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10 Days of Birds, Primates and Beautiful Scenery; this is one tour you cannot miss! A magical journey, promising you an experience like no other. To inquire more about this trip, to book or to receive a personalized rate, please fill in the enquiry form (top right or below [depends on device you’re using]) and we will be sure to get back to you ASAP!
• Important travel information to plan your trip and make the most of your time here, from entry requirements, safety tips, how to get around to weather conditions, currency and accommodation is available here: Destination Uganda or Destination Rwanda
• Gorilla Permits cost $600 each
• Chimpanzee Permits cost $150 each
• Gorillas are mainly found in Bwindi and Mgahinga
• Chimpanzees are mainly found in Kibale National Park
• Read our updated FAQs to learn more
• Make your choice in accommodation with us!
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Uganda is arguably the most attractive country in Africa to bird watchers, not only to because of the unusually number of species recorded within its borders, but also because it offers easy access to several bird-rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere.
Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity-1,008 species recorded in an area similar to that of Great Britain can be attributed to its location at a transitional point between the East African savanna, the West African rainforest and the semi-desert of the north. The key to Uganda’s diversity is its variety of habitats: arid semi-dessert, rich savannahs, lowland and montane rainforests, vast wetlands, volcanoes and an Afro-alpine zone. Uganda covers an altitude from 650 to 5000m.
Analytical of Uganda’s intermediary position is the fact that only one bird is endemic to the country, the rather ordinary Fox’s weaver. However, if you take only East Africa into consideration, then approximately 150 bird species (more than 10% of the regional checklists) are found only in Uganda. This list includes seven of the 20 horn-bill species recorded in the region, five out of 14 honey guides, seven out of 20 horn bill species recorded in the region, five out of 20 bush family as well as 13 members of the thrush family, 11 warblers, ten flycatchers, eight sun birds, eight weavers, eight finches, four tinker birds, four pigeons, 3 kingfishers, 3 sparrow hawks, 3 cuckoos and 3 night-jars.
Most of these Uganda’s specials are West African and Congolese forest birds that should be very difficult to see elsewhere for the simple reason that the other countries in which they occur are poorly developed for Tourism. The rain forests of Western Uganda must be seen as the country’s most important bird habitat, and that is the greatest interest to birdwatchers (bird watching), particularly if they are already familiar with typical East African birds. The most alluring forests in Uganda with localized species is Semliki, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest and Bwindi Forest. However, Kibale is the Uganda’s spot for forest birds and the nearby Magombe swamp. Even the relatively tame botanical gardens in Entebbe will throw up several interesting species.
Therefore, you want to see or watch a wide range of birds in Uganda for tour enthusiasts, try to visit Entebbe (water and forest birds), Lake Mburo (water and acacia associated birds), Queen Elizabeth (Over 600 species are recorded), Murchison Falls (a best place in East Africa to see the Papyrus-associated shoe-bill) and Kidepo (over 50 raptors recorded).
• Ostrich, It the World’s largest bird and its restricted to Kidepo Valley National Park
• Pelicans, these are water birds and commonly found in Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park
• African darter, it’s a snake bird with an elongated rufus neck extended in a serpentine fashion
• Goliath heron, this commonly seen during boat trips in Murchison Falls NP
• Hamerkop; This is a medium sized water bird seen on the Mweya Peninsula in QENP
• Saddle billed stork, This is the largest and most hand some of several storks usually seen in pairs on game drives in Murchison falls
• Marabou stork, this is a Macabre carrion-eating stork common in rural and urban Environments especially in down town Kampala
• Shoebill, Unmistakable large grey swamp-dweller and is the main motivating factor behind many ornithological tours to Uganda. They are mainly seen in Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Mabamba Swamp and in Murchison falls
• Flamingos, astonishing and sociable pink-white algae eaters commonly seen in large concentrations in Katwe and Flamingo crater lakes in QENP
• African Fish Eagle, Unique grey snake-eating raptor
• Helmeted guinea fowl
• Africa Jacana; common in most wetlands in Uganda
• Grey crowned crane; Uganda’s national bird common in swamps and grasslands
• African grey parrot; they are mostly seen in any forested habitat
• Great blue turaco; found I forested areas including Entebbe Botanical gardens
• Ross’s turacco
• Eastern grey plantain-eater
• African emerald cuckoo
• Verreaux’s eagle-owl; largest owl species in Uganda and mostly seen during night drives
• Pennant/standard winged nightjars; mostly seen on the road to the top of Murchison falls after dusk
• Pied Kingfisher
• Giant Kingfisher
• Malachite Kingfisher
• Red-throated bee-eater; breeds in tall sandbanks on Lake Albert and the Nile below Murchison falls
• Lilac-breasted roller
• Black and white casqued hornbill
• Four-tailed drongo
• Piacpiac; commonly found in Jinja and Murchison falls
• African Finfoot
• Jackson’s francolin
• Denhams bustard
• African skimmer
• Blue throated roller
• Black bee eater
• Forest/white headed wood hoope
• African pied hornbill
• Chocolate-backed kingfisher
• Papyrus gonolek
• Red headed bluebill and many more.
