Bird Watching & Cultural Safari

14 Days | Bird Watching & Cultural Safari

Uganda is birdwatchers haven. Today 1079 species have been recorded in this tropical country described as 'the pearl of Africa.' Although the peak birding season is during rainy season months of March to May and September to November when birds are most active and breeding, Uganda still remains the finest birding destination all year round.

Book Now

Highlights

  • Tracking chimpanzees and 12 other primates species
  • Unique host springs boiling up to 1000c and primates in Semliki
  • Centuries old lake Katwe salt tour in Queen Elizabeth.
  • Gorilla-trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable
  • Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga
  • Indigenous batwa ‘Pygmy’ experience!
  • How traditional medicine meets modern medicine at local village.
  • long-horned-cow milking experience!

Need To Know

Please note that this tour ( at the time of booking) The last day ( return transfer ) of this tour you have the freedom to choose between options; either to fly back from Bwindi or drive back on a road trip.

You might want to drive by road ( 4-5 hours) and depart from Kigali airport ( Rwanda). The choice is all yours. Please inform tour consultant at the time of booking your preferred the option.

At the time of booking in the event that the listed hotel is fully booked or room unavailable, we will do our best to inform you and book a similar hotel of the same class available.

Detailed Itinerary

Early breakfast and then with packed lunch proceed to bird the Mabamba Wetlands. At Mabamba Swamp, most of the birding is done on a canoe, paddled by our local guides. Look 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, African Jacana, African Pigmy Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Squacco Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, and, Yellow-billed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Long-toed Plover,

Rare sightings may include Black Crake, African Green Pigeon, Common Moorhen, Blue-headed Coucal. Transfer back to Entebbe. Evening we head back to botanical gardens for some sightings like the Storks, Black-winged Stilt, doves, Turacos, Kingfishers, Hornbills, Sunbirds, Starlings, Weavers. If you are lucky you may also see the Brown and Grey Parrot, Klaas’s, Diederik, and Red-Chested Cuckoo among others.

Overnight: Boma Hotel Entebbe / Karibu Guest House
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

This morning, we leave Entebbe for Lake Mburo National Park to enjoy some typical countryside and game birding. we pass via Mpanga forest. look out for Copper Sunbird and Klaas’s Cuckoo, African Pied Hornbill, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Red-tailed Greenbul. when lucky we can see Western Nicator in the forest. We continue to Lake Mburo national park passing via equator. There are chances of seeing Lilac-breasted Roller, Wahlberg’s and Long-crested Eagles, Eurasian Kestrel, Gray-backed Fiscal and Bare-faced Go away- bird. Red-backed Scrub-Robin, Singing Cisticolas, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Red-necked and Crested Francolins, Emerald-spotted Wood-dove, Crowned Lapwing, a Brown Snake-Eagle and African Blackheaded Oriole.

Overnight:: Rwakobo Rock / Mihingo Lodge.
Meal Plan : Full Board (B,LD)

Today we explore the woodlands and thickets of Uganda’s smallest game park. This park is great for woodland species especially some species that you would describe as being at their furthest northern range.
the park’s highlights like Red-Faced Barbet which is an East African endemic, Crested and Spot-flanked Barbets, Brown-chested, Crowned, Wattled and Senegal Lapwings, Southern Black Flycatcher, Slate coloured Boubou, some eagles like Batelure and Wahlberg’s, Honeyguide, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Sulphur breasted Bush-shrike, White-winged Black-Tit, African
Paradise-Flycatcher.

lookout for Red-headed Weaver, Lappet-faced Vulture, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Trilling Cisticola, Chin-spot Batis, reenwood- hoopoe. Grey Tit-flycatcher, White-backed Vulture, African Pipit, and the African Scops-Owl in the dark.

Overnight: Rwakobo rock / Mihingo Lodge.
Meal Plan: Full Board (B,LD))

Today we go on a boat ride on Lake Mburo. our main focus is to scan for African Finfoot. we scan through the shoreline and the hanging riverine thickets, for views of the Black Crake, White-backed Night-heron, African Finfoot that and several African Fish-Eagles. Our weaver list continued to grow Spectacled Weaver and we also saw Grey-capped Warbler and a few more birds as we drove out of the park after the boat ride.

