25 DAYS UGANDA BIRDING SAFARI, 25 DAYS UGANDA BIRDING TOUR, BIRDWATCHING IN UGANDA TRIP

25 Days Uganda Birding Safari SAFARI OVERVIEW

25 Days Uganda Birding Safari

Our 25 days Uganda birding safari is a 24 nights/25 days Uganda birding tour that has been carefully designed to offer you an opportunity to have a comprehensive birding in Uganda safari tour, which may offer up to over 1,073 birds of Uganda species and unique wildlife viewing in Uganda.

On this 25 days Uganda birding safari, we’ll also go on four boat cruises (and one canoe ride!), see many other wonderful faunas, and enjoy the stunning scenery of Uganda. The optional Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda experience in Kibale National Park Forest we offer on this tour is one of Africa’s most thrilling wildlife encounters.

We begin your birdwatching in Uganda safari tour at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre for a gentle introduction to this very special country’s avifauna with species such as Grey-crowned cranes, Double-toothed Barbet, and Black-headed gonolek. We visit Mabamba Swamp, a Ramsar site on Lake Victoria shore for a canoe ride in search of the iconic Shoebill. We move to Lake Mburo National Park with 350 bird species including the rare Red-faced Barbet, African Finfoot, and Papyrus gonolek. Moving to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Echuya Forest Reserve, our quarries even become more enticing; a host of exciting Albertine Rift endemics including the colorful Rwenzori turaco, the beautiful regal sunbird, and handsome francolin live here.

We head to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a World Heritage Site with the most exciting selection of forest birds in Africa including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. Our avian targets include the rare and localized African green broadbill, Black bee-eater, Blue-headed Sunbird, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, and Dusky Crimsonwing. Bwindi is also where half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas live.

After our jungle adventure, we move to Queen Elizabeth Park with 610 species (the largest checklist of any protected area in East Africa) and 95 mammal species; Kibale National Park, the famous home of Chimpanzees with 375 bird species including the rare, elusive, and beautiful Green-breasted pitta, African pitta and Grey parrot; Semuliki National Park with 441 birds in Uganda including 46 Guinea-Congo biome species unknown elsewhere in East Africa such as Congo serpent eagle and Black dwarf hornbill; Budongo Forest with over 360 bird species including the endemic Puvel’s illadopsis and the rare Nahan’s francolin.

Finally, before our 25 days birding safari in Uganda tour draws to a close, we visit Murchison Falls National Park with 451 bird species and 76 mammals of Uganda/animals of Uganda species. Here we’ll undertake a boat cruise on the historic Nile River in search of the Shoebills and other fantastic birds like the Goliath heron and Piapiac. This amazing trip will end with Mabira Forest, a natural evergreen rainforest with 315 bird species.

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25 Days Uganda Birding Safari – PRIME SAFARI ACTIVITIES

  Superb bird watching in several Important Bird Areas of Uganda

  Canoe ride in Mabamba swamp in search of the Shoebill.

  Boat cruises on the historic Nile River, Kazinga Channel, Lake Mburo and Lake Albert

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

  Game viewing in the classic savannah plains of Murchison Falls Park

  Birding hike to the top of the world’s most powerful waterfall

  Experience pristine tropical rainforests

  Discover the spectacular landscapes of Uganda

25 Days Uganda Birding Tour – FEATURED SAFARI DESTINATIONS

  Day 1: Entebbe − Uganda Wildlife Educational Center

  Day 2 & 3: Mabamba Swamp & Lake Mburo National Park

  Day 4, 5 & 6: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park & Echuya Forest Reserve

  Day 7, 8, 9 & 10: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

  Day 11 & 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park

  Day 13 & 14: Forest National Park

  Day 15, 16 & 17: Semliki National Park & Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

  Day 18:  Masindi

  Day 19: Budongo Forest Reserve

  Day 20, 21 & 22: Murchison Falls National Park

  Day 23 & 24: Transfer to Mabira Forest Reserve

  Day 25: Departures

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25 Days Uganda Birding Safari Tour – SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS

Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe & visit Uganda Wildlife Educational Center in the afternoon.

Day 2: Morning birding canoe ride in Mabamba Swamp & transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Make a stop at the Equator en-route.

Day 3: Half-day bird walk & an evening boat ride in Lake Mburo National Park

Day 4: Transfer from Lake Mburo Park to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Day 5: Whole day in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Day 6: Birding excursion from Mgahinga to Echuya Forest Reserve.

Day 7: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park − Ruhija sector.

Day 8:  Birding in Ruhija Sector towards the Mubwindi Swamp

Day 9: Birding from Ruhija to Buhoma sector via the Neck

Day 10: Whole day birding encounter in Buhoma Sector of Bwindi

Day 11: Transfer from Bwindi’s Buhoma sector to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 12: Morning birding in Kasenyi sector & afternoon Kazinga Channel boat cruise in Queen

Day 13: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park & do birding in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

Day 14: Birding & optional Chimpanzee tracking at Kibale Forest National Park

Day 15: Transfer to Semliki National Park & birding along the Sempaya trail.

Day 16: Whole day birding along the Kirumia trail of Semliki National Park

Day 17:  Birding in Semuliki National Park & boat trip on Lake Albert.

Day 18:  Birding excursion to Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Day 19: Transfer from Semuliki to Masindi

Day 20: Whole day birding in Budongo Forest Reserve – Busingiro Area & the Royal Mile

Day 21: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park with Kaniyo Pabidi Site of Budongo

Day 22: Morning private boat cruise to the Nile Delta & bird the Savannah.

