Tour duration: 16 Days
Destinations visited: Mabamba swamp, Murchison falls, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Lake Mburo National Parks.
Uganda will have primate enthusiasts wandering around with imbecile grins; birdwatchers doing cartwheels. Uganda is by far the smallest of the four African countries in which more than 1,000 bird species have been recorded, and it is particularly rich in Western rainforest specialists and the only place in Africa to sight the rare ‘Shoebill’ – in practical terms, undoubtedly the finest bird watching destination in Africa.
Immerse yourself in the African wilderness separated only by canvas like an explorer of old!! Possibly the ultimate way to experience Africa. Get under the skin of the world’s most exciting country on the continent through in-depth encounters with the local communities as you go about your birding excursion.
Day to Day Itinerary:
- Day 1: Welcome Uganda
- Day 2: Mabamba Swamp
- Days 3 – 6: Birds & Wildlife of Murchison Falls national park
- Days 6 – 8: Birds & Primates of Kibale Forest
- Days 8 – 10: Birds of Queen Elizabeth national park
- Days 10 – 13: Gorillas & Birds
- Days 13 – 15: L. Mburo Walking safari & Birds.
- Day 16: Goodbye Uganda
16 Days Birds of Uganda
Day 1: Welcome to Uganda
On arrival at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the Boma Guesthouse Entebbe. This charming 1940’s guesthouse is the ideal place to relax and prepare for the coming adventure. Spend the afternoon lazing in the pool garden or rent a bicycle to explore this bustling city.
Day 2: Mabamba Swamp
set off to Mabamba Wetland, where most of the birding is done from a canoe. Look out for the Shoebill in the sky and down in the marsh. Here you will spot the African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling-duck, Squacco Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron and Black Crake. Later transfer to Kampala for dinner and overnight stay.
Days 3 – 6: Birds & Wildlife of Murchison falls national Park Budongo forest
Depart Kampala city heading to the North West of Uganda to Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls N.P. On arrival to Budongo Forest, embark on a birding excursion; look out for the Yellow and Grey Long bills, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Ituri Batis and Nahan’s Francolin. In the evening you might spot Bat Hawk, African Wood Owl, White-faced Wood Owl, White-crested and Ross’s Turacco, Grey Parrots, Piping and White-thighed Hornbills, Black-shouldered Nightjar, as well as Western Tree Hyrax. Murchison Falls is one of Uganda’s best highlight with exceptional wildlife and landscape. The meandering Victoria Nile and the dramatic Murchison Falls neatly bisecting Uganda’s largest park, you’d expect a wide range of animals at Murchison Falls and you’d be right. It’s a stunning habitat for wildlife and it’s where to go in Uganda for classic big game species.
Explore Murchison Falls National Park: You rise at dawn to sip on a freshly brewed hot drink and watch trails of mist lift off the Savannah grassland. Enjoy a quick breakfast in the dining room before heading out into the park with your guide. This region is endowed with a wonderful diversity of habitats that in turn support a plethora of bird and animal species. Grassy plains are dotted with Giraffes, elephants that trumpet when you get too close, hyenas, leopards, warthogs, kob- an antelope species found only in central Africa that are an important prey species for the lions. The lions themselves are known for their black manes! Acacia woodlands and forested areas are a vital habitat for a number of bird species. The Budongo Forest sits in a huge area of the Rift Valley floor, and this moist semi-deciduous medium-altitude forest is home to a great number of species, including chimpanzees.
Buffalo roam the grasslands and plains, and these huge bovids are particularly fond of wallowing in mud found in marshy areas. This can give them a comical appearance as they emerge caked in a thick layer of mud, but as your guide will tell you, they are far from comical when faced with danger! On the second afternoon, a 3hour Boat Cruise along the Victoria Nile will lead you to the base of the Murchison Falls. Along the way, you will be able to view a wide variety of birds and wildlife; numerous hippos, elephants and crocodiles, as well as breathtaking scenery.
Before checking out of the park, you’ll drive to the top of the powerful Murchison Falls (Baker’s summit) to marvel at the spectacular Nile dropping in a wave of rapids into a 7metre wide Rock gorge on its way to the Albert.
Days 6 – 8: Birds & Primates
After Murchison falls, you embark on a Safari route that traces through small villages, picturesque green tea plantations and beautiful landscapes of numerous crater lakes of volcanic origin. Proceed to Kibale forest- home of great apes!
Kibale Forest boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins- the Chimpanzees. At this moment, in Uganda, there are approximately 4,950 Chimps left in the wild, which makes this forest a perfect and best place to spot chimpanzees in Africa! During the excursion, your ranger will point out the other species living in the forest, including birds, flora and fauna.
