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Kampala, Uganda


Due to increased demand from our clients, we have come up with a new package: Expedition Birding and Wildlife tour that meets the expectations of the clients. Travelling to Uganda for birding has always been very enriching with memorable experiences. But we have observed that several visitors would want to know more about the cultures of the people. The interaction of the wildlife with the people demonstrates the uniqueness of Africa. For this reason, we have come up with this new package that includes Birding and Wildlife with cultural experience.

Trip Details

Day 1 of 18 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Arrival

Arrival at Entebbe Airport and transfer to the hotel for the night.

Day 2: Birding Mabamba Swamp and afternoon transfer to Masindi

After an early breakfast, we drive to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Stop en route at Mpigi Swamp for papyrus rarities. Look out for; the White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, and many more swamp specialties.
We continue to the Mabamba Wetland. At the Swamp, most of the birding is done on motorized canoes, by our local site guides. Watch out for the Shoebill both in the sky and down in the marsh. Also watch out for the; Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamp Hen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser and African Jacanas, African Pigmy Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Squacco Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, and Black Crake. In the afternoon, we bird all the way to Masindi.

Day 3: Birding in Budongo Forest-Royal Mile and Busingiro Section

We bird Budongo’s famous Royal Mile in the early morning. It is a wide forestry track considered by many to be the country’s premier forest birding locality. This is the best place in Uganda for Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher. There are many confusing forest Greenbuls to test us including Spotted, Xavier’s, White-throated, Red-tailed and Honeyguide Greenbuls. The canopy supports Yellow-mantled Weaver, and Uganda Woodland Warbler. The undergrowth along the track holds numerous skulkers that include Scaly-breasted, Brown, and Pale-breasted Illadopses, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Yellow Long-bill, and Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher, Dwarf Kingfisher. We will keep an eye on any openings in the forest canopy for; Cassin’s and Crowned Hawk Eagles, Sabine’s Spinetail, and White-throated Bee-eaters are all possible. The area around the Park Headquarters is the only site in East Africa for the elusive canopy dwelling Ituri Batis.

Day 4: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

After breakfast, we drive to Murchison Falls National Park the Uganda’s largest National Park (3893sq.km) and it protects a huge chunk of untamed savannah bisected by the mighty River Nile. Today it is part of the even much larger Murchison Falls Protected Area (5072sq.km) which includes the adjoining Karuma and Bugungu Wildlife Reserves. It is named for the dramatic Murchison Falls whereby the World’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge in a frothing pool 43 m below. It is one of Uganda’s oldest conservation areas; it was initially gazetted as a game reserve in 1926 to protect a savannah that Winston Churchill described in 1907 as ‘Kew Gardens and the Zoo combined on an unlimited scale. The park has 76 mammal species including the lion, elephant, leopard, hippopotamus, Rothschild giraffe, Cape buffalo, hartebeest, oribi, warthog, and the Uganda Kob. The park also hosts 360 bird species including the rare Shoebill Stork.

Day 5-6: Birding, Game Drives and Afternoon Launch Trip

After breakfast, we have a game drive to the rolling plains where you will have chances of viewing, Hartebeest, Lions, Buffalo, Primates, Mongoose, Giraffe and Elephants. After lunch, we will have an afternoon launch cruise where you have chances to view huge Nile Crocodiles, big Pods of Hippos, and other wildlife. You will also be able to see a wide variety of water birds like; Shoebill, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Senegal, and Water Thick-knees, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwings, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver. Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Marabou Stork, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Silver Bird, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver and White-rumped Seedeater, Rock Pratincole, African Darter and Giant Kingfisher and many more.

Day 7: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park

After breakfast, we will drive to Kibale forest arriving in Fort Portal in the late afternoon. Kibale forest national park is the best safari destination for chimpanzee tracking in East Africa. It contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of all tropical forests in Uganda. It hosts 13 species of primates including the Chimpanzee. It has 1450 chimpanzees, and these represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate. It is also home to the rare L’hoest’s Monkey and East Africa’s largest population of the threatened Red Colobus Monkey.

Other primates that you may see include the Black and White Colobus, Blue Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Red-tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Bush baby and Pottos. Kibale forest cover predominates in the Northern and Central parts of the park. Kibale is highest at the park’s Northern tip which stands at 1590m above sea level. The park also boasts 325 bird species, including 6 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift region. They include the Black capped Apalis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Purple-breasted Sunbird and Red-faced Woodland Warbler. If you are lucky, you may also see; the African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Black Bee-eater, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, and many more.

