+256-706-124-498 travel@smiletoursafrica.com
+256-706-124-498 travel@smiletoursafrica.com

16 DAYS ALBERTINE RIFT BIRDING SAFARI

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Long Hours
Availability : Jan 16’ - Dec 16’
Entebbe International Airport
Entebbe International Airport
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 40
Tour Details

More than 20 Albertine Rift endemics are resident in each of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, while two extend their range southward into western Tanzania. All 24 of the Albertine Rift endemics recorded in Uganda occur in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Other important sites in Uganda are the Rwenzori Mountains with 17 Albertine Rift endemics, the Virungas with 14, and the Echuya Forest with 12.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Birding Tour in Mabamba & Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Day 3: Morning Game drive & Afternoon Boat Ride on Lake Mburo

Day 4: Birding to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Ruhija area
Day 5: Birding Tour in Mubwindi Swamp
Day 6: Birding to Buhoma via The Neck
Day 7: Birding Tour in Buhoma or Optional Gorilla Tracking
Day 8: Birding in Buhoma or Gorilla Trekking
Day 9: Birding in Ruwenzori Mountains
Day 10: Birding in Ruwenzori Mountains
Day 11: Birding in Ruwenzori Mountains
Day 12: Birding in the Rwenzori Mountains
Day 13: Birding to Semuliki National Park

Day 14: Birding in Semuliki

Day 15: Birding in Semuliki
Day 16: Departure

Departure & Return Location

Entebbe International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Park Fees
  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • Accommodation in preferred lodge/hotel
  • Services of a professional Tour guide-driver
  • Melas (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Transport in a 4WD safari vehicle with a pop-up roof
  • All fuel for the tour

Price Excludes

  • • Gorilla Tracking permits
  • • Chimp Tracking Permits
  • • International Flights
  • • Visas
  • • Travel Insurance
  • • Tips
  • • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • • Personal purchases (souvenirs, drinks, laundry, optional activities, tips, etc)
  • • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel of choice. Depending on your arrival time, birding Entebbe may be possible. The Uganda Wildlife Education center (UWEC) formerly known as the Zoo and The Botanical gardenofferser great optional birding opportunities. Return for Dinner and Overnight.

Journey Time: +20 mins

Meal Plan: Not Included

Accommodation: Budget: Airport Guesthouse /Midrange: The Boma Hotel /Luxury: No.5 Boutique Hotel

Day 2Transfer to Kisoro

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kisoro in South West of Uganda. This is 519km from Kampala. We have a short stop at the Equator for an informative talk, photography, and the equator experience. You will drive through the amazing scenic landscape of Central and South Western Uganda with spots of birds that may appear along the road to your destination. The Echuya Forest Reserve is positioned between Kabale and Kisoro. We shall take short bird walks in the forest before proceeding to Kisoro overnight.

Journey Time: +10 hrs

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel /Midrange: Mucha Lodge /Luxury: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 3Birding Mgahinga National Park

We start early after breakfast and with pica nic lunch, drive to Ntebeko Camp from where we shall start our birding as we trek to one of the most scenic areas in Uganda. We take the gorge trail that loops halfway up Mt. Sabinyo, through a variety of montane habitats harboring the Dusky Turtle Dove, Rwenzori Turaco, Cape Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, White-eyed Slaty and White Tailed-Blue Flycatcher, Olive Woodpecker, White-starred Robin, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-naped Raven, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Yellow-crowned Canary, Streaky and Thick Billed Seedeater on our birding today we shall have a bigger focus on the shy Shelly’s Crimson-wing among other birds. Dinner and overnight stay at the previous hotel.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel /Midrange: Mucha Lodge /Luxury: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 4Birding to Ruhija

After breakfast, we start our birding in the Rift Valley Area. We will have a stopover in a nearby Swamp towards Echuya forest mostly to look out for the Little Rush Warbler plus the Grauer’s Rush Warbler one of the rare Bradypterus Warblers within the Albertine rift zones also, continue birding to Ruhija with numerous stopovers expecting birds like the Augur and Mountain Buzzard, Yellow-Bellied Waxbill, Dusky Crimsonwing, Dusky Twinspot, Common Stonechat among others birds. Towards the camp headquarters we look out for the Handsome Francolin, Olive Pigeon, Western Green Tinkerbird, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Chestnut Throated Apalis, White-browed Crombec, Stripe-breasted and Dusky Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Black-headed Waxbill, and much more.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Broadbill Forest Camp /Midrange: Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp /Luxury: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge

Day 5Birding to Mubwindi Swamp

Today our birding will start early and our main focus will be the beautiful leafy looking broadbill, Black-billed Turaco, Olive, Elliot’s and Fine-banded Woodpecker, African Hill Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Mountain Greenbul, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Red-faced Woodland, and Mountain Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-throated Collard and Black-Throated Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, African Green-Broadbill, Mountain, Shelley’s and Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Rwenzori Batis, Regal Sunbird among other birds. We later get back to our place of stay.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Broadbill Forest Camp /Midrange: Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp /Luxury: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge

