COME TRAVEL WITH MIRAMA HILLS SAFARI
Duration: 11 Days Safari
Info:Let us show you the Power of nature during this 11 days Birding Uganda safari, including all the big highlights. You’re given the chance to experience a various bird species and animals of the savanna and the primates in the forests with Chimps trekking as well as game-drives and boat-cruises mixed with culture and scenic nature.
• Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
• Murchison Falls National Park
• Budongo Forest
• Semuliki National Park
• Kirumia River Trails
• Sempaya Hot Springs
• Kibale Forest National Park
PRICES from 5,785 USD INCLUDE:
• Chimps Permits
• English speaking Guide
• 4 wheel Drive Safari Vehicle
• Ranger guide during game drives
• Ranger for trekking
• Boat Trips
• Bottled Water
• English speaking Guide
• Park Entrance Fees
• All Activities mentioned apart from the extra/optional ones.
• International flights
• Visas charges
• Laundry services
• Alcohol drinks
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT ENTEBBE AIRPORT AND TRANSFER TO KAMPALA
At Entebbe Airport you meet your safari guide who takes you to the hotel in Entebbe to relax and be ready to set off for the 11 days Birding Uganda safari the next morning.
Overnight Green Valley Hotel, Ggaba.
DAY 2: TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK, BIRDING AT ZIWA RHINO SANCTAURY.
Have a relaxed breakfast and start early from Kampala to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary situated approximately 3 hour drive from kampala – Gulu Highway, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is popular for the wild Rhinos in Uganda. The sanctuary is quite rich in birdlife, hosting over 250 species including a number of rare African species.
Take a game ranger and set out for a trek into the sanctuary. Look out for birds including white crested turaco, white headed barbet, white crested helmet shrike, shoebill, saddle billed stork, and African fish Eagle. You stand a good chance of sighting a number of Rhinos and a range of other wildlife. This is a short birding and rhino adventure lasting about 3 hours. After lunch then transfer to Murchison falls National park.
Overnight Pakuba Safari Lodge.
DAY 3: FULL DAY BIRDING & WILDLIFE VIEWING IN MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK..
Early breakfast, we set off for a full day of the game viewing tracks of Murchison Falls National Park on the northern side of the Nile and along the Nile – Lake Alber Delta. The northern side of the Nile offers the best wildlife experience given the bigger volume of game and more diverse wildlife compared to the southern. Birds include Denham’s Bustard, Senegal Skinner, Egyptian Plover, White Crested Turaco and Shoebill at the Delta. The savanna scenery is amazing with lots of game including Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Uganda kob and lions.
Overnight Pakuba Safari Lodge
DAY 4: EARLY MORNING SHOEBILL BOAT RIDE, AFTERNOON LUNCH CRUISE, HIKE AT MURCHISON FALLS AND TRANSFER TO BUDONGO FOREST.
Early morning birding around paraa before getting on a boat ride at about 9:00am downriver to the Nile delta. This is commonly known to birders as the “Shoebill Boat Ride” as it intends to catch the exclusive and swamp species are common along the Nile and at the Delta, such as African Skimmers, Goliath Heron, common Squacco Heron and more, return for lunch. Later set out for the afternoon lunch Cruise upriver to the base of the spectacular Murchison Falls. This arguably is the biggest highlight of any Murchison falls tour, offering an array of water birds and game along the river banks. African skimmers, red throated bee eaters, African Fish Eagle and also shoebill could be sighted in floating hyacinth along the Nile. Hippos and Nile crocodiles are sighted throughout the ride, elephants, lions, Antelopes, warthogs and several other animals come to drink, cool off and eat fresh grass along the banks. When you get to the base of the Murchison Falls, You shall leave the launch and hike around the falls to the top. The 45 minutes hike offers the best and memorable views of the Nile crushing through the Gorge, the sight is simply amazing. When you get to the top your driver guide shall be there waiting for you. Then you drive off to Budongo Forest for your dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Budongo Eco Lodge
DAY 5: FULL DAY BIRDING IN BUDONGO FOREST.
