22 Day Birding safari in Rwanda & Uganda

Tour overview

Even though other many East African Countries are so famous for wildlife tours, many of the naturalists argue that Uganda and Rwanda also offer an adventure that is more varied, exceptional and breathtaking. To the larger extent, the mountain gorillas might be the most exciting wildlife meeting that the African continent has to offer and the two countries that we are featuring this time that is known for attractive birding meetings and the eternal scenery. The tour will take you to the valley of the upper Nile in Murchison falls National Park, and the largest savannah of queen Elizabeth National park and many smaller sanctuaries that protect the lakes, rain forests, volcanic landscapes which have many species of primates, plants, birds, and many other animals than any comparable region on the continent.

The main goal here on this tour is to adventure and also understand the richness within the company of an exceptional naturalist guide, Moses, this person knows almost all the birds by vocalization and the sight as well as the excellent vision for finding the far mammals. He is also a charismatic leader who is known and represented throughout Rwanda and Uganda. In two weeks’ time, we shall have sampled all the main habitants of Rwanda and Uganda. Our emphasis will be on viewing and photo graphing as many birds and animals as possible. We shall also enjoy the hospitality of many friendly people that represent different tribes that will host the stay. You can also accept early morning starts and the chance to adventure on foot the small lodges and hotels that are sited close to this interesting natural areas. Many tourists visit Uganda and Rwanda usually focus on the locations where the mountain gorillas occur. We will also have chance to view some gorillas that are close up, and the main emphasis will be the active adventure of your naturalist guide’s favorite sanctuary haunts of many other bird species and the animals.

On this safari to Uganda and Rwanda, you are going to get it all, the wildlife, birds, the scenery, beautiful and the different cultures of the major tribes that settles in these two small countries we shall be crossing and we promise the best adventure!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: arrival

Upon your arrival, the guide will welcome and will transfer you to your booked hotel to relax after a long journey.

Dinner and Overnight the Lodge/ Traveler’s inn guest House-BB

Day 2: Birding in Mabamba and Botanical Gardens

On this day, we shall have a good introduction to the birds of Uganda. We then start in the morning and visit theMabamba bay that is so important birding area. The main search today will focus mainly on the shoebill stork, which is one of the threatened species in Africa. The other birds to watch out for include; Rufus Bellied Heron, Pygmy and Spur Winged Goose, Reed Warbler(s), the African, Lesser Jacana and African Marsh Harrier, the Purple Swamphen, and these will depend on the month you visit. In the afternoon depends on your wish and the choice of birding time, we drive to Entebbe and then visit Botanical gardens. It also gives us fantastic birding and it has three habitants including the grassland, forest and water. We shall also look out for birds like; Broad Billed Roller, Scarlet Chested, Black Headed, Golden Backed Weaver, Red Chested Cuckoo, Grey Woodpecker, Green Throated, Copper Sunbird, Red Chested, African Grey Parrots, Klaas’s, Diederick, Slender Billed, the Great Blue, Collard, and Orange, Spotted Backed, Ross’s Turaco and these are the family of the birds known to Africa and so rewarding to any birder. The Giant kingfisher is also one of the biggest sightings that we look forward to here. Later w drive to our lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Birding towards Murchison falls

This day, we shall drive north and then see the beauty of Uganda, in this place, the ecosystem changes and we get exposed to many different spp enroute like the Bronze tailed, lesser and the greater blue eared starlings that are difficulty but so personal calls help in their identification. Some of the bird species found here include; White Crested Turaco,  African Moustached Warbler, Blue Spotted Wood-dove, Brown Parrot, the seasonal Lesser Grey Shrike , Black Billed, Yellow Bellied Hyliota, Grey and Nubian Woodpecker, Grey Headed Olive Back, African Harrier Hawk, Fantailed Widowbird, Little Sparrow – Hawk, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, African Morning, Brown Twinspot, Ring Necked, Red Eyed, White Mannikin, Green Backed Eremomela, Black Winged-bishop, and African Thrush, White Chinned Prinia, Black and, and Loughing Dove plus many other species of birds. Later on, we shall arrive at Murchison whith a great visit to the top of the falls and after check in to the lodge for dinner and overnight

