0000000000000000000 birding Midrange Tour | Escape Adventure Tours | Safaris Specialists in East Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda Google+

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birding Midrange Tour

  • Destination: Uganda
  • Duration: 15 days
  • Price: $4250

Semuliki, Mabamba, and more! Highlights Hundreds of tropical bird species Rare shoebill stork & the regal crested crane Comfortable midrange and semi-luxury lodges Complete Programme: Find yourself eye-to-eye with some of the most impressive and colourful feathered friends with this complete overview of the best birding spots in the country. Heading in a counterclockwise loop, […]

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Semuliki, Mabamba, and more!
Highlights
Hundreds of tropical bird species
Rare shoebill stork & the regal crested crane
Comfortable midrange and semi-luxury lodges
Complete Programme:
Find yourself eye-to-eye with some of the most impressive and colourful feathered friends with this complete overview of the best birding spots in the country. Heading in a counterclockwise loop, this itinerary allows you time to sample forests, savannas, foothills, lakes and wetlands – each of which hosts its own unique set of bird species.
Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!
Your guide will be at Entebbe Airport to pick you up from your flight and take you to Boma Guesthouse, a beautiful place in the middle of Entebbe, not far from the airport. Depending on the hour of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Entebbe.
Journey time: 15 minutes
Accommodation: Boma Guesthouse

Meal Plan: No Meals Included
Day 2: Budongo Forest
A half day journey from Kampala will bring you to Budongo Forest Reserve. You will stop for lunch in Masindi town (lunch is not inclusive).
Budongo Eco Lodge, also known as the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, is located in the heart of Budongo Forest Reserve, within the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park. This reserve has one of the largest forests in Uganda with an incredible biodiversity including 9 different primates, 360 species of birds and 290 different types of butterflies.
This afternoon you will go into the forest for a short bird-walk.
Journey Time: 6-7 hours
Accommodation: Budongo Ecolodge, Forest Cabins
Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner
Day 3: Forest Walk and Enter Murchison Falls N.P.
Today you will wake up early to walk the Royal Mile track. You can choose between a full or a half day – the choice is yours. On this track you are able to spot African dwarf, blue-breasted and chocolate-backed kingfishers, Cassin’s hawk eagle, Nahan’s partridge, white-thighed hornbill, yellow-billed barbet , lemon-billed and lemon-bellied crombec, black-capped apalis, forest and chestnut-caped and yellow-footed flycatchers, Jameson’s wattle-eye, Ituri bati and black-eared ground thrus.
After this beautiful walk you will continue your journey into Murchison Falls N.P. The next few days will be completely focused on the largest national park of Uganda with its stunning nature. You will enjoy its extended wildlife and birdlife along the Nile and in the savanna plains.
You will sleep at Paraa Safari Lodge which offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each room has full facilities and a remarkable view from the balcony towards the Nile River. There is an impressive restaurant, swimming pool and bar.
Journey Time: 2½ hours
Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Day 4: Boat on the Delta & Game Drive
Just after dawn you will go for a long boat safari to the delta on the Albert Nile, looking for the rare Shoebill! You can also spot the fish-eagle, Goliath heron, saddle-billed stork, African jacana, pied and malachite kingfishers, African skimmer, piac-piac, rock pratincole, black-winged red bishop, yellow-mantled widowbird and, depending on the season, some migrates. Then, in the sandy escarpments along the Nile, you can find the nesting and colorful red-throated bee-eaters.
In the afternoon you will have a game drive to observe the elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards and many different antelope. As birders you should be on the lookout for birds of prey.
Journey Time: Varies
Accommodation: Paraa Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5: Viewing the Falls & Road to Hoima
In the morning, you’ll take a 3-hour boat safari towards Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, apes and so many beautiful birds you go to the bottom of the 43 meters high and famous Murchison Falls, which approaches you with a thunderous sound.
After having had your lunch back at the lodge, you’ll continue your journey to the west. You will spend the night in Hoima, a small town on the road to the next destination. You will stay in the midrange Kon Tiki Hotel which features a spacious garden and a restaurant serving simple but filling meals.
Journey time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Kon Tiki

