23 Days Uganda Birding & Primates Safari

This safari will take you to the different areas in Uganda. Our first birding site will be the Mabamba wetland on the fringes of Lake Victoria in search for the Shoebill. Next will be to Budongo forest with over 350 bird Species. We will then proceed to Murchison Falls National Park home to over 450 bird species. Next will be Semliki national park which protects an extension of the vast Ituri forest in DR Congo. The tour continues to Kibale National Park, Rwenzori mountains national park and Queen Elizabeth national park. Our highlight will be the Bwindi impenetrable forest which has a record of 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics and Mgahinga National Park hosting over 180 bird species including the Albertine Rift Endemics. The last park to visit is Lake Mburo national park for some beautiful birding.

Key Bird Species

Shoebill, Papyrus gonolek, Malachite Sunbird, Purple-breasted sunbird, Regal sunbird, Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, Malachite Kingfisher, Rwenzori Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Black billed turaco, White crested turaco, Archer’s Robin Chat, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Puvels Illadopsis, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Collared Pratincole, African Green Broadbill, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Mountain Masked Apalis, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, Red-chested flufftail, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-billed Barbet, Broadbill Roller, Bar-tailed Trogon, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Waller’s Starling, Dwarf Honey-Guide, White-bellied Robin Chat, Oriole Finch, African Wood Owl, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Caruther’s Cisticola, Red-headed Malimbe, Grey-headed Sparrow, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Dusky Twinspot, Think-billed and Streaky Seedeaters, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Rwenzori Nightjar, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Western banded eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Little grebe, African hawk eagle, Black Bee-eaters, white faced Go-away birds, African Finfoot.

Bird Habitats

Forest, Acacia Savanna, grassland, agricultural lands, Riverine Forest, Moist woodland, Borassus Palm Savannah, Papyrus Swamps, Lakes and rivers

Day 1: Birding in Mabamba Wetland Swamp & Botanical Gardens

After an early breakfast we drive to Mabamba Wetland in Kasanje which is located on the fringes of Lake Victoria – 2nd biggest fresh water body in the world. The drive can take about an hour or more depending.

In Mabamba swamp, you will take a motorized canoe with the area site guide in search of the incredible Shoebill which is often seen standing in the mashes waiting to hunt or flying in the air above the papyrus plants.

There are also other variety of water birds like; African Jacana, White-winged Terns, African Purple Swamp hen, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Winding Cisticola, Red-billed Fire-finch, White-faced whistling duck, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, Saddle billed Stork, Cape wagtail, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-billed Duck Long-toed plover, African Fish Eagle and African Marsh Harrier, Swamp Flycatcher etc

Spend the evening in the Botanical gardens.

Day 2: Transfer to Masindi via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Start the day early with a stopover at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for Rhino trekking and some birding at the sanctuary. After this proceed to your hotel in Masindi for overnight as you look to bird Budongo forest tomorrow.

The birds at the Sanctuary include; Grey-crowned crane, Nubian woodpecker, Red-headed Malimbe, Grey Kestrel, Pallid Harrier, Heuglin’s Francolin, Ross’s Turaco, Abdim’ Stork, White-creasted Turaco, Blue-spotted dove etc.

Day 3: Birding the Royal Mile in Budongo forest

Today you start birding in the rich Budongo forest. After an early breakfast with packed lunch, we will leave for the royal mile – a stretch of 1 mile that the King of Bunyoro enjoyed to spend time. This is a full day’s birding along the forest road and ending at the forest Bridge depending on the activity of the bird species.

Together with the site guide and your bird guide, you will look out for some of the exotic bird species; Ituri Batis, Nahan’s francolin, Grey and Yellow longbills, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Chocolate backed Kingfisher, Black-capped Apalis, Brown twin spot, White spotted fluff tail, Jameson’s wattle eye, White breasted negro finch, Grey-headed Olive-back, Grey headed sunbird, Red headed bluebill, Green sunbird, Little green sunbird and the list goes on

Day 4: Birding Tour to Murchison Falls National Park

After an early breakfast at your hotel, your bird guide will pick you to start your birding journey to Uganda’s largest and oldest National Park – Murchison falls national park. You will drive to the Top of the waterfalls to have a view of the falls from the top and continue birding to your lodge.

