15 Days Uganda Birdwatching Safari and primates Watch
Uganda is an equatorial country of astonishing contrasts. From the Source of the White Nile on Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Rwenzori range, the montane forest of the Virunga volcanoes to the desert plains of Karamoja. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats and this richness is reflected in its ever-burgeoning bird list of over 1100 species. Amongst these are many special birds such as Shoebill and the numerous spectacular endemics of the Albertine Rift Valley, which are difficult or impossible to find elsewhere. The huge bird list is all the more remarkable given the small size of the country (approximately the size of Great Britain), making it, arguably, and the richest African birding destination.
Day 1; Arrival and depart to Kibaale forest national park
You will be met by our Company representative on your arrival at the airport, greet and brief you about your safari. Then drive you through one of the beautiful western country side of Uganda and will expose to plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and indigenous cattle grazing along the road. Meet and greet Fort Portal which lies in the shadow of the enchanted Mountains of the Moon, you will have a stopover for lunch and relax a bit then proceed to Kibale National Park, late afternoon birding at the park entrance and camp site. Dinner and overnight at Primates lodge or Chimpanzee Guest House.
Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking
Wake up early morning take breakfast and report to Kanyanchu Tourist Centre where the chimpanzee tracking in the park begins from. Set out in the forest in search for a man's closest animal brothers the endangered chimpanzees! Here its home to astonishing 12 species of primate and provides one of the highest primate in the world. And the birdlife is no less impressive-there is at least 335 species, and over 144 species of butterfly. Same of the birds are Red-winged Francolin, Red-cheated Fluff tail, White-naped Pigeon, African Pitta, joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Crested Flycatcher, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chestenut-winged Starling, Orange-tufted and Tiny Sunbirds, Grey-headed Olive-back, came back for lunch and go back in the afternoon for birding. Dinner and overnight at Primates lodge or Chimpanzee Guest House.
Day 3: Early morning birding and Bigodi walk
After breakfast, we set off to the forest and we will spend the whore day birding. came back for lunch and in the afternoon we visit Bigodi swamp eco-tourism to look for different bird species like the Shining Blue Kingfisher, Blue Throated Roller and other rare species and also find the fruiting trees, which attract Narina Trogon, Pied Hornbill, Yellow Spotted, Hairy Breasted and Yellow-Billed. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Depart Queen Elizabeth and evening game drive
After an early morning breakfast, and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This drive take you along the Rwenzori ranges and savanna grass lands we will enter the park from the Northern crater area. With beautiful lakes and rich grasslands which are set deep in the crater valley, this is truly the most breathtaking scenery in the park. Queen Elizabeth it host a large variety and volume of wildlife. It boasts one of the highest bio diversity ratings of any game park in the world, from the open Savannah to Rain forest, dense swamps and beautiful crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward. Almost 100 species that include Hippos, Lions, Buffaloes, Leopard, Spotted Hyenas and the elusive giant forest hog. There are over 606 species of birds found here including the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, Verreaux’s eagle owl and African skimmer, White-tailed Eagle, Papyrus Canary, Shoebill to name but a few. The primates include Chimps, Black and white Colobus Monkeys, Blue, Black Faced Red Colobus, and Red Tailed monkeys and Olive Baboons. Dinner and overnight at Mweya safari lodge or Mweya Hostel.
Day 5: Birding at Maramagambo forest and Lake George
After morning breakfast we drive off to Maramagambo Forest for birding as we do the birding we can came across different primates, and the Blue Lake the only one in east Africa. Then we visit the bat cave and the hunter’s cave where we take a close look at the bats, rock python and the forest cobras. Drive back for lunch and in the afternoon we go for birding around Lake George and Mweya Peninsula drive back for dinner and overnight at Mweya safari lodge or Mweya Hostel.
Day 6: game drive and launch cruise along Kazinga channel
After morning cap of coffee we go for the morning game drive in search for animals. You will encounter Kobs, Hyenas, Giant forest hog, Bush bucks, Oribi, Waterbucks, Elephant, Lions, Leopards, comical Warthogs drive back for mid morning breakfast and wait for lunch. After lunch, enjoy the unique 2-hours boat cruise on kazinga channel and into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest pods of Hippos and many animals may be seen drinking at the water’s edge. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing, ideal for the Uganda safari. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with over 550 resident species. Dinner and overnight at Mweya safari lodge or Mweya Hostel.
