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This tour will take you through the major forests in Uganda renown for birding with well maintained trails. We start with Mabira forest with over 300 bird species surrounded by agricultural lands both at subsistence level and commercial; Sugarcane and tea plantations. 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.
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to your hotel-Optional walk to Entebbe botanical gardens
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative and be 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. Dinner and overnight Protea hotel or Lake Victoria Guest house
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 animals mainly primates and bird species. We leave for Mabira forest very early in the morning to beat the traffic. The forest is home to over 300 bird species. Some of the birds are found on the ground feeding, others in the tree branches and canopies. Some of the birds are more easily heard than seen. However our trip will focus on searching for the 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.
For the primate lovers in addition to the red tailed monkeys you might have an opportunity of sighting the Uganda Mangabey.
After this experience birding Mabira, we return to Kampala for overnight in preparation for safari to Budongo forest. Dinner and overnight at Cassia Lodge or Maries Royale Hotel.
Day 3: Birding Safari to Budongo Forest via Ziwa Rhino
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. We arrive in Budongo late afternoon or evening after several stopovers birding. We have an opportunity to stop over at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for trekking Rhinos and birding briefly at the sanctuary. Dinner and overnight Budongo Eco Lodge/equivalent
Day 4: Birding 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, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, 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, Crested Guinea-fowl, 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. Dinner and overnight Budongo Eco Lodge/equivalent
Day 5: Transfer 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. Dinner and overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge or Ntoroko Game Lodge
Day 6 & 7: Birding Safari in Semuliki forest – Kirumira trail
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. 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, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, 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. Dinner and overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge or Ntoroko Game Lodge
Day 8: Transfer 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 even as we look forward to full day tomorrow in this tropical rain forest. Dinner and overnight at Primate Lodge Kibale or Chimp’s Nest
Day 9: 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. 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. Dinner and overnight at Primate Lodge Kibale or Chimp’s Nest
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 360 Mountain Gorillas – half of the world’s population. 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. Dinner and overnight Mahogany Springs lodge or Gorilla mist camp.
Day 11: Gorilla trekking and birding in Bwindi forest
We arrive later that evening ready to engage in gorilla trekking tomorrow for those interested or continue birding.
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. Dinner and overnight Mahogany Springs lodge or Gorilla mist camp.
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. Dinner and overnight Ruhija Gorilla lodge or Gorilla mist camp.
Day 13: Birding in Bwindi impenetrable national park – Ruhija
Today we bird towards Mubwindi Swamp where the trail drops steeply through the dense forest and then winds through swampy forest. 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. Dinner and overnight Ruhija Gorilla lodge or Gorilla mist camp.
Day 14: Transfer back to Kampala
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 souvenirs shopping before retiring to our lodge/hotel later that evening.
Day 15: Entebbe
After breakfast at your pace, check out and be transferred to Entebbe international airport to readily catch your flight back home as you say farewell to the pearl of Africa!!
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