21 DAYS BIRDING SAFARI IN UGANDA
This 21 days Uganda birding safari tour trip allows you to explore the birds of Uganda in details to see several of the country’s 1073 Uganda bird species which is 50% of Africa’s bird’s total count of species. Also on this fabulous 21 days bird watching tour in Uganda, will go on the three boat cruises( and one canoe ride), see much other wonderfully flora and fauna, experience the wonderfully sceneries, and enjoy the warm and friendly welcoming Ugandans.
Our first Uganda birding spot is mabamba swamp for the elusive shoebill stork and the we move to ziwa rhino sanctuary with over 300 species of birds and then to kidepo valley national park and more others birding destinations
This is an once-in-a-lifetime bird Watching and game viewing experience. This Safari takes you to all Uganda’s prime birding spots including Africa’s number one bird watching spot Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You have the opportunity to see specialties from the Albertine Rift Mountains and from the five biome species of Central and Eastern Africa to which Uganda is amidst. These biomes comprise the Sudan–Guinea Savanna with 22 Ugandan species restricted to it, the Guinea–Congo Forests biome with 144 species, the Lake Victoria Basin biome with 12 species, the Afro-tropical Highlands biome with 88 species, and the Somali–Masai biome with 32 species. All the selected sites are very rich in other wildlife and flora and expect to meet a big number of mammals for example; Lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, Leopards, Hippopotamus, Warthogs, giraffes, zebras, impalas, hippos, hyenas, and primates like chimpanzees alongside other 13 species and also endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park with half of the world’s mountain gorilla population
TOUR LENGTH 21 DAYS
Focus: birding Game viewing, gorilla and chimpanzee tracking
Key species: shoebill stork, Orange weaver, papyrus gonelok, African fintoot, red faced barbet, shelley’s crimsonwing, African green broadbill, handsome frocalin, kivu ground thrush, green-breasted pitta, African peculate, white throated blue swallow, puvel’silladopsis, nahan’s fracolin, karamojaApalis. Fox’s weaver,Taita falcon
Expected birds over 650 species birding pace: moderate physical
Difficulty: moderate group limit: maximum 8
Birding photography: worthwhile
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Arrival at Entebbe international airport meet and greet with your guide transfer to the Hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, we bird Entebbe botanical Gardens or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.
Diner and overnight at lakes heights hotel Entebbe
DAY 2: MORNING BIRDING MABAMBA SWAMP AND EVENING BIRDING AT ENTEBBE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Early in the morning, we bird Via Mabamba Swamps for the elusive Shoebill, Orange Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek) Some papyrus endemics, the African and Lesser Jacanas, the White-faced and Fulvous (Whistling Ducks, Blue breasted bee-Eater, Carruther`s Cisticola, Black-Chested snake eagle, Brown and western Banded Snake Eagles, a number of Gull and Heron Species and other water birds species, from here we go for lunch in Entebbe town and bird along Entebbe botanical garden in the evening
Dinner and overnight at lake heights hotel Entebbe on budget
DAY 3: BIRDING ALONG ZIWA RHINO SANCTUARY AND TRANSFER TO GULU TOWN
Today we shall check out of the hotel early morning and transfer to Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for morning birding. This route offers you impressive views of the flat landscape of central Uganda before making a stop at ziwa rhino sanctuary to view white rhinos and birds and this was established in 2005 to reintroduce the southern white Rhinoceros
The savannah thickets also features counts of birds over 250 species of birds and expert guides will enable you spot range of birds including broad billed, blue spotted dove, booted eagale,abyssinial ground hornbill, African blue flycatcher, African grey Hornbill, African jacana,Grey Heron,Hadada ibis ,hammerkop,Olive sunbird, martial eagle, liitle egrets, Nubian woodpecker, lesser honey guide, Northern black flycatcher, little weaver, little sparrow hawk , lemon dove, laughing dove , helmeted Guineafowl, grey heron, Grey headed sparrow, scared ibis, soot chat,Shikra, speckled pigeon ,White crested turaco,white headed barbet, white browed sparrow weaver,white crested helmeted shrike among others. We will go for lunch and proceed with the journey to Gulu town reaching by evening and check into the booked lodge for dinner, relaxation and overnight
Dinner and overnight church hill Gulu town budget
Luxury: acholi in
Midrange: hotel nok continetal
DAY 4: TRANSFER TO KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK AND EVENING BIRDING
We shall transfer to kidepo valley national park second largest national park in Uganda covering 1,442 square kilometers in Karamoja region in northeast of Uganda. Kidepo is rugged savannah a home to over 470 species of birds and 24 species are endemic like ostrich bird, karamoja apalis among others
You will reach the park by lunch time and check into the booked for lunch and later go for evening birding and explore species like Nubian woodpecker,silverbird ,pygmy falcon, yellow-spotted petronia, straw-tailed starling, yellow billed shrike, Marsh Tchagra,egyptain Vulture , Abyssinaia ground hornibill, African grey fly cather, ostrich bird among others
DAY5: FULL DAY BIRDING IN KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Today we shall have early morning breakfast and transfer to start your full day birding along the savannah area having chances to see, species like ostrich bird, Orange winged Pytilia, Little Green Bee-eater, hoopoe, Singing Bush lark, Ethiopian Swallow, Fan tailed raven, Yellow-rumped seedeater, silver bird, Broad-tailed warbler, black –breasted barbert, Egyptian vulture, white-billied buffalo weaver, Scalet-chested sunbird, superb starlings, eastern pale chanting goshawk amongst others and later return to the lodge for the rest of the day.
