Uganda, the pearl of Africa

Overview

Uganda is a green and fertile land of high plateaus, luxuriant forests, papyrus-fringed lakes and great swamps. Here the ancient kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro and Ankole flourished long before the first European explorers came in search of the source of the Nile.  It is also a country of contrasts, where you can enjoy the open savannas of the Kenian-Ethiopian plains in the north of the country, the luxurian forests of the Congolese jungles in the far west, the mighty beauty of the Impenetrable Forest south in the Albertine Rift, but it is also where the source of the White Nile is to be found.

This superb tour takes us first to the shores of the Lake Victoria at Entebbe and then northwards to Murchinson Falls National Park, where the White Nile flows into Lake Albert. Nearby, the rich Kibale Forest teems with birds and primates, while being one of the best places in Africa to see Chimpanzees. Continuing Southwards past the Rwenzori Mountains we reach the open plains and impressive craters of Queen Elisabeth National Park with its rich array of both birds and large mammals. From here, our journey shall continue to remote southwestern corner of Uganda to reach the misterious Impenetrable Forest. Here the Gorillas have their stronghold and the poorly explored forests are rich in bird endemics to Albertine Rift. We will end our trip at Mburo Lake to look for some specialities before ending our tour by the shores of the Victoria Lake at Entebbe.

The “Pearl of Africa” (as Winston Churchill call it) is one of the African countries with a richest birdlife, an extremely friendly country to travel in, and a wonderful place to get in contact with local cultures.

Bird guide

Carles Oliver has been travelling sub-Saharan Africa for long, from Senegambia to South Sudan, and from Ethiopia to South Africa, and leading birding tours to many of these countries. His passion for Africa is well known for every of the birdwatchers who have spent time in the field with him. This will be our 2nd tour to Uganda.

 

A book to help you understand Uganda: “The Last King of Scotland” (1998) by Giles Foden (1967).

Pláning

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Day 1 – Arrival to Uganda
Evening arrival to Kampala, where we will meet our local guide and drivers. Travellers in our off flights option are requested to arrive the day before since the tour can start really early in the morning.

Transfer to our Hotel for an overnight in a lovely guesthouse by the Lake Victoria shore. If time of arrival to Kampala is really late we may better drive directly to our first spot, to have better chances for Shoebill Stork and other goodies.

Day 2. Mabamba Swamp & Murchinson Falls , 
In the morning we will transffer to Mabamba Swamp in search for the prehistoric looking Shoebill Stork. This is one of the most sought-after birds in Eastern Africa. Here we also find some aquatic birds including Lesser Jacana, Golden-winged Sunbird, Rufous-bellied Heron, White-backed Duck, Saddle-billed Stork, African Marsh Harrier, African Pygmy Goose… After enjoying Mabamba we will drive to Murchinson Falls crossing some vast savannah with several game species & swamp areas dotted with acacia and shrubs, as we game drive in for view of Zebras, Topis and African Buffaloes. White-crested Turaco, Hartlaubs Marsh Widowbird and Purple Starting are probable sightings in the transfer. Once in Murchinson Falls we will look for some top targets including Heuglin’s Francolin, Rock Pratincole & Water Thick-knee.
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Day 3. Murchinson Falls to Busingiro,
We will invest the morning birdwatching in the savannah area known as Rwizi Track, combining a great list of mammals such as Giraffes, Elephants and some antelopes with a wonderful set of species including Pennant-winged Nightjar, Brown-rumped Bunting, Denham’s Bustard, Northern Carmine Bee-Eaters, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Shelley’s Sparrow, Dusky Babbler, Namaqua Dove, Crested Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Red-winged Pytilia, Crested Francolin or Lilac-breasted Roller. Transfer to the famous Royal Mile. Here it is also possible to enjoy with excellent mammalwatching including Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, Uganda Kob and several more.
Day 4. Royale Mile,
This morning we will enjoy birding in the noted Royal Mile. This is a wonderful patch of forest that has become famous due to the huge variety of birds living on it. Some of the top targets to enjoy here include Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Nahan’s Francolin, Ituri Batis, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher along with chances of first views on Dwarf Kingfisher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Spotted Greenbul and Cabanis Bunting while checking mixed flocks of birds and try to discover Brown-chested & Fire-chested Alethes, in what is considered one of the best forest birding spots in Africa. Transfer to Kibale Forest.
Day 5. Kibale National Park,
Early start with a clear first goal, the wonderful Green-breasted Pitta. After enjoying this incredible bird we will go for a Chimpanzee trekking inside Kibale NP, in a impressive rainforest. If lucky, we will have unforgettable views in this Apes! We will spend the whole day in this amazing location, exploring some spots where we expect to have Great Blue Turaco, Akun Eagle Owl, Joyful Greenful, Red-headed Bluebill, Red-chested Owlet, Brown Woodpecker, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Chestnut-winged Starling, Marsh Tchagra, Little Green Sunbird, Long-tailed Cuckoo, and the superb Black Bee-eater as we bird out towards the edge of the forest.
Day 6. Nkuruba Craters  to Queen Elizabeth National Park,

