SAHO 16: BIRDING SAFARI UGANDA

The birding experience takes longer than other safaris as it needs much more time to concentrate in the area. 

DAY 01: After breakfast, tour the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre where you will be briefed about many animals, birdlife, medicinal plants and trees in Uganda. The center works as a rehabilitation point for the wildlife. Next visit the botanical gardens and after finishing a continental or traditional lunch, depart Entebbe for Kampala. Dinner and overnight at Cassia Lodge / Hotel Africana or Similar. Hotels in Kampala can include Cassia Lodge, Sheraton Kampala, Serena, Hotel Africana or Holiday Express for budget ones.

DAY 02: Early morning departure for Mabira Forest, Birds, Butterflies and Primates are in Plentiful. Depart the eco forest for the East African Adventure Capital. En route see sugar cane and tea plantations. Overnight at Kingfisher Safaris Resort / Jinja Nile Resort / Nile Porch or Hotel Triangle for budget one.

DAY 03: Depart early for Mbale, on the western base of Mount Elgon. You pass papyrus swamps, Rice fields and maize as birding en route. Mount Elgon has got the surface area of 4000km2, it is still the largest base of any volcanic mountain in the world. Overnight at Mbale Resort / Mt. Elgon Hotel / Kayegi Hotel or Similar. Salem Brotherhood for the budget ones.

 

Mount Elgon has got plentiful of flora and fauna. The park supports a variety of wildlife like elephants, buffalo, defassa’s water buck, orib, bushbuck, leopard and spotted hyena. In most forest environments, most of these species are rarely seen! However, the commonly seen creatures are black and white colobus monkey, tree squirrel and blue monkey. The park is home for many bird spicies like jackson’s francolin, moustached green tinker bird and black collared apalis limited to Mount Elgon. The bronze naped pigeon, hartlaub’s turaco and tucazze sunbird are also limited to Mount Elgon and few other mountains in Eastern Uganda. Mount Elgon is also one of the few places in Uganda where the endangered Lammergeyer can be seen, soaring above the caldera and Suam gorge. The local people surrounding the mountain are Bagisu and Sabiny who all practice subsistence farming. 

 

DAY 04: After breakfast, drive to Sipi then proceed to Suam gorge and Chebonet River for birding. Be rewarded to see African Goshawk, Chubb’s Cist cola, White – chinned perinea, African Blue fly catchers, Chin spot batis, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Doherty and Luhder’s Bush –Shrikes and Baglafecht weaver. En route see different waterfalls and green slopes of Mount Elgon. Over night at Sipi Falls Resort or Similar.

DAY 05: Early morning tour of the caves and depart the mountainous area for the opposite low land Kumi district and birding en route. Overnight at Kumi Hotel. 

 

DAY 06: After breakfast, drive to Lake Bisina a day birding and take a Canoe ride on this lake surrounded by papyrus in search of the shy shoe bill stork, Fox bird and other bird species. Dinner and over night at Kumi Hotel.

DAY 07: Leave Kumi town for Lira as birding on your way.This will work as an overnight stay on your way to Murchison Falls not to drive for a long distance. Dinner and overnight at Lira Hotel. Murchison Falls National Park lies at the Northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and in the vast plains of Acholi Land. This is one of Uganda’s oldest conservation areas and was initially gazette as a game reserve in 1926. The park is dominated by savanna, woodland, rivers, wetland and tropical forest habitants which provide homes for 76 mammal species and 450 bird species. Large mammals includes Elephant, lion, hippopotamus, Rothschild’s, leopard, giraffe, orib, Cape buffalo, hartebeest, warthog and Uganda kob. The Nile river provides year- round water these animals as well as water birds including the rare shoe bill stork and uganda’s largest population of Nile crocodile. However, the Kaniyo Pabidi forest is provides the refuges for Chimpanzees and other primates as well as an impressive 360 species of birds. 

DAY 08: Get up early and drive to Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison Falls National Park. Dinner and overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge.

 

DAY 09: Early morning birding in the forest in search of puvels, Ladopysis, the only bird in world found in this forest. Dinner and overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge.

 

DAY 10: After breakfast, drive at leisure as birding and tour the top of the falls where the Nile's perfected beauty can be viewed easily, and marvel as it compresses and squeezes itself from over 1 kilometer wide down through a 7-meter canyon. The 150-meter drop of the falls creates a thunderous roar and a beautiful rainbow in a plume of spray - the best thing to ever happen to the Nile. Dinner and over night at Paraa Safari Lodge / Nile Safari Camp or Similar. Red Chill for budget ones.

