15 Days Birding in Uganda, Gorillas & Chimpanzees Safari

Birding in Uganda, Gorillas & Chimpanzees Safari

15 Days Birding in Uganda, Gorillas & Chimpanzees Safari

Uganda is the richest African Birding Destination with over 1060 bird species. 50% of all Africa’s bird species are found in Uganda therefore making Uganda a birding paradise. Uganda has 23 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:

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by a company representative and transferred to your accommodation in Entebbe. Overnight at Karibu Guest House BB

DAY 2: Entebbe – Murchison Falls National Park (7 hrs)

Today we will depart for the most beautiful protected area in Uganda: Murchison Falls National Park. With lunch en route we will arrive in Murchison Falls in the late afternoon.

Dinner and overnight at Murchison River Lodge- cottages (B-L-D)

DAY 3: Game viewing, Birding & Launch cruise on the Nile river

After an early breakfast we start the day with a game drive on the northern bank of the Nile river, with chances of seeing giraffes, elephants, hartebeest while catching up on your birding adventure. You may spot different species of birds like the Grey Crowned Cranes, Spotted Morning Thrush and Bruce’s Green Pigeon. In the afternoon the birding in Uganda safari will be continued with a boat cruise on the river Nile for game viewing at close quarters. Here you may encounter colourful Bee-eaters, Common Squacco Heron, Giant, Malachite, African Pygmy and Pied Kingfisher.

Dinner and overnight at Murchison River Lodge Cottages (B-L-D)

DAY 4: Budongo Forest – Top of falls Birding

After breakfast we will transfer to the southern part of the national park and visit the magnificent Top of the Falls. Watch how the fall is being forced into a seven meter crevice to thunder 45 meters below in a series of cascades. After this spectacular scenery we continue to Budongo Eco Lodge to check in and have lunch. In the afternoon you will go for a guided bird watching walk. With 359 species Budongo Forest Reserve is famous for its biodiversity in birds, including the rare Puvel’s illadopses which is endemic to Budongo Forest.

Dinner and overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 5: Murchison Falls – Kibale Forest National Park (8 hrs)

We depart Murchison Falls and head towards Fort Portal. This long journey will be rewarded with stunning views as you pass small villages and local markets. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled “Mountains of the Moon” and is famous for the many tea plantations. From this lovely town we will continue to the dense forest of Kibale National Park.

Dinner and overnight at Kibale Forest Camp –Cottages (B-L-D)

DAY 6: Chimpanzee Trekking & Bigodi Swamp

Today the forest opens its doors for a sensational chimpanzee tracking. Kibale Forest is reputable of having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Enjoy a guided birding and nature walk in the tropical rainforest in search of the wild chimpanzee, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey and many others.

Kibale rainforest may harbour close to 330 spicies of birds, you’ll be looking out for the Green Breasted Pitta, White and Red tailed Ant-Thrushes, Purple-headed, Glossy-Starling, Brown, Pale and Scaly Breasted Illadopsis, White-naped and Olive Pigeon, Masked Apalis, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Black-billed Turacco, Buff-spotted Woodpecker and Green Crombec.

Uganda Birding Tour Safari - Variable Sunbird

After a hearty lunch we transfer to the Bigodi Swamp for another, totally different nature walk. The Bigodi Swamp Walk is an initiative of the local community and is known for its rich diversity of birds and primates. The habitat here consists of a swamp surrounded by low, scrubby secondary forest and cultivation of tea plantations. As we do birding here, expect to see the Blue Breasted, African Dwarf and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Brown-eared and Yellow Crested Woodpecker, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Crowned Eagle, Forest and Chestnut Capped Flycatcher, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Narina Trogon, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Eremomera, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Olive-bellied Crombec, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Little Green Sunbird, Green Sunbird, White-Breasted Negrofinch, Western Black-headed Oriole, Dusky Long-tailed and African Emerald Cuckoo, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Yellow and Grey Longbill, Forest Robin, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Tit Hylia, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Green Crombec, Crested Malimbe and Red-headed Bluebill, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Xavier’s, Ictrine, Slender-billed, White-throated, Spotted, Plain Greenbul, Spotted and Toro Olive Greenbu.

Dinner and overnight at Kibale Forest Camp – Cottages (B-L-D)

DAY 7: Kibale Forest – Queen Elizabeth National Park (3 hrs)

Rise early at 6:00am and set out for an early morning game drive at the mating ground of the impalas. You will search for lions, elephants, buffaloes and other wild animals in their natural habitat before returning for dinner. You will have your breakfast packed for you by your lodge and enjoy it in the amazing wilderness. After lunch at your Lodge, you will take on a scenic boat cruise at 14:00hrs along the Kazinga Channel, a natural and pre-historic canal that joins Lakes Edward and George. 33 kilometres long and 2 to 3 kms at its widest points, the Kazinga channel, formed by tectonic activity millions of years ago during the formation of the rift valleys. On a scheduled 3 hrs boat ride over a 12 to 14 kms stretch of the channel, guests are almost always guaranteed excellent wildlife sightings including, multitudes of hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, wallowing buffaloes on its reedy banks, elephants, multitudes of birds including many endemics as well as hundreds of other plains game that come to it for water all day long.

