14 Days Uganda Birding and Primate Safari
14 Days Uganda Birding and Primate Safari – Overview
The 14 Days Uganda Birding and Primate Safari is a combination of birds and primates including gorilla trekking encounter in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Chimpanzee trekking encounter in Kibale National park.
The birding encounter will take you through the swamps of Mabamba, Savannah landscapes of Lake Mburo National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park, forested landscapes of Budongo, Kibale and Bwindi with opportunities of encountering endemic species and others that are listed as endangered.
14 Days Uganda Birding and Primate Safari – Highlights
Day 1: Explore birds of Mabamba swamp & transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Day 2: Encounter birds of Lake Mburo National Park
Day 3: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National park (Ruhija) & bird Ruhija in the evening
Day 4: Explore birds in Umubwindi swamp
Day 5: Transfer to Buhoma
Day 6: Encounter birds of Buhoma or optional gorilla trekking
Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & bird along Kazinga Channe
Day 8: Encounter birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 9: Transfer to Kibale National Park & do Chimpanzee trekking
Day 10: Encounter birds of Kibale National Park & Bigodi wetland
Day 11: Transfer to Masindi
Day 12: Bird in Budongo Forest Reserve
Day 13: Transfer to Murchison Falls National park & bird along the Nile
Day 14: Take morning bird walk & then transfer to Kampala.
14 Days Uganda Birding and Primate Safari – Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Explore Birds of Mabamba Swamp & Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
After an early breakfast, embark on the transfer to Mabamba swamp for a memorable birding encounter. The canoe ride on Mabamba water logged area will expose you to magnificent flora and counts of birds that enjoy the naturally given food of snails and other water organisms.
The rare shoebill stork is the major spot of the day while other species like Squacco, long Toed Plover, African water Rail, Goliath, Purple, Pygmy Goose, Herons, Yellow Billed Duck, Grey and Black Headed Heron, White Faced Whistling Duck, Moorhen, Black Crake, Allen’s Gallinule and African Jacana may be spotted in the area. The wildlife like elusive Sitatunga Antelope can also be spotted. After this activity, embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park arriving in the evening for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Mihingo Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange/Standard) or Eagles Nest (Budget/Basic).
Day 2: Encounter Birds of Lake Mburo National Park
After an early morning breakfast, embark on the full day search of birds in the Savannah landscapes of Lake Mburo National Park. Explore the park on foot following the respective trails in the company of an armed ranger to save you from attacks of wild animals. Explore the Miriti and Warukiri swamps, Rubanga forest and the salt lick.
The encounter offers you chances of spotting Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Brown Parrot, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Red-faced Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Long-tailed Cisticola, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Finfoot, White-winged Tit and Yellow-breasted Apalis among other birds. The boat ride on Lake Mburo in the afternoon exposes you to counts of Kingfishers and African fish eagle.
Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge
Day 3: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National park (Ruhija) & Bird Ruhija in The Evening
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Ruhija in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is listed as the number one birding spot in the whole of Africa. The journey is 235km passing through farmed landscapes of south western Uganda and the towns of Mbarara and Kabale before arriving in Bwindi for lunch and relaxation.
In the afternoon, you will embark on the birding in forested hilly landscapes of Ruhija with opportunities of encountering Handsome Francolin Mountain Illadopsis, White-starred Robin, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Ayres’s and Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Mountain Buzzard, Grauer’s Warbler, Red-throated Alethe, Mountain Masked, Collard, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimson wing, Chestnut Throated and Black – Throated Apalis, Dusky Tit, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Stripe Breasted Tit among other bird species.
Accommodation: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).
Day 4: Explore Birds in Umubwindi Swamp
After an early breakfast, embark on the birding encounter to the Umubwindi swamp which has got a legendary attachment that later resulted into the naming of the entire National Park as Bwindi.
The water logged environment of Umubwindi swamp is a haven for a range of birds among which include; African Green Broadbill, Purple-breasted, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Grey Cuckooshrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Mountain Greenbul, Buff-Throated, Chestnut, Grey, Collard, Black Throated, Mountain Masked, Blue headed and Regal Sunbirds.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge
Day 5: Transfer to Buhoma
Do short bird walk in Ruhija in the morning after which you will transfer to the northern sector of Bwindi (Buhoma) Upon arriving, you will bird with in Buhoma environs with chances of encountering; Rufous-chested Fluff tail, Handsome Francolin, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Neumann’s Warbler, Red-chested Owlet among other bird species.
Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp (Upmarket/Luxury), Silverback Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Buhoma Community Rest Camp (Budget/Basic).
Day 6: Encounter Birds of Buhoma or Optional Gorilla Trekking
Birding in Buhoma commences early in the morning and gives you opportunities of encountering Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Rufous-chested Fluff tail, Pink Footed and Northern Puff Back, Honey Guide, Red Tailed, Toro Olive, Slender Billed, Little, Sheilley’s, Little Grey, Cabani’s White Throated and Yellow Wiskered Greenbuls, Cameroon Sombre, Elliots, Cardianl, Yellow Crested, Red Throated Allethe, Fine Banded woodpeckers, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Black faced Woodland Warbler, Waller’s, Stulman’s and Narro Tailed Starlings, Banded and White Chinned Prinia, Black Bee Eater, Blue Throated Brown, Northern Double Collard, Blue Headed, Collard, Olive, Green, olive Bellied, Rwenzori Doulbe Collard and Green Headed Sunbirds, Kivu Ground Thrush, Bar tailed Tragon, African Borad Bill, Neumann’s Warbler, Red-chested Owlet, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher and Pale-breasted Illadopsis. Retire for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & Bird Along Kazinga Channel
After breakfast, you transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 160km about 5 hours’ drive. You will pass through the landscapes of Ishasha in the south of Queen Elizabeth where by chance you can encounter the tree climbing lions that dwell in the fig trees of Ishasha. You will arrive at Mweya for lunch after which you will embark on the birding encounter along the 45m long Kazinga channel using the launch.
