18 Days Unique Birding Safari

18 Day Uganda Birding Safari

This tour provides an exclusive opportunity of spotting more than 600 different bird species by traveling to the multitude of habitats from lush rain forest – wild savannahs – dry acacia forests – wetlands and the renowned locations of Uganda’s only endemic bird; the Fox’s Weaver

Safari outline:

  • Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe
  • Day 2: Bird Mabamba Swamp back to Entebbe
  • Day 3:  Entebbe transfer to Ziwa Rhino Ranch
  • Day 4:  Masindi – Royal Mile and Budongo Forest Reserve
  • Day 5: Birding, Game drive and Launch cruise
  • Day 6: Murchison drive to Kibale National Park
  • Day 7: Birding (Kanyanchu) & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Day 8: Kihingami Wetland continuing to Semliki National Park; Bird watching
  • Day 9: Bird Watching
  • Day 10: Semuliki transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park – Launch Cruise
  • Day 11: Bird watching in Maramagambo
  • Day 12: Ishasha Sector – Buhoma Sector
  • Day 13: Buhoma Sector – Nkuringo / Rushaga Sector
  • Day 14: Bird watching in Rushaga
  • Day 15: Nombe Forest; Bird Watching
  • Day 16: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Day 17: Full day in Lake Mburo
  • Day 18: Lake Mburo- Entebbe

Especially for:

  • Perfect Birders
  • Photographers
  • Adventurers

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe
Depending on the time of your flight, Escape To Africa representative will pick you up at the Airport with a placard and transfer you to the Hotel.

  • Travel time: 10 Minutes
  • Accommodation: Protea Marriot Hotel / Boma Guest House
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast Only

Day 2: Bird Mabamba Swamp back to Entebbe
After an early breakfast, transfer with the guide to the water front pier in Entebbe, board a boat to Mabamba swamp on the shores of Lake Victoria. It’s an extensive papyrus swamp protected by the locals and is home to Uganda’s most famous avian resident; the Shoebills. Paddle through the channel on boat in search of captivating and among the most sought-after birds in Africa. Also enjoy other good selections of classic East African water birds; Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Yellow-billed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Long-toed Plover, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Bee-eater. This is a half day activity and later transfer back to the hotel.

  • Travel time: 20 Minutes
  • Accommodation: Protea Marriot Hotel / Boma Guest House
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast Only

Day 3:  Entebbe transfer to Ziwa Rhino Ranch
With a leisurely breakfast, bird your way to Ziwa Rhino Ranch. This ranch is famously known as an asylum for the last remaining Rhinos in Uganda. As you track the Rhions, be on the lookout for the; Western Banded Snake-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, Crested Francolin, White-crested Turaco, Blue-naped Mousebird, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, White-headed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grey Woodpecker, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Tropical Boubou, Black-headed Gonolek among other birds. Later continue to Masindi.

  • Travel time: 5 Hours
  • Accommodation: Masindi Hotel
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4:  Masindi – Royal Mile and Budongo Forest Reserve
At the clock of dawn, after breakfast drive to the Royal Mile and bird your way around the area.  Keep an eys out  for; Red-faced Crombec, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Striped Kingfisher, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Cliff Chat, Spotted Morning Thrush, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Northern Crombec, Black-headed Batis and Red-winged Ptyalin among others. Continue to Budongo Forest reserve for more birding; this is a forestry extension of Murchison falls with so many different tree species that are dated back hundreds of years and different bird species. Later proceed to the lodge for an overnight.

  • Travel time: 2 Hours
  • Accommodation: Bakers Lodge  / Murchison River Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Birding, Game drive and Launch cruise
With an early wake up call, transfer to the park for a morning game drive. Enjoy viewing different wildlife like; Elephants, Buffalos, Uganda Kobs, Lions. Bird your way back to the Lodge for a leisurely breakfast and a hot lunch. And in the afternoon transfer to the Nile pier for an afternoon Launch cruise on the Nile. Remember to carry sunscreen as the afternoon sun is very brutal on the Lake. Be on the lookout for a school of Hippos, Buffalos, crocodiles on the shores on the Nile and also keep an eye out for the aquatic birds which are permanent residents. Some of the birds to be expected include; Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-headed Plover, Rock Pratincole, Swallow-tailed Bee-Eater, Red-throated Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, Spotted Morning Thrush, Speckle fronted Weaver, White-browed Sparrow Weaver. Drive back to the Lodge with an evening game drive.

