17 Days Rwanda Uganda Birding & Wildlife Photography

Tour overview

This birding safari will take you to the most famous birding destinations in both Uganda and Rwanda. It will take you to Nyungwe national park of Rwanda which has got over 275 bird species, to Volcanoes national park with over 256 species, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale National park of Uganda, Murchison falls national park and the Masindi Area with lots of birding safaris.

Tour highlights

Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport

Day 2: Birding in Nyungwe Forest National park.

Day 3: spend the whole day birding in Nyungwe forest

Day 4: Bird from Nyungwe to Volcanoes National park for mountain trekking & bird species

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in the park

Day 6: Bird towards Queen Elizabeth National park

Day 7: Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 8: Birding towards Kibale National Park

Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking

Day 10: Birding in Kinbale National park

Day 11: Birding in Masindi Area

Day 12: spend the whole day birding in Budongo Forest

Day 13: Birding in Budongo Forest and the Kaniyo Pabidi

Day 14: Birding to Murchison falls national park

Day 15: Bird watching in Murchison falls national park

Day 16: Transfer to Entebbe

Day 17: Departure

Detailed Itinerary                              

Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport

Upon your arrival at Kigali international airport, the company representative will pick you and also welcome you to Rwanda, he will then transfer you to Nyungwe national park which is also a birding paradise.

Dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge/ Nyungwe hill top lodge/ Gisakura Guest House- FB

Day 2: Birding in Nyungwe Forest National park.

Nyungwe forest is located in south west of the country of Rwanda and it’s between Lake Kivu and the border with Burundi. Nyungwe is also divided into north and south by a line of the mountains that reach over 2,600 to 2, 900m and it forms part of the Congo Nile watershed. More so, Nyungwe is also comprised of two areas that differ in penology         , the water flow, vegetation and the biodiversity.

 

This fantastic birding area also lies in west of Butare with the Butare to Cyangugu road passing through the middle, and provides the outstanding roadside birding. There is a total of 275 bird species and have been recorded in Nyungwe, that reflects an extensive habitant diversity and the altitudinal range. These also include all the 25 species of the albertine Rift mountain endemic bird area which occurs in Rwanda, the Chapin;s Flycatcher and the Rockefeller’s sun bird which are both globally threatened, restricted range as well as biome restricted. More so, 11 of 23 species of the Guinea Congo forests biome and the 71 of the 74 species of the biome of the afro tropical highlands which happen in Rwanda that have been recorded at the site. In general, Nyungwe forest is surely the most vital forest for the conservation of montane birds in the region.

We shall have an early breakfast and then start from Uwinka for the albertine Rift endemic birds search. Among these birds are the White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, Rockefeller’s Sunbird, Kivu Ground-Thrushm, Mountain Masked Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, few Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Red- throated Alethe, Stripe-breasted Tit, Black-faced Apalis, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Mountain Greenbul, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Northern Puffback, White-starred Robin, Thick-billed Seedeater, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Hill-babbler, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Great Blue Turaco, Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori Turaco, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Handsome Francolin, Streaky Seedeater, and the sun bird Regal sun bird.

Dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge/ Nyungwe hill top lodge/ Gisakura Guest House- FB

Day 3: spend the whole day birding in Nyungwe forest

We shall also look for species that we had missed the previous day, we shall also tick off the Mountain sooty Boubou, the rwenzori Batis, yellow eyed black fly catcher, Rwenzori batis, the sharpe’s starling, blue headed sunbird, the white tailed blue flycatcher, Dusky Tit, the evergreen forest Warbler, the Bronze Mannikin, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Neumann’s Warbler, White-bellied Robin-chat, Mountain Wagtail, Equatorial Akalat, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Kungwe Apalis, Siffling Cisticola, Blue-headed Sunbird, Black Cuckoo, and many more. We shall also try out our luck and then listen at night fall for the famous Rwenzori Nightjar and the Albertine Owlet as well as the Red chested Owlet.

Dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge/ Nyungwe hill top lodge/ Gisakura Guest House- FB

Day 4: Bird from Nyungwe to Volcanoes National park for mountain trekking & bird species

Have breakfast and then start your journey to Volcanoes national park, you will also bird along the way and view many bird species. On arrival, you will check in at the Lodge and relax for the afternoon.

Dinner and Overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge/ Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge/Kinigi Guest House.

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in the park

The major activity here is mountain Gorilla trekking. These are the largest living primates and the world’s most endangered apes in an estimated population of the 800 that are left in the wild of the whole world and none in zoos. This specie was not known to the scientist until 1902. These are the next closest living relatives to the human beings after the chimpanzee species, sharing 97% of the DNA with us. Once you find these species, you will be given 1 hour to spend with them and take some photos and view them as they look after their young ones.

Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge/ Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge/Kinigi Guest House.

Day 6: Bird towards Queen Elizabeth National park

On this day, we shall continue to Queen Elizabeth National park which is Uganda’s famous game reserve and one that is so scenic. It also expanses from the crater filled foot hills of the Rwenzori ranges in the north along the shores of Lake Edward to the distant Ishasha River in the south, joining a many habitants that range from the open savannah to the rain forest, dense papyrus swamps and the ominous crater lakes to the massiveness of Lake George. All these qualify it a small wonder that has the highest biodiversity conservation reserve in the world.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya safari lodge/Enganzi Lodge/ Simba safari Camp-FB

Day 7: Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Very early in the morning, we shall go for birding on a game drive for more of the savannah species and later in the afternoon, we shall take the boat cruise on Kazinga channel for the waterfowl like the African skimmer, the great white and pink backed pelicans, the yellow billed stilt, collared particle, the water thick knee, the black headed, the grey headed, ducks, the slender billed gulls grebes and many more.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya safari lodge/Enganzi Lodge/ Simba safari Camp-FB

 

Day 8: Birding towards Kibale National Park

After having breakfast, you set off for Kibale Forest national park and along the way, you will expect to view the yellow-mantled Widowbird, the Fan-tailed Widowbird, the Black and Black-winged Red Bishops, Little Swifts, the African Palm, Pigeons, Bulbul, the Lesser-stripped and Angola Swallows plus many more.

