Ultimate Primates Birding Game and Cultural Safari

20 Days 19 Night

Rates are per person (pp) and based on 2 people sharing 1 room
Excluding international flights (from/to your home country)

birding in queen elizabeth national park

Overview

This 20 Days Ultimate Primates, Birding, game and cultural Safari is an ultimate once in a lifetime journey into the beautiful traditional jungles of Uganda, this safari takes you through central, south and northern Uganda, promising you an experience of different bird and wildlife species encounters like no other including gorilla and chimpanzee trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable and Kibale Forest National park as well you will have a chance to see all the Big 5 animals.This 20 Days Ultimate Primates, Birding, game and cultural Safari is a budget safari that is designed to allow every traveler interested in birding and seeing other wildlife including the primates and Big Five animals.

Hightlights

  • Safari takes place in South Western Uganda.
  • Safari starts and ends in Entebbe (Uganda)
  • You will visit Mabamba Swamp wetlands for spotting the famous Shoebill stork
  • You’ll visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Northern part for Birding
  • You’ll visit Kibale forest National Park for Birding and Chimp trekking
  • You will visit Murchison falls National park for Birding and game viewing
  • You will visit Kidepo Valley National park for Birding and game viewing
  • You will visit Pian Upe Wildlife reserve for game viewing and birding
  • You will visit sipi falls for a hike.
  • You will visit Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for Rhino tracking and birding
  • You’ll visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for Birding and Game viewing
  • You’ll visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Parksouthern part for Gorilla tracking
  • You will have stops along the way to spot some other bird species.
  • Countryside road trip in an open-sided 4×4 vehicle & pop-up roof 4×4 vehicle for spotting birds
  • A transfer from and back to the airport (or hotel) is included
  • Additional accommodation before the tour departs and on the last day can be arranged for extra cost
  • Village walks for cultural encounters and experience.

Things To Consider

  • Accommodation is Inclusive
  • Small Group Safari: Max 6 People per group
  • Tour Can Depart any day
  • Tour can be customized
  • Solo travelers can join this tour
  • Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking permits are booked in advance and we will purchase them for you.

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival

  • You’ll be picked up from the airport (or hotel)
  • Accommodation before the tour departs can be arranged for extra cost

DAY 1: Arrival at Entebbe airport.

Upon arrival, you will be met by Encounter Africa Safari guide who will transfer you to your overnight Guest house. Depending on your arrival time, you may choose to take a boat excursion to Ngamba Island (optional and not included), visit the nearby Botanical gardens or Uganda Wildlife Education center for a short excursion tour and birding.

Drive time: Approximately 15 minutes

Lodge: Gorilla African Guest House

Meal Plan: Bed and breakfast


DAY 2: Drive to Mabamba Swamp for Birding.

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Mabamba swamp, which is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, traditionally one of the few and best places to spot the rare and elusive shoebill stock in central Uganda.
The bird species that we expect to encounter here include the  Goliath Herons, White faced whistling Duck, White-winged Warbler, Lesser Jacana, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Yellow-backed, Golden-backed, Vieillot’s Black, Weyns’s and Orange weaver and Red-headed Lovebird among others. The birding at mabamba swamp, we normally use a canoe to maneuver through the thin pass in the swamp until we find the mabamba shoebill stock as well identify other bird species, which makes the whole activity exciting. After we will latter drive back to the guest house while birding on the way, arriving the hotel in the evening.

Lodge: Gorilla African Guest House

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and dinner.


DAY 3: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park, Birding along en-route.

After breakfast, you will check out of the guest house and we will drive to Lake Mburo national park while birdingen-route, with stopovers at the Equator for photographs and equator experience and en-route lunch. We will proceed and make another stopover at Kaku swamp where we sometimes encounter species like the Black kite, the White-faced and Fulvous, whistling ducks, Common and Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, Hottentot Teals, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Grey-crowned Cranes and Saddle-billed Storks, Grey wood Pecker, Dusky Blue, African Dusky, African Paradise, Red-bellied Paradise, Brown-throated Wattle-Eye, Arrow-marked, Black-lored and Brown Babblers, Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguide among others. You will then proceed on to Lake Mburo national park for overnight.