After breakfast we start the journey for a full day of birding in Budongo Forest. Birding along the famous “Royal Mile” is a highlight for any birding tour in Uganda; this and other trails in Budongo forest offer an attractive checklist of forest species. Scan for Black colored lovebird, chocolate backed kingfisher, piping hornbill, red sided broadbill, forest flycatcher chestnut capped flycatcher and also Sabine’s spine tails. Budongo Forest is a home to lots of primates including about 700 chimpanzees some of which have been habituated. Monkeys and baboons are in abundance. You will carry packed lunch. Dinner and overnight is in Bundongo.
Overnight Budongo Eco Lodge.
DAY 6: TRANSFER TO SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK.
After breakfast we head to Semuliki National Park. Lunch is en-route, Dinner and overnight is in Semuliki as we are still covering our 11 days Birding Uganda Safari.
Overnight at Semuliki Safari Lodge.
DAY 7: FULL DAY BIRDING IN SEMULIKI ON THE KIRUMIA RIVER TRAIL.
Early morning breakfast and transfer to the kirumia River Trail for a full day of birding. The Kirumia River Trail is among the Uganda’s most Bird spots. The trail offers an incredible checklist of good birds. Look out for yellow throated cuckoo, yellow throated nicator, red billed Dwarl, white crested hornbill, Black casqued wattled, hornbill, red headed bluebill, bee eater, black headed bates, Abyssinian ground hornbill and African scopes Owl. You will travel with packed lunch and later return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Overnight Semuliki Safari Lodge.
DAY 8: FULL DAY BIRDING IN SEMULIKI, SEMPAYA HOT SPRINGS AND KIRUMIA TRAILS.
Another early morning birding in kirumia trails until afternoon. Thereafter transfer to Sempaya for the trek on the Sempaya Trail including visits to the two Sempaya Hot springs. This trek offers a number of birds and monkeys. You will carry packed lunch. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Overnight at Isunga Lodge.
DAY 9: HALF DAY BIRDING AND TRANSFER TO KIBALE NATIONAL PARK.
After morning breakfast, you will bird in Semuliki for another half day after which you check out and transfer to Kibale Ntional Park, it is situated approximately 1 hours of drive from Semuliki, Then Kibale National Park is also popular for its incredible concentration and diversity of primates including up to 13 species. Among them include the biggest population of Chimpanzees in Uganda and East Afric’s largest population of the red colobus and other species include the grey checked mangabey, Olive baboon, Bush baby, black and white colobus, red tailed and blue monkeys. The birdlife of kibale is impressive tto, including more than 375 species many of which are uncommon elsewhere, a good example being the much sought after green breasted pitta, there are lots of wildlife mammals including mongoose, forest elephants, leopards and bush pigs.
Overnight at Isunga Lodge
DAY 10: EARLY MORNING BIRDING AND AFTERNOON CHIMPANZEES TRACKING.
Early morning transfer to kibale forest for birding. Explore the trails radiating from the park’s entrance and look out for birds including blue throated Roller, Joyful Greenbul, red chested Owlet, African Green pigeon, Red wood dove, Grey headed sunbird and so many others. Return for the lunch and later on transfer to the ranger station by 1:30pm for briefing from the ranger after which ou set to track habituated chimpanzees in kibale national park. It is among the favorite for chimps tracking given the bigger numbers of chimpanzees and better accessibility compared to other forests with chimps. Along with the chimps expect other wildlife encounters and more bird sightings. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Overnight at Isunga Lodge.
DAY 11: TRANSFER TO ENTEBBE AIRPORT
After early morning breakfast, we start the journey back to Kampala, have lunch on the way and transfer to Entebbe Airport for your evening flight as we end our 11 days of birding Uganda safari.
Top 10 birds in Uganda
1. African Green Broadbill
2. Great shoebill stork
3. Green-breasted Pitta
4. Great Blue Turaco
5. Papyrus Gonolek
6. Short-tailed warbler
7. Bar-tailed Trogon
8. Archer’s robin-chat
9. Nkulengu rail
10. Shelley’s crimsonwing
For birding in Uganda it is important to accommodate enough time to do birding in some of the over 30 IBA’s important birding areas, recognized By BirdLife international, Nature Uganda and IUCN. With this in mind the itinerary should not be too full to get an enjoyable bird-watching safari with our field and patch guides. If you have a shorter time it is better to focus on a few birding destinations in Uganda and with more time a full north to south of Uganda birding safari gives a chance to improve your checklist greatly. Based on your time constraints and hit-list or wish list we can help you recommend what is possible and put together an itinerary for your Uganda birding safari.