DAY 6: TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Murchison falls national park sits on shores of Lake Albert, in northwest Uganda. It’s known for Murchison falls where Victoria Nile River surges through narrow gap over massive drop. The park is home to over 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds and its Uganda’s largest national park and, conservation area. You will reach the park by lunch time with birding en-route and check into the booked hotel and relax until dinner and overnight
DAY 7: MORNING BIRDING IN THE SAVANNA PART OF THE PARK AND AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE ON BASE FALLS
Today, we do Game drive birding in search for, The Giant, Pied, Malachite, Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, House Martin, African Rock Martin, Lesser Stripped Swallow, Ethiopian Swallow, Angola Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Rufous- chested Swallow, -(Lesser Kestrel, Black-winged Pratincole, and Shoebill) Nightingale, Rock Thrush, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, Common
Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Isabelline Wheatear, Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits, the Arrow-marked, Black-lored and Brown Babblers, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Honeyguide, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Black Scimitarbill, Green Wood Hoopoe, a number of Buzzards, Barbets, Rollers, Harriers, Vultures, Eagles, Bee eaters, Warblers, and so forth. We also take a boat on the Victoria Nile for water birds like the elusive Shoebill Stork, Little Grebe, Great White and the Pink-backed Pelicans, Red-knobbed Coot, African Water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Black Crake, African
Crake, Black-crowned Crane, Southern Pochard, The Egyptian, African Pygmy, and the Spur-winged Gooses, Storks like; the Saddle-billed, Open-billed, Abdim’s, White, Yellow-billed, Marabou, and the Wooly-necked, the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Green Backed Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Cormorants, the African and Eurasian Spoonbills, the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover. Later in the afternoon we take a boat cruise to the waterfalls for more water birds such as Rock pranticole, Pel’s fishing owl, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Red-throated Bee eater among others
DAY 8: FULL DAY BIRDING BUDUNGO FOREST
On this day, we will bird Budongo Forest which has a prolific birdlife with two species of birds not found elsewhere in East Africa: 10 of the 22 species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea–Congo Forests biome that occur in Uganda.
We will bird the marvelous: Royal mile and several other trails for the whole day. We will look for Ituri Batis, Puvel’sIlladopsis and Nahan’s Francolin other special birds include; the Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-throated Barbet, HoneyguideGreenbul, Chocolate–backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Little Crake, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, African Citril, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-crowned Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Black-billed Bluebill, Black-winged Red Bishop, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Spectacled Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Compact Weaver, Northern Brown- throated Weaver, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Red-headed Weaver, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, (Puvel’sIlladopsis, Nahan’s Francolin) Greater Blue-eared Starling, Purple Starling, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Northern Puffback, Black-headed Gonolek, Tropical Boubou, Isabelline Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Western Violet-backed Sunbird and many more
DAY 9: TRANSFER TO SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK AND BIRDING IN THE EVENING
Semuliki national park is one of the best birding spots in Uganda and it is known for central African species which cannot be seen anywhere else in east Africa yet their some continents most specular and most sought after birds such as long tailed hawk, Congo serpent eagle, lyre- tailed honeyguide, black-casqued wattled hornbill, Nkulengu rail, and other species like swamp palm bulbul, spotted Greenbul, white-starred robin, lowland akalat, red throated alethea among others
DAY 10: FULL DAY BIRDING SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK
The earlier session of this day will be spent in the forest looking for species missed previous day and after head to fort portal for the night.