Day 23: Birding in the savannah & hike to the top of Murchison Falls.

Day 24: Transfer from Murchison Falls Park to Mabira Forest Reserve

Day 25:  Morning birding in Mabira Forest & transfer to Entebbe for departure flight.

25 Days Uganda Birding Tour – DETAILED SAFARI ITINERARY

Day 1 of the 25 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Arrival in Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) & Visit Uganda Wildlife Educational Center in the Afternoon.

Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport (in the morning), you’ll be met by our company representative who will warmly welcome to Uganda and transfer you to your Hotel in Entebbe for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon at lunch, we’ll go birding at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, formerly known as the Zoo. UWEC is located on the shore of Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical fresh water lake.

It was established in 1952 by the Colonial Government as a reception center for wild animals that were found sick, injured, orphaned, and confiscated from illegal trade. In May 1994 a proposal was made by the New York Zoological Society now the World Conservation Society, to turn it into a conservation education center for conservation awareness purposes; thus the name, Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Bird species we’ll look for here include the Peacock, Common ostrich, Grey-crowned cranes (Uganda’s national bird), African fish eagle, Palm-nut Vulture, African grey parrot, Pink-backed Pelicans, White-chinned Prinia, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Grey Woodpecker, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Double-toothed Barbet, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Eastern grey plantain-Eater, Orange weaver, Black-headed Weaver, Grosbeak Weaver, Black-headed Gonolek, Long-tailed Cormorant, Kingfishers and Egyptian goose, African Firefinch and many more.

We will retire from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Birding in Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

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. 5 km or 20-30 minutes

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding at Uganda Wildlife Centre

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

  • Chimpanzee close-up experience at UWEC
  • Entebbe city tour
  • Birding in Entebbe Botanical Gardens
  • Visiting Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Sundowner boat cruise on Lake Victoria

Day 2: Morning Birding Canoe Ride in Mabamba Swamp. Transfer to Lake Mburo Park with a stop at the Equator En Route.

We’ll enjoy our breakfast at around 6.00 am and embark on the birding journey to Mabamba swamp, a Ramsar site, and an Important Bird Area on the shore of Lake Victoria. The drive from Entebbe to Mabamba takes about 1 hour. On reaching the swamp, we’ll embark on a 4 – 5 hours canoe ride (operated by an expert local bird guide) in search of the Shoebill one of the world’s most bizarre birds.

This wowing gigantic flying bird has one of the biggest bills of all of the birds on planet earth. The huge, bulbous bill, which is straw-colored with erratic greyish markings, is 5 inches wide, about 12 inches long, and looks like a shoe (thus, the name). The beak is complete with a terrifyingly sharp hook, meant to capture Lungfish, Snakes, Nile monitor lizards, and baby Crocodiles.

We’ll also see a variety of other special birds including- Papyrus gonolek, Africa Pygmy goose, Lesser jacana, Gull-bellied tern, Blue-breasted bee-eater, Malachite Kingfisher, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Grey-hooded Gull, Purple Heron, Grey-headed Herons, Squacco Heron, Knob-billed Duck, Long-toed Lapwing,  Carruther’s cisticola, White-winged Warbler, Blue swallow, Pallid harrier, Swamp flycatcher, Palm-nut Vulture, and Viellot’s, Grosbeak, Black-headed, Northern brown-throated, and Clarke’s weavers. We may have the opportunity to encounter the elusive swamp-dwelling Sitatunga Antelope.

We retire from the activity and embark on a drive southwest to Lake Mburo National Park passing small towns along the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara road. On the way, we’ll make a remarkable and memorable stop at the Uganda equator crossing at Kayabwe for photo shoots and water experiments that justify the geographical divide between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. We’ll have our lunch here and then continue with our journey to Lake Mburo.

The highlight of the day: -Encountering the incredible Shoebill stork in Mabamba Swamp on a canoe ride.

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. 243km or 4-5 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding canoe ride in Mabamba Swamp
  • Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Photo session and water experiments at the Uganda Equator.

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day

  • Evening boat cruise on Lake Mburo
  • Night game drive in Lake Mburo

Day 3: Half-Day Bird Walk & An Evening Boat Ride in Lake Mburo National Park.

Today, we’ll have our breakfast at around 7.30 am and then embark on a 4-5 hours birding experience in Lake Mburo Park. The 370km2 park is a superb wetland and Acacia savanna sanctuary which hosts over 350 bird species. 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.

Our top avian targets will be the Red-faced Barbet, only seen here and the endemic African Finfoot. Other targets will include Papyrus gonolek, Rüppell’s starling, Black-billed bustard, Southern ground hornbill, Black-collared barbets, Black-throated barbets, Green-capped eremomela, Blue-headed coucal, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus yellow warbler, African scops owl, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Grey-crowned cranes, Saddle-billed Stork, Brown-chested Lapwing, African-wattled lapwing, African Fish Eagle, Carruthers’s cisticola, Shoebill stork, Yellow-rumped tinkerbird, Narina Trogon, Double-toothed Barbet;

Tabora Cisticola, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Green-capped Eremomela, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Spot-flanked Barbet, Gray Penduline Tit, Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Brown Parrot, Green Wood-hoopoe, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Long-tailed Cisticola, Nubian Woodpecker, White-winged Tit and Yellow-breasted Apalis.

Lake Mburo is also an excellent park for mammals hosting over 68 species. The walking experience will offer an opportunity to explore counts of wild game such as the Rothschild giraffes, the Topis, elands, waterbucks, Buffaloes, Burchell’s Zebra, Impala, and Warthogs.

