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15 Days Best of Uganda Birding Tour

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15 Days Best of Uganda Birding Safari Tour

Overview.

This 15 days Best of Uganda Birding Tour will take you through the major forests in Uganda renown for great birding opportunities starting with Mabira forest which has over 200 bird species. Next we move to Budongo forest protecting the largest natural forest in East Africa, boasting of 350 bird Species with excellent birding opportunities. We continue to Semuliki National Park which protects an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Being a relatively stable forest – it is one of the richest areas for forest birds in Africa with a large number of Central African species. Our birding trip will continue to Kibale National Park a large block of rain forest that offers great birding and harbors the highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The forest hosts over 300 bird species with opportunity of tracking Chimpanzees.

This birding tour ends in Bwindi impenetrable forest which is home to over 300 bird species and was voted as Africa’s best birding spot by Africa bird club.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival for the Uganda Forest Birding Safari

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by a Kagera Safaris representative and transferred to your Hotel. Depending on time of arrival you have an opportunity to explore Entebbe botanical gardens as an introduction to birding in Uganda.

Destination: Kampala Uganda

Accommodation Options

Luxury: Mestil Hotel & Residences,

Mid-range: Cassia Lodge

Budget:  Acactus Hotel

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 2: Birding tour to Mabira forest

Mabira forest is the biggest forest reserve closest to Kampala city and is known for its variety of primates and bird species. We will leave for Mabira forest very early in the morning to avoid the traffic driving into the city.

The forest is home to over 200 bird species which can be a challenge to see if they are in the tree canopies. Some of the birds are found on the ground feeding, others in the tree branches.

Some of the bird species include; Chestnut and Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Grey Parrot, Red-tailed Bristlebil, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, White-bellied Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Speckled Tinkerbird, Forest robin, African Pied Hornbill, Blue-throated Roller among others.

Destination: Kampala Uganda

Accommodation Options

Luxury: Mestil Hotel & Residences,

Mid-range: Cassia Lodge

Budget:  Acactus Hotel

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 3: Birding Safari to Budongo Forest

Today we bird our way to Budongo forest which has an abundant bird life with two species of birds not found elsewhere in East Africa: 10 of the 22 species of the Sudan–Guinea Savannah biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea–Congo forests that occur in Uganda. Best of Uganda Birding Tour

We arrive in Masindi this evening after several stopovers birding. We have an opportunity to stop over at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for those interested in trekking Rhinos and birding briefly at the sanctuary.

Destination: Budongo Forest

Accommodation Option

Mid-range – Masindi Hotel

Budget – New Court View

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 4: Birding the Royal Mile in Budongo forest

We bird the marvelous Royal mile and several other trails for the whole day. We look out for the White-thighed Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Yellow-spotted and Yellow Billed Barbets, Western Black-headed Oriole. We are also likely to find the Red-tailed Bristlebill, Scaly-breasted, Pale-breasted and Brown Illadopsis, Spotted, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Green Crombec, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Buff-throated Apalis, and both White-breasted and Grey-headed Negrofinches, Chocolate-backed and African Dwarf Kingfishers, White-spotted Flufftails and the elusive Nahan’s Francolin. Other possibilities include; Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Tambourine Dove, Grey Parrot, African Emerald and Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoos, White-throated Bee-eater, Western Nicator, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Wilcock’s Honeyguide, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Blue-throated Brown and Little Green Sunbirds, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe and Uganda Woodland Warbler etc.

Destination: Budongo Forest

Accommodation Options

Mid-range – Masindi Hotel

Budget – New Court View

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 5: Birding to Kibale National Park

We leave for Kibale National Park for another experience of forest birding in Uganda. We have several stopovers as we drive to Kibale for great landscape views and birding opportunities at different points. We arrive at the lodge later that evening and bird the lodge grounds.

Destination: Kibale National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Papaya Lake Lodge

Mid-range – Turaco Treetops

Budget – Chimpanzee guest house

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 6: Birding in Kibale National Park

Kibale national park protects a large block of rain forest that offers excellent birding opportunities. The forest is host to over 300 bird species with the highlight for most people being the Green Breasted Pitta. Best of Uganda Birding Tour

The species to look out for include; White-naped Pigeon, African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Red-winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Dark-backed and Yellow-mantled Weavers, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Orange-tufted, Green-throated, Green-headed and Tiny sunbirds. We will look out for Dusky and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Black bee-eater, Think-billed and Willcock’s Honeyguide etc.

You have an opportunity to engage in Chimpanzee trekking in the afternoon after the morning birding in the forest.

Destination: Kibale National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Papaya Lake Lodge

Mid-range – Turaco Treetops

Budget – Chimpanzee guest house

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 7: Birding to Semuliki national park

Today after breakfast we bird our way to Semuliki national park for an experience searching for central African species found only here in East Africa. We shall have several stopovers birding nearby forest patches and swampy areas for different bird species as we drive to Semuliki forest.