Birding in Semuliki forests starts early morning while driving down Semuliki valleys for forest experience, visit the Sempaya hot springs and bird around Kirumia trail the rest of the day. Bird species include spot breasted ibis, Grey throated rail, capuchin babbler, Congo serpent eagle, piping hornbill, rebilled dwarf hornbill, white crested hornbill, African piculet, and red bellied Malimbe return to the lodge late evening and driver back to fort
DAY 11: FULL DAY BIRDING KIBALE FOREST TO LOOK BREASTED PITTA AND EVENING BIRDING BIGODI SWAMP
Kibale National park is the largest forested park covering the area of 795Sqkm. It’s best known for a number and variety of resident primates. An impressive list of 13 primate species which include Uganda’s largest population of Chimpanzees-an estimated 1450. Habituated groups can be tracked with experienced ranger guide in the park. Here we will see the darling Green-breasted Pitta and more forest species like the Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Wood Owl, African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Black Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo-shrike, (Green-breasted Pitta), Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-and-white Mannikin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turacco, Black-billed Weaver, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, African Citril (Western Citril), Black-throated Apalis, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, African Blue Flycatcher, Bocage’ Bush-shrike, Bronze Mannikin, Zebra Waxbill, Bronze Sunbird and many more. Later in the evening we will have Bigodi Swamp walk where we will look up for more other species of Birds and monkeys such as the Black & White Colobus, Black-Faced Vervet Monkey, Red tailed monkey, Grey-Cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest Monkey, and blue monkeys.
Early morning after breakfast we drive to the Park where we meet our ranger guides for briefing and chimpanzee tracking. The perennially popular primate walk provides a chance to observe Chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Kanyanchu’s groups are accustomed to human presence- some have been observed for over 25years and the chance of locating them is over 90%We will have lunch at primate lodge, later after lunch we visit Bigodi swamp for more primates and birds. The place is known for Blue monkey, Black and white colobus monkey, Red tailed monkey, Grey checked mangabey, and many others. Kibale national park is the primate capital of East Africa. Chimpanzee tracking is a fulfilling adventure that takes you deep in the tropical forest across streams of water. You may also have sightings of red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white Columbus monkeys, butterflies, and birds calling from the canopies. With the help of your guide, you will locate the chimps. Enjoy picture moments and observe them as they play and feed. After lunch – visit Bigodi Village and swamp known for its rich diversity of birds and primates depending on the availability of time.
DAY 12: DRIVER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK AND EVENING BOAT CRUISE ON KAZINGA CHANNEL
Early in the Morning we leave for Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular protected area. Diverse ecosystems including sprawling savannah, shady forests, sparkling lakes and bush wetlands provide ideal habitats for classic big games, forest primates and birds. These varied habitats support a wealth of wildlife with more mammal species (95) than any other Ugandan park and over 600bird species- a phenomenal number for such a small area as it covers only less than 2000Sqkm. Expect to see Safari favorites such as elephant, buffalo and hippos while the chances of finding lions on the plains of Kasenyi and Ishasha are good. Here we will see Savanna Species such as Red headed lovebird, Little Weaver, Black headed gonorek, Slender-billed Weaver, Black-headed weaver , Spur-winged Lapwing and in the afternoon we take a boat ride on the Kazinga Channel for water birds like the Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmer, Yellow-billed and the Saddle- billed storks, African Wattled Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Water Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, -(Lesser Kestrel & Lesser Flamingo) the Grey-headed, Black-headed and Slender-billed Gulls, Grebes, Ducks and many more. In the evening we go for a boat cruise at Kazinga channel for more water birds
DAY 13: MORNING GAME DRIVER AND TRANSFER TO ISHASHA SECTOR
Early morning after breakfast we drive to the park through the Ishasha sector for game viewing like lions, Uganda kob, elephants, hyenas, waterbuck, buffalos, hippopotamus and many birds. An abundance of magnificent vistas include the jagged backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains; rolling hills pocked with extinct volcanic craters, open riftvallley and have chance to see tree climbing lions resting in fig trees
DAY 14: MORNING BIRDING AND DRIVE TO BUHOMA BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
We will go for morning birding to look out for the previpous missed species and after transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The world’s population of Mountain Gorillas t is slightly over 800 mountain Gorillas. Uganda is home to more than a half the population of these beautiful, majestic gentle giants and yet endangered apes. Therefore, Gorillas tracking in Uganda is a must do experience not to be missed. Bwindi impenetrable forest habituates families of mountain Gorillas along with other species of primates for example, Chimpanzees, Colubus monkeys, Olive baboons. To be certain of going gorilla tracking it is a must you buy a permit which is issued by
DAY 15: FULL DAY BIRDING BUHOMA SECTOR OF BWINDI
Early morning after breakfast we go birding in Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here, we look out for species like, the Black Bee-Eater, Dusky Tit, Brown-caped Weaver, the Yellow-billed and yellow-spotted Barbets, the African and Black-and-white Shrike Flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Brown-throated and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Apalises, Equatorial Akalat, SlatyFlyacatcher, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Grey Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, the Olive-green and Grey-backed Camaropteras, White-chinned Prinnia, Green Hylia, Short-tailed Warbler, White-tailed Antithrush, Cape Wagtail, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, White-browed Crombec, to mention but a few.