Day 5: Birding Murchison falls national park

We have an early morning breakfast and then go birding – first on a boat and later in the car.

Spend the morning birding towards the Delta.  Some of the birds we aim for in this area include; the Shoebill, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Black Crake, African Crake, Grey-crowned Crane, Southern Pochard, The Egyptian, African Pygmy, and the Spur-winged Goose, Saddle-billed stork, Open-billed stork, Yellow-billed storkand Marabou stork. More birds include;  the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Green Backed Heron, Little Grebe, Common Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, African and Eurasian Spoonbills, the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover.

After the experience on the boat, you transfer to the car and bird in the Savannah in search forSecretary Bird, Northern Carmine and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Giant, Pied, Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, African Rock Martin; Lesser Stripped, Ethiopian, Angola, Red-rumped and Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Rock Thrush, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat. Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre and Yellow-throated Greenbul, Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits,  Black-lored, and Brown Babblers, Nubian Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Honeyguide, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, and many more.

Day 6: Birding and Boat trip to bottom of the falls

Have an early morning breakfast and go birding in the savannah plains on Murchison falls. Secretary Bird, Northern Carmine and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Giant, Pied, Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, African Rock Martin; Lesser Stripped, Ethiopian, Angola, Red-rumped and Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Rock Thrush, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat. Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre and Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits,  Black-lored and Brown Babblers, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Honeyguide, Scaly-throated Honeyguide and many more.

Day 7: Birding the Escarpment and Transfer to Fort portal

Today morning after breakfast, we transfer to Fort portal with a stopover birding the Butiaba Escarpment. Look out for; Beautiful sunbird, Black-billed Barbet, Grey-winged Pythilia, Buff-bellied Warbler, Northern Crombec, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Whin chat, Little weaver, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Lesser blue-eared Starling, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Marsh Tchagra, Copper Sunbird, Green-backed Eremomela, Long crested eagle, Foxy Cisticola, etc. 

Day 8: Birding Kirumia trail in Semuliki national park

Today after breakfast we bird our way to Semuliki national park for an experience searching for central African species found only here in East Africa.

Semuliki forest is a continuation of Congo’s Ituri forest and some of the species we will look out for include the; Congo Serpent Eagle, Grey-throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Spot-breasted Ibis, Yellow-throated Nicator, Northern Red-chested Owlet, Western Bronzenaped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, White-bellied Kingfisher, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, White-throated Blue Swallow, Bate’s Nightjar, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Black-winged Oriole,  Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Crested and Blue-billed Malimbes, Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike, Pale-fronted Negro finch, Piping, Black-casqued, Wattled and White-thighed Hornbills.

Day 9: Transfer to Kibale national park

Today you continue the safari to Kibale national park to continue on your Uganda birding tour. In addition to birding, you will have chimp trekking and a time birding in the community. Enjoy short stopovers by the tea plantations and enjoy the landscape.

Day 10: Kibale forest birding for the Green breasted Pitta

We will have an early morning breakfast and leave the lodge with our packed lunch for maximum time in the forest. Our morning focus while birding will be to search for the elusive Green breasted pitta.

Other bird species we look for include; Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Great blue Turaco, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood hoopoe, Red Headed malimbe, Yellow-spotted barbet, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin, Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, Red-chested Flufftail, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Tiny Sunbird, White-collared Oliveback and many more.

Day 11:  Chimpanzee trekking and Birding Bigodi swamp

This morning we have an opportunity to trek the chimpanzees deep in Kibale forest for an experience of a life time. Your driver guide will transfer you to the briefing point. After briefing, you will divided in groups and given a ranger guide to guide you in the forest.

In the afternoon, we bird Bigodi wetland for species we might have missed in the forest. This is a community initiative conserving the buffer zone to the forest, proceeds go to different community programs.

