Mega Birding Tour in Uganda
This 30-day Mega Birding Uganda Tour takes you throughout Uganda’s National Parks, reserves, sanctuaries for the endemics and this could produce over 750 bird species.
Arrive in Entebbe and stay at a BB facility in Entebbe
Shoebill boat ride in the morning then transfer to Jinja. Transfer from Entebbe to Mabamba swamp to look for the incredible Shoebill stork, we’ll bird around the swamp for some other species, like Lesser Jacana,Northern brown throated weaver, blue breasted beeaeter,winding cisticolas,Orange,Golden-backed and yellow backed weavers, grey rumped swallow and many more including a chance of rufous bellied heron. We’ll have our picnic lunch and transfer to Jinja.
Overnight at Gately On Nile. (Full board)
We’ll transfer to Mabira Forest with picnic lunch, and spend the whole day birding in the forest returning to the lodge after dusk. We expect to see several species of birds including: Crowned Eagle, greenbuls,yellow ans grey longbills,Sooty boubou, Blue-breasted and shinning blue Kingfishers,Hornbills,Forest woodhoopoes,Jameson’s and Chestnut wattle eyes cucooshrikes among others. Overnight at Gately On Nile.(Full board)
Drive through Mabira forest, Via Luweero swamp and Kafu ranches, birding en-route. Early this morning we¹ll leave Jinja and drive to Masindi in northwestern Uganda. As we head through the numerous small farms birding is limited, but we will arrive in good woodland and have hope for a great afternoon¹s birding as we look for Banded Snake-Eagle, Vinaceous Dove, Meyer¹s Parrot, White-crested Turacco, Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Siffling Cisticola, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Black-headed Batis, Brown Babbler, and Copper Sunbird, among others. Overnight at Masindi Hotel. (Full board)
We’ll visit the Royal Mile with packed lunch and spend there the whole day birding. After an early breakfast we will depart for Budongo Forest, about an hour's drive away. We¹ll have a full day in this area, where a new system of trails is currently being cleared. Additionally, a broad road through one of the richest areas of forest (known as the Royal Mile) gives good access to many of the forest specialties found here. We hope to see many of the following: Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Nahan's Francolin, Crested Guinea fowl, White-spotted Fluff tail, African Emerald Cuckoo, Sabine's and Cassin's spinetails, Dwarf, Chocolate-backed, and Blue-breasted kingfishers, Blue-throated Roller, White-thighed and Black-and-white-casqued hornbills, Speckled and Yellow-throated tinker birds, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted barbets, Golden-crowned Woodpecker, Gray, Plain, White-throated, Icterine, and Red-tailed greenbuls, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Black-capped and Buff-throated apalis, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Yellow Long bill, Green Hylia, Yellow-footed, African Forest, and Gray-throated flycatchers, Forest Robin, the rare Ituri Batis, Jameson's and Chestnut wattle-eyes, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Gray-headed, Green, Little Green, and Olive-bellied sunbirds, Western Black-headed Oriole, Purple-headed Glossy-Starling, Yellow-mantled Weaver, and Crested Malimbe. Overnight at Masindi Hotel.
