Uganda Birding Safari
Uganda Birding Safari 10 Days
One for the birding enthusiasts, this fantastic Uganda safari itinerary will take you to discover Uganda’s very best birding destinations. Home to over 1000 different species of birds, Uganda holds many delights for birdwatchers, who can expect to encounter everything from shoebills and swamp flycatchers in the wetlands, to African piculets and yellow-throated cuckoos in the grasslands. Covering an extensive range of habitats in the comfort of a private land cruiser and in the company of an expert guide, you are bound to enjoy every minute of this comprehensive and fulfilling tour.
**Please contact us for a full birding checklist
Prices shown are per person, based on 2 people sharing. Prices do not include international flights but these can be arranged as part of your package.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Visit 4 of Uganda’s finest National Parks and best birding locations
- Discover a wide range of habitats in search of Uganda's over 1000 recorded species
- Thrilling chimpanzee tracking experience
- Discover a huge variety of other wildlife
- Exciting game drives and bush walks
- Spectacular scenery at every turn
- Travel in comfort in the company of an expert English-speaking driver and guide
- Good quality accommodation throughout
- All accommodation and meals as described in the itinerary
- All birding trips
- Chimp tracking in Kibale Forest
- Airport transfer to/from Entebbe Airport
- Private transportation in a 4WD safari vehicle (Land Cruiser)
- English speaking guide and driver
- Activities and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
- National Park entrance fees and ranger fees
- AMREF Flying Doctors Insurance
ITINERARY9 Nights 10 Days
- Day 1 | Entebbe
- Day 2 | Entebbe to Murchison Falls NP
- Day 3 | Birding in Budongo Forest
- Day 4 | Murchison Falls NP to Fort Portal
- Day 5 | Birding in Semliki National Park
- Day 6 | Crater Lakes & Bigodi Swamp
- Day 7 | Kibale to Queen Elizabeth NP
- Day 8 | Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Day 9 | Queen Elizabeth NP to Kampala
- Day 10 | Mabamba Swamp & Departure
Welcome to the pearl of Africa! Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be greeted by a representative for your transfer to the Boma Guesthouse (5 to 10 minute drive) for your included overnight stay. Enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep in this tastefully restored colonial homestead in preparation for the adventures that lie ahead.
Overnight stay at the Boma Guesthouse with breakfast included.
Entebbe to Murchison Falls NP
The first day of your Uganda birding itinerary will see you rising early to meet your driver at the hotel and settle into your 4wd land cruiser for your 6-7 hour journey to the stunning Murchison Falls National Park, the most beautiful protected area in Uganda. The scenery along the way will simply astound, so sit back and relax as your English-speaking guide leads you through Uganda’s diverse landscape. We will make a stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for lunch and arrive at Budongo Forest, in the southern part of the national park, by mid-afternoon. After settling into your accommodation at the Budongo Eco Lodge you can enjoy the first of many birding excursions as we take a guided forest walk in search of Uganda’s rich birdlife.
2 nights accommodation at Budongo Eco Lodge with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Birding in Budongo Forest
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest and most beautiful protected area in Uganda and its most striking feature is the electrifying sight of the waterfall after which the park is named. Yet it’s not just the waterfall that attracts visitors to this remarkable area. With a diverse landscape of dense woodlands in the south and green grasslands in the north, the park harbours one of the most varied wildlife populations in East Africa and is the country’s premier site for birdwatchers.
Today will be a full day dedicated to birding in Budongo Forest Reserve in search of its 360 different recorded species. Famous for its biodiversity, Budongo Forest offers many delights for birding enthusiasts including the rare Puvel’s Illadopses which is an endemic species to this area. Other species include the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Chestnut Crowned Eremomera, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Yellow-browned Camaroptera, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Slender-billed Greenbul, Green Crombec and Forest Robin amongst many, many more.
Murchison Falls NP to Fort Portal
Leaving Murchison Falls National Park behind we depart after breakfast and head towards Fort Portal. Today’s drive will take approximately 8 hours with a stop en route for lunch. The lovely town of Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon and is famous for its many tea plantations. Enjoy a delicious dinner and an evening of relaxation in preparation for more birding tomorrow.
Overnight stay at Mountains of the Moon Hotel with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Birding in Semliki National Park
After breakfast this morning we will drive to Semliki National Park for a full morning of birding. As we drive along the scenic, winding roads through green mountains you will see magnificent views of the River Semliki and Congo. Upon arrival at the park we will begin our search for the more than 400 different bird species that have been recorded in this protected area including many West Africa forest species such as four different hornbill species that are seen nowhere else in Uganda. Other endemics seen here include the Red Rumped Tinker Bird and Palm Greenbul.
In the afternoon we will drive back through Fort Portal and on towards the dense forest of Kibale National Park.