Day 12: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today after an early breakfast we start the trip to Queen Elizabeth national park birding along the way. You will have stopovers for both birding and photography moments.

Bird along the crater drive in Queen Elizabeth national park and later proceed to the lodge for overnight.

Day 13: Birding Imaramagambo forest

We start early birding in the park leading to Maramagambo Forest.

Bird species we expect to sight include Whinchat, Common Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes. The Black and Penduline Tits, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, White-tailed and Red-tailed Ant-thrushes, Brown Illadopsis,  Shining-blue Kingfisher, Brown-eared Woodpeckers, Least Honeyguide, Grey Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, and many others.

In the afternoon take a boat ride on Kazinga channel for some water birds and animals.

Day 14: Birding to Bwindi Impenetrable forest

Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park with birding stopovers. Take a short game drive in Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park to search for the tree climbing lions. After this experience, proceed to Buhoma sector of Queen Elizabeth national park.

Some of the species in Ishasha include; White-headed barbet, Grey woodpecker, Senegal Plover, Striped Kingfisher, African wattled plover, Black coucal, long crested eagle, etc.

Day 15: Birding Buhoma Sector

Today after an early breakfast, we enter the forest for a bird watching experience in the impenetrable forest. Look out for;  Stuhlmann’s Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Montane Oriole, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl. More species; Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, African Green Broadbill, Lagdens Bush-Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Toro Olive-Greenbul, White-bellied Robin Chat, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush-warbler, Neumann’s Warbler and Red-faced Woodland Warbler.

Day 16: Gorilla trekking

After breakfast, the driver guide will transfer you to the briefing point where you will receive instructions on how to conduct yourself while in the forest and once you locate the gorillas. After the briefing you will be divided into different groups according to the gorilla family you will be tracking. The trek takes anything from minutes to hours in search of the gorillas depending on where they nested the previous night.

Day 17: Birding to Ruhija via ‘the Neck’ of the forest

Early morning make your way towards ‘the neck’ of the forest linking Buhoma to Ruhija. We look out for; Yellow-billed Waxbill, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Black Bee-eaters, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Cuckoo Shrike, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Little Grey Greenbuls, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-throated Martin, Yellow White-eye. African Stonechat, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Stripe-breasted Tit, Montane-masked Apalis, Montane Yellow Warbler, Regal Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet, African Harrier Hawk.

Day 18:  Birding Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija Sector

Today prepare to bird Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park with a picnic lunch. Look out for; Regal Sunbird, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Rush warbler, African green broadbill, Caruther’s cisticola, Handsome francolin, African Hill babbler, Banded Prinia, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Dohertys Bushrike, Collared Apalis and others.

Look out for Rwenzori night jars as you drive to the lodge in the evening.

Day 19: Birding to Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Transfer to Kisoro early morning after breakfast birding the Papyrus areas at Lake Bunyonyi out flow and Echuya forest for some Albertine rift endemics. Look out for; Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-throated Alethe, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Strange Weaver etc.

Day 20: Birding in Mgahinga Gorilla national Park

Mgahinga gorilla national park is home to over 180 bird species recorded. You shall traverse a variety of montane habitats along the excellent Gorge trail as you bird.

Some of the bird species we look out for include the; Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeyguide, Kivu Ground Thrush, Rwenzori Double-collared, Regal and the Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Archer`s Robin chat, cinnamon Bracken and Mountain Yellow Warblers, the Dusky and much Sought after Shelley’s Crimson-wing and many more.

Day 21: Birding to Lake Mburo national park

After breakfast, bird to Lake Mburo National Park. We shall have several birding stopovers at forest patches, swampy areas and water patches before finally arriving in Lake Mburo national park. We will then take an evening bird walk with an armed ranger guide to explore the various bird species in this park. We will also have opportunities for sighting a variety of mammals like, Warthogs, Zebras, Eland, Uganda Kob, Bush buck and many others.