We transfer to Mgahinga gorilla national park, known as Africa’s number one birding spot On the way, we scan for Augur Buzzard, Black-breasted Snake eagles. Stop at some Papyrus swamps for White-winged and Greater Swamp Warblers. lookout for Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and African Stone-chat.

We look out again for Doherty’s Bushshrike and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo. The L’Hoest and, Guereza colobus, Blue Monkeys are the primates likely to encounter on this trail. We head to our lodge ready for Mountain Gorilla tracking the coming morning.

Overnight: Bakiga lodge.
Meal Plan: Full Board (B,LD)

We head out early towards mountain Sabinyo to the hike looking for Albertine Rift endemics. Cape Robin-Chat, Yellow Bishop, Streaky Seed-eater and Plain Martins. Cinnamon Bracken

Warbler and Archer’s Robin-Chat. Enjoy this scenic montane forest park, scan for Kandt’s Waxbill which has been split from Black-headed Waxbill, Western and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, Albertine rift endemics that included the Regal and Stuhlmann’s Sunbirds, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-faced Woodland Warbler and Stripe-breasted Tit.  Mountain Yellow Warbler, Dusky-turtle Dove, Chubb’s Cisticola, Thick-billed Seedeater, Chestnut-throated Apalis.

Overnight: Travellers Rest Hotel
Meal Plan:Full Board (B,LD)

Today, we transfer to Bwindi national park- Ruhija eastern sector, known as Africa’s number one birding spot. We stop at Echuya forest, where we scan for Mountain Sooty Boubou, Ruwenzori and Black-faced Apalises, Mountain Yellow Warbler, a few Banded Prinia individuals undergrowth, White-browed Crombec, Brown-capped Weaver, Northern Puff-back.

We stop again at the marsh on the highway looking for Grauer’s Swamp Warbler and the stop at a papyrus around Lake Bunyonyi looking for Red-chested Flufftail. we look for Doherty’s Bushshrike and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo. The L’Hoest and Blue Monkeys are the primates likely to encounter on this trail. We head to our lodge ready for Mountain Gorilla tracking the coming morning.

Overnight: Bakiga lodge.
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Ruhija is located eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National park is well known for being Africa’s number one birding spot. Grauer’s Broadbill is the usual one of the main sought after bird today. Other species to look out for include; Black-tailed Oriole, Black-throated Apalis and Dusky Tit. Yellow-streaked Greenbul. when lucky you can get, Narina Trogon, Black-billed Turaco (the green turacos are unmistakable when seen in flight, they flash spectacular red wings.

White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, and Grauer’s Swamp Warbler. Purple-breasted, Blue-headed Regal sunbird,  Rwenzori double coloured sunbird,  Archers Robin-chat, Dohytes bush shrike,  Collared Apalis, Caruthers’s Cisticola,  Yellow-eyed black flycatcher,  Dwarf honeyguide,  Mountain masked Apalis,  Rwenzori batis.

Wallers and Stuhlmann’s Starlings and the attractive White-headed Wood-hoopoes. There are also chances of seeing monkeys including L’Hoest’s, blue, red-tailed and guereza colobus, monkey and back fronted duikers.

Overnight: Bakiga lodge
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Today is the big day… Today our guide will pick you up from your lodge, at 7.30am transfer to park gate (5-10 minutes) Pre-tracking orientation starts at 8:00 AM. Trekking through the thick jungle, traversing canopies of thick undergrowth can be tough, wet, strenuous but not impossible – the tracking can last from as little as 45 minutes to as much as 10 hours. The activity depends on the location of gorillas the previous day. Visitors, therefore, are supposed to move along with packed/picnic lunch and water, and should be equipped with strong water-proof clothing and must be averagely healthy.

Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

In the evening we move around scanning for Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo,  Grauer’s Warbler, Black-tailed oriole, Luhder’s Bush-shrike and Gray Cuckoo-shrikes

After tracking we transfer to  Buhoma through the famous “neck” we look for Mountain Wagtail Little Green, Green, Olive and Blue-throated Brown  sunbirds and plain greenbul, Little,  Gray, Toro Olive, Red-tailed, and Shelley’s, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, White-tailed Anti-thrush, flitting views of the shy Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Cassin’s and Dusky Blue Flycatchers and excellent views of Scaly-breasted Illadopsis.