DAY 16: TRANSFER TO RUHINJA AND BIRD THROUGH THE NECK OF THE FOREST
Early morning breakfast, we head out to Ruhija section of Bwindi impenetrable forest which is key birding area in the Albertine region. some of the key bird sighted here include; African green brood bill , Dusky Twine Sport, mountain yellow warble, colored Apatis, Narina Erogon, strange weaver, and broadbill camp
DAY 17: BIRDING EN-ROUTE MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
You will have relaxed breakfast and checkout of the lodge and meet your guide to transfer you to Mgahinga national park with the amazing great views and birding en-route with different bird species like Rwenzori batis, White browed crombe, and white napped raven, purple breasted sunbird, African green broadbill, handsome francolin, mountain masked, Rwenzori Apalises and many more
You will check in to the booked lodge and for relaxation and dinner and overnight at traveler’s hotel kisoro on budget
Luxury or midrange at Ikoro rock hotel
Day 18: full day birding mgahinga Gorilla Park
You will wake up early morning and go for birding in the montane vegetation of the park with most bird species being the montane habitats such us Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf honeygude, Kivu Ground thrush, Rwenzori double collared, mountain yellow wablers and many more bird species
This is the mixture of nature walk and birding in Ruhija sector of bwindi impenetrable national park and the sector is gifted with different bird species like Rwenzori batis, White browed crombe, white napped raven, purple breasted sunbird, African green broadbill, handsome francolin, mountain masked, Rwenzori Apalises and many more
DAY 19: TRANSFER TO LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Early Morning after Breakfast we transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. A compact jewel of a park, Lake Mburo is ideally placed for an overnight break between Kampala and the protected areas of Western Uganda. A mosaic of habitats includes rock outcrops, savannah, acacia woodlands, bush, forest, swamp and lakes that support a wealth of wildlife including species that are rare or absent from other parks in Uganda, Birding is also rich with papyrus and acacia species being particularly well represented. Though Lake Mburo is 370sqkms area is small compared to many East African parks, it contains an impressive biodiversity of wildlife with 69mammal species and 332bird species. A number of park’s herbivores are rarely if at all found elsewhere in Uganda. Lake Mburo is the only Park that contains Impalas, and only one in Western Uganda with Zebras and Eland. The topi are only found elsewhere in Queen Elizabeth National park. The species’ list was extended in 2015 when a number of Rothschild’s Giraffe were relocated to Lake Mburo from Murchison falls National Park. Bird species to expect include the African Finfoot, Coqui, and the Red-winged Francolins, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Harlequin and Blue Quails, Common Button Quail, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Blue-napped Mousebird, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, the Nubian, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared, and the Grey Woodpeckers, Trilling, Stout, and Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Red-necked spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African-wattled Plover Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s, Carruther’s and a number of other Cisticolas, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Goliath, Purple, Black-headed, Grey, and Black-headed Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, the African Fish Eagle, African Finfoot, Papyrus Yellow Warbler & Red-faced Barbet) among others.
DAY 20: MORNING BIRDING WITH GAME DRIVE AND AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE
Have an early morning breakfast before going bird watching and game viewing and later return to the lodge for lunch and evening boat cruise species like the African Finfoot, Coqui, and the Red-winged Francolins, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Harlequin and Blue Quails, Common Button Quail, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Blue-napped Mousebird, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, the Nubian, Bu’-spotted, Brown-eared, and the Grey Woodpeckers, Trilling, Stout, and Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Red-necked spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African-wattled Plover Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s, Carruther’s and a number of other Cisticolas, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Goliath, Purple, Black-headed, Grey, and Black-headed Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, the African Fish Eagle, (African Finfoot, Papyrus Yellow Warbler & Red-faced Barbet) among others.
DAY 21: TRANSFER TO BACK TO ENTEBBE
You will have relaxed breakfast and check out of the lodge to transfer back to Kampala with en-route stops at the Uganda equator line crossing where you will stop for lunch relaxation, you will have chance to explore souvenir markets around the equator later proceed to Entebbe
End of the safari
NB: luxury trip is considered to be transported in 4*4 safari landclusier and budget and midrange is transported in 4*4 safari van