14 DAYS BIRDING IN THE PEARL OF AFRICA
The park has a beautiful land scape with grassy hills, an idyllic lake shore, forest galleries of which most of the trees are acacia savanna.
This national park is the smallest park in Uganda. It is the nearest park from the capital city which is just 4 hours’ drive at about 285 kilometers on Kampala –Masaka-Mbarara road. This 370 square kilometers land is home to a rare antelope called Impala which is only found in this park in Uganda besides that there are slender mongoose, bush rats, duikers and buffaloes that can also be found in the park.
You will be met on arrival by your our driver guide who will warmly receive and welcome you and will transfer you to your accommodation
After an early breakfast, we commence our trip by driving to the Mabamba Swamp, 50km west of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Stop en route at Mpigi Swamp for papyrus rarities. Open your eyes for a White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, and other swamp specialties. At the swamp, most of the birding is done on a canoe, paddled by our local site guides. Look out for the Shoebill both in the sky and down on the marsh. Also watch out for the Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamp hen, 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.
Today, we begin very early with a game drive on the various tracks found within the park. You have chances of viewing large herds of mammals like Impalas, Elands, Topi and Buffaloes. The bird population here is also rich hence birders will have chances of Green-backed Woodpecker, Brown-chested Plover, Southern Ground Hornbill, Spot-flanked, Yellow-billed Ox pecker, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Red-faced and Black-collared Barbets. Later in the afternoon, we have a boat trip where you will have good views of hippos yawning and splashing in the water. Also of interest here is the African Fin foot, White–winged Warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Carruthers Cisticola, Papyrus Gonolek.
Today, we shall spend most of the day driving to Bwindi. Bwindi Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to approximately half of the world’s endangered population of Mountain Gorillas. Forest birding at Bwindi ranks as one of the best bird watching experiences in Uganda and Africa as well, having been voted as the number one birding hot spot in Africa. It is home to over 23 highly-localized Albertine Rift endemics. Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is now an ecological island within a sea of human cultivation and therefore of big conservation importance. Buhoma lies in the valley of the Munyaga River at 5100ft and is bordered with steep, forested hills. Excellent forest birding and the prospect of sightings of numerous rare and localized Albertine Rift endemics makes this a true birding paradise.
Dinner and overnight at Buhoma community Bandas,<br /> Upgrade to B) Engagi lodge, C) Mahogany springs.
This morning, after breakfast, we shall assemble at the park offices for briefing prior to this historic event. Gorilla tracking is a very captivating activity; it involves walking in the wilderness in search of these great but gentle apes. It can be a physically challenging activity, therefore ensure physical fitness. Eight people are permitted per group per day. It can last from 20 minutes to hours in a day. On occasions the Gorillas prove elusive but often can be found within an hour by the tracker guides. Gorilla tracking itself is wonderful experience; staring in to the eyes of these gentle giants; watching them in awe as they play and go about their daily activities. It is indeed a “once in a lifetime” experience that you must never miss each time you visit Uganda. Each encounter is different and has its own rewards, but you are likely to enjoy the close view of adults feeding, grooming and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully playful display.
Bird, and Temminck's Courser. Mammals include African Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Lion, Ugandan Kobs, Side-striped Jackal, Baboons, Chimpanzees, Bush and Water Bucks, Warthogs, Giant Forest Hogs to mention but a few. Today, we shall start early after breakfast and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park is named after the Queen of England who visited it in 1954 is the second largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity this park ranks among the best birding destinations in Uganda with over 610 species recorded, and a one day record of 296 species. Hard-core birders will be treated to special birds of this park that include Harlequin Quail, Blue Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, African Crake, White-winged Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Papyrus Gonolek, Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Lowland Akalat, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Shoebill, Black Bee-eater, Caruthers's Cisticola, Terek Sandpiper, Secretary.
After breakfast we set out for a whole day game drive as we continue bird watching in the park. Later in the afternoon you have an exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. This is a narrow neck of water that connects Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus. Amongst the birds you are likely to encounter are the African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Gray-headed Gull, Plain Martin Lesser Swamp-Warbler and Yellow-billed Ox pecker.
