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12 Days
Availability : Jan 1’ - Dec 31’
Entebbe
Uganda, Entebbe, Kampala, Kibale, Bwindi, Kasese, Semuliki
Min Age : 21+
Max People : 200

12 Days: Birds Gorillas and Chimps Tour

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This 12 day Birds Gorillas and Chimps Tour begins and ends in Entebbe. The route is varied and includes scenic areas, villages, tropical rainforests, papyrus swamps, farmlands, and hilly landscapes. The routes and trails within Ugandan National Parks are not paved, adding an element of adventure. Flexibility is essential to ensure safety and enhance the overall experience. Join us on this remarkable tour, where nature’s marvels unfold at every turn.

Locations

  1. Mabamba Swamp
  2. Kibale National Park
  3. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  4. Queen Elizabeth National Park
  5. Murchison Falls National Park
  6. Royal Mile
  7. Semuliki National Park

Tour Duration

12 Days

Pickup / Drop off Offer

From Entebbe International Airport

Price Includes

  • Harrier Tours Leader and local guides
  • 11 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels and lodges
  • All main meals
  • All excursions, entry fees and permits

Price Excludes

  • International and domestic flights
  • Visa fees
  • Insurance
  • Drinks, airport meals/snacks and other items of a personal nature.

What to Expect

This is a  16 Day Birding and Primate tour of Uganda that covers most of the key forest birding locations


Location Highlights:

  1. Mountain Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Mubwindi Swamp: Stand face-to-face with these gentle giants and create cherished memories in the presence of these magnificent creatures.
  2. Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda Mangabay: Witness the playful antics and complex social dynamics of chimpanzees as you venture deep into the lush forests.
  3. Shoebill Encounter in Mabamba Swamp: Seek out the elusive and prehistoric-looking shoebill, capturing a rare sighting of this iconic bird species.
  4. Birding at Budongo Royal Mile: Traverse the enchanting forest trails, where a vibrant symphony of bird species serenade you, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.
  5. Exploring the Mystical Semuliki Forest: Enter a realm of lowland tropical forests and discover rare bird species, including the iconic shoebill, in this ethereal ecosystem.

Target species:

Wetland birds, Savanna birds, Albertine Rift endemics and Semuliki Ituri forest specials. Other expectations include Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking

Photos for previous tours

Detailed Itinerary of Birds Gorillas and Chimps Tour

Day One: Arrival and Briefing

Day One marks the beginning of our thrilling adventure as we arrive at the airport. A friendly and experienced driver, along with a knowledgeable guide, will be eagerly awaiting your arrival, ready to extend a warm welcome. Together, we will make our way to the hotel, where you will enjoy a relaxing and comfortable overnight stay, ensuring you are well-rested for the exciting days ahead. During this time, we will provide you with a comprehensive briefing, acquainting you with the diverse routes we will be exploring throughout our journey. This briefing will serve as a valuable introduction, equipping you with the necessary information and insights to fully immerse yourself in the remarkable experiences that await us. Get ready to embark on this extraordinary expedition, where every path we take will be filled with wonders and discoveries.

Day Two: Mabamba Swamp for the Shoebill

In the morning, after checking out of our hotel, we commence our journey to Mabamba Wetland. Later in the afternoon, we proceed to Lake Mburo, where an exciting adventure awaits. Within the captivating wetland, we embark on a hand-paddled boat ride, navigating through lagoons and channels that lead us into the heart of the Mash. Our primary quest is to spot the magnificent Shoebill, a truly remarkable bird.

While searching for the shoebill, we have the opportunity to encounter various other wetland species that frequent this area. Among them are the Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, Malachite, and Pied Kingfishers.

Additionally, we may observe the elegant Papyrus Gonolek, graceful Gull-billed Terns, White-winged Black Terns, Whiskered Terns, Common Moorhen, Swamp Flycatcher, Goliath and Purple Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese, African Snipe, Blue-headed Coucal, Caruthers’s Cisticola, winding and red-faced Cisticola, northern brown-throated weavers, orange weavers, golden-backed, village, black-headed, and slender-billed weavers, purple-headed, splendid, Ruppelle’s, and purple-headed starlings. 

