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Uganda - Birds and Gorillas I

offered by supplier M17026 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 19 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 10 people
Destination(s): Uganda  
Specialty Categories: Birdwatching   Wildlife Viewing  
Season: June - July
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 8775 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 8775 US Dollar (USD)

Our 19-day Uganda Birds & Gorillas birding tour is a very popular departure that showcases the country’s most famous and productive sites. On this combined birdwatching and wildlife safari we spend time at four of Uganda’s core rainforest sites. These include Kibale, which protects an array of primates ranging from minuscule galagos to our closest living relative, the Chimpanzee (as well as being the best site for the near-mythical Green-breasted Pitta!). We marvel at the towering trees of the fabled Royal Mile, one of the premier forest birding sites in Africa, and five days are enjoyed in Bwindi Impenetrable Gorilla National Park, home to more than half the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas and 23 of the Albertine Rift bird endemics. (We routinely record twenty of these localized birds, including one of the world’s rarest species, Grauer’s Broadbill.) Although the gorilla trek can be strenuous, staring into the eyes of a Mountain Gorilla from a few feet away is nothing short of a life-changing experience. Only a single Mountain Gorilla survives per ten million people, and to have the opportunity to meet these gentle giants and be part of their family for an hour is a very rare privilege indeed!

In the drier north-west of the country, we visit Murchison Falls National Park, where the Nile is forced through a tiny gap, forming the most powerful water surge on Earth. Boat cruises here allow us to watch and photograph the birds and animals that throng the river banks. We can also expect to find one of the world’s most wanted birds, the bizarre Shoebill. Straddling the Equator is the vast Queen Elizabeth National Park, boasting impressive crater-lake scenery, grasslands and forests, huge herds of Elephant and Buffalo, Lions and Leopards, and a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel here is without doubt one of the most productive birding excursions in Africa! Over 500 bird species and a diverse array of iconic mammals can be expected on this unbeatable tour.

Please note: As we cannot guarantee the availability of gorilla permits, we suggest that you book very early if you would like to purchase one for the optional gorilla trek. Currently these are US$ 600 per person (non-refundable).
- Tour Price (Per Person): €7,880 * £5,880 * USD 8,775 * ZAR 120,360
- Single Supplement: €810 * £610 * USD 900 * ZAR 12,350.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Entebbe and drive to Jinja via Mabamba Swamp
Day 2: Mabira Forest
Day 3: Jinja to Masindi via Kampala
Day 4: Budongo Forest - Royal Mile birding all day
Day 5: Masindi to Murchison Falls NP via Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo Forest
Day 6: Murchison Falls NP - Delta boat cruise & north bank game drive
Day 7: Murchison Falls NP to Masindi via the Butiaba Escarpment & Busingiro
Day 8: Masindi to Kibale NP
Day 9: Kibale NP – Chimpanzee tracking and birding
Day 10: Kibale NP to Queen Elizabeth NP
Day 11: Queen Elizabeth NP: Kasenyi Track & Kazinga Channel boat cruise
Day 12: Queen Elizabeth NP to Bwindi NP via Ishasha section of QENP
Day 13: Bwindi NP - Gorilla tracking at Buhoma
Day 14: Birding all day in Buhoma
Day 15: Buhoma to Ruhija via The Neck
Day 16: Ruhija - birding Mubwindi Swamp
Day 17: Ruhija to Lake Mburo
Day 18: Lake Mburo - game drives and boat cruise
Day 19: Lake Mburo to Entebbe and departure

- Top Birds: Shoebill, Ring-necked, Heuglin’s and Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Grauer’s Broadbill, Red-faced Barbet, Green-breasted Pitta, Papyrus Gonolek, Lühder’s & Bocage’s Bushshrike, Red-throated Alethe, Ituri Batis, Great Blue Turaco, Dusky & Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Blue Malkoha, Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, African Dwarf, Chocolate-backed & Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Grauer’s, Neumann’s & Uganda Woodland Warbler, Fraser’s & Red-tailed Rufous Thrush, Lowland Masked Apalis, Afep & White-naped Pigeon, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Red-chested Owlet, White-spotted Flufftail, African Finfoot, Brown-chested Lapwing, Grey-winged, Blue-shouldered & White-bellied Robin-Chat, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Magpie Mannikin, Kakamega, Ansorge’s & Toro Olive Greenbul, Dusky & Grey-chested Babbler, Jameson’s Antpecker, Dusky Crimsonwing, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Red-headed Bluebill
- Top Mammals: Mountain Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Giant Forest Hog, L’Hoest’s Monkey, Central African Red Colobus, Leopard, Lion, Chequered Elephant Shrew
- Habitats Covered: mid-altitude and montane rainforest, woodlands, Acacia savanna, grasslands, wetlands, papyrus swamp
- Expected Climate: tropical with some rain expected, cooler in highlands
- Max Group Size: 10 with 1 tour leader & local birding leader
- Tour Pace & Walking: moderate pace with some longer walks and drives
- Accommodation: comfortable to luxurious guesthouses and hotels with some more basic facilities
- Ease of Birding: moderate with some challenging species
- Number of Species Expected: 500 - 550
-Other Attractions: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Nile & Kazinga cruises, Murchison Falls, African art
- Photographic Opportunities: excellent.

