.

After reaching the bottom of the falls you will get off the boat (of you interested) and you hike to the top of the falls (about 45 minutes). Where you will be able to have a perfect view of the world’s longest river forcing it’s waters to pass through a narrow space to the bottom forming a pool of water before it sets off for the long journey. You will also get in touch with various bird species on the trail to the top of the falls. you find a guide waiting reaching the top to transfer to the lodge!

Accommodation
Mid-range:-
Murchison River lodge
Meal Plan: - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6:birding at Delta Boat, drive to Hoima

In the morning after your breakfast, you will have an early morning boat safari toward the Delta, This  boat trip that takes down to Victoria Nile to where it merges into the Lake Albert, leads you through papyrus swamps filled with wildlife and various bird species mostly the common in the area is a Shoebill Stork but also with other species seen along the river banks like Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Senegal Thick-knee, Water Thick-knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver. This trip takes about 4-5 hours and is a must for bird lovers. You will then drive to hoima spending a night.

Accommodation
Mid-Range; -
Kontiki Hotel
Meal Plan: - Bed & Breakfast

Day 7: Drive to fort portal
Early in the morning you will be leaving to Fort Portal town, driving via the Albertine Escarpment with the view from the top of the Albert rift of the western Rift valley on the Masindi-Hoima - Fort portal road. This will be a long drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal, passing though verdant countryside and traditional homesteads and farms while trying to spot some bird species. Fort Portal rests in the shadow. On the way you will be able to see the greener part of the country with views of the coffee plantations; you will stay in fort portal town as you are neighboring the mountainous ranges of Rwenzori.
Driving time: 7 to 8 hours

Accommodation
Medium: kluge’s Guest house
Meal Plan: Dinner & Breakfast

Day 8: Birding In Semuliki
After an early breakfast you will go for birding whole day in the Forest which is home to some of the Congo biome species. These include, Red billed, black wattled, black bill and white crested hornbill, African piculet, Zenkel honey guide, Black chested cuckoo, red rumpedtinkerbird, rufous sided broadbill, Nkurengu rail

Later in the afternoon we will continue to Kibale Forest where you will sleep in the lodge with the noises of the tropical rainforest at night they always give a beautiful sound.

Accommodation;
Mid-range: - kibale forest camp
Meal Plan:- Dinner & Breakfast

Day 9: Chimpanzee & Bigodi swamp walk
After early breakfast, you will be taken to Kanyanchu headquarters for briefing before you head for our chimpanzee tracking (it may be optional) and other primates including Red-Colobus, phoestes, Red-tailed and grey cheeked Mangabey. Take a forest walk and find the fruiting trees which attract Narina’s trogon, pied hornbill, yellow-spotted, hairy-breasted, other various bird species like Black-billed Turaco, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Papyrus Gonolek, White-collared Olive Back, Superb Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird.

In afternoon you will be guided by an experienced guide and have a walk through Bigodi Swamp (which is a local community based project) this takes to almost 2 hours. Here you will be able to have a chance to find more bird species like Cameroon SombreGreenbul, Blue Flycatcher, Black and White Mannikin, White-chinned Prinia, Black-headed Heron, great blue touraco, grosbeak, woodpeckers, papyrus gonalek, swamp flycatcher, blue-throated roller, various barbets, grey parrot, bronze sunbird, black-crowned waxbill, grey-backed black finch, Little Grey and Joyful Greenbuls, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Black-billed Turaco, , Red-eyed Dove, White-spotted Flufftail, Alpine Swift, Collared Sunbird, White-breasted Negro-finch, Superb Sunbird, Hadada Ibis, Senegal Plover, Black-crowned Waxbill, Brown-backed and many other species. Various monkey species like; red colobus, white and black, red chicked and many other species

Accommodation;
Mid-range: - kibale forest camp
Meal Plan:- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10: Drive To Queen Elizabeth National Park
You will leave for Queen Elizabeth NP. Queen Elizabeth boasts over 640 bird species. Key species seen here include; pelicans, kingfishers, African fish Eagle, African skimmers, thick-knees, martins, swallow, weavers, raptors, storks, canaries and grassland specialties You will travel through Fort Portal and on a clear day you may see the glaciated peaks of Rwenzori Mountains on your right side and the green valley on the left as you gently descend into the Great Rift Valley to the park reach Queen Elizabeth Park which is located in Western Uganda on Mount Rwenzori foothills. While on the drive, take keen of different bird species along the way.

afternoon you will then proceed to bird in Marabigambo forest area around Lake Nyamusingiri looking for: Black Bee Eater, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Blue–breasted Kingfisher, Red-collared Widowbird, HoneyguideGreenbul, Snowcapped Robin, African Finfoot,Tinkerbirds, Woodpeckers, Least Honeyguide, Grey Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe and Apalises. The trail through the forest leads past a bat cave, which is rather impressive, and if we are lucky we may come across a Python that lives in the cave and feasts on the bats

Accommodation;
Mid-range:- Bush Lodge
Meal Plan: - Breakfast & Dinner

Day 11: Game Drive &  Boat Cruise
In the morning, after your breakfast, you will go for a game drive together with an experienced ranger you will search for bird species like, Harlequin, Blue, Small (Common) Button Quails, African Crake, White-winged Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, rare Shoebill, Black Bee-eater, Caruthers’s Cisticola, Terek Sandpiper. Others you will see are the malachite and pied kingfishers, great white and pink-backed pelicans and the open-billed stork. There is also a good season for huge bird migrations (February and March offers the best spectacular sighting of the migrants). Animals to be seen on your game drive, including; lions, elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, warthogs and other animals you return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon you will take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. You will have a spectacular view to the abundant birdlife that is sighted on the lakes’ showers likely to encounter include: African Skimmer, Plain Martin Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Striated Heron, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper, African Spoonbill, Gray-headed Gull etc. For animals such as the elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles and hundreds of hippos that are cooling off at the shores, this cruise will definitely be one of the highlights of your safari. Have dinner and overnight at your lodge