Destination: Semuliki National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Semuliki Safari Lodge

Mid-range – Mountains of the Moon

Budget – Rwenzori View Guest house

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Drinking water

 

Day 8 &9: Birding Kirumira trail in Semuliki forest

Semuliki is rich in both flora and fauna and a haven for birds. We look out for predominantly Central African species, which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa. Best of Uganda Birding Tour

The species include; Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honey guide, the Piping, Red-billed Dwarf and White-crested Hornbills. We also look out for White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender’s Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator etc.

Destination: Semuliki National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Semuliki Safari Lodge

Mid-range – Mountains of the Moon

Budget – Rwenzori View Guest house

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Drinking water

 

Day 10: Birding to Bwindi impenetrable national park

We bird our way to Bwindi impenetrable forest in the Buhoma section for Gorilla tracking and more birding opportunities. Bwindi Impenetrable is the richest forest in East Africa in relation to its trees, butterflies and birds. It is home to over 450 Mountain Gorillas. The bird list for the park currently totals 347 species. The forest has 10 of the 26 globally threatened species in Uganda, five of which are vulnerable and boasts of 24 of Uganda’s 25 Albertine Rift endemics.

Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Buhoma Lodge

Mid-range – Haven Lodge

Budget – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Drinking water

 

Day 11: Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi forest

Today you have an opportunity to do birding or gorilla trekking. Buhoma section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has tracks that run through the forest offering excellent viewing points. The bird species to look out on these trails include; Brown, Blue-headed, Northern Double-collared and Grey headed Sunbirds, Black Bee-Eater, Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Common Stonechat, Black throated Robin chat, Barred Long tailed Cuckoo, Black throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Chin spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, African broadbill, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, Handsome Francolin and White-bellied Robin-chat, Cape wagtail, White-chinned Prinia, Olive Green and Grey-backed Camaropteras etc.

Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Buhoma Lodge

Mid-range – Haven Lodge

Budget – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Drinking water

 

Day 12: Birding to Ruhija section of Bwindi impenetrable forest

On our way from Buhoma section to Ruhija section of Bwindi impenetrable forest, we bird “The Neck” – an important bird habitat that offers high chances of seeing the Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Black Bee-eaters, Bronze-napped Pigeon, the rare Chapin’s Flycatcher, Cassin’s grey flycatcher, pink footed puffback, Mountain wagtail etc.

Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Buhoma Lodge

Mid-range – Haven Lodge

Budget – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Drinking water

 

Day 13: Birding in Ruhija

Today we bird towards Mubwindi Swamp where the trail drops steeply through the dense forest and then winds through swampy forest. Best of Uganda Birding Tour

In Ruhija the birds we hope to sight include the; Rwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Banded Prinia, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbul. Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Mountain Illadopsis, Archer’s Robin-chat, White-starred Robin, Strange Weaver, Blue headed, Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, Northern Olive Thrush, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Black headed Waxbill, Dusky Crimsonwing, Willcock’s Honeyguide, Sharpe’s Starling and many others.  More birds include African Green Broadbill, Yellow-billed Barbet, Black-billed Turaco, Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Hoopoe, Montane Oriole, Pink-footed Puffback, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Waller’s Starling, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Dwarf Honey-Guide, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Oriole Finch, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Red-headed Malimbe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Grey-headed Sparrow, Dusky Twinspot, Think-billed and Streaky Seedeaters, Rwenzori Nightjar etc.

Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Accommodation Options

Up market – Buhoma Lodge

Mid-range – Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge

Budget – Broadbill Forest Camp

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and Drinking water

 

Day 14: Birding to Kampala/Entebbe

We start journey back to Entebbe after a fulfilling Uganda forest birding experience. We shall have stopovers birding along the way until we arrive at our destination. We will have a brief stopover at the Equator monument for pictures and more souvenir shopping before retiring to the hotel later that evening. Best of Uganda Birding Tour

Destination: Kampala | Entebbe

Accommodation

Up market – Hotel No 5

Mid-range – The Boma

Budget – African Roots Guesthouse

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 15: End of the Uganda Forest Birding Safari

We have come to the end of our forest birding tour in Uganda. We will transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. Thank you for birding Uganda with Kagera safaris, we look forward to host you on your next tour of the Pearl of Africa. Bon Voyage

Destination: Entebbe

Accommodation: No

 

Tour includes

Ground transport

Park entrances

Birding fees

Boat trips

Bottled water in the safari vehicle

Full board accommodation for two nights

Service of an English-speaking driver guide

All mentioned activities except for the optional ones

 

Tour excludes

Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.

Tips to porters and driver/ guide Insurance

Enjoy your Best of Uganda Birding Tour

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