Single Supplement: The single supplement cost for this tour will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. If we cannot provide you with a rooming partner for these nights although you choose to share, the single supplement will become applicable. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a rooming partner is found if you do wish to share.

Important Notes:
- Due to constantly fluctuating exchange rates, we quote our tours in 4 currencies. The tour price is however fixed only in the currency printed in bold (US$), and the actual cost in the other currencies listed will be adjusted according to prevailing exchange rates at the time of final invoicing (usually 4 months before the tour.) The same applies to approximate flight and single supplement rates, which are also quoted in the respective fixed currency.
- Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration a small party supplement will have to be charged.
- Furthermore, these costs are subject to unforeseen increases in tour related costs and may have to be adjusted as a result.
- Lastly, we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary and / or the designated tour leader at short or no notice due to unforeseen circumstances; please be aware that we will attempt to adhere as close to the original program as possible.

Arrival and Departure Details: This tour does not include any airfares. On the first day of the tour we have a full day’s birding and it is therefore highly recommended that you arrive before 7 am on this day or preferably the day before the tour starts. The tour will conclude in the late afternoon/early evening of day 19 at Entebbe International Airport. Important: Please book your departure flights for after 8 pm on this day to give you sufficient time for check-in and freshening up after what promises to be a long day’s birding. If you wish to arrive early and/or depart late and would like assistance in this regard, kindly contact our office.

Flights: Entebbe is the main port of entry for international flights in Uganda and is well serviced by most of the world’s major airlines. As our guests come from all over the planet we do not include international flights in our tour prices. We have the capacity to advise you on the best route according to your preferences but your local travel agent will best be able to book these flights for you. However, please do not book your international flights until you have consulted our office for confirmation on the status of the tour.

Tipping: As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc.) are included on this tour. However, this does not include our tour leader/s. If, therefore, you feel that he/they have given you excellent service, it is entirely appropriate to tip them.

Please Note:
- Although Uganda is an equatorial nation, much of the country is situated on a plateau at roughly 1000 metres above sea level, and as a consequence, the climate is relatively mild. However, in some areas (e.g. Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo NP’s), it can be hot (more than 30oC).
- At times, we may be walking on narrow and/or steep forest trails (entirely optional) to find a few special birds. Our pace will, however, be slow as we bird in the forests.
- Although this Uganda tour does not require a high level of fitness, participants should be in good general health as much of the forest birding will be done on foot and may require walking for several hours at a time. There will be a few lengthy drives and many of the days will be long with early starts. Should you have any physical limitations, please notify us in advance of departure.
- The optional gorilla trek at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest generally involves several hours of strenuous walking on steep slopes, often off-trail. The chance of finding the gorillas is very high, but on some occasions in the past the trackers have not been able to locate the mobile family groups. Please also note that new regulations have meant that permits cannot be purchased for a particular group and that the group you will be trekking will be allocated on the morning of the trek. Further to this our tour group may not be able to trek the same group of Gorillas and we could well be split up into a few different trekking parties.
- The optional walk down to Mubwindi Swamp entails hiking along a long trail (roughly 10 km return) which is quite steep and, at times muddy. As the pace is often slow, we will be walking for a considerable amount of time on this day. Please note that should you have any physical limitations, then it is not recommended that you partake in this activity, however alternative birding arrangements will be made for you on this day should you opt not to do this walk.
- The vehicles used are comfortable stretched Landcruiser 4 x 4’s with open roof-hatches.
- A fair bit of our time is spent in vehicles, as we do have to cover fair distances in order to get to the best areas for birds and animals. The more luggage you pack, the less room there is in the vehicle, so it is important for the comfort of your fellow travellers that you do not over-pack. Kindly stick to 20 kg (44 lb) for check in luggage and 8 kg (18 lb) for hand luggage.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.

Price Includes:
- Free airport transfers within 3 days of beginning or end of tour
- All meals from Lunch on day 1 to Lunch on day 19
- Bottled drinking water throughout the tour
- Accommodations as stated in the itinerary
- Ground transportation during the tour
- All boat excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- All guiding services (including gratuities for local guides and services).

Price Excludes:
- Any flights
- Passport and visa fees
- Airport departure taxes
- The optional gorilla trek permit (see above)
- Any drinks
- Special gratuities
- Telephone calls, laundry and other items of a personal nature.

About This Supplier
Location: South Africa
Joined InfoHub: Sep 2007

M17026 is one of the world’s longest established and most highly regarded birding tour companies. Based in South Africa with satellite offices in USA, Australia and New Zealand, their team of professional tour leaders and dedicated office support staff arrange and guide more than 300 annual birding and wildlife tours...

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