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15-Day UGANDA BIRDING SAFARI

Uganda is one of the top birding destinations in Africa, with over 1050 bird species in protected areas alone almost the same number as Europe keeps. In fact, Uganda is home to a variety of bird species than any other country in Africa. The best time to spot these birds is in the early morning and late evening as they return from their food search, and in the park. Birding is also fantastic in the afternoon hours especially during the launch cruises along the shores of most water bodies in the National parks like along Kazinga Channel just below the Mweya Peninsular and beyond. Some of the birding hotspots in Uganda include; Mabamba wetland, Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Bunyonyi, Kibale National Park, Semuliki and many more habitats to include Kabaka’s lake (Kampala) which is a major breeding ground for the egrets. The endemic shoebill is mostly spotted along the banks of river Nile in Murchison Falls National Park, around the delta and also in Mabamba Bay. The birds of Uganda have found home in forests, swamps, agricultural lands, lake shores, savannahs, river banks, towns (marabou storks) and in the mountain areas. Tour highlights: • Multi-park Birding • Canoe rides • The Murchison Launch cruise • Multiple Game drives • Chimpanzee tracking • Gorilla tracking experience • Cultural encounters • Discover Lake Bunyonyi • Track the tree climbing lions • Experience one of the world’s strongest waterfalls • Optional Rhino tracking • A true African sunset experience • Kampala City tour

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $8712 - $11550
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 15 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited: Uganda Uganda
Parks visited: Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo
Activity level: Moderate - Game walks, Cultural visits
Safari type:
  • Cultural
  • Birding
Included • Full Board Meals & mineral water on safari • 14 night’s accommodation • Transport in a 4X4 land cruiser (Window seat guaranteed) • All park entry fees • Game drives in Lake Mburo & QENP • AMREF health evacuation cover • 2-way airport transfers • Services of an English–speaking driver guide Excluded • Meals and snacks not inclusive in accommodation • Gorilla & chimp permits with other optionals • En Route–lunches • Medical and travel insurance • All drinks alcoholic & non-alcoholic • Expenses of a personal nature • Flight tickets & visas • Tips & gratuities

Day 1:      2 Friends Beach Hotel, Entebbe    

ARRIVAL, TRANSFER & BIRDING IN MABAMBA BAY

Depending on your arrival time, you will be transferred to your hotel/lodge in Entebbe and later on you will go birding in Mabamba Bay, while on a canoe.

This is a wetland on the edge of Lake Victoria, North West of the Entebbe Peninsular, with protected bird species to include the endemic shoebill stork and it is home to over 260 bird species; some of these will meet your expectations:

 

  • Shoebill stork
  • Pallid harrier
  • Black kite
  • Papyrus canary
  • Papyrus gonolek
  • Blue swallow
  • White-winged warbler
  • Goliath heron
  • Malachite kingfisher
  • Gull-billed terns
  • Winding Cisticola
  • Veil lot’s black weaver
  • Grosbeak weaver

 

Right after this birding warm up you will return to your hotel/lodge and stay at leisure.

Entebbe

Situated on a peninsula in Lake Victoria, the former seat of Uganda’s government, Entebbe is just a short drive from the current capital and offers plenty to keep visitors amused. This charming town features tree-lined streets and serves as an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Tourists can look forward to spending days on beautiful beaches along the banks of Lake Victoria, stroll through the fields and forests of the magnificent Botanical Gardens, or pay a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for country’s orphaned chimps.

 

 

Overnight: 2 Friends Beach Hotel

Luxurious accommodation at the beach of Lake Victoria; 10 minutes’ drive from Entebbe airport.

Free airport transfer, wonderful ambiance, unique design, great service, beach BBQ, and so much more…

Alternate: LAICO Lake Victoria Hotel    

Spacious and elegant, this lovely hotel nestles in well-manicured, palm-studded Step over the threshold of Lake Victoria Hotel into an Oasis of tranquillity in classic colonial style. Tropical gardens with verandas and terraces overlooking the calm beauty of Lake Victoria Hotel.

The hotel restaurant is at your service during your stay at Lake Victoria Hotel, relax in our luxurious surroundings while you enjoy your meal. The restaurant serves a delicious breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Drinks are available, from national and international quality wines and spirits to non-alcoholic drinks and various types of coffee. Relax and enjoy high class restaurant service at Lake Victoria Hotel. Professional waiters will be at you service to take your orders from a varied and delicious breakfast lunch and dinner menu.

