IAT 20 - The Birds of Uganda
On arrival at Entebbe airport, our representative will warmly welcome you and later transfer you to either Hotel Africana or Hotel International Muyenga for the over night. B/B.
After breakfast and a briefing from our representative, you will set off on the southbound road to Mabamba Wetland. This is the nearest site for the Shoebill, Lesser Jacana, Blue Swallow, Black-Shouldered Nightjar, Afep Pigeon, Blue Breasted Bee-Eater, Papyrus Gonolek, White Winged Warbler. Spend the whole day birding in this wetland and the surrounding areas, have a picnic lunch there returning to Kampala in the evening and over night at either Hotel Africana Speke or Resort Munyonyo or Hotel International in Muyenga. B/B.
This morning you will depart Kampala for Lake Mburo National Park, having a stop- over to look at the Royal Drum makers, stand on the Equator and be in both hemispheres at once arriving in the Park in the afternoon. Lake Mburo National Park has markedly different fauna to other Parks and reserves, and its the best place in the country to see the gigantic Eland Antelope, as well as Zebra, Topi, Impala, and several Acacia –associated birds. The five lakes with in the park attract Hippos, Crocodiles, and a variety of water birds, while fringing swamps hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the Sitatunga Antelope and Red, Black and Yellow Papyrus Gonalek. Have an evening game drive and over night at either Mantana Luxurious Tented Camp or Agip Motel.
Early morning wake up for bird watching while on a game drive & get a chance to see species like the Brown Chested Plover, Red Faced Barbet, Southern Ground Hornbill, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Yellow Billed Oxpecker, African Finfoot, Black Collard Barbet etc. Have an afternoon boat trip and later another evening game drive and overnight at either our camp in Lake Mburo or Mantana Luxurious Tented Camp or Agip Motel.
Day Five: After breakfast, have a game drive while leaving the park and continue through the lush hills birding enroute to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Ruhiija sector) best known for Gorillas, arriving in the evening. This is a Montane Forest with patches of bamboo, Montane Marshes and Medium altitude forests. There are about 23 Albertine Rift Endemics that can be seen here with the most exciting being the African Green Broadbill, Grauer's Rush Warbler, Short Tailed Warbler, Rwenzori Turacco, Purple Breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Kivu Ground Thrush, Montane Masked Apalis, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Olive Green Camaroptera, Handsome Francolin, Blue Headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar, Lagden's Bush Shrike, Waller's Starling, Oriole Finch, Streaky Seed Eater, Chubb's Cisticola, Barred Long Tailed Cuckoo and the Brown Capped Weaver. Overnight at Ruhiija Guesthouse.
Whole day bird watching in Bwindi Forest, go to Mubwindi Swamp and later transfer to Buhoma birding enroute, then overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp or Uganda Wildlife Authority Community Bandas.
Mix your love of birds with gorilla tracking on this day! This morning you will report at the Park Office at 7:30 am to get ready for the Gorilla tracking. Take with you lunch boxes and all the necessary gear to track the rare Mountain Gorilla, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experience. There are now only 650 left in the world! The tracking may take between 2 and 6 hours with a Park Guide interpreting the flora and fauna and the lifestyle of the Gorillas. In the afternoon relax at the Camp or take a forest nature walk that will lead you to the Munyaga Waterfall and a chance to see Primates such as the Grey Cheeked Mangabey Blue monkeys and others species. Spend the night at Gorilla Forest Camp or Uganda Wildlife Authority Community Bandas.
This morning you will go for birding as you transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park home of a total of 604 different bird species. There are also good chances of seeing Elephants and Hippos here. Habitat: Lowland Forest, moist thickets open woodland and grassland Savannah, permanent and seasonal swamps, lakes and rivers. Key species: African Skimmer, Black Rumped Button Quail, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Red Footed Falcon, Lesser Flamingoes, Grey Capped Warbler, White's and Abdim's Storks (in season), Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Wooly-necked and Saddle-billed Storks, and numerous classes of Raptors, Vultures and Plovers etc Birding in the evening and over night at Mweya Safari Lodge or the Institute of Ecology.
