19 DAYS UGANDA BIRDING SAFARI ∣ UGANDA BIRDING TOUR | BIRD WATCHING IN UGANDA

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari – SAFARI OVERVIEW

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari

Our 19-day Uganda birding safari is 18 nights/19 days Uganda birding tour featuring Moutain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and bird watching in Uganda’s finest birding sites, offering up to 1,073 bird species, 50% of Africa’s total bird species. Also on this fantastic 19 days Uganda birding safari tour, we’ll go on two boat cruises (and one canoe ride!), see many other fantastic fauna and flora, experience the spectacular scenery, and enjoy the warm and friendly attitude of the Uganda people.

Our first birding site is Entebbe Botanical Gardens on the edge of Lake Victoria which offer an excellent introduction to Uganda’s birds. We then proceed to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where we’ll encounter several of the 300 bird species here and track wild white rhinos on foot, Budongo Forest Reserve with over 360 bird species, and Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest national park with more than 450 species of birds and 76 species of African animals. Here we’ll enjoy a wonderful boat cruise along the mighty Nile River for a chance to catch a rare glimpse of the incredible Shoebill, one of the world’s most bizarre birds. We continue Queen Elizabeth Park with 610 bird species (the largest checklist of any protected area in East Africa) and 96 species of mammals.

The highlight of this 19 days Uganda birding safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a World Heritage Site, a UNESCO World Heritage site that hosts the most exciting selection of forest birds in Africa. There are over 351 bird species of 23 are endemic to Albertine Rift including the gorgeous African Green Broadbill, Handsome francolin, and Ruwenzori turaco. Almost 50% of the world’s Mountain Gorillas also live here along with other 120 mammal species. From Bwindi, we proceed to Lake Mburo National Park with over 350 bird species including the Red-faced Barbet, only seen in Lake Mburo and the endemic African Finfoot. This amazing trip will end with a canoe ride in Mabamba Swamp on the edge of Lake Victoria in search of the iconic Shoebills.

Please contact us and have an amazing value-for-money birding safari tailored to your budget and interests.

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19 Days Uganda Birding Safari – PRIME SAFARI ACTIVITIES

   Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

   Birding in the finest birding sites of Uganda

   Rhino tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

   Explore Mabamba Swamp by canoe in search of Shoebill.

   Discover Bwindi’s fantastic forest birds including the special 23 Albertine Rift endemics.

   Bird along the historic Nile River on boat cruises in Murchison Falls N.P.

   Birding hike to the top of the world’s most powerful waterfall, Murchison Falls.

   Launch cruise along the famous Kazinga channel

   Game viewing in Murchison, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo Parks.

   Search for the elusive tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth Park.

   Walking amongst the wild mammals of Lake Mburo National Park

   Photo shoots at the Uganda Equator

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari – FEATURED SAFARI DESTINATIONS

  Day 1: Entebbe Entebbe Botanical Gardens

  Day 2 & 3: Budongo Forest Reserve

  Day 4, 5 & 6: Murchison Falls National Park

  Day 7: Hoima.

  Day 8: Fort Portal Area

  Day 9: Semuliki National Park

  Day 10 & 11: Queen Elizabeth National Park

  Day 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

  Day 17: Lake Mburo National Park

  Day 18 & 19: Entebbe Mabamba Swamp

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19 Days Uganda Birding Safari – SAFARI HIGHLIGHT

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda via Entebbe Airport, check-in at the lodge & do evening birding in Entebbe Botanical Gardens

Day 2: Transfer to Budongo Forest Reserve with a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route.

Day 3: Whole day birding in Budongo Forest Reserve – Busingiro Area & Royal Mile

Day 4: Half-day birding in Budongo– Kaniyo Pabidi Site, transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & visit the top of the falls

Day 5: Morning private boat cruise on the Nile to the Delta Area & afternoon boat Nile launch cruise to the bottom of the falls.

Day 6: Bird in the savannah landscapes of Murchison Falls National Park

Day 7: Bird in Rabongo Forest & transfer to Hoima.

Day 8: Transfer from Hoima to Fort Portal Area with birding en-route

Day 9: Do birding in Semuliki National Park & transfer back to Fort Portal Area.

Day 10: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park & bird in the Mweya Peninsular.

Day 11: Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kasenyi sector

Day 12: Birding in Ishasha as you transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Day 13: Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Buhoma Sector

Day 14: Undertake Mountain Gorilla trekking in Bwindi – Buhoma Sector

Day 15: Birding to Ruhija sector of Bwindi through Neck

Day 16: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp in Bwindi

Day 17: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Do birding with a boat ride on Lake Mburo.    

Day 18: Do half-day birding & wildlife walking safari & transfer to Entebbe. 