The avian diversity continues with the presence of the Red-shouldered Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey-rumped Swallow, African Mash Harrier, African Harrier Hawk, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Red-headed Lovebirds, African Grey Parrots, Red-Rumped and Mosque Swallows, Sooty Chat, and Rufous-naped Larks.

Furthermore, we may be fortunate enough to spot Red-chested, Scarlet-chested, Superb, and Olive-bellied Sunbirds, Great Blue and Ross’s Turacos, Eastern Grey Plantain Eaters, Diedric, Klass’s, and Red-chested Cuckoos, Yellow-Throated Tinkerbirds, Blue-breasted, Grey Crown Yellow-billed Ducks, and Spur-Winged Lapwings. Around midmorning, we bid farewell to this remarkable area and continue our journey to Lake Mburo, making a stop at the Equator for a satisfying lunch. As evening descends, we enter the park, eagerly exploring the lakeside for more avian wonders.

A boat excursion presents us with the opportunity to seek out the elusive African finfoot and the captivating white-backed Night Heron. Moreover, the lakeshore unveils the presence of the Papyrus Yellow Warbler and White-winged Warbler, while nearby pools teem with the impressive presence of hippos, crocodiles, and buffalos. During the night, weather permitting, we embark on a special endeavour to spot the African Scops Owl, Black-shouldered Swamp Owl, Swamp, and Pennant-winged Nightjars.

The nocturnal world comes alive with these elusive species, adding an extra touch of enchantment to our birding expedition.

Stay at Rwakobo Rock for two nights.

Day Three: Game Drive and Boat Cruise

After a satisfying breakfast, we embark on an early morning stroll through the captivating wooded savannah. Our objective is to encounter a diverse array of bird species, including the elusive Red-faced Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Tabora and Trilling Cisticola, White-winged Tit, Sulphur-breasted Bushrike, Common Scimitarbill, Green Woodhoopoe, Emerald-sported Wood Dove, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rufous-bellied Heron, African Water Rail, and many others.

This particular location is renowned as the finest in the country to observe magnificent antelopes such as eland, zebras, topi, impala, and an assortment of acacia-associated avian species.

Day Four: Birding in Bwindi-Ruhija

Our next destination is the extraordinary Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a true haven for forest species endemic to the Albertine Rift region, which encompasses Uganda. 

As we journey through the picturesque landscapes of Kabale and ascend into the highlands, reaching altitudes of nearly 2500 metres, we encounter an abundance of unique avian specialists. 

Among the notable sightings are the captivating Papyrus gonolek, White-winged and Papyrus yellow warblers, Papyrus canary, Carruthers’s and Chubb’s Cisticola, Augur Buzzard, and African Stone Chat.

 Finally, we arrive at the magnificent expanse of Bwindi, a vast montane forest that will be our home for the next two nights, offering unparalleled opportunities to explore its awe-inspiring beauty. Our comfortable accommodations await at Trekkers Tavern, ensuring a delightful stay amidst the natural wonders that surround us.

2 nights’ stay at Trekkers Tavern

Day Five: Birding in Ruhija

After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we prepare for a full day of birding adventures, accompanied by our packed picnic lunch. Our journey takes us along the renowned trail that winds through the enchanting forest, leading us to the captivating Mubwindi Swamp. Ruhija, our destination, is renowned for hosting some of the most elusive species found within the Albertine Rift region. Here, we have the opportunity to encounter a variety of rare and localised birds, such as the elusive Grauer’s Rush Warbler, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Dwarf Honeyguide, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Regal, Purple-breasted, and Blue-headed Sunbirds. 