In the late evening, you undertake a tranquil two-hour boat ride on Lake Mburo to search for the African cousin of the Neotropical Sungrebe, the rare and elusive African Finfoot, and we may even find a White-backed Night-Heron. Retreat from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – The Morning birding experience in the rolling savannah landscapes.

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

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Morning bird walk
  • Afternoon boat ride on Lake Mburo

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

  • Horseback safari
  • Sport fishing
  • Cycling safari
  • Banyankole community tour

Day 4: Transfer from Lake Mburo Park to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

After an early breakfast at around 6.30 am, we’ll check out of the lodge and continue southwest, driving through rural Uganda, where you get a real sense of what life is like here. We head to the scenic Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, situated on the slopes of 3 magnificent extinct volcanoes, part of the 8 majestic chains of free-standing volcanoes known as Virungas that run along the border of Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo on a fault line associated with the same geological process that formed the Great East African Rift Valley about 25 million years ago.

Mgahinga covers an area of 33.7km2. Its varied habitats host over 184 bird species including 14 special Albertine Rift endemic birds including Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Handsome francolin, Dusky Crimsonwing, Red-throated alethe, Stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, regal sunbird, Rwenzori nightjar, Shelly’s Crimsonwing and Archer’s robin-chat.

Other special bird species in Mgahinga include Mountain Yellow warbler, Montane sooty boubou, the Near Threatened Lagden’s bush shrike, Chubb’s cisticola, Pin-tailed Whydah, Firefinch, White-naped Raven, Paradise Flycatcher, Blue-headed coucal, Black-headed waxbill, Mountain buzzard, Mountain greenbul, and Olive Woodpecker.

Mgahinga Park is also home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas and Golden monkeys. As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies, a tribe of hunter-gatherer people.

The highlight of the day: – Aerial scenic views of the countryside landscape.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mount Gahinga Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Lake Chahafi Resort/Traveler’s Rest Kisoro

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: – Approx. 294km or 5-6 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Drive from Lake Mburo Park to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Day 5: Whole Day in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

We’ll start the day with an early breakfast at around 7.30 am and embark on a drive to Ntebeko gate of Mgahinga (trek start point) for our birding encounter. We’ll explore the impressive Sabinyo gorge trail between Mounts Gahinga and Sabinyo. This half-day nature trail ascends through an area of regenerating forest where we’ll have spectacular sightings of the Mountain buzzard, Mountain greenbul, Chubb’s cisticola, various waxbills, and finches.

We continue into the striking stand of atmospheric bamboo forest inhabited by shy Golden monkeys as well as special bird species including the handsome francolin and Kivu ground thrush. We follow a small stream through the lushly forested Sabinyo Gorge to a maximum altitude of around 2,900 meters, crossing several rickety ladders and bridges en route.

The evergreen forest in the gorge is very reliable for the sensational Rwenzori turaco, and it also harbors localized bird species such as Regal Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori double-collard sunbird, Rwenzori batis, Stripe-breasted tit, Lagden’s bush-shrike, Dusky Crimsonwing, Strange Weaver, Olive woodpecker, Western green tinkerbird, African hill babbler, Archer’s robin-chat, Yellow mountain warbler, White starred robin-chat, Montane Sooty Boubou, and Shelly’s Crimsonwing. We will return to the lodging facility for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Encountering several Albertine Rift endemic birds in Mgahinga.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mount Gahinga Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Lake Chahafi Resort/Traveler’s Rest Kisoro

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding along the Sabinyo Gorge trail in Mgahinga National Park

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

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Golden monkey tracking
  • Climbing one of the three volcanoes in the park
  • Cultural encounter with the indigenous Batwa – hunter-gatherers

Day 6: Birding Excursion from Mgahinga & Echuya Forest Reserve.

After breakfast this morning (at around 8.00 am), we’ll pack our lunch and drive to the nearby Echuya Forest Reserve for a birding excursion. On reaching the forest, we will undertake a 3-4 hours birding encounter. Covering an area of 34km2 on the hilly terrain between the spectacular Lake Bunyonyi and Kisoro, Echuya Forest offers a bird checklist of over 150 species with 18 Albertine Rift Endemics.

Our top avian target will be the beautiful Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, White-starred robin, Mountain masked Apalis, Long-tailed barred cuckoo, Shelly’s greenbul, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Rwenzoris batis, and red-throated alethe. The forest slope also encloses the 7km-long Muchuya swamp, which harbors the largest-known population of the globally endangered Grauer’s swamp warbler.

The highlight of the day: – The birding excursion in Echuya Forest Reserve in search of more endemic birds.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mount Gahinga Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Lake Chahafi Resort/Traveler’s Rest Kisoro

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 Activities & services of the day:-

  • Drive from Mgahinga to Echuya Forest
  • Birding in Echuya Forest

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: – Approx. 42km or 1 ½ hour

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

  • Moutain Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga
  • Golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga
  • Volcano climbing in Mgahinga
  • Cultural encounter with Batwa pygmy people

Day 7: Transfer To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park − Ruhija Sector.

After a relaxed breakfast this morning (at around 9.30 am) with incredible views of the Virunga volcanoes, we’ll undertake a very scenic drive from Mgahinga to the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. On the way, we’ll look out for birds like the Handsome Francolin, Olive Pigeon, Western Green Tinkerbird, and many more.