Day 19: Morning birding in Mabamba swamp & transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari − DETAILED SAFARI ITINERARY

Day 1 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Arrive in Uganda via Entebbe Airport, Check-in at the Lodge & Do Evening Birding in Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you’ll find our company representative dedicated to offer you a courteous welcome. The amazing weather and brightening atmosphere on the shores of Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical freshwater lake give you a remarkable first impression of the ‘Pearl of Africa’. You will connect to the respective hotel for check-in before proceeding to the beautifully landscaped Entebbe Botanical Gardens which offers a perfect introduction to the birds of Uganda.

At the botanic gardens, we’ll encounter several of Lake Victoria specials including Grey kestrel, Yellow throated leaflove, Slender billed weaver, Orange weaver and Jackson’s golden weaver. Other fantastic Uganda birds to find include the striking Black-headed gonolek, Red-chested sunbird, Grey-capped warbler, Brown throated wattle-eye, the impressive Palmnut vultures, Verreaux’s Eagle, African fish eagles, the splendid Ross’s and Great blue turacos, African grey parrot and Black-and-white casqued hornbill. You’ll also see primates such as vervet and Black-and-white colobus monkeys. We’ll retire from the activity for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Birding in Entebbe Botanic Gardens on the shore of the gorgeous Lake Victoria.  

Accommodation:-

Luxury: – Serena Lake Victoria Resort/Protea Hotel Entebbe

Midrange: – 2 Friends Beach Hotel Entebbe/Lake Heights Hotel Entebbe/Boma Hotel Entebbe

Budget: – Acacia Boutique Hotel/Airport Guesthouse Entebbe

 

Meal Plan: – Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 3-5km or 10-20 minutes

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Pick up from the airport and transfer to the hotel
  • Birding in Entebbe Botanical Gardens

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Entebbe City tour
  • Visit Uganda Wildlife Education Center
  • Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary tour
  • Sundowner boat cruise on Lake Victoria

Day 2 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Transfer to Budongo Forest Reserve with a Visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary En Route.

We have breakfast at around 6.30 am and embark on a 252 km (3-4 hours) drive northwest to Masindi town close to Budongo Forest Reserve. On the way, you will enjoy amazing views of the flat landscapes of central Uganda with scattered human settlement, towns and markets where you will see people going on with their daily life. We will branch off at Nakitooma for 7km drive to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for a 2 hours birding and rhino tracking encounter on foot (in company of an expert guide). Ziwa hosts 22 white Rhinos and is the only place in Uganda to see these members of African Big Five gems.

This 70km2 sanctuary also boasts over 300 bird species in its savannah thickets! We’ll encounter many of these including the Grey crowned cranes − the Uganda national bird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Shoebills, Blue-spotted dove, Booted eagle, African Black Crake, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Broad-billed Roller, African Blue Flycatcher plus much more.

After the activity, we will have our lunch at the sanctuary and then transfer to Masindi, arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight. We’ll be birding along the way at multiple locations this route is not along main roads, and passes through rural Uganda, where you get a real sense of what life is like here.

Highlight of the day: – Rhino racking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on foot.

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: Masindi Hotel

Midrange/Standard: New Court View Hotel/Budongo Eco lodge

 

Budget/Basic: Kabalega Resort Hotel Masindi

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 252 km (3-4 hours)

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer from Entebbe to Budongo Forest Reserve
  • Tracking wild rhinos and birding in Ziwa

Optional you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Shoebill trek and canoe ride

 

Day 3 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Whole Day Birding in Budongo Forest Reserve – Busingiro Area & Royal Mile

We start with an early breakfast at around 7.00 am. We then undertake a full day birding expedition at Budongo Forest’s Busingiro Area and the legendary Royal Mile, one of the top bird-watching tracks in the country. We either have lunch back at the lodge or we could enjoy a picnic lunch somewhere in the forest reserve to maximize our chances of seeing our avian targets. Budongo Forest Reserve covers an area of 825km2. Budongo hosts an avian wealth of over 360 bird species, 800 chimpanzees and several monkeys.

Uganda special bird species to search for include Blue-breasted, Chocolate-backed and African dwarf kingfishers, Cassin’s Spinetails, Nahan’s Francolins, Chestnut-capped Flycatchers, White-thighed Hornbills, Blue Malkoha, Green Hylia, Yellow Longbills, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, African Forest-Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Grey-headed Sunbirds, Yellow-mantled Weavers, Hairy-breasted barbets and Yellow-billed barbets.

We will also look for the numerous confusing forest Greenbuls here: White-throated, Spotted, Xavier’s, Red-tailed and Honeyguide Greenbuls. We will search the undergrowth along the track for several skulkers including 3 Illadopsis species, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera and Grey-throated Flycatcher. We’ll keep an eye on any openings in the forest canopy, as Cassin’s and Crowned Hawk-eagles, Mottled and Sabine’s Spinetails are all possible.

Several monkeys including Red-tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Mantle guereza and Olive baboons will also be seen. We’ll get together back at the lodge to freshen up and then have dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Birding along Royal Mile in Budongo Forest Reserve.