Dinner and overnight at Ndali Safari Lodge/Primate Lodge/ Kibale Forest Camp- FB

Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking

The known common chimpanzee species are also found here and are the closest relatives in the primate world, there are over 600 of them that call Kibale a home. This tracking activity also starts at exactly 8:00 as you report to the ranger station for your briefing. There are many other primate species that are found in the area and some of them include the monkeys, like the vervet monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys, there are also many other wildlife species available here.

Dinner and overnight at Ndali Safari Lodge/Primate Lodge/ Kibale Forest Camp- FB

Day 10: Birding in Kinbale National park

We shall then head to the forest in the morning for the search of the green breasted pitta and many other species including; Brown-chested Alethe, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Black Bee-eater, Ashy Flycatcher, Black-and-white Mannikin, Black-headed Oriole, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-billed Turaco, Alpine Swift, Barn Swallow, Black-crowned Tchagra, Black Cuckoo, Black-necked Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, African Dusky Flycatcher, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, African Blue Flycatcher,Brown Illadopsis, African Green-pigeon, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turaco, Black-headed Weaver, African/Western Citril, Black-throated Apalis, Blue-throated Roller, Bocage’ Bush-shrike, Bronze Mannikin, Zebra Waxbill, Bronze Sunbird, and many more.

Dinner and overnight at Ndali Safari Lodge/Primate Lodge/ Kibale Forest Camp- FB

Day 11: Birding in Masindi Area

This day, we shall bird to Masindi through the gate way of Budongo that has got a productive birdlife with the two species of the birds limited to it in East Africa. More so 10 of the 22 species of the Sudan Guinea savannah biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea- Congo forests biome which occurs in Uganda.

Overnight at Masindi Hotel

Day 12: spend the whole day birding in Budongo Forest

We will bird the Royal mile and many other trails for the whole day, we shall also look for the globally endangered species including; the Nahan’s Francolin and pavel’s Illadopsis and many other species. The other species include; Chocolate–backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, the Yellow-billed Barbet, White Wagtail, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Bronze Mannikin, Black-billed Bluebill, Black-crowned Waxbill, Black-winged Red Bishop, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Citril, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, African Paradise Flycatcher, Black-headed Gonolek, Purple Starling,Red-headed Weaver, Grey-throated Barbet, Honeyguide Greenbul, Little Crake, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, African Moustached Warbler, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Spectacled Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Compact Weaver, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Northern Puffback, , Tropical Boubou, Isabelline Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Western Violet-backed Sunbird and many more.

Dinner and overnight at Masindi Hotel

Day 13: Birding in Budongo Forest and the Kaniyo Pabidi

You will have breakfast and then proceed to Budongo Forest as well as the Kaniyo Pabidi, you will also view may bird species as above and then retire at the lodge for your dinner.

Dinner and overnight at Masindi Hotel.

Day 14: Birding to Murchison falls national park

Have breakfast and after bird Murchison falls national park, we shall also look out for the yellow rumped and foxy cisticola, the yellow fronted tinker birds, the Foxy Cisticola, Black Bishop, Black-winged Red Bishops, Black-crowned Tchagras, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, White-headed Barbet, Tropical Boubou, the Grey-crowned, Yellow-rumped and the Stripped Kingfisher, then after we shall proceed to the top of the falls and then retire at the lodge.

Dinner and overnight at paara safari Lodge/ Murchison River Lodge/Red chilli lodge-FB

Day 15: Bird watching in Murchison falls national park

On this day, we shall have game drive as we bird in searching for the giant , Malachite, stripped chestnut- billied, the woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, Blue-breasted, Lesser Stripped Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Pied Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Whinchat, Black-lored and Brown Babblers, Woodland and House Martin, Lesser Honeyguide, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Greenbul, Ethiopian Swallow, African Rock Martin, Angola Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, , Common Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits, the Arrow-marked, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Black Scimitarbill, Green Wood Hoopoe, a number of Buzzards, Barbets, Rollers, Harriers, Vultures, Eagles, Bee-eaters, Warblers, and so forth.The Mighty Murchison Falls.

Later in the afternoon, we shall go for the launch cruise on the Victoria Nile for the waterfowl among the species includes; Allen’s Gallinule, Shoebill Stork, the Spur-winged Gooses, Open-billed, Southern Pochard, African Pygmy, Yellow-billed, Marabou, the Wooly-necked, Green Backed Heron, Black-crowned Crane, Great White Egret, Night Heron, Goliath Heron,  Purple Heron , Eurasian Spoonbills, African Crake, the elusive Little Grebe, Great White and the Pink-backed Pelicans, Red-knobbed Coot, African Water Rail, Black Crake, The Egyptian, and Storks like; the Saddle-billed, Abdim’s, White, and the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Black Heron, , Common Squacco Heron, Cormorants, the African and the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover the list is very long.

Dinner and overnight at paara safari Lodge/ Murchison River Lodge/Red chilli lodge-FB

Day 16: Transfer to Entebbe

Have breakfast and then start your journey back to Kampala. You will also view many birds as you travel back to Kampala. The guide will take you to your lodge to relax.

Overnight at Traveller’s Inn/ Laico Lake Victoria Hotel/The Lodge

Day 17: Departure

This will be the last day of the safari and the guide will pick you from your hotel and then transfer you back to the airport to catch your flight.