A birding/community excursion is also possible in Kibale region. Your swamp walk (1- 2 hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot 3 or 4 different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the Great Blue Turaco bird!
Of course, the stars of the show are chimpanzees and nine other species of primate. Smaller than their gorilla cousins but no less charming, intelligent or expressive, chimp families can cover vast distances and the trek in Kibale forest to find them will be filled all sorts of enchanting encounters.
Optional activity: Chimpanzee Habituation tracking:
At an additional fee of only $70 us dollar pp you do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with your closest relatives. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go.
Days 8 – 10: Explore Queen Elizabeth National park
Embark on a 3hour Safari route that traces the Western Rift valley in the heart of Africa to the South West of Uganda through many hills, surrounded by small villages, picturesque green tea plantations and beautiful landscapes. This part of Uganda is characterized by the presence of numerous crater lakes of volcanic origin fairy–like surroundings and the charming green Tea plantations.
Set on a peninsular overlooking the kazinga Channel, Mweya safari Lodge consists of a series of thatch luxurious suites that are individually decorated in an eclectic style. Sundowners are taken on the airy veranda or by the pool and meals at communal tables in the dining room.
Your days here start early as you set off in the cool of the morning to look for game like lion; elephants, buffaloes, Ugandan kob and antelope on the Kasenyi plains while the dense thickets of the Mweya peninsula is the ideal hiding spot for notoriously shy leopard.
On your final afternoon, you will cruise the Kazinga Channel, which flows between Lakes George and Edward. One of the continent’s densest concentrations of hippo lives here, as well as large numbers of elephants, crocodiles and water birds like African fish eagles and pelicans.
Optional activity: Hot Air Balloon Safari:
Experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth np in a new, unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes, elephants and enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush…
You will take off early at dawn for a flight that lasts for approximately 1 hour. Rise as the suns rises and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning take you. Fly higher than the trees and hills and enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.
After a smooth landing you can celebrate this amazing adventure with a glass of sparkling juice before returning to your lodge to continue your safari.
Costing: $380 us dollar p.p.
Optional activity: Lion Tracking:
For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions!
The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts. The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
Experiential tours lasts between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance.
Days 10 – 13: Birds & Gorillas.
Head south through the lush wilderness to the Ishasha Plains and enjoy a short game drive to spot the plains’ well known tree-climbing lions. After seeing these brilliantly adapted creatures you’ll exit the park and travel through the rolling hills of central Africa as you make your way to the Mahogany Springs Lodge in the great Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Despite its rather forbidding name, Bwindi is a tropical forest wonderland. The landscape changes dramatically: Bwindi is a place of steep hillsides, dense jungle and towering trees.
Your second day is the one you have been waiting for: today you make the acquaintance of rare mountain gorillas, one of the most memorable wildlife encounters in the world. Led by experienced trackers who are intimately familiar with each individual gorilla and who understand their overnight movements, you will hike through the forest until you find these gentle creatures. For mutual safety, you will have to observe them from a distance and no children under 15 are allowed on a trek. It can be tough going in the rain and mud but it is worth the effort to look into the emotional brown eyes of these marvelous creatures while in their natural habitat.
Birding in Ruhiija: After an early breakfast, you will drive to Ruhiija for a birding excursion where you will expect to see the Black, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Cuckoo Shrike, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Yellow-billed Waxbill, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Augur Buzzard, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Pink-footed, Northern Puffbacks, Red-tailed, Little Grey Greenbuls, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-throated Martin, Yellow White-eye, Dark-capped Bulbul and many others.
Meet the Batwa pygimies: After a refreshing night’s sleep, you once again lace up your hiking boots and set out to meet members of the Twa tribe, who are thought to be the longest-standing inhabitants of the Great Lakes region. Their history can be traced back at least 4 000 years and they are renowned as dancers and storytellers. You will learn more about the Batwa’s hunting and gathering techniques, their goddess and their musical performances.
The Batwa Experience was created by the displaced Batwa pygmies to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. Step back in time to see how the pygimies lived for millennia in the Bwindi, one of the most beautiful jungles on earth and home of the famous mountain gorillas. Enjoy an incredible day hike in the rain forest with Batwa guides, see how the Batwa lived and hunted, learn about medicinal plants, and watch for animals and birds. A Forest Walk with the Batwa people can be taken in Buhoma, in Buniga Forest and at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
After two days of hiking, you will no doubt enjoy some relaxing after dinner, sharing stories as the moon rises over Bwindi.
Days 13 – 15: Explore Lake Mburo National Park
Head out this morning to Lake Mburo National Park via the town of Mbarara – the largest urban centre in western Uganda. You will stopover for a cultural tour of the Igongo museum then precede to the Park with a game drive en-route. Look out for the herds of Ankole cattle on the way to the entrance. After checking in at the Lodge, you can enjoy a relaxed but exciting night drive to seek the nocturnal animals that call Lake Mburo their home.
