Birding + Culture Tour of Uganda – 18 days
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Entebbe Airport and transfer to Entebbe Travellers’ Inn for the night.
Day 2: Birding Mabamba Swamp and afternoon transfer to Masindi
After an early breakfast, we drive to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Stop en route at Mpigi Swamp for papyrus rarities. Look out for; the blue headed coucal, and other swamp specialties.
We continue to the Mabamba Wetland. At the Swamp, most of the birding is done on a canoe, paddled by our local site guides. Watch out for the shoebil Shoebill both in the sky and down in the marsh.
Overnight in masindi.
Day 3: Birding in Budongo Forest-Royal Mile and Busingiro Section
We bird Budongo’s famous Royal Mile in the early morning. It is a wide forestry track considered by many to be the country’s premier forest birding locality. This is the best place in Uganda for Honey guide Greenbuls. Overnight in masindi.
Day 4: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, we drive to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest National Park (3893sq.km) and it protects a huge number of mammals like giraafes,kobs,cape buffalo.
Overnight in Murchison.
Day 5-6: Birding, Game Drives and Afternoon Launch Trip
After breakfast, we have a game drive to the rolling plains where you will have chances of viewing; Giraffes ,primates ,Elephants. After lunch, we will have an afternoon launch cruise where you have chances to view huge Nile Crocodiles, big Pods of Hippos, and other wildlife. Overnight at any lodge of your choice in Murchison falls national park.
Day 7: Transfer to Kibale National Park.
After breakfast, we will drive to Kibale forest arriving in Fort Portal in the late afternoon. It has over 1000 chimpanzees and these represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate.
Over night at the lodges in kibale/fortpotal town
Day 8: Chimpanzee tracking in the forest – Uganda
After an early breakfast we drive to Kibale National Park visitor center for briefing and chimp tracking. The activity may last from a few hours to several hours. Kibale forest is home to 13 primates of Uganda.
Birding in the afternoon along the main road may be productive. Depending on the weather predictions, birding Bigodi wetland is also productive with riverine forest birds. Kibale National Park is a good site for a number of birds that are hard to find elsewhere including; the joyful greenbul.
Over night at the lodges in kibale/fortpotal town
Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
After breakfast, we drive to Queen Elizabeth national park. The Park which is named after the Queen of England who visited it in 1954 is the second largest national park in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth national park boasts the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. This is evidenced by the presence of open savannah, rainforest, dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes, and the vast Lake Edward. Queen Elizabeth National Park has almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 612 bird species.
DAY 10: Game drive and afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel.
There will be a morning game drive searching for; Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Waterbucks, Warthorgs and many more. After lunch, you have an exotic and exciting launch trip on the Kazinga Channel. The launch trip is one of the most exciting water activities in Uganda. The Kazinga channel is a narrow neck of water that connects Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus, huge families of buffalos, and elephants. And you are likely to encounter some bird species as well.
Day 11: Travel to Bwindi Forest national park
You start early after breakfast, We will also drive through the Ishasha section where, if lucky, you may be able to view tree climbing lions and continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to approximately half of the world endangered population of Mountain Gorillas and therefore of big conservation importance.edemics like Banded Prinia.
Day 12: Gorilla Tracking.
After breakfast, we shall assemble at the Park Offices for the briefing prior to this historic event. Gorilla tracking is a very captivating activity; It might take 1-8 hours which involves walking in the wilderness in search of these gentle giants. Gorilla Tracking can be a challenging but amazing experience.
Overnight at your choice of accommodation depending on where one is tracking
Day 13: Buhoma Village walk
After Breakfast, we have a village walk around the Buhoma Community. We will visit the Batwa and you will observe their ways of living. The Batwa were given land upon relocation from the forest and most of their basic needs are taken care of. The money they receive out of the village walk is, therefore, used to buy clothes and food. They also use the money from sale of crafts for recreational purposes, reading and buying of alcohol. You will also observe how they go about the process of juice making. We will also visit the traditional healer and you will observe how he treats ailments using tree bark, leaves, and some animal material. He dresses in goat and cow skin to preserve the way traditional healers used to dress. You will also be taken through tea plantations and 10 sites that describe the way of life of the Buhoma Community.
Stay at Buhoma Community Rest Camp
Day 14: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo national park is a gem of a park. Though the park is just 370 sq km in size, its landscapes are varied and even a short drive is alive with interest and color. You will pass gallery forests, open savannah and acacia woodland, rocky kopjes, seasonal and permanent swamps, and open water as you search for the wealth of wildlife they support. It’s a home for Elands, Impala,Zebras
Day 15: Whole day Birding and game drive in the Park
After breakfast, we will have a morning game drive in the Park looking for mammals including the Impalas,Elands.
In the afternoon, we will have a boat trip looking for bird specialties and other mammals in the Park.
Overnight in any lodge in Lake Mburo.
Day 16: Transfer to Kampala
After an early breakfast, we drive out of the park having our lunch on the way. We stop en route to visit the Mpambire Royal Drum makers. We also stop over at the Equator for photographs and continue to Kampala.
Stay at Metropole Hotel.
Day 17: Visit Kasubi Tombs, Uganda Museum
After breakfast, we drive to Kasubi Tombs. This is globally recognized as a major Heritage site. It is where four of the former Kings of Buganda were buried. It is a royal palace enclosure that was first built in 1881. Here there are huge traditional reed and bark cloth buildings of the Kabakas (Kings) of Buganda Kingdom. The Kasubi Tombs, also known as the Ssekabaka’s Tombs, are the royal tombs where the four former Kabakas of Buganda are buried. This site is a masterpiece of human creativity both in its conception and execution. It bears eloquent witness to the living cultural traditions of the Baganda. The spatial organization of the Kasubi Tombs represents the best example of a Buganda palace or architectural ensemble.
Day 18: Namugongo Shrine
After an early breakfast, drive to the Namugongo Shrine. Namugongo is where 22 young men were burnt alive on the orders of king Mwanga for refusing to denounce their newly found faith in Christ. They were executed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II in 1886. On the visit of Pope Paul VI to Uganda in 1969, the victims were canonized Martyrs and since then the shrine has become an important site for Uganda Christians and tourists. The site has been host to three Popes (1969, 1993 and 2015), and thousands of other religious, political and civic celebrities. To this day, every 3rd of June also known as the Martyrs” Day, Catholics from both within and outside Uganda make a pilgrimage to Namugongo to remember these young heroes known as the Uganda Martyrs. There are two churches built at the site; one for the Anglicans and the other for the Catholics.
Transfer to the airport for evening departur