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

Day 4: Birding in the Northern part of Murchison falls & a boat Ride

Have breakfast, we shall do birding on the northern bank of Murchison falls to look out for both the birds and the game , among these are the ; Whistling, Croaking, Abyssanian Ground Hornbill,  Red Shouldered Cuckoos-Shrike, Beautiful Sunbird, the Grey Headed, Woodland Kingfisher, White Fornted Black Chat, Siffling Cisiticola, Rattling, Yellow Billed, African Quail Finch, Stanley’s Bustard, Sooty Chat, Black Billed Baerbet, Northern Carmine, Foxy, Singing, Zitting, Rufous Crowned Roller, Grey Backed Shrike, Vitteline Masked Weaver, Little and the seasonal Eurosian, Spotted Morning Thrush, Abyssinian and Swallow Tailed, Blue Chestnut Crowned Sparrow-weavers, Striped and, and Black Bellied and Wood Chat and Cheeked and Olive bee-eater.White-browed ands, White Headed Buffalo Weaver, Speckle Fronted Weaver, Rufaous Sparrow, Superb Starling and many more bird species. This Morning some of the mammals to be seen alongside the birding will be the Girrafe, Cape Buffalo, African Elephant, Jackson’s Heartbeast, Oribi, Bohor Reedbuck, Bush and Water Buck, Jackal, Lion, Hyeane and with big luck the Leopard. In the afternoon the cruise to the bottom of the falls exposes us to lots of water birds like the Saddle Billed, Yellow Billed and African Open Billed Stork, lots of different Kingfishers and large schools of Hipos and Nile Crocs. We shall then get back to Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Birding to Masindi

We shall start early in the morning and then bird towards Masindi via Kaniyo abidi which is also part of the Budongo forest reserve, an area with mammoth diversity of fauna and flora. The forest is also cress crossed with good maintained network of forest trails making it so doable to adventure the dense forest with its fantastic diversity in different ways and this will give us the best sighting for the puvel’s illadopsis which is a shy and secretive dull brown bird, the other species also include; the shaggy-crested Guineafawl, Blue Breasted and Pygmy Kingfisher, Chocolate Backed, Narina Tragon , the Grey and Yellow Lobgbill, Fire Crested Alethe, Yellow Spotted Barbet, Yellow Billed, Grey Throated, on arrival, we shall check in at the lodge and then stay there for two nights.

Day 6: Bird along the Royal Mile and Busingiro Forest

On this day, we have a birding tour to the above two famous sites within the Murchison falls conservation area. We also shall start so early and then continue to the royal mile were many ceremonies of the Bunyoro kingdom took place before it was a conservation area.  On the way, we shall have biding stopovers in order to look out for birds like the Brown Twinspot, Grey Headed Olive Back, Black Bellied Fire Finch, Dark Capped Yellow Warbler, Cabanis’s Bunting, the Singing Cisiticola, Firest Warbler, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Blue Breasted, Dwarf, Dusky Longtailed Cuckoo, White Spotted Greenbul, Rufous Crowned Eremomela, Western Black Headed Oriole, Red Headed Malimbe, Chectnut Capped, Yellow Crested Woodpecker, Chocolate Backed Kingfisher, Pygmy and Blue Throated Roller, and Ituri Batis. We shall then drive to Busingiro as we look out for bird species that might have been missed at the royal mile and then later back to Masindi for your dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Transfer to Kibale Forest National park

We shall then drive as we bird to Kibale forest. We leave Masindi with a picniv lunch that we shall enjoy as we travel. We shall view some birds on the stopovers and the birds that we shall see include; Joyfull Greenbul, Brown and Western Banded Snake Eagle, the Little Sparrow Hawk, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Grey Throated Barbet, African Emerald Spotted Cuckoo, Olive Longtailed Cuckoo, White Breasted Nigrofinch, and many more. Later, we shall continue and check in at the hotel.

