This tour is more than birding nothing else and in Uganda, birds can be watched everywhere! Sites to be visited, Mabamba swamp, Ziwa rhino sanctuary, Murchison fall national park, kibale forest national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park,Lake bunyonyi, lake Mburo national park.
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe, welcome to Uganda the pearl of Africa.
Upon arrival in Entebbe, you will be met by our local guide/driver and be transferred to your hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, you may start our safari with bird watching around the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe and the Botanical Gardens if time allows. Accommodation: Victoria view guest house.
Day 2: Mabamba Wetlands; transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
This morning we set off early for the Mabamba wetland, an important Bird Area and a Wetland of International Importance on the shores of Lake Victoria. The wetland is a labyrinth of channels and lagoons located about 50 km from Kampala. The road to Mabamba winds its way through areas of secondary forest and agricultural landscapes attracting farmland and forest edge species such as; Red-headed Lovebird, African Crowned-Hornbills, Grey Parrots, and a range of sunbirds including the Green-headed, Red-chested, Collared, Marico and Scarlet-chested sunbirds. The road ultimately ends at a papyrus reedbed adjoining Lake Victoria, where we will explore by canoe a maze of channels and mudflats for a reliable resident, the majestic Shoebill. Although sightings can never be guaranteed, we should have a very good chance of seeing this magnificent bird. Mabamba also offers a large selection of other bird species which might include; Rufous-belled Heron, African Pygmy Goose, Blue Swallow, White-faced Whistling Duck, Common Moorhen, the rare Lesser Jacana, Carruthers’ Cisticola, African Fish Eagle, Winding Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widowbird, and Blue-breasted Bee-eater. The rare and elusive Sitatunga Antelope also occurs here but it is very shy and rarely seen. We also expect to encounter Spot-necked Otter in one of the channels that we shall paddle through.
After the swamp we will drive the northern part of the country ultimately ending at the Amuka safari Lodge for overnight.
Day3.Transfer to Murchison Falls Park via Ziwa Rhino sanctuary.
After breakfast at your accommodation in Kampala, embark on the trip to Murchison Falls National Park in the north of Uganda, a journey of 311km about 5 hours’ drive. You traverse through the undulating hill slopes of Nakasongola before branching off at Nakitoma for 7 km to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary just 176km north of Kampala. Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is the proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda following their extinction and thus offers an unforgettable Rhino tracking experience. Ziwa is the only place where you will be able to see rhinos in the wild.
Presently the sanctuary is home to over twenty southern white Rhinos. The sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists who come for rhino trekking, bird watching, nature walks and relaxation.
After this activity, you will continue on the drive to Murchison Falls National Park for dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Fort Murchison Lodge.
Day4. Birding with game drive & boat cruise
You will wake up very early in the morning to go for a morning game drive where you will have a chance to spot early risers and nocturnal species before they return to their hideouts. This is the most beautiful national park in Uganda and this is because it hosts 4/5 of the big 5 animals and also it also home to one of the most beautiful and powerful falls in the world so far.
Traverse the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park before returning later to the lodge for breakfast. The 3,893 sq. km park is home to a range of animals, and you will have a chance of viewing some Park residents including lions, giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeests, antelopes, buffalo, and bird species like Shoebill, Secretary bird, Red-necked Falcon, Heuglin’s Francolin, Denham’s Bustard, Senegal Thick-Knee, Egyptian-plover, Rock Pranticole, Black-headed Plover,African Skimmer, Bruce’s Green Pegion, Vinaceous dove, White-crested Turaco
In the afternoon, go for a boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls, where the Nile thunders through a small 7 meter gorge plunging 43 meters into the Nile on the way to Lake Albert. Lots of bird diversity can be spotted and numerous animals resting and drinking water along the banks of the Nile. The most common ones being hippos, buffaloes, Nile crocodiles and birds include, the African fish eagle, Yellow billed stork, Egyptian goose, Egrets, Malachite kingfisher among others. The launch cruise will take you close to the falls’ base where you will be shown the spot where Ernest Hemingway’s plane crashed during sightseeing tour to Murchison falls in 1954. You can then get off the boat and go hiking up the side of the falls to the top. After the cruise, you will drive back to the lodge for dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Fort Murchison lodge
Day5. Bird to Royal mile in the budongo forest and head to Hoima
We will bird the Royal mile for magnificent species, We will Look out for but not limited to the Puvel’s Illadopsis and Nahan’s Francolin other special birds include; the Yellow-billed Barbet, Greythroated Barbet, Honeyguide Greenbul, Chocolate–backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush among others. Overnight at Masindi Hotel
Day6: Transfer to Kibale national park.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to kibale park Area about 4-5 hours’ drive traversing the rural sceneries and traditional homesteads of Kagadi district before suddenly getting into Kyenjojo and eventually Fort Portal town where you’ll have hot lunch.