 

Basis

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Tea and Coffee Included

 

Day 2:      Ntoroko Game Lodge, Lake Albert

TRAVEL TO SEMULIKI NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 6 - 7 Hrs

After your breakfast and checking out, you will immediately start your journey to Semuliki National Park: Located on the western side of the Rwenzori Mountains, dominated by an ancient Ituri forest (12 to 18000 years). This park is unique in such a way that most of its features are associated with West Africa, rather than East Africa like many other parks, thus providing a West African feel within Uganda. This has hot springs which have been in existence since14 million years ago to date.

Upon arrival, you will have a game drive and see unique animals which include but not limited to the following; a variety of birds which may include Ross’ Turaco, Shoebill stork ,White-tailed hornbill , Black-wattled hornbill ,Crested flycatcher, Long-tailed hawk and also animals like elusive bush babies, pygmy hippos leopards, buffalos, waterbucks, warthogs, Uganda kob, crocodiles, bushbucks, sitatungas, and many more.

Thereafter, you will report to your lodge and enjoy your leisure activities for the rest of the day.

Lake Albert

Straddling the Uganda/DRC border, Lake Albert is one of the Great African Lakes. The first European to sight Lake Albert was the British Explorer Sir Samuel Baker in 1864, who named it after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. Visitors can look forward to a number of lovely activities including: mountain biking, scenic drives, hiking, horse riding, quad biking, and bush dinners under the African sky.

 

Overnight: Ntoroko Game Lodge   

Ntoroko Game Lodge (NGL) is a subsidiary of USALOCA LIMITED UGANDA. NGL is Located in Semuliki Wildlife reserve right at the shores of Lake Albert Ntoroko game Lodge has 5 luxury tents very ideal for honeymooners, all on twin basis with a restaurant and bar that can serve you in the most appropriate way.

All rooms lead out onto private patios with magnificent views of the lake and gardens. The comfortable en-suite bedrooms, offer complimentary tea/coffee tray, toiletries. Ntoroko Game Lodge is a luxury tented Camp nestled in the unspoiled beauty and breath-taking midst of wildlife.

Alternate: Semuliki Safari Lodge

Located in Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, Western Uganda with regular scheduled & charter flights from Entebbe 2 Hrs, by road 6 Hrs. The lodge has 8 tented rooms (1 family, 3 double, 4 twins), with activities such as Game drives, game walks, Lake Albert boat trips (Shoebill encounters), Chimpanzee walks, bush & private meals. The highlights of this lodge include an intimate grand-safari tradition lodge, forest walks, amazing birdlife, Chimpanzee research project, great food, Wi-Fi access.

Semuliki is secluded and intimate. With a maximum of 18 guests we promise excellent service and attention to detail…and an unforgettable experience.

Our guests stay in golden-hued tents with gleaming hardwood floors. Staying under canvas is one of the most romantic and exciting things to do in on safari in Africa. You hear the sounds, you feel the wind, and you smell the rain before it comes. But this isn’t roughing it either: the tents are protected by a thick thatch roof and feature en-suite bathrooms with running water, hot showers and flush toilets.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

 

Day 3:      Ntoroko Game Lodge, Lake Albert

EXPLORE THE BIRDS OF SEMLIKI NATIONAL PARK

In the morning after your breakfast, you will hike/nature walk Kirumia trail through Ituri forest to river Semliki where you will spot a variety of endemic birds like: 

 

  • White-crested hornbill                 
  • White-tailed hornbill
  • Red-billed dwarf hornbill             
  • Black-wattled hornbill
  • Piping hornbill                            
  • Crested flycatcher
  • Yellow throated Nicator                
  • Great blue turaco                         
  • Orange weaver
  • Ross’ turaco                                 
  • Congo serpent eagle
  • Shoebill stork                         
  • Red-billed malimbe
  • Canather’s Cisticola & more              

 

After your lunch break you will have a nature walk taking the Sempaya trail where you will approach yet another bunch of interesting bird species, and then get to the Sempaya Hot springs;

While at the Hot springs; boil some eggs and plantain and have a taste of what has been boiled by the natural hot water. You will also spot some primates like the grey-cheeked Mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys and visit a tree house where you will experience an aerial view of the park.