We have a picnic lunch stop, then scan for  Black Bee-eater, Bar-tailed Trogon, Buff-throated Apalis, a Dwarf Honeyguide, the shy African Black Duck. we check in at our lodge.

Overnight: Haven lodge / Ride4woman Buhoma Homestay
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Today we look out for Guinea-Congo forest and Albertine rift species. we do birding the secondary forest, look out for Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Grey Green Bush-shrike, Grey and Buff-throated Apalis, Grey-headed and White-breasted Nigritas.

In the primary forest, scan for Red-throated Alethe. undergrowth we search for White-tailed Anti-Thrush, the skittish Mountain Illadopsis, Equatorial Akalat, Red-tailed Bristlebill, and flocks of Red-tailed Greenbul. Shelley’s Greenbul, Cabanis’s Greenbul,  woodpeckers like the large Golden-crowned, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Oriole Finch, the warbler-like Grey-headed Sunbird. Willcocks’s Honeyguide,  Pink-footed Puffback, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler.

Short-tailed warbler,  Red-throated alethe, Chapin’s flycatcher,  Kivu, overlanders ground thrushes,  Blue-headed sunbird, Blue shouldered Robin-chat, Bar-tailed tragon,  Dusky longtailed cuckoo,  Purple breasted sunbird.

Overnight: Haven lodge / Ride4woman Buhoma Homestay
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Today we leave the mountains and transfer to lowland Savanah in the rift valley. We look out for raptors like Gabar Goshawk, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk and Banded Snake-Eagle. Impressive views of Wing-snapping, Croaking and Stout Cisticolas, White-winged Widowbird, White-headed Barbet, Pin-tailed Whydah, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike. Grey-backed fiscal as well.

Overnight; Mweya Safari lodge / Mazike Valley lodge
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

The park, named after the Queen of England in 1954, is Uganda’s second-largest national park. Queen Elizabeth National Park has 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 destination.

After early breakfast, head out for a morning game drive/birding. There are chances of finding lions, hyenas, elephants, vultures, hawks, cuckoos,

Lunch at the Lodge and in the afternoon go on launch (boat) cruise on the Kazinga Channel to see a variety of wildlife like, hippos, crocodile and birdlife from a boat for two hours. This boat ride normally targets congregations of birds and big game when they come down to cool off during the heat of the day.

The Kazinga channel is a narrow strip of water that connects Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus, huge families of buffalos, and elephants. Look out for birds like Yellow-billed Stork, Saddle-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Raptors, Plovers, White-browed Robin-chat, Rufous napped Lark, Red-chested Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Shrikes, Weavers, Finches, African Spoonbills, a few African Skimmers, Gull-billed and White-winged Terns, Curlew Sandpipers, Common, Marsh and Wood Sandpipers, Common Greenshank, one Ruff, Little Stint. If you’re lucky you can observe three Gulls; Lesser black-backed, Heuglin’s and Grey-hooded Gull, both Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Red-throated Bee-eaters.

There are chances of finding Square-tailed and Black-shouldered Nightjars in the evening after 7 pm.

Overnight; Mweya safari lodge or Ihamba lakeside safari lodge
Meal plan: Full Board

Today we transfer to Kibale forest national park. we check-in into our lodge, we lunch before going for an afternoon bird walk around Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a community-based initiative and one of the most successful few in the country. With our site guide from the community, we walked around and through the papyrus. We search for the White-spotted Flufftail, Hairy-breasted Barbet, African Shrike Flycatcher, and a Shinning Blue

Kingfisher. The walk is popular for primates, like Uganda Red Colobus and Uganda Mangabey, Guereza colobus and retailed monkeys.

Overnight: Primate lodge / Kibale forest Camp
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Today we transfer very early to Kibale forest park orientation point at Kanyanchu. We head out into the forest. Our morning focus while birding will be to search for the elusive Green-breasted Pitta. The Pitta is one of the most thought after bird species in this country. With the guidance of the site guide and rangers, we are hopeful to boost our chances of finding the Green-breasted Pitta.