Upon arrival, we’ll check in the lodge, relax and have lunch. In the late afternoon, we will undertake a 2 hours walk along the public road through Ruhija for a chance to see the Dusky Crimsonwing, Lagden’s bush shrike, and handsome francolin. We’ll then retire from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The world-famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage is a true African jungle hosting the exciting selections of forest birds in Africa. This park contains over 350 bird species of which 23 are endemic to the Albertine rift including – the African green broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori nightjar, Dwarf honeyguide, Kivu ground thrush, Red-throated alethe, Archer’s robin-chat, Rwenzori Apalis, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Neumann’s warbler, Rwenzori batis, Stripe-breasted tit, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, Purple breasted sunbird, Dusky Crimsonwing, and Shelly’s Crimsonwing.

Bwindi is also where half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas live along with other 120 mammal species. Besides gorillas that have made the region famous, Bwindi is also home to another 10 species of non-human primates including Chimpanzees, Black-and-white colobus, Ugandan red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, golden monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, vervets, and vulnerable L’Hoest’s monkeys.

In addition to the smaller primates that swing their way through the treetops, other mammals roam the forest paths of Bwindi, including forest elephants, duikers, giant  forest hogs, Bush pigs, Golden cats, Jackals, and Civet

The highlight of the day: – The very scenic drive from Mgahinga to the Ruhija sector of Bwindi.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Ruhija Gorilla Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Gorilla Mist Camp/Bakiga Lodge

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: – Approx. 90km or 3 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Drive from Mgahinga to Ruhija Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Birding along the public road through Ruhija

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

  • Community walk

Day 8: Birding In Ruhija Sector towards the Mubwindi Swamp.

After a hearty breakfast at around 7.00 am, we’ll pack our lunch and embark on a full day of birding exploration through the beautiful hilly forested landscapes of Ruhija to the famous Mubwindi Swamp. We’ll slowly descend several hundred meters from the trailhead to the swampy area that harbors 20 bird species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift.

Our main avian target will be the rare, endangered, and localized Grauer’s Broadbill or African Green Broadbill. This gorgeous, enigmatic bird is only known from two sites in the world, the other being a remote forest in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  We should see plenty of other fantastic birds along the trails, such as Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Rwenzori turaco,  Rwenzori Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori double-collared Sunbird, Regal Sunbird,  Black-billed Turaco,  Dusky Crimsonwing, Carruther’s Cisticola, Olive, Elliot’s and Fine-banded Woodpeckers, 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 and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls.

Many primates roam the canopy including Black-and-white colobus and L’Hoest’s Monkeys. Ruhija is also known to harbor elephants in the vicinity of the Mubwindi swamp. Because of the steep trail, walking sticks are recommended. The option of borrowing walking sticks and hiring porters to carry everything other than binoculars and cameras will be available. We’ll retreat in the evening for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Encounter the rare and amazingly cryptic African green Broadbill.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Ruhija Gorilla Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Gorilla Mist Camp/Bakiga Lodge

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Full-day birding encounter in Ruhija and Mubwindi Swamp

The optional activity you can choose to do on this day:-

  • Mountain gorilla trekking

Day 9: Birding From Ruhija to Buhoma Sector of Bwindi through the Neck.

We’ll have our breakfast at around 8.30 am, and again with our packed lunch, embark on birding exploration to the Buhoma sector of Bwindi. This part of Bwindi is at a lower elevation by a whole eight hundred meters below sea level. It is simply a super good birding site. Along the way, we’ll look colorful but skulking Doherty’s Bushshrike, the skittish vine dwelling Albertine Boubou, Archer’s Robin-chat, the brightly-colored White-starred Robin, cute-looking Kandt’s Waxbills, Streaky Seed-eaters and Strange Weavers.

We continue towards Buhoma through the famous “Neck” a narrow strip of forest that connects the southern and northern portions of the national park. Here we have our first chance to find some specialties of lower elevation rainforest, which include the striking Ross’s turaco or Lady Ross’s turaco, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Black sparrowhawk, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Cassin’s honeybird, White-chinned Prinia, Dapper brown-capped weaver, Pink-footed puff back, the rare Tiny Sunbird, the noisy Chubb’s Cisticola and a bounty of difficult-to-identify greenbuls.

By the afternoon, we’ll arrive at Buhoma for a two-night stay. We relax at the lodge, and enjoy our dinner and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – The rewarding birding expedition from Ruhija to Buhoma via The Neck.

Accommodation:-

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

Midrange/Moderate: – Haven Lodge Buhoma/Silverback Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding to Buhoma sector via the Neck

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

  • Mountain gorilla trekking in Ruhija
  • Visit the Batwa Pygmy people and observe their ways of living

Day 10: Whole Day Birding Encounter in Buhoma Sector of Bwindi.

We’ll have our breakfast at around 7.00 am and embark on a search for the avian wealth of Bwindi’s Buhoma sector, following the magical waterfall trail. We’ll either have a packed lunch somewhere in the forest today or return to the lodge for lunch before birding in the afternoon again.

Birding highlights will include Bar-tailed Trogon, Grauer’s Warbler, Kivu (Abyssinian) ground thrush, Handsome francolin, Black bee-eater, Red-throated Alethe, African Broadbill, Dusky tit, Sooty Flycatcher, Banded Prinia, Neumann’s Warbler, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Northern double-collared Sunbird, Brown-caped Weaver, Yellow-billed and Yellow-spotted Barbets, Ayre’s Hawk-eagle, Black-and-white Shrike Flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Magpie Mannikin, Brown-throated Wattle-eyes, Tullberg’s Woodpeckers, Ansorge’s greenbul and Jameson’s Antpecker.

