18 DAYS - FOREST BIRDING & GORILLA TRACKING
This expedition enables you explore Uganda’s forests watching birds. It will climax in gorilla tracking in Bwindi – though optional. You will visit Entebbe botanical gardes - Mabamba swamp – Budongo forest – kibale – Semuliki – Maramagambo – Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi.
Day 1: Entebbe Botanical gardens
- Take the opportunity to bird the Entebbe botanical gardens
- The gardens host a variety of open country and woodland species which include: Orange weaver, Red chested sunbird, Verreaux’s Eagle –owl, slender-billed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Sedge Warbler, Giant kingfisher, Great Reed Warbler, Pied Hornbill, Great blue Turaco and Ross’s Turaco among others.
Day 2: Mabamba swamp
- Leave your hotel early morning and head for Mabamba swamp with your packed lunch. Bird the swamp, be on the lookout for the rare shoebill stock!
- Later, you will transfer to Mpanga forest. This forest is stunning patch of remnant medium altitude evergreen and swamp forest. Look out for Blue –breasted kingfisher, weyn’s Weaver, White-spotted Fluff tail, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Grey Parrot, Lemon Dove, Black –billed Turaco, Fire-crested Alethe, Anowy-headed Robi –chat, Dusky Long – tailed Cuckoo, Hair- breasted Barbet, Woodland Warbler, Olive Greenbul, Sooty Boubou. You may also meet the shy Bush Pig.
- Drive back to Kampala for overnight stay
Day 3: Kampala – Budongo Forest
- Set off for Budongo forest with several stops for birds on the way. Look out for the White-crested Turaco, Ross’s Turaco and White – crested Helmet – shrike
- Stop at Masindi Hotel for lunch. Proceed to Budongo Nyabyeya Guest House
- Evening birding may produce Bat Hawk, Black shouldered Nightjar, white-crested Turaco, Crowned Eagle and African Wood-owl.
Day 4: Budongo Forest
- After an early breakfast, start birding at the Royal Mile. This is home to very rare Nahan’s Francolin
- Look for Banded snake-eagle, African Pied Hornbill, Brown- backed Scrub –robin, Black bishop, Brown Twinsport, Black-bellied Firefinch, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Whitethighed Hornbill, Yellow –billed Barbet, Spotted Greenbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Slender-billed Greenbul, Black-cappedApalis, Lemon –bellied Crombec, Green Hylia,Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Forest Flycather, Fire-crested Alethe, Yellow Longbill, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Crowned eagle, Yellow-footed Flycather, African Dwarf Kingfisher
- As you bird, bear in mind that this forest is also home to Chimpanzees
- Return to Nyabyeya Guest House for overnight stay
Day 5: Budongo forest
- Set off after an early breakfast for the Budongo sector for a whole day birding
- Expect to see chimps, baboons, Ituri Batis, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Forest Francolin, Yellow and Grey Long bills, Yellow spotted Barbet, Red-tailed Antthrush, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo and many other forest species
- Drive to Masindi for overnight
Day 6: Budongo forest
- Start early with packed breakfast and drive to Kanio Pabide section for birding and chimpanzee tracking
- Special birds here include: the Puvell’s Illadopsis, Crowned Eagle, White – crested Turaco, Afep Pigeon, Yellow –rumped Tinkerbird, Ross’sTuraco, Narina’s Trogon, Red –tailed Antthrush, Rufous-sided Broadbill and baboons
- Return in the evening to Masindi Hotel
Day 7&8: Budongo- Kibale
- Start early and set off for Kibale forest National Park. Most of this park is rainforest and is home to over 9 species of Primates. These include Chimpanzees, Red Colubus monkey, Grey cheeked Mangabey, Red-tailed Monkey and galagos. The forest is also home to Scaly Francolin, Marsh Tchangra, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Green-backed Twinspot, Bicolored Mannikin, White-napped Pigeon, Afep Pigeon, Narina’s Trogon, Joyful Greenbul, Olive Long tailed Cuckoo, the superb Black Bee-eater and many others. A nature walk at Bigodi Wetland will be a good afternoon’s birding. This is home to Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Scaly-throated Honey guide and Black-faced Rufous Warbler. Overnight at Primate Lodge.
Day 9: Kibale – Semuliki
- Set off early morning with your packed lunch for Semuliki Forest. This forest is a moist semi-deciduous forest that is home to Spot-breasted Ibis, Northern Bearded Scrub-robin, Capuchin Babbler, Lyre-tailed Honey guide, Yellow-throated Green Cuckoo, White –bellied Kingfisher, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Black-winged oriole, Red –eyed Puffback, crested and Red –bellied Malimbe, Brown-crowned Eremomela, Zenker’s Honeyguide and African Piculet.
- Overnight stay at Semuliki Lodge
Day 10: Whole day birding in the Semuliki Forest
Day 11: Semuliki – Maramagambo forest
- Start at dawn and head for Maramagambo forest west of Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Key bird species here include: the Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Black-headed bats, Brubru, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Bat Hawk, Red –tailed Bristle bill, African Hobby, African Green Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, African Fin foot and many others.
Day 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Whole day birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park. In the afternoon, enjoy birding on the boat trip along the Kazinga channel which joins Lakes Edward and George.
Day 13: Queen – Bwindi
- Transfer southwards to the home of the giant cousins for human beings
- Bwindi Impenetrable forest is an Afro montane lowland forest within the montane – one of the few in Africa. Birding begins early in the morning with the early risers at the luxury bush camp.
- After breakfast, carry a picnic lunch for a whole day birding in the only natural forest in the area
- There are about 300 recorded bird species. These include red-throated Alethe, Equatorial Akalat, Forest Robin, Montane Oriole, Grey throated Barbet, hairy breasted barbet, African Broadbill, Black bee-eater, Pale-breasted illadopsis, Narina’s Trogon, Pettit’s Cuckooshrike, Black-faced Rufous Warbler and many other forest varieties.
- Return for dinner and overnight at the camp
Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable NP – gorilla tracking
Many birders who have been to this forest have also expressed interest in tracking mountain gorillas in their jungle homes. Have this optional day for gorilla tracking. Have your picnic lunch in the forest and enjoy these forest giants
Day 15, 16 & 17: Bwindi swamp – Ruhija
- Depart at dawn for a 50km drive to the highest peak of the forest – Ruhija
- You may make several stops and suitable birding sites and watch rare species such as: White stared Robin, Grey Cuckooshrike, Strange Weaver, Banded Prinia, Brown -chested Alethe, Slender billed Greenbul, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, White-browed Crombec, Mountain Illadopsis among many other of the 345 recorded species in this Park.
- Go ahead to Bwindi swamp and bird there. You will have an opportunity to bird in the bamboo zone as well.
- You may camp at Ruhija camp ground.
Day 18: Ruhija -Kampala
- After your breakfast, drive back to Kampala
- You will have your lunch at Igongo cultural center – Mbarara.
- Arrival to Kampala in the evening.