Meal Plan: Breakfast and lunch
Day 6: Fort Portal
Today you have a beautiful drive through the heart of Uganda. You will be crossing a fairy-tale like landscape full of hills, villages and tea-plantations. And in the background, the massive Rwenzori Mountains!
In the late afternoon you will have the possibility to enjoy a stroll around the colonial town of Fort Portal or a hike around the crater lakes (not inclusive).
Journey Time: 6 hours
Accommodation: Rwenzori View Guesthouse

Meal Plan: Breakfast
Day 7: Semuliki Game Reserve

A 2- to 3-hour ride will bring you to Semuliki Game and Nature Reserve in the foothills of the mountain where you will spend the day watching birds.
Here you will find some endemic species like spotbreasted ibis, Hartlaub’s duck, Congo serpent eagle, Chestnut-flanked goshawk, red-thighed sparrowhawk, long-tailed hawk, Nkulengu rail, black-throated coucal, chestnut owlet, Bates’s nightjar, black-wattled hornbill, white-crested hornbill, black dwarf hornbill, red-billed dwarf hornbill, red-rumped tinkerbird, spotted honeyguide, Zenker’s honeyguide, lyre-tailed honeyguide, African piculet, Gabon woodpecker, white throated blue swallow, palm swamp greenbul, eastern bearded greenbul, Sassi’s olive greenbul, yellow-throated nicator, northern bearded scrub-robin, lowland akalat, grey ground thrush, fiery-breasted bush-shrike, red-eyed puffback, black-winged oriole, Maxwell’s black weaver, blue-billed malimbe and the Grant’s bluebill.
After a full day in Semuliki you will drive to Kibale Forest where you’ll stay at a very nice tented camp in the middle of the forest. Kibale Forest Camp consists of seven African style comfortably furnished tents. Each tent has its own private ensuite bathroom with an eco friendly toilet and a bush shower. From your own veranda, you might spot Red or Black & White Colobus monkeys.
Journey Time: 2 hours to Semuliki + 3 hours to Kibale Forest
Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner