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: Masindi Hotel

Midrange/Standard: Budongo Eco lodge/New Court View Hotel

 

Budget/Basic: Kabalega Resort Hotel Masindi

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Whole day birding in Busingiro Area and Royal Mile in Budongo Forest.

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest

 

Day 4 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Half Day Birding in Budongo Forest Reserve – Kaniyo Pabidi Site, Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & Visit the Top of the Falls.

This day starts with an early breakfast at around 7.00 am after which we transfer to Kaniyo Pabidi Sector of Budongo Forest. Here you can track chimpanzees (optional arrangement). Among the special bird species we’ll have a chance to see is the Puvel’s Illadopsis which is quite common in here, but known is no other place in East Africa. We’ll also target other fantastic birds such as Narina trogon, Chestnut wattle eye, little greenbul, Dwarf and Pygmy kingfishers, Grey apalis, forest sunbirds and hornbills. The extremely localized and magnificently gorgeous Green breasted pitta has also been recorded here.

After our exciting bird walk in Kaniyo Pabidi, we drive to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest National Park, hosting over 451 bird species and 76 mammal species: lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos, Giraffes, Primates and numerous Antelopes. On the way to Murchison, we will pass through lots of wild country with an open palm savanna and along the way we may find birds like Piapiac, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and Senegal Lapwing.

On arrival to the park, we’ll visit the top of the Murchison Falls viewpoint. We marvel at the world’s longest River, the Nile as it bursts through a gap in the rift valley escarpment and spectacularly plunges 45 meter down, with enormous Nile crocodiles basking at the bottom. Here we’ll have chances of spotting birds like the Pel’s Fishing Owl, Chest-nut crowned and the Red-winged grey warbler. We connect to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – The visit to the top of the Murchison Falls. 

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: – Bakers Lodge/Paraa Safari lodge

Midrange/Standard: – Murchison River Lodge/Pakuba Safari Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Red Chilli Rest Camp/Hornbill Bush Lodge

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – or 30 minutes

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Half-day birding in Kaniyo Pabidi Site of Budongo
  • Transfer from Budongo Forest to Murchison Falls National Park
  • Visit to the top of the Murchison Falls

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo

 

Day 5 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Morning Private Boat Cruise on the Nile to the Delta Area & Afternoon Boat Nile Launch Cruise to the Bottom of the Falls.

We start with breakfast at around 7.30 am. At 9.00 am, we will gather at Paraa jetty for a thrilling 3-4 hours boat cruise along the Nile to the delta area: where the historic Nile River enters Lake Albert and makes a delta with tributaries and papyrus marshes. This launch trip offers the best opportunity anywhere in Africa to see the incredible Shoebill. This massive prehistoric- looking bird is very high on most world birders’ wish list, and for good reason. It is so different, with a unique uniform slate grey coloration, yellow human like eyes and that massive shoe-shaped bill which five inches wide with sharp edges and a sharp hook on the end−the largest bill among all living bird species.

We will also see other iconic species including the well named Goliath Heron, the weird Piapiac, the regal Grey crowned cranes-Uganda national bird, African fish eagles, Squacco heron, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Saddle-billed Stork, Egyptian geese, Pied Kingfisher, African skimmer,  Long-toed Lapwing, Red-throated Bee-Eater, Western Banded Snake Eagle, African Darter, Red-winged Grey Warbler and Wire-tailed Swallow as well several mammals. We end our boat trip at the confluence of the Victoria and Albert Nile. It’s at this point the Victoria Nile flows south into Lake Albert and the Nile River continues into South Sudan and eventually to Mediterranean Sea in Egypt.

Retreat from the activity and return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch after which you gather at Paraa jetty for a 3-hours afternoon boat cruise upstream  to the bottom of the falls where the Nile River bursts through 7 meter wide gap in the Albertine rift valley escarpment. As well as being visually spectacular, it is also really good for birding and we expect to get close to the normally very difficult Rock Pratincole. We have possibilities of encountering hundreds of hippos, numerous giant Nile crocodiles, Elephants and Buffaloes as they are surrounded numerous waterbirds. We retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – The stunning birding boat cruises along the Nile River.

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: – Paraa Safari lodge/Bakers Lodge

Midrange/Standard: – Pakuba Safari Lodge/Murchison River Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Hornbill Bush Lodge/Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Morning birding boat cruise on the Nile to the bottom of the falls
  • Evening boat cruise to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Bush breakfast
  • Hot air balloon safari
  • Game drive
  • Spot fishing
  • Cultural tour

 

Day 6 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Bird in the Savannah Landscapes of Murchison Falls National Park.

We start this day with an early breakfast at around 7.30am. We spend a full day exploring Murchison Falls National Park’s northern sector, where we search for Secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbills, Abyssinian Rollers, Denham’s bustards, Black-breasted Snake-Eagles, Dark Chanting-Goshawks, Black-headed Lapwings, Swallow-tailed and Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Black Scimitar-bill, Black-backed Cisticola, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrows and Black-faced Quailfinch. The riverine thickets hold White-crested Turaco, Double-toothed Barbet, Heuglin’s Francolin and many others. The area around the Nile and the papyrus edges offers sight of resident Shoebills, Blue breasted bee-eater and Swamp flycatchers plus other swamp-dwelling species.