  • Accommodation: Bakers Lodge / Murchison River Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Murchison drive to Kibale National Park
With an early wakeup call and packed lunches transfer to Kibale Forest. Kibale forest is one of the loveliest forest in Uganda with different bird species and primates. Bird your way to the Escarpement  and keep an eye out for; African Crowned Eagle, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Greenbuls, Whistling Cisticola, Black-throated Apalis, Black-capped Apalis, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Rufus-crowned Eremomela, Heuglin’s Francolin, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, White-thighed Hornbill, a Selection of Tinkerbirds and Barbets, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Forest Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher and so many more.

  • Travel time: 7 ½ Hours
  • Accommodation: Primates Lodge Kibale / Crater Safari Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Birding (Kanyanchu) & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary  
Transfer to the park quarters for a nature birding walk in the forest and be on the look out for; Black-billed Turaco, Narina Trogon, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Sabine’s Spinetail, Chestnut Wattle eye, Narrow-tailed Staring, Green-breasted Pitta and other birds like Yellow-billed Barbet, African Emerald Cuckoo, among other birds. After a  hot meal at the Lodge, with the guide transfer to Bigodi wetland Sanctuary. This swamp is an extensive collection of biodiversity with many bird species. And it’s also famously known as a birders paradise

  • Accommodation: Primates Lodge Kibale / Crater Safari Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Kihingami Wetland continuing to Semliki National Park; Bird watching
Enjoy a nature walk to Kihingami Wetland, home to the very shy White spotted flufftail species. Also, be on the lookout for the; Red bellied paradise flycatcher, Red headed bluebill, Black and white shrike fly catcher. Later continue to Semliki Valley National Park; numerous bird species have been recorded in this park and some have gone as far as banding it a birders paradise due to the colourful display of the pink flamingos. On arrival enjoy a more birding and be on the lookout for the; White crested hornbill, Dwarf hornbill, White thighed hornbill and Black casqued wattled hornbill.

  • Travel time: 4 Hours
  • Accommodation: Semuliki Lodge  / Ntoroko Safari Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9: Bird Watching
Enjoy yet another nature walk in Semuliki and this is another opportunity of viewing the shoebill stock

  • Accommodation: Semuliki Lodge / Ntoroko Safari Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10: Semuliki transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park – Launch Cruise
With a leisurely breakfast transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, with the breathtaking scenery of the craters. Enjoy the view of the Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s splendid panoramas cover dozens of breath-taking craters imprinted theatrically into rolling green hills, beautiful views of the Kazinga Channel, outstanding main attraction the big five and over 600 bird species.Either with a private or scheduled boat enjoy a 2 1/2 – 3 hours afternoon Launch cruise on Kazinga channel, just meters away from hundreds of huge hippos and herds of buffalos, while elephants, buffaloes, warthogs fool around the shoreline. Keep an eye out for the; Wattled Plover, Larks, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Babblers, Sunbirds, Pelicans, Green-backed Heron, Storks, African Spoonbill, Kittlitz’s Plover, Senegal Plover, Weavers, Widowbirds.

  • Travel time: 4 Hours
  • Accommodation: Katara Safari Lodge / Kyamburo Gorge / Kasenyi Safari Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11: Bird watching in Maramagambo
With a leisurely breakfast, transfer to Maramagambo forest and for a nature walk and birding. Keep an eye out for; Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Speckled Tinkerbird, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Black Bee Eater, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Hairy-breasted Barbet, among others.

  • Accommodation: Katara Safari Lodge / Kyamburo Gorge / Kasenyi Safari Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12: Ishasha Sector – Buhoma Sector 
After an early breakfast with packed lunch, bird your way to Buhoma sector in Impenetrable forest National Park. This vast reserve offers arguably the most productive montane forest birding in Africa and supports 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species. Be on the lookout for the; Raptors, Bee Eaters, Apalises, Honeyguide Greenbul, Swallows, Larks, Cisiticolas, Pipits, Chats, Shrikes, Kingfishers, Barbets, Tinkerbirds, Woodpeckers, Starlings, Widowbirds among other birds.