Day 8: Birding and Chimpanzee tracking in the forest – Uganda

After an early breakfast we drive to Kibale National Park visitor center for briefing and chimp tracking. The activity may last from a few hours to several hours. Kibale forest is home to 13

primates of Uganda. Birding in the afternoon along the main road may be productive. Depending on the weather predictions, birding Bigodi wetland is also productive with riverine forest birds. Kibale National Park is a good site for several bird species that are hard to find elsewhere including the Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Cabanis’s Greenbul and Joyful Greenbul as well as White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Lesser Honey guide, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, White-chinned Prinia, Grey Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera and White-collared Oliveback.

Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After breakfast, we drive to Queen Elizabeth national park. The Park which is named after the Queen of England who visited it in 1954 is the second largest national park in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth national park boasts the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. This is evidenced by the presence of open savannah, rainforest, dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes, and the vast Lake Edward. Queen Elizabeth National Park has almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 612 bird species hence making it a superb safari territory, with elephants, a profusion of hippos, the elusive Giant Forest hog and handsome Uganda Kob all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula – which also boasts a marvelous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Day 10: Game drive and afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel.

We start early for a game drive and birding the vast grassland area the whole morning looking out for; Larks, Pipits, Harlequin Quail, Blue Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, Black Coucal, African Crake, African Moustached, Broad Tailed and Grey Capped Warbler, Martial Eagle, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Amur Falcon, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Terek Sandpiper, Crimson Rumped Waxbill, Sulpher Breasted Bushshrike, Golden Breasted Bunting, Temminck's Courser, Senegal and Wattled Lapwing, Brown Snake Eagle and many more bird species. This park has a great number of mammals numbering to 96 which are both diurnal and nocturnal. Among them, Buffaloes, Uganda Kob, Elephant, Lion, Lepard, Daffasa Waterbuck are on the list. Later in the afternoon we have an exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a natural water channel connecting Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus. Birding on the boat avails us opportunities of seeing the African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Lesser Black Backed and Gray-headed Gull, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Grey Plover, Terek Sandpiper most of which are winter visitors. Dinner and overnight at our Lodge.

Day 11: Travel to Bwindi Forest national park

You start early after breakfast, we will also drive through the Ishasha section where, if lucky, we may be able to view tree climbing lions and continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to approximately half of the world endangered population of Mountain Gorillas. This vast reserve offers arguably the most productive afro-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 big conservation importance.

Forest birding in Bwindi ranks the best in Uganda. It is home to 23 highly localized Albertine Rift Endemics. Special birds include; Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Black-and-white-Shrike-flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seed-eater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Dusky Crimsonwing, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, Mountain Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, Grauer’s Broadbill, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Archer’s Ground Robin, Toro Olive Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Neumann’s Warbler, and Red-faced Woodland Warbler and many more.

Day 12 &13: Birding & Gorilla Tracking.

After breakfast, we shall assemble at the Park Offices for the briefing prior to this historic event. Gorilla tracking is a very captivating activity; It might take 1-8 hours which involves walking in the wilderness in search of these gentle giants. Gorilla Tracking can be a challenging activity, therefore ensure physical fitness. Eight people are permitted per group per day. On occasions the Gorillas prove elusive but often can be found within an hour by the tracker guides. It is a wonderful experience to stare into the eyes of these gentle giants; watch them in awe as they play and go about their daily activities. Gorilla Tracking is indeed a “once in a lifetime” experience that you must never miss. Each encounter with the gorillas is different and has its own rewards, but you are likely to enjoy the close view of adults feeding, grooming and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully playful display.

Day 14: Birding to Ruhija via the Neck

After an early morning breakfast, we bird to Ruhija through the neck. Key bird species include: Mountain Wagtail, Chin-spot Batis, Black-billed Turacco, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-tailed Greenbul, and we should come across Bee-eaters including Black Bee-eater and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Many-coloured Bush-shrike, Ayres's Hawk-eagle, Bronze-napped Pigeon, Bar-tailed Trogon, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-throated Alethe, African Shrike-flycatcher and Red-headed Malimbe; and in areas of dry fern vegetation, we expect to watch the Dusky Twinspot. Other birds here include Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Augur Buzzard, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Pink-footed, Northern Puffbacks, Red-tailed, Little Grey Greenbuls, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-throated Martin, East African Swee (Yellow-bellied Waxbill), Yellow White-eye, Dark-capped Bulbul, Yellow-billed Kite, Yellow-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbirds, African Stonechat, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori, Black-faced, Black-throated and Black-capped Apalises, Red-faced Woodland, Montane Yellow Warbler, Regal Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Yellow-throated Leaf Love, Crested Guinea Fowl, African Crowned Hornbill, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet, African Harrier Hawk and many