We’ll also see a variety of primates including Black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s, and blue and red-tailed monkeys. We’ll retire from the activity for relaxation dinner and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Encountering several fantastic Albertine rift endemic birds in Buhoma.

Accommodation:-

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

Midrange/Moderate: – Haven Lodge Buhoma/ Silverback Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Full-day birding in Buhoma

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

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

Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

We start our day with a slightly later breakfast today (at around 9.00 am). We’ll leave the montane forests for a high habitat diverse park, known as Queen Elizabeth National Park. We’ll drive through Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen, popularly known for its tree-climbing lions.

You will be birding along the way and in Ishasha, we’ll look for Yellow Bishop, Southern Red Bishop, Red-collared Widowbird, Augur Buzzard, Grey-capped Warbler, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Black-headed waxbill, Senegal Coucal, Red Chested Cuckoo and African Long Crested Eagle plus much more.

Queen Elizabeth Park is named after the Queen of England who visited it in 1952. It is the second-largest Uganda safari park, situated on the floor of the Albertine rift valley in a fertile, equatorial area, and has beautiful scenery.

This impressive park features a fabulously diverse landscape: grassy savannah plains, tropical rainforests, moist acacia woodlands, natural volcanic crater lakes, freshwater lakes, and a variety of wetland habitats. As a result, it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any nature reserve in the world, including 610 bird species and 95 mammal species.

Serious birders will be treated to special birds of this park including Blue Quail, Harlequin Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, African Crake, Martial Eagle, White-winged Warbler, African Skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Papyrus Gonolek, Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Shoebill, Black Bee-eater, Caruthers’s Cisticola, Terek Sandpiper, Secretary bird, and Temminck’s Courser.

Mammals include Lions, Leopards, African elephants, Spotted hyenas, Chimpanzees, Giant Forest hogs, Warthogs, Hippos, Side-striped jackal, Olive baboons, Defassa waterbuck, Bushbuck, Uganda kobs, and Topis.

The highlight of the day: – The scenic drive from Bwindi to Queen Elizabeth National Park and birding along the way.

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

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

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 12: Morning Birding & Afternoon on Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise in Queen Elizabeth Park.

We start our day with an early breakfast at 6.30 am. We embark on a 3–4 hours birding expedition along the Kasenyi plains game tracks as we enjoy the very scenic view and amazing equatorial Africa sunrise, great game, and the birds that this park protects.

We’ll look for special bird species such as Bateleur, Africa’s most spectacular raptor, Grey Kestrel, Grey-crowned Crane, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Helmeted guinea fowls, Red-necked Francolin, African Crake, Senegal Lapwing, Black Coucal, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Southern Red Bishop, Marsh Tchagra, Flappet, Red-capped, and White-tailed Larks. There are also 10 species of cisticolas we’ll look and listen for including the Croaking, Red-faced, Trilling, Carruther’s, and Stout. Mammals will also be a highlight of today’s excursion. We retire from the activity for relaxation and lunch.

In the afternoon, we take a stunning 2 hours birding/game boat ride along the 40km long Kazinga Channel which connects lakes, Edward and George. This boat ride is a very productive one that none can easily compare. This is the kind of boat ride where you view big game like African bus Elephants, African Buffalo, Crocodiles, and hundreds of Hippos at the closest quarters possible.

We shall see several fantastic waterbirds such as African Open-billed, Yellow-billed, Saddle-billed and Marabou Storks, African spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Wattled Lapwing, Water Thick-knee, Pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmer, Great Cormorant, Madagascar Bee-eater, and Red-throated bee-eater. We’ll return to the lodge for relaxation dinner and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – The afternoon birding boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel.

Accommodation:-

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

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 13: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park and Do Birding In Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

After breakfast at around 8.00 am, we’ll drive to Kibale National Park. We’ll drive as we bird along the way looking for species like Moustached Grass Warbler, Red-faced Cisticola, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Black-crowned Tchagra, and White-headed Barbet at the roadside. We continue to Kibale National Park, reaching in the afternoon. We’ll check in our lodge, have lunch and embark on a birding fascination in the Sebitoli Sector of Kibale.

Kibale National Park is famous as the best place in the world to see chimpanzees (our closest living relatives) in their natural habitat. Kibale harbors incredible biodiversity, and besides over 1500 chimps that reside here, contains 12 other primate species, a total of 60 mammal species, and 375 bird species including 6 that are endemic to the Albertine rift region.

Special bird species here include the Green-breasted Pitta, African pitta, Afep pigeon, African grey parrot, Black bee-eater, Blue-headed bee-eater, Black-eared ground thrush, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Blue-headed Sunbird, Brown illadopsis, Brown-chested alethe, Cassin’s spinetail, Crowned eagle, Dusky Crimsonwing, Masked Apalis, Nahan’s francolin, Purple-breasted sunbird, Red-chested owlet, Red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori Apalis, Scaly-breasted illadopsis, Western nicator, White-naped Pigeon, Yellow-rumped tinkerbird and Little Greenbul.

The highlight of the day: – Birding in on the spectacular Mweya peninsular

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Crater Safari Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge/Primate Lodge Kibale

Midrange/Standard: – Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse/Kibale Forest Camp/Turaco Tree Tops

Budget/Basic: – Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – 157km or 3 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer to Kibale National Park
  • Birding in the Sebitoli Sector

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

Day 14: Birding & Optional Chimpanzee Tracking At Kibale Forest National Park.

We have breakfast at 6.00 am and transfer to the Kanyanchu area for a wonderful birding experience. Our top avian target is the rare Green-breasted Pitta, one of Africa’s ultimate avian prizes. As the pittas tend to display most reliably at sunrise, we’ll be out well before first light to position ourselves in a known and active territory.

