17 DAYS BIRDING AND WILDLIFE SAFARI IN UGANDA

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL AND BIRDING THE ENTEBBE ENVIRONS.

DAY 2:  BIRDING Murchison Falls

DAY 3: BIRDING MURCHISON FALLS

DAY 4: BIRDING TO THE SOUTHERN SECTOR OF MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK

DAY 5: BIRDING BUDONGO- ROYAL MILE AND BUSINGIRO

DAY 6: BIRDING TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

DAY 7:  KIBALE NATIONAL PARK – CHIMP TRACKING AND BIRDING

DAY 8:BIRDING TO SEMLIKI

DAY 9:BIRDING FROM SEMLIKI NATIONAL BIRDING TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

DAY 10:  WHOLE DAY BIRDING QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

DAY 11: QUEEN ELIZABETH TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK

DAYS 12 AND 13:  GORILLA TRACKING AND BIRDING

DAY 14: BIRDING FROM BWINDI TO LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

DAY 15:  BIRDING LAKE MBURO TO KAMPALA

DAY 16:  BIRDING KAMPALA- MABAMBA ISLANDS

DAY 17:  Birding to Mabira and then transfer to Entebbe onward

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL AND BIRDING THE ENTEBBE ENVIRONS.

Our arrival is at Entebbe International Airport followed by a transfer to The Lodge. Depending on the arrival time, we can have optional birding in Entebbe, especially on the lush grounds of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, where we’ll see both forest and lakeshore birds. Our first birds could include Palm-nut Vulture, Great Blue Turaco, Eastern Gray Plantain-eater, African Pied Hornbill, Splendid Glossy Starling, Orange and Slender-billed Weavers, Golden Backed, orange weaver and many more. Keep eyes open in the evening for the Bat Hawk around this place.

DAY 2: BIRDING Murchison Falls

After breakfast in the morning we transfer to Masindi where we shall have our lunch via the Luwero triangle passing through undulating grasslands and mosaic woodland where we drive watching out for the White-crested Turaco, Bronze-tailed Starling, lesser Blue and Great Blue Eared Starlings, Black, Yellow Mantled and Black Winged Bishops, White Headed Barbet, Cardinal and Nubian Woodpecker, Lesser and Greater Honeyguide. Dinner and overnight at Sambiya River Lodge.

DAY 3:BIRDING MURCHISON FALLS
A highlight of the visit will undoubtedly be the boat trips to the bottom of the falls and to the delta area, and of course the one bird that will be on everyone’s mind is the Shoebill while at the delta. Superb views can be had of this wonderful bird. There will be other birds including the Red-throated and Northern Carmine Bee-eater mammals such as Rothschild’s Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Waterbuck and many others will be viewed. Other birds to look out for include the Saddle-billed, Yellow Billed and African Open Billed Stork, African Finfoot, Hauglins Falcon, Senegal Thick-knee, Rock Pratincole, Giant, Woodland, Grey Headed, Malchite, Pygmy and striped Kingfishers. On the game drive we look out for Heuglin’s Francolins Black Billed Barbet, Northern and Red Faced Barbet, Swallow-tailed and Blue-breasted and Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Abyssinian Rollers, the giant Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, Black Winged and Northern Red Bishops. The Pata Monkey will be the primate to look our for on this day. Dinner and overnight at Sambiya Lodge. A night drive today is very advisable looking out for nocturnal mammals and birds.

 DAY 4: BIRDING TO THE SOUTHERN SECTOR OF MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Today we start early and drive through Budongo Kaniyo Pabid area in search for the Puvel’s Illadopsis, after this we bird the grassland as we head to Masindi  Hotel for our dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 5: BIRDING BUDONGO- ROYAL MILE AND BUSINGIRO
Depart early for the nearby Budongo Forest, birding along the Royal Mile, a truly spectacular road with forest canopy towering far overhead. There is a good system of trails in the forest, today we expect skulking birds like the Nahan’s Francolin, excessively noisy White-thighed Hornbill, graceful Cassin’s and Sabine’s Spinetail, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Forest Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Tit Hylia, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Forest Robin, Yellow Billed, Grey Throated, Hairy Breasted and Yellow Spotted Barbet, Great Blue and Black Billed Turaco, Dusy Long Tailed Cuckoo, Spotted, Plain, Slender Billed, White Throated, Little Grey and Little Greeenbul, Red Tailed Bristlebill and Black-capped Apalis among others. Lookout for the Blue, Red Tailed and the black and white Colobus monkey. On lucky days the chimps cross the trail.

