The 17 Days Uganda Birding Safari & Culture Tour spots you to a number of bird species in Uganda.
Itinerary for the 17 Days Uganda Birding Safari & Culture Tour
Arrival at Entebbe. Overnight Lake Victoria Hotel
Upon arrival, you will be met by our professional driver. Then, you will transfer to your hotel for overnight stay.
To begin with, you will transfer to the Source of the Nile in Jinja. Thereafter, you will stay at Jinja Nile Resort. Surprisingly, all rooms are overlooking the Nile.
The source of the Nile is the site where on July 28th 1862, John Speke declared that he could see the “old father Nile” emerge from its source the Victoria Nyanza. Furthermore, a special monument was raised on the spot where he stood on the west bank of the Nile. This was purposely for marking that historical event.
Additionally, there are Source of the Nile Gardens that are serene and spacious. Also, there is a variety of indigenous birds and a number of monkeys that appear at particular times of the day.
The place offers a beautiful view over Lake Victoria, the world’s largest fresh water lake and the Source of the River Nile.
Day 3: Birding Mabira Forest
First of all, you will drive to Kampala for city tour. Then, will stay at Hotel Acacia.
After breakfast, we will transfer back to Kampala via the Mabira forest for birding. More to that, Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist semi-deciduous forest remaining in the central region of Uganda.
Additionally, the reserve occupies gently undulating country. It is characterized by numerous flat-topped hills and wide, shallow valleys. Some of these valleys have papyrus swamps.
The closeness of Mabira to Kampala and the presence of various ecotourism facilities makes it a popular site for birders. The bird list for Mabira forest contains almost 300 species. They include the;
- Nahan’s Francolin
- Cassin’s Hawk
- White Spotted Flufftail
- Afep Pigeon
- Gray Parrot
- Dusky Long Tailed Cuckoo
- Black Shouldered Nightjar
- Sabine’s Spine Tail
- Cassin’s Spine tail
Later, after lunch, we proceed to Kampala City for a city tour. While there, we will visit the Uganda Museum; a display of Uganda’s cultural heritage. Additionally, you can see ethnological and natural-historical exhibitions. Indeed, it is a vivid reminder of the country’s colorful past. We will also visit the Uganda Craft markets at the national Theatre and the Uganda Craft Village on Buganda Road.
Lastly, we will go for dinner at overnight stay
Hotel : The luxurious Acacia Apartments.
Day 4: Birding to Mabamba Wetlands for the Shoebill
On this day, we shall have a tour in dugout canoes. Drive to Equator stop for lunch, photos and shopping. PM-Drive via main entrance to Lake Mburo National Park. Stay at Mihingo Lodge.
Early breakfast, then out to Mabamba Wetlands on the shores of Lake Victoria. This is one of the few remaining swamps in the country protected by the local communities. Furthermore, it is an extensive papyrus swamp with its labyrinth of channels and lagoons.
Also, it is classified as an important Bird Area and a home to several pairs of Shoebills. This charismatic monotypic species is certainly amongst the most sought-after birds in Africa.
There will of course be a good selection of classic East African water birds, including Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Goliath Heron, African Open-billed, Saddle-billed, and Marabou Storks, Hammerkops, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Yellow-billed Duck, African Fish-Eagle. 17 Days Uganda Birding Safari & Culture Tour, Uganda safari Vacations
In the afternoon we’ll travel to our first of many national parks, Lake Mburo. This park has varied habitats from open Acacia woodlands, to a number of papyrus-lined lakes and swamps. Later in the afternoon, after our lunch, we bird to Lake Mburo national park where we will be covering several different habitats.
Some of the many species we’ll search for en route to the park, in the woodland in the immediate vicinity of Rwonyo (at lake Mburo) and within the park include Black headed, Squacco, and Rufous-bellied Herons, Hadada Ibis, Yellow-billed (Black) Kite, Spur-winged Goose, Comb Duck, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Palm-nut and White-backed Vultures.
Day 5: Hiking Trail into Lake Mburo National Park
Watch out for animals and birds. Then, relax and swim. Thereafter, you will have an afternoon game drive through Lake Mburo National Park. Lastly, stay at Mihingo Lodge.
Lake Mburo National Park contains multiple habitats, and our time will be divided between birding an extensive area of wetland, some forested areas, and open country with numerous mammals. No fewer than 300 different bird species have been recorded in the park.
The more open grassland north of the camp, particularly along the Zebra Track, is worth exploring for species such as Coqui Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, and African Wattled Lapwing, and it is here where small numbers of the migratory Brow chested Lapwing can be regularly observed. Mammals will be a large part of our visit to this park, and the many species we might see include the shy Oribi, graceful Impalas, and Common Zebras, all found
out in the open, park-like woodland.
Day 6: Boat trip on Lake Mburo
Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest via main roads. Stay at Mantana Camp (Engagi Lodge) On this day we have a morning boat trip on Lake Mburo where we have chances of seeing game like;
- Water Buck
- Burchell’s Zebra
- Bush Buck etc
There are also numerous birds that we have chances of finding including Sacco Heron, Fish Eagle, Black-crowned, White-backed Night Herons, Swamp Flycatcher, African Finfoot, Giant Kingfisher.