Thereafter head back to the lodge for relaxation (B-L-D) Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge

DAY 8: Game viewing and Bird Watching on Kazinga Channel

An early start with a morning game drive to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. This is not only an area for excellent game viewing but also offers much to birders. We move through open grassy plains which support large flocks of White and Abdims Stork as well as the spectacular Saddle Billed Stork during the migratory season. In the afternoon we take on a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George. Watch hundreds of hippos, elephants and many migratory bird species, such as the Grey headed Gulls, African skimmers, Water Dikkops and the Great White and Pink-Backed Pelicans.

Dinner and overnight at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 9: Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi National Park (4-5 hrs)

After breakfast you will have the possibility to go in search of the chimpanzees in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, a beautiful gorge completely covered with tropical rainforest (optional, not included in the price). In the afternoon departure to Bwindi National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorillas.

Dinner and overnight at your accommodation at Silverback Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 10: Gorilla Tracking in the Jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Bwindi is the Bird watchers haven! It holds 348 species of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift Endemics such as; the Short-tailed Warbler, Rusty-faced woodland Warbler, Bar-tailed Trogon, Gruel’s Rush Warbler, Wilcock’s Honey-guide, Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher, 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 while on a gorilla trekking expedition.

An early breakfast awaits you then with your packed lunch, head to the briefing point for gorilla trekking, a meeting with the gentle giants of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Jungles. Expect to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. The time of trekking can be between 2-8 hours depending on how far the gorillas moved in search of their basic necessities of life!

Dinner and overnight at Silverback Lodge. (B-L-D)

DAY 11: Bird Watching – Munyanga Trail and Cultural walk

After breakfast head out to water fall trail on a 3 hour expedition in search of the bird species in Bwindi Forest. The Munyanga trail is an ideal short walk for visitors with little time to spare. Here you can see birds and primates of the forest edge. The popular waterfall trail provides an attractive feature of the forest with a profusion of tree ferns, epithetic ferns, orchids and Bwindi’s colorful array of butterflies. This trail which leads to 3 delightful crystal clear waterfalls typifies your impression of a tropical rain forest. Expect to catch a glimpse of Rufous-chested Fluff tail, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Pink Footed and Northern Puff Back, Red Tailed, Honey Guide, Toro Olive, Cameroon Sombre, Slender Billed, Little, Little Grey, Sheilley’s, Cabani’s White Throated and Yellow Whiskered Greenbuls, Elliots, Cardianl, Yellow Crested, Fine Banded woodpeckers, Red Throated Allethe, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Black faced Woodland Warbler, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Waller’s, Stulman’s and Narro Tailed Starlings, Black Bee Eater, Banded and White Chinned Prinia, Blue Throated Brown, Blue Headed, Northern Double Collard, Collard, Green, Olive, olive Bellied, Rwenzro Doulbe Collard and Green Headed Sunbirds, Bar tailed Tragon, Kivu Ground Thrush, African Borad Bill, Red- chested Owlet, Neumann’s Warbler, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher.

Return for lunch and thereafter take a guided walk through the local rural communities close to Bwindi. The people are largely self sufficient and rely on local producers to provide commodities such as medicine, tools, soap, beer, baskets and food. You will have the opportunity to visit at least one village, see the local school and experience the pygmy community.

Dinner and overnight at Silverback Lodge. (B-L-D)

DAY 12: Bwindi Forest – Lake Bunyonyi (4 hrs)

After breakfast we depart to Lake Bunyonyi, the deepest lake in Africa. Relax, take a swim or go for a canoe trip while you watch the beautiful sunset.

Dinner and overnight at Birdnest Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 13: Lake Bunyonyi – Canoe Riding – Birding

After breakfast you can hire a canoe and explore the surroundings from the water surface. Drift quietly to the several small islands and enjoy the rich birdlife. Return for lunch and then take on a Bird Walk in Mukoni Village. Pass small farms and enjoy the spectacular view as you look out for many birds. Generally 40 to 50 different species may be seen on this walk, including the African Hobby, Black Kite, Swamp Flycatcher, Scarlet-chested, Bronze and Red-chested Sunbirds, White-headed Saw-wing etc.

Dinner and overnight at Birdnest Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 14: Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala (7 hrs)

After a calm breakfast we depart the beautiful lake and head back to the capital city. En route we will pass the Equator where we will make a stop for photos and souvenir shopping.

You will arrive in early evening for a drop off at Boma Guest House (B-L)

DAY 15: Mabamba Swamp & Departure

Early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork. But also many other species can be found here, like the Allen’s Gallinule, Grey herons, African Water Rail, Goliath, Purple and a variety of egrets and ducks. The best way to enjoy the rich birdlife is by canoe. After this activity continue to Entebbe International Airport for your international flight. (B-L)


INCLUDED IN PACKAGE
  • 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,
  • Securing Gorilla Tracking Permits-once (*prices as shown separately).
EXCLUDED IN PACKAGE
  • 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.

Ready to start planning your Birding in Uganda tour today? Lets start with an Enquiry.