Later on, you will return to your lodge and rest.

 

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 4:      Primate Lodge Kibale, Kibale Forest National Park      

DEPART SEMULIKI FOR KIBALE NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 2 - 3 hours

After your breakfast & morning at leisure, you will start off your journey to Kibale National Park.

Kibale is famously known for Chimpanzee tracking. The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, of which 13 species are primates including the chimpanzee, with over 375 bird species.

On arrival you have optional activities where you will have interesting cultural encounters; to include:

  • Visiting homesteads
  • Visiting a local church & Bigodi Trading Centre
  • Bigodi village trail
  • Guided nature walks in Bigodi wetland sanctuary (Birding)
  • Experience a Ugandan school system
  • Visit elders’ homes for story telling
  • Get engaged in local community interactions.

Later on, after this memorable experience, return to you lodge and enjoy your leisure in a quiet environment with sounds of fauna.

Kibale Forest National Park

Located in southern Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park is said to be home to the highest density of primates in Africa. Although the highlight of the park is the habituated chimpanzees, the treetops are alive with all manner of monkey including: red-tailed monkey, L’Hoest's monkey, grey-cheeked Mangabey, red colobus and black and white colobus monkeys are all spotted here. When you’re not searching for monkeys there are over 300 bird species and an incredible 250 species of butterfly to keep you busy. Visitors can look forward to chimpanzee tracking, birding tours and guided nature walks.

Overnight: Primate Lodge Kibale

Primate Lodge in Kibale is an exclusive eco-lodge situated in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park. It is surrounded by a lush tropical forest that is home to 13 different species of primates, including the chimpanzees. Privately secluded in the rainforest, this safari lodge offers you a truly authentic jungle experience and is the perfect gateway for tracking the primates in Uganda. Whether you wish a high level of luxury and comfort, rather stay in a midrange cottage or want to bring your own tent, Primate Lodge Kibale is the ideal place for you. Primate Lodge Kibale was awarded with the Chimp Award 2008 for Investment in Eco-Tourism by Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Alternate: Papaya Lake Lodge       

Papaya Lake Lodge is situated about 350 km away from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in one of the country’s most scenic regions. The Great Crater Lakes area boasts over 20 extinct volcanic craters, forming a necklace of lakes, each unique in shape, size and colour, and each boasting its own distinct ecosystem.

Papaya Lake Lodge offers nine spacious and bright cottages. They are all situated on the extinct volcano crater’s slope and have breath-taking views of the Lyantonde Lake. Each of the cottages offers complete privacy, hidden from view by a green wall of sympathetic treetops. Eight of the cottages feature two beds (one king-size and one single), local stone-decorated bathrooms with shower units and verandas equipped with deckchairs. The ninth cottage is a two-floor villa boasting three bedrooms, a fireplace-lit living room, a spacious bathroom and a large terrace. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 5:      Primate Lodge Kibale, Kibale Forest National Park      

BIRDING IN KIBALE NATIONAL PARK; "THE WORLD’S PRIMATE CAPITAL"

Kibale National Park is famously known as the ‘’primate capital of the world’’ with 13 primate species and the highest number of Chimpanzees (over 1450 chimps), 372 birds species (60% recorded as Uganda’s forest birds) together with other animals like the elusive forest elephants, giant forest hogs, buffalos, genet cats and more.

In the morning, you will go birding, spiced up with primate treks (chimps and monkeys), nature walks and more. You will come across birds which include the following:

 

  • Little greenbul                           
  • Blue-headed sunbird
  • Yellow spotted Nicator               
  • Collared apalis
  • Yellow-rumped tinker bird          
  • Black bee-eater          
  • Dusky crimsonwing                 
  • African pitta
  • Purple-breasted sunbird           
  • Red-faced wood warbler
  • Black eared ground-thrush        
  • Brown-chested alethe
  • Crowned eagle                           
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher
  • Abyssinian ground thrush & others

 

Some of the primates you will encounter include but not limited to the following:

  • Chimpanzees
  • L’hoest’s monkey
  • Blue monkey
  • Black & white colobus
  • Olive baboons
  • Grey cheeked Mangabey
  • Ugandan Mangabey
  • Red-tailed monkeys, bush babies & pottos

After the morning session of your birding experience, return to your lodge for your lunch break.