We shall then proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The Park is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to approximately half of the world population of 600 Mountain Gorillas. 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.
Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is now an ecological island within a sea of human cultivation and therefore of immense conservation importance. Buhoma lies in the valley of the Munyaga River at 5100 feet and is flanked by steep, forested hills. Overnight: Mantana Tented Camp.
Day 7: Whole day birding in Bwindi forest
Stay at Mantana Camp (Engagi Lodge). Forest birding at Bwindi ranks among the best bird watching experiences in Uganda and Africa as well, having been voted as the number one birding hot spot in Africa. It is home to over 23 highly-localized Albertine Rift endemics. Special birds include Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-faced Apalis, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yelloweyed Black-Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill-Babbler, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blueheaded Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Sooty
Boubou, Pink-footed Puff back, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, White-naped Raven, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Strange Weaver, Brow capped Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, among others.
Day 8: Gorilla tracking. Stay at Mantana Camp (Engagi Lodge)
On this day, early morning drive with packed lunches to assemble at the park headquarters before proceeding on the Gorilla Trek.
Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Watch for birds and game en-route. Stay at Mweya Safari Lodge.
Today, we shall start early after breakfast and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Our route to the park will be determined by road conditions. We can pass through the Ishasha sector, well-known for its climbing lions. Alternatively, we can drive through the beautiful sceneries of Rukungiri district.
The park is the second largest national park in Uganda. In addition, it is named after Queen Elizabeth who visited it in 1954. Also, it ranks highest with respect to overall diversity with a species list exceeding 600.
Furthermore, the park has a mosaic of habitats from moist forest at Maramagambo to wild savannah excellent for Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Hyenas, Ugandan Kobs, Side-striped Jackal, Baboons, Giant Hogs, just to name a few. While at the park we’ll participate in a game drive.
Thereafter, we will go for one of the big highlights of this area which is the boat ride on the Kazinga Channel. This is one of the best places to look for African Skimmers, which are sometimes present. Some of the many species possible include Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, Grey, Purple and Goliath Herons, Saddlebilled and Yellow-billed Storks, Sacred and Glossy Ibises, African Spoonbill, Egyptian Goose, Black Crake etc.
Boat ride along the Kazinga Channel. Stay at Mweya Safari Lodge. Go for a morning game drive in this verdant park. Later, after lunch at the Mweya Safari Lodge, we have an exciting boat cruise on the spectacular Kazinga Channel where you have chances of viewing hippos and schools of elephants, among other game.
Game Drive in AM Afternoon at leisure.
Evening bird walk around hotel grounds. Stay at Mweya Safari Lodge. Another early morning game drive as well as birding for the savannah birds in the park is ideal . After lunch, we have the afternoon at leisure. There will be an optional bird walk from the hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 12 :
Transfer to Kibale National Park
Birding en-route, dinner and overnight at Primate lodge/ Mountains of the moon. 17 Days Uganda Birding Safari & Culture Tour, Uganda safari Vacations
Day 13 :
Early morning birding, pm chimp trekking and overnight as above.
Early morning transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Cross with the evening Ferry. Stay at
Paraa Safari Lodge.
Day 15: Game drive to the delta
Afternoon Boat ride to Murchison Falls. Night drive. Stay at Paraa Safari Lodge.
After breakfast, we will have a game drive to the rolling plains where you will have chances of viewing lots of mammals and really get a feel of the wildlife of Africa. We’ll once again have a chance for magnificent beasts such as Hartebeest, Lions, Buffalo, Primates, Giraffe, and Elephants. After lunch at the Lodge, we will have an afternoon launch cruise to the bottom of the falls and there, you will view huge Nile Crocodiles, big Pods of Hippos, and other wildlife. You will also be able to see a wide variety of water birds and have yet another chance for incredible birds such as Shoebill, Secretary Bird, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Red-necked Falcon, Senegal Thick-knee, Water Thick-knee, Blackheaded Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Abyssinian Roller, and Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red-throated and Blue-breasted Bee-eaters.
Day 16: Game drive out of park
Drive on paved roads to Entebbe. Stay at Golf view inn After breakfast, we take a game drive out of the park and drive to Kampala – Entebbe having lunch en route. Dinner and overnight at Golf view Inn. Early morning return flight or if time allows do the botanical gardens before departure. 17 Days Uganda Birding Safari & Culture Tour, Uganda safari Vacations
Tour costs include the following
- Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking permits
- Park fees (non-residents)
- All activities that are shown in the itinerary
- Professional driver/ tour guide
- All transfers (airport pick up and drops)
- All Taxes
- All transportation
- Meals (as specified in a day by day section)
- Drinking water all days
Tour costs Excludes
- International flights
- Additional accommodation before and after the trip
- Government imposed increased of taxes and park fees
- Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visas etc)
- Optional activities (not detailed in the above itinerary)