The diversity continues with sightings of the Stripe-breasted Tit, Strange Weaver, Ruwenzori and Mountain-masked Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Ruwenzori Hill Barbler, Doherty’s Bushrike, Black-headed Waxbill, Bar-tailed and Narina Trogon, Handsome Francolin, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Stuhlmann’s and Waller’s Starlings, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Streaky Seed Eater, Yellow-crowned Canary, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, White-naped Raven, White-star Robin, Barred Long-tail, Banded Prinnia, Dusky and Red-faced Crimsonwing, Mountain Buzzard, African Crowned Eagle, Red-throated Alethe, and Ruwenzori Nightjar.

As we immerse ourselves in this ornithological paradise, we may also be fortunate to encounter other remarkable wildlife. Keep an eye out for the graceful Ruwenzori and Yellow-backed Duikers, as well as the stunning L’Hoest and Blue Monkeys, adding an extra touch of natural wonder to our already remarkable expedition.

Day Six: Gorilla Trekking

Embark on an early departure from our accommodation in Buhoma, carrying our nourishing breakfast and packed lunch as we prepare for an extraordinary gorilla trekking encounter.

 Ascending the uphill trails, we venture into the realm of these magnificent creatures, observing as they engage in casual and playful interactions within their familial groups. Witnessing the gorillas up close provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you observe adults feeding, grooming, and resting, while the younger members of the group swing from vines, displaying their delightful agility. 

Alongside the gorillas, keep an eye out for other inhabitants of the forest, including the elegant Ruwenzori and yellow-backed duikers, the lively Guereza Colobus monkeys, the nimble blue monkeys, and the captivating L’hoest monkeys. 

Later, we proceed to the Neck, a captivating area situated in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This stretch, which separates two sections of the impenetrable forest, is adorned with lush riverine vegetation. 

As we indulge in birding activities at the Neck, we are likely to encounter a diverse array of species. Marvel at the Mountain Wagtail, Red-tailed, Kakamega Greenbull, Toro Olive, Little Grey, White-Throated, Slender-billed, and Cameroon Sombre Greenbuls. 

The vibrant avian community also includes the Dusky Blue and Cassin’s Flycatcher, African Black Duck, Grey-throated, Yellow-billed, and Yellow-spotted Barbets, Olive Long-tailed, Dusky Long-tailed, and African Emerald Cuckoo. 

Notably, the Neck serves as a prime location to spot the elusive Black Bee Eater, African Shrike, Vanga Flycatchers, Many-coloured Bushrike, Red-headed Malimbe, Grey Apalis, Buff-throated Apalis, Western Bronze-Naped Pegion, Tambourine Doves, and Mountain Orioles.

2 Nights at Bwindi Community Homestay

Day Seven: Buhoma main trail

As we venture along the Buhoma main trail, our eyes are keenly attuned to the rich birdlife that surrounds us. Amidst the lush foliage, we eagerly search for the elusive Neumann’s Warbler, African Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatchers, Oriole Finch, Arsornge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robinchat, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Scaly-breasted, Pale-breasted, and Mountain Illadopsis. 

The avian symphony continues with the presence of the Dusky Tit, Grey-headed, Northern Double-colored, Olive, Bronze, Green-headed, Green-throated, and Scarlet-chested sunbirds. Our gazes are captivated by the black-billed, brown-capped, and thick-billed seedeaters, while the impressive Great Blue Turaco graces the scene. Among the raptors, we may spot the majestic Ayres’s Hawk Eagle and the agile Little Sparrow Hawk. 

Further exploration reveals the charming Elliot’s Woodpecker, the melodious Black-faced Rufous Warbler, and the striking Pink-footed Puff Back. Delight in the sight of the Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, Olive Green Camaroptera, Yellow-rumped Tinker Bird, and the elegant White-chinned Prinia. 

The vibrant tapestry of birdlife also includes the Boscage’s Bush-Shrike, Blue-shouldered Robinchat, Grey-winged and Red-capped Robinchat, and the distinctive Brown-throated Wattle Eye.

