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15-Day Uganda's Birding Paradise - Bird-Watching and Wildlife Safari

Come to discover Uganda's birding paradise! During this birding safari birding is done through visiting the IBA's, with a specialized birding guide. Look for top ticks like the Great shoebill stork, African green broadbill, Papyrus gonolek, Nkulengu rail, Puvel's illadopsis, Handsome francolin, Dusky crimsonwing, African finfoot, Standard winged night jar and short tailed warbler. Combined with birding is classic safari chimpanzee  and gorilla trekking

Day 1 - Arrival to Uganda, Entebbe international airport

Arrival at Entebbe Airport we meet our tour guide and transfer to our Hotel for an overnight/ If it’s a day flight we could go birding in Entebbe botanical garden for the Orange weaver, golden backed weaver and other master builders of the Ploceidae family, superb sunbird, green hylia, bat hawk. And several garden birds exploiting this transitional habitat – overnight at Lake Victoria view guesthouse

Day 2 - Great Shoebill stork and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

We have an early transfer between 7am – 8:30 am, after breakfast transfer by ferry to the IBA wetland swamp of Mabamba eroute to Lake Mburo, the ‘Zebra magnet’. The highlight at Mabamba Swamp is a search for the prehistoric looking Great shoebill stork. Here we also find some aquatic birds and marsh Harriers, if time allow search for the beautiful painted Pygmy goose. We then stop over and take photo poses at the equator. Continuing on we reach Lake Mburo and drive out to the vast savannah dotted with acacia and shrubs, as we game drive in for view of Zebras, Topis, Warthogs, cape buffaloes and impalas. In the afternoon it is time for a boat-cruise on the lake where the must see is the African finfoot. As well as this we see native birds along the banks, Crocodiles, Hippos yawning and more birds during this 2 hours cruise. – Overnight at Rwakobo rock lodge

Day 3- Morning game-drive or safari walk Lake Mburo National Park, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

Option- Early morning walk/ game safari, get up early focusing on the Rwizi track it’s a dense population of some rare birds here, Tabora cisticola, Crested barbet, Red headed weavers, cuckoo shrikes etc chance to see Leopards, zebras, waterbucks, birds, buffaloes in there day break jungle life! Transfer out game viewing to Mbarara for breakfast or brunch - target destination the Switzerland of Africa and then climb to a lake at 1800meters above sea level; Lake Bunyonyi. It has an area with superb rich views with small resident and exotic bird species singing in this coolest area in Uganda below 10C some nights! It’s also a rare Bilharzias free lake (You can swim) – overnight at Bunyonyi Eco resort

Day 4 - A free day by Lake Bunyonyi

Relaxation day with a shortlist of activities, such as canoeing and visiting village islands. Option- hiking on Bushara trail along for close up with the resident birds that give the still lake its name such as Tropical boubou and the loud calling Chubbs cisticola. Another possibility is a visit to Nyombe swamp for the swamp hens, papyrus yellow warbler, Resident and exotic bird species singing.

All activities this day are optional and not included in the price of the safari. - Overnight at Bunyonyi Eco resort

Day 5 - Birding in Bwindi Impnetrable National Park

Early breakfast, which gets you descends and ascends you through the magical cultivated hills it’s a beautiful drive through the neck of the impenetrable forest, it gets you to a point of over 2650 meters above sea level with the Mist where the Gorillas live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. As we check out some soaring buzzards, flocks of stuhlmanns starlings with their Arial displays. We could assemble to head for the Mubwindi swamp for the highest concentration of the Albertin endemics aiming to grip on the African green broadbill, Frasers eagle owl, black billed turaco and Rwenzori batis. In the evening we could track the calls of the Rwenzori night jar. This Impenetrable Forest is full of birds, butterfly and plant species plus forest hog; forest Elephants, Statungas and Dikers – overnight at Gorilla Mist camp

Day 6 – Gorilla trekking afternoon birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

With an early breakfast, we proceed to the briefing point before entering the impenetrable forest to find these amazing jungle dwellers. An hour with the gorillas is allowed after the trek and you can take as many snap sorts as possible. Relax a bit at the lodge before entering the forest once again for an afternoon drive descending through the impenetrable forest for the dusky crimson wings, African swees, the rare mountain wagtail and black billed weaver as we head to buhoma for an evening walk to the water falls and enjoy a relaxed yet profitable birding in Bwindi on our favourite trail – overnight at Gorilla Mist camp

Day 7 - To Queen Elizabeth National Park, birding in the Ishasha sector

Target through Ishasha for the savannah birds, the top vulture of the region Lappet faced vulture, Africa`s most spirited eagle the Marshal eagle, larks, a try to check on the rare Dusky blue flycatcher on River ishasha and bonus to get the Lions high in the Fig tree branches. Evening search for the resident Greyish eagle owl and Verreaux eagle owls. Game viewing rush out to the northern sector of the park to the lodge – overnight at Pumba safari cottages