Drive to the lodge and take a rest before you continue to bird along Kibale forest edges that harbors the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa and is famous for its Chimpanzees. Kibale protects a remarkable 13 primate species, including the very localized Red Colobus and L’Hoest’s Monkey, Galagos, Blue monkey, Red-tailed and Vervet Monkeys.
Kibale Forest has the highest number of recorded sightings of the Green-breasted Pitta, which is another sought after bird of Uganda. Other birds include: African Pitta, Grey-winged Robin, Red-winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, White-naped Pigeon, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Red-chested Flufftail, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, White-collared Oliveback, Leaf-love, African Broadbill, Willcock’s Honeyguide, White-winged Warbler, White-spotted Flufftail, Scaly-throated Honeyguide. Dinner and overnight at kibale forest camp.
Day7: Morning Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland walk.
After an early breakfast, drive to Kanyanchu, Kibale Park Headquarters, by 8.00a.m for chimpanzee pre-trekking briefing by the park staff. The Chimpanzee trekking experience tends to last 2 – 5 hours and including one hour of direct encounter with these amazing creatures. In addition to chimps, Kibale forest is home to other primates including the red-tailed and grey-cheeked Mangabey, Phoestes, blue and red-Colobuses. There are many beautiful birds’ species, butterflies and many small insects as well.
A visit to Bigodi swamp ecotourism site, given its astounding flora and fauna, will be worth it too. The swamp has numerous populations of birds, a wide range of over 138 different species of birds including the Great Blue Turaco, Black-throated Apalis, Forest Robin, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-flycatcher, Brown and Scaly breasted illadopses, Fire Crested alethes. Black-bellied Seedcracker inhabits the forest edge and primates that reside this swamp. Retreat from this activity and return to the lodge for relaxation dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Kibale forest safari camp
Day8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP & launch cruise along Kazinga Channel.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a hoist of a multiple of ecosystems with; forests, savanna and aquatic habitats all hosting different species of birds and animals. A game drive in the park will likely produce Crested Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Long crested Eagle, White-browed Coucal, Black-headed Gonolek, African Pygmy and Woodland Kingfisher, Violet-backed Starling, Sooty Chat, Flappet, Red-naped and Rufous-naped Larks, Augur Buzzard, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Black-headed Waxbill and many others.
An exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel will yield more species of birds. This is a narrow neck of water that connects Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus. The birds include: African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Pink-backed Pelican, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpipers, Marabou Stork, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-headed Gull, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler and Yellow-billed Oxpecker.
During the boat cruise, we also have good chances of seeing mammals such as the African Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Lion, Ugandan Kob, Side-striped Jackal, Bush and Waterbuck, Warthogs, and Giant Forest Hogs as they cool off at the channel. Accommodation: Queen Bush Lodge.
Day9: Morning game drive & transfer to Ishasha sector
After a morning cup of African coffee, engage in an early game drive in the undulating savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park and the extensive Kasenyi tracks to explore the park’s unique scenery marked with numerous herds of wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, jackals and flocks of unfamiliar bird species.
The game drive normally lasts for 3 – 4 hours after which you return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch before you transfer to Ishasha sector for a short evening game drive as you head to the lodge. Accommodation: Queen Bush lodge
Day10: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through Ishasha.
After breakfast, before you embark on the trip to Bwindi N.park. You undertake a game drive in this part of park searching for savannah bird species like White-faced Whistling & Knob-billed Ducks, African Spoonbill, Open-billed & Saddle-billed Storks, Collared Pratincole, Water Thick-knee, Spur-winged & African Wattled Plovers, African Skimmer, Martial Eagle, Gabon & Slender-tailed Nightjars, Black-rumped Button-quail, Common Quail, Malachite Kingfisher, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Black-headed & Papyrus Gonoleks, Winding & Carruther’s Cisticolas, Red-chested & Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Swamp Flycatcher, Grey-capped & White-winged Warblers, Yellow backed & Slender-billed Weavers, Papyrus Canary.