Day 22: Birding in Lake Mburo national Park

Have an early morning breakfast before we start our birding for the day. Today we will take a boat ride on Lake Mburo and look out for the elusive African Fin foot. Other bird species to look out for in the park include; Red-winged Francolin, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Blue Quails, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Grey Woodpeckers. Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Red-necked spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, African-wattled Plover Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s & Carruther’s Cisticolas, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Black-headed,  Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans,  and the famous African Fish Eagle which is usually by the tress along the lake shores, etc.

Day 23:  Transfer to Entebbe – Departure 

After an early breakfast, we exit lake Mburo national park to Entebbe via the Equator monument. You will have birding enroute towards the airport. We hope you had an amazing time birding Uganda in the various national parks.

 

***END OF YOUR SAFARI***

 

This 14 Days Uganda Highlights Group safari  will allow you to have an up-close experience with the different primates’ in Uganda – Mountain gorillas and Chimpanzee. You will also have many wildlife experiences and community experiences. The minimum age for trekking is 15 years for mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. You will be moving by road and having stopovers for stretching, washroom, photography and lunch depending on your needs.

Transfers

All your transfers are arranged from the first day to the last day. We arrange these to all the activities and lodges as mentioned in the itinerary. We however do not organize airport transfers. If this is something you want from us, let us know so that we arrange it at an extra cost.

Lodges

We partner with ideally located accommodations in the mid-range level of comfort and amenities.  The lodges have been inspected for health and safety protocols. They offer great service.

Physical Level: Moderate to Difficult

This is an active safari – requiring to be out in the forest and volcanoes walking/ hiking for hours. You need to be relatively fit to enjoy this experience. The treks can be as easy as 1 hour hike or as difficult as 4-6 hour hikes. Most of the elevations are above 2000m asl  in above sea level.

Dates for this group safari

  • 22nd May – 13th June 2023
  • 28th August – 19th September 2023
  • 27th Nov – 19th December 2023

Cost

2 Pax USD $7647 per person
4 Pax USD $6626 per person
6 Pax USD $6267 per person
Single Room Supplement USD $1278

BOOK NOW

Price is based on current trekking permits fees. Should the government increase the permits, you will be informed and expected to top up to compensate for increased permit fees.

Booking and Cancellation Policy

A deposit of $2000 is required at time of booking with full payment expected 30 days before start of your safari. This is used to purchase the permits and confirm with the lodges.

Deposit can be paid via bank transfer or credit card – please contact us to send you details. If you pay using credit cards, include 4% which is surcharge from the bank.

The paid deposit for this group tour is non-refundable.

If the group tour is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, your deposit will be refunded minus a 15% cancellation fee.

We are not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other reasons.

Should cancellation be required due to severe weather, an alternate date will be scheduled at no additional charges.

No money will be refunded if you withdraw after the tour has started.

We are not responsible for any fees associated with non-refundable air travel, we highly recommend you purchase travel insurance.

Included in price

  1. 4×4 Vehicle for all the transfers indicated in itinerary
  2. English speaking driver guide
  3. Full board accommodation
  4. Water while in vehicle – 1 liter per person per
  5. 1 Chimpanzee permit per person
  6. 1 Colobus monkey permit per person
  7. 1 Gorilla trekking permit per person
  8. 1 Golden monkey trekking permit per person
  9. Canopy walk
  10. Applicable government taxes
  11. AMREF Evacuation Insurance Cover

Does not include:

  1. Airfare to and from Kigali, Rwanda
  2. Passport and entry Visa fees
  3. Bottled drinks with meals
  4. Items of personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcoholic beverages, souvenirs etc.
  5. Gratuities for local guide/ porters and drivers
  6. Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance

BOOK NOW

This trip is available for booking now – please fill out this form. You can also request this itinerary and pricing as a private tour for you and your friends or family. Our safari experts will advise you in case you need to add on activities to this itinerary and maybe change the lodges.

Email: sales@kagerasafaris.com

Telephone: +256-392-176513

WhatsApp: +256-782477992