After lunch, you will be taking the Bigodi trail and get to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary where you will see the following bird species:

 

  • Speckle-breasted woodpecker
  • Cabanis’s greenbul
  • White-collared olive back
  • Olive-green camaroptera
  • Grey apalis
  • White-chinned prinia
  • Joyful greenbul
  • Blue-shouldered robin-chat
  • Lesser honey guide
  • Olive long tailed cuckoo

 

You will also have an opportunity to visit the local communities of Bigodi where you will be interacting with the locals and share experiences.

And late in the evening, return to your lodge and relax after the long day.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 6:      Buffalo Safari Lodge, Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

KIBALE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 2 - 3 Hrs

Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for diverse ecosystems which include sprawling Savannah, shady humid forests, sparkling lakes, wetlands and amazing craters. Ideal for big game, primate species to include Chimps and over 612 bird species both migrant and resident birds. It has superb scenic views of Kazinga Channel, the Rwenzori Mountains and crater lakes which are home to a wide variety of birds.

After your breakfast enjoy a leisurely morning, and later on start off your journey to ‘’a medley of wonders’’. On arrival after a stopover at the equator, you will check into your lodge for lunch, refreshment and leisure or do an evening game drive optional.

Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

Surrounded by other wonderful parks in the western region of Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, wildlife and history. In the southern part of the park, the remote Ishasha sector is home to tree-climbing lions that spend long lazy days dozing in the pretty fig trees.  The Uganda Kob, which they watch from the branches, grazes the plains. Around Lake Edward, enjoy fishing and game watching - make sure to look out for chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, and perennial and migratory bird species.

Overnight: Buffalo Safari Lodge    

Buffalo Safari Lodge is located at the magical Kazinga Channel 1km off Kasese Mbarara road with spectacular views the Kazinga Channel and the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The resort boasts of a serene environment comprising of spectacular flora and fauna like elephants, buffalos, hippos, warthogs and a variety of bird species all at a glance of an eye. The resort boosts of good and experienced staff, a fully stocked bar and restaurant with a lounge that gives a spectacular view of Lake Rubirizi and Kazinga channel.

Alternate: Mweya Safari Lodge      

Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains aptly described as the 'Mountains of the Moon' and overlooks the Kazinga Channel which links two of the Nile's great lakes – Lake George and Lake Edward. Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness. All of the rooms have wonderful views of the channel. The Lodge offers a range of activities and attractions: game drives, boat trips, wild life viewing and more.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

 

Day 7:      Buffalo Safari Lodge, Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

EXPLORE QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Start off the day with a tasty breakfast and then get deeper into the highlights of this amazing park. Dawn Game Drive; explore the park’s flora and fauna to include elusive bird species and a wide variety of animals like elephants, buffaloes, hippos, bushbucks, waterbucks,  Kobs, warthogs and many more. Don’t miss out the scenic views of the crater lakes like Nyamunuka which is medicinal to the animals.

Katwe Community; discover the people and their culture where you will learn about salt mining by local means from Lake Katwe and interact with the local people and share cultural experiences. Return to your lodge for lunch and relaxation in preparation for the afternoon activities.

Boat cruise; this is the main activity after lunch where you will spot a number of birds like; the African fish eagle, pelicans, Hammerkop, egrets, pied kingfishers, marabou storks, vultures, kites and many more, together with animals like hippos, buffalos, warthogs, crocodiles, waterbucks and more as most of them visit to water and cool off. This boat cruise is spiced up with stunning views of the Mweya peninsular and a local fishing village along the lake shores.

Visit Mweya Museum; after the boat cruise, with this visit you will learn more about the parks history, animals, physical features (crater lakes formation) together with the parks future prospects. After the day’s activities, you will return to your lodge and enjoy sundowner leisure.

 

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 8:      Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest        

TRAVEL TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 4 - 5 Hrs

After your breakfast, travel to another amazing scene of unique flora and fauna. This scenic journey takes approximately 2 hours from the Mweya Peninsular and it will reward you with the most amazing experience.

Located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ishasha will offer you an unforgettable of experience. The sector is a composition of riverine and open Savannah kind of vegetation alongside the acacia and fig trees.

The undulating landscapes that provide a clear view of wildlife and the entire National Park, is another signature attraction about Ishasha sector.

