Day 1 – Arrival
Meet our professional African birding Safari guide. Transfer to the hotel in Kampala or Entebbbe for an overnight stay. Early arrivals may wish to go birding in the botanical gardens at Entebbe. We can spend our night at Cassia or The Lodge – Uganda.
Day 2 – African Bird watching safari – Uganda to Semliki
After an early breakfast, proceed to Semliki National Park birding enroute w shall have stop at Sebitoli a section of Kibale National Park which we highly recommend as one of the best birding spots on the high way in the forest. Birding on the main road can be very rewarding as we always find the Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Black Duck along the stream that crosses the forest, Joyful, Cabanis, Toro Olive and Cameroon Sombre Greenbuls, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Tiny Sunbird, Green Twinspot, Pink-footed Puffback, Ludher’s Bush-Shrike, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Green-throated Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird,. Lunch on the way. Check into Semliki Safari Lodge in the evening. We shall lster continue and check into the Uganda Wildlife Authority Bandas for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3-All-day bird watching safari in Semliki National Park – Uganda.
With a parked lunch we shall proceed for a whole day birding in the Forest or Kirumya Trail. It is so interesting to look out for the West African forest bird species including; hornbills-Red-billed, Piping, Black- wattled, Black-billed Dwarf, White Thighed and White-crested respectively, African Piculet, Zenker’s and Lyre-Tailed Honeyguide, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Rufous-sided Broadbill, the large dark brown forest Nkulengu Rail, White-bellied, Dwarf, and Pygmy Kingfishers, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-bellied and Blue-billed Malimbe, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Forest Scrub Robin, Red and Green-tailed Bristlebill, Leaf Love, Red-breasted Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Hawk, Pale-fronted and Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Black-winged Oriole, among others, we later head back to the Bandas for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4-Birding Sempaya and transfer to Kibale forest National Park – Uganda
We start early birding around the Bandas which allows us more chances of seeing the White Crested and Red Billed Dwarf Hornbills not leaving out the Black Casqued Wattled the grounds to the male hot springs are good for the White Spotted Fluftail, Orange Cheeked Waxbill, Olive Pigeon and many more. We later bird to Kibale Forest and and stay at Primate Lodge.
Day 5-Bird watching safari to Kibale National Park – Uganda.
Start in the morning and head into the forest interior, the main focus for this morning will be the Green-Breasted Pitta and while there other species we encounter always include the Afep Pigeon, White-throated Greenbull, Yellow Whiskered Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristle Bill, Red-capped Robinchat, Dusky Tit, Green-headed Sunbird, Brown-capped Weaver, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Brown and Scaly-breasted Illadopsis and other,we later drive to Kasese near the Rwenzoris where we stay at Margherita hotel in the foothills of Mountain Rwenzori in Kasese town.
Day 6-All-day bird watching tour in Rwenzori National Park – Uganda
After breakfast, with packed lunch, leave for Rwenzori National Park. Special birds of the day include purple breasted sunbird, Abyssinian, Red faced, Shelly’s and Dusky Crimson-wing, Red-bellied seed cracker, Woodhouse Antipecker, Stripe-breasted Tit, Forest Flycatcher, Grey Apalis, Ayres and Cassin’s Hawk-eagle and many others, Same accommodation.
