Birding Safari 15 Days

from$5,200

Tour highlights:
  • Multi-park Birding
  • Canoe rides
  • The Murchison Launch cruise
  • Multiple Game drives
  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Gorilla tracking experience
  • Cultural encounters
  • Discover Lake Bunyonyi
  • Track the tree climbing lions
  • Experience one of the world’s strongest waterfalls
  • Optional Rhino tracking
  • A true African sunset experience
  • Kampala City tour

BIRDING OVERVIEW

Uganda is one of the top birding destinations in Africa, with over 1050 bird species in protected areas alone almost the same number as Europe keeps. In fact, Uganda is home to a variety of bird species than any other country in Africa.

The best time to spot these birds is in the early morning and late evening as they return from their food search, and in the park. Birding is also fantastic in the afternoon hours especially during the launch cruises along the shores of most water bodies in the National parks like along Kazinga Channel just below the Mweya Peninsular and beyond.

Some of the birding hotspots in Uganda include; Mabamba wetland, Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Bunyonyi, Kibale National Park, Semliki and many more habitats to include Kabaka’s lake (Kampala) which is a major breeding ground for the egrets. The endemic shoebill is mostly spotted along the banks of river Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, around the delta and also in Mabamba Bay.

The birds of Uganda have found home in forests, swamps, agricultural lands, lake shores, savannahs, river banks, towns (marabou storks) and in the mountain areas.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL, TRANSFER & BIRDING IN MABAMBA BAY

Depending on your arrival time, you will be transferred to your hotel/lodge in Entebbe and later on you will go birding in Mabamba Bay, while on a canoe.

This is a wetland on the edge of Lake Victoria, North West of the Entebbe Peninsular, with protected bird species to include the endemic shoebill stork and it is home to over 260 bird species; some of these will meet your expectations:

  • Shoebill stork
  • Pallid harrier
  • Black kite
  • Papyrus canary
  • Papyrus gonolek
  • Blue swallow
  • White-winged warbler
  • Goliath heron
  • Malachite kingfisher
  • Gull-billed terns
  • Winding Cisticola
  • Veil lot’s black weaver
  • Grosbeak weaver

Right after this birding warm up you will return to yourhotel/lodge and stay at leisure.

OVERNIGHT: Papyrus Guesthouse – Or similar

DAY 2: TRAVEL TO SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 7hr: 35min

After your breakfast and checking out, you will immediately start your journey to Semliki National Park:Located on the western side of the Rwenzori Mountains, dominated by an ancient Ituri forest (12 to 18000 years). This park is unique in such a way that most of its features are associated with West Africa, rather than East Africa like many other parks, thus providing a West African feel within Uganda.This has hot springs which have been in existence since14 million years ago to date.

Upon arrival, you will have a game drive and see unique animals which include but not limited to the following; a variety of birds which may include Ross’Turaco, Shoebill stork ,White-tailed hornbill , Black-wattled hornbill ,Crested flycatcher, Long-tailed hawk and also animals like elusive bush babies, pygmy hippos leopards, buffalos, waterbucks, warthogs, Uganda kob, crocodiles, bushbucks, sitatungas, and many more .Thereafter, you will report to your lodge and enjoy your leisure activities for the rest of the day.

OVERNIGHT: Nyati Game Lodge – Or similar

DAY 3: EXPLORE THE BIRDS OF SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK

In the morning after your breakfast, you will hike/nature walk Kirumia trail through Ituri forest to river Semliki where you will spot a variety of endemic birds like:

  • White-crested hornbill
  • White-tailed hornbill
  • Red-billed dwarf hornbill
  • Black-wattled hornbill
  • Piping hornbill
  • Crested flycatcher
  • Yellow throated Nicator
  • Great blue turaco
  • Orange weaver
  • Ross’ turaco
  • Congo serpent eagle
  • Shoebill stork
  • Red-billed malimbe
  • Canather’s Cisticola
  • Papyrus gonolek &many more

After your lunch break you will have a nature walk taking the Sempaya trail where you will approach yet another bunch of interesting bird species, and then get to the Sempaya Hot springs;

While at the Hot springs; boil some eggs and plantain and have a taste of what has been boiled by the natural hot water. You will also spot some primates like the grey-cheeked mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys and visit a tree house where you will experience an aerial view of the park.