Encounter the Tree climbing lions; this is the most captivating experience in Ishasha, thus its popularity in the entire national park. Tree climbing lions that reside up in the acacia and fig trees are spotted each and every time hanging up in the trees, as they try to avoid tsetse fly and other ground insects’ bites, and they usually enjoy their prey high up in the trees. In addition to the tree climbing lions other animals are seen here including; elephants, buffalos, antelopes, Uganda Kobs, impalas, waterbucks, warthogs, and elands among others. So spend enough time here for a wonderful experience.

Later on, proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Check in in your lodge

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Located in south-western Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities. The rugged landscape features dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys and steep ridges. This untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its breath-taking natural beauty and unique ecological significance. Aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other draw cards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot and a variety of butterflies. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes.

Overnight: Mahogany Springs Lodge

Mahogany Springs is situated in one of the most intimate, secluded, beautiful and most importantly natural settings in the world and only around 2 minutes away from the Gorilla tracking starting point.

All the rooms at Mahogany Springs are high end suites. All Suites can be twin, double or triple.  There is 24/7 power in all the rooms. All rooms have large en-suite bathrooms with a gorgeously designed open terracotta shower.

All 12 luxurious suites have their own private terrace with magnificent panoramic views over the grounds, river and surrounding areas.

The main dining area is exquisitely furnished and with panoramic views beyond the lodge’s own gardens you will enjoy dining in a tranquil and unrivalled setting. The service provided is as much an art form as the food therefore; the staffs are trained to very high standards. Within the main building there is a stunning bar where guests can sit all day and night trying one of the many cocktails or simply a bottle of fine wine. Most of the produce used at Mahogany Springs is grown on site to provide guests with the freshest ingredients.

Alternate: Trackers Safari Lodge   

Trackers Safari Lodge is located in the pearl of Africa, 435 kilometers from Entebbe International Airport (8-hour drive) and 60 kilometers from Kihihi Airstrip, your holiday features the great scenery and tranquillity of the awesome Bwindi forest which is well known for gorillas. Trackers Safari Lodge features a variety of room types in various configurations. Facilities at the lodge include onsite dining, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath and a spa.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea and Coffee Included

 

Day 9:      Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest        

Day Itinerary

BIRDING ADVENTURE IN BWINDI

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (331 sq.km) is home to half the world’s mountain gorillas, over 346 bird species, 202 butterfly species, 400 plant species, 163 tree species, 120 mammal species & 27 frog species, making it an incredible birding destination with Rwamunyonyi Peak(2607m) as the best birding spot.

After breakfast you will start off the day with birding where you will hike up to Rwamunyonyi peak while discovering birds of all kind, different tree and plant species, butterflies which will spice up your birding experience.

Expect to spot a variety of birds such as:

 

  • African-green pigeon                 
  • Black-billed turaco
  • African-harrier hawk                
  • African broadbill
  • Cinnamon-chested bee-eater     
  • Black bee-eater
  • Crowned hornbill                       
  • Regal sunbird
  • Giant kingfisher                   
  • Pettit’s cuckoo
  • Newman’s warbler                     
  • Sooty boubou
  • Purple-breasted sunbird           
  • Equatorial akalat
  • Rwenzori turaco                         
  • Handsome francolin
  • African broadbill                         
  • Rwenzori batis
  • Ruwenzori apalis                        
  • Shelley’s crimson-wing
  • Olive-breasted greenbul

 

After this adventure, return to your lodge and have lunch at leisure.

Later on, you will have a second-round birding taking the Muzabajiro Loop Trail, climbing up to the summit of Rukabira Hill where you will also enjoy astonishing views of Bwindi forest, the Western Rift Valley and the Virunga volcanoes for great photo moments. Right after here, return to your lodge and stay at leisure, and in the night, you will have your campfire together with storytelling.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 10:    Bunyonyi Safari Resort, Lake Bunyonyi       

DEPART BWINDI FOR LAKE BUNYONYI

Journey time: 2 - 3 Hrs

In the morning, after breakfast you may have an optional gorilla tracking prior to departure to Lake Bunyonyi. This tracking experience will add value to your birding safari, where you will meet one of the 9 habituated gorilla families within this oldest forest of Uganda. But to be able to have this adventurous optional activity, prior booking of the gorilla permits is highly recommended.