Day Eight: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Embarking on our birding adventure within the captivating Queen Elizabeth National Park, we rise early and commence our expedition after a satisfying breakfast. As we traverse the park’s southern region en route to the renowned Ishasha section, renowned for its tree-climbing lions, we make several strategic stops.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a testament to its remarkable biodiversity, standing among the most biodiverse reserves on the global stage. Its diverse array of habitats, ranging from open savannah to acacia woodlands, tropical rainforests, dense papyrus swamps, and picturesque lakes, bestows upon it the distinction of being one of Africa’s most abundant wildlife sanctuaries. Amongst the park’s inhabitants, we encounter majestic elephants, stately buffalo, graceful waterbuck, elusive bushbuck, a profusion of hippos, the enigmatic Giant Forest Hog, regal lions, elusive leopards, and the elegant Uganda Kob.

The avian population within the park is equally awe-inspiring, with a remarkable record of over 612 bird species documented. Our journey promises encounters with a myriad of feathered wonders, and we may even surpass the one-day record of 296 species observed.

Two Nights at Bush Lodge

Day Nine: Game drive and boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel

Today, our itinerary takes us to the northern section of the park for an exhilarating game drive, following one of the park’s numerous trails. As we traverse the terrain, we anticipate remarkable sightings of a variety of species, including Harlequin Quail, Blue Quail, African Crake, Martial Eagle, Stout and Zitting Cisticola, Black Crowned and Marsh Tchagra, Red-necked Francolin, White-browed and Black Coucal, Arrow-marked and Black-lored Babblers, Grey-backed Shrike, Amur falcon, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Nubian and Cardinal Woodpeckers, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, Green-winged Italia, Red-capped Lark, and Plain Backed Pipit. This expedition also offers us another opportunity to spot the elusive brown-chested lapwing and crowned lapwing.

Later in the afternoon, we embark on a luxurious launch cruise along the renowned Kazinga Channel. This enchanting experience allows us to witness a splendid array of avian wonders. Among the notable species we hope to encounter are African Skimmers, Kittlitz’s Plover, the recently recorded Grey Pratincole, Snowy-headed Robin-chat, Saddle-billed Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath and Grey Herons, Black Crakes, and an assortment of migratory and resident shorebirds. The channel promises to be a haven for diverse avifauna, captivating us with its natural splendour.

Day Ten: Transfer to Kibale National Park

Day Eleven: Chimpanzee Trekking and Birding

Kibale National Park, renowned for its lush tropical rainforest, is celebrated for its abundant primate population and stands as the ultimate destination in Africa for observing habituated chimpanzees.

Within this verdant expanse, various primate species thrive, including Olive Baboons, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Red-tailed Monkey, Central African Red Colobus Monkeys (localized), Guereza Colobus, Vervet Monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, and Blue Monkey.

Moreover, Kibale National Park holds the distinction of being the sole reliable location in Africa to witness the striking Green-Breast Pitta. This exceptional site is also home to an impressive array of other notable species. Keep an eye out for the resplendent Shining Blue Kingfisher, Narina Trogon, Ashy Flycatcher, Grey-throated Tit, Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, Sooty Flycatcher, African Shrike Flycatcher, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow Spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, African Emerald Cuckoo, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Red-chested Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo, and Klass’s Cuckoo.

Furthermore, this biodiverse haven encompasses a multitude of avian wonders. Look out for Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Brown Illadopsis, White-Throated Greenbul, Little Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Plain Greenbul, Slender-billed Greenbul, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Superb Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, and Chestnut-winged Starling. Completing the avian tapestry is the Red-eyed Dove, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Tambourine Dove, Afep Pigeon, and White-naped Pigeon.

Day Twelve: Drive back to Entebbe and fly back home.

It will be time to bid farewell to the captivating landscapes and diverse wildlife of Uganda. After an unforgettable journey exploring the remarkable national parks and encountering fascinating bird and primate species, we head  drive back to Entebbe. 

Reflecting on the incredible experiences and cherished memories of the trip, we embark on our final leg, returning to Entebbe to catch our flights back home. As we depart, we carry with us a deep appreciation for the natural wonders and rich biodiversity of Uganda, knowing that this remarkable adventure will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

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