Enjoy one last walking Safari
Start your last morning with a guided bush walk to a nearby natural salt lick, frequented by the local wildlife. Lake Mburo N.P. is one of two parks in Uganda where it is permitted to go for a walking safari with an experienced ranger. This opportunity should not be missed. From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will be able to tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range. Note: Instead of going for the bush walk, you can as well opt for a mountain bike safari – or go on a horseback riding safari in the park.
Full day Birding Safari
Indulge in a full- day birding excursion that starts with a morning game drive and ends with an afternoon boat ride where you will spot a variety of water birds which include; the Grey Hornbill, White-browed Coucal, Lesser Masked Weaver, Water Thick-knee, Wood Hoopoe, Verreux’s Eagle Owl, Woodland Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Little Bee-eater, Chinspot, Tawny Eagle, and Senegal Lapwing among others.
Day 16: Farewell Uganda!
After sixteen days of trekking gorillas, enjoying the antics of chimpanzees and immersing yourself in all of the country’s greatest wildlife areas, it is time to bid farewell to Uganda. You will stay in Entebbe town until you catch your departure flight back home.
This marks the end of what we hope will be an adventurous trip- Thank you very much!!
Sun Africa Expeditions Terms & Conditions
PLEASE be reminded that the luggage allowance on our inbound schedule flights is strictly 15KGS PER PERSON and that SOFT BAGS are highly recommended, if not essential. In light aircraft the baggage area and weight allowance is limited. Hard Samsonite type suitcases do not fit into the cargo compartment easily, if at all. Due to limited space available for storage in safari vehicles, we strongly recommend use soft duffle bags rather than hard suitcases.
A binding contract will come into existence once Sun Africa Expeditions and yourself agree on the itinerary and quote provided for the same. The booking will then be considered confirmed when an invoice is issued. Your contract for the services chosen will be direct with the relevant supplier(s). Your supplier contact will be governed by the laws of the country in which the supplier is located and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of that country.
Reservations, Payment and Deposits
When Sun Africa Expeditions has accepted your booking, the date of the confirmation invoice activates the terms and conditions of the contract. Confirmation of services is subject to payment of a non-refundable deposit of 15% of the total invoiced amount. The balance is to be paid not later than 30 days prior to commencement of the services. When bookings are made within 30 days prior to the departure date, full payment is required immediately on written confirmation.
All bookings are subject to availability at the time of booking and cannot be guaranteed except for scheduled departures.
Prices are quoted in US dollars. All prices are subject to change without prior notice. Should prices or costs from suppliers increase due to inflation, currency depreciation and fuel surcharges, then Sun Africa Expeditions will not have any other option than to pass on the same to you. All suppliers reserve the right to increase prices at any time of the year when costs increase outside the control of the supplier. Please note that when the clients’ itinerary overlaps two seasons, the price will be prorated over the two seasons.
Rates include but are not limited to the following services specified in the itinerary. Accommodation with meals, tours, transport, driver/guide, park entrance fees, hotel taxes and service charges.
Rates exclude (Unless otherwise specified), Medical Air Rescue services, Porter-age, domestic Air Charters, Visa fees, beverages, laundry, telephone calls, scheduled flights, gratuities and all expenses of personal nature.
NB: Flying doctor services are Optional at USD 25 per pax (Subject to change and vendor terms & conditions).
Child rate: – is only applicable to one or two children under 12 years sharing a room with 2 adults. In the case of 02 children sharing a room with parents, the two children will share a bed, as most hotels/lodges cannot accommodate a fourth bed. 01 child sharing a room with 01 adult will be charged full adult rate.
Single Room Policy
Single rooms are available at supplementary cost but the suppliers do not guarantee singles. Single rooms are scarce and cannot be guaranteed even if paid for at twin sole use rate. Where this occurs an appropriate refund will be made by the supplier to the client. Suppliers will only allow a maximum of 3 single rooms per group at a single room rate except for high end luxury camps where single rooms are limited to only 02 singles.
Should you wish to cancel your confirmed booking, you must advise the company in writing.
Reservations that are cancelled, reduced in length of stay or reduced in numbers (hereinafter collectively called a CANCELLATION) are subject to Cancellation and No Show fees if cancelled within 30 days of the arrival date:
55 days to 41 days prior to arrival: 25%
40 days to 22 days prior to arrival: 35%
21 days to 15 days prior to arrival: 50%
14 days to 07 days prior to arrival: 65%
06 days to 03 days prior to arrival: 80%
Within 48 hours and after commencement of holiday: 100%. Once the holiday has commenced no refund will be made. The figures expressed are percentage of the total tour price.