Transfer to Murchison falls National Park via Kanio-Pabidi section of Budongo forest for the Pulvell’s llladopsis and other birds, have lunch and continue to the Park. We’ll visit the top of the falls and return to the Lodge in the dark. We¹ll drive this morning to Murchison Falls, checking for Puvel¹s Illadopsis en route at it’s only East African site, with a chance of other forest species here too. We will then have two full days in the park, where we¹ll have a second chance to see Shoebill if we failed to find it at the Mabamba Swamp near Kamengo. By taking a boat trip on the Victoria Nile, we should also have good close-up views of African Darter, Gray, Purple, and Squacco herons, Yellow-billed and Great egrets, Sacred Ibis, Saddle-billed Stork, African Jacana, Spur-winged and Long-toed lapwings, Senegal Thick-knee, Pied Kingfisher, and Red-throated Bee-eater. On one trip we hope to reach the base of the falls themselves. Here Rock Pratincoles leave their perches to make hunting sallies through the swirling spray. Enormous crocodiles breed on the sand banks just downstream and, as we make the return journey, elephants may well have come down for a drink. African Buffalo also come out onto the shores at this time, as do Waterbuck, Warthog, and occasionally Rothschild's Giraffe. Contrary to popular belief, Hippopotamuses, which are all along the river in incredible numbers, may also be out basking on the open sand banks in the full heat of the sun. We’ll spend our afternoons on game drives across the savanna grasslands and in some thicker areas of mature Livingstone African Safaris Ltd, P.O Box 29023 Kampala, Uganda. woodland. Here we¹ll scan for White-headed Vulture, Brown Snake-Eagle, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Gray Kestrel, Heuglin's and Crested francolins, Helmeted Guinea fowl, Small Buttonquail, Black-bellied and perhaps Dernham¹s (Stanley) bustards, Speckled and Blue-napped mouse birds, Crowned and African Gray hornbills, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Nubian and Gray woodpeckers, Flappet Lark, Northern Crombec, Red-winged Gray Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Sooty and white-fronted black Chats, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Beautiful Sunbird, Lesser Blue-eared Glossy-Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Yellow-mantled and Red-collared widowbird, and maybe the very local White-rumped Seedeater. One evening we'll stay out late in the hope of finding one or more of the night birds that can be seen here, perhaps Spotted (Grayish) Eagle-Owl or Long-tailed and Pennant-winged nightjars. Overnight Murchison River Lodge.(Fullboard)
We will spend the whole day in the Park, we will take a boat-ride to the Delta on the Nile to look for the Shoebill among other birds and other wildlife, such as: Rothchild’s Giraffee, Elephants, Jackson’s herteebeasts,Oribis,and many more. We’ll have lunch and later a game-drive on the northern side of the river in the savanna grasslands. Overnight Murchison River Lodge.(Fullboard).
You will have few stops to look for Black-billed Wood-Dove, Northern Carmine and Swallow-tailed bee-eaters, Yellow-fronted Tinker bird, Spot-flanked, Black-billed, and Double-toothed barbets, Red-faced, Zitting, and Foxy cisticolas, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Red-backed Scrub-Robin, Mocking Cliff chat, White-shouldered Black-Tit, Sulphur-breasted Bush shrike, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-winged Bishop, Black-bellied Fire finch, Red-winged Pytilia, and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. Overnight at Masindi Hotel. (Full board).
Transfer to Kibale forest National Park via Sebitoli section of the Park with lunch box while birding through the country site forest, Papyrus swamps and forest patches. This Livingstone African Safaris Ltd, P.O Box 29023 Kampala, Uganda. site is good for species like the Masked Apalis, Joyful greenbul, White-napped pigeons, forest Starlings and many more. Overnight at Chimpanzee Forest Guest House Cottages (FB).
After an early morning breakfast we’ll go for Chimpanzee-tracking and birding, return to the Lodge for lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon birding on the main road through Kibale Forest National Park. We¹ll have a full day at Kibale Forest, where 14 species of primates can be found. We’ll start by joining the excellent local guides on a Chimpanzee trek, and we may also encounter Blue, Copper-tailed, and L'Hoest's monkeys, Black-and-white Colobus, and Gray-cheeked Mangabey. Bird life is prolific, but as in many tropical forests, birds can be shy and difficult to observe. We hope for African Gray Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Narina's Trogon, Gray-throated Barbet, Least Honey guide, Honey guide Greenbul, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Fire-crested Alethe, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Narrow-tailed Starling, and White-breasted Negro-finch. There may be an option to search for Green-breasted Pitta here in lieu of the chimp trek, but it depends on whether the bird has been seen lately, so this remains an intriguing possibility for one of Africa’s great charisma birds. Overnight at Chimpanzee Forest Guest House Cottages (Fullboard).
This morning we’ll visit a papyrus swamp in search of the striking Papyrus Gonolek and the secretive White-winged Warbler. We¹ll then have an early lunch and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park lies in an extensive area of rolling grass-covered hills, wooded valleys, and a series of extinct volcanic craters. During our stay we will visit some of these areas, and take an afternoon trip on a launch along the famous Kazinga Channel that links lakes Edward and George, with great photo opportunities. Overnight at Mweya Lodge.(Full board).
