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

18 DAYS UGANDA FOREST 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

Discover Uganda’s diverse rainforest bird species such as the Yellow-footed Flycatcher and African Green Broadbill. Explore rainforest trails in Mabira Forest and along the banks of the river Nile. Explore the rainforest trails of Budongo Forest including the Royal Mile, regarded as one of Uganda’s best birding sites, and for its excellent accessibility and spot West African bird species in the secluded Semuliki National Park. You will also gain the chance to seek out the rarest of Uganda’s birds, the Green-breasted Pitta in Kibale National Park.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Birding in Mabiira Forest
Day 3: Transfer to Masindi
Day 4: Birding Budongo Forest
Day 5: Birding the Royal Mile
Day 6: Transfer to Kibale National Park
Day 7: Birding in Kibale Forest National Park
Day 8: Birding in Kibale Forest
Day 9: Transfer to Semliki National Park
Day 10: Birding Semuliki National Park
Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth & Bird Maramagambo Forest
Day 12: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 13: Birding in Buhoma
Day 14: Birding in Ruhija
Day 15: Birding in Umubwindi Swamp
Day 16: Transfer to Kisoro & Bird Echuya Forest
Day 17: Birding in Mgahinga National Park
Day 18: 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. Early arrivals can opt for optional birding excursions at Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC), Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and Lutembe Bay.  

Day 2Birding Tour in Mabira Forest

After early breakfast, we transfer to Mabira. Although isolated by the surrounding banana and sugar plantations, this remarkably productive forest is possibly the richest in the country, and well-maintained trails make birding easy. Mixed flocks are often found along the broad tracks, and noisy groups of the near-endemic Weyn’s Weaver, arguably the most attractive of the group, busy themselves in the canopy. We can also hope to see African Pied Hornbill and Forest Wood-Hoopoe, while the seasonal pools can attract Blue-breasted, White-bellied, Dwarf, and Shining-blue Kingfishers. Yellow-throated and Speckled Tinkerbirds live in the canopy and Toro Olive Greenbul and Green-tailed Bristle bill are secretive interior inhabitants. If there are safari ants on the march, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Robin, and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat may be in attendance.

Journey: +2 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: African Village Hotel Mukono /Midrange: Rider Hotel /Luxury: Rainforest Lodge

Day 3Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

Today we transfer to Murchison Fall National Park birding via the Escarpment in search for, the Yellow-rumped and Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds, Foxy Cisticola, Black Bishop, the Northern and Black-winged Red Bishops, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, Tropical Boubou, the Grey-crowned and Black-crowned Tchagras, Striped Kingfisher, White-headed Barbet, and many more.

Journey: +6 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Rwenzori View Guesthouse / Midrange: Mountains of the moon hotel/ Luxury: Kyaninga Lodge

Day 4Birding to Masindi via Kaniyo Pabidi

We leave the park birding and head to Uganda’s biggest Forest Reserve and the second most important after Semliki National Park. We bird Kaniyo Pabidi for a few hours then proceed to Budongo Forest. we bird Budongo Forest which has a prolific birdlife with two species of birds not found elsewhere in East Africa: 10 of the 22 species of Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea-Congo Forests biome that occurs in Uganda. We bird the marvellous Royal mile and several other trails for the whole day. We look for the Puvel’s Illadopsis and Nahan’s Francolin other special birds include; the Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-throated Barbet, Honeyguide Greenbul, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing and lots more. 

Journey: +2 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Midrange: Kabalega Resort

Day 5Birding in Royal Mile

Today our birding will be centered on what we call “The Royal Mile,” a wide forestry track considered to be the country’s premier forest birding locality. Among the numerous specials we hope to find include Buff-spotted Flufftail; Tambourine Dove; Yellowbill a skulking forest coucal; the three forest-dwelling kingfishers; Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted and Dwarf; the huge White-thighed Hornbill; Yellow-spotted, Hairy-breasted and Yellow-billed barbets. This is the best place in Uganda to find the beautiful Nahan’s Francolin. It is fairly commonly heard, but we will require luck and patience to see this secretive and near-endemic species.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Midrange: Kabalega Resort

Day 6Birding to Kibale National Park

We start with a morning drive through Queen Elizabeth looking out for what we might have missed the previous days of birding before we transfer to Kibale Forest. Along the way expect to see; the Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, the Black and Black-winged Red Bishops, the African Palm and Little Swifts, Common Bulbul, Doves, Pigeons, the Lesser-stripped, and Angola Swallows among others.

