ViapoAfrican Safaris

17 Days Wildlife Discovery & Bird Watching Tour

(GROUP 4-12 PEOPLE)

Overview

This 17 Days Wildlife Discovery & Bird Watching Tour will give you an exciting journey into the isolated jungles of Uganda taking you through central, south and  northern Uganda to explore different wildlife (Big 5 animals) and bird species, and gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park. This 17 Days – wildlife &bird watching safari will take you to Mabamba swamp, Lake Mburo, Bwindi impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale forest, Murchison fall national parks and Ziwa Rhino sanctuary.

Safari Highlights:

  • Birding in Mabamba Swamp wetlands
  • Birding and gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Birding and Chimp trekking in Kibale forest National Park
  • Birding, boat cruise and game viewing in Murchison falls National park
  • Rhino tracking and birding in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary
  • Birding, Boat cruise and Game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park

 

Itinerary Details:

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe airport.
On arrival, you will be met by Encounter Africa Safari guide who will transfer you to your overnight Guest house. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the nearby Botanical gardens or Uganda Wildlife Education center for a short excursion tour and bird watching.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Serena Hotel/Pearl of Africa Hotel
Mid-range:  Emin Pasha Hotel/ Speke Resort Hotel/Cassia Lodge
Budget: Acactus Hotel/ Namirembe Guest house

 

Day 2: Travel to Mabamba Swamp for Bird Watching.
After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to Mabamba swamp, which is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, traditionally one of the few and best places to spot the rare and elusive shoebill stock in central Uganda.
The bird species that we expect to see include the  Goliath Herons, White faced whistling Duck, White-winged Warbler, Lesser Jacana, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Yellow-backed, Golden-backed, Vieillot’s Black, Weyns’s and Orange weaver and Red-headed Lovebird among others. After you will drive back to the hotel/lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Serena Hotel/Pearl of Africa Hotel
Mid-range:  Emin Pasha Hotel/ Speke Resort Hotel/Cassia Lodge
Budget: Acactus Hotel/ Namirembe Guest house

 

 

Day 3: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, you will check out at the lodge and drive to Lake Mburo National park, with stopovers at the Equator for photographs and equator experience and en-route lunch. Proceed and make another stopover at Kaku swamp where you sometimes see bird species like the Black kite, the White-faced and Fulvous, whistling ducks, Common and Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, Hottentot Teals, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Grey-crowned Cranes and Saddle-billed Storks, Grey wood Pecker, Dusky Blue, African Dusky, African Paradise, Red-bellied Paradise, Brown-throated Wattle-Eye, Arrow-marked, Black-lored and Brown Babblers, Lesser and Scaly-throated Honey guide among others. You will then proceed on to Lake Mburo national park for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Mihingo Lodge
Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rwakobo Rock
Budget: Eagles Nest Camp

 

 

Day 4:  Bird watching/game viewing and a Boat cruise in Lake Mburo National Park

After your breakfast, with your packed lunch, you will start up your game viewing for both wildlife and bird species in Lake Mburo National Park. This is one of the IBAs(Important Birding Areas) in Uganda, protecting more than 350 bird species,  which includes; the Spot-franked, Double-toothed, Red-faced and Crested Barbets, Western-banded and Brown Snake-eagles, Trilling, Red-faced and Tabora Cisticolas, Crested and Coqui Francolins, Chin-spot Batis, Broad- billed and Lilac-breasted Roller, Brown-chested Lapwing, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Brown Parot, Bateleur, and Emerald-spotted wood dove among others. You will drive towards Rwonyo, and the lake side for our picnic lunch and later go for the boat cruise on lake Mburo.   Where you will expect bird species like; the White-faced and Fulvous whistling ducks, White-backed and Black-crowned Night Herons, African Finfoot, African Darter, Rufous-bellied Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Greater and Lesser Swamp Warbler, Common and Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Grey-crowned Cranes, African Water Rail and Allen’s Gallinule among others. In the evening, drive back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Mihingo Lodge
Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rwakobo Rock
Budget: Eagles Nest Camp

 

 

Day 5: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

After breakfast at the lodge, you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you will have opportunities to stop along the way to spot some bird species as well as sightseeing, This journey takes you through the beautiful green rolling hills of southern Uganda with banana and tea plantations and good scenic views. Lunch will be served en route and you will arrive in Bwindi in the evening.