Drive time: approximately 5-6 hours

Lodge: Rwakobo Rock Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


DAY 4: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park and a Boat cruise on Lake Mburo.

After your breakfast, with our parked lunch, we shall start our game drive/birding in Lake Mburo national park. This is one of the IBAs in Uganda, protecting more than 350 bird species, with specialties that includes; the Spot-franked, Double-toothed, Red-faced and Crested Barbets, Western-banded and Brown Snake-eagles, Trilling, Red-faced and TaboraCisticolas, Crested and Coqui Francolins, Chin-spot Batis, Broad- billed and Lilac-breasted Roller, Brown-chested Lapwing, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Brown Parot, Bateleur, and Emerald-spotted wood dove among others. We latter drive towards Rwonyo, and the lake side for our picnic lunch and later go for the boat cruise on lake Mburo.   Here we expect species like; the White-faced and Fulvous whistling ducks, White-backed and Black-crowned Night Herons, African Finfoot, African Darter, Rufous-bellied Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Greater and Lesser Swamp Warbler, Common and Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Grey-crowned Cranes, African Water Rail and Allen’s Gallinule among others. We later drive back to our lodge while birding on the way.

Lodge: Rwakobo Rock Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


DAY 5: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Norther part of the park, birding along en-route.

After breakfast at the lodge you will drive to Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park, you will have opportunities to stop along the way the way to spot some bird species as well as sightseeing, This journey takes you through the beautiful green rolling hills of southern Uganda with banana and tea plantations and good scenic views. Lunch will be served en route and you will arrive in Bwindi in the evening.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge:Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge.

Drive time: 6-7 hours


DAY 6: Gorilla tracking experience and Transfer to Ruhija sector for overnight.

After your early morning breakfast, your guide will drive you to Ruhija Park headquarters for briefing and joining others for gorilla trekking. You will start your trek which can take from 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the location of mountain gorillas on that particular day. Once you have found them, you will be around one hour of observation and photography before returning back to the park headquarters for certificate and drive to Ruhija sector for overnight at Broad Bill Forest Camp orBakiga Lodge.

Main Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest
Accommodation: Broad Bill Forest Camp or Bakiga Lodge
Meals: All Meals Included

Drinks: Drinking Water


DAY 7: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp.

After breakfast at the Lodge we will go for birding at Mubwindi swamp, we will spend the entire day birding at this area. The 4km trail to Mubwindi Swamp 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 also home to Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Ruwenzori Apalis, African Hill Babbler (sometimes treated as a separate species from Ruwenzori Hill Babbler), the rare and localized Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler. Some of the many species we have a chance of seeing here include Black Goshawk, Augur Buzzard, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Black-billed, Ruwenzori, and Ross’s Turacco, African, Barred Long-tailed, and African Emerald Cuckoos, Red-chested Owlet, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Blue-throated Roller, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Gray-throated, Double-toothed, and Yellow-spotted Barbets, Western and Yellow-rumpedTinkerbird, Thick-billed and Dwarf Honeyguides, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Tullberg’s, Speckle-breasted, Elliot’s, and Olive Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Rock Martin, Black Saw-wing, Gray and Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Ansorge’s, Kakamega and Cabanis’ Greenbuls, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Olive and Mountain Thrushes, Red-throated Alethe, Chubb’s Cisticola, Banded Prinia, Ruwenzori, Black-throated, and Black-faced Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Grauer’s Warbler, Cinnamon and Black-faced Bracken-Warblers, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Short-tailed Warbler, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, White-eyed Slaty- Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Sooty Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-starred Robin, White-bellied and Archer’s Robin-Chats, Ruwenzori Batis, White-tailed, and African Blue-Flycatchers, Pale-breasted, Mountain, and Gray-chested Illadopses, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Gray-headed, Western Violet-backed, Green, Green-headed, Blue-headed, Green-throated, Stuhlmann’s, Northern Double-collared, and Regal Sunbirds, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Ludher’s, Gray-green, Many-colored, and Lagden’s Bush-shrikes, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Slender-billed, Waller’s, Narrow-tailed, Stuhlmann’s, and Sharpe’s Starlings, Black-billed, Strange, and Brown-capped Weavers, Jameson’s and Woodhouse’s Ant-peckers, and Red-faced and Dusky Crimson-wings.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Packed Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Broadbill Tented Forest Camp or Bakiga Lodge.