If at all you might not be willing to take on this activity, just spend some leisure time at your lodge as you enjoy the morning sunshine and the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Thereafter, embark on your journey to Lake Bunyonyi (a place of many little birds):

Second deepest lake in Africa with 29 islands and a perfect place to chill after a safari, gorilla tracking, volcano climbing, hiking and other tiresome activities, all because of its quietness and magical beauty. This is the safest lake to swim in as it is free from hippos, crocodiles and bilharzia.

Upon arrival at your lodge; you will have a chance to explore some optional activities below:

  • Swimming
  • Dugout canoe boating (discover the 29 Islands)
  • Biking
  • Sport fishing
  • Island hopping
  • Cultural encounter

You may also decide to relax in this quiet environment for the whole day amidst beautiful views. 

Lake Bunyonyi

Located in southern Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi is said to be the second deepest lake in Africa. Home to a variety of water birds, Lake Bunyonyi is known as the ‘place of little birds’. This spectacularly scenic lake is dotted with magical, mystical, misty islands and surrounded by verdant, undulating, terraced hillsides. It is a popular stop off on the way to the famed gorillas and unlike many lakes in East Africa; it is croc, hippo and bilharzia free. Highlights include camping on one of the islands, the epic scenery, swimming in the lake’s crystal clear waters, bird watching, canoeing, and hiking.

Overnight: Bunyonyi Safari Resort         

Bunyonyi Safari Resort is located in a very peaceful, natural setting away in the small village of Kagalama. Bunyonyi translates to "a place of little birds" and it is the name of a scenic crater lake located in the highlands of south western Uganda, where the lodge is located. Guests to the resort can choose between cottages, guest rooms, suites and dormitories. Activities available at the resort include nature walks, biking, boat rides, canoeing, community tours, bird watching, and volleyball.

Alternate: Arcadia Cottages Bunyonyi   

Set in 14 acres of manicured gardens, Arcadia Lodge Lake Bunyonyi offers spectacular views over one of Africa's most idyllic locations. High up on a ridge overlooking Lake Bunyonyi, there are eleven self-contained cottages arranged around a central lodge building, where guests can enjoy the tasty dishes in the restaurant or relax and take in the truly breathtaking view.

There's also a 25-seater motor launch, ideal for taking in the lake and its islands on one of the daytime tours or watching the stars on the night time stargazing tour. For the more adventurous, Arcadia Lodge Lake Bunyonyi has two high-end Bombardier Jet Skis available for hire, as well as four Honda quad bikes that guests can hire to explore the muddy tracks along the lakeshore or the ridges overlooking the lake.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 11:    Bunyonyi Safari Resort, Lake Bunyonyi       

EXPLORE THE BIRDS OF LAKE BUNYONYI 

Early in the morning after your breakfast, start off the day with discovering the birds of Lake Bunyonyi where you will encounter a number of rare bird species which include but not limited to the following;

 

  • African hobby
  • Black kite
  • Swamp flycatcher
  • Scarlet-chested bird
  • Grey-crowned crane
  • Herons
  • Weaver birds
  • White-tailed blue monard
  • African harrier hawk
  • Slender-billed baglafetch
  • Levillant cuckoo
  • Cardinal woodpecker
  • Bronze-chested birds
  • White-headed saw-wing bird
  • Red-chested-sunbirds 

 

Please note that this morning activity is composed of hikes, nature walks & a scenic view of Lake Bunyonyi terraces & the local communities.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 12:    Rwakobo Rock, Lake Mburo National Park   

DEPART LAKE BUNYONYI TO LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Journey time: 4 - 5 Hrs

After breakfast, you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park.

Lake Mburo National Park is conveniently located close to the KampalaMbarara highway, with varied wildlife in the middle of an extensive rich acacia woodland. It is home to over 332 bird species including the rare African fin foot, shoebill, papyrus gonolek, yellow warbler, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattle, plover among others. Upon arrival you will check in at you lodge and then have lunch.

After lunch a boat cruise will take you close to the rich flora and fauna of Lake Mburo. And along the shores, you will spot a variety of birds which include but not limited to Malachite Kingfishers, African Fish Eagle, Blue Headed Weavers, Rufous, and Long Tailed Starlings, Pied kingfishers, Hammerkop, Herons, Pelicans, the rare Shoebill Stork as well as the cormorants and hadada ibis. Here is another opportunity to view the crocodiles as well as hippos in their hundreds and animals that come to cool off during the afternoon.