Journey: +4 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Kibale Forest Camp/ Midrange: Primate Lodge Kibale/ Luxury: Turaco Treetops Kibale

Day 7Birding Tour in Kibale Forest (Optional Chimpanzee Tracking)

we start very early in the morning in search of the Green Breasted Pitta, White- and Red-tailed Ant-Thrushes, Purple-headed, Glossy-Starling, Brown, Pale, and Scaly Breasted Illadopsis, White-naped and Olive Pigeon, Masked Apalis, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Black-billed Turaco, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, and Green Crombec. Then later in the afternoon, you can opt for chimp tracking. ($200 per person) The movement of the chimps depends upon the availability of food and hopefully, they won’t be too far away! Of all the parks in Uganda, this is referred to as the primate forest as it hosts about 13 species of primates three of which are nocturnal.
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Kibale Forest Camp/ Midrange: Primate Lodge Kibale/ Luxury: Turaco Treetops Kibale

Day 8Birding Tour in Kibale Forest & Bigodi Birding

Our birding safari continues around and within Kibale Forest. We search for species that we may have missed out on the previous day. After lunch, we’ll head to the Bigodi Wetland, a papyrus, and swamp forest. We hope to find such papyrus endemics as White-winged Warbler, White-collared, Olive back, and Papyrus Gonolek

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Kibale Forest Camp/ Midrange: Primate Lodge Kibale/ Luxury: Turaco Treetops Kibale

Day 9Birding to Bihingamy wetland then transfer to Semuliki NP

Our birding safari today takes us to Bihingamy wetland near the Sebitoli section of Kibale National Park. The habitat here consists of a swamp surrounded by low, scrubby secondary forest and cultivation of tea plantations. As we do birding here, expect to see the White Collard Olive Back, Red Headed Blue Bill, Green-backed Twinspot, Scaly Illadopsis, Uganda Spotted Woodpecker, African Emerald Cuckoo, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Red-capped Robin-Chat, and Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Equatorial Akalat, Luhdher’s Bush-Shrike. Cabanis’s and Joyful Greenbul as well as White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky and, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Lesser Honeyguide, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Olive-green Camaroptera, and many more bird species then we proceed to Fort Portal for lunch then transfer to Semuliki National Park.

Journey: +2 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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

Day 10Birding Tour in Semliki National Park

Early in the morning, we take on the Kirumia trail for our whole day birding experience. We look out for several 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, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail, and other species; Blue Swallow, White-throated 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, 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.

Journey: +2 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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

Day 11Transfer to Queen Elizabeth & Bird Maramagambo Forest

Today we head to Queen Elizabeth National Park; we bird through the Ishasha sector as we look out for the African Thrush, Ruppell’s Long-tailed Sterling, Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed Weaver, Little Weaver, Black-headed Weaver, Grey-headed Sparrow, Red-headed Lovebird, Spur-winged Lapwing, the African, Red-eyed and African Morning Doves, the Winding, Croacking, and Zitting Cisticolas, and hundreds of other Savanna Species.

Maramagambo forest is located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park and it stretches from the Kichwamba escarpment to Lake Edward. birdlife with prime bird species like the Rwenzori Turaco, White napped pigeons and Forest fly catchers. Other bird species include the Dark-capped yellow warbler, Bat hawk, Ross’s Turaco, Fawn-breasted wax-bill, Sulphur-breasted bush shrike and African green pigeon among others.

Journey: +4 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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

Day 12Bird Buhoma

Today after breakfast, we take our lunch packs and join the forest for the whole day birding. Walking along forest trails is a wonderful natural experience with hundreds of colorful butterflies and areas of streams and tumbling waterfalls. Bwindi offers some of the best forest birding in Uganda. Around the lodges and camps, look out for Black Sawwing, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black and White Shrike, African Blue Flycatcher, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Luhder’s, Bocages and many colored Bush-shrikes, Mountain Greenbul, Black-billed, black-necked, strange Weavers, Variable Sunbird and Grey-crowned Negrofinch.