Since Uganda is a destination rich in birds we have many areas that are exciting with small areas that can get you to tick off 50- 85 species in 2-3 hours with basic field crafts. Starting from Entebbe airport, we already have a good birding location, the Entebbe Botanical gardens with over 4 habitats – Water, marshes, forest, cultivated gardens, transitional etc attracting master craftmen the weavers like the orange weaver, golden backed weaver, orange tufted sunbirds with other species in the family, the bat hawk, african emerald cuckoos etc. Continuing on northwards from Kampala en-route Mabira Forest for the white headed wood hoopoes, narina trogon, is worthwhile on the way towards the east with Ugandas’ only endemic the fox’s weaver ploceus spekeoides in the lake bisina swamp grasslands as we bird towards Kidepo Valley National Park. Kidepo is in the far northeast of Uganda and here habitats that identify with neighboring Tanzania and Kenya are found with resident and palearctic migrants of the dry bushlands foraging in numbers! with a fine number of raptors like Eagle hawks, fox and greater kestrels with the highlight of a trip there not to dip on the Karamoja apalis apalis karamojae and the rufous chatterer turdoides rubiginosa.. Crossing the country over to the west side to Murchison Falls National Park, eastern paradise whydah, cut-throat finch, red – winged pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera, black bellied firefinch lagonosticta rara rare LBJ’s fancied for most avian photographers to digscope.
We have Uganda’s lowest point, the Nile delta, that can be visited during a birding safari in Uganda. Here there are hopes of seeing the elusive Egyptian plover pluvianus aegyptius if the Nile banks float to some levels mainly between Feb and April, a lot of fish here attracts numbers of intra-african migrants like the African skimmers, herons, snipes and Shoebill storks. In the area we also have Budongo Forest where the famous “Royal mile” is found with the Impressive chocolate backed , Dwarf Kingfisher and chestnut – capped flycatcher, Puvels illadopsis and the birders favorites Jameson’s wattle-eye Dyaphorophyia jamesoni and hopping for the African broadbill Smithornis capensis display during the forest birding. Continuing on at the border to the Democtratic Republic of Congo Semuliki National Park is found with over 30 bird species here not found elsewhere in Uganda, it contains low land tropical rain forest and birds of the Congo basin can be spotted here during your Uganda birding safari.
To the southwest Kibale Forest National Park is found, with forest resident birds and on crater rims canopy lovers can be seen like the Crowned eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus, Green breasted pitta Pitta reichenowi. Further on to the south there is Queen Elizabeth National Park where wetland and terrestrial savanna birds have boosted the greatest density of birds with 610 resident and migrants seen with more birds than Serengeti, a seven times bigger area! Your Uganda birding safari can continue here in Queen Elizabeth National Park where we find the Ramsar site on lake George and the boat cruise on Kazinga channel that gives a great bird-watching opportunity. In the far south of Uganda we have Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with birds inhabiting heights between 1400m- 2700m and a range of Albertine rift valley endemics. Here we also find Echuya forest and the highest lake sitting on 1850m, many rare species can be spotted along the trails here making them boggy.
Leaving the south Lake Mburo National Park is found along the way leading back to Kampala / Entebbe. This park is dominated by acacia and rock kopjes will lead us to the Ramsar site where we always promise over 70% of seeing the rare African Finfoot Podica senegalensis, Red faced barbet Lybius rubrifacies and Tabora cisticola Cisticola angusticaudus. Close to Entebbe we have the Mabamba bay swamps with chance of seeing the Pygmy Goose Nettapus auritus and the Great Shoebill stork balaeniceps rex as well as that Weyns’s Weaver ploceus weynsi are sought after here with positive ticks. With locations like these there is no problem to plan an intriguing birding safari to Uganda in company of our birding guides.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT FOR BIRDING IN UGANDA
• Bring binoculars
• For those great pictures a camera with good zoom or telephoto lens is needed
• Hiking boots are preferable for forest bird-watching
• Take along rain-gear as well as long-sleeved pants and shirt
• If you have a special interest be sure to inform us already at the planning stage so the itinerary can be made with it in mind
COME TRAVEL WITH MIRAMA HILLS SAFARI