Early Morning game drive, return to the lodge for lunch and later go for an afternoon boat-ride along the Kazinga Channel .We may go for another evening game drive after the boat-ride, returning to the Lodge at dusk. The varied habitats within this Park should provide us with an extensive bird list and a few new mammals, too. Lions are possible here, and we should see Elephant, Buffalo, Warthog, Topi, and large herds of Uganda Kob. We should also find many of the following birds, and undoubtedly some others not mentioned: Little Grebe, Great White and Pink-backed pelicans, Goliath Heron, Little Bittern,Black-shouldered Kite, African White-backed Vulture, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Bateleur, Tawny and Wahlberg's eagles, Red-necked Francolin, Black Crake, Water Thick-knee, Senegal Lapwing, Kittlitz's and White-fronted plovers, Whiskered and White-winged terns, African Skimmer, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Levaillant's and Dideric cuckoos, Black Coucal, White-rumped Swift, Little Bee-eater, Common Scimitar-bill, Rufous-naped and Red-capped larks, Yellow-throated Long claw, Trilling, Stout, and Croaking Cisticolas, Red-faced Crombec, Northern Black-Flycatcher, Black-lored Babbler, Black-crowned Tchagra, Tropical Boubou, Little Weaver, Red Bishop, White-winged Widowbird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Yellow-fronted Canary, and African Golden-breasted Bunting. Overnight at Mweya Lodge.(full board).
Drive to Bwindi National Park via Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National park famed for tree-climbing Lions. We may do a game drive to look for the lions and other wildlife in this sector before proceeding to Bwindi National Park. The other wildlife incude: Topi, Primates,Giant forest hogs, and thousands of Uganda Kobs to mention but a few. Overnight at Engagi Lodge. (Fullboard).
Today we’ll track the Gorillas in Bwindi forest for a chance to see the remaining population of these great Apes. This is probably one of the highlights of the trip to many travellers to Uganda. Overnight at Engagi Lodge. (Full board).
A full day birding excursion along the main trail of Bwindi forest. We’ll carry our lunch boxes with us and return to the lodge late in the evening. We will, of course, try and catch up on any bird species missed by anyone taking the Gorilla excursions, but there will be tradeoffs. The forest area immediately around our camp is classed as medium elevation, and we will be particularly looking for the large variety of birds that occur there: Buff-spotted Flufftail, Black-billed Turaco, Yellowbill, Blue-headed Coucal, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black Bee-eater, Elliot's Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Shelley¹s (Kakamega) Greenbul, Common Bristlebill, Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, Red-throated Alethe, Chubb's Cisticola, Black-throated and Gray apalises, Olive-green Camaroptera, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Neumann's (Short-tailed) Warbler (a highly localized endemic), Green Hylia, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Chapin's Flycatcher (rare), Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Equatorial Akalat, Black-and-white Shrike-Flycatcher, White-bellied and Dusky crested-flycatchers, Gray-chested and Mountain illadopsis, Blue-throated Brown and perhaps Tiny sunbirds, Mackinnon's Shrike, Pink-footed Puffback, Luedher's, Many-colored, and Gray-green bushshrikes, Stuhlmann's and Narrow-tailed starlings, Red-headed Malimbe, Red-headed Bluebill, and Black-headed (Kandt¹s) Waxbill. We’ll carry our lunch boxes with us and return to the lodge late in the evening. Overnight at Engagi Lodge.(Full board).
Early morning birding before we can transfer to Ruhija sector of Bwindi forest this is about 1500-2000m above sea level, birding en-route. We’ll spend some time at the “Neck” of the Bwindi forest to look for some of the special birds, the forest offers. On the morning of this day, we will make the short but slow and rough drive to the higher parts of the Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest. As we arrive on the uppermost slopes, we'll immediately realize why for so long this was known as Impenetrable, for in bygone days the dense undergrowth and steep terrain must have made entry very difficult indeed. Many different species are found at these higher altitudes, including quite a few of the Albertine Rift endemics. Undoubtedly one of the most sought-after birds here is the rare and hard-to-find Grauer¹s (African Green) Broadbill, and it would be with tremendous luck if we were to see this species. Sometimes we find a few of these legendary species at a nest by doing the strenuous 8 km trek down into the Mubwindi Swamp. Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.