Accommodations:

Budget: Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp/Broadbill Lodge/Traveler’s Rest Camp

Midrange: Gorilla Mist Camp /Rushaga Gorilla Camp/ Mutanda Lake Resort.

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Spring Lodge/Gorilla safari Lodge.

 

 

Day 6: Gorilla tracking experience day

After your early morning breakfast, your guide will drive you to Ruhija Park headquarters for briefing and joining others for gorilla trekking. You will start your mountain gorillas trekking experience. Once you find them, you will be given one hour of observation and photography before returning back to the park headquarters for certificate and drive to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Budget: Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp/Broadbill Lodge/Traveler’s Rest Camp

Midrange: Gorilla Mist Camp /Rushaga Gorilla Camp/ Mutanda Lake Resort.

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Spring Lodge/Gorilla safari Lodge.

 

Day 7: Bird watching in Mubwindi Swamp.

After breakfast at the Lodge, you will go for bird watching at Mubwindi swamp, you will spend the entire day at this area. This 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 Regal Sunbird, and Archer’s Robin-Chat. Mubwindi Swamp is also home to Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Ruwenzori Apalis, African Hill Babbler (sometimes treated as a separate species from Ruwenzori Hill Babbler), the rare and localized Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler. Some of the many species we have a chance of seeing here include Black Goshawk, Augur Buzzard, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Black-billed, Ruwenzori, and Ross’s Turacco, African, Barred Long-tailed, and African Emerald Cuckoos, Red-chested Owlet, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Blue-throated Roller, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Gray-throated, Double-toothed, and Yellow-spotted Barbets, Western and Yellow-rumpedTinkerbird, Thick-billed and Dwarf Honeyguides, 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 and Cabanis’ Greenbuls, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Olive and Mountain Thrushes, Red-throated Alethe, Chubb’s Cisticola, Banded Prinia, Ruwenzori, Black-throated, and Black-faced Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Grauer’s Warbler, Cinnamon and Black-faced Bracken-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, Ruwenzori Batis, White-tailed, and African Blue-Flycatchers, Pale-breasted, Mountain, and Gray-chested Illadopses, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Gray-headed, Western Violet-backed, Green, Green-headed, Blue-headed, Green-throated, Stuhlmann’s, Northern Double-collared, and Regal Sunbirds, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Ludher’s, Gray-green, Many-colored, 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.

Accommodations:

Budget: Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp/Broadbill Lodge/Traveler’s Rest Camp

Midrange: Gorilla Mist Camp /Rushaga Gorilla Camp/ Mutanda Lake Resort.

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Spring Lodge/Gorilla safari Lodge.

 

 

Day 8: Bird watching in Buhoma

On this day, you will go for bird watching in Buhoma section through “The Neck”. The Neck (where the forest narrows) offers excellent forest birding. Key species that you will see include many of the Albertine Rift Endemics that we may not have seen earlier. These include Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, DuskyCrimsonwing. A few other species you may see include Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Fine-banded and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Willcocks’s Honey guide, Kakamega Greenbul, Red-tailed Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Mountain Wagtail, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Equatorial Akalat, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Dusky Tit, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Red-headed Malimbe, Dusky Twinspot, Cape Wagtail, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, and Western Citril.

Accommodations:

Budget: Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp/Broadbill Lodge/Traveler’s Rest Camp

Midrange: Gorilla Mist Camp /Rushaga Gorilla Camp/ Mutanda Lake Resort.

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Spring Lodge/Gorilla safari Lodge.

 

 

Day 9: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National park

In the morning, you will depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will see beautiful scenery along the way as well as spotting some birds. You will arrive in time for Lunch at the lodge and game drive in the plains of Kasenyi in search for savannah wildlife including spotting bird different birds like the Red Chested, Diederik, and Klaas’s Cuckoo, Short-toed, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagles, African white-backed, among others and savannah animals that may include herds of buffaloes, antelopes, elephants and if lucky, some wild cats such as lions and leopard.

