5 Days Birding to Murchison Falls National Park

This short birding safari takes you through the tropical Budongo Forest and the dry savannah, giving you the opportunity to see a range of birds and animals. From rhinos and blue monkeys to Shoebills and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, you will be able to explore some of the spectacular wildlife Uganda has to offer.

 

HighlightsItineraryOptions & extensionsPricesAccommodation & transportTravel advice
  • Spot the southern white rhino at Uganda’s only sanctuary for this endangered species
  • Opportunities to see the Shoebill Stork
  • Fantastic views of Murchison Falls
  • Boat trips for birding and exploring the River Nile
  • A range of habitats, including the tropical Budongo Forest, savannah and rivers
Day 1: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda to see rhinos. On your 1–2-hour trek you will have the opportunity to do some birding. Continue to Murchison Falls National Park.
Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park for birding and game safari and boat cruise
A full day birding safari in the Park, including crossing the River Nile onto the north bank for a game drive. Enjoy a boat cruise along the River Nile to the bottom of Murchison Falls. Hike for 45 minutes to the top of the Falls.
Day 3: Boat trip along the delta
Take a boat along the Nile towards the delta to look for Shoebill. Continue to Lake Albert for more birding. Alight at Wanseko fishing village and continue your journey to Masindi via the Albertine Rift Valley escarpment and through parts of Budongo Forest.
  

Day 4: Birding at Budongo Forest
Travel to Budongo Forest for some excellent forest birding.

Day 5:  Return to Kampala
Drive for 4–5 hours back to Kampala, birding along the road as you go.

NB: wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. If you have a particular bird/s that you want to see, let us know and we will tailor your itinerary to maximise your chance of spotting it.

Responsible tourism: where possible, we use locally owned accommodation with good environmental credentials.

 

Any of the activities below can be swapped for activities in this itinerary or you can extend this itinerary to add any of them. This may involve additional costs. We will be pleased to advise you about options and extensions.

  1. Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest
  2. Birding along Kaniyo Pabidi sector in Budongo Forest
  3. Birding in Mabira Forest
  4. Birdwatching at Entebbe Botanical Gardens
  5. Go behind the scenes with Uganda Wildlife Education Centre animals

Guide price

USD 940 per person based on a group of 6 people travelling.

Price includes:

  • A private 4×4 safari vehicle (with pop-up roof) with driver/guide and fuel for this itinerary
  • Full-board, budget, non air-conditioned accommodation
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water in transit
  • All government taxes
Price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as bar bills, phone calls, laundry services, gifts, crafts and personal shopping
  • Tips and gratuities (normally 5–10% and around $100 for your guide).

Why do we use guide prices?
The price for every safari depends on the number of people travelling, their ages, the time of year, whether or not international flights are included, the type of transport and accommodation used and the activities undertaken.

We calculate according to the specific dates of your booking because after we publish our itineraries some things may change. For example, hotels may increase their prices, the government may introduce new taxes or some discounts may become available. Unfortunately, we also have to pass on surcharges imposed on us by, for example, airlines when fuel prices or airport taxes are unexpectedly increased.

We would be happy to prepare a quotation, based on your requirements. We normally include most costs in the price so all you need to bring with you is ‘pocket money’ for items like drinks, tips and personal shopping e.g. souvenirs.

Insurance

AMREF flying doctors provide a medevac service in case of illness or injury during your safari. This costs $25pp for 31 days. We recommend this service and can include it in your package price.

Booking

Once you have selected one of our safari packages you need to send us a booking form. When we receive this we will check availability and inform you if any changes are necessary and issue an invoice for a 50% deposit plus the full cost of any tracking permits (in case of cancellation permit fees are non-refundable). Only once this payment is received can we guarantee availability and issue a booking confirmation. Full payment is required 70 days before travel.

Payments and cancellation

We charge in US dollars. Payment is by bank transfer into our Standard Chartered USD bank account in Uganda. You can also pay by credit card, although there is a 5% administration charge. For those booking from within Uganda, cash payments are possible at our office.

When we book your safari, we have to pay non-refundable deposits on your behalf, for example to hotels. Therefore, we charge cancellation fees as follows:

30% of reservation costs if you cancel more than 50 days before your arrival date

100% of reservation costs if you cancel less than 50 days before your arrival date

We strongly recommend that you include cancellation cover in your travel insurance.

Disclaimer: We enter into an agreement with you in good faith but we sometimes encounter unexpected changes in local conditions which can affect your itinerary or price. These changes are beyond our control and we are not liable for them. While we endeavour to protect you against the effects of these changes, we reserve the right to amend the agreed itinerary and price in response to them. Such changes include but are not limited to weather conditions, road conditions, supplier price increases, fuel increases, government tax increases, supplier service changes e.g. cancellation of ferry services for river crossings or national park operations (track maintenance, animal translocations). We assure you that we will always give you as much notice as possible of changes, suggest alternative plans and keep additional charges to a minimum.

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Accommodation

To help us select the right accommodation for your safari (and in the absence of a complete national hotel classification system e.g. 1*–5*) we use four levels: high-end, mid-range, budget and backpackers. These terms can mean different things to different people but are helpful to an extent.

Air-conditioned rooms are not available in all hotels. Where AC is available, there is usually an extra charge.

Some locations have a limited choice of accommodation and so, to stay there, you must accept what is available. Where possible we prefer to work with responsible accommodation providers. This means hotels and lodges which are locally owned, employ local staff, support their community and protect the local environment.

  

 

Transport

As standard, we use a spacious 7-seater, 4×4 safari Land Cruiser, with pop-up roof, fridge and phone/camera charging facilities. This is the perfect safari vehicle.

 

Alternatively, we offer a slightly cheaper 7-seater, 4×4 safari van with a pop-up roof.

  

5-seater versions of both Land Cruisers and vans are also available.

 

For large group tours we use small buses called Coasters. These usually seat around 28 people, including 5 jump (fold-down) seats in the aisle. They do not have a boot/trunk so luggage is carried on the back seats which reduces the seating capacity. The overhead luggage shelves are small and can only accommodate small bags. Therefore, we recommend you do not over pack.

All vehicles include a driver/guide and fuel for your itinerary. Additional activities, not included in your itinerary, may incur an additional fuel charge. Our vehicles are comprehensively insured, in good mechanical condition and have seat belts fitted.

Please let us know if you have any special travel requirements. For example, if your group has disabled members we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Fly-in safaris

Fancy a fly-in safari, hopping from one location to another by small plane? Or save time by travelling to one of the farther destinations on your itinerary by air instead of road? Domestic flights are available to a variety of locations in Uganda so you can visit all or some of the places in your itinerary by plane, enjoying stunning aerial views of the countryside and wildlife below.

Scheduled and charter flights are available. Scheduled flights have some limitations in terms of routings and days of operation and in some cases minimum numbers are required. We will be pleased to advise you if you wish to fly.

Note: The luggage limit on small aircraft is 15kg per person, including both hand and hold luggage.  This must be in soft bags not hard suitcases.

 

 

 

 

 

See our Responsible Tourism pages for information about our approach to tourism and advice on how to travel responsibly.

For general advice please see our travel advice webpage.

Specific advice for this safari

See our information about gorilla and chimp tracking and habituation experiences in our primates section.

This safari can be done at any time of the year, however low season discounts are given for gorilla and chimp tracking in April and November.