2 nights accommodation at the Forest cottages of Primate Lodge Kibale with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Crater Lakes & Bigodi Swamp
After breakfast this morning we will head off for an exploration of the crater lakes to enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and stunning views. At Lake Nkuruba you can take a gentle hike in search of the numerous bird species found here before returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch we will explore a different terrain entirely as we search through the wetlands of the Bigodi Swamp to discover its more than 200 species of recorded birds including the popular Great Blue Turaco.
Alternatively, if you fancy something very different today then you can partake in an included chimp tracking excursion in Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa, and is renowned as being the very best place to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat. After a pre-tracking briefing you will begin your hike into the forest to visit a large habituated family of chimps that consists of over 120 individuals. Along the way you are likely to spot some of the forest’s fascinating residents including other primates and bird species such as the blue breasted Kingfisher, black billed Turaco, Pied Hornbill, Chestnut winged Starlings, and your informative guide will tell you all there is to know about this beautiful forest and its unique flora and fauna.
Upon sighting the chimpanzees you will have an hour to observe them, soaking up their captivating behaviour as they climb through the trees, groom, growl, feed, and take care of their young. An unforgettable experience that will no doubt leave a lasting impression.
Kibale to Queen Elizabeth NP
After breakfast at the lodge you will set off for the next stop on your itinerary, Queen Elizabeth National Park. Your journey will take in the region of 3 hours across the majestic foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the “Mountains of the Moon”.
The remarkably scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park’s landscape is as diverse as its abundant wildlife population, with its green savannah plains with small acacia and euphorbia trees giving way to sunken crater lakes and swamps, bounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. Home to 95 different species of mammals including lions, elephants, Uganda Kobs, elephants, hippos and crocodiles, the area also has the highest number of bird species found in any national park in Africa with over 600 having been recorded.
Upon arrival at the Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge you can enjoy a tasty lunch before setting off on the first game drive of your itinerary in search of a variety of wildlife including warthogs, buffaloes, waterbucks, elephants and a multitude of birds.
2 nights accommodation at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today we will arise early to enjoy an early morning game drive to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. This is not only an area for excellent game viewing, but also offers much to birders, with its open grassy plains supporting large flocks of White and Abdims Stork as well as the spectacular Saddle Billed Stork during the migratory season.
In the afternoon you can enjoy a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George, to see the hundreds of hippos and elephants that reside here. We are also likely to see many migratory bird species, such as the Grey headed Gulls, African skimmers, Water Dikkops and the Great White and Pink-Backed Pelicans.
Queen Elizabeth NP to Kampala
As we approach the closing stages of your fantastic Uganda birding tour we will head back east towards Kampala for one final adventure. The journey to Kampala will take approximately 7 hours, with a stop at the equator for lunch, some souvenir shopping and some photo opportunities. Late in the afternoon you will arrive at the Cassia Lodge for your final night in Uganda.
Overnight accommodation at Cassia Lodge with breakfast and lunch.
Mabamba Swamp & Departure
After breakfast it will be time for your last adventure as your driver collects you to take you to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork and you can be very hopeful of a sighting or 2. As well as the distinctive Shoebill there are many other species to keep the cameras and binoculars busy including Allen’s Gallinule, Grey herons, African Water Rail, Goliath, Purple and a variety of egrets and ducks, and you can enjoy canoeing through the swamp in search of sightings of these. When your birding activity has come to end your driver will transfer you back to Entebbe International Airport for your homeward or onward flights.
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Boma Guest House, Entebbe
Set in tropical gardens in a leafy suburb just a short drive from Entebbe International Airport, this welcoming guesthouse is the perfect place from which to begin your Uganda safari experience. A tastefully restored colonial homestead, the Boma Guest House effortlessly combines modern comforts with the charm and characteristics of the original 1940’s building.
Each of the guest house’s comfortable and welcoming bedrooms has been decorated in a mixture of African and European décor and features an en-suite bathroom, four-poster beds with mosquito nets, and a private verandah. The guest house is situated within beautiful landscaped gardens with lake views and the delightful private swimming pool is perfect for a refreshing dip after a long flight. There is also an excellent on-site restaurant and bar, and a craft shop.
Primate Lodge, Kibale
This fantastic lodge located in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park offers the chance to experience the world renowned Ugandan hospitality amidst unrivalled nature and serenity in Uganda’s primate paradise. Located right beside the starting point for incredible chimpanzee trekking experiences of the park, Primate Lodge offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Amongst these accommodation options are the nine spacious Luxury Cottages which feature large comfortable beds, sitting areas and en-suite bedrooms. Nestled privately within the forest, each cottage also features a large verandah allowing you to relax and soak up the unique sights and sounds of the surrounding nature.