Accommodation;
Mid-range:- Bush Lodge
Meal Plan: - Breakfast & Dinner

Day 12: Drive to Bwindi
This morning, depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth N.P in Ishasha where there are probabilities of seeing the tree-climbing lions. Bwindi is a bird watchers’ haven, it holds 347 species of birds. The forest has 10 of the 26 globally threatened species in Uganda, five of which are vulnerable. Bwindi has 23 of the locally Albertine Rift endemic species in the country and some, such as African Green Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Shelley’s Crimson-wing and many others. Park is also a habitat to the forest giants that are cousins to human beings, the gorillas. This Forest is still one of the best virgin tropical rain forests in East Africa. Birding begins early in the morning with the early risers at the camp. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.
Driving time: 4 to 5 hours

Accommodations;
Mid-range: Gorilla valley lodge
Meal Plan:- Breakfast & Dinner

Day 13: Bird Watching &  Gorilla Tracking
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest favors both mountain gorillas and some primate species one of the only forest in Africa which posses these creatures. It also hosts five other species of primate, 100 mammals, around 78 butterflies and 360 bird species

After breakfast with our packed lunch we head out for the whole day in the forest for gorilla tracking you will head at UWA headquarters so that you can get a briefing at around (7.45am or 8.30am), then you will start the tracking. The gorillas that you track are very friendly to people, though still there are same groups which are shy, sharp and some are stubborn.  Your experienced ranger will help you to spot out their presence. You will expect to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead while pushing your way through the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, before you encounter any gorillas. Once you find the gorillas, you will be able to spend with them up to one hour which is given time due to conservations issues, before going back to your lodge.

As you look for Gorillas, you can look out for some birds, this forest has over 300 bird species recorded. Among these includes; red throated alethe, forest robin, Narina’s trogon, pale breasted illadopsis equatorial akalat, montane oriole, grey throated barbet, hairy breasted barbet, African broadbill, black bee eater, Pettit’s cuckoo shrike and black faced rufous warbler and many other bird species

Accommodations;
Mid-range:
Gorilla valley lodge
Meal Plan:- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 14: Drive to Lake Mburo

After breakfast we will depart for Lake Mburo National Park. This scenic drive which is approximately 7-8 hours will take you to Mbarara where you will stop for lunch before making our final descent to Lake Mburo National Park and checking in.

Accommodation
Medium: - Rwakobo Rock
Meal Plan: - Dinner & Breakfast

Day 15: Lake Mburo
Early morning after your breakfast, you will go for a game drive with a ranger helping you to spot out some different animal species commonly zebra, impala, buffalo, elands, and other ungulates also roan antelope and leopard, hyenas and jackals. Bird viewing opportunities will also be available for birders. bird species to watchout for include, Birds you have chances of viewing include; Black-headed Oriole, Brown Parrot, White-backed Scrub Robin, Bateleur, , Common Bulbul, Ruppel’s Griffon Vulture, Ruppel’s Long-tailed Starling, Greater Honeyguide, Sooty Chat, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-faced Crombec, Brown-tailed, Bronze-tailed Starlings, Northern Brubru, Grey Kestrel, Coqui Francolin, and many other species.

You will have a night game drive in the park

Accommodation
Medium:
- Rwakobo Rock
Meal Plan: - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16: Drive back to kampala

In the morning after enjoying your breakfast, you will then drive back to Kampala having a stopover at the Equator take photos shoots and buying souvenirs. You will be then taken to your guesthouse, lodge or hotel of your choice in Kampala or Entebbe Or you can be dropped to the airport to catch your flight.

Driving time; 3 to 4 hours

END OF THE SAFARI

The package includes:

  • Ground transportation by 4WD Mini-van
  • Air port transfers to and from
  • Accommodation & meals per program
  • English speaking Driver/Guide
  • Entrance fees
  • 1 cimpanzee per person
  • 1 Gorilla permit per person
  • Activities per program
  • Fuel& care hire
  • Bottled water in safari car
  • Rangers fees

The package excludes:

  • Tips
  • Laundry
  • Souvenirs
  • Personal drinks and cigarettes
  • International Air ticket and related costs
  • Personal Insurance covers
  • Optional activities 
  • Meals out of the booked accommodations

Transport to be used on your safari
This Tour is based on a Min-van with 4wd. it seats from up to the maximum of 8 persons. All our used vehicles are well maintained, customized with comfortable seats, a pop up roof which gives a wide viewing 360 angle!!

Upgrade to a Land cruiser
But in case you want an upgrade to a Land cruiser which is rated as the strongest safari vehicle on the African roads, it’s well maintained, customized with comfortable seats, a pop up roof which gives a wide viewing 360 angle!!. This come's with an extra cost, but it’s worth it. Just in inform us in advance

Accommodation & Transport – Mid-range

For this trip accommodation you will be staying in lodge or Camps which are built in  African safari style tents, comfortably furnished with twin or double beds. Each unit has its own private ensuite bathroom with a flush toilet, a dressing room and a hot water shower. Seated from your own verandah, the red or black and white colobus can often be observed in the dense camp surrounding

NOTE: For thess the above mentioned accommodations it depends on availability and we make sure the best is our first priorities when we are making this booking. In case there is no availability during the requested dates of your safari, we do our best to look for another alternative accommodation which is relatively in the same standards or rate range.

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