Accommodations:

Luxury Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge: Katara Lodge
Mid-range:  Bush Lodge (in rooms) / Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Ihamba Safari Lodge
Budget: Kazinga Channel View Lodge/ Simba Safari Camp in tents/ Bush Lodge in tents  

 

 

Day 10: Bird watching/Game viewing and Boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
After an early morning breakfast, you will set off with your packed lunch,and start your bird watching/game viewing drive through the kasenyi plains. The park has more than 612 bird species recorded and this is said to be the highest concentration of bird life as compared to any nature reserve in the World. Expect to bird species like; the Red Chested, Diederik, and Klaas’s Cuckoo, Short-toed, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagles, African white-backed, Ruppel’s Griffon, Lappet-faced and Hooded Vultures, African Marsh, Eurasian Marsh, Pallid and Montagu’s Harrier, Wahlberg’s, Tawny, Long-crested and Martial Eagles, African Crake, Harlequin and Blue Quail, Common Button-quail, European Roller, Rufous-naped, White-tailed and Flappet Lark, Winding, Wing-snapping, Croaking, Trilling and Stout Cisticola,Temminck’s Courser, Vereaux’s Eagle-owl, Black-crowned Tchagra and Collared Pratincole among others.

You later drive towards Mweya peninsular, have your picnic lunch and then go for a boat cruise on Kazinga channel for another view of wildlife and birds. After drive back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge: Katara Lodge
Mid-range:  Bush Lodge (in rooms) / Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Ihamba Safari Lodge
Budget: Kazinga Channel View Lodge/ Simba Safari Camp in tents/ Bush Lodge in tents  

 

 

Day 11: Travel to Kibale forest National park via Maramagambo Forest for Bird watching

After breakfast, you will set off with your packed lunch, you will check out of the lodge and drive to Maramagambo Forest for bird watching/nature walk in the forest. During the walk, expect to see different bird species that includes; the Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chestnut Wattle Eye, African Dusky, African Paradise, Red-bellied Paradise and Bedford’s Flycatchers,  African Golden oriole, Red headed blue bill, Bat hawks, Sulphur-breasted bush shrike, Brown-eared woodpecker, Fawn breasted Waxbill, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-fronted and Speckled Tinkerbirds, African Moustached, Garden,Willow and Dark-caped Yellow Warbler among others. Also expect to see different primate species like the Black and white Colobus monkey. 

Later in the afternoon, drive to Kibale Forest National Park, check in to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Papaya Lake/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lake Lodge
Mid-range: Mountains of the Moon/Kibale Forest Camp
Budget: Kibale forest camp tents/Chimpanzee Forest Guest House

 

 

Day 12: Bird watching in Kibale Forest National Park and Bigodi swamp.
After an early breakfast, you will go for bird watching in Kibale forest. The forest protects more than 300 bird species, so you will expect to see bird species including; Green-breasted Pitta, Red-chested Owlet, Scally-breasted, Pale-breasted and Brown Illadopsis, Red-caped and Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Fire-crested and Brown-chested Alethe, Forest Robin, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared and Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Red-winged Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, White-naped and Afep Pigeon, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-whiskered, Cabanis’s, Yellow-throated, Red-tailed and Little Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Yellow-spotted, Hairy-breasted and Yellow-billed Barbet among others.  