DAY 8: Birding to Buhoma through “The Neck”

Today we will go for birding to Buhoma section through “The Neck”. The Neck (where the forest narrows) offers excellent forest birding. Key species that we will look for there include many of the Albertine Rift Endemics that we may not have seen earlier. These include Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, DuskyCrimsonwing. A few other species we may encounter as well include Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Fine-banded and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Willcocks’s Honeyguide, KakamegaGreenbul, Red-tailed Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Mountain Wagtail, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Equatorial Akalat, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Dusky Tit, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Red-headed Malimbe, Dusky Twinspot, Cape Wagtail, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, and Western Citril.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Buhoma Community Rest Camp.


DAY 9: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National park, en-route birding.

This morning you will depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park, be prepared for some incredible scenery along the way as well as spotting some birds. You will arrive in time for Lunch at the lodge and game drive in the plains of Kasenyi in search for savannah wildlife including spotting bird different birds like the Red Chested, Diederik, and Klaas’s Cuckoo, Short-toed, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagles, African white-backed, among others and savannah animals that may include herds of buffaloes, antelopes, elephants and if lucky, some wild cats such as lions and leopard.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Elephant Hab\Buffalo Resort.

Drive time: 4-5 hours.


DAY 10: Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park – Boat cruise.

The day begins early with an early morning breakfast, then with our parked lunch, we start our birding/game drive through the kasenyi plains. The park has more than 612 bird species recorded and this is said to be the highest concentration of bird life as compared to any nature reserve in the World. Here we expect sightings of bird species like; the Red Chested, Diederik, and Klaas’s Cuckoo, Short-toed, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagles, African white-backed, Ruppel’s Griffon, Lappet-faced and Hooded Vultures, African Marsh, Eurasian Marsh, Pallid and Montagu’s Harrier, Wahlberg’s, Tawny, Long-crested and Martial Eagles, African Crake, Harlequin and Blue Quail, Common Button-quail, European Roller, Rufous-naped, White-tailed and Flappet Lark, Winding, Wing-snapping, Croaking, Trilling and Stout Cisticola,Temminck’s Courser, Vereaux’s Eagle-owl, Black-crowned Tchagra and Collared Pratincole among others. We drive towards Mweya peninsular, have our picnic lunch and then go for a boat cruise on Kazinga channel for yet another but deferent view of wildlife and birds. We then drive back to our lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Elephant Hab\Buffalo Resort.


DAY 11: Drive to Kibale forest National park, en-route birding at Maramagambo Forest.

After breakfast, with our packed lunch, we check out of the lodge and drive to Maramagambo Forest for birding/nature walk in the forest. During the walk, we expect to encounter different bird species that includes; the Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chestnut Wattle Eye, African Dusky, African Paradise, Red-bellied Paradise and Bedford’s Flycatchers,  African Golden oriole, Red headed blue bill, Bat hawks, Sulphur-breasted bush shrike, Brown-eared woodpecker, Fawn breasted Waxbill, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-fronted and Speckled Tinkerbirds, African Moustached, Garden,Willow and Dark-caped Yellow Warbler among others. We also expect to encounter different primate species like the Black and white Colobus monkey. Later in the afternoon we drive to Kibale Forest National Park, arriving in the evening and check in to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House.


DAY 12: Birding in Kibale Forest National Park /Bigodi swamp.