These include antelopes, buffaloes, and over 3 types of otters that are found in the lake. After boat cruise, feel free to take part in some optional activities which include; horseback rides, walking safari, or mountain biking through the park where you will spot more wildlife; elands, zebras, buffaloes, klipspringer, and more grazers.

Lake Mburo National Park

Situated in the south-western region of Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is an easily accessible, compact little gem. Renowned for its impressive biodiversity, Lake Mburo National Park shelters almost seventy mammal species and over 300 avian species in its forests, swamps and grasslands. This spectacular landscape features open plains of savannah interrupted by rocky ridges, forested gorges and lush dense woodland. Crocodiles, hippos and a myriad of water birds are found in and around the five lakes, of which Lake Mburo is the largest. Other commonly spotted wildlife include: impala, oribi, eland, zebra, buffalo, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hyena, hippo and reedbuck.

Overnight: Rwakobo Rock    

Rwakobo Rock is a peaceful and secluded retreat where guests can breathe in the essence of wild Uganda. The 8 comfortable and spacious cottages are dotted around the hill, and are all very private and offering great sunset views as well as comfortable amenities. The main dining area overlooks an expanse of rock that adjoins the park. Set in the pristine Ankole ranchlands surrounding Lake Mburo National Park, the property serves as an ideal base on which to explore the area. Rwakobo offers a variety of both easy and challenging walks offering the chance to get close to nature. Rwakobo also offers mountain biking and caters for night drives, while the park can be discovered by vehicle, foot or boat.

Alternate: Mihingo Lodge     

Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful and exclusive retreat adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park and features ten comfortable rooms which are built on wooden platforms. Each luxury tented room is nestled on a private piece of the lodge's property, enabling guests to enjoy the tranquil environment in complete seclusion. Placed in varied settings, some rooms are situated in a forest, some with a lake view, and some on rocky outcrops. The lodge offers a variety of amenities that include a cosy main dining area as well as an infinity swimming pool. Aside from lounging by the pool, enjoying the sounds of nature, or watching nearby wildlife, guests can also avail themselves of the numerous activities offered by Lake Mburo National Park and Mihingo Lodge that include boat trips on Lake Mburo, savannah walks; game drives in Lake Mburo National Park, and horseback safaris.

Basis

  • Full Board - Dinner, Bed, Breakfast and Lunch
  • Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Included

 

Day 13:    Fairway Hotel & Spa, Kampala      

GAME DRIVE & TRIP BACK TO KAMPALA CITY

Journey time: 4 Hrs: 45 Min

Early in the morning after breakfast, you will check out and proceed for your game drive in the woodland acacia. Expect a variety of flora and fauna, here is a chance to spot some rare bird species which include water and swamp birds like Papyrus gonolek, Yellow Warbler, Saddle-billed Stork, Cisticola, White-winged Warbler, Crested Crane and many more Plus animals which include zebras, Roth’s child giraffes, elephants, elands, wart hogs, topi, Kob and by chance some leopards. Visit the salt licks and watch animals licking natural salt to supplement their diet while at a viewing platform.

After your game drive you will depart for Kampala Take a stopover at the equator in Masaka; for a photo opportunity. After this equator moment, proceed to Kampala city and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Kampala

Bordering the magnificent Lake Victoria, Uganda’s capital city - Kampala - sprawl out over a series of undulating hills and despite the development, this ‘Garden City’ is known for its tree-lined avenues. This bustling city serves as the commercial hub of the country boasting a blend of African markets, modern skyscrapers, international hotels, bars, and casinos. It provides an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Visitors can look forward to learning about the country’s rich and colourful history at the Uganda Museum; enjoying a number of activities on Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake; and visiting the Namugongo Martyrs Shrines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Mburo National Park to catch a glimpse of local wildlife including: hippo, zebra, gazelles, crocodiles, warthog, and variety of birdlife.