Day 8: Bird & have optional chimpanzee trekking in Kibale

On this day, we have an optional chimp tacking. These close cousins of ours the chimps live in complex societies, like the community of humans, these have the ability to solve hard problems, there are also able to make and bring into the play tools, also engage in complex social interactions and also communicate though many sounds and the gestures. When you meet the chimps, you may inspect the many behaviors. It’s also worth watching they interact, play with one another. The main bids found here include the green breasted Pitta which is a very un common bird and is restricted to the forest interiors. We shall also see the Afican broadbill, Red Tailed Ant-Thrush, and Flycatcher Thrush and many more. We later get back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 9: Birding to Semliki National Park

Today, we have optional birding in case we stayed around the park and then after transfer to semliki national park. The common birds here include; the brightly colored waxbills at the ark edges. We look out for the Melba Finch, Orange Cheekec Waxbill, Black Dwarf, Pipping, the Golden Backed Pytilia, Brown Backed Scrub Robin, Marsh Tchagra, the Red Billed Dwarf, Black Wattled Casqued Hornbill and many more. We then continue and spend the night in Bundibugyo.

Day 10: Bird watching in Semliki

This day, we start so early and then visit the Kirumia trail, in case the weather is good, we have also registered here the fantastic birding with Guinea- Congolian biome species, we shall look out for many birds including; Grants Bluebill, Crested and Blue Billed Malimbe, Maxwell’s Weaver, Black Casqued Wattled-Hornbill, Roufous Sided, African Broadbill, Green Throated Cuckoo,the Afrian Piculet, White Crested, Pipping, Black Billed Dwarf, and Eastern Bearded Greenbul, Black Billed Turaco, African Pitta, Blue Throated Roller, Yellow Throated Nicator, Chestnut Bellied Nigrofinch, Western Bronze Naped Pigion, Orange Cheeked Waxbill and many more.

Day 11: Birding & Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

This day, we can also have a mix of birding and culture. We shall visit the male and female hot spring in the Sempaya area of Semliki. You will look out for birds and the famous debrazza monkey that in habits this low land tropical rain forest. We have much chances of catching up with more Guinea- Congolian biome bird species that might have been missed on the Kirumia trail. We shall later continue and check in at the lodge.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/Enganzi Lodge/Mweya Hostel

Day 12: Birding in the Morning & Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel

This is also the second largest national park and has got over 612 bird species. On a good day, we have records of over 150 bird spp. We shall start so early and then bird through the large vast grassland that looks out for the rarity bird spp within there, for example; White Browed Coucal, Black and Golden Weaver, Grey Kestral, the African Moustached Warbler, Rufous Napped Lark, Crimson Rumped Waxbill, Flappet, Red Capped and Grassland, Black Headed Gonolek, Common and Blue Quail, Thick Billed Pipit, Plain Backed and Black-Chinned Quail Finch, White, Southern Red Bishop, Browed Robinchat, African Crake, Temminck’s Couser and many more other grassland birds. Today we have a boat ride along the natural Kazinga channel which takes us close to lots of water birds among which we shall see the Goliath Heron, Black Crake, African Spoonbill, African Jacana, Collard Pratincole, Great White and Yellow Billed Egret, Squacco Heren and many more. You will get back to the lodge fo dinner and overnight.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/Enganzi Lodge/Mweya Hostel

Day 13: Birding to Bwindi impenetrable National park

This birding safari will take you to Rwanda and we head towards the gorilla sanctuary in Bwindi.this is also a home to half of the remaining population of the endangered mountain gorillas. We also have two optional routes that lead us there. One through the southern part of the park called Ishasha that is very famous for the tree climbing lions. This is also a sole encounter meeting these predators in the trees, the sector is also a good for savannah birding and always gives good sightings of the African cuckoo-Hawk, Red Faced Crombec, Bateleur, Hooded, the African Cuckoo-hawk, Commom Scimiterbill, African Cuckoo, Black Bellied Bustard, Lappet Faced and White Backed Vulture. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the Ishasha river where we can view the black bee eater and then to Bwindi.