After lunch, you will go to Bigodi swamp for a nature walk/bird watching. This is located some 4kms from Kibale national park visitors’ centre where you will expect to see bird species like; the  Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Great-blue Turaco, White-naped pigeon, White-tail Ant-Thrush, White spotted Flufftail, Slender-billed, Cameroon Sombre, Joyful and Toro olive Greenbul among others. Later in the evening, drive back to the Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Papaya Lake/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lake Lodge
Mid-range: Mountains of the Moon/Kibale Forest Camp
Budget: Kibale forest camp tents/Chimpanzee Forest Guest House

 

 

Day 13: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, you will drive towards Murchison falls National Park, through the tea plantations for sightseeing of Fort portal and home steads of Kagadi and Hoima. Where you will make stopovers at some spots bird as well as continuing your journey, arrive the park in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge/ Baker’s Lodge
Mid-range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

 

Day 14: Bird watching towards the Delta in Murchison Falls National Park. 
After an early morning breakfast, you will leave the lodge with your  packed lunch, you will cross the Nile by the ferry to the northern sector of the park and start your game viewing drive/ bird watching towards the Delta, in search for the bird species which include; Swallow-tailed, Madagascar, Northern Carmine, Blue-breasted and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Sooty and White-fronted black Chat, Crested and Heuglin’s Francolin, Silverbird, Rufous Sparrow, White-browed and Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Vitelline Masked, and Speckle-fronted Weaver, Red-winged Pytilia, Zitting, Black-backed, Croaking, Siffling, Whistling, Rattling and Foxy Cisticola, Double-toothed, White-headed and Black-billed Barbets, Northern, Black-winged and Black Bishop, Nubian, Cadinal and Grey Woodpecker, Black-bellied and Denham’s Bustard, Black-billed and Blue-spotted Wood-dove, Tambourine and Namaqua Dove, Yellow-billed Oxpecker and African Golden Oriole, Long-toed lapwing, Goliath Heron, Water thick-knee,  Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, and the rare Shoebill among others. Later in the evening drive back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge/ Baker’s Lodge
Mid-range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

 

Day 15:  Nile Delta & Top of the falls, Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, you will take a boat trip for bird watching towards the Delta, expect to see birds like the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White rumped canary, Carmine Bee eater, Sacred Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Red throated Bee eaters, Saddle billed stock, Red necked Falcon, Osprey, Bruce’s Green pigeon, Vinaceous dove, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Shoebill, Fulvous whistling Duck, White crested Turaco, Silver bird, Grosbeak Weaver, Goliath and Purple Heron among others. Also expect to see a variety of mammals including the Elephants, Buffaloes, Hartbeasts, Giraffe, Cobs, Oribis, Hyenas, Lions and Leopards among others. Later in the afternoon after lunch, you will go for a boat cruise upstream to the bottom of Murchison falls. Then drive back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge/ Baker’s Lodge
Mid-range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

 

Day 16: Birding in Budongo Forest.
After breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and proceed on to Budongo forest for a half day Nature walk at Kaniyo-Pabidi. During the walk you will also be able to see different bird species like the Puvel’sIlladopsis, Sooty, Forest, African-shrike and Yellow footed flycatcher, White crested Turaco, African-crowned Eagle, Blue-breasted, African-dwarf and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher among others.

Accommodations:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge/ Baker’s Lodge
Mid-range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

 

Day 17: Drive to Kampala/ Entebbe International airport.

In the morning, prepare and drive back to Entebbe international Airport via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino tracking, during the walk you may also be able to see some other bird species including shoebill stork, Abdim’s Stork, Blue spotted dove, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Booted eagle, African Black Crake, Broad billed Roller, African Black-headed Oriole.

After, you will proceed to Entebbe for your flight, making the end of your 17 Days Wildlife Discovery & Bird Watching Tour in Uganda.  

Safari Requirements:

  • A Visa – you can apply for the visa online or very easily get one at the point of entry into the country (airport)
  • Gorilla trekking permit – You can apply and secure permit at a standard fee (USD600)
  • Travel &Health insurance – This should be arranged by you in your home country before you travel.
  • Physical fitness

 

Price includes:

  • Full board accommodation as per the itinerary
  • 4WD safari vehicle with popup roof
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Game drives
  • Boat launches
  • Gorilla and chimps trekking permits
  • English Speaking Driver/guide.
  • Pickup and Return airport transfers.

 

 

Price Excludes:

  • Other drinks
  • Laundry
  • Insurance
  • Tips to local guides
  • Telephone expenses
  • Porter fees while Gorilla trekking
  • Cigarettes