One for the birding enthusiasts, this fantastic Uganda safari itinerary will take you to discover Uganda’s very best birding destinations. Home to over 1000 different species of birds, Uganda holds many delights for birdwatchers, who can expect to encounter everything from shoebills and swamp flycatchers in the wetlands, to African piculets and yellow-throated cuckoos in the grasslands. Co...
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Welcome to the pearl of Africa! Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be greeted by a representative for your transfer to the Boma Guesthouse (5 to 10 minute drive) for your included overnight stay. Enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep in this tastefully restored colonial homestead in preparation for the adventures that lie ahead.
Overnight stay at the Boma Guesthouse with breakfast included.
The first day of your Uganda birding itinerary will see you rising early to meet your driver at the hotel and settle into your 4wd land cruiser for your 6-7 hour journey to the stunning Murchison Falls National Park, the most beautiful protected area in Uganda. The scenery along the way will simply astound, so sit back and relax as your English-speaking guide leads you through Uganda’s diverse landscape. We will make a stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for lunch and arrive at Budongo Forest, in the southern part of the national park, by mid-afternoon. After settling into your accommodation at the Budongo Eco Lodge you can enjoy the first of many birding excursions as we take a guided forest walk in search of Uganda’s rich birdlife.
2 nights accommodation at Budongo Eco Lodge with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest and most beautiful protected area in Uganda and its most striking feature is the electrifying sight of the waterfall after which the park is named. Yet it’s not just the waterfall that attracts visitors to this remarkable area. With a diverse landscape of dense woodlands in the south and green grasslands in the north, the park harbours one of the most varied wildlife populations in East Africa and is the country’s premier site for birdwatchers.
Today will be a full day dedicated to birding in Budongo Forest Reserve in search of its 360 different recorded species. Famous for its biodiversity, Budongo Forest offers many delights for birding enthusiasts including the rare Puvel’s Illadopses which is an endemic species to this area. Other species include the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Chestnut Crowned Eremomera, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Yellow-browned Camaroptera, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Slender-billed Greenbul, Green Crombec and Forest Robin amongst many, many more.
Leaving Murchison Falls National Park behind we depart after breakfast and head towards Fort Portal. Today’s drive will take approximately 8 hours with a stop en route for lunch. The lovely town of Fort Portal rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon and is famous for its many tea plantations. Enjoy a delicious dinner and an evening of relaxation in preparation for more birding tomorrow.
Overnight stay at Mountains of the Moon Hotel with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After breakfast this morning we will drive to Semliki National Park for a full morning of birding. As we drive along the scenic, winding roads through green mountains you will see magnificent views of the River Semliki and Congo. Upon arrival at the park we will begin our search for the more than 400 different bird species that have been recorded in this protected area including many West Africa forest species such as four different hornbill species that are seen nowhere else in Uganda. Other endemics seen here include the Red Rumped Tinker Bird and Palm Greenbul.
In the afternoon we will drive back through Fort Portal and on towards the dense forest of Kibale National Park.
2 nights accommodation at the Forest cottages of Primate Lodge Kibale with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After breakfast this morning we will head off for an exploration of the crater lakes to enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and stunning views. At Lake Nkuruba you can take a gentle hike in search of the numerous bird species found here before returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch we will explore a different terrain entirely as we search through the wetlands of the Bigodi Swamp to discover its more than 200 species of recorded birds including the popular Great Blue Turaco.
Alternatively, if you fancy something very different today then you can partake in an included chimp tracking excursion in Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa, and is renowned as being the very best place to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat. After a pre-tracking briefing you will begin your hike into the forest to visit a large habituated family of chimps that consists of over 120 individuals. Along the way you are likely to spot some of the forest’s fascinating residents including other primates and bird species such as the blue breasted Kingfisher, black billed Turaco, Pied Hornbill, Chestnut winged Starlings, and your informative guide will tell you all there is to know about this beautiful forest and its unique flora and fauna.
Upon sighting the chimpanzees you will have an hour to observe them, soaking up their captivating behaviour as they climb through the trees, groom, growl, feed, and take care of their young. An unforgettable experience that will no doubt leave a lasting impression.
After breakfast at the lodge you will set off for the next stop on your itinerary, Queen Elizabeth National Park. Your journey will take in the region of 3 hours across the majestic foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, also known as the “Mountains of the Moon”.
The remarkably scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park’s landscape is as diverse as its abundant wildlife population, with its green savannah plains with small acacia and euphorbia trees giving way to sunken crater lakes and swamps, bounded by the snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. Home to 95 different species of mammals including lions, elephants, Uganda Kobs, elephants, hippos and crocodiles, the area also has the highest number of bird species found in any national park in Africa with over 600 having been recorded.
Upon arrival at the Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge you can enjoy a tasty lunch before setting off on the first game drive of your itinerary in search of a variety of wildlife including warthogs, buffaloes, waterbucks, elephants and a multitude of birds.
2 nights accommodation at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today we will arise early to enjoy an early morning game drive to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. This is not only an area for excellent game viewing, but also offers much to birders, with its open grassy plains supporting large flocks of White and Abdims Stork as well as the spectacular Saddle Billed Stork during the migratory season.
In the afternoon you can enjoy a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a natural channel between Lake Edward and Lake George, to see the hundreds of hippos and elephants that reside here. We are also likely to see many migratory bird species, such as the Grey headed Gulls, African skimmers, Water Dikkops and the Great White and Pink-Backed Pelicans.
As we approach the closing stages of your fantastic Uganda birding tour we will head back east towards Kampala for one final adventure. The journey to Kampala will take approximately 7 hours, with a stop at the equator for lunch, some souvenir shopping and some photo opportunities. Late in the afternoon you will arrive at the Cassia Lodge for your final night in Uganda.
Overnight accommodation at Cassia Lodge with breakfast and lunch.
After breakfast it will be time for your last adventure as your driver collects you to take you to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork and you can be very hopeful of a sighting or 2. As well as the distinctive Shoebill there are many other species to keep the cameras and binoculars busy including Allen’s Gallinule, Grey herons, African Water Rail, Goliath, Purple and a variety of egrets and ducks, and you can enjoy canoeing through the swamp in search of sightings of these. When your birding activity has come to end your driver will transfer you back to Entebbe International Airport for your homeward or onward flights.
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