Later on, you will return to your lodge and rest.

OVERNIGHT: Nyati Game Lodge – Or similar

DAY 4: DEPART SEMLIKI FOR KIBALE NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 2 hours: 55min

After your breakfast, you will start on your journey to Kibale National Park.

Kibale is famously known for Chimpanzee tracking. The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, of which 13 species are primates including the chimpanzee, with over 375 bird species.

On arrival you have optional activities where you will have interesting cultural encounters; to include:

  • Visiting homesteads
  • Visiting a local church & Bigodi Trading Center
  • Bigodi village trail
  • Guided nature walks in Bigodi wetland sanctuary (Birding)
  • Experience a Ugandan school system
  • Visit elders’ homes for story telling
  • Get engaged in local community interactions.

Later on, after this memorable experience, return to you lodge and enjoy your leisure in a quiet environment with sounds of fauna.

OVERNIGHT: Primate Lodge – Or similar

DAY 5: BIRDING IN THE WORLD’S PRIMATE CAPITAL

Kibale National Park is famously known as the ‘’primate capital of the world’’ with 13 primate species and the highest number of Chimpanzees (over 1450 chimps), 372 birds species (60% recorded as Uganda’s forest birds) together with other animals like the elusive forest elephants, giant forest hogs, buffalos, genet cats and more.

In the morning, you will go birding, spiced up with primate treks (chimps and monkeys), nature walks and more. You will come across birds which include the following:

  • Little greenbul
  • Blue-headed sunbird
  • Yellow spotted Nicator
  • Collared apalis
  • Yellow-rumped tinker bird
  • Black bee-eater
  • Dusky crimsomwing
  • African pitta
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Red-faced wood warbler
  • Black eared ground-thrush
  • Brown-chested alethe
  • Crowned eagle
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher
  • Abyssinian ground thrush & others

Some of the primates you will encounter include but not limited to the following:

  • Chimpanzees
  • L’hoest’s monkey
  • Blue monkey
  • Black &white colobus monkey
  • Olive baboons
  • Grey cheeked mangabeys
  • Ugandan mangabeys
  • Red-tailed monkeys, bush babies & pottos

After the morning session of your birding experience, return to your lodge for your lunch break.

After lunch, you will be taking the Bigodi trail and get to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary where you will see the following bird species:

  • Speckle-breasted woodpecker
  • Cabanis’s greenbul
  • White-collared olive back
  • Olive-green camaroptera
  • Grey apalis
  • White-chinned prinia
  • Joyful greenbul
  • Blue-shouldered robin-chat
  • Lesser honey guide
  • Olive long tailed cuckoo

You will also have an opportunity to visit the local communities of Bigodi where you will be interacting with the locals and share experiences.

And late in the evening, return to your lodge and relax after the long day.

OVERNIGHT: Primate Lodge – Or similar

DAY 6: KIBALE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 2hrs: 50mins

Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for diverse ecosystems which include sprawling savannah, shady humid forests, sparkling lakes, wetlands and amazing craters. Ideal for big game, primate species to include Chimps and over 612 bird species both migrant and resident birds. It has superb scenic views of Kazinga Channel, the Rwenzori Mountains and crater lakes which are home to a wide variety of birds.

After your breakfast enjoy a leisurely morning, and later on start off your journey to ‘’a medley of wonders’’. On arrival after a stopover at the equator, you will check into your lodge for lunch, refreshment and leisure or do an evening game drive optional.

OVERNIGHT: Buffalo Safari Lodge – Or similar

DAY 7: EXPLORE QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Start off the day with a tasty breakfast and then get deeper into the highlights of this amazing park. Dawn Game Drive; explore the park’s flora and fauna to include elusive bird species and a wide variety of animals like elephants, buffaloes, hippos, bushbucks , waterbucks,  Kobs, warthogs and many more. Don’t miss out the scenic views of the crater lakes like Nyamunuka which is medicinal to the animals.