There are chances of spotting White-throated Greenbul, Thick-billed Honeyguide up in the canopy, Brown-chested Alethe. Yellow-billed Barbet, Bronze-napped Pigeon, Yellow-mantled Weaver along the route to the lodge.

We return to our lodge for a hot lunch before returning to the forest for Chimpanzee tracking at 2 pm. Approximately 5,000 chimpanzees live in the wild in Uganda. In Kibale Forest National Park, you will find one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in Africa – about 1450 individuals. Kibale N.P is an extension of the great rainforests of Central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities”  of chimps, each with over 120 individuals.

Overnight: Primate lodge / Kibale forest Camp
Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Today we do birding along Kibale forest road, we lookout for  Black Bee-eater, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush.  We also try out for another sighting of Green-breasted Pitta, (in the event that we haven’t seen it a day before).

Today afternoon is more of a driving day 4-5 hours to Entebbe City. Being a drive day, we only do very few stops

End of trip services

To go on a gorilla trek, you need a gorilla permit/license which we can arrange for you.  We can only purchase your Gorilla permit after you have made a down-payment to us. Gorilla permits are competitive on a daily basis, advance booking is always preferred.

Please note the gorilla tracking in this itinerary can be done in Bwindi and or Mgahinga national parks. Gorilla tracking is dependent on the permits availability at the time of your booking. Gorilla permits in all parks are on a very high demand and we advise that you book them as early as possible.

  • Gorilla trekking can be strenuous activity and Minimum gorilla tracking age is 15 years.
  • What to bring: Hiking shoes/walking shoes, long socks to tuck-in long pants , rain wear, warm clothing, evenings can be cold/chilly, gloves preferably gardening type are very helpful and  insect repellant.
  • Anyone with signs of communicable diseases will NOT be allowed to track.
  • While possession of a gorilla permit is a guarantee of trekking and
  • Maximum time allowed with the gorillas will NOT exceed ONE hour, you are kindly requested to practice different modes of using your camera in different light situations. Gorillas can sometimes be moving, Forest vegetation can at times obstruct visibility, and hence taking photos of these creatures can be very challenging!

Transport:
Our standard offering is a 4WD with pop-up roof for easy safari viewing.  All passengers will have a dedicated window seat. Your driver/guide will be at your disposal for questions.

Extension:
If you want to extend your tour to one of our other destinations or if you’d like to add a few side trips to the itinerary, kindly let us know.

Difficulty:
Gorilla trekking takes place at altitudes 1160 to 2607m (3806 to 8553ft) above sea level. This means that moderate/average physical fitness is required. The slowest member will determine the groups’ speed. The pace will be moderate, with plenty stops to rest, ask questions, re-hydrate and enjoy the forest and views.

Booking and payment details:
Once you have decided to join one of our safaris, you will need  to contact us for booking form  which will include details relating to deposit and final payments etc.

Trip Price Includes:

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers as per itinerary
  • Accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
  • Transportation on safari in Toyota landcruiser 4×4 jeep ( High-End) driven by English-speaking driver/ bird guide (exclusive use of vehicle)
  • Park entrance fees and activities as per itinerary
  • Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking permit(s) as indicated in the itinerary
  • 1 Gorilla permit per person.
  • Mineral water enroute

Trip Price excludes:

  • International flights into and out of Uganda.
  • Any optional activity.
  • Drinks (softdrink, beer, wine, spirits…)
  • Ugandan visas: single entry visa costs US$50 and it is required for all countries that require visas for Ugandans (principle of reciprocity). It can be obtained on arrival at Entebbe airport.
  • Medical and travel insurance.
  • Tips, telephone and personal expenses
  • Any other concept not indicated as included.

Book This Tour

Names
Email
Travel Date
No. of Travellers

Other Tailor - Made Tours

Murchison Falls Safari for 3 Days

3 Days – 2 Nights

Murchison Fall National Park

Tour Details

Primates & Uganda Highlights Safari

11 Days – 10 Nights

Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi

Tour Details

Gorillas & Chimps Safari for 7 days

7 Days – 6 Nights

Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth & Bwindi

Tour Details

ENQUIRE NOW!