On arrival at Entebbe Airport, your guide from Churchill Tailored Safaris will warmly welcome you and later transfer you to BEST WESTERN GARDEN HOTEL ON B/B
After breakfast and a briefing from the General Manager, you will set off on the eastbound road to Mabira Forest. This is the nearest site for the Purple Throated Cuckoo Shrike, Nahan’s Francolin, Forest Wood Hoopoe, Green tailed Bristlebill, Joyful Greenbul, Tit Hylia, Grey Longbill and the Sooty Boubou. Spend the whole morning birding in this forest and the surrounding areas and later transfer to the source of the Nile in the afternoon. Have a picnic lunch there and later visit the spectacular Bujagali Falls returning to Kampala in the evening for the overnight at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on B/B.
This morning you will depart Kampala for Budongo Forest Reserve which lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley to the south of Murchison Falls National Park and protects the largest natural forest area in East Africa. It boasts an impressive bird list of over 350 species and is the best site in Uganda for a number of sought-after birds such as Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail, Ituri Batis and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher. This birding hot spot is also home to Uganda’s largest population of Chimpanzees. An excellent network of trails and a wide track known as “The Royal Mile” provides access to the forest.
The Royal Mile is considered by some to be the country’s premier forest birding locality. Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted and African Dwarf Kingfishers are remarkably common and this is definitely the best place in Uganda to see these three species. Birding in the afternoon and over night at Masindi Hotel on F/B.
After an early morning breakfast, drive to the Royal Mile and spend the whole day birding here. In the evening, transfer to Murchison Falls National Park via Kaniyo Pabidi, have a game drive while entering and over night at Paraa Safari Lodge on F/B
Murchison Falls has a variety of unique habitants and lots of superb birds, which make a visit to this park a must for every birder.
Habitat: Dense woodland and open grassland Savannah, Papyrus swamps, moist woodland and grassy under storey, Borrasus Palm Forest, lakeshores and riverbanks. Key species: Egyptian Plover, Secretary Bird, Silver Bird, Denham’s Bustard, Rock Platincoles, Wire-tailed Swallow, Swallow-Tailed Bee-Eater, and many more.
Early game drive to the top of Murchison Falls where you can have a close look in to the gorge where the Nile squeezes in to a 7-metre gorge dropping 40 metres. The falls are spectacular and thunderous with a beautiful rainbow displayed on sunny days. In the afternoon, drive to Kibale National Park bird watching enroute arriving in the evening. Kibale has a total of 335 bird species and it’s a tall evergreen forest with grassland, swamps and exotic conifers.
The main key species here are; White Collard Oliveback, Leaflove, African Broadbill, Willcock’s Honeyguide, Green Breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Grey Winged Robin, Red Winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, White Bellied Crested Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Red Chested Fluftail, Grey Winged Robin, White Napped pigeon, Chestnut Winged Starling etc. Overnight at Primate lodge on F/B.
Early morning wake up and get a chance to see other species like the Grey-Throated Flycatcher, Masked & Black-Capped Apalis’, Chestnut-Winged Starling, Orange -Tufted & Tiny Sunbirds and a good infrastructure & a variety of interesting activities which makes this a worthwhile destination. There is a network of forest trails which radiate out from the visitor centre, allowing you to search for a number of species that shun the vicinity of the main road. Birding in the forest interior can be frustrating, however, as many species are very shy & difficult to see in the under growth.
You will visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a superb community development fringing the park. We will be able to see the fruiting trees, which attract Narina Trogon, Pied Hornbill, Yellow Spotted, Hairy Breasted and Yellow-Billed Barbets then return to Primate lodge on F/B.
Leave the hotel early heading North to Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve arriving at the lodge at teatime. Over 350 species have been recorded at Semliki and this is also a good area to see the extraordinary Shoebill and other wetland varieties. The key species here include the African Pygmy Goose, Red-necked Falcon, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue-breasted Bee-Eater, Black-billed Barbet, Piapiac, Leaflove and Black-chinned Quail-Finch. Take tea by the pool and watch as the Hamerkop dips into the water and the Weaver birds flock nearby. The most exciting aspect is that new species are still being discovered in the reserve. You might be lucky enough to discover one. Have an afternoon boat trip on Lake Albert in search for the Shoebill and over night at Lake Albert lodge on F/B.
Spend the whole morning birding in the gallery forest of the Mugiri River. Leaflove are in proliferation here, despite being scarce in the rest of Uganda. In the Forest you may see: White-spotted Flufftail, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush and Blue-breasted Kingfisher.
In the late afternoon, a game drive will reveal herds of Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, Reed Buck, several monkey species as well as lots of bird opportunities: White-crested Turaco, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, Mouse birds, Kingfishers and Bee-Eaters, to name a few as you proceed back to Fortportal. Over night at either Mountains of the Moon Hotel on F/B
Today you depart Fort portal for Entebbe, stopping en route for lunch you continue to the airport to catch your late return flight home.