After an early breakfast, we head for Maramagambo forest. A few specialties at Imaramagambo forest include the Yellow-bellied and Jameson's Wattle-eyes, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed and Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Brown and Grey-chested Illadopsis, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, Brown-eared Woodpeckers, Narina Trogon, Least Honey guide, Grey Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, and the African Fin foot. The trail through the forest leads past a bat cave, which is rather impressive, and if we are lucky we may come across a Python that lives in the cave and feasts on the bats. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Kibale Forest National Park.
On this day, we set off for the towering forest very early, driving towards the Park’s visitor center for briefing and thereafter, chimp tracking. The activity may last from a few hours to several hours. Birding in the afternoon along the main road may be productive. Depending on the weather predictions, birding Bigodi wetland is also productive with riverine forest birds. Kibale National Park is a good site for a number of birds that are hard to find elsewhere including Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Cabanis's Greenbul and Joyful Greenbul as well as White-spotted Fluff tail, Dusky and Olive Long tailed Cuckoo, Lesser Honey guide, Blue-shouldered Robin Chat, White-chinned Prinia, Grey Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera and White-collared Olive back.
After breakfast, we have another chance for birding in the forest. The results of the previous day will help us to choose either birding Sebitoli Section or birding Kanyanchu area.
Take a long drive to Budongo arriving in Budongo area late in the afternoon. If time allows there may be chances for birding along the way at Busingiro Section of Budongo forest. Budongo forest is the largest natural forest area in East Africa. We can expect to find a wide range of other bird species such as the crested guinea fowl sporting their punk “hairdos”, White Crested Turacco, Chestnut Crowned Eremomela, Yellow and Gray Longbills, Olive-bellied Crombec, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Little Green Sunbird, and Red-headed Blue Bill among others. There are also many other special birds with a West African origin: White-thighed Hornbill, Green-breasted Pitta, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Blue-breasted, Dwarf & Chocolate-backed Kingfishers, Yellow-crested & Brown-eared Woodpeckers, Yellow Bill, Western Black-headed Oriole, Yellow-spotted, Hairy-breasted & Yellow-billed Barbets, Green Hylia, Buff-throated, Black-throated & Black-capped Apalises, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, the elusive Lemon-bellied Crombec, Crested & Red-headed Malimbe and also various forest starlings among others. We will also be in a prime area for a wide range of primates such as Blue & Red-tailed Monkeys and Black and white Colobus - and if lucky Chimpanzees. There is also a wide variety of butterfly species in the forest. Budongo forest has recorded over 200 butterfly species hence you will also be in for a treat as we look out for these butterflies.
A short birdwatching drive from the Hotel at dawn will take us to one of the best of Uganda's birdwatching spots, the Royal Mile. This is Uganda's historically known leisure spot for the traditional King, hence the name Royal Mile. Here the forest has been cut back a few meters along the sides of the main trail, which makes it a particularly good viewing area in this excellent forest. Uganda Special Bird species in Budongo include White-thighed and Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills, Yellow-spotted and Yellow billed Barbets, Western Black-headed Oriole, along with Red-tailed and Blue Monkeys. Overhead, Sabine's and sometimes Cassin's Spine tails soar over the clearings. As we walk quietly along the trail, Red-tailed Ant-Thrushes skulk in the shadows, as do Red-tailed Bristle bill, Scaly-breasted, Pale-breasted and Brown Illadopsis. Greenbuls are always a challenge and include Cameroon Sombre, Slender-billed, Honey guide and Spotted Greenbul, whilst other regular species are Speckled Tinker bird, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Green Crombec, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Buff-throated Apalis, and both White-breasted and Grey-headed Negro finches. Lower down we should see Chocolate-backed and African Dwarf Kingfishers. White-spotted Fluff tails and the elusive Nahan's Francolin, believed to be one of the most handsome of all Ugandan birds.
Enriched with a birding experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories you will say goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. Depending on the time of departure you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
The price for the trip
Note: The given rates are subject to change. Accommodation and activities can only be guaranteed after confirmation and payment of the requested deposit. The final price will be dependent on the facilities available at the time of booking. We can always offer suitable alternatives should any of the facilities not be available. Please refer to our booking terms and conditions for more information and our website. www.advanced-adventures.com
3.38 / 5.0
68% recommend this package
Average Rating For
- Cleanliness 4.1
- Service 3.9
- Comfort 4.3
- Condition 4.0
- Neighbourhood 4.1