On the main trail we enter the forest proper as it passes under huge trees and areas of lichen-lined trunks. Species recorded along the main track will be many; they could include crested guineafowl, black bee-eaters, olive pigeons, Fine banded woodpeckers, several species of tinkerbirds, barbets, greenbuls, starlings, warblers, akalats, flycatchers, and possibly Red-fronted Antpecker, Rufous chested Fluff tail, Red-chested Owlet, and Montane masked Apalis. Another track takes us to the waterfall trail, a reliable area for Red-throated Alethe, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher and Kivu Ground Thrush, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Handsome Francolin, White-headed Wood-hoopoe and many other specialties. We also have a chance of locating primates such as L’Hoest’s Blue and Red-tailed Monkeys and troops of Chimpanzees.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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

Day 13Bird Buhoma or optional Gorilla tracking

Today is a whole day Gorilla tracking, we carry packed lunch. Gorilla tracking depends on the movements of the Gorillas in search for food. Walking varies from 20 minutes to a whole day. Note that these are mountain Gorillas and therefore they live in the mountains. The exercise therefore requires enough energy to go up and down the mountains including steep slopes. Porters are available from the surrounding community. They help to carry the bags and any heavy stuff from the visitors. Above all Gorilla tracking is a very captivating activity; it involves walking in the wilderness in search of these great apes. It can be a challenging activity; therefore physical fitness must be ensured. Today we transfer to the southern part of Bwindi- Ruhija for an over night stay.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

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

Day 14Bird Buhoma to Ruhija, North of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Today we will be moving from the lower forest biome to the seldom-visited higher forest in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In scrubby areas beyond Buhoma, we will search for Ross’ Turaco; Rufous-necked Wryneck; Brown-backed Scrub-Robin; Bronze, Copper and Variable sunbirds; Baglafecht, Black-necked and Holub’s Golden weavers; Yellow Bishop; Village Indigobird and Black-throated Seed-eater. Further along the road, we will pass through “The Neck,’ another well-known birding locality. Here we will search for species such as Black Goshawk; Bronze-naped Pigeon; Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater; Cassin’s Honeyguide; Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike; White-chinned Prinia; the enigmatic Chapin’s Flycatcher; Mountain Wagtail; Pink-footed Puffback; the rare Tiny Sunbird and the attractive Brown-capped Weaver.

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

Day 15Birding Ruhija – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

At the highest elevation bamboo forests, we will look out for African Black Duck and Mountain Wagtails in the small fast-flowing streams. Mountain and Augur buzzards; Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk; Rameron Pigeon; Brown-necked Parrot; Black-billed Turaco; Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo; White-headed Woodhoopoe; Western Green Tinkerbird; Olive Woodpecker; Thick-billed, Least, and the elusive Dwarf honeyguides; Black Sawwing; Gray Cuckoo-shrike; Eastern Mountain, Honeyguide, Red-tailed, Shelley’s and Yellow-streaked greenbuls; Olive Thrush; White-starred Robin; Stripe-breasted Tit; Mountain and the beautiful Gray-chested illadopses; African Hill Babbler (the local form often treated as a full species, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler); Black-faced, Ruwenzori, and Chestnut-throated apalises; Red-faced Woodland-Warbler; White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher; Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher; Ruwenzori Batis; Mountain Sooty Boubou; the rare Lagden’s Bushshrike; Sharpe’s Starling; Black-tailed Oriole; Strange Weaver, and Oriole Finch. Flowering trees attract the incredible Purple-breasted Sunbird as well as Blue-headed and Regal sunbirds, all three being extremely beautiful Albertine Rift Endemics. Dusky, Red-faced and the elusive Shelley’s crimsonwings, amongst the most beautiful and sought-after of African seedeaters, are possible at Ruhija.

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

Day 16Transfer to Echuya Forest

Echuya forest reserve is a wonderful bird-watching destination, it is found in the southwestern part of Uganda. With 152 bird species, including 18 Albertine Rift endemics and the endangered Grauer’s swamp-warbler, Echuya is ranked as the most important forest in the country for the rarity of its fauna and flora.

Journey: +2 hrs 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Travellers’ Rest Hotel/ Midrange: Lake Chahafi Resort/ Luxury: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge

Day 17Birding Tour in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

We bird through a variety of Montane habitats, In search of the Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeyguide, Kivu Ground Thrush, Rwenzori Double-collared, Regal and the Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Archer`s Robin-chat, The cinnamon Bracken and Mountain Yellow Warblers, the Dusky, and much Sought after Shelley’s Crimson-wing and many more.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: Budget: Travellers’ Rest Hotel/ Midrange: Lake Chahafi Resort/ Luxury: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga 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