Overnight: Fairway Hotel & Spa    

A modern boutique hotel set in the heart of Kampala, Fairway Hotel & Spa is conveniently located close to numerous entertainment and dining venues and is a walking distance away from the biggest shopping malls in the city. Accommodation options include Standard, Standard Triple and Executive rooms, each fitted with an LCD TV, Wi-Fi, a mini-fridge, a coffee-maker, and a kettle. Hotel facilities include two restaurants, a sports club and bar, a fitness centre and a swimming pool. Guests can explore a variety of must-visit venues namely the Kampala Golf Course, the National Theatre, and the National Museum.

Alternate: Speke Resort Munyonyo        

Set on the shores of Lake Victoria, just 30 minutes from Kampala City, Speke Resort Munyonyo offers 5-star accommodation in 335 rooms, suites, cottages, apartments, and studios with modern furnishings and all the amenities required to ensure a comfortable stay.

Dining options at the resort include a fine-dining restaurant on the lobby level of the hotel, an alfresco restaurant with fabulous garden and lake views, a buffet-style multi-cuisine restaurant, and a laid-back grill by the lakeside. The Viking Bar offers a great space to relax and socialise and offers a wide range of drinks, hot beverages, and snacks. Other amenities at the hotel include an Olympic-size swimming pool, equestrian centre, gym, and sports facilities.

Basis

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Tea and Coffee Included

 

 

Day 14:    Fairway Hotel & Spa, Kampala      

Day Itinerary

BIRDING IN MPANGA ECO FOREST

Journey time: 1hr

After breakfast depart Kampala for Mpanga forest.

Mpanga forest is wonderful getaway for nature lovers! It is one of the Uganda birding spots nearest to Kampala and it is very productive for forest species. A birding day at this forest starts at the cleared visitors’ information centre area (cleared ground) at the edge of the forest. This area provides plenty of birds that are observed in the forest edge and in flight. 

It supports an impressive biodiversity for such a small forest! It has 500 species of trees and shrubs, 300 species of birds, 97 butterflies, and 112 moths. Three species of monkeys can be seen in the forest including vervet, red-tailed and black-and-white colobus monkeys. There is also a number of small mammals including banded mongoose, squirrels, pottos, pangolins and bush babies. If you spend a night at Mpanga Forest you have a chance of spotting the rare nocturnal pottos and bush babies.

Some of the notable birds to observe include:

 

  • Long-tailed Cormorant
  • Cattle Egret
  • Black-headed Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Hadada Ibis
  • Egyptian Goose
  • Black Kite
  • Palmnut Vulture
  • Lizard Buzzard
  • African Harrier-Hawk
  • Wahlberg’s Eagle
  • Crested Guinea fowl
  • White-spotted Fluff tail
  • African Green-Pigeon
  • Red-eyed Dove
  • Grey Parrot
  • Great Blue Turaco
  • Red-chested Cuckoo
  • Deidrick Cuckoo
  • Klaus’s Cuckoo
  • Yellow bill
  • African Palm Swift
  • White-rumped Swift
  • Speckled Mouse bird
  • Pied Kingfisher,
  • White-breasted Nigrofinch
  • Woodland Kingfisher

 

After half day birding return to Kampala & spend the rest of the day at Leisure.

 

Basis

  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Tea and Coffee Included

 

Day 15:    End of Itinerary     

Day Itinerary

DAY 15: KAMPALA CITY TOUR & DEPARTURE

Journey time: 45mins – 1hr

On this final day of your safari, enjoy a brief tour of Kampala city with visits to; the highlights of the city such as the Buganda palace, Uganda museum, Nakasero market, all the historical monuments, the largest craft village and temples. You will later be transferred to Entebbe International Airport to check in for your next home departure flight.

END OF SAFARI

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • 2 Friends Beach Hotel Entebbe
  • → LAICO Lake Victoria Hotel alternate
  • Ntoroko Game Lodge Lake Albert
  • → Semliki Safari Lodge alternate
  • Primate Lodge Kibale
  • Kibale Forest National Park
  • → Papaya Lake Lodge alternate
  • Buffalo Safari Lodge Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • → Mweya Safari Lodge alternate
  • Mahogany Springs Lodge
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • → Trackers Safari Lodge alternate
  • Bunyonyi Safari Resort Lake Bunyonyi
  • → Arcadia Cottages Bunyonyi alternate
  • Rwakobo Rock Lake Mburo National Park
  • → Mihingo Lodge alternate
  • Fairway Hotel & Spa Kampala
  • → Speke Resort Munyonyo alternate

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