 

DAY 11: Get up early for a morning game drive on the Northern bank of the Nile River to View more of the wild animals and try to make out the different bird species with the help of the guide. After lunch, proceed for a two-hour launch trip up to the bottom of the mighty Murchison falls where appalling water escapes from the narrow gorge, an opportunity to see the amazing hippos, crocodiles, water birds along the river banks. Return to Paraa Safari Lodge / Nile Safari Camp or Similar for dinner and overnight. Red Chill for budget ones.

DAY 12: After breakfast, take a boat trip to the delta in search of a shoe bill stork and in the afternoon, depart the park for Masindi town. Overnight at Masindi Hotel / Court view Hotel / Kabalega Resort or similar

 

DAY 13: Awake early for breakfast and go for a day birding at Budongo's famous Royal Mile- the wide forestry track considered by many to the country's top forest birding locality. This is the best place in Uganda for Cassin's Spinetail, Chesttnut -capped Flycatcher and Nahan's Francolin. Quietly walk along the trail in search of Fancy birds such as blue - breasted, Chocolate backed, and African Dwarf, King Fishers, Blue- throated Roller. Red - tailed Ant- Thrushes Skulk, in the shadows, Greenbuls are always a challenge and this area has several, including little grey, little Cameroon sombre, Slander billed, Honey guide are spotted. Other species regularly seen in the Budongo area are Crested Guinea Fowl, White- spotted Fluff - tails, Great Sparrow- hawk, Cassin's Hawk - Eagle, Tambourine dove, Grey Parrot, African Emerald, Klaas', and Dusky Long - tailed, Red Chested Cuckoos, Yellow bill, White - throated Bee- eater, White- Thighed, Black and white Casqued Horn bill, Speckled and Yellow - throated Tinker birds, Streaky - throated Barbet, Wilcock's, Honey guide, Yellow- crested and Buff-spotted woodpeckers, White -headed saw -wing, Western Nicator, Red -tailed Bristlebill, Red -tailed Ant- Thrush, Rufous Thrust, Eastern Forest Robin, Fire - crested Alethe, Buff- Throated and Black- capped Apalis, Yellow - browed Camaroptera, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Olive- Green and Lemon-bellied Crombecs, Yellow and Grey Longbills, and Uganda Woodland Warblers, Blue-shouldered Robin- Chat, African Shrke- Flycatcher, Jameson's and Chestnut wattle-eyes, Red bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Brown and Scaly - breasted Illadopses, Dusky Tit, Grey - Headed, Green Collared, Western Olive, Blue throated Brown and Little Green, and Olive-bellied Sunbirds, Red headed and Crested Malimbes, Vieillot's Black and Yellow- Mantled Weavers, and both White -breasted and grey headed Negro finches, Red Headed Bluebill. overnight at Kabalega Resort / Masindi Hotel / Court view Hotel or similar

 

DAY 14: After Breakfast, drive via the Albertine Escarpment of the western Rift valley on the Masindi-Hoima-Fort portal road. This drive will be a long one south via Hoima to Fort Portal, passing though verdant countryside and traditional homesteads and farms. Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the Fabled "Mountains of the Moon," This Journey takes a long time on dusty and bumpy roads! Dinner and overnight at Ndali Lodge / Primate Lodge / Chimpanzee Guest House or Similar.

 

DAY 15: Early morning visit to Kibale Forest for chimpanzee trekking (trackers must be 15 years of age and above). The forest is also home to other primates like grey cheeked mangabeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, Red colobus, black and white colobus, Red tailed monkey and many others. After lunch, walk through Bigodi Wetland to see birds like Hautlaub’s golden, Black weavers, Speckled Mousebird, Black hooded, Grosbeak, Black–necked, Masked Swallow, Blue Flycatcher, Black and White Mannikin, Red eyed Dove, Lead colored Flycatcher and many others at a close range. Dinner and overnight at Ndali Lodge, Primate Lodge, Chimpanzee Guesthouse or Similar.