Cancellation: Although it rarely happens, and Sun Africa Expeditions will do their utmost to avoid doing so. Sun Africa Expeditions must reserve the right to cancel tours and other arrangements. Where your holiday is cancelled (other than due to your default in payment) due to unavoidable circumstances beyond our control e.g. Natural disaster or over booking, Sun Africa Expeditions will offer you the choice of purchasing an alternative holiday.
The expression “force majeure” means any event which the supplier(s) in question could not have foreseen or avoided even with all due care. Such events may include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, government action and all similar circumstances outside the suppliers’ control. In these circumstances the suppliers shall not be liable to pay any compensation or otherwise be responsible for any expenses or losses you incur where supplier is forced as a result to cancel, delay, curtail or change your holiday arrangements in any way or where the performance or prompt performance of the supplier’s contractual obligations is prevented or affected. Complaints
In the unlikely event that a tour member has a dispute whilst on safari this must immediately be brought to the attention (and put on record) of the local representative, Hotel, Lodge or Camp management. It is likely that the tour member’s complaint will be satisfactorily resolved there and then. If, however, this is not the case and the tour member wishes to pursue the matter on their return from safari, it is essential the complaint be communicated in writing to Sun Africa Expeditions within 21 days of the end of tour quoting tour reference, destination and departure date.
Responsibility of Sun Africa Expeditions
Sun Africa Expeditions acts only as the Agent for the suppliers and shall not in any event be liable for any negligence, breach of contract or acts of omission on the part of suppliers, their employees or any other Agent, it shall be the responsibility of all customers including (without limitations) Tour members, Tour Operators and Travel Agents, to read and familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of suppliers. Sun Africa Expeditions liability for its own negligence or breach of contract shall be limited to the Tour price.
Safari Minibuses, Cars, Land Cruisers and coaches will be provided according to the route and number of participants. Sun Africa Expeditions reserves the right to employ services of sub-contractors. Multi-lingual driver guides are provided on request. For flying packages, clients will share vehicles with other guests booked at the hotel. For exclusive use, please check with Sun Africa Expeditions for supplements, which will be subject to availability.
The hazards of travelling in Africa may inevitably rise to some risks and dangers. It is therefore a condition of booking that all tour members must have sufficient and appropriate travel insurance for the duration of their tour. Such insurance (which is not supplied by Sun Africa Expeditions) should fully cover all personal requirements including death, personal injury, medical expenses, and repatriation in the event of accident or illness, cancellation or curtailment of the tour members’ personal property.
Any special requests (e.g. for single rooms or particular diet) must be notified in writing when the booking is made. Whilst the supplier will endeavour to meet such requests they cannot be guaranteed and any failure to comply will not be a breach of contract.
Sun Africa Expeditions services include flight re-confirmation and airport assistance within Africa if clients are provided all services by Sun Africa Expeditions. In cases whereby Sun Africa Expeditions is providing part of the services and the clients have other arrangements of their own, then Sun Africa Expeditions will only reconfirm where forwarding address or contacts are provided.
Demand for safaris can be high and may lead to shortage of lodge/hotel accommodation. All bookings will be confirmed, but no occasions changes may be necessary. Hotels/Lodges/camps, here specifically named are given as an indication of the category and rooms may be reserved at similar lodges/ hotels/camps. We undertake to advise you of any changes known to us prior to departure, but the possibility of change without notice, must be acceptable when booking. Where ever possible we book rooms with private baths showers throughout on the basis of two persons sharing a double room. Single rooms are available at supplementary cost but neither single rooms nor rooms with private bath/shower can be guaranteed.
Safari minibuses cars, four wheel drive vehicles or coaches will be provided according to the route and number of participants. The right is reserved to employ the services of subcontractors. Multi-lingual chauffer/guides are provided. Occasional mechanical problems, changes of lodge or adverse road conditions may in turn lead to a change of routing or game viewing without prior notice being given. We reserve the right to offer substitutes of equal value or to cancel the operation of any tour. In practice, very few itineraries are affected but a little flexibility on your part will ensure the tour is unique and rewarding.
Website and Brochure Description
Descriptions of accommodation facilities and services in our brochures are shown in good faith, it is however possible that certain facilities or services may be unavailable or limited due to maintenance , adverse weather, local conditions, seasonal restrictions etc.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this website/e-brochure at the time of printing, regrettably errors do occasionally occur. You must therefore check all details of your holiday booking with your travel agent or supplier at the time of presentation.
The company cannot therefore accept responsibility for any information not contained in this brochure, being confirmed verbally by its staff or representatives unless subsequently reconfirmed in writing by the company.