As we search for these gorgeous birds, we’ll encounter a variety of other birds and several primates including Uganda red colobus, L ’Hoest’s monkey, Black-and-white colobus, Red-tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, and Olive baboons. We retire from the activity for relaxation and lunch. After lunch, we will continue with birding in the afternoon or opt for the chimpanzee tracking encounter.

The optional chimpanzee tracking encounter that we offer on this 25 days Uganda safari is an undoubted highlight and we can honestly highly recommend that you choose this option. Chimpanzee tracking starts promptly at 2.00 pm from Kanyanchu Visitor Centre. The encounter commences with a briefing from the excellent park rangers who will be our guides for the activity. After the briefing, we head to the forest in search of our closest cousin.

This activity lasts about 3-4 hours and over the years has had a 95% success rate of seeing some of the 1,500 individuals in Kibale. The Chimpanzees have been fully habituated and thus offer you an opportunity to draw quite close to them and take pictures. Viewing them as they munch fruit, swinging in trees, socializing, patrolling, mating, and making hooting calls is an unforgettable experience that you will treasure forever.

You have a full hour to enjoy these precious creatures and you are free to take as many photos as you wish!

Retire from the activity for relaxation dinner and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Encountering the rare Green-breasted pitta, one of the most sought-after African birds.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Crater Safari Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge/Primate Lodge Kibale

Midrange/Standard: – Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse/Kibale Forest Camp/Turaco Tree Tops

Budget/Basic: – Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – 157km or 3 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Kibale National Park

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

  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
  • Bird walk in the community-run Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Night walk in Kibale in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Potto, Bushbaby, Nightjar, Tree hyrax, Civet, and Serval cats.

Day 15: Transfer to Semliki National Park & Birding along the Sempaya Trail.

We’ll start with a hearty breakfast at around 8.00 am and then transfer to Semuliki National Park, situated next to Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo next to the scenic Lake Albert. We’ll pass through the town of Fort Portal which is one of the organized beautiful towns of Uganda before proceeding to the Bundibugyo area welcomed by the views of the Rwenzori Mountains or ‘Mountains of the Moon’.

The 220 km² Semuliki National Park is the only tract of true lowland tropical forest in East Africa. It is a true birder’s haven hosting over 441 bird species including 66% of all forest bird species in Uganda.

There are numerous rarities including 46 Guinea-Congo biome species found nowhere else in East Africa such as Congo serpent eagle, Nkulengu rail, Long-tailed hawk, Maxwell’s black weaver, Blue-billed malimbe, Lyre-tailed honeyguide, Black dwarf honeyguide, and Zenker’s Honeyguide. On reaching the park, we’ll check-in in our lodge, relax, and have our lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll undertake a birding walk along the famous Sempaya trail.

This 2-4 hour hike starts from Sempaya Information Centre. It will take us trail will take us to a cluster of bubbling hot springs at Sempaya. Take care, the emerging water has a temperature of more than 100°C and the surrounding pool is hot! Eggs and matooke (green plantain) can be cooked in these boiling waters and enjoyed by hungry hikers!

Among the more interesting birds regularly seen on this trail are the Piping Hornbill, Red-billed dwarf hornbill, Black dwarf hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued wattled hornbill, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Red-rumped tinkerbird, Yellow-throated tinkerbird, Frasier’s ant-thrush and Honeyguide greenbul. We will also see primates such as Red-tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, and Black-and-white colobus monkeys. We’ll retire from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Birding along the Sempaya trail in Semuliki National Park

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Semuliki Safari Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Nyati Game Lodge

Budget/Basic: – UWA Bandas Ntoroko/UWA Bandas Bumaga

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: – Approx. 78km or 2 – 3 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer from Bwindi to Semuliki National Park

Day 16: Whole Day Birding Along the Kirumia Trail of Semliki National Park.

We have our breakfast at around 7.30 am, pack our lunch and embark on a full day birding adventure in Semuliki along Kirumia trail. This 13 kilometer trail passes through north from Kirumia on the main Bundibugyo road to the banks of Semuliki River, crossing Kirumia River twice, as well as passing a succession of forest-fringed ox-bow lakes.

The first 4 kilometers, as far as the first crossing of the Kirumia River passes through the secondary and riparian forest where African Piculet, Long-Tailed Hawk, Red-Sided Broad Bill, Black-Faced Rufous Warbler, Lemon Billed Crombec and several other special bird species are always spotted.

About 30 bird species associated with ox-bow lakes and their environs, but unlikely to be seen elsewhere in Uganda can also be seen here including Nkulengu Rail, Spot-Breasted Ibis, Black-Throated Coucal, Yellow-Throated Cuckoo, Lyre Tailed Honeyguide, Grey Ground Thrush, Blue-Billed Malimbe, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Grant’s Bluebill, Hartlaub’s Duck and White-Throated Blue Swallow, Hartlaub’s Duck and White-Throated Blue Swallow are resident on Semuliki River.

This trail is an 8 hours round trip from the park headquarters at Ntandi and starts at 8:00 am. Retire from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Exploring the magical Kirumia trail in search of the special birds of Semuliki.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Semuliki Safari Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Nyati Game Lodge

Budget/Basic: – UWA Bandas Ntoroko/UWA Bandas Bumaga

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Full day birding in Semuliki − Kirumia trail

Optional activities you can choose on this day include:-

  • Cultural visit to the Batwa pygmy community at Ntandi

Day 17: Birding In Semuliki National Park & Boat Trip on Lake Albert.