Day 15: Whole day birding to Mubwindi Swamp

After breakfast we head for a whole day birding to Mubwindi Swamp. This is the best birding spot for the Albertine rift endemics including Grauer’s Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird, Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Black Headed Waxbill, and Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Grauer's Rush Warbler, Fraser's Eagle-Owl, Purple-breasted, Blue-headed, Regal, Northern Double Collared, Olive and Collared Sunbirds, Strange Weaver. This part of Bwindi is generally at a higher altitude and the No. 1 Birding site in Africa as per the African Birding Club. More birds to look out for are, Black-billed Turaco, Western Green Tinkerbird, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Mountain Greenbul, Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland, Grauer's and Mountain Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-throated, Buff Throated, Black-faced and Rwenzori Apalises, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Red-throated Alethe, Ashy, Dusky-blue and Black-and-white Shrike-flycatchers, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon's Fiscal, Pink-footed Puffback, Doherty's Bush-shrike, White-napped Raven, Montane Oriole, Stuhlmann's Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller's Starling, Brown-capped, Baglafecht and Black-billed Weavers, Dusky Crimsonwing, East African Swee, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre's Hawk-eagle, Handsome Francolin, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood-Owl, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, (Western) Bronze-napped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Elliot's Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Archer's Robin-chat, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Ansorge's Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, Olive Thrush, Red-faced Woodland Warbler and many more. Dinner and overnight at our lodge.

Day 16: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo national park is a gem of a park. Though the park is just 370 sq km in size, its landscapes are varied and even a short drive is alive with interest and color. You will pass gallery forests, open savannah and acacia woodland, rocky kopjes, seasonal and permanent swamps, and open water as you search for the wealth of wildlife they support. A variety of vegetative habitats surround the open water of Lake Mburo. The lake’s western side is dominated by a grassy escarpment rising above a shoreline fringed with acacia forest and the closed canopy Rubanga Forest. To the north and east, grassy valley floors, made seasonally lush and soggy by rain, drain between undulating hills. These seep through expanses of wetland into the lake. Rock Kopjes are found along the eastern margins of the park. These varied habitats support an impressive variety of wildlife including 68 mammal species. These include some rarities.

Lake Mburo national park is the only park in Uganda that contains Impala and the only one in the rift region that hosts Burchell’s Zebra and Eland. Common wildlife species include warthog, buffalo, oribi, Deffassa Water buck and reedbuck. Leopard and hyena are also present while hippos and crocodiles are found in the lake.

Common conspicuous birds we will encounter on our journey to Lake Mburo include; Crested Francolin, Emerald Spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Blue-napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Green Wood hoopoe, Common Scimitar Bill, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Black Tit, Chin-spot Batis, Greater Blue-eared Starling, and Marico Sunbird. The woodland in the immediate vicinity of Rwonyo also supports many of these widespread species.

Day 17: Whole day Birding and game drive in the park

After an early morning breakfast, we enter the park where we bird both in our car and the boat looking out for Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Red-necked Spurfawl, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Temmincks Courser, Common Quails, Green Wood hoopoe, Blue-napped Mousebird, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, African Grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Lilac-breasted Roller, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-napped and Flappet Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow, Southern Red Bishop, and Yellow-throated Long Claw among others. The fringing swamps in the park also hide secretive papyrus specialties such as the Papyrus Gonolek. The woodland in the immediate vicinity of Rwonyo also supports many of these widespread species. A small number of the migratory Brown-chested Plover is regularly observed, Red-faced, Crested, Black-collored and White-headed Barbets are also looked for. Spot lighting along the entrance road may produce interesting nocturnal species such as the African Scops Owl, Verreux’s Eagle, and Freckled, Black Shouldered and Pennant-winged Nightjars. Overnight at our lodge

Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe and Departure

After an early breakfast, we drive out of the park having our lunch on the way. We stop en route to visit the Mpambire Royal Drum makers. We also stop over at the Equator for photographs and continue to Entebbe.

End of tour.

The cost of this tour based on Six (6) people sharing double rooms on full board apart from the first hotel in Entebbe is.

 4,388$ per person without Gorillas and Chimpanzees Permits

Additional 900$ per person tracking all the two.

Included are.

All ground transportation in a 4*4 land cruiser

All accommodation and meals as per the itinerary

An English-speaking bird guide and his allowances

Water in the car throughout the trip

All park entrances and the activities as per the program

Excluded are.

- Personal items (travel insurance, visa fees, Laundry, tips etc.)

- Any other activities or excursion not mentioned above

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