Birds Of East Africa Tour : Birding In Uganda With Gorillas (18 Days)
Day One: Arrival
On your arrival at Entebbe international airport, you meet with our driver guide greet make introductions and then transfer to a hotel. O/N Boma Guest House Entebbe or Hotel Africana in Kampala (BB)
Day Two: Kampala – Mabamba Swamp – Lake Mburo Park
Very early in the morning you will set off to bird Mabamba Swamp in Mpigi. Here you will find African water/Swamp bird species like shoe bill, pink-barked pelican, long-tailed cormorant, saddle-billed stork and marabours and others. Thereafter you will proceed to Lake Mburo Game Park where you will bird several species including the conqui francoin, the blackheaded squacco, kingfisher, red-naked spurfowl, temminck’s courser, black bellied bustard and African wattled lapwing. If lucky enough you may even see the nomadic Weyn’s weaver, you may also see four smaller lakes, stunning impala, waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, hippos and crocodiles. O/N: Acardia Mburo Cottages or Mburo safari lodge (FB).
Day Three: Lake mburo
Go for a launch cruise in the searching for the rare white backed night heron, African fin foot, the African giant king fisher, papyrus genolek and the white winged weaver include others. In the afternoon rest for lunch after which you will start the journey to the south-west Mt. Mgahinga park. O/N Gorilla forest camp or Heritage Hotel Kisoro (FB).
Day Four: Mgahinga Park
Bird Mgahinga Forest where you will see most of the Albertine Rift valley endemic species including; the Handsome Francolin, Dusky Turtle Dove, Rwenzori Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-starred Robin, Equatorial Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Banded Prinia, Grauer’s Warbler, Chestnut-throated Apalis. O/N: Travellers Rest camp (FB).
Day Five: Echuya forest – Ruhija
Echuya forest reserve is ranked among the top 10 birding spots in Uganda together with Muchuya swamp which consists of over 100 bird species recorded. Birding here can result in watching of Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, , Kivu Ground Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Regal Sunbird, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Montane Oriole, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver and the Strange Weaver. You will continue birding by the road to Ruhiija in the south west of Bwindi Park. O/N Buhoma community camp (FB).
Day Five: Bird Mubwindi Swamp
start Birding Mubwindi swamp in the morning where you expect to watch species including; the Handsome Francolin, African Wood Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black Bee-eater, Western Green Tinkerbird, Dwarf Honeyguide, Fine-banded Woodpecker, African Green Broadbill, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Shelly’s Greenbul, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Tit Hylia, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Dusky Twinspot, Dusky Crimsonwing. Just a few out of the 320 recorded bird species in Bwindi. O/N: Buhoma community camps (FB).
Day Six: Track Gorillas (Optional)
Track Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Tracking begin at 8:00am and can last for up to 9 hours in the jungle. Tracking may be challenging but coming face to face with these primates is a remarkable non forgettable experience you will ever have. Several bird species and other primates can be viewed on track. O/N: Buhoma community camps (FB).
Day Seven: Bird Buhoma through `The Neck`
Take a morning bird watch in Buhoma through “The Neck” where the forest narrows and birding can be excellent in the forest. It covers a distance of about 50km however can take a full day of bird watching due to the variety of bird species in this area. You may see the strange grauer’s warbler, white-brown crombec, the rare Jameson’s antpecker and others. Thereafter you will drive back to Buhoma for dinner and overnight. O/N: Buhoma community camp (FB).
Day Eight: Bird Buhoma Main Trail
Here you will go birding as you search for species including; the olive long-tailed cuckoo, bar-tailed trogon, Dusky tit, kivu ground- thrush, white-tailed Robin-chat, Equatorial Akalat, white-tailed ant-thrush, red-throated alethe, white-belied crested flycatcher, northern double-collared sunbird, black-billed weaver, magpie Mannikin and in the open forest the favourable species include the Africa goshawk, the Dazzling black bee eater, blue-throated roller, sooty flycatcher and forest starlings.
Day Nine: Buhoma – Queen Elizabeth
After a morning breakfast you will drive to Queen Elizabeth Park through Ishasha section which is famous for climbing lions. A game drive where you will see most of the savannah species. Queen Elizabeth Park which boosts with over 500 species of birds including the shoebill stork, the black bee-eater, Palm-nut Vulture, Hooded Vulture, African White-backed Vulture, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Bateleur, Long-created Eagle, Martial Eagle, Grey Kestrel, African Crake, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African Wattled Plover, Crowned Plover, Senegal Plover, Kittlitz’s Plover, Rufous napped Lark, Flappet Lark, White-tailed Lark, Brown-backed Srub-Robin, Zitting Cisticola, Croaking Cisticola, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-lored Babbler, Grey backed FiscalBlack-headed Gonolek, Black-crowned Tchagra, Fork-tailed Drongo, Pin-tailed Whydah. On a game drive you will also see other species like Guinea fowls, elephants, giraffes and Kobs. O/N: Simba Safari camp or Mweya Lodge (FB).
Day Ten: Queen Elizabeth – Kibale Forest
You will go for a morning bird watching in Kyambura Gorge while viewing the steep slopes as wells chimpanzees some of the bird species which could be watched include the Palm-nut Vulture, Hooded Vulture, African White-backed Vulture, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle. In the afternoon you will relax and have lunch after which you will proceed for a boat cruise on Kazinga Channel where you will view several birds quenching up including various animals like hippos, crocodiles, kobs, buffaloes and elephants. You will drive to Kibale forest via Fort Portal town. O/N: Sunrise Hotel or Chimpanzee View Guest House (FB).