After breakfast (at around 8.00 am), we’ll embark on another whole day birding encounter in Semuliki following the Sempaya trail. About 8km long, this trail takes a 2-4 hours hike and starts from Sempaya Information Centre. This trail will take us to a cluster of bubbling hot springs at Sempaya. Ringed by forests and palm trees and veiled in a cloud of steam, these springs are a primeval, evocative site.

The hour-long trail to the outer, “male” spring leads through a patch of forest where Red-tailed monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, and Black-and-white colobus monkeys are common.

A 30-minute hike through palm forest from the main road leads to the inner, “female” spring, dominated by a boiling geyser. Take care, the emerging water has a temperature of more than 100°C and the surrounding pool is hot! Eggs and matooke (green plantain) can be cooked in these boiling waters and enjoyed by hungry hikers!

Among the more interesting birds regularly seen on this trail are the Piping Hornbill, Red-billed dwarf hornbill, Black dwarf hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued wattled hornbill, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Red-rumped tinkerbird, Yellow-throated tinkerbird, Frasier’s ant-thrush and Honeyguide greenbul. We’ll retire from the activity for relaxation and lunch.

In the afternoon, we will undertake a 2 hours boat ride on Lake Albert. We will have a chance to spot the rare, elusive, and majestic Shoebill, as well as crocodiles, hippos, waterfowl, and several other birds. Retire from the activity for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – The birding boat trip on the scenic Lake Albert

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Semuliki Safari Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Nyati Game Lodge

Budget/Basic: – UWA Bandas Ntoroko/UWA Bandas Bumaga

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Semuliki − Sempaya trail
  • Boat ride on Lake Albert

Optional activities you can choose on this day include:-

  • Visit Batwa pygmy community at Ntandi

Day 18: Birding Excursion to Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve.

We’ll have our breakfast (at around 8.30 am) and embark on a whole day birding excursion Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve for a birding excursion. Originally gazetted in 1932, the 543km2 Toro-Semuliki is Uganda’s oldest wildlife reserve. Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve is highly alluring for birdwatchers, hosting over 425 bird species.

Our avian targets here will include the Shoebill, Abyssinian ground hornbill, African crake, African pygmy goose, Black-billed Barbet, Blue-breasted bee-eater, Black-chinned quail finch, Black coucal, Broad-billed roller, Double-toothed Barbet, Green wood-hoopoe, Leaf-love, Marsh Tchagra, Moustached grass-warbler, Pennant, Piapiac, Red-necked falcon, Red-throated bee-eater, Standard-winged nightjar and African openbill, Great-white pelican.

We will also see several mammals including Ugandan kobs, Buffalos, Elephant, Waterbuck, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, Olive baboons, Red-tailed monkeys, and Vervet monkeys. Retire from the activity and transfer to the lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – The fully birding encounter in Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Semuliki Safari Lodge

Midrange/Moderate: – Nyati Game Lodge

Budget/Basic: – UWA Bandas Ntoroko/UWA Bandas Bumaga

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve

Optional activities you can choose on this day include:-

  • Visit Batwa pygmy community at Ntandi
  • Morning boat ride on Lake Albert

Day 19: Transfer from Semuliki to Masindi.

We have a relaxed breakfast at around 9.00 am and then embark on the drive to Masindi town (gate away to Budongo Forest). We’ll be birding along the way at multiple locations. Lunch will be en route and dinner at the lodge. Budongo Forest Reserve covers an area of 825km2. It hosts an avian wealth of over 360 bird species, 800 chimpanzees, and several monkeys.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Masindi hotel

Midrange/Moderate: – Kabalega Resort Hotel

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive distance & time: – Approx. 247km or 5-6 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer from Bugoma to Masindi

Day 20: Whole Day Birding In Budongo Forest Reserve Busingiro Area & the Royal Mile.

After an early breakfast at around 8.00 am, we’ll pack our lunch and undertake a full-day birding expedition in the Busingiro Area and around the Royal Mile, one of Uganda’s prime birding spots. This part of the country has range-restricted specialties that the only other place to be found would be DR Congo.

Uganda’s 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.

The 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 21: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park with Kaniyo Pabidi Site of Budongo.

After breakfast at around 7.30 am, we’ll pack our lunch and transfer to the country’s largest national park, Murchison Falls National park which covers over 3,840km2. This park is blessed with a high diversity of habitats, the world’s most powerful waterfalls, the mighty river Nile River and a collection of classic African wildlife including over 451 bird species and 76 species of mammals.

On the way to Murchison, we’ll undertake a 3- 4 birding encounter in the Kaniyo Pabidi site of Budongo. Among the special bird species to look for is the Puvel’s Illadopsis which is quite common here, but known in 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’ll have our lunch and continue to Murchison. On the, we’ll pass through lots of wild countries with an open palm savanna, and along the way, we may find birds like Piapiac, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and Senegal Lapwing. We connect to the lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – Birding in the Kaniyo Pabidi sector of Budongo

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:-

  • Birding in the Kaniyo Pabidi sector of Budongo
  • Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

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

  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kaniyo Pabidi

Day 22: Morning Private Boat Cruise to the Nile Delta & Bird the Savannah.

At around 6.30 am, we’ll have our breakfast and then connect to Paraa jetty for an early morning 4 – 5 hours private boat ride to the Delta Area. The cruise offers you a magical touch of the world’s longest Nile River as it slows down while entering Lake Albert. This voyage offers the best opportunity anywhere in Africa to see the Shoebill, one of the world’s most bizarre birds. This gray statuesque leviathan haunts papyrus swamps searching for lethargic lungfish and bay crocodiles.