 

DAY 16: After breakfast, depart for Semuliki forest birding on the way with lunch en route. Semuliki Forest is the only example of Congo Basin Vegetation in Uganda. A large number of Guinea - Congo biome species reach their eastern limits here, which is one of the richest for forest birds in the country. Semuliki Forest marks the Eastern extention of gret Ituri Forest.Therefore, this makes the best place in Uganda with high chances of encountering the some of the West African species of which cannot be easily accessed from other places. This area is ranked number 2 in Uganda birding spots. Specialties include Congo serpent Eagle, Black - throated coucal, Grey - Throated Rail, Long - tailed Hawk, Spot - Breasted Ibis, Capuchin Barbler, Yellow - throasted coucal Nicator, Nothern Bearded Scrub Robin, Red -Chested Owlet, Western - Bronze napped pigeon, Black - Collared Lovebird, White - bellied Kingfisher, Red - rumped , Tinkerbird, Lyre- tailed Honey guide, Zenker's Honey guide, White - Throated blue swallow, Bate's Nightjar, Yellow - throated cuckoo, Orange - tufted Sunbird, Black - winged Oriole, Red - billed Helmet shrike, Lemon bellied crombec, Rufous - sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp Palm bulbul, Crested Malimbe and blue billed Malimbe, Fiery breasted bush-shrike, Pale-fronted Negrofinch and piping, Red - billed Dwarf, Black Dwarf, White crested, Black casqued wattled and White- thighed Hornbills. Dinner and overnight at Semuliki Safari Lodge or Vanilla Hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 17: After breakfast, transfer to Semuliki Forest and especially the Kirumya trail where we spend a whole day birding with our packed lunch. In the evening, head back to Bundibugyo town. Overnight at Semuliki Safari Lodge or Vanilla Hotel or similar.

 

DAY 18: Early Morning departure for Queen Elizabeth, en route see Rwenzori Mountains, many crater lakes and a short game drive as you enter the Park. . Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge / Jacana Lodge / Hippo Hill Camp or Similar.

b Early morning game drive to see Uganda Kobs, elephants,buffaloes,Hyenas, Side- Striped Jackal, baboons, Giant Hogs, etc. Leopard and many bird species can be seen too. In the afternoon go for a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural link between Lake Edward and Lake George. This channel is one of the best and thrilling in Africa. It also one of the better places to look for African skimmers, which are sometime present, while just some of the many species. Enjoy abundant bird life such as African Fish Eagle, Purple and Goriath Herons, Grey headed king fisher, Swamp flycatcher, Grey capped Warbler, Great White and Pink backed Pelican, Great and long tailed Cormorants, Common Squaco Heron, African open billed stock, Pied kingfishers, Black crake, swamp fly catcher among others and the hundreds of hippos that are cooling off at the shores, this cruise will definitely be one of the highlights of your safari. Return to your accommodation and enjoy beautiful sunset. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge / Jacana Lodge / Hippo Hill Camp or Similar.

 

DAY 20: After breakfast, depart Queen Elizabeth for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through Ishasha the southern sector of the park in search of the tree climbing Lions . Take a nature walk which will lead you to the Munyaga Waterfalls and a chance to see primates such as the Grey Cheeked Mangabey Blue Monkeys and others species. (Time permiting) Dinner and overnight at Engagi Lodge / Buhoma Lodge/ Gorilla Resort / Gorilla Forest Camp or Similar.

 

DAY 21: After an early breakfast and briefing from the guides, set off for the gorilla tracking in the forest sanctuary. The activity starts at 8.30am. one will have to take with them a lunch box(es), drinking water and all the necessary gear like rain jacket and jungle boots to track the rare Mountain Gorilla, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences The time taken to find the gorillas varies according to the movements of these marvelous primates and that may be between 2 - 6 hours. An encounter with an earth shaking 350 pound silver back or a baby gorilla of the 650 left in the world is very exciting and never forgotten experience supplimented with Park Guides interpreting the flora and fauna and the lifestyle of the Gorillas! Dinner and overnight at Engagi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Resort or similar.

 

