Best time to go birding in Uganda: A country known for its unique temperature zone and diverse range of birdlife seen all year round

Uganda Birding safari Costs

Uganda Birding Safari Costs: The cost of birding in Uganda depends on a number of factors, such as the nature of activities and accommodation registered in the package. This accommodation varies according to budget, mid-range and luxury options. Uganda is among the few countries that are blessed with unique bird species due to its diverse range of birdlife habitats, including savannah grasslands, thickets, wetlands, riverine areas, and woodlands.

The country boasts over 1091 bird species, which is 10% of the world’s total bird population. These birds’ species are distributed in several protected and private areas, such as national parks, game reserves, and private entities such as gardens, farmland, and many others. Are you considering making a reservation for a birding trip and curious about the price of a birding safari to discover Uganda’s top birdwatching locations? Here are the key things to be aware of regarding Uganda’s birding expenses.

Several inhabitants as well as palearctic species from Europe, West Africa, and North Africa can be seen at this top birding destination. Numerous birdwatching locations, including Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kibale National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Mabira Forest Reserve, are home to these unique birds.

The country’s most sought-after bird species to see include; the highly sought-after Shoebill Stork, the handsome Spurfowl (Francolin), Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Rwenzori Turaco, Nahan’s Patridge (Francolin), Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Budongo Forest’s endemic Puvel’s Illadopsis, Brown-chested Plover, Red-faced Barbet, Black-breasted Barbet, African Finfoot, Fox’s weaver, Barbets and Tinkerbirds can all be found in the country’s top destinations.

The cost of a birding safari in Uganda.

Seasonal variations in price, duration of safari, activities included, and lodging options all affect the cost of birdwatching trips in Uganda. It might cost $50 to $400 per person every day. In order to determine the precise amount, you must account for the cost of ground transportation, air tickets, packing lists, hotels, meals, park entrance, VISAs, porters, and tips for your birding guides.

Breakdown of costs for birding trips in Uganda

If you must go birding in Uganda’s national parks, you must purchase park entrance permits, which cost $40 per person per day for foreign non-residents. These permits are required for Bwindi, Mgahinga, Kibale, Lake Mburo, Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth, and Murchison Falls national parks. The charge for guides is not included at this rate.

The cost of Park entrance permits

The Uganda Wildlife Authority or any reputable tour operator, such as Journeys Uganda, must be contacted directly for park access permits. When travelling during the busiest months of June, July, and August, we advise guests to schedule their birdwatching excursions at least four months in advance to save themselves the hassle of regrets.

The cost of accommodation

The cost of lodging should be taken into account when estimating the expense of a birding excursion in Uganda. There are a number of safari lodges in Uganda’s national parks, ranging in price from inexpensive to luxurious establishments. As a result, your budget will determine which lodges and camping sites you choose. A decent mid-range safari lodge costs between $150 and $200 per night, a nice standard safari lodge costs between $50 and $100, and a luxury resort starts at $300 to $2500 per night.

While independent travellers can reserve lodging if they want to go on a self-drive birdwatching safari in Uganda, most birdwatchers prefer to book lodges through travel agencies. Booking accommodations close to your bird-watching area is recommended if you like to travel alone. If you book too far away, you might not be able to observe any early birds. To ensure the success of your trip, we thus suggest that you make your hotel reservations through a reliable tour operator.

The Cost of meals and accompaniments

When organising a trip to Uganda for birdwatching, keep this additional expense in mind. Consider the cost of meals and beverages, such as juice and water, when visiting Uganda. For an average of $35 per person per day, the majority of camps and lodges offer travellers both local and international cuisine. You may need to set aside more money each day if you intend to purchase expensive liquor. Food is not a concern if your birding expedition is scheduled with a tour operator. On trip itineraries, the majority of agencies include full board meals, which include breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. As such, refreshments and food will be provided both at the hotel and throughout the journey between events.

The cost of Air tickets and transportation

You should begin arranging your transportation after deciding on your favourite spot in Uganda for birdwatching.  Depending on the carrier and class you choose, the cost of an airline ticket to and from Uganda might range from $600 to $2500. You can start your birding excursion in the evening or the next day if you can not handle long distance driving. Charter internal flights from Entebbe International Airport to a number of airstrips, including Apoka Airstrip. If domestic flights are too costly for you, we suggest taking the road.

In Uganda, the daily rental fee for a car usually costs $100, without including petrol and a guide.  To witness several rare species of the Albertian Rift, you can birdwatch in Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks. It takes approximately 8 to 10 hours by car to get there from Kampala or Entebbe.

Since planning a self-drive vacation is uncommon and occasionally difficult in developing nations, we strongly suggest travellers reserve whole packages from tour operators that include lodging, transportation, and safari activities. It is noteworthy to mention that certain trip companies situated in Uganda are open to arranging for foreign airline tickets for their clients. As a result, ask your agency whether they can assist you in arranging travel to and from your home nation.

Cost of items on the birdwatching packing list

You will need to pack a good camera, insect repellents, hiking boots, hand gloves, sunscreen, a rain jacket, and binoculars for the greatest birdwatching experiences in Uganda. Other than the price of transportation, park admission, and lodging, these are all hidden expenses for your birdwatching expedition that you should take into account.

VISA and border crossing

Crossing borders with Rwanda, Uganda, and other nearby East African nations may be  part of birdwatching excursions.  At the Katuna or Cyanika border crossings, you must pay a $50 VISA charge if you intend to go birdwatching in Uganda from Kigali, Rwanda. If you are considering combining birdwatching vacations in Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, you can choose to purchase an East African tourist visa for $100.

Tipping guides, drivers, Hotel staff, Porters and Park Rangers

Lodge employees, guides, and park rangers typically go above and beyond to ensure that your visit to Uganda is unforgettable. As a result, you may choose to tip them as a courtesy and acknowledgement for the work they did. It is absolutely up to you how much to tip. Tipping is not required and should only be given after you are happy with the service you received on a birding trip.

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