Transfer day to the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park through the crater area with an important evening target; the boat cruise and Nightjars. During the transfer we will look for Sabine’s Spinetails, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Joyful Greenbul, Giant Kingfisher, Ashy Flycatcher and Ross’s Turaco as we cross different environs of the forest. During the drive further South we will enjoy the impressive Rwenzori Ranges, a wonderful volcano area! Once arrived to our cottage, we will enjoy a boat cruise on Kazinga Channel, where will enjoy Swamp & Montane Nightjars.

Day 7. Queen Elizabeth NP: Maramagambo Jacana Trail, 

Transfer through Ishasha for the savannah birds, looking for the massive Lappet-faced vulture but also for Bateleur, Rüppell’s Griffon, Black-breasted Snake Eagle, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Martial Eagle, Capped & White-tailed Larks, Namaqua Dove, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-Shrike, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Zebra Waxbill, Siffling Cisticola and have a chance for Common Button-quail. Mammals here may include African Bush Elephant, Lion, Impala and, if lucky, Leopard or Caracal. We will also check on the rare Cassin’s Flycatcher on River Ishasha.
Day 8. Queen Elizabeth NP (Ishasha) to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park,
Before starting our way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest we will enjoy the Southern sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here we will search for grassland and savannah birds but also some goodies including Black-billed Weavers, Grey Apalis, Blue-shouldered & Grey-winged Robin Chats while enjoying the notes of the Many-colored Bush-shrike. Here large amount amount of mammals may be seen, including the famous Lions roosting on trees, Buffaloes, Waterbucks, Topis, Bushbucks, Swamp Antelopes and more. Overnight in Buhoma Community.
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Days 9 & 10. Semliki Forest. 
We will spend nearly two full days exploring one of the most interesting woodlands in Uganda. Here we find excellent examples of the Congolese birdlife, and we will try to see as many of them as possible. This gorgeous area is especially noted for Hornbills since here it is possible to see up to 4 species that cannot be found anywhere else in Eastern Africa: Red-billed Dwarf, Black-billed, Black-casqued & White-crested Hornbills are all possible here! Along with them, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Long-tailed Hawk, Capuchin Babbler, Black-winged Oriole, White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Grey Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender’s Ground Thrush, Lowland Akalat and Fiery-breasted Bush-Shrike among several more. If lucky, we will contact with harder species including Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-billed Helmet Shrike or African Piculet. During the afternoon of day 10, transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and overnight in Gorilla Mist Camp.
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Day 11. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Buhoma Water Trail,
First full day birding in Bwindi to enjoy the incredible varity of birdlife but focused on Newmanns Warbler, Kivu & Overlaender’s Ground Thrush, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Bar-tailed Trogon, Oriole Finch, and the newly described Albertine Sooty Boubou. Overnight in Gorilla Mist Camp to prepare for the Highland walk.
 