You’re only half way….there is more to come!Day 8: Bigodi Swamp to Queen Elizabeth NP
After a good night’s sleep you will go to Bigodi swamp for a bird-walk where you can find the great blue turaco, and the papyrus gonolek, grey-throated, yellow-billed, yellow-spotted and double-toothed barbets, the speckled, yellow-rumped and yellow-throated tinker-barbets; the yellowbill, the brown eared woodpecker; the blue troathed roller; the grey parrot; the red-capped and snowy-headed robin-chats, and the grosbeak and northern brown-throated weaver.
After the swamp walk you’ll continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth, the second largest national park in Uganda. It is located at the eastern base of the massive Rwenzori Mountains, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George.
You stay at Bush Lodge in a nice eco cottage-tent. The cottage-tent has a bed-room with eco-toilet and a private outside bathroom with double “bush” shower with hot water (on request). Of course your outside bathroom is fenced and gives you all privacy. Overlooking the spectacular Kazinga Channel, you’ll have the chance to watch wildlife at the waterhole from your own private verandah and fall asleep to the roaring of Lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!
Journey Time: 3.5 hours
Accommodation: Bush Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner
Day 9: Game Drive and Boat Safari
Breakfast at 6 a.m. before starting a long game drive in time to see the sun rise. You will search for all the wildlife in the park: elephant, buffalo, lion, waterbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, warthog, etc.
After lunch, take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. Here you will see an incredible amount of water-birds. Just to mention a few: yellow-billed and saddle-billed storks, various plovers, pelicans, cormorants and fish eagles. Difficult to spot, but also around is the papyrus and the black-headed gonolek.
Accommodation: Bush Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 10: Ishasha + Bwindi Forest N.P.
Today you will drive through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth N.P. towards Buhoma.
In Ishasha you will do a game-drive looking for the tree-climbing lions and again the rich birdlife of this area. Here you can find for example the black bee-eater, the broad billed roller, the Cassin’s grey flycatcher, the Ross’s Turaco and the double toothed barbet.
After the game drive you proceed to Buhoma in the north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve. This area is famous because of the presence of gorillas, but also extremely interesting for birders because of the 350 species of birds in this forest; and 23 of them are endemic! In the afternoon you will go for a short walk on the Muyanga River Trail with the chance to encounter blue kingfisher.
Journey Time: 2½ hours to Ishasha and 2½ hours to Bwindi
Accommodation: Mahogany Springs Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
Day 11: Optional Gorilla tracking or Bamboo trail
This morning you start early for an extended walk in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve. On this walk you have a good chance to find the black-billed turaco, dusky and barred long-tailed cuckoos, bar-tailed trogon, black bee-eater, grey-throated barbet, Petit’s cuckoo-shrike, Alliot’s woodpecker, red-tailed bulbul, mountain and icterine and yellow-whiskered greenbulls, white-bellied robin-chat, white-tailed ant-thrush, rusty-faced warbler, white-browed crombeck, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, white-tailed blue flycatcher, white-tailed crested monarch, narrow-tailed starling, McKinnon’s grey shrike, Luhder’s and Doherty’s bush-shrikes and black-headed waxbill.
Note: You can opt for a gorilla tracking on this day instead of the proposed program. A gorilla permit costs 600 US Dollar per person and has to be booked well in advance (we advise you to book at least 3 months before departure).
After your walk (or gorilla track) you will proceed to Ruhija, another bird paradise!! Here you will spend two nights in a good mid-range lodge in the forest perfect for viewing albertine rift endemics.
Trekker’s Tavern Cottages is located at the hill top in Ruhija overlooking the Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park Ruhija side.. The lodge is very eco-friendly and has a lovely cozy atmosphere with 5 spacious cottages all with ensuite bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets. A place of infinite calm surrounded by untamed majesty and commanding panoramic views.
Accommodation: Trekkers Tavern, cottages
Meal Plan: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
Day 12: Ruhija Hike
After an early breakfast you will go for the Waterfall Trail. There is some flexibility in today’s program, so discuss the options with your guide. Besides those mentioned already, the species you can spot here are the Lagdon’s bush shrike, francolins and various apalis species. There is also a chance to see one of the 20 endangered species as the African green boardbill and the Grauer’s rush warblers.
Journey Time: 2 hours
Accommodation: Trekkers Tavern, cottages
Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 13: Lake Bunyonyi and Echuya Forest
After an early breakfast you pick up your packed lunch and proceed to the most beautiful lake of the world (according to the BBC). Here you will stay one night in a midrange tented camp on an island. This small island is a bird paradise with many small bird species.
But before going to the island, you will visit Echuya Forest. Here you can find the regal and the blue-headed sunbird, the red-faced woodland warbler and the Rwenzori batis, cinnamon bracken warbler, African harrier-hawk, African hill bubler, Chubb’s cisticola, cinnamon-chested bee-eater and the white-tailed blue flycatcher.
Journey Time: 3 hours to Echuya Forest + 2 hours to the island
Accommodation: Heritage Lodge Tented Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast and packed lunch
Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Today you will start your journey back to Kampala. But as a special treat, you will spend a night in Lake Mburo National Park where you can enjoy a spectacular safari walk where many birds can be found. A very common sighting is the national symbol of Uganda; the crested crane.
Mihingo Lodge features ten rooms built on wooden platforms with stilts. Suspended under the thatched roof is a spacious and comfortable tent. From the dining and pool area, you can enjoy the view of a west-ward oriented valley and its stunning evening sunsets over Lake Mburo N.P.
Journey Time: 6 hours
Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner
Day 15: Mbamba Bay & Back to Entebbe
In the early morning you will leave the park and head for Mbamba Bay, where you will have the best chance to see the shoebill stork. You will enter the swamp with a small boat to look for this huge and prehistoric-looking bird.
After this excursion you will proceed to the airport, depending on the departure-time of your flight.
Note: If your return flight is before 8 pm, we advise you to book an extra night in Kampala or Entebbe (you can visit the botanical gardens in Entebbe, where many birds can be found).
Journey Time: 6 hours
Accommodation: Not included
Meal Plan: Breakfast and packed lunch
For those not quite ready to go home,Feel Free to inquire about tour extensions to exciting destinations in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda or the islands of Zanzibar
This is the end of what we hope has been a fabulous trip!