12 Days Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth |Kibale Birding SafariPrint This Post
Combined together, these three parks have a count of more than 1000 bird species. On this Uganda birding safari, you have a taste of both forest and open savanna bird species. You will go birding in Kibale Forest national park, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
You will start this birding safari in Bwindi Impenetrable forest in the southwestern part of Uganda. The 321sq.km park is home to more than 350 bird species of which the biggest percentage are forest species. Bwindi rewards you with a total of 23 Albertine Rift endemics like the African Green Broadbill, Shelley’s Crimsonwing and others. This total accounts to nearly 90% of these endemics and birding will be done around Munyanga trail, Ruhija and Buhoma.
Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen Elizabeth notches up a 600 tally of bird species. This total is more than any of an African protected area and the park is popular for its savanna species.
Birdwatching in Queen Elizabeth national park will be done in Maramagambo forest, along the Kazinga channel, Mweya trail and in Kyambura wildlife reserve commonly referred to as the Valley of the Apes.
You will also go birding in Kibale Forest national park located in the western part of the country. Known mainly for Chimpanzee tracking safaris and other primates, with a count of 13 species, Kibale forest is also a premier Uganda birdwatching destination mainly known for the forest species as well as swamp and grassland species. The park has over 370 bird species with 6 Endemics of the Albertine rift. These include; the Blue-headed Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing and others you expect to see on this birding safari. You will go birding within Magombe swamp, and around Bigodi wetland near the park.
Note: Welcome to the Birding Paradise! Meet and Greet with our guide on the day you arrive at the airport for this Pearl of Africa /Uganda birdwatching safari. The guide will then transfer you to your overnight accommodation in Kampala.
Overnight (O/n): Sheraton Hotel (Luxury)/Cassia lodge (Midrange) /Speke Hotel (Basic); Bed & Breakfast
- To have a successful birding experience, you need to start the day very early before sunrise and also in the evening hours. These are good times to see the birds as they leave and return to their nests and most species are usually active before afternoon hours and as the sunsets.
The guide will pick you at your overnight hotel, depart Kampala for Bwindi Impenetrable forest on this long day journey. You will break off en-route, at the Equator for a water tryout and later continue to Igongo for lunch and a cultural experience if time permits (optional). On arrival, check-in at the booked lodge.
Meal Plan: Half Board [HB]:
O/n: Ruhija Gorilla lodge (Luxury) /Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange) /Ruhija Community Rest Camp (Basic)
Leave the lodge very early after breakfast, proceed to the forest at Ruhija where your birdwatching experience in Bwindi will start off from. The trail head of Ruhija leads through a bamboo forest to the Rwamunyoni peak and Mubwindi swamp where you can watch the Albertine Rift Endemics such as; Blue-headed Sunbird, African Green Broadbill, Short-tailed Warbler, Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Black Bee-eater, Stripe-breasted Tit, Olive Thrush, Yellow Bishop, Collared Apalis, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Regal sunbird and Strange weaver among others.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB]:
O/n: Gorilla Safari lodge (Luxury) /Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) /Rushaga Gorilla Camp (Basic).
Leave the lodge with your lunch boxes, after having breakfast. Proceed to the park area for a birdwatching experience following the waterfall trail in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. This trail leads through thick tracts of rainforest, via river Munyanga leading to three adjoining waterfalls and it’s one of the most excellent trails for birding in the park. Birding here will last about 4 hours, then return to the lodge around Rushaga or Nkuringo area.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB].
O/night: Clouds Mt. Gorilla lodge (Luxury) /Nkuringo Gorilla Camp (Midrange) /Rushaga Gorilla Camp(Basic).
Today you will go birding in the park along the Ivi river trail, leading through a remarkable forest near Nkuringo, and the river. This trail is congregated by a number of water and forest bird species that you will come across. The nature walk takes around 4-6 hours and along this trail, you may also encounter primates and other forest species. Later in the day, transfer northwards to Buhoma area.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB]. O/night: Buhoma lodge (Luxury) /Silverback lodge (Midrange) /Buhoma Ride 4 a Woman (Basic).
Leave the lodge after breakfast, today birding will be done around the Munyanga river trail, in the valley below Buhoma. It is a shorter trail and birding here can last just 2-3 hours. Expect to see species like; the African bulbul, African Blue & White-tailed flycatchers, Bar-tailed trogon, Bee-eaters, Starlings, Short-tailed warbler, Black-billed weaver, Red-headed blue bill, African emerald cuckoo, Barbets, Woodpeckers, African broadbill, Tinker birds, Robin chat among others.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB]. O/n: Buhoma lodge (Luxury) /Silverback lodge (Midrange)/Buhoma Ride 4 a Woman (Basic).
Depart Bwindi Impenetrable early after breakfast, travel northwards, birding all the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park through its southern sector of the Ishasha. Lots of bird species and other wildlife like African Elephants, Waterbucks etc will be seen along the way.
Check-in at the lodge where your overnight stay will be.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB], O/night: Ishasha Wilderness Camp (Luxury) /Ishasha Jungle lodge (Midrange) /Ishasha Ntungwe lodge (Basic).