Day 6Birding to Buhoma via the Neck

After breakfast, start the drive to Buhoma in the southern part of Bwindi birding en-route. On our drive and the stopovers we make, expect to see the Black Bee-eater, calling out the Red-throated Wryneck and finding it would be a great addition, Mountain Wagtail and the Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, White-starred Robin, Olive Thrush, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, MacKinnon’s Fiscal, Collared, Mountain Masked Chestnut-throated, and Grey Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Sharpe’s Starling, the elusive Regal and Purple-breasted Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Twinspot,t, etc.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Bwindi Cultural Center /Midrange: Silverback Lodge /Luxury: Buhoma Lodge

Day 7Birding Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today we explore the Bwindi Buhoma area looking out for birds like the Pink-footed Puffbuck, Yellow Billed Barbet, Bocage’s Bush-Shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black Bee-Eater, Cassin’s and Scaly throated Honey Guide, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Western Green Tinkerbird, Short-Tailed Warbler, African Broadbill, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Mountain Illadopsis, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Equatorial Akalat, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Black Faced Rufous Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Dusky Tit, many-colored and Luhder’s Bush-shrike, Black Billed Turaco, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Blue Throated Brown, Blue-headed, Northern Double Collard and Green Sunbird, Black-billed Weaver,   Red-fronted Antpecker, Magpie Mannikin among others.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Bwindi Cultural Center /Midrange: Silverback Lodge /Luxury: Buhoma Lodge

Day 8Birding in Buhoma or Gorilla Trekking

On this day, we set off early, with packed lunch, to the park headquarters for a briefing for the Gorilla Tracking. Tracking the gorillas depends on where they spent the previous night and their interaction with other groups, so it might take 45 minutes or the whole day, come prepared.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Bakiga Lodge/ Midrange: Gorilla Mist Camp/ Luxury: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge

Day 9Birding to Kasese

After breakfast, with packed lunch, leave for Rwenzori National Park through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth. While there lookout for special birds like purple-breasted sunbird, Abyssinian, Red-faced, Shelly’s and Dusky Crimson-wing, Red-bellied seed cracker, Woodhouse Antipecker, Stripe-breasted Tit, Forest Flycatcher, Grey Apalis, Ayres and Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, and many others.

Journey: +4 hrs

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Ruboni Community Camp /Midrange: Ihamba Safari Lodge /Luxury: Equator Snow Lodge

Day 10Birding Rwenzori

The trek takes you through the pristine rainforest of the kyambogho ridge with a view of the Mubuku Valley then climb the heavily forested ridge which is home to many primates, such as Black and White colobus monkey, Blue monkey, and occasionally the elusive L’hoest monkey up to Omu’ka Kizza Rest Camp at 2,977metres. Here you will enjoy the magnificent views over the Rwenzori foothills and Kasese town 2,160 meters below.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Camping

 

Day 11Birding Rwenzori

On the second day, you hike to Mahoma Lake. At 3,200 masl, the forest gives way to thick bamboo along a narrow moss-covered ridge, once on top, you cross a mossy valley with giant lobelia then climb through an incredibly beautiful forest of giant heather covered in layers of bright green moss.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Camping

Day 12Birding Rwenzori

Descending Rwenzori Start with a morning walk along the lake Mahoma and descend through Nyabitaba a ranger post to the Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleon before you come out of the forest.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Ruboni Community Camp /Midrange: Ihamba Safari Lodge /Luxury: Equator Snow Lodge

Day 13Birding to Semuliki

Today morning, we bird Rwenzori National Park for more species possibly missed the previous days and later proceed to Semuliki Valley.

Journey: +2 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Semliki UWA Bandas/ Midrange: Kirumia Guesthouse/ Luxury: Semliki Safari Lodge

Day 14Birding in Semuliki

In Semliki, we bird the Kirumia trail and the forest in general. We look out for a number of predominantly Central African species which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa yet are some of the continent’s most spectacular and sought-after birds such as; Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, the Black-Casqued Wattled, Piping, Red-billed Dwarf, and White-crested Hornbills, the Nkulengu Rail, and other species; Blue Swallow, White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe,

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Semliki UWA Bandas/ Midrange: Kirumia Guesthouse/ Luxury: Semliki Safari Lodge

Day 15Birding in Semuliki

Today we continue birding in search of the following birds: Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Capped Wheatear, 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, just to mention but a few.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Semliki UWA Bandas/ Midrange: Kirumia Guesthouse/ Luxury: Semliki Safari Lodge

Day 18Departure

An airport transfer has been included from your hotel, or directly after the safari. End of Safari.

Journey: +1 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast

 

Photos