Other amazing birds to find on this trip include the well-named Goliath heron, the weird Piapiac, the regal Grey crowned-crane, Saddle-billed stork, African fish-eagle, Senegal Thick-knee, Spur-winged Lapwings, African Jacana, African Skimmers and Giant, Pied and Malachite kingfishers

With luck, we may see the rare Pel’s Fishing-Owl and Red-necked Falcon that frequents the palm trees lining the riverbanks. In addition to the profusion of birds, we’ll see large numbers of impressive Crocodiles, Hippos, Elephants, Waterbucks, and Buffalo at close range.

The boat cruise will be followed by an extensive drive in the evening as we search for special birds like Abyssinian ground hornbill, Secretary Bird, Black-bellied Bustard, Denham’s Bustard, and Heuglin’s Francolin, Black-breasted Snake-Eagle, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Black-headed Lapwing and Black-backed Cisticola.

Whistling thorn thickets are home to Shelley’s Sparrow, Speckle-fronted Weaver, and Rattling Cisticola, and other birds in wooded areas may include Black-billed Wood Dove, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Nubian Woodpecker, and Black Scimitarbill. Mammals are well represented and we’ll have the possibility of encountering Lions, Leopards, Giraffes, and more.

The highlight of the day: – Encountering the Shoebill on the morning 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:-

  • Early morning birding boat cruise to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta
  • Birding in the savannah landscape

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

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

Day 23: Birding In the Savannah & Hike to the Top of the Murchison Falls.

We have our breakfast and undertake a 3-4 hours birding adventure in the classic savannah plains to explore the treasures of Uganda’s National park. To do it to the coolest, we’ll start early and explore these vast savannahs as we scan through all the acacia trees and the plentiful Borassus palm.

Birds to look for include Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary birds, Hooded Vulture, Heuglin’s Francolin, Spotted Thick-knee, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, and Black-bellied Bustard plus much more. Possible mammal sights include African lions, Rothschild’s giraffes, Elephants, Buffalos, Jackson’s hartebeest, Oribi, and Uganda Kobs among others.

We’ll retire from the activity for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll embark on a birding hike of Murchison Falls. These falls are arguably the world’s most powerful! They’re not very big or wide like some you may have seen before but think of the world’s longest river which is 50 meters wide squeezing through a narrow cleft of up to 7 meters and a fall 45 meters 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 return to the lodge for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

The highlight of the day: – The birding hike to the top of the Murchison Falls.

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
  • Birding hike to the top of the falls

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

  • Boat cruise to the bottom of the falls
  • Bush breakfast
  • Hot air balloon safari
  • Spot fishing
  • Cultural tour

Day 24: Transfer to Mabira Forest Reserve.

After breakfast at around 6.30, we will embark on a drive east to the Mabira Forest Reserve. This huge and beautiful forest reserve is about 306 km2 in size and is the most significant forest reserve closest to Kampala city.

Mabira Forest is home to over 300 bird species including a number of rarities such as the pretty Tit Hylia which is known to exist in only two places in East Africa. It is one of the few places in Uganda where the localized Forest wood-hoopoe, African pitta, Red-tailed leaflove, Weyn’s weaver, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, and Nahan’s francolin which is an IUCN Red list’ endangered species are regularly seen.

We will also look for striking Great blue turaco, Grey Parrot, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Purple-throated cuckoo shrikes, Illadopsises, Jameson’s wattle eyes, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Sabine’s Spinetail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, African Shrike-flycatcher, Forest Robin and Fire-crested Alethe. You will have a picnic lunch in the forest. You settle for relaxation, dinner, and overnight.

Accommodation:-

Upmarket/Luxury: – Mabira Rain Forest Lodge

Budget / Basic: – Griffin Falls Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 99.9km or 2½ -3 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer from Entebbe to Mabira Forest
  • Forest walks in search of birds

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

  • Zip lining
  • Mountain biking
  • Primate viewing
  • Visiting Sezibwa falls

Day 25: Morning Birding In Mabira Forest & Transfer to Entebbe for Departure Flight.

After a cup of coffee at around 8.00 am, we will embark on a 3-4 hours birding encounter in Mabira Forest. We’ll look for species such as Brown-chested Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Forest Robin, Yellow-lored Bristlebill, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, and a glimpse of Red-headed Bluebill, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-billed Turaco, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike and Lowland Sooty Boubou. We will have our lunch at the lodge and transfer to Entebbe for the departure flight.

Meal Plan: – Breakfast & lunch

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 99.9km or 2 -3 hours

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Transfer to the Entebbe International Airport for departure flight

End of the 25 Uganda Birding Safari

25 Days Uganda Birding Safari −SAFARI INCLUSIONS

   Full Board Accommodation on Safari

   Transportation in either 4X4 Safari Van or 4X4 Safari Land Cruiser all with Pop up roof & AC

   Fuel

   Professional English Speaking driver guide. Any other foreign language speaking guide can be arranged on request.

   Entrance fees to the tourist sites including Protected areas mentioned

   Activity fees of the tourist activities mentioned

   Bottled water while on safari

25 Days Uganda Birding Tour −SAFARI EXCLUSIONS

   General tips for the driver guide, site guides and service staff at the lodges

   Laundry Services

   Other Beverages/drinks of personal nature like Alcohol

   International Flights (Arranged on request)

   Domestic Flights (Arranged on request)

   Visas

   Optional Activity fees

   Other extras not mentioned in the Itinerary

   Airport Transfer (Arranged on request)