DAY 6:BIRDING TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
The drive today is long, we shall only have a few birding stops, we drive via Hoima there are a few papyrus swamps where specialties such as White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Gonolek can be found, while the surrounding scrub may harbor, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-bellied Seed cracker and Gray-headed Olive back. Dinner and overnight at Ataco Country Resort for two nights.

DAY 7:  KIBALE NATIONAL PARK – CHIMP TRACKING AND BIRDING
Kibale is home to 13 species of primates and there. This is where we have bigger chances of Chimpanzee tracking. Birding in the forest is also very rewarding and you could encounter White-naped Pigeon, African Gray Parrot, Black Bee-eater, Hairy-breasted, Yellow Spotted and Yellow Billed Barbet, Chestnut-winged and Purple-headed, Waller’s and Narrow Tailed Starlings, Blue-throated Brown and Superb Sunbirds, White-collared Olive back among others.

DAY 8: BIRDING TO SEMLIKI

Semliki Forest marks the eastern extension of the West African Forest. This makes it the best birding place in East Africa as we encounter some of the Guinea Congo Biome endemics not easily seen in other East African destinations. Specialties include Congo Serpent Eagle, Bate’s Nightjar, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Black-winged, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Black-throated Coucal, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Spot-breasted Ibis, Capuchin Babbler, Yellow-throated and Western Nicator, Northern Bearded Scrub Robin, Red-chested Owlet, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, White-bellied Kingfisher, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Lyre-tailed and Zenker’s Honeyguides, White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Crested Malimbe, Blue-billed Malimbe, Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike, Pale-fronted and Chestnut Bellied Negrofinch, Black Dwarf, Piping, Red-billed Dwarf, Black-casqued Wattled , White Crested, and White-thighed Hornbills African Piculet among others. We spend out night at Ataco

DAY 9:BIRDING FROM SEMLIKI NATIONAL BIRDING TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Have breakfast very early in the morning and proceed for birding along the Sempaya trail. We try out what was missed the previous day, Palm Swamp Bulbul and the Leaf Love, Rufous Bellied Negrofinch, Black Bellied Seed Craker, are easily seen in this area. After this we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is Uganda’s second largest protected area on the shores of Lake Edward. We check in at Simba Safari Lodge then head for and early evening game drives looking for numerous birds that inhabit the surrounding scrub and lakeshore like the African Hopoe, Green Winged Pytilia, African Golden Breasted Bunting and later in this drive we look out for the Black Shouldered, Swamp, Square Tailed and Pennant-winged Nightjars back to the lodge or hostel for dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 10: WHOLE DAY BIRDING QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Today we immensely explore Queen Elizabeth National Park. Birds on this drive are numerous and may include among others the Wahlberg’s, Brown Snake, Short Toed Snake and Martial Eagle, Red-necked Spurfowl, Black-rumped and Common Buttonquails, African Crake, Hollub’s Golden and Lesser Masked Weavers, Black Coucal, Black Lored and Arrow Marked Babbler, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl Copper, Scarlet Chested and Red-chested, Broad Tailed and African Moustached Warbler. In the afternoon we do a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel looking out for water birds that roost in between the Edward and George lakes. Close encounters with the biggest schools of Hippos in Africa and some crocs many migrating species like the Gulls and Terns are here, after this ride we Dinner and overnight at Simba Safari Lodge

DAY 11: QUEEN ELIZABETH TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Have breakfast then transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest birding enroute. Today we have a chance to go through the Ishasha sector which provides chances of viewing the tree climbing lions and other game, lookout for grassland birds including the pipits Larks, African Cuckoo Hawk, Black Cuckoo, White Winged Tit, Ovambo Sparrow Hawk e.t.c we continue to Ruhizha where we have Africa’s no.1 birding spot according to the African Birding Club. We stay at Trekker’s Tarvan.