After an early breakfast, we start our day birding in Kibale forest. The forest protects more than 300 bird species, so we will expect to encounter specialties that includes; Green-breasted Pitta, Red-chested Owlet, Scally-breasted, Pale-breasted and Brown Illadopsis, Red-caped and Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Fire-crested and Brown-chested Alethe, Forest Robin, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared and Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Red-winged Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, White-naped and Afep Pigeon, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-whiskered, Cabanis’s, Yellow-throated, Red-tailed and Little Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Yellow-spotted, Hairy-breasted and Yellow-billed Barbet among others.  We come back to the lodge, have lunch and latter go to Bigodi swamp for a nature walk/birding. This is located some 4kms from Kibale national park visitors’ centre. Here we expect to see species like; the  Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Great-blue Turaco, White-naped pigeon, White-tail Ant-Thrush, White spotted Flufftail, Slender-billed, Cameroon Sombre, Joyful and Toro olive Greenbul among others. We go back to the Lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Chimpanzee Forest Guest House.


DAY 13: Birding from Kibale Forest en-route to Murchison Falls national park.

After breakfast, with our packed lunch, we start birding as we transfer towards Murchison falls National Park, through the tea plantations for sightseeing of Fort portal and home steads of Kagadi and Hoima. We will make stopovers at some spots birding as we drive on, arriving the park in the evening for overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Pakuba safari Lodge or Kabalega wilderness Camp

Drive time: 6-7 hours


DAY 14: Birding towards the Delta, Murchison Falls N.P.

After an early morning breakfast, with our packed lunch, we will cross the Nile by the ferry to the northern sector of the park and start our game drive/ birding towards the Delta, in search for the specialties that include; Swallow-tailed, Madagascar, Northern Carmine, Blue-breasted and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Sooty and White-fronted black Chat, Crested and Heuglin’s Francolin, Silverbird, Rufous Sparrow, White-browed and Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Vitelline Masked, and Speckle-fronted Weaver, Red-winged Pytilia, Zitting, Black-backed, Croaking, Siffling, Whistling, Rattling and Foxy Cisticola, Double-toothed, White-headed and Black-billed Barbets, Northern, Black-winged and Black Bishop, Nubian, Cadinal and Grey Woodpecker, Black-bellied and Denham’s Bustard, Black-billed and Blue-spotted Wood-dove, Tambourine and Namaqua Dove, Yellow-billed Oxpecker and African Golden Oriole, Long-toed lapwing, Goliath Heron, Water thick-knee,  Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, and the rare Shoebill among others. We go back to our camp/lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Pakuba safari Lodge or Kabalega wilderness Lodge


DAY 15: Nile Delta & Top of the falls, Murchison Falls N.P.

After breakfast, we shall take a boat trip, birding towards the Delta and the specialities here include the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White rumped canary, Carmine Bee eater, Sacred Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Red throated Bee eaters, Saddle billed stock, Red necked Falcon, Osprey, Bruce’s Green pigeon, Vinaceous dove, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Shoebill, Fulvous whistling Duck, White crested Turaco, Silver bird, Grosbeak Weaver, Goliath and Purple Heron among others. We also expect to encounter a variety of mammals including the Elephants, Buffaloes, Hartbeasts, Giraffe, Cobs, Oribis, Hyenas,Lions and Leopards among others. We go back to the camp, have lunch and later in the afternoon we go for a boat cruise upstream to the bottom of Murchison falls. We come back to the lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.


DAY 16: Birding towards Kidepo Valley National park.

After breakfast, you will drive to Kidepo valley National Park located in north eastern Uganda. Check in your Accommodation property, relax and prepare for a later afternoon game drive where you will have a chance to spot and see different bird species among them including the Kori bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbill, secretary bird, ostrich, carmine, yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbills and some ostriches. Kidepo National Park was once voted the best Savannah National Park in Africa boosting of over 400 bird species and is the only place where you can see cheaters.  Kidepo Valley National Park boosts of several prides of lions that can be easily spotted compared to other National Parks, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, and so much more in large number.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Kidepo Savannah Lodge


DAY 17: Morning and afternoon game drives in Kidepo Valley National park.