Mammals are well represented and we’ll possibilities of seeing the shy Patas Monkey, Lions, and Leopards, African elephant, Cape buffalos, Rothschild’s Giraffe, Uganda Kob, Oribi, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Spotted hyena, Defassa waterbuck and Bushbuck.  We return to the lodge for lunch and continue will our birding and game viewing encounter in the afternoon again. We get back to the lodge in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Full day birding and game viewing encounter in the classic savannah plains.

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: – Paraa Safari lodge/Bakers Lodge

Midrange/Standard: – Pakuba Safari Lodge/Murchison River Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Hornbill Bush Lodge/Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Morning birding in the savannah

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Bush breakfast
  • Hot air balloon safari
  • Sport fishing
  • Cultural tour

 

Day 7 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Bird in Rabongo Forest & Transfer to Hoima.

After a more relaxed breakfast this morning at around 8.00 am, we will go birding in Rabongo Forest. This 4km2 forest in the far south east of Murchison Falls National Park offers impressive bird views most especially the forest birds such as Narina trogon, Chestnut wattle eye, little greenbul, Grey apalis, forest sunbirds and hornbills. It also offers impressive views of the Primates including the Black and white colobus, Olive baboons, Red-tailed monkeys and Blue monkeys. Retire from the activity and embark on the transfer to Hoima driving along the scenic Albertine rift escarpment with magical views.

Highlight of the day: – Nature walk in Rabongo Forest in search of birds and primates.

Accommodation:-

Midrange/Standard: – Lake Albert Lodge/Hoima Cultural Lodge

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 120km or 4 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Rabongo Forest
  • Transfer to Hoima

 

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Hike to ancient to Kibiro Salt Gardens

 

Day 8 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Transfer from Hoima to Fort Portal Area with Birding En-Route.

After relaxed breakfast at 7.00 around, we will embark on the transfer to Fort Portal driving through the countryside landscapes of southwestern Uganda. It is a very scenic drive south of the Albertine Area, marked with incredible steep escarpments, extensive rift valley flats and beautiful views of Lake Albert. The drive is about 4 to 5 hours long.

We’ll reach Fort Portal town at around lunchtime. This is a beautiful town in another scenic area of the country. It is an important commercial area too, as it is in the heartland of the tea-growing area of Uganda. The town also boasts a fantastic market. We will enjoy lunch at one of best restaurants in town.

Retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Midrange: Mountains of the Moon Hotel

 

Day 9 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding in Semuliki National Park & Transfer Back to Fort Portal Area.

After breakfast at around 7.00 am, we’ll undertake a very scenic 1 -2 hours’ drive to Semliki National Park on western side of the Rwenzori Mountains or Mountain of the Moon. This 220km2 park protects one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse rainforests − one of the few to survive the last ice age. While Semuliki’s wealth of avian life and unique mammal species has been accumulating for over 25,000 years, the park contains evidence of even older processes. Hot springs bubble up from the depths to demonstrate the powerful subterranean forces that have been shaping the rift valley during the last 14 million years.

Upon arrival to Semuliki, you’ll be presented with an incredible checklist of 441 bird species including 35 Guinea-Congo forest biome bird species unknown elsewhere in East Africa such as the Congo serpent eagle, Nkulengu rail, Maxwell’s black weaver, Blue-billed malimbe, Lyre-tailed and Zenker’s Honeyguides, Spot-breasted ibis, African Piculet, Black-wattled hornbill, Dwarf hornbill, Sassi’s olive greenbul, Simple greenbul, Red-eyed Puffback, Lowland akalat.

Also, another 12 species with an extremely limited distribution in East Africa occur in Semuliki including Western bronze-naped pigeon, Yellow-throated cuckoo, Piping hornbill, Rufous-sided broadbill, Xavier’s greenbul, Capuchin babbler, Yellow longbill, Blue-headed flycatcher, Red-billed helmet-shrike and Crested malimbe. Semuliki is also home to some special mammal species, and despite the thick vegetation we hope to see Angola Colobus, Vervet, Olive Baboon, Ugandan Grey-cheeked Mangabey and Red-tailed Monkeys. You will engage in a full day birding expedition here. Retire back to the place of stay in Fort Portal for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Encountering the special Guinea-Congo forest biome bird species.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: –

Midrange/Standard: – Mountains of the Moon Hotel

Budget/Basic: –

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – 78km or 1 ½ -2 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Visiting Semuliki National Park
  • Whole day birding in Semuliki
  • Transfer back to Kibale

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Visit the Batwa pygmy community at Ntandi
  • Hike to the babbling Sempaya hotspring

Day 10 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & Bird in the Mweya Peninsular.