Day Elevenen: Kibale Forest
You will start the day with and early morning walk viewing birds in Kibale forest which is known to have over 320 recorded bird species including the Green-breasted pitta, African pitta, Abyssinian ground thrush, Crowned eagle, Dusky crimson wing, Black-capped apalis, Collared apalis, Purple-breasted sunbird, Black bee-eater, Yellow spotted nicator, Little greenbul, Black-eared ground thrush, Brown-chested alethe, Yellow-rumped tinker bird, Blue-breasted kingfisher. Birding in Kibale forest is also an opportunity for you to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat, including many other species of primates. Kibale forest contains the largest number of primate in Africa. O/N: Sunrise Hotel or Chimpanzee View Guest House. (FB)
Day Twelve: Bigodi swamp
BIgodi swamp is managed by Kibale Association Rural and Environmental development (KAFRED) which was formed in 1992, it is a Community Based project purposely to protect the local environment while advancing health, education and economic growth in the wider local community. You will go for birding in Bigodi swamp trails made the community tourism project, you can see the great blue turaco, hornbill, waxbill, weaver, cuckoos, kingfisher, flycatcher and many other species. You will also go birding around the crater lakes before returning to the lodge for a rest. O/N: Sunrise Hotel or Chimpanzee View Guest House. (FB)
Day Thirteen: KIbale – Budongo forest
You will take a long drive northwards to budongo forest area with numerous birding stops en route. The drive will take you through astonishing sceneries tea plantations and local villages then later ensue at Masindi Town for a dinner and rest overnight. O/N Budongo eco lodge (FB).
Day Fourteen: Budongo Forest
This day starts your two days birding experience in Budongo forest. You will go quietly searching for birds following “The Royal Mile” this is one of the best birding spots in Uganda and it’s also well known for traditional and historical leisure spots for kings hence the name “Royal Mile”. You will search for bird species including some of; African Crowned Eagle, Nahan’s Francolin, White-spotted Flufftail, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Piping Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet and many more. O/N Budongo eco lodge (FB).
Day Fifteen: Budongo Forest
You will start birding in Budongo forest following the main trail, the forest has several of the Albertine rift valley species among which you could see; the Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-crowned Elemomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Black-capped Apalis, Ituri Batis, Chestnut-caped Flycatcher, Grey-headed Sunbird, Western-black Headed Oriole. O/N Budongo eco lodge (FB).
Day Sixteen: Budongo forest – Murchison Falls Park
After breakfast, drive northwards to Murchison falls park birding through the Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest which is a new discovery for Puvell’s Lladopsis, Black-billed turacco, narina tragon, blue-throated roller and Fire-crested alethe. On your bird watch you will also have chances of seeing primates in the forest like Chimps, Monkeys and others. O/N: Nile Safari Lodge or Paraa Safari Lodge (FB).
Day Sixteen: Murchison Falls Park
You will bird the largest national game park in the pearl of Africa, habituates about 360 recorded bird species. Some the other species which can be seen in the park include blue-throated roller, dwarf kingfisher and grey-chinned sunbird, African Darter, Goliath Heron, Yellow-billed Stork, Abdim’s Stork, Shoebill, White-faced Whistling Duck, Secretary Bird, Osprey, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Martial Eagle, Hugli’s Francolin, Denham’s Bustard, Spotted Thick-knee, Senegal Thick-knee, Rock Pratincole, Black-headed Plover, Long-toed Plover, Black-billed Wood-Dove, Veracious Dove, Long Tailed Nightjar, Standard-winged Nightjar, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Blue-naped Moosebird, Giant Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Red-throated Bee-eater, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Black Scimitarbill, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Black-billed Barbet, White-fronted Black Chat, Silverbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Piapiac, Speckle-fronted Weaver, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Vaseline Masked Weaver, Bar-breasted Firefinch, White-rumped Seedeater, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Spur-winger Geese, Black Crake, Grey-crowned Crane, Blue-naped Moosebird, Spotted Morning Thrush, Nothern Crombec, Red-winged Grey Warbler, to mention but just a little. O/N: Nile Safari Lodge or Paraa Safari Lodge (FB).
Day Seventeen: Murchison Falls Park
You will start with a morning boat ride on the Nile birding with the sun behind you. Here you will go searching for water species including snake eagle, fish eagle, the rare shoebill, Egyptian goose, the African darter, bee-eaters, shoebill stork, Goliath heron, Red-Naked Falcon, saddle billed stork, and animals like hippos, crocodiles. You will head to the bottom of the falls for a glance at the spectacular falls in the focal park of the country. You will later go for an afternoon game drive in the park to see some savannah species including hartebeests, elephants, Cape buffalos, Rothschild’s giraffes, waterbucks, Oribis, bushbucks, bohor reed bucks, hyenas and probably lions. O/N: Nile Safari Lodge or Paraa Safari Lodge (FB).
Day eighteen: Murchison Falls Park – Kampala and depature.
You will drive from Murchison Falls back to Kampala via Nakasongola and Luwero then transfer to Entebbe airport for your flight.
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