201: Birding Break to Murchison Falls National Park

Ref: 201, 4 Days

201: Birding Break to Murchison Falls National Park

$1400 per person

A short bird watching safari to some of Uganda’s birding hotspots, including Murchison Falls and other forest, savannah and wetland habitats.

This short bird watching break provides the perfect long weekend for birders wanting to escape the city or for business travellers or tourists wanting to add a few days on to their planned itinerary. It takes you to Uganda’s largest national park and provides opportunities to explore forest, open woodland, savannah, open water and wetland areas. You will even have the chance to spot birds as you cruise along the River Nile. Expert local guides will help you to identify some of the hundreds of species to be found here and there is plenty of time for photography too. You can’t miss some of Uganda’s big game along the way including elephant, giraffe, lion and buffalo to name but a few.

 

Highlights

  • Track Uganda’s only Southern White rhinos and explore the sanctuary’s wetlands for Shoebill
  • Birding by safari vehicle and boat
  • 450+ bird species

 

Overview

Day 1: Travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Birding and rhino tracking
Day 2: Swamp local boat trip for Shoebill. Transfer to Murchison Falls National park
Day 3: Birding and game drive in Murchison Falls National Park
Day 4: Birding in the Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest. Return to Kampala.

 

When is the best time of year to visit Uganda?

Although Ugandan seasons have become less predictable in recent years, peak tourist seasons usually coincide with dry seasons. When choosing your dates consider:

  • Uganda is an all-year round destination with a pleasant climate and temperatures averaging in the mid 20s0C. The huge variety in altitude means temperatures vary around the country (but this also means increased biodiversity)
  • Flight prices often increase in European/American holiday seasons
  • There are fewer tourists in low seasons so you can have the place to yourselves!
  • Many hotels offer all-year prices so the price of your visit may not change much between seasons
  • Most major roads going from the capital, Kampala, up-country are tarmac. Conditions on murram roads may worsen, to varying degrees, in rainy season
  • Rainy season can be good for birding as there is more food (bugs) available
  • If you are targeting certain birds, ask our advice on breeding and migration seasons
  • Should you plan to climb the Rwenzori mountains, dry seasons are best
  • Hiking may be better in rainy seasons when it is cooler

 

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1
Day 1: Travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Birding and rhino tracking
Leaving Kampala behind, you travel north to Ziwa where the Rhino Fund has successfully reintroduced the southern white rhino into Uganda at its 70 kms² sanctuary. You will track the rhinos with an experienced guide and enjoy great birdwatching; the famous Shoebill can be spotted here.
Accommodation: Amuka Lodge - Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Meal plan: B, L, D
2
Day 2: Swamp boat trip for Shoebill. Transfer to Murchison Falls
06:00 You’ll make an early start to search for the Shoebill – one of Africa’s favourite bird species. Travelling by local canoe, you will explore the Lugogo swamp area for around 3 to 4 hours. Other bird species you may meet while on this canoe ride include the African Jacana, Black Crake, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, African open-billed stork, Great egret, Egyptian goose, African fish eagle and Goliath Heron. On your return, you will transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. After settling in to your lodge, enjoy an afternoon game drive.
Accommodation: Fort Murchison - Murchison Falls National Park Meals plan: B, L, D
3
Days 3: Birding and game drive in Murchison Falls National Park
Enjoy spectacular bird watching in the savannah plains during a game drive around the delta region. Spot herds of buffalo, elephant and other animals such as waterbuck, warthog, hyena, Uganda Kob. In the open savannah, keep an eye out for lions. Take a fabulous afternoon boat cruise upstream along the Nile to the powerful Murchison Falls. Crocodiles and hippos are often seen along the river banks, along with birdlife and other animals quenching their thirst. A gentle 45 minute hike with your guide to the top offers wonderful views over the Falls and the entire park.
Accommodation: Fort Murchison - Murchison Falls National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
4
Day 4: Birding in the Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest. Return to Kampala
Leave the lodge early for a birding drive through the Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest. This is a newly discovered location for spotting the Puvell’s Illadopsis, and a prime spot for the Black-billed Turacco, Narina Trogon, Blue-throated Roller and Fire-crested Alethe. Continue to Masindi for lunch before your return journey to Kampala.
Meal plan: B, L
We can provide additional accommodation at the beginning and end of your holiday, depending on your requirements.

Guide price: US$ 1,400 per person

Based on 2 adults sharing a double room, in mid-range accommodation, in low season and travelling in a safari Land Cruiser (all our safaris and tours can be adapted to high-end, mid-range or budget versions)

 

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, exchange rates fluctuate, 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.

Price includes

A double room in mid-range, non-air-conditioned accommodation with a full board meal plan

Private safari vehicle with driver and fuel for this itinerary

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: alcohol, laundry services and souvenirs

Tips (normally 5–10% and around $10 per day for your guide).