We have a relaxed breakfast today at our accommodation (at around 8.30 am). We embark on a 2-3 hour drive south to Queen Elizabeth Park as we enjoy the sights of the Rwenzori Mountains en route. The drive time will depend, on how many stops we make en route to spot some more birds. We’ll settle for lunch in the peninsular and undertake birding in Mweya Peninsular between Lake Edward and the Kazinga Channel. We retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Queen is the most visited Uganda safari park and with good reason! It has one of the most diverse habitats ranging from rolling savannah grasslands, tropical rainforest, moist acacia woodland, freshwater lakes, and beautiful saline crater lakes to fertile wetlands. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any national park in the world, including 610 bird species and 95 species of mammals.

Highlight of the day: – Birding in the spectacular Mweya peninsular of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mazike Valley Loge/Katara Loge/Mweya Safari Lodge

Midrange/Standard: – Enganzi Game Lodge/ Kasenyi Safari Camp/Bush Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Park View Safari Lodge/Pumba Safari Cottages

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – 157km or 3 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Birding in the Mweya peninsular

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Evening game drive
  • Cultural tour
  • Night game drive

Day 11 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding In Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kasenyi Sector.

We have breakfast at around 7.00 am and embark on 3-4 hours birding safari through Lake Kasenyi tracks. Our avian targets Bateleur, Africa’s most spectacular raptor, Rüppell’s Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Martial eagle, African Crake, Peregrine Falcon, Grey Kestrel, Pin-tailed Whydah, Senegal Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Rufous-naped and White-tailed Lark, Stout, Red-faced and Croaking Cisticola, Kittlitz’s Plover, White-throated Bee-eater, Black-lored Babbler, Common Buttonquail and Buff-belied Warbler.

Mammals will also be a highlight of today’s excursion, and we will have an opportunity to see Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos, Hyenas, Waterbuck, Bushbucks, Warthogs and the spectacular Giant forest hogs. We break for lunch and then in the afternoon, we’ll take a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel. This trip ranks among the most astounding birding and photographic experiences in Africa. There are usually masses of big mammals and waterbirds in close proximity. We normally see African Open-billed, Yellow-billed, Saddle-billed and Marabou Storks, African spoon bill, Glossy Ibis, Wattled Lapwing, Water Thick-knee and Pelicans. We’ll return to the lodge for relaxation dinner and overnight

Highlight of the day: – The afternoon birding boat cruise along the 40km long Kazinga Channel.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mweya Safari Lodge/Mazike Valley Loge/Katara Loge

Midrange/Standard: – Enganzi Game Lodge/ Bush Lodge/Kasenyi Safari Camp

Budget/Basic: – Pumba Safari Cottages/Park View Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Morning drive in Kasenyi sector
  • Afternoon launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Night game drive
  • Cultural visits

 

Day 12 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding in Ishasha as you Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

After breakfast at around 7.00 am, we pack our bags and check out of the lodge. We leave Queen Elizabeth Park and head even further south. Before leaving the park we will undertake a drive in the Ishasha section where we may be fortunate in sighting the area’s uncommon Tree-climbing lions. We’ll see a large variety of savannah birds such African White-backed, Palm-nut, Ruppell’s Griffon, Hooded and Lappet-faced Vultures; Brown Snake, Long-crested, Wahlberg’s, Bateleur, Crowned and Martial Eagles, African Grey Kestrel, Helmeted Guineafowl, African Crake, Black-bellied Bustard, Senegal Plover, African Green Pigeon, African Wattled Plover, Ross’s Turaco, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Grey Woodpecker, White-browed Robin-Chat, Cisticolas and Grey-backed Fiscal.

We have picnic lunch in Ishasha and then drive to Bwindi’s Buhoma sector arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight. The 321km2 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true African jungle. Nearly half of the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas and over 120 mammal species live here. Bwindi is also where we’ll see some of the rarest and most exotic birds of the trip.

Over 351 bird species have been sighted and recorded in Bwindi including 23 Albertine Rift endemics including African green broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori nightjar, Dwarf honeyguide, Kivu ground thrush, Red-throated alethe, Archer’s robin-chat, Rwenzori apalis, Mountain masked apalis, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Grauer’s warbler, Neumann’s warbler, Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Chapin’s flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, Stripe-breasted tit, Blue-headed sunbird, Regal sun bird, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, Purple breasted sun bird, Dusky crimsonwing and Shelly’s crimsonwing.

Highlight of the day: – Seeing the rare tree climbing lions of Ishasha Sector.  

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs/Gorilla Forest Camp

Midrange/Standard: – Silverback Lodge/Haven Lodge Buhoma

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 130-220km or 4-7 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Birding drive through in Ishasha sector

 

Day 13 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Buhoma Sector.