Leave the lodge after breakfast, hit the savanna plains of the Ishasha sector, for an early birding experience. Classified as an Important Birding Area [IBA] by Birding International, the 1’978 sq.km park is home to a tremendous 600 species of birds. You will browse the Ishasha sector on a safari drive and you may see species like the Palm-nut Vulture, Martial Eagle, the Turacos both Great Blue and Ross’, Long Crested Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, African Wattled Plover, Starlings and many others.
You will go birding all the way northwards of the park around the Lake Edward flats to the Kazinga Channel area.
In the afternoon, you will go for a launch trip along the Kazinga channel, on this 2 hour voyage, you will see lots of wildlife including mammals like Elephants, Hippopotamuses and birds like Marabou Storks, Great White and Pink-Backed Pelicans, various Kingfishers, Open-billed Stork and others.
O/n: Elephant Plains lodge (Luxury) /Buffalo Safari lodge (Mid-range) /Bush lodge (Basic): Meal Plan: Full Board [FB]
Leave the lodge early and go for birding in Maramagambo forest located at the foot of the Kichwamba escarpment. This forest is rich in a number of bird species including the rare ones like the Striking Rwenzori Turaco, White Naped Pigeon, and Forest Flycatcher that you may come across. Visits and/ or hikes to the craters here like Kyasanduke and Nyamusingire (which shelters the African Finfoot) is worth. This reserve forest southwards of the park shelters a Bat cave where you encounter pythons and other birds like the Weavers, Shrikes, Starlings and Bitterns among others. On the roughly 4-5 hour forest walk you encounter other wildlife like primates. Return to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB],
O/n: Kyambura Gorge lodge (Luxury) /Buffalo lodge (Midrange) /Bush lodge (Basic).
Today you will go birdwatching Kyambura Gorge which is also known as the Valley of the Apes. The gorge is home to the Kyambura river which runs all the way to the Kazinga channel and the river attracts seasonal dozens of Flamingos that you may come across in the perfect season. This part of the park offers a great appeal not only for wildlife activities but also the great scenery and atmosphere. Birds like the Blue-headed Bee-eaters, White Napped Pigeons, Black Bee Eater, Papyrus Gonolek and others may be seen.
Later in the afternoon, leave for Kibale Forest national park via Kasese with views of the rugged Rwenzori mountains in the backdrop. On arrival, you will check-in at the lodge where you will have your stay.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB].
O/night: Crater Safari lodge (Luxury) /Primate lodge (Midrange) /Kibale Forest Camp (Basic).
Assemble at the park reception area at Kanyanchu very early after breakfast, this is where you will start off the birding experience in Kibale Forest. On the guided walk through the forest, you will encounter lots of bird species including those that are endemic to the Albertine rift region like the Black-capped Apalis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Dusky-Crimson-wing, and Red-faced Woodland Warbler and other common species here like the Crowned Eagle, Green-breasted Pitter, Egrets, Abyssinian Ground-thrush, Olive-ibis, Spot-breasted Ibis.
In the afternoon after a lunch break, you will go for Chimpanzee tracking within Kibale forest national park. The forest is home to 13 primate species, the common ones being the Chimpanzees and others you may come across like Bush babies, Vervet Monkeys, Blank & White Colobuses among others.
O/night: Crater Safari lodge (Luxury) /Primate lodge (Midrange) /Kibale Forest Camp (Basic). Meal Plan: Full Board [FB]
Have a hearty breakfast, and transfer to Bigodi wetland, a community project managed by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) located just close to the park where you be on a nearly 3-hour guided birding nature walk. Bigodi is situated in the Magombe swamp, which serves as an important wildlife corridor to the park with over 200 recorded bird species. The wetland is mainly known for the Great Blue Turacos hence being regarded as home of “Great Blue Turacos”, lots of birds like Egrets among others will be seen here.
In the afternoon/evening, you will visit some of the craters around Kibale national park.
Meal Plan: Full Board [FB].
O/n: Crater Safari lodge (Luxury) /Primate lodge (Midrange) /Kibale Forest Camp (Basic).
Checkout from the lodge after breakfast, then set off for Kampala, on a journey through this beautiful part of the country spread with green tea fields and rugged photographic landscape. You will have a lunch break en-route then continue to Kampala. Drop off will be at the hotel or at the airport in Entebbe for your flight home.
Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch. End of Safari
Note: Tour Starts and Ends in Kampala/ Airport || Book flights departing after 2000hrs
*Park entrance fees and All activity fees unless labeled as optional
*Chimpanzee tracking permit in Kibale
*Professional English Speaking guide/driver
*Ground Transportation in 4X4 Safari vehicle
*Round trip Airport/ Hotel transfers
*Accommodation during the tour + Bed & Breakfast Accommodation on day of Arrival
*Drinking mineral water in the car and Meals as the itinerary describes
*AMREF Air Ambulance
*Tourist Visa fees (visa can be arranged on request)
*Post Tour Accommodation [can be arranged on request if necessary]
*Airline ticket [can be arranged on request]
*Tips, Gratuities and expenses of personal nature
*Foods and beverages outside the meal plan
*Personal travel insurance
*Gorilla tracking permit (can be arranged on request)