Uganda Birding, Primates and Nature Safari

22 Days | Uganda Birding, Primates and Nature Safari

Fly the crane to the pearl of Africa, from Shoebill to Gorillas.

This safari gives you an engaging birding and Wildlife Encounter Safari in Uganda by taking you through the finest and abundantly enriched zones of the World’s rare, rampant and exposed species of birds and animals of which some are restrictively found in Africa. Also taking you to these enriched zones, this safari is intended to give you a memorable encounter with breathtaking and amazing scenery of nature that will not only be thought-provoking but also of great involvement.

The Safari is expected to take you through Mabamba Swamp where you are expected to the great Shoebill stork, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale forests, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Mburo National Park. It is intended that the safari enriches your birding list greatly, not forgetting the opportunity to visit Uganda-the bird watcher’s haven!

Book Now

Highlights

  • Bird Mabamba Wetland Bay
  • Birding at Lake Mburo
  • Boat Cruise on Lake Mburo
  • Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
  • Game drive & Boat cruise on Kazinga channel
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale
  • Game drive in Murchison
  • Ziwa rhino Sanctuary

Need To Know

On Day 22 our driver/guide will pick you on arrival. Subject to flight arrival time proceed to bird the botanical gardens looking out for birds. Early breakfast and then proceed to Mabamba Wetlands, most of the birding is done on a canoe, paddled by our local guides.

Enjoy some typical countryside and game birding. we pass via Mpanga forest. look out for Copper Sun bird and Klaas’s Cuckoo, African Pied Hornbill, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Red-tailed Greenbul. when lucky we can see Western Nicator in the forest.

This park is great for woodland species especially some species that you would describe as being at their furthest northern range. Today we go on a boat ride on Lake Mburo looking for African Finfoot.

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

Detailed Itinerary

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, our driver/guide will pick you on arrival. Subject to flight arrival time proceed to bird the botanical gardens looking out for birds as a birding activity i.e the Cormorants, Herons, Egrets, 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: Dinner

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 Pygmy 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.

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 Goaway- 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 Black Headed 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.

look out  for Red-headed Weaver, Lappet-faced Vulture, Yellow breasted Apalis, Trilling Cisticola, Chin-spot Batis, green wood- 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 looking 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.  Spectacled Weaver, Grey Capped Warbler. we drive out of the park after the boat ride. We transfer to Kisoro. On the way, we scan for Augur Buzzard, Black-breasted Snake eagles. Stop at some Papyrus swamps for White-winged and Greater Swamp Warblers. look out for Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and African Stone-chat.

Overnight: Travellers Rest Hotel

Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

We head our early towards mountain Sabinyo to the hike looking for Albertine Rift endemics. Cape Robin-Chat, Yellow Bishop, Streaky Seedeater 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 Tinkerbird, 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 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 Bush Shrike 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)

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 8:00AM. 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 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 waterproof 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

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 usually 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,  Doherty’s  bush shrike,  Collared apalis, Caruthers Cisticola,  Yellow eyed black flycatcher,  Dwarf honeyguide,  Mountain masked Apalis,  Rwenzori batis.

Wallers and Stuhlmann 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 we transfer to 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 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, oberlanders ground thrushes,  Blue headed sunbird, Blue shouldered Robin chat, Bar tailed trogon,  Dusky long tailed 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 savanna 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 or Elephant Plains 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 bird life 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 naped 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 7pm.

Overnight; Mweya safari lodge or Elephant Plains 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 Shining 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 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-naped Pigeon, Yellow-mantled Weaver along route to the lodge.

We return to our lodge for hot lunch before returning to the forest for Chimpanzee tracking at 2pm. 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 look out 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 5 hours to Masindi town. Being a drive day, we only do very few stops during which there are chances of seeing Chestnut-winged Starling along the way and then Yellow-shouldered and Red collared Widowbird, Brown Twinspot and Brown-backed Scrub-Robin.

Overnight; Masindi Hotel / Kabalega Resort.

Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Today we head out to Uganda’s, biggest forest reserve. The Royal mile that is named in memory of Omukama (King) Kabalega who ruled the Bunyoro Kingdom from 1870 to 1899, offers pleasant field hours to many birdwatchers world over. Together with the site guide and our bird guide, you will look out for some of the exotic bird 

African and Black-billed Firefinches, Compact Weaver, White-thighed Hornbill, African Dwarf, Chocolate-backed and Shining Blue Kingfishers, the later that we got down the stream. Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Rufus-crowned Eremomela, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Sooty Flycatcher, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Western black-headed Oriole, Lemon-bellied Crombec, a Crowned Eagle (Crowned Eagles take monkeys from trees using their very powerful talons).