Katwe Community; discover the people and their culture where you will learn about salt mining by local means from Lake Katwe and interact with the local people and share cultural experiences. After here, return to your lodge for lunch and relaxation in preparations for the afternoon activities.

Launch cruise; this is the main activity after lunch where you will spot a number of birds like; the African fish eagle, pelicans, Hammerkop, egrets, pied kingfishers, marabou storks, vultures, kites and many more, together with animals like hippos, buffalos, warthogs, crocodiles, waterbucks and more as most of them visit to water and cool off. This boat cruise is spiced up with stunning views of the Mweya peninsular and a local fishing village along the lake shores. Visit Mweya Museum; after the boat cruise, with this visit you will learn more about the parks history, animals, physical features (crater lakes formation) together with the parks future prospects. After the day’s activities, you will return to your lodge and enjoy a sundowner leisure.

OVERNIGHT: Buffalo Safari Lodge – Or similar

DAY 8: TRAVEL TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 4hrs: 10min

After your breakfast, travel to another amazing scene of unique flora and fauna. This scenic journey takes approximately 2 hours from the Mweya Peninsular and it will reward you with the most amazing experience.

Located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ishasha will offer you an unforgettable of experience. The sector is a composition of riverine and open savannah kind of vegetation alongside the acacia and fig trees.

The undulating landscapes that provide a clear view of wildlife and the entire National Park, is another signature attraction about Ishasha sector.

Encounter the Tree climbing lions; this is the most captivating experience in Ishasha, thus its popularity in the entire national park. Tree climbing lions that reside up in the acacia and fig trees are spotted each and every time hanging up in the trees, as they try avoid tsetse fly and other ground insects’ bites, and they usually enjoy their prey high up in the trees. In addition to the tree climbing lions other animals are seen here including; elephants, buffalos, antelopes, Uganda Kobs, impalas, waterbucks, warthogs, and elands among others. So spend enough time here for a wonderful experience.

Later on, proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Check in in your lodge

OVERNIGHT: Mahogany Springs – Or similar

DAY 9: BIRDING ADVENTURE IN BWINDI

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (331 sq.km) is home to half the world’s mountain gorillas, over 346 bird species, 202 butterfly species, 400 plant species, 163 tree species, 120 mammal species & 27 frog species, making it an incredible birding destination with Rwamunyonyi Peak(2607m) as the best birding spot.

After breakfast you will start off the day with birding where you will hike up to Rwamunyonyi peak while discovering birds of all kind, different tree and plant species, butterflies which will spice up your birding experience.

This all in-one park has a multitude of birds, most of which are endemic to include but not limited to the following:

  • African-green pigeon
  • Black-billed turaco
  • African-harrier hawk
  • African broadbill
  • Cinnamon-chested bee-eater
  • Black bee-eater
  • Crowned hornbill
  • Regal sunbird
  • Giant kingfisher
  • Petit’s cuckoo
  • Newman’s warbler
  • Sooty boubou
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Equatorial akalat
  • Rwenzori turaco
  • Handsome francolin
  • African broadbill
  • Rwenzori batis
  • Ruwenzori apalis
  • Shelley’s crimson-wing
  • Olive-breasted greenbul
  • Grauer’s broadbill &many more elusive birds

After this great adventure, you will then return to you lodge and have your lunch while at leisure.

Later on, you will have your second-round birding taking the Muzabajiro Loop Trail, climbing up to the summit of Rukabira Hill where you will also enjoy astonishing views of Bwindi forest, the Western Rift Valley and the Virunga volcanoes for great photo moments. Right after here, return to your lodge and stay at leisure, and in the night, you will have your campfire together with storytelling.

OVERNIGHT: Mahogany Springs – Or similar

DAY 10: DEPART BWINDI FOR LAKE BUNYONYI

Journey time: 2 hours: 50min

In the morning, after breakfast you may have an optional gorilla tracking prior to departure to Lake Bunyonyi. This tracking experience will add value to your birding safari, where you will meet one of the 9 habituated gorilla families within this oldest forest of Uganda. But to be able to have this adventurous optional activity, prior booking of the gorilla permits is highly recommended.