Day 7-Birding to Bwindi the best African birding spot – Uganda
Depending on the season, with a packed lunch we may choose to go through the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, where there are chances of encountering the Tree-climbing Lions at Ishasha sector. Depending on the time of arrival, we may enjoy birding on the self-guided Munyaga trail. Enroute, we have a variety of Grassland rarities we look out for like the Broad Tailed Warbler, the bulbul sized African Moustached Warbler, Black Coucal, Marsh Tchagra, African Black Headed Oriole, common Drongo, Arrow Marked and Black Lored Barbler, the violet glossy Common Scimitarbill and Red billed Wood Hoopoe among others
Day 8-All-day African bird watching safari in Bwindi – Uganda
We start after breakfast, and explore the Buhoma Forest section. African birding in this forest provides some of the best bird watching in Uganda and the African continent as well, having been voted as Number One Hot spot in Africa by African Bird Club Members. It is home to over 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics most of which reside in the Ruhija side to be done in a few days time from today, however while here, expect bird spp like the Dusky Tit, Vanga Flycatchers, the stunning scaly-throated Honeyguide, Black Bee-Eater,Brown-caped Weaver, the long tailed forest Yellow-billed and yellow-spotted Barbets, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Buff Throated, Black Throated, and Grey Apalis, Equatorial Akalat, White Bellied Robin-chat, Olive-green Camaroptera, White-chinned and Banded Prinia, Green Hylia, the Loud and explosive Short-tailed Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, a one of the friendly Albertine Rift Endemics – Red-faced Woodland Warbler, and the White Browed Crombec together with Special bird spp that include;- Black-and-white Shrike & White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Pale-breasted & Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill-Babbler, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated, Blue-headed, Northern Double-collared, Green Throated & Grey-headed Sunbirds, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Sooty Boubou, Black-faced Rufous & Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-faced, Black-throated, Chestnut-throated & Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Pink-footed Puffback, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Montane & African Golden Orioles, Stuhlmann’s, Narrow-tailed & Waller’s Starlings, Strange, Brown-capped & Black-billed Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Yellow-crowned Canary, , Streaky & Thick- billed Seedeaters African Green & African Broadbill, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk-eagle, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood-Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested & Black Bee-eaters, (Western) Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s & Elliot’s Woodpecker, Western Green Tinkerbird, Lagdens Bush Shrike, Petit’s & Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Archer’s Ground Robin, Toro Olive & Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush, Short-tailed, Neumann’s and Red faced Woodland-Warblers. Indeed at the end on a good day you might conquer with the ABC that this is the number one African Birding Site. We stay at Gorilla Resort, Kitandara or Gorilla Forest Camp.
Day 9-All-day Gorilla Tracking safari in Bwindi – Buhoma, Uganda
This starts at the park’s headquarters are at Buhoma, and it is from here that we shall set out on our gorilla trek. A great deal will depend upon where the Mountain Gorillas are, as to how far one has to trek, but one should expect to be in the forest most of the day. You will be allowed an hour with the gorillas and it is sure to be a very rewarding experience.
Day 10-Bird watching to the Neck continuing to Ruhiija.
Key species include: Mountain Wagtail, Red-tailed and Shelley’s Greenbul, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Black Duck, Banded Prinia, Grey-throated Barbet, Common Buzzard, Tree Pipit, Chin-spot Batis, Black-billed Turaco, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-tailed Greenbul, and we should come across Bee-eaters including Black Bee-eater and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Many-coloured Bush Shrike, Ayres’s Hawk-eagle, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Narina Trogon, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-throated Alethe, Gray Apalis, African Shrike-flycatcher and Red-headed Malimbe and in areas of dry fern vegetation, Dusky Twinspot. Stay at Ruhiija Hostel.
Day 11-All-day Birding safari to Mubwindi Swamp, Uganda.
After breakfast we head for a whole day birding to the Mubwindi Swamp. The 4km trail to Mubwindi Swamp drops from 2350m to 2050m and is the best place for some of the most difficult to find of all rift endemics including Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird and Archer’s Robin-Chat. Mubwindi Swamp is home to Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Ruwenzori Apalis and African Hill Babbler, the rare and localized Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler and Carruthers’ Cisticola, including very difficult to see species like the extensively barred dark brown Fraser’s Eagle-Owl, African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue headed Sunbird, Archer’s Robin-chat, Eastern Mountain-Greenbul, Strange Weaver, Black-headed Waxbill, Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Waller’s & Stuhlmann’s Starlings, Ludher’s Bushshrike, Handsome Francolin and Montane Nightjar,we later get back to our lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 12-All- day birding tour in the Bamboo Section
Birding along the main road through the bamboo area for more chances of Albertine rift and High altitude Endemics not leaving out the powerful singing but hard to see bradypterus warblers.
Day 13-Birding to Kampala (winding-up our holiday)
We shall have several stops on the way in order to stretch legs and look out for some interesting birds,you will get to stop and all the secret spots of your guide. Accommodation of Choice as at the start of the Albertine Rift Endemic Birding Safari on arrival.
Day 14- End of our Albertine Rift Endemic African Birding Safari / Departure