Day 7: Depart to Bwindi Impenetrable gorilla forest
This morning after breakfast, you proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The drive will take us through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth called Ishasha. We will take our packed lunch as we drive animals such as waterbucks, elephant, antelopes, buffalo, Kobs, can be seen along the road. We will drive to the Ishasha sector and look for the tree-climbing Lions before continuing on to Bwindi, home to the few remaining mountain gorillas. Birds life and primate life in Bwindi is quite superb, and there is an incredible variety of flora. Bwindi is the Bird watchers haven! It holds 348 species of birds and supports 24 of 26 Albertine Rift Endemics that occur in Uganda; and seven red data book species. Once continuous with the forest of the Virunga Volcanoes (Dian Fossey’s stomping), Bwindi is now an ecological island, surrounded by cultivation on rich. Volcanic soil. Bwindi is a treasure chest of flora and fauna and the richest forest in East Africa. Home to the rare Mountain Gorillas. Afternoon birding for Albertine Rift Endemics-Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Montane Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Grauer’s Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis and Strange Weaver. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Resort or Buhoma community bandas
Day 8: Gorilla trekking
You will relatively rise early for breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla tracking. Report to the ranger station at 08.00 am where the guides will take you through the forest, parting thick creepers to the gorillas. (This trek can take from 4-8 hours a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes) you sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male; the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorilla. It’s amazing to think they are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left in the world! Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Whole day birding
Early morning breakfast , you go for birding only in the forest as you will be seeing a lot of birds like, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Dusky and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Fraser’s Eagle-Owl, Montane Nightjar, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black Bee-eater, Willcock’s Honey guide, Fine-banded and Oriole-Finch and many more 357 species. Came back for lunch and relax then go back in the afternoon for birding then back for dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 10: Visit the Ruhija new family of gorillas for second trekking
Morning breakfast, this will be a full day tour to Ruhija at the Mubwindi Swamp, returning to the lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Depart to Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, drive to Lake Mburo National Park is situated in rolling hills and open grassy valleys. This lovely landscape is complemented by Lake Mburo and four smaller lakes, beautiful and tranquil surroundings where you’ll see impala, eland, waterbuck, klipspringer and rare topi, zebras, and buffalo. In the air look out for starling, bee eaters, crowned crane and even more exotic birds like Blue Naped Coucal, Bare faced Go Away bird, Nubian Woodpecker and Swamp Flycatcher and many more. Bird watchers will enjoy more than 250 species of birds found in this park. Dinner and overnight at Mantana Luxury Tented Camp or budget Rwonyo camp.
Day 12: guided walk and birding and boat trip
Early breakfast, then you take a guided lakeside walk when you are doing birding came back for lunch. And in the afternoon you go for the boat ride on Lake Mburo to see crocodiles and hippos and many birds around the lake side, came back for dinner and overnight at Mantana Luxury Tented Camp or budget Rwonyo camp.
Day 13: Morning game drive and after guided walk in the after noon
After breakfast, we go for the game drive will enable us to see the Zebras, Topis, Elands, Impalas, Buffalos and many others came back for lunch. In the afternoon you go for the guided walk on the other side of the park, came back for dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Morning drive to Mpanga forest for birding
After breakfast, we proceed to Mpanga forest for birding with a stopover at Kaaku Swamp for the Rufous-belied Heron, Lesser jacana, Lesser Moorhen and variety of water birds and again at Masaka Swamp before we stop for lunch in Masaka. After lunch you proceed to the Equator for photographs and drive to Mpanga Forest for overnight.
Day 15: Morning birding and drive to Kampala
After break fast, you go for birding in the forest came back for lunch and after drive to Kampala and to the Airport for your flight back home. A note for Trekkers: Remember to bring heavy leather gloves, stout hiking boots, long sleeved shirts, long trouser, a light back-pack, and water-bottle.