If you’re lucky; Ituri Batis, Nahan’s francolin, Grey and Yellow longbills, Black-capped Apalis, Brown twin spot, White spotted flufftail, Jameson’s wattle eye, White breasted negro finch, Grey-headed Oliveback, Grey headed sunbird, Red headed bluebill, Green sunbird, Little green sunbird.

Overnight; Masindi Hotel / Kabalega Resort.

Meal plan: Full Board (B,LD)

Transfer to the heart of  Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest National Park (3893 sq.km) bisected by the mighty River Nile. Birding through  Budongo forest. sightings to look for include; Ituri Batis and Forest Flycatcher, Northern Red Bishop, Rattling, Whistling and Foxy Cisticola, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Black-faced Waxbill, Bronze-tailed, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-billed barbet.

Continue to Top-of-the Falls,  look out for Lesser Blue-eared Starlings, Green-backed Eremomela, Singing Cisticola, Black-headed Batis, view of the mighty Murchison Falls, the point where River Nile is squeezed through such a tiny space (7m gap) plunging 42m deep making one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. What a stunning sight, foaming, crashing white water rushing through narrow channels of stone and plunging down into a curving stretch of river below, silvery in the midday light.. The payoff is a killer view back toward the falls, and down the Nile in another direction as your eye can see. A vivid rainbow acres right across the plunging spray of the falls. You will be thrilled by this magical place and so glad that you need another day.

Have a lunch stop, look out for Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Northern Crombec. Martial Eagle, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Dark-chanting Goshawk, White rumped Seed-eaters.

Overnight: Paraa Safari lodge / Pakuba Safari lodge

Meal plan: Full Board ( B,LD)

Today we depart early (6.30AM) for a typical African safari game drive in open Savannah of Uganda’s biggest National Park, covering northern section of river Nile. Bird sightings include; Speckle-fronted Weaver, Red-necked Falcon, Red-headed Quelea, Denham’s Bustard, Black-headed Lapwing, Swallow-tailed, Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Banded Martin, Scarce Swift, Senegal Coucal, Tawny Eagle, Heuglin’s Francolin,  Pale Flycatcher, Senegal Thick-knee.

keep an eye out for the elephants, leopards, lions, warthogs and giraffes as well as large herds of animals such as oribi, Hartebeest, Kobs and buffalo, but please note – some wild animals like leopards, lions can be elusive!.

At 2:00PM, we depart for a 3 hour boat cruise along the Victoria Nile to the bottom of Murchison falls. Along the way, you’ll be passing large numbers of giant Nile crocodiles, schools of hippos, vast range of birds – birds feeding on open water; birds that hunt the river margins; like stilts, kingfishers, storks, kingfishers; birds feeding off rising from water insects; like swallows, bee-eaters and pranticoles.

Enjoy this breathtaking scenery. Upon return, your driver/guide will pick you and take you back to lodge for overnight stay.

Overnight: Paraa Safari lodge / Pakuba Safari lodge

Meal plan: Full Board ( B,LD)

Today we take a morning boat ride to the delta; this sails downstream on the Victoria Nile into Lake Albert, begins at 7.15am to 11am. It is a very pleasant nature ride, to and from that is truly game-filled. The birds love the riverine forest, as do the big game and big reptiles to the riverbanks. This is where the typical giant Nile Crocodiles, endless schools of Hippopotami reside. look out for Grey-headed Bush-shrikes, Saddle-billed Stork, Little Bittern and Shoebill.

Lunch and relaxation. At 4pm we head out for another evening birding and game viewing safari, until dark. Look out for Grey Kestrel, Red-necked Falcon, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow. look out for animals like  White-tailed Mongoose, Blotched Genet, Bunyoro Grass Rabbit.

Overnight: Paraa Safari lodge / Pakuba Safari lodge

Meal plan: Full Board ( B,LD)

Today we transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. It is only here that Rhinos can be seen in the wild in Uganda, thanks to the Rhino fund Uganda! We drive to the information center for orientation. After you begin an hour’s walk to see Rhinos by foot. We have lunch and transfer to Jinja.

Overnight:  Nile Village Hotel/ Source of Smile.

Meal plan: Full Board ( B,LD)

Lesser Bristlebill, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, better views of Wayne’s Weaver and the pretty Forest Robin. Looks at Velvet-mantled Drongo, Grey Longbill, very nice Blue-shouldered and Red Capped Robin-Chats,  a few Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, and Brown-eared and Buff Spotted Woodpeckers. On a lucky day, scan for Tit hylia, Red Chested Cuckoo.

Trip Price Includes:

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers as per itinerary
  • Accommodation as indicated on the itinerary
  • Transportation on safari in Toyota 4×4 Hiace ( midrange),  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!