There are also seven mid-range private Forest Cottages which also offer large comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms and private verandahs overlooking the rainforest, but which offer a little less space than the luxury cottages. There is also a double storied ‘Elephant Banda’ which has an upstairs bedroom with giant king-size bed, a large downstairs living area, and an extensive elevated verandah which seems to stretch right into the forest. This option is very popular with honeymooners and those seeking a romantic escape. For the more adventurous a unique “tree-house” is available and for the more budget-conscious there is also an adjacent camp site.
The main lodge area features a spacious dining terrace where delicious home-cooked meals are served, a well-stocked bar, a cosy lounge, evening camp fire and regular visits from the numerous primates that abound in the park as well as forest elephants!
Cassia Lodge, Kampala
Set atop Buziga Hill with panoramic views of Lake Victoria and Kampala city below, this charming lodge provides good quality accommodation coupled with excellent hospitality in a simply stunning location. Featuring a beautiful swimming pool with outstanding views, 20 stylish and comfortable bedrooms, an excellent restaurant with an extensive menu, and a famous terrace with the best views in Kampala, this is the perfect place in which to relax before or after your Ugandan safari experience.
The rooms at Cassia Lodge have been thoughtfully designed and come equipped with air-conditioning, mosquito nets, en-suite bathrooms, Wi-Fi, TVs and private balconies facing Lake Victoria so you can make the most of those splendid views.
Budongo Eco Lodge, Murchison Falls
Surrounded by the stunning spectacle of natural Uganda, the Budongo Eco Lodge is located in the heart of Budongo Central Forest Reserve, home to an abundance of rare forest bird species and one of the largest communities of chimps in the country. This excellent eco-tourism site provides comfortable and clean accommodation in its six delightful eco-cabins which feature large comfortable beds with mosquito nets, en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold showers, sitting areas with day-beds, and private verandahs overlooking the forest.
Located within the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park guests can enjoy all that this tremendous area has to offer safe in the knowledge that upon return from a day of adventure they can enjoy unrivalled hospitality and relaxation. As well as a lovely terrace restaurant and well-stocked bar, the lodge also features a small library and a spacious lounge with comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi.
Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Fort Portal
Set within 15 acres of landscaped gardens and located within walking distance of Fort Portal town, this fantastic resort has become this interesting town’s signature hotel. Featuring modern facilities, beautiful and stylish décor, and delightful views of the Rwenzori Mountains, this is the ideal base from which to explore the tea plantations and crater lakes of the area.
As well as a welcoming swimming pool, this beautiful hotel features an exclusive bar stocked with only the finest wines and award-winning beers, further pool and garden bars, an atmospheric restaurant and dining area serving delicious fusion cuisine, a well-designed wellness centre and a tranquil lounge area with open fireplace. The carefully designed and luxuriously outfitted bedrooms feature excellent space, garden view balconies, en-suite shower rooms or bathrooms, and all of the modern amenities one would expect from such a high-quality resort.
Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge
An excellent base for your safari activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge features a truly unique setting bordering the Kazinga Channel. Being so close to the national park and the many delights it holds, guests can enjoy unrivalled wildlife encounters without even having to leave their camp, with animals roaming in and out of the camp at all times of the day. Offering an authentic safari experience, guests can choose from a number of accommodation options including the lodge’s 12 self contained bandas which have been constructed on raised wooden platforms and feature eco toilets and outdoor showers, comfortable beds and private terraces overlooking the seasonal Kamera river. The lodge also offers two self-contained tents, and for the more budget conscious, 10 non-self-contained tents.
Guests can enjoy the authentic safari atmosphere as they dine alongside their fellow guests in the lodge’s large dining tent where delicious four-course meals are served overlooking the channel, with the Rwenzori mountain range providing a dramatic backdrop and the campfire providing the perfect spot to relax after a long day of adventures.
What Our Customers
What a super experience – thank you so much making our trip to Uganda everything we wanted. We saw several gorillas, which were our main objective but were absolutely entranced by the variety and beauty of all the birdlife. More emphasis on this needed in your briefings, I would say, but this is a minor criticism since the guides were most knowledgeable and helpful and did all possible to ensure our comfort and safety. No hesitation in recommending you to friends and anybody who will listen! Thank you so much from us both.
We needed some suggestions for our African adventure since, although pretty seasoned travellers, this was somewhere we still needed to tick off our list. The lady we spoke to in your office was most helpful. We had seen ‘gorillas in the mist’ on TV so this was a must for us. She understood our needs and looked after us well – I still cannot believe how close our guide was able to get us to a family of these great apes – we now have lots more jealous friends. Thank you to all involved.
Thanks for all your help – the very detailed briefing and advice really made our vacation in Africa a true ‘Trip of a Lifetime’. Recommendations follow!
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