Ishasha sector is well endowed with the infamous climbing lions together with other wild game that dwell in this woodland part of the park. The tree climbing lions prefer to lie flat on fig tree branches in the mid-morning sun while waiting for their prey. After this encounter, proceed on the drive to Bwindi arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Buhoma community camp.
Day11: Birding Bwindi national park, Buhoma area.
Birds that can be seen along Buhoma’s main trail include; Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Black-and-white Shrike Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Pale-breasted and Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill Babbler, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Sooty Boubou, Pink-footed Puffback, Doherty’s Bush Shrike, White-napped Raven, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seed-eater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turacco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Archer’s Robin Chat, Toro Olive Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Short-tailed (Neumann’s) Warbler and Red-faced Woodland Warbler.
Day 12: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Ruhija-Mubwindi Swamp
The 4km trail to Mubwindi Swamp is the best place for some of the most difficult to find of all rift endemics including Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird and Archer’s Robin-Chat. Mubwindi Swamp is also home to Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Ruwenzori Apalis, African Hill Babbler (sometimes treated as a separate species from Ruwenzori Hill Babbler), the rare and localized Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler and Carruther’s Cisticola. Some of the many species we have a chance of seeing here include; Black Goshawk, Augur Buzzard, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Black-billed, Ruwenzori, and Ross’s Turacco, African, Barred Long-tailed, and African Emerald Cuckoos, Red-chested Owlet, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Blue-throated Roller, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Gray-throated, Double-toothed, and Yellow-spotted Barbets, Western and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Thick-billed and Dwarf Honeyguides, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Tullberg’s, Speckle-breasted, Elliot’s, and Olive Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Rock Martin, Black Saw-wing, Gray and Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Ansorge’s, Kakamega, Olive-chested, and Cabanis’ Greenbul, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Olive and Mountain Thrushes, Red-throated Alethe, Chubb’s Cisticola, Banded Prinia, Ruwenzori, Black-throated, and Black-faced Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Grauer’s and Cameroon Scrub-Warblers, Cinnamon and Black-faced Bracken-Warblers, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Short-tailed Warbler, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, White-eyed Slaty- Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Sooty Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-starred Robin, White-bellied and Archer’s Robin-Chats, Ruwenzori Batis, White-tailed, Slaty, and African Blue-Flycatchers, Puvel’s, Pale-breasted, Mountain, and Gray-chested Illadopses, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Gray-headed, Western Violet-backed, Green, Green-headed, Blue-headed, Green-throated, Stuhlmann’s, Northern Double-collared, and Regal Sunbirds, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Ludher’s, Gray-green, Many-colored, and Lagden’s Bush-shrikes, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Slender-billed, Waller’s, Narrow-tailed, Stuhlmann’s, and Sharpe’s Starlings, Black-billed, Strange, and Brown-capped Weavers, Jameson’s and Woodhouse’s Ant-peckers, and Red-faced and Dusky Crimsonwings.
Accommodation: Bakiga Lodge.
Day13: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
The 260 sq.km Lake Mburo National Park has a markedly distinct fauna from the other reserves. It is the only national park that contains an entire lake. Situated in rolling hills and open grassy valleys, the park also consists of four other smaller lakes. The park is covered in an extensive open and wooded acacia savannah. It is the best place to see the gigantic Eland antelope as well as Zebra, Topi, Impala, Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile and Monitor Lizard and on arrival you will take a boat cruise to see some rare species and water birds.
Common conspicuous birds that may be encountered include Red faced Barbet, Tabora and Trilling Cisticolas, Brown-eared, Nubian, Bearded and Grey Wood peckers, Red-necked Spurfowl, Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Blue-naped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Black Tit, Chin-spot Batis, Greater and Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Marico Sunbird, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow, Yellow-throated Longclaw and Southern Red Bishop as well as the migratory Brown-chested Plover. Some of the nocturnal species include; African Scops Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and Fiery-necked, Pennant-winged, Swamp, and Black-shouldered Nightjars. Accommodation: Eagles nest Lodge.
A boat-ride on Lake Mburo can also be a rewarding one with sights of birds like the shy African Finfoot, White-backed Night Heron, Shining Blue and Giant Kingfishers and other water birds.
Day14: Guided birding and game Walking safari, proceed to Entebbe for Departure.
After breakfast, embark on a fascinating game walking safari after the sunrise to explore what you might have missed the previous day.
Later, undertake the transfer back to Entebbe with a stop at Uganda Equator for photos. Depart in the evening through Entebbe international airport to your next destination.
End of your 14Days Epic Uganda birding and wildlife safari
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