We start our day with an early breakfast at 7.00am. We embark on a full day birding encounter to search out the avian wonders of Bwindi exploring the magical Buhoma sector. We will either have a packed lunch somewhere in the forest today or return to the lodge for lunch before birding in the afternoon again. Special Uganda birds to look for include Bar-tailed Trogon, Kivu groundthrush, Dusky tit, Handsome francolin, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Red-throated Alethe, the rarely seen Oberlander’s Ground-Thrush, White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Bocage’s Bushshrike, Black-billed Weaver, and Magpie Mannikin.

We will keep our eyes high in the exposed perches for dazzling Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Sooty Flycatcher and forest starlings including Waller’s, Stuhlmann’s and Narrow-tailed. The tiny, vocal and highly secretive Neumann’s Warbler is often seen in the undergrowth. Other understory birds could include African Broadbill, Banded Prinia and the surprisingly bright Black-faced Rufous-Warbler.

At the mid-story and canopy, we will search for Elliot’s and Tullberg’s Woodpeckers, Cabanis’s, Shelley’s and Ansorge’s greenbul, the strange Grauer’s Warbler, and White-browed Crombec. The little Jameson’s Antpecker can be found at any level, probing under moss on dead branches or gleaning warbler-like in the canopy. Aside from the amazing avian species we’ll see a variety of colourful butterflies, flowering plants and several monkeys like Black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s, blue and red-tailed monkeys. We’ll retire from activity for relaxation dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Full day bird watching nature walk search of avian wonders of Buhoma Sector of Bwindi.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Gorilla Forest Camp/ Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs

Midrange/Standard: – Haven Lodge Buhoma/Silverback Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Full day birding expedition in Buhoma

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Visit the Batwa Pygmy people and observe their ways of living

 

Day 14 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi – Buhoma Sector.

We wake up at around 5.00am for our 19 days Uganda birding safari main highlight – trekking the endangered Mountain gorillas on foot! We’ll have our breakfast at 6.00 am and embark on a short drive to the Buhoma headquarters and meet with the excellent local ranger guides. At 8.00am, the guides will provide a short briefing on the gorilla trekking etiquette. Ugandan authorities are fiercely protective of this natural treasure and allow only a maximum of 6 visitors per day (currently) to visit a particular gorilla family. After briefing, the trekking group will then head into the forest in search of these great apes of Africa.

Gorilla trekking takes 2-8 hours including the 1 hour you are allowed to stay with the gorillas after encountering them. Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, the trek doesn’t follow a path and instead the guides will cut a route through the undergrowth. Strong footwear is essential and we recommend hiring a local porter to help you carry your bag/camera equipment and provide a steady, supportive hand. Seeing wild Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat is indeed an experience you will never forget. An adult male can weigh up to 220kg and reach 6 feet in height.

Gorillas are gentle creatures and are not known to attack unless very severely provoked. The minimum distance that we must keep when we are with the gorillas is 10 metres – we’re not permitted any closer because gorillas are very susceptible to human disease since they share over 98% of our DNA. Please note that if you’re unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you’ll not be allowed to trek gorillas. We’ll retreat from the activity back to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – The one magical hour with the endangered Mountain gorillas of Bwindi.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Gorilla Forest Camp/ Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs

Midrange/Standard: – Haven Lodge Buhoma/Silverback Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Full day birding expedition in Buhoma

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Bakiga/Batwa cultural performances at the lodge in the evening

 

Day 15 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding to Ruhija Sector of Bwindi through Neck

We start our day with a relaxed breakfast at 8.00 am and then embark on r full day of birding encounter to Ruhija sector. We’ll once again either have a packed lunch somewhere in a nice spot in the forest, or return to the lodge for lunch and some down time. We’ll move very slowly as we search for the striking Ross’s Turaco, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Red-throated Wryneck as well as Bronze, Copper and Variable Sunbirds, Black-necked and Holub’s Golden Weavers; Yellow Bishop and Black-throated Seed-eater.

We’ll pass through Kitahurira or “The Neck,’ another well-known birding spot in Uganda that serious birders from all over the world come to. It is a offs spectacular sites of Black sparrowhawk, Western bronze-naped pigeon, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Cassin’s honeybird, Petit’s cuckooshrike, White-chinned prinia, Mountain wagtail, Pink-footed puffback, the rare tiny Sunbird and the Dapper brown-capped weaver.

 

Later we’ll continue to some more open cultivated areas, with thick bracken areas that also host other species including many seedeaters like Dusky Twinspot and Yellow-bellied and Black-crowned Waxbills; African Stonechat, Thick-billed Seedeater and Yellow-crowned Canary. We also search for the noisy Chubb’s Cisticola providing cheerful song from deep within the bracken, the stunning Doherty’s Bushshrike appearing from the dense vegetation, and Mackinnon’s Shrike surveying the road from high, exposed perches. Retire for dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Superb birding in Ruhija Sector in search of Albertine Rift endemics and other special birds.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs/Gorilla Forest Camp

Midrange/Standard: – Haven Lodge Buhoma/Gorilla Mist Camp/Bakiga Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge/Buhoma Community Rest Camp/

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer from Buhoma to Ruhija
  • Birding through the Neck to Ruhija

 

Day 16 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp in Bwindi.

