8 Days Birding in Uganda Safari
Uganda is the richest African Birding Destination with over 1090 bird species. 50% of all Africa’s bird species are found in Uganda, therefore, making Uganda a birding paradise. Uganda has 25 Albertine Endemics with only 1 Endemic Bird Species Fox’s Weaver.
The 23 Albertine Endemic birds are: Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, and Shelley’s Crimsonwing.
The Birding in Uganda Safari is a double adventure score that takes you wildlife viewing while feeding your inner birding yarn to some of the major Uganda Safari destinations; Murchison Falls National Park, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, QENP, Bigodi Swamp, Gorilla Trekking in Misty Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Bunyonyi for the top birding experience.
Below is the Birding in Uganda safari adventure itinerary:
- Ground transportation in a safari customized 4WD with gasoline/fuel,
- Mineral water in the vehicle,
- Services of an English speaking Driver/guide,
- Accommodation as shown at the lodges mentioned in the itinerary,
- Meals as shown (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner),
- All Park Entrance Fees,
- International Airfares; Excess baggage charges;
- Ugandan Entry Visa Fees
- International travel Vaccinations and Inoculations;
- Items of personal nature such us Room service,
- Beverages, Communications charges (telephone, fax, internet), Laundry, etc.;
- Postage fees, Porterage fees, Tips and Gratuities for your Driver/guide and Hotels staff,
- Shopping charges for Curios and Crafts,
- International Airport Departure Taxes,
- Optional activities unless specified as included,
- Any other services not expressly shown in the itinerary or indicated as included.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL – KAMPALA 15mins
Welcome to the Pearl of Africa! Arrival at Entebbe Airport where you will be welcomed by a company representative and transferred to your hotel in Kampala. Overnight at Karibu Guest House D
DAY 2: MABAMBA SWAMP & BOTANTICAL GARDENS
Early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork. Look for the rare Shoebill Stork in marsh. Also watch for the; Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamp hen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling-duck, Squacco, Rufous-bellied and Purple Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, Black Crake, African Marsh Harrier, Hammerkop, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Common Waxbill, Yellow-billed Duck, Blue-headed Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Intermediate Egret, Osprey, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, and Red-billed Fire-finch.
You will have lunch and thereafter head to the Botanical gardens, look out for the Grey Kestrel, Golden –backed weaver, Slender –billed and forest birds including the splendid Ross’s,the Great blue Turacco, palm Nut vulture, African Grey parrot and Whilst bat Hawk. Dinner and Overnight at Karibu Guest House B-L-D
DAY 3: KAMPALA – QUEEN ELIZABETH NP 7 hours
After breakfast, head to Queen Elizabeth National Park with a stopover at the Uganda Equator for a water flow demonstration of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Proceed for Lunch in Mbarara Town thereafter head to the park arriving in the evening for relaxation. Dinner and Overnight at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (B-L-D)
Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen’s great variety of habitats mean it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park, and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the DR Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.
DAY 4: GAME DRIVE & CRUISE AT KAZINGA CHANNEL
Arise early and set out for an early morning game drive and head to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. You will search for lions, elephants, buffaloes, and other wild animals in their natural habitat before returning to the camp. Look out for some bird species such as African Wattled Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser, Martial Eagle, African Crake, Flappet Lark, and Moustached Grass Warbler among others.
After lunch, you will take on a scenic boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. The channel is a birders’ haven with up to 60 different bird species, on average to be sighted. Look out for the African Skimmer, Gull-billed Tern, Gray-headed, and Lesser Black-backed Gulls among others. On the cruise, you will have sightings of Hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, wallowing Buffaloes on the reedy banks, and Elephants. Later head back to the lodge for relaxation. Dinner and Overnight at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (B-L-D
DAY 5: QUEEN ELIZABETH – BWINDI PARK 6 hrs
After a relaxed breakfast, you will be departing for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorillas arriving in time for late lunch and relaxation. Dinner and Overnight at the havens lodge B-L-D
Bwindi offers some of the finest montane forest bird watching in Africa, and is an unmissable destination for any birder visiting Uganda. There are an estimated 350 bird species with 23 endemics to the Albertine Rift and 14 recorded nowhere else in Uganda. Globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing are also found here. Other birds include the Handsome Francolin; Black-billed Turaco; African Broadbill; Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters; Western Green Tinkerbird; Purple-breasted, Blue-headed and Regal Sunbirds; Short-tailed and Black-faced Rufous Warblers; Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis; Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls; and Many-colored Bush-Shrike, among others.
DAY 6: BIRDING EXCURSION / OPTIONAL GORILLA TRACKING
After breakfast, head out for a birding session along the 4km Mubwindi Swamp. This is the best place for some of the Albertine rift endemics including Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird, Great Blue Turaco, and the skulking Doherty’s Bushshrike. Along the forest roadsides and trails, we expect to find endemics such as Ruwenzori (Collared) Apalis, skulking Red-crested Alethe, and Archer’s Robin-Chat, White-headed Woodhoopoes.
Some common bird species in Bwindi include Purple-breasted, Blue-headed, and Regal Sunbirds, Sooty Boubou, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Red-faced Woodland, Neumann’s, and Grauer’s Warblers, Black-faced Apalis, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Stripe-breasted Tit, Dusky Crimson-wing, and Strange Weaver. Rare gems we’ll hope to see include Kivu Ground-Thrush, White-bellied Robin-Chat, and Dusky Twinspot. Many primates roam the canopy including chimpanzees, Guereza Colobus, and Blue and L’Hoests Monkeys.
Optional Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park.
Arise early today and prepare for the highlight of your safari, an unforgettable encounter with the Gentle Giants! Following breakfast, transfer to the national park offices where you will be allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 as well as a gorilla tracking guide. After a pre-tracking briefing by your guide touching on the gorillas generally, your assigned gorilla family as well as appropriate safety precautions, you drive to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling adventure. Expect to walk between 2 and 8 hours in steep and slippery conditions at times with rain overhead, which can be quite a challenge so you require to be reasonably fit. These magnificent animals live in small troops, each within its own defined boundaries and each with several females and their young being led by a single dominant male, the magnificent ‘Silverback’.
Upon sighting the gorillas, you spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; feeding, moving around playing, and grooming– it is a totally unique and unforgettable experience! Thereafter head back to the lodge for relaxation. Dinner and overnight at the Havens Lodge B-L-D
DAY 7: BWINDI NATIONAL PARK -KAMPALA 10 hours
After breakfast, we depart the impenetrable forest of Bwindi and head back to Kampala. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then proceed back to Kampala arriving in the evening. Dinner and Overnight at Karibu Guest House B-L-D
Day 8: DEPARTURE
Enriched with an experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories you will say goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. Depending on your flight schedule you can join our guide on a city tour and thereafter you will be transferred to Entebbe Airport for your international flight.
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