Day 8 - Birding game-drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park & boat-cruise in afternoon

Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park in the cool morning with keen birding and game viewing. We do an early game drive that exposes us to diverse animals, Big 5 members Elephants, Buffalos, big cats- Lions, Leopards more times in the evening, warthogs, Hunchback carnivals like Hyenas and many more species can be spotted along the Circuits. There is a rich bird life especially our version of storks in the wetland spots as we reach the Flamingoes in the salt lakes. At 3 pm you go for the 2hrs Boat cruise on the famous Kazinga channel, a 36kms linking Lake George - lake Edward. Here you see land and water Adapted Hippopotamuses Yawning, the National Geographical society killing machine the Nile crocodile gaping along the Banks and Savannah version of Pigs the Warthog- Pumba of the award winning Lion King are a hallmark sign in this Animal home. With your Binoculars along the peninsula you have a magnificent view of Birds and animals like the ever playing African Elephants in Waters - overnight at Pumba safari cottages

Day 9: Birding to Maramagambo Forest

This morning, we shall bird to Maramagambo Forest following the main trail. We shall visit the Blue Lake and Bat Cave where we expect to see African Rock Python that found refuge in the Cave, and feasts on the Bats for breakfast, lunch and supper! Special birds of this Forest include Narina Trogon, Rufous Flycatcher Thrush; White tailed Ant-thrush, Black Bee-eater, Grey-headed Kingfisher and White-breasted Negrofinch. If need be we will visit the spectacular Kyambura Gorge. Overnight Pumba Safari Cottage

Day 10: Bird to Kibale Forest National Park

This day we shall have a chance of birding the main road or one of the trails in the forest. We might come across the African Emerald Cuckoo, Purple-headed Starling, Black-billed Turaco, Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-throated Barbet, Blue-throated Roller, Narrow-tailed Starling, Western Black-headed Oriole, Yellow-throated and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds. We spend our nights in Isunga Lodge

Day 11: Kibale forest chimps trekking and birding afternoon in the bigodi wetland

Assemble for briefing and thereafter enter the forest to look for our cousins, the Chimps. The activity takes 1 to 5 hours. In the afternoon, we may choose to go to Bigodi Wetland or take one of the trails in the Park to look for the stunning Green-breasted Pitta, Fire-crested Alethe, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, colourful butterflies and other species of primates. Overnight in Isunga Lodge

Day 12- Transfer to Hoima

Today we have a long drive, 4, ½ hours, to cut off the distance tomorrow. Enjoy a couple of fruits during the drive and the pressure and fatigue is lessened with punctuation of stopovers at sceneries like tea plantations along the drive ways - typical African village setup in the far countryside offer us chances of stretching along the Forest reserves for Cuckoos, bee eaters and garden birds to boost our big list as we check in late afternoon – overnight at Hoima Kontik

Day 13 - Transfer to Murchison, The Giraffe Paradise, & boat-cruise on the Nile

After breakfast relaxation in the gardens, transfer to the escarpment and lunch at Red chili. Escarpment drive is for sure a place to stop! Afternoon-2-5pm a 3hours Boat ride to the base of Falls where you get to see the Hippos (You have never seen more hippos yawning, Grooming in there Pods anywhere else than here- Believe me you)! Nile Crocodiles, Elephants and a variety of beautiful bird species along the banks. Top birds here is the Red throated bee eater with its beautiful displays on the river bank high cliffs, the Rock pranticole on the rocky tops after the crocodile bar, black headed batis, black headed gonolek, spotted morning thrush, beautiful sunbird among the active birds around before dark and the just before dinner we could try to check out for the Spotted eagle owl cliffs – overnight at Twiga Tales Lodge

Day 14 - Explore Murchison Falls National Park

An early cup of tea/coffee at 6:00am Ferry crossing, to the Game drive Nile river Bank to the broad savannah for the most likelihood Big cats hunting, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffalos and more as the checklist of mammals reaches 76. We continue browsing the drive circuits to the delta point for a cocktail of birds and mammals. In the afternoon we could take hike along the top of the falls for Pels fishing owl chance, the bat hawk, as we buy time to see if we can see the long tailed night jars, standard winged night jars and African scops owl which are active after dark. The falls is a magnificent classic highlight on our 2nd day in this Great Animal home, as an explosive dash of water at close range gushes through a narrow crevice – Overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge

Day 15 - Forest birding walk in Kanio Pabidi Forest & transfer to Entebbe

Breakfast in the kanio pabidi forest (Budongo forest) and a forest walk focusing on some forest woodpeckers like the yellow crested woodpecker, blue throated roller, sabines spine tail, yellow billed barbet, puvels illadopsis, forest flycatcher, honey guides, afep pigions, rufous-sided broadbill etc and then transfer to Entebbe.

Plan for a late evening flight or add an extra night to fly the next day as we have finished our safari of Uganda's birding paradise.

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