We commence our day with a breakfast at 7.00am and embark on a whole day birding exploration in Ruhija’s famous Mubwindi Swamp. We set off for the steep descent to Mubwindi and the seemingly steeper ascent back the same way! Our main avian target is the rare, endangered and localised African Green Broadbill. This special bird species is only known from two sites in the world, the other being a remote forest in eastern DR Congo

 

At the swamp and the surrounding area we could also tick Carruther’s Cisticola, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Olive Woodpecker, Elliot’s woodpecker, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Black-billed Turaco, African Hill Babbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Mountain Illadopsis, Mountain Greenbul, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grey Cuckooshrike, Chestnut-throated, Collared and Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Stripe-breasted Tit, Mountain, Shelley’s and Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Regal Sunbird and Rwenzori Batis among many other bird species.

 

Because of the steep trail, walking sticks are recommended. The option of borrowing walking sticks and of hiring porters to carry everything other than binoculars and cameras will be available. This all-day excursion will also hopefully give us an opportunity to observe other Albertine Rift endemics such the Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Rwenzori apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, Rwenzori turaco, Regal sunbird, Dusky crimsonwing and Stripe-breasted. We’ll retreat in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – The chance to encounter the exceedingly rare and amazingly cryptic African green Broadbill in Mubwindi Swamp.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Gorilla Forest Camp/Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs

Midrange/Standard: – Gorilla Mist Camp/Bakiga Lodge/Haven Lodge Buhoma

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp/Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Whole day birding in Ruhija and Mubwindi Swamp

 

Day 17 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Do Birding with a Boat Ride on Lake Mburo.

After an early breakfast at 7.00 am, we check out of our accommodation and drive towards Lake Mburo National Park. On our way out of the forest, we’ll of course be on the lookout for any missed species. These may include Handsome Francolin, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, and possibly the highland Kandt’s Waxbill. As we head eastward, the birds en route will now be familiar, but it won’t stop us from looking in any interesting habitat.

We’ll make a lunch stop at Igongo Cultural Center 12km past Mbarara town after which you proceed for 33km to Lake Mburo National Park arriving in the afternoon. You will bird along the entrance road to Rwonyo in the late afternoon to watch out for acacia associated bird species like Ruppell’s long-tailed starling, mosque swallow and black-bellied bustard.

The 370km2 park is a superb wetland and Acacia savanna sanctuary that is a famous spot for serious birders. Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders. Lake Mburo National Park hosts over 350 bird species as well as 68 mammal species including Plains Zebra, Impala (the only park in Uganda with this elegant antelope), and Eland antelope, African Buffalo, Oribi, Defassa Waterbuck, Hippos, Spotted Hyaena and Topi.

Highlight of the day: – Encountering the special acacia associated birds in Lake Mburo National park.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mihingo Safari Lodge/Matana Tented Camp

Mid-range/Moderate: – Rwakobo Rock/Emburara Farm Lodge/Arcadia Lodge Mburo

Budget/Basic: – Eagles Nest Mburo

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 240km or 4-5 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Birding in the acacia savannah landscape

 

Day 18 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Do Half-Day Birding, Wildlife Walking Safari & Transfer to Entebbe.

We have breakfast at around 7.30 am. We embark on the extensive wildlife and birding encounter in the rolling savannah landscapes of Lake Mburo National Park. Explore the park on foot following the respective trails in the company of an armed ranger to save you from attacks of wild animals. We will explore any of these areas; Miriti and Warukiri swamps, Rubanga forest and the salt lick.

The encounter offers you chances of spotting Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Brown Parrot, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Red-faced Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Long-tailed Cisticola, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Finfoot, White-winged Tit and Yellow-breasted Apalis among other birds.

The walking & driving experience also offers an opportunity to explore counts of wild game including the Rothschild giraffes, the Topis, elands, waterbucks, Buffaloes, Burchell’s Zebra, Impala, Warthogs among other species. Retreat from the activity and embark on the drive to Kampala 240km about 3 – 4 hours with a stop at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing photo shoots and water experiments that justify the geographical divide between the north and southern hemispheres. You drive 40km to Entebbe for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park and the Equator experience.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: –Protea Hotel Entebbe/Serena Lake Victoria Resort

Mid-range/Moderate: – Boma Hotel Entebbe/2 Friends Beach Hotel Entebbe/Lake Heights Hotel Entebbe

Budget/Basic: – Airport Guesthouse Entebbe/Acacia Boutique Hotel

 

Drive Distance & time: – 280km or 5 hours

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
  • Walking safari in Mburo
  • Transfer to Entebbe
  • Amazing photo shoots and water experiments at the Uganda Equator

 

Day 19 of the 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Morning Birding in Mabamba Swamp Entebbe & Transfer to the Airport for an Afternoon Flight.

