15 Days Uganda Birding Safari, Chimps, Gorillas & Wildlife

The Legendary Shoebill - Uganda Birding Safari and Birdwatching Tour

The Legendary Shoebill

Uganda Birding, Chimps in Kibale, Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi and Wildlife Safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda Birding; If there is one place that has been blessed with plenty of birds in the world , its non other than the Great pearl of Africa . you will come close to all kinds of beautiful birds while on this trip.You will visit, the Mabamba bay, Murchison falls where by variety of birds like the stork shoe bills, pelican bee-eaters, shallow, sprawls, warbler will be spotted! Other activities encountered on this trip include the game drives, boat ride, chimp trekking, gorilla tracking and much more.

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe

Upon arrival you will be picked by our guide. Given time we shall bird around the university hill. Special birds here include; African hobby, Speckled Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, Brown and Grey Parrot, Klaas’s, Dederick and Leivellants Cuckoo, Fork Tailed Drongo, Brown Crowned Tchagra, white Chinned Prinia Black-headed Gynolek, to mention but a few. Dinner and overnight at Anderita Beach Hotel, Papyrus Guesthouse Entebbe,, Gately Inn Entebbe.

Day 2: Mabamba Bay Birding

Early breakfast and then transfer to Mabamba Swamp 50 kms west of Kampala. Bird en-route to the swamps lookout for papyrus specials such as the Papyrus Gynolek, White winged warbler, Northern brown Throated, Weyns weaver to mention but a few. Move to Mabamba swamps most of the birding here is done canoeing as we look out for the rare Shoebill Stork, African Water rail, Allen’s and Purple Gallinule (swamphen) Squacco, Goliath, Purple, Grey Herons, a variety of Egrets, ducks. There are also chances of encountering the elusive Statungas Antelope adapted to swampy habitats. Return to lodge for Dinner and overnight. Anderita Beach Hotel, Papyrus Guesthouse Entebbe,, Gately Inn Entebbe.

Day 3 – 4: Birding Lake Mburo National Park

Have breakfast and head to Uganda’s smallest savanna park covering an area of 260sq km and is home to many zebras, Elands Impalas and Topi. It has got a mosaic habitat of rock outcrops, dry hillside, open and wooded savanna, forests, galleries, swamps. A variety of habitats have contributed to the avifauna diversity and 313 bird species have been recorded in the park including; Red faced barbet, Long tailed Cisticola (Tabora), Papyrus yellow warbler, African finfoot, Northern Brubru, Rofous bellied and white backed night heron, Black collared barbet, Brown chested plover, White winged tit, Northern brown throated weaver, White winged warbler. Dinner and overnight at your lodge of booking.

  • Luxury: Mihingo Lodge/ Mantana Lake Mburo Camp/ Arcadia Cottages
  • Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rakobo Rock
  • Budget: Eagles Nest Camp
  • Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 5 – 7: Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Bwindi is the Bird watchers paradise! It holds 348 species of birds and Contains 90% of all Albertine rift Endemic such as; the Short-tailed, Rusty-faced woodland and Grauer’s Rush Warblers, Bar-tailed Trogon, Wilcock’s Honey-guide, Yellow-eyed black Flycatcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, Dusky Crimson Wing, White-tailed Blue Monarch among others, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa. An experienced bird watcher can identify up to 100 species in a day. Stay at Gorilla Resort or Lake Kitandara Luxury Tented Camp. Gorilla tracking is an activity not to be missed in this area in due course of our stay in the forest.

  • Lower Budget: Gorilla Valley Lodge/ Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro)
  • Moderate: Gorilla Safari Lodge/ Chameleon Hill Resort/ Mutanda Lake Resort
  • Up-market: Volcanoes Mgahinga Lodge/ Rushaga Gorillas Safari Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8-9: Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, we will drive to QENP with several birding hotspots, a game drive in Ishasha might be rewarding as we look out for the tree climbing lions and savannah specials we later arrive in the evening at Mweya Safari Lodge. Birding to the lodge this evening as we search for the African Hoopoe, Southern Red Bishop, Red Collared Widowbird and others as we drive to the lodge for dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

  • Luxury Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge: Katara Lodge/ Jacana Lodge 
  • Mid-range moderate: Bush Lodge (in rooms) / Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge
  • Budget facility: Kazinga Channel View Lodge/ Simba Safari Camp in tents/ Bush Lodge in tents  
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Day of Birding

Full day birding, in the Park and the hostel gardens, which are very good for Grey-headed Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Black-headed Gynolek, Grey-capped Warbler, Slender-billed Weaver and Brimstone Canary. We take an early morning game drive towards the famous Kasenyi Track, winding through grassland dotted with trees and nearby crater lakes. Our main aim is to locate Lions and other mammals including Hartebeest, Buffalo, Ugandan Kob (an antelope that resembles impalas), Oribi, Waterbuck, Bushbuck and family groups of African Elephants.