If at all you might not be willing to take on this activity, just spend some leisure time at your lodge as you enjoy the morning sunshine and the breath-taking views of the surroundings.

Thereafter, embark on your journey to Lake Bunyonyi (a place of many little birds):

Second deepest lake in Africa with 29 islands and a perfect place to chill after a safari, gorilla tracking, volcano climbing, hiking and other tiresome activities, all because of its quietness and magical beauty. This is the safest lake to swim in as it is free from hippos, crocodiles and bilharzia.

Upon arrival at your lodge; you will have a chance to explore some optional activities below:

  • Swimming
  • Dugout canoe boating (discover the 29 Islands)
  • Biking
  • Sport fishing
  • Island hopping
  • Cultural encounter (boat trip to the local communities of the Batwa/pygmies who live in the Islands near the lake and experience their lifestyle and cultural dance performances.

You may also decide to relax in this quiet environment for the whole day amidst beautiful views.

OVERNIGHT: Bunyonyi Safaris Resort – Or similar

DAY 11: DISCOVER THE BIRDS OF LAKE BUNYONYI 

Early in the morning after your breakfast, start off the day with discovering the birds of Lake Bunyonyi where you will encounter a number of rare bird species which include but not limited to the following;

  • African hobby
  • Black kite
  • Swamp flycatcher
  • Scarlet-chested bird
  • Grey-crowned crane
  • Herons
  • Weaver birds
  • White-tailed blue monard
  • African harrier hawk
  • Slender-billed baglafetch
  • Levillant cuckoo
  • Cardinal woodpecker
  • Bronze-chested birds
  • White-headed saw-wing bird

Please note that this morning activity will be composed of hikes, nature walks and scenic views of Lake Bunyonyi terraces together with the local communities all around the lake.

OVERNIGHT: Bunyonyi Safaris Resort – Or similar

DAY 12: EXPLORE BUNYONYI TO LAKE MBURO N. PARK

Journey time: 5hrs: 20mins

After breakfast, you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park.

Lake Mburo National Park is conveniently located close to the KampalaMbarara highway, with varied wildlife in the middle of an extensive rich acacia woodland. It is home to over 332 bird species including the rare African fin foot, shoebill, papyrus gonolek, yellow warbler, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattle, plover among others. Upon arrival you will check in at you lodge and then have lunch.

After lunch a boat cruisewill take you close to the rich flora and fauna of Lake Mburo. And along the shores, you will spot a variety of birds which include but not limited to Malachite Kingfishers, African Fish Eagle, Blue Headed Weavers, Rufous, and Long Tailed Starlings, Pied kingfishers, Hammerkop, Herons, Pelicans, the rare Shoebill Stork as well as the cormorants and hadada ibis. Here is another opportunity to view the crocodiles as well as hippos in their hundreds andanimals that come to cool off during the afternoon. These include antelopes, buffaloes, and over 3 types of otters that are found in the lake. After boat cruise, feel free to take part in some optional activities which include; horseback rides, walking safari, or mountain bikingthrough the park with a ranger guide where you will spot more wildlife, including elands, zebras, buffaloes, klipspringer, and more grazers.

OVERNIGHT: Rwakobo Rock – Or similar

DAY 13: GAME DRIVE & TRIP BACK TO KAMPALA

Journey time: 4hrs: 45min

Early in the morning after breakfast, you will check out and proceed for your game drive in the woodland acacia. Expect a variety of flora and fauna, Here is a chance to spot some rare bird species which include water and swamp birds like Papyrus gonolek, Yellow Warbler, Saddle-billed Stork,Cisticola,White-winged Warbler, Crested Crane and many morePlus animals which include zebras, Roth’s child giraffes, elephants, elands, wart hogs, topis, Kobs and by chance some leopards.. Visit the salt licksand watch animals licking natural saltto supplement their diet while at a viewing platform.