Day 12. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP,
Very early morning start as we will walk up the slopes of this impressive African tropical forest. The Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can allow awesome encounteers with this huge Apes. Please remember to follow all indications of our guides and the guards joining us. This is for both our safety and the safety of the Mountain Gorillas. In the afternoon we will walk down as keep looking for more birds including Mountain Wagtail, Dusky Crimsonwings, Black-billed Weaver, African Broadbill, Dusky Twinspot, White-headed Barbet, African Pygmy Kingfisher, African Black Duck, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Petit’s Cuckoshrike, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Grey Apalis, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Hill Babbler, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Olive Sunbird or Grauer’s Warbler are all good possibilities to name just a few along with several species of Monkeys.
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Day 13. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Albertine Ridge
We will spend most of the day exploring the famous Mubwindi Swamp having as a main goal to grip on to some of the Albertine Rift endemics. The hike could get you to a point of over 2650 meters above sea level with the Mist where the Gorillas leave in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Here we will enjoy flocks of Stuhlmann’s Starlings with their aerial displays while searching for Grauer’s Broadbill, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Fraser’s Eagle Owl, Black-billed Turaco, Side-breasted Tit. Here we will also search for the Albertine Ridge endemics and goodies including Rwenzori Batis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Blue-headed Sunbird, Dwarf Honeyguide, Strip-breasted Tit, African Green Broadbill, Regal Sunbird, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Archer’s Robin Chat or Black-billed Turaco to name most. Other really interesting birds likely to appear include Oberlander’s Ground Thrush, White-browed Crombec, White-headed Hoopoe and Tullberg’s Woodpecker. This Impenetrable Forest is full of flora and fauna, birds, and the list of mammals includes Little Bohms Squirrel, Giant Forest Hogs, African Forest Elephants, Sitatungas, Blue Duiker. Dinner and overnight Broadbill Forest Camp.
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Day 14. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to Mburo Lake,
After some birding morning in the forest to add some species to our growing list we will do the short transfer to the bamboo zone of Lake Bunyonyi. As we head out we will enjoy some road-side raptors like the Rock Kestrel, Papyrus Canary, Lanner Falcon, African Hobby, Lizzard Buzzard and White-napped Raven. Other species that we will look during the day includes Crested Barbet, Brown-chested Lapwing, Tropical Boubou, Chubb’s Cisticola & Swamp Nightjar. In the afterrnoon we will have a boat-cruise looking for the shy African Finfoot. Here we will also look for the skulky Papyrus Gonolek, Purple-banded Sunbird along with a vast number of storks, herons and pelicans. Here there is also good chances to spotting a Zebras, Waterbucks, Hippos but also Leopards as they often come to drink water in the river!
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Day 15. Transfer to Entebbe – Flight back,
Early morning birding in Lake Mburofter to GRAP some species before our final transfer to Entebbe / Kampala International Airport.
This is a bit open day planning that can be used to enjoy Entebbe Botanical Gardens or to search some key species missing at the beggining of the tour (Shoebill Stork…), and to do some addings to our list including Bat Hawk, Orange & Golden-backed Weavers or Green Hylia before heading to the airport for an evening flight back to Europe. A great end for a wonderful tour!

Información adicional

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WHAT’S INCLUDED

Regular flights Barcelona / Entebbe / Barcelona when chosing the inflights option.

​​14 nights of en-suite accommodation in twin room (please check single room supplement if required), full board meals (breakfasts, lunches and evening meals), bird guides and tour leaders, local guides, 4×4 air conditioned safari vehicles along the tour, all ground transport and boat trips, Gorilla & Chimpanzee Trekking permit, park & ​​reserves entrances / fees, drinking water and tropical fruits in transfers, travel insurance. VAT included.

NOT INCLUDED

Transport to / from Barcelona airport (when chosing the inflights option), drinks out of water, any other item not listed as “INCLUDED”.

ASSEMBLING

Group will assemble in Barcelona International Airport for a morning, non-direct flight to Kampala.

Guests attending the tour with our off flights option will be welcomed at the airport by a exclusive transport to the accommodation. Most flights coming from Europe arrive late in the evening.

ACCOMMODATION

All acommodations along the tour are offering en-suite rooms. We mainly go to first-class Lodges and Camps in all main locations, favouring also small, lovely Cottages when possible. All dinners are served in our accommodations. Please be aware than some nocturnal game drives can be done in the tour.

PASSPORT, VISA & HEALTH

Please check standard health and innoculation requirements applies in your local authorities. However, it is strongly advisable to take precautions agaisnt malaria for this tour, and innoculation against Yellow Fever. Please note that some prescription or over the counter medicines may be banned in Uganda, please check the Uganda Embassy before travelling.

Reportes de viaje:

Precio

4970€

Por persona

4370€

Por persona

Suplemento habitación individual:

500€

Depósito:

900

Próxima Edición:

From July 15th
to July 29th, 2022

Duración:

15 days, 14 nights

Tamaño de grupo:

7 clients + 2 tour leaders

Inicio/Final:

Entebbe (or Barcelona if chosing the inflight option)

Tour Leader:

Carles Oliver

Tarifas de grupo:

20% off if 3+ bookings

Price in twin rooms. Price can vary depending on the flight ticket tariff at the moment of your booking. VAT included
  • Great Blue Turaco

  • Mountain Gorilla

  • shoebill stork

  • White-breasted NegroFinch

  • green broadbill

  • Fraser’s Eagle Owl

  • Cape Penduline Tit

  • Black Bee-eater


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