DAY 22: Rise early and spend a whole day birding in Mubwindi Swamp area. This 4 km trail to Mubwindi Swamp is the best place for some of the most difficult to find of all rift endemics including Grauer's (African Green) Broadbill, The beautiful sunbird, and Archer's Robin- Chat. Mubwindi Swamp is also home of Dwarf of Honey guide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Apalis, African Hill, Babbler (Sometimes treated as a separate species from Rwenzori Hill Babbler), The rare and localized Grauer's scrub - Warbler and Carruther's Cistcola. Some of the many species we have are chance of seeing here include Black Goshawk, Augur Buzzard, Crowned Hawk- Eagle, HandsomeFrancolin, Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Bronze- winged pigeon, Black - billed, Rwenzori and Ross's Turacco, African Barred Long tailed and African EmeraldCuckoos, Red - Chested Owlet, Narina and Bar - tailed Trogons, Black and Cinnamon - Chested Bee - eaters, Blue- throated roller, White headed wood hoopoe,Gray- Throated, Double toothed, and Yellow- spotted Barbets, Western and Yellow -rumped Tinkerbird, Thick- billed and Dwarf Handguides, Rufous -necked Wryneck, Tullberg's Speckle-breasted, Elliot's,and Olive Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Rock Martin, Black Saw-Wing, Gray and petit's Cuckoo-Shrike, Ansorge's, Kakamega, Olive-chested, and Cabanis' Greenbuls,White-tailed Ant- Thrush, Kivu Ground- Thrush, Olive and Mountain Thrushes, Red-throated Alethe, Chubb's Cisticola, Banded prinia, Rwenzori,Black-throated, and Black-faced Apalis, Olive - Green Camaroptra, Grauer's and Cameroon Scrub - Warblers, Cinnamon and Black - faced, Brecken- Warblers, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White - browed Crombec, Short - tailed Warbler, Red - faced woodland - Warbler, White - eyed slaty flycatcher, Yellow - eyed Black -Flycatcher, Sooty Flycatcher, Chapin's Flycatcher, White - starred Robin, White - bellied and Archer's Robin - Chats, Rwenzori Bats, White - tailed, Slaty, and African Blue - Flycatchers, Puvel's, Pale - breasted, Mountain, and Grey- Chested Illadopses, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Gray - headed, Western - backed, Green- headed,Blue- headed, Green throated, Stuhlmann's, Nothern Double - Collared, and Regal Sunbirds, Mackinnon's Shrike, Ludher's Gray green, Many - collared and Lagden's Bush- Shrikes,Velvet-Mantled Drongo, Slender - billed, Waller's, Narrow - tailed, Stuhlmann's, and Sharpe's Starlings, Black- billed, Strange and Brown -capped Weavers, Jameson's and Woodhouse's Ant- peckers, and Red- faced and Dusky Crimson- wings. Dinner and overnight at Engagi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Resort or similar.

DAY 23: After breakfast, on this day, we bird the Ruhija Forest. Dinner and overnight at Engagi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Resort or similar

 

.DAY 24: Early morning departure for Kisoro Town as birding on the way. Travelers Rest Hotel.

 

DAY 25: Get up early and go birding to Gahinga in search of RwenzoriTurraco and other different birs species. Overnight at Travelers Rest Hotel.

 

DAY 26: Leave Kisoro town for Lake Bunyonyi, the lake of little birds renowned for its variety and abundance of avian. Enjoy a boat ride on this beautiful narrow lake zEarly morning birding to different islands including the Purnishment and Bushara Islands. Dinner and overnight at Bunyonyi Safari

Resort, Bunyonyi Overland Resort or Similar.

DAY 28: Depart the beautiful lake for Lake Mburo National Park through the Kabale town with lunch enroute. As you enter the Park look for game including zebra, impala, Cape buffalo, topi, eland, leopard, hyena and jackals. Relax in the afternoon on a 2 hour boat trip; watching for hippos, crocs and some of the many (300+) birds that have been sighted there. Dinner and overnight at Mantana Tented Camp, Mihingo Lodge, or Rwonyo Bandas budget ones.

 

DAY 29: On this day, drive through the park looking out for Augur Buzzard, Crested Francolin, Emerald - spotted Wood Dove, Spot - Flanked Barbet, Bare - faced Go - away - bird, Black - headed and papyrus Gonoleks, White - winged Warbler, Red- headed love bird, Ross's Turacco, Tobora Cisticola, Lilac breasted, and Red - faced Barbet. Depart the park for Ssese Islands through Masaka Town. Join the ferry at Bukakata Landing site and cross to Bugoma then proceed to Lutoboka ,Buggala. Dinner and overnight at Ssese Islands Beach Hotel/ Ssese Palm Beach / Pearl Gardens / Ssese Habitat Resort or Similar.

 

DAY 30: Get up early morning for a nature walk. After an early lunch, take a boat trip and tour different sister Islands. Dinner and overnight at

Ssese Islands Beach Hotel / Ssese Palm Beach Hotel / Pearl Gardens / Ssese Habitat Resort or Similar.

 

DAY 31: After breakfast, leave the beautiful Ssese Islands for Entebbe through Nakiwogo Landing site and proceed to Kamengo in search of a Shoe bill storks. In the late afternoon, Dinner and overnight at Cassia Lodge / Hotel Africana / Kampala Sheraton Hotel or Holiday Express Hotel for budget ones.

 

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