After your game drive you will depart for Kampala Take a stopover at the equator in Masaka; for a photo opportunity. After this equator moment, proceed to Kampala city and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

OVERNIGHT: Fairway Hotel & Spa – Or similar

DAY 14: BIRDING IN MPANGA FOREST

Journey time: 1hr

After breakfast depart Kampala for Mpanga forest.

Mpanga forest is wonderful getaway for nature lovers! It is one of the Uganda birding spots nearest to Kampala and it is very productive for forest species. A birding day at Mpanga Forest starts at the cleared visitors’ information center area (cleared ground) at the edge of the forest. This area provides plenty of birds that are observed in the forest edge and in flight.

It supports an impressive biodiversity for such a small forest! It has 500 species of trees and shrubs, 300 species of birds, 97 butterflies, and 112 moths. Three species of monkeys can be seen in the forest including vervet, red-tailed and black-and-white colobus monkeys. There is also a number of small mammals including banded mongoose, squirrels, pottos, pangolins and bush babies. If you spend a night at Mpanga Forest you have a chance of spotting the rare nocturnal pottos and bushbabies.Some of the notable birds you will observe at Mpanga Forest include:

  • Long-tailed Cormorant
  • Cattle Egret
  • Black-headed Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Hadada Ibis
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Black Kite
  • Palmnut Vulture
  • Lizard Buzzard
  • African Harrier-Hawk
  • Wahlberg’s Eagle
  • Crested Guinea fowl
  • White-spotted Fluff tail
  • African Green-Pigeon
  • Red-eyed Dove
  • Grey Parrot
  • Great Blue Turaco
  • Red-chested Cuckoo
  • Deidrick Cuckoo
  • Klaus’s Cuckoo
  • Yellow bill
  • African Palm Swift
  • White-rumped Swift
  • Speckled Mouse bird
  • Pied Kingfisher,
  • White-breasted Nigrofinch
  • Woodland Kingfisher
  • Shining-blue Kingfisher
  • Blue-breasted Kingfisher

After half day birding return to Kampala at your lodge and spend the rest of the day at Leisure.

OVERNIGHT: Fairway Hotel& Spa – Or similar

DAY 15: KAMPALA CITY TOUR & DEPARTURE

Journey time: 45mins – 1hr

On this final day of your safari, enjoy a brief tour of Kampala citywith visits to; the highlights of the city such as the Buganda palace, Uganda museum, Nakaseromarket, all the historical monuments, the largest craft village and temples. You will later be transferred to Entebbe International Airport to check in for your next home departure flight.

END OF SAFARI

PRICE: Quoted in US Dollars per person sharing

Based on 2 Pax: From 5200 USD per person sharing

PACKAGE INCLUDES:
  • Full Board Meals & mineral water on safari
  • 14 night’s accommodation
  • Kampala City tour
  • All park entry fees
  • Game drives in Lake Mburo & QENP
  • Chimpanzee tracking permits for Kibale
  • All ground transfers + airport 2 way
  • Services of an English–speaking driver guide
  • Fuel for the round trip
  • 4X4 vehicle + driver guide
PACKAGE EXCLUDES:
  • Meals and snacks not inclusive in accommodation
  • Gorilla permits & Batwa experience
  • En Route–lunches
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • All drinks alcoholic & nonalcoholic
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Flight tickets & visas
  • Tips & gratuities
Travel Insurance

We will do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, all travel involves some degree of risk and we strongly recommend that you take out appropriate travel insurance for your adventure. Your insurance protection should include cover for cancellation, medical and repatriation expenses, personal injury and accident, death and loss of personal baggage, money and personal liability. Evidence of such insurances should be produced to Gazelle Safari Company Ltd. on request. Insurance cover offered by credit card companies or reciprocal medical cover agreements are often not comprehensive.

Book Tour

Tour Name Price Per Adult Price Per Child Available Seats Departure Date Duration
Birding Safari 15 Days $ 5,200 $ 0 2 Every Monday 15 days, 14 nights

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Please select the discounted rates available for more than one traveller. If there is more than one adult traveller in the group DO NOT use the Adult option above.
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$ 1,100 Yes1

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