The two hour launch cruise will not only expose you to over 60 species of birds but also other Uganda safari offerings like Hippos, Nile Crocodiles not forgetting elephants, buffaloes and other antelopes drinking on the channel side. the birds that might be encountered include; the African Skimmer, African Spoonbill, Striated Heron, Herring Gull, Water Thick-knee, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Three-banded Plover, Green, Marsh, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Plain Martin, Gray-headed Gull, Lesser Swamp-Warbler among others.
Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget/Basic).
Day 8: Encounter Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Have a whole day encounter with birds in the varied ecosystems of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The birding encounter can be conducted in Mweya peninsular, environs of Lake Kikorongo, Maramagambo forest, Savannah plains of Kasenyi, Katunguru bridge Area among other areas.
Queen Elizabeth National Park exposes you to birds like; Temminck’s Courser, Rupell’s Griffon, Martial Eagle, White Headed, Lappet Faced Vultures, Blue Quail, Harlequin Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, African Crake, African Skimmer, Black Headed Gonolek, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Amur Falcon, Lowland Akalat, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Greater and Lesser Flamingo among others. The sights of wildlife like elephants, buffaloes, spotted Hyena, side stripped jackals, and Antelopes among others may not be missed.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous Lodge.
Day 9: Transfer to Kibale National Park & Do Chimpanzee Trekking
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kibale National Park 157km about 4 hours’ drive. You will pass by the scenic Rwenzori Mountains that were noted in the ancient times as the legendary mountains of the moon. They tower up to 5,109m above sea level covered with snow. You will arrive in Kibale early for lunch after which you will embark on the chimpanzee trekking encounter starting at 2pm.
The encounter tends to take 2 – 5 hours including one hour of direct encounter with Chimpanzees. You will marvel at chimpanzees as they swing through the tree branches, munching fruits, make pant hooting calls and socialize. The counts of birds en route will give you company as you traverse the undulating forested landscapes of Kibale National Park. You will retire in the evening for overnight.
Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Chimpanzee Guesthouse (Midrange/Standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).
Day 10: Encounter Birds of Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland
The forested landscapes of Kibale Forest National Park offers great encounters with 375species of birds. More 200 species thrive in the nearby Bigodi wetland. It starts early in the morning after breakfast and stretches for the whole day.
Birds that may be encountered on this activity include among others; Blue-headed bee eater, Nahans francolin, masked apalis, White-naped Pigeon, Cassin spine tail, Crested fly catcher, Green- brested Pitta, Red Winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Red- chested fluff tail, Grey winged Robbin, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Western Nicator, White-spotted Flufftail, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black Bishop, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-breasted Negrofinch, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black-crowned Waxbill and Brown-throated Wattle-eye.
Accommodation: You will have diner and overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 11: Transfer to Masindi
After breakfast, embark on the birding transfer to Masindi. You will go birding en route and arrive in Masindi in the afternoon for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Masindi Hotel
Day 12: Bird in Budongo Forest Reserve
After breakfast, have a whole day birding encounter in Budongo Forest reserve with 360 species of birds. Birding in Budongo gives you chances of spotting the two endemic species of Budongo namely; the Yellow-footed Flycatcher and Illadopsis puveli. Other bird species that can be encountered include; Zoothers camaronensis, Neafrapus cassini, Ceratogymna fistulator, Batis ituriensis, Sylvietta denti, Smithornis rufolateralis and Ixonotus guttatus. Other species include; Pitta reichenowi and Parmoptila woodhousei.
Accommodation: Masindi Hotel
Day 13: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & Bird Along The Nile
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. You will arrive early enough and visit the top of the powerful Murchison Falls encountering the magical scenery that will leave you in a state of wonder. The enchanting birds thriving across the roaring sounds of the flowing River Nile also generates interesting memories. In the afternoon, you converge at Paraa for a Nile Launch cruise that will expose you to a range of water birds that dwell along the Nile including the possibilities of seeing the shoebill stork, Blue-headed Coucal, Squacco Heron, Swamp Flycatcher, African Jacana, Denham’s Bustard, Sandpipers, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-billed Barbet, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Silver bird, Piapiac, Weaver Birds, Red-throated Bee-eater, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, African Quail-Finch and Speckle-fronted Weaver. The sights of Nile crocodiles and Hippos may not be missed.
Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Pakuba Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget/Basic).
Day 14: Take Morning Birding Encounter & Then Transfer to Kampala.
Have an early morning breakfast before embarking on the birding encounter in the Savannah landscapes of the north that will also bewild you with a range of wildlife including eellphants, buffaloes, giraffe, lions, Kobs, Oribis, Jackson’s hartebeest among others. The birds that can be spotted include; Goliath Heron which is the world’s largest heron, grey crowned cranes among others before embarking on the transfer to Kampala 311km about 5 hours’ drive.
End of The 14 Days Uganda Birding and Primate Safari.
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