Today, you will spend both morning and afternoon doing game drives in the savannah plains of Kidepo valley National Park. This park hosts a great variety of animal species in comparison to any other Ugandan parks. Of the Eighty species recorded in 1971, Twenty eight weren’t known to exist in any other park within Uganda. Carnivore species distinctive to Kidepo are: the Hunting dog, Bat-eared Fox, Cheetah, Striped Hyena, Caracal and the aard Wolf. The more uncommon ungulates are: the greater & Lesser Kudu, roan antelope, Chandler’s mountain Reedbuck, beisa oryx, Klipspringer and Bright’s Gazelle, have been greatly decreased by poachers within the past few years. Among the other big ungulates are: elephants, oribi, burchell’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush pigs, bohor reed buck, warthogs, rothschild giraffes, defassa water bucks, cape buffaloes, elands, bush duskiers and bush bucks . Five primate species   are found within the park of which the most endemic is the Kavirondo bush baby. Carnivores existing include lions, side-striped jackals, leopards, black-backed jackals, various small cats as well as spotted hyenas.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging: Kidepo Savannah Lodge


DAY 18: Drive to Pian Upe wildlife Reserve, birding en-route.

After breakfast, you will drive to Pian Upe wildlife reserve located in Eastern Uganda commonly known as Birder’s paradise, it boosts of over 200 bird species. Check in your Accommodation property, relax and prepare for a later afternoon game drive where you will have a chance to spot and see different bird species among them including the Kori bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbill, secretary bird, ostrich, carmine, yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbills and some ostriches.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: UWA Bandas


DAY 19: Morning game drive and Drive to Sipi Falls for overnight, en-route birding.

Today after breakfast you will drive to Sipi falls for overnight and a hike to Sipi falls.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Lodge: Sipi River Lodge


DAY 20: Transfer back to Entebbe International airport with birding en-route.

Drive back to Entebbe international Airport. After you will proceed to Entebbe, you may decide to have dinner and relax at the Lodge in Entebbe depending on your flight departure time, marking the end of your 20 Days Ultimate Primates, birding, game and cultural Safari.

Drive time: 7 hours


COST PER PERSON SHARING

PersonsDatePrice per person
1 PersonAny dateUSD900.00
2 PersonsAny dateUSD490.00
3 PersonsAny dateUSD470.00
4 PersonsAny dateUSD450.00
5 PersonsAny dateUSD440.00
6 PersonsAny dateUSD440.00

Lodge Options

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers on first and last day,
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Services of an English speaking driver guide
  • Fuel for the whole trip
  • Accommodation and meal plan as per the itinerary
  • All park entrance fees
  • Drinking water while in the vehicle

Cost excludes

  • Gorilla permit at USD600.00 per person per trek(we book it for you)
  • Pre and post tour accommodation in Entebbe or Kampala
  • International airfares
  • Uganda Visa (USD50.00 which can be paid on arrival at the Airport
  • Items of personal nature such as tips, drinks, and laundry

Route Map

Safari Vans

STANDARD: 4X4 SAFARI VAN

Our standard mode of transport is by road and we use 4×4 Safari Vans customized for game viewing and photography. Each safari van comes with a professionally trained driver guide and fuel for the whole safari. Our Safari vans have viewing hatches and each client is entitled to a window seat. Our Vans can take up to eight people. We also have 4×4 Super Customs very comfortable and stable on the road. These carry up to 5 people with their luggage. We also have 4×4 RAV 4 for a group of two people

Safari land cruiser

UPGRADE: 4X4 LUXURY SAFARI LANDCRUISER

We have luxury latest Land cruisers each driven by professionally trained driver guides and fuel. They have pop-up roofs for proper game viewing and photography. They come with a small fridge for cooling your drinking water while on safari (which is always included while IN THE VEHICLE). They have inverters for charging small gadgets such as your smartphones and cameras. They can seat five to a maximum of seven people and each client is guaranteed of a window seat.

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