Whole day in Queen Elizabeth National Park bird watching while on a game drive both in the morning and in the afternoon returning to the lodge for lunch and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge. Its little wonder that Queen Elizabeth boasts one of the highest bio diversity ratings of any game park or reserve in the world, - from the open Savannah to Rain Forest, dense Papyrus Swamps and brooding Crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward. There are almost 100 mammal species that include Lions, Hippos, Buffaloes, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Elephants and the elusive Giant Forest Hog in this park. The Primates include Chimps, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue, Black faced Red Colobus, and Red tailed monkeys and Olive Baboons. Reptiles are the amazing huge rock-Python, Puffadders, Spitting Cobras, Gabon Rippers, Green Mambas, Turtles etc. All these are regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula and all this makes a superb safari territory. Over night at Mweya Safari Lodge or the Institute of Ecology
A boat trip along the channel on this day will give you wildlife up close:Hippos huff and spray mere feet away from the boat, Buffalo linger in the shallows, and a tremendous variety of birds grace the grasses on the river's edge. These may include the Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Open-billed Stork, African Jacana, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers. There is also a Bird Observatory here, which was set up with the aim of studying both migratory and resident birds. Since its inception in 1997 more new species have been identified, including Uganda's first record of the Bar-tailed Godwit. Have a game drive and over night at Mweya Safari Lodge or the Institute of Ecology.
After breakfast, you will transfer to Kibale Forest National Park bird watching enroute arriving in the evening and over night at Rwenzori View Guesthouse or Ndali Lodge. Kibale Forest has a total of 335 bird species and it's a tall evergreen forest with grassland, swamps and exotic conifers. The main key species here are; White Collard Oliveback, Leaf Love, African Broadbill, Willcock's Honeyguide, Green Breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Grey Winged Robin, Red Winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, White Bellied Crested Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Red Chested Fluftail, Grey Winged Robin, White Napped Pigeon, Chestnut Winged Starling etc.
Early morning wake up and get a chance to see other species like the Grey-Throated Flycatcher, Masked & Black-Capped Apalis', Chestnut-Winged Starling, Orange -Tufted & Tiny Sunbirds and a good infrastructure & variety of interesting activities which makes this a worthwhile destination. There are a network of forest trails that radiate out from the visitor centre, allowing you to search for a number of species that shun the vicinity of the main road. Birding in the Forest interior can be frustrating, how ever, as many species are very shy and difficult to see in the under growth. You will visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a superb community development fringing the Park. We will be able to see the fruiting trees, which attract Narina Trogon, Pied Hornbill, Yellow Spotted, Hairy Breasted and Yellow-billed Barbets, back to the Guesthouse or Ndali Lodge in the evening for the overnight stay.
Leave the hotel early heading North to Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve arriving at the lodge at teatime. Over 350 species have been recorded at Semliki and this is also a good area to see the extraordinary Shoebill and other Wetland varieties. The key species here include the African Pygmy Goose, Red-necked Falcon, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue-Breasted Bee-Eater, Blackbilled Barbet, Piapiac, Leaflove and Black-chinned Quail-Finch. Take tea by the pool and watch as the Hamerkop dips into the water and the Weaver birds flock nearby. The most exciting aspect is that new species are still being discovered in the reserve. You might be lucky enough to discover one. Have an afternoon boat trip on Lake Albert in search for the Shoebill and over night at Semliki Safari Lodge.
Early morning Chimp tracking in the Gallery Forest of the Mugiri River. Leaflove are in proliferation here, despite being scarce in the rest of Uganda. In the forest you may see: White-spotted Flufftail, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush and Blue-breasted Kingfisher. In the late afternoon, a game drive will reveal herds of Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, Reed Buck, several monkey species as well as lots of bird opportunities: White-crested Turaco, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, Mouse birds, Kingfishers and Bee-Eaters, to name a few. Or take a night drive if possible to see Pennant and Standard Wing Nightjars within 2 metres. Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge.
Early morning game drive and if desired your coffee will be brought to your tent then leave for Kampala arriving in the evening to later catch your flight back home.