DAYS 12 AND 13:  GORILLA TRACKING AND BIRDING
If tracking we shall have early breakfast then assemble at the park headquarters for briefing about this breath taking activity. Time spent tracking depends on where the gorillas spent the night and their feeding range or encounter with other groups which might be wild forcing them to move long distances so be prepared for a whole day activity. Once found you spend an hour with them, seeing these gentle giants interact is awesome and the marvelous wildlife encounter on the African continent and an unforgettable. Birding Ruhizha e start after breakfast and go out birding looking out for the Black-billed and Rwenzori Turaco, Western Green Tinkerbird, Olive, Elliot’s and Fine-banded Woodpecker, African Green-Broadbill, Mountain, Yellow whiskered and Yellow-streaked Greenbul, African Hill Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Grey Cuckoo Shrike Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Collared Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird. Back to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 14: BIRDING FROM BWINDI TO LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Today birding will be done enroute, depending on the route we use either the Ishasha or the Rukungiri each has birds of interests and we shall stop at different interesting spots. While in the lake we shall look out for mammals like the Zebra, Eland, Topi, Impala, Cape Buffalo, Warthog etc, today we target the boat ride along lake Mburo where we hardly miss the African Finfoot, White Backed and Black Crowned Night Heron, Giant Kingfisher. A night drive always produces good views of the Black Shouldered, northern Tanzania Fiery Necked Nightjar, nocturnal mammals and Bush Babies. We stay at Arcadia Cottages.

DAY 15: BIRDING LAKE MBURO TO KAMPALA
After breakfast we start early in search for special savannah birds like the Yellow Bellied Apalis, Green Capped Eremomela, Buff Bellied Warbler, White Winged Tit, Red Billed Wood Hopoe, the special birds for today’s drive will be the Tabora Cisticola, Red Faced Barbet and Coqui Francolin. Brubru, Sulpher Breasted Bush Shrike, Red Headed Weaver, Green Backed and Uganda Spotted Woodpecker, African Black Headed Oriole. Overnight at The Lodge

DAY 16:BIRDING KAMPALA- MABAMBA ISLANDS

Early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, 50 kms west of Kampala. Look out for many different birds on our way to the swamp like the Papyrus Gonolek, White Shouldered Tit, Red Cap, Western Banded Snake Eagle, White Winged Warbler, White Spotted Fluftail and Weyns Weaver. This Swamp is one of the best places to spot the exceptional Shoebill Stork. But also many other species can be found here, like the Allen’s and Purple Gallinule, Grey herons, Jacanas, Ruffaus  Bellied Heron, Squaco, Purple and Goliath Heron, the Globally threatened Pallid Harrier and Blue Swallow a migrant species, a variety of egrets, ducks etc. The best way to enjoy the rich bird life is by canoe and you might even have the luck to encounter the elusive Sitatunga Antelope, adapted to swampy habitats. Later in the afternoon drive back to the Hotel birding enroute for dinner and o/n stay.

DAY 17: Birding to Mabira and then transfer to Entebbe onward

After breakfast we start by looking out for the Red Caped Robin-chat around the Logde then hit the trail to try and find Weyn’s Weaver, Olive Green Cameroptera, Tit Hylia, African Pied Hornbill Grey and Yellow Long Bill, Forest Wood-Hoopoe, Blue-breasted, White-bellied, Dwarf and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Soty Flycatcher, Yellow-throated, Yellow Rumped and Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow Crested Woodpecker, Toro Olive Greenbul and Green-tailed Bristle bill, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Robin and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat after this beautiful show we transfer to the airport for flight back home.