We will start early enough with lunch box and take the trail through the forest to look for the special ARE and a visit to the Mubwindi swamp, returning late evening. Sometimes we find a few of these legendary species at a nest by doing the strenuous 8 km trek down into the Mubwindi Swamp; Some times Elephants on the trail sabotage our attempts! Far easier to see are most of the following, and we'll have a full day-and-a-half to work this area: Handsome Francolin, Brown-necked Parrot, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Montane Nightjar, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Yellow-rumped and Western Tinkerbird, Tullberg's Woodpecker, Gray Cuckoo-shrike, Slender-billed and Yellow-streaked, greenbuls, Banded Prinia, Collared, Black-faced, and Chestnut-throated Apalises, Cameroon Scrub-Warbler, Mountain Yellow and Grauer's warblers, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, Archer's Robin-Chat, Ruwenzori Batis, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Mountain Illadopsis, African (Ruwenzori) Hill Babbler, Stripe-breasted Tit, Blue-headed, Regal, and Purple-breasted sunbirds, Black-tailed Oriole, Mountain Boubou, the stunning Doherty's Bush shrike, White-necked Raven, Slender-billed and Waller's starlings, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Dusky Twin spot, and perhaps Oriole Finch. Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge. (Full board).
Morning excursion in Ruhija area, then transfer with box lunch to Kisoro for overnight at Traveler’s Rest.
Full day birdwatching excursion with box lunch in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Overnight at Traveler’s Rest, Kisoro
After breakfast we will leave Ruhija for Lake Mburo National park, we will have several short birding stops en-route, as the need may arise, arriving at Lake Mburo in the late afternoon. We’ll look for papyrus swamp species, open area species of raptors and dry savannah species as we enter the Park. Overnight at Arcardia Cottages. (Full board).
We will spend the whole day in Lake Mburo National Park; do a boat-ride in the morning and an afternoon game-drive to look for species like Long-tailed Cisticola, Red-faced Barbet and many others. This delightful small park contains rolling scrub-covered hills, open dry areas, pockets of woodland, papyrus beds, marshy lake fringes, and opens water. It is the only area where we can see Common Zebra and Impala, and we should also find good numbers of Oribi, Olive Baboon, and Vervet Monkey. A variety of new and interesting birds occur within this park and we hope for African Finfoot, white-backed and black-headed night herons (via a short boat trip), Lizard Buzzard, African Goshawk, Coqui Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Red-headed Lovebird, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Green Wood hoopoe, Greater Honey guide, Green-backed Woodpecker, the restricted range Red-faced Barbet at its only Ugandan site, Mosque and Rufous-chested swallows, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Broad-tailed Grass bird, Gray Tit-Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, White-winged Black-Tit, African Penduline-Tit, Violet-backed Starling, Fan-tailed Widowbird, and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu. Two rarities seen here on a past tour were White-backed Night-Heron and Thick-billed Cuckoo. Overnight at Arcardia Cottages. (Full board).
We’ll transfer to Entebbe with a game drive out of the park and few stops enroute. Overnight at a BB facility in Entebbe.
Morning visit to the botanical gardens/Wildlife Education centre, have an early lunch and then transfer to the Airport to catch up with your outbound flight.
What is included?
- Airport pickup/drop off.
- Recently introduced 18% VAT on accommodation at all facilities as per our standard itineraries.
- All ground transportation in a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with roof-hatches.
- Accommodation in standard twin / single rooms.
- Three meals throughout the tour (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
- Services of an English speaking driver guide.
- Fuel for the entire trip.
- Cost of 1 chimpanzee permit per person for pax visiting Kibale National Park.
- Bottled drinking water, tea and coffee while in transit.
- All park entrance fees, game reserves and sanctuary entrance fees.
- Exclusive (private) boat ride costs on Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls N. P, Mabamba boat ride and Lake Mburo boat ride..
- All activities described in the itinerary unless described as extras.
What is not included?
- Pre/post tour accommodation, day room charges and meals.
- Cost of a gorilla permit which is US $ 600 at the moment.
- Insurance of any kind.
- Emergency rescue flight costs local or international.
- Tips and gratitude to your driver/guide/hotel staff etc.
- All expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone bills etc.
- Bank transfer charges of US $ 40 per transfer.