We have breakfast at 6.30 am and then depart for the Mabamba Bay Swamp, a Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area on the shore of Lake Victoria. Mabamba is one of the top two places in the world to find the Shoebill, Africa’s number one and highly sought-after bird.

Mabamba is also a weaver paradise, and we should find Golden-backed, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Vieillot’s, Orange, Black-headed, and Grosbeak, and, if we are really fortunate, the near endemic Weyn’s Weaver. Other species here include Great Blue Turaco, Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, and an impressive collection of swallows. The bird encounter is done on a canoe where you also have the opportunity of encountering the elusive Sitatunga Antelope. You will retire from the activity and connect to Entebbe International Airport for your flight departure in the evening.

Meal Plan: – Breakfast & Lunch

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Mabamba
  • Transfer to Entebbe International Airport for departure

End 19 Days Uganda Birding Safari

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari − SAFARI INCLUSIONS

   Full time English professional safari driver guide

   4×4 safari van/ 4×4 Safari land cruiser with pop up roof for game viewing with functional A/C

   Full board accommodation

   Gorilla trekking permit fees

   Boat cruise fees

   Wi-Fi Internet on board the safari vehicle

   Bottled water

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari − SAFARI EXCLUSIONS

   International &domestic flight fees

   Visa fees

   Laundry services

   Items of personal nature

   Gratuities and tips

   Other beverages/drinks

Other extras not mentioned in the itinerary above

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari, Uganda Safari Tour, Gorilla Trekking & Wildlife- Route Map.

Transport Means to Your Safari Destinations

4X4 Safari Landcruisers For Hire In Ugand & Rwanda

4x4-safari-landcruiser-for-hire

One of the best known 4×4 WD that you can use for your safari in Uganda’s Parks and Rural countryside.Our car hire is based on limited mileage and applies to travel within Uganda.( Terms and conditions apply. Read More

4X4 Safari Vans For Hire In Uganda Rwanda

safari-van-for-hire-in-uganda

Looking for 4X4 Safari Vans for hire in Uganda, Prime Uganda Safaris is available to your service. We have customized safari vans that have 4 wheel drive and have demonstrated the capacity to access distant Uganda Safari destinations and across borders such as Rwanda. Read More

4X4 Minivan|Coaster|Mini Buses For Hire in Uganda Rwanda

coastersfor-hire-uganda

We have minivans for hire to groups of eight up to twelve. Make sure to find the class to suit your large group.In this Category, we have 4X 4 Safari Mini bus with capacity ranging from 6 seater to 14 seater and they’ve got a pop up roof for game viewing purposes. These have got diesel powered engines and come with a driver guide but excluding fuel.( Terms and conditions apply). Read More

Accommodations/ Safari Lodges/ Safari Hotels to Your Safari Destinations

More lodging options in Bwindi National Park

Gorilla Mist Camp-bwindi

Gorilla Mist Camp is located in Ruhija sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park just outside the park boundary. The Gorilla Mist Camp presents perfect midrange / standard accommodation in Ruhija Bwindi

More lodging options in Queen Elizabeth National Park

enganzi game lodge- queen elizabeth np

Enganzi Game Lodge is positioned on the Kichwamba escarpment presenting midrange / Standard accommodation to the Uganda safari undertakers visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park.

More lodging options in Bunyonyi National Park

bunyoni eco resort - uganda

Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort is a midrange / standard accommodation establishment that is located on Kyahugye Island in the middle of Lake Bunyonyi surrounded by a count of wildlife including the Debrazza monkeys, the water bucks, Impala antelope and Burchell’s Zebra.

Price per Person for Different Numbers of People

Number of people against price per person 2 –
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6 –
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Links of related safari accommodation in the featured safari destinations

Accommodation in Budongo Forest Reserve

  • Luxury accommodation in Budongo Forest Reserve
  • Midrange accommodation in Budongo Forest Reserve
  • Budget accommodation in Budongo Forest Reserve

Accommodation in Semuliki National Park

  • Luxury accommodation in Semuliki National Park
  • Midrange accommodation in Semuliki National Park
  • Budget accommodation in Semuliki National Park

19 Days Uganda Birding Safari − GORILLA TREKKING TIPS

   Take plenty of water and carry some quick calories (the trek typically take 2-8 hours)

   Put on strong hiking shoes/boots for the trek

   Wear long sleeved shirt/t-shirt, thick trouser and gardening gloves for protection against stinging plants.

   It is often cold at the outset, so bring a warm sweater/fleece

   Bwindi Impenetrable being a tropical forest, it can rain anytime so we encourage you to carry a rain jacket or poncho

   Having sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat is also a good idea at any time of the day.

Follow this link to read more about gorilla trekking tips and advice.

At Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd, your safety is our utmost priority. We have thus undertaken the necessary safety measures in compliance with the approved Standard Operating Procedures by the Governments of ALL African countries in which we operate with a goal of protecting our customers while travelling and on their Africa safari. The following guidelines will be applicable for your  Safari in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and other African Countries.

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