Along the road we may find Scaly Francolin, Red-necked Spur fowl, several plovers, Harlequin Quail and Common Button-quail. Larks are numerous and include Rufous-naped, Flappet and the local White-tailed. Raptors include Martial Eagle, Banded Snake Eagles and Bateleur. In the afternoon we embark on a boat trip down the Kazinga Channel.

This incredible area for water birds will afford stunning views of Pink-backed Pelican, Saddle-billed Stork, Hamerkop, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Water Thick-knee, African Skimmer and over-summering Palearctic shorebirds. In the evening before dinner we will try a night drive with in the peninsular searching for Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, as well as owls. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight.

  • Luxury Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge: Katara Lodge/ Jacana Lodge 
  • Mid-range moderate: Bush Lodge (in rooms) / Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge
  • Budget facility: Kazinga Channel View Lodge/ Simba Safari Camp in tents/ Bush Lodge in tents  
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Birding-Kibale National Park

After breakfast, you will be driven to Kibale National Park birding on the way with our lunch boxes. This is a few hours’ drive and therefore birding along the way or afternoon birding in the forest is fruitful.

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge                                               
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Kibale National Park

This day will be spent at the Kibale NP with activities mainly being birding and Chimp tracking. After breakfast, we assemble at the chimp tracking briefing ground, where we will learn all the required procedures. It is not strenuous, but can sometimes take longer depending on our luck. Lunch will be organized according to the trend of the day’s activities, either picnic lunch or a hot menu lunch.

Kibale Conservation Area holds a good list of both special primates and birds. These include Chimpanzee, Red Colobus Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Red-tailed Monkey and Galagos. The forest is also home to the Scaly Francolin, Marsh Tchagra, Black-bellied Seed cracker, Green-backed Twinspot, Bicoloured Manikin, White-napped Pigeon, Afep Pigeon, Narina’s Trogon, Joyful Greenbul, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black Bee-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Scaly-throated Honeyguide and Black-faced Rufous Warbler. Dinner and overnight will be once again at Kibale Primate Lodge.

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kibale forest/Kyaninga lodge                                               
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Birding to Murchison Falls NP

Early breakfast, drive to Murchison Falls National Park birding on the way and carry packed lunch or have lunch at Hoima Kolping hotel. This is a long drive with less birding. Dinner and overnight at Paraa lodge/Nile safari lodge/Fort Murchison lodge.

  • Up-Market: Paraa Safari Lodge
  • Moderate: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/ Pakuba Lodge
  • Low Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (Tents) / Murchison River Lodge (Tents)/ red chilli rest camp
  • Meals Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Murchison Falls National Park

Today, we will spend the whole day birding at Murchison Falls National Park. After breakfast we cross the river for a game and birding drive on the northern section of the mighty River Nile. Lunch at Paraa Safari Lodge and after lunch we shall, proceed for a boat cruise to the bottom of the fall. Key species of this park includes, Pel’s Fish-owl, Standard-winged, Pennant-winged and Long-tailed Nightjar, Carmine Bee-eater, Brown-backed Woodpecker, African Black Scimitar bill, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Spotted Morning thrush, Silver bird, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Bronze-tailed Starling, Beautiful Sunbird, Northern Red Bishop, Rock Pratincole, Four-banded Sand grouse, White-rumped Seedeater, Black-billed Barbet, Green-headed Olive back, White-fronted Black Chat, Cabanis’s and Brown-rumped Bunting, Black-rumped Waxbill and Bar-breasted Fire finch among others.

  • Up-Market: Paraa Safari Lodge
  • Moderate: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/ Pakuba Lodge
  • Low Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (Tents) / Murchison River Lodge (Tents)/ red chilli rest camp
  • Meals Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Birding to Kampala

Leave Murchison Falls National Park birding all the way to Kampala with lunch en-route. Dinner and overnight at Anderita Beach Hotel, Papyrus Guesthouse Entebbe,, Gately Inn Entebbe Meal plan: F/B

Day 15: Departure

You will have a city tour and lunch and then you will be driven to the airport to board your flight back home. End of the trip.

The safari includes:

-Airport transfers
-Accommodation and meals as per itinerary
-Chimpanzee permit
-Bigodi walk
-Game drives
-En-route lunches
-Gorilla permit
-Visit Lake Bunyonyi
-Bird watching
-Visit Mabamba and Mubwindi swamps

The package excludes:

The expenses of personal nature like: Air fare, Uganda Visa, Luxury drinks, laundry, tips to local guides, telephone, and porter fee while trekking, personal insurance, personal shopping bills and cigarettes and any other item not mentioned above.

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