  • Travel time: 4 Hours
  • Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge / Bwindi Lodge / Mahogany Springs
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 13: Buhoma Sector – Nkuringo / Rushaga Sector  
With packed lunch report to the park quarters where you will be accompanied by park rangers. This walk links the southern side to the Northern side using marked trails on foot, using any of the 2 trails –long or short trail. With any of these trails, since there are no roads inside the park, the guide and the vehicle has to drive around the forest – this drive is 7 hours.  Enjoy the walk with the Uganda wildlife armed rangers, walking guide and a rack sack with some change of clothes and snacks. The Ivy River Trail; at 14km, taking about 4 – 5 hours with Vehicle support needed to the lodge or Kashasha trail at 19km, taking about 7 – 8 hours through the forest from the Northern side to the Southern side. Then depending on your accommodation either continue to Rushaga sector or overnight in Nkuringo. Keep an eye out for the Black bee-eater, Western green tinker bird, Bar-tailed trogon among others.  Then depending on your accommodation either continue to Rushaga sector or overnight in Nkuringo.

  • Travel time: 7 Hours
  • Accommodation in Nkuringo: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
  • Accommodation in Rushaga: Gorilla Safari Lodge  / Rushaga Gorilla Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 Day 14: Bird watching in Rushaga  
After breakfast, with a packed lunch transfer to the park offices of Rushaga.  Accompanied by the park rangers bird your way in the southern part of Bwindi forest; Rushaga / Nkuringo sector.

  • Accommodation in Nkuringo: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
  • Accommodation in Rushaga: Gorilla Safari Lodge / Rushaga Gorilla Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 15: Nombe Forest; Bird Watching  
With a leisurely breakfast, transfer to Nombe Pocket Forest Walk.  This forest used to be part Bwindi but was later given to the local community. It’s a beautiful forest good for birding, be on the lookout for Purple breasted sunbird, Stripe breasted tit, Rwenzori double collared sunbird and Doherty’s bush shrike,  after enjoy a relaxing picnic before transfering to the lodge

  • Accommodation in Nkuringo: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
  • Accommodation in Rushaga: Gorilla Safari Lodge  / Rushaga Gorilla Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
After an early breakfast proceed to Lake Mburo National Park. This Whispers of the world is home to over 350 bird species; Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Blue-napped Mousebird, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Yellow-breasted Apalis and White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher.  Its land scape is full of curves and colors, giving an impression of an oil painting. Have lunch in Mbarara and continue to the park for an evening game drive.

  • Travel time: 6 Hours
  • Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge / Rwakobo Rock Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 17: Full day in Lake Mburo
With an early wake up call, transfer to the park for birding and a game drive. Enjoy birding and be on the lookout for the; Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Blue-napped Mousebird, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet and Long tailed Cisticola. Drive back to the Lodge for a leisurely lunch. And in the afternoon transfer to the lake for a canoe and more bird watching. Remember to carry sunscreen as the afternoon sun is very brutal on the Lake. Drive back to the Lodge with an evening game drive.

  • Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge  / Rwakobo Rock Lodge
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 18: Lake Mburo- Entebbe
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and later proceed to Entebbe for your flight back home with a stopover at the equator.

  • Travel time: 4 ½ Hours
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast only

END OF ESCAPE TO AFRICA SERVICES

Included in the above quote:

  • Our Quotes offered in USD
  • Full Board meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) with Accommodation as listed in the itinerary.
  • Drinking water in the vehicle (1 litre per person per day)
  • Private 4×4 vehicle with experienced English-speaking driver-guide, from the morning of day 1 to the evening of day 21
  • All the excursions and activities indicated in the itinerary under the supervision of an experienced English-speaking guide
  • Wi-Fi (in main areas of all Lodges and Hotel)
  • Government taxes

Excluded from the above quote:

  • Gorilla, Chimpanzee and Golden Monkey Permit
  • All drinks
  • Lunch & Dinner on (Day1, 2 & 18)
  • Uganda Entry Visa fee
  • International air flights
  • Any optional activity not indicated in above program
  • Laundry Services
  • Gratuities and Tips

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