 

Day 14& 15: Birding in Buhoma & optional gorilla tracking

We shall have two days, one with optional visit to the endangered mountain gorillas. Tracking them also starts where they were left the past day and then may take 30 minutes to reach them or the whole day. The activity is conducted by qualified, patient and knowledgeable ranger guides with experience in natural history with attention to gorilla behavior. Meeting them and viewing them play is so amazing. The other option of the day takes us for bird watching and the species include; Little Grey, Plain, the Red-Tailed, Cabanis’s, Shelley’s, Yellow Whiskered, the toro olive bird spp found here also include; Yellow Billed and Grey Throated Barbet,Yellow Spotted, Red Faced Woodland Warbler which is one of the albertine rift endemics and these are easily seen . the other species also include; Dusky Long Tailed Cuckoo, Red Throated Alethe, Yellow Bill, the white bellied as well as the equatorial Akalat , the grey winged and the blue shouldered Robin Chat, the vanga flycatcher, Black Faced Rufous Warbler, African Shrike and Vanga Flycatcher, Blue Shoulderd Robin Chat, Pink Footed and Northern Puffbuck, Elliot’s and Buff Bellied Woodpecker, Buff Throated, Grey and Black Throated Apalis, the White Bellied and Equatorial Akalat an Red Capped. After we go back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 16: Birding to Ruhija sector

We shall today start in the morning as we bird walk to try and find what we would have missed and after transfer to Rujhija as well bird en route.  Some of the bird species include; Tropical Boubou, Augar Buzzard, Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, the Macknon’s Fiscal, Black Faced Rufous Warbler, Barred and Dusky Long Tailed Cuckoo, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Mountain Buzzard and Wagtail, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Chestnut Throated Apalis, Western Bronze Naped Pigoen, Stripe Breasted Tit, Streaky Seed-Eater, White Eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Ducky Tit, Ludhur’s and the White Starred Robin. Later return to the lodge for an overnight and dinner.

Day 17: Birding to Mubwindi swamp

In the morning, we shall bird to the No .1 African best birding spot according to African Bird Club. The elevation here is also higher that where we have done bird watching before. This means that there are excellent bird spp and most of the high altitude.  These species include; Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Blue Throated Brown Sunbird, Purple Breasted and Red Throated Alethe, Mountain Illadopsis, the Handsome Francolin, Blue Throated, Blue Headed, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, Collard and Mountain Masked Apalis, the African Green, the albertine rift endemics also include; the Bar Tailed and Narina Tragon, White Tailed Crested Flycatcher, Abyssinian Hill Babbler, and the Stripe Breasted Tit. Later on , we shall get back to the lodge for dinner and an overnight.

 

 

Day 18 & 19: Bird watching towards Mgahinga Park

We shall start and then head to the south western corner of Uganda in kisoro district where this national park is located. The birds to watch here include; Mountain Yellow Warbler, the White-starred Robin, White Tailed Blue Flyctacher, Olive Woodpecker, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Dusky Crimsonwinhg, Grey Caped Warbler, White Eyed Slaty Flyctacher, Yellow-crowned Canary, Rwenzori Turaco, Bronze Sunbird, White-napped Raven, and Olive Thrush. Later, you will rest at the lodge after a long day.

Day 20, 21: bird watching in Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe forest is the best site to view the Red collared mountain babbler. The park also gives us chances of viewing the endemics like the Rwenzoris Apalis, Coloured Bushshrike, the Red-faced Woodland Red Throated Alethe, Turaco, Archer’s Robin-Chat. The forest is also another spot for Neumann’s, and Grauer’s Warblers, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Grauer’s Rush, Regal Sunbirds, Purple-breasted, Dusky Crimson-wing, Black-faced Apalis, Lagden’s Bushshrike, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Sooty Boubou, Kivu Ground-Thrush, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Strange Weaver, Stripe-breasted Tit, a Blue-headed, and many more. As we bird, we shall also keep our eyes open to view the canopies to find the primates like Angola Pied Colobus, chimpanzee, red tailed as well as L’ Hoests Monkeys.

Day 22: Transfer to Kigali & enjoy a city tour

After breakfast, depart back to Kigali and enjoy a city tour and after continue to the airport to catch your flight back home.

END OF SAFARI