201: 4 DAYS BIRDING BREAK TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK

Ref: 201, 4 Days

201: 4 DAYS BIRDING BREAK TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK

$1580 per person

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

Budongo forest and Murchison falls national park boast of a rich habitat providing the perfect few days off or long weekend for birders wanting to escape the city or for business travellers or tourists wanting to extend their planned itinerary. The habitat supports 11 species of Guinea-Congo Forests, 6 species of the Afro-tropical Highlands and 3 of the Somali–Masai biome. You will have the opportunities to explore forest, open woodland, savannah, open water and wetland areas birding. Expert site guides will accompany you as you search for 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

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

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 game drive. Nile River cruise to falls; hike to top of the falls

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, a successful conservation project that has worked so hard for the return of the southern white rhinos into Uganda at its 70 kms² sanctuary. The site supports 300+ species of birds in its woodland, savannah and swamp habitat. You will track the rhinos accompanied by an experienced guide and watch birds as you enjoy your nature walk.
Accommodation: Amuka Lodge - Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Meals: B, L, D  
2
Day 2: Swamp local boat trip for Shoebill. Transfer to Murchison Falls National park
06:00 You’ll make an early start after your breakfast to search for the Shoebill – one of Africa’s most sought after 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, have lunch and then transfer to Murchison Falls National Park approx. 3 hours. If time allows and you are still energetic, you take an evening game drive. At dusk is some good time to look out for the nocturnal birds like nightjars.
Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge - Murchison Falls national park
Meals: B, L, D  
3
Day 3: Birding game drive. Nile River cruise to falls; hike to top of the falls
Enjoy spectacular bird watching in the savannah plains during a game drive around the delta region. Among the many birds to look out for include; Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, African Rock Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, Common Redstart, Ethiopian Swallow, House Martin, Sooty Chat, Angola Swallow, White-fronted Black Chat, Rock Thrush, Lesser Striped Swallow, Isabelline Wheatear, Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul and Yellow-throated Greenbul. You will also spot herds of buffalo, elephant and other animals such as waterbuck, warthog, hyena, Uganda Kob. Keep yours open for the lions. In the afternoon, take a fabulous 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. There are chances of seeing the Rock Prantincole’s along the trail.
Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge- Murchison Falls National Park
Meals: B, L, D
4
Day 4: Birding in the Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest. Return to Kampala
Today we’ll depart Pakuba for birding in the Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest. This is a discovered location for the Puvell’s Illadopsis, and a prime spot for the Black-billed Turacco, Narina Trogon, Blue-throated Roller and Fire-crested Alethe. You will have your lunch in Masindi town. Then make your journey to Kampala.
Meals: B, L
We can provide additional accommodation at the beginning and end of your holiday, depending on your requirements.

Guide price: from US$ 1,580 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).