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Birding With Avian Safaris

Written by  Jan 16, 2013

AVIAN SAFARIS – Birding at Your Pace With Real Bird Guides.

We set out to do something different; to offer birders birdwatching expeditions which are far from the ordinary, customized, unique, cool, energetic, bonding and indulgent vacations for individuals and families. It seems a lot of people like their birding Tours that way.
People have trusted us to design exciting, fun-filled vacations for them, their families and others.  We can “tailor-make” a bird watching trip that will linger in a lifetime’s worth of memories.
On our tours you will visit birdwatching spots untouched by mass tourism, have endemic, endangered, and restricted species, and fun with new friends from around the world who share your sense of adventure. Take some time and look at the attractive range of Tours/Safaris and Excursions we offer on our website. We are very flexible and really want you to get the most out of your birding time in. Just tell us exactly what you have in mind and we will be happy to arrange something for you.

Your Birding Guide

A trained and professional bird guide is very important for any bird watching tour; our guides are chosen very carefully on merit. They are personable, knowledgeable with interesting academic and professional backgrounds who have all the skills to conduct an extended birding tour in a professional manner and to make sure every individual has a great time.

Crammy Wanyama - Your GuideCrammy Wanyama - Your Guide

Our professional local birding guides have grown up with in their areas of guiding (Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda), chasing after birds and small mammals as children. They have gone through Bird, Cultural, Wildlife, and general tour guiding courses and belong to regional guides clubs. In Uganda, they are members of the Uganda Bird Guides Club (UBGC), Uganda Cultural Guides Club (UCGC) and Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA) which is the umbrella association for all guides’ clubs in the country.

Our Knowledgeable Birding guides fluently speak English, and there is hardly a question they are likely not to answer. They will guide you on your excursion, tour, safari to all the birding spots included in the itinerary and work to the best of theirs for every member of the group to see a specific bird at spot. Their expertise guarantees leading you to sought-after species, hence an excellent experience.

We emphasize quality bird watching tours: The primary aim of our guides is to show you those birds which are truly remarkable and elusive; the likes of the endemics, restricted-range, endangered, vulnerable and threatened.

Please note that a knowledgeable guide is key to the success of any organized  birdwatching trip, and for independent birdwatchers with high expectations, hiring a local guide is highly beneficial because it increases the chances of seeing the less common  and local species, contributes to the local economy and creates an incentive to protect birds.

Anne with her guide Veronica - We have answers to female birding guide requests. 

Personal Friendly Staff

We know that great birding experiences require hours of preparation, therefore while designing Itineraries, we focus on individual or group needs. We provide skilled handling of all the technical and logistical details: securing the exact understanding of your individual or group needs and interests.

We pride ourselves in the approachability of our dedicated and dynamic staff and the friendliness of the service which they provide. Our team is always available to respond personally to your comments, if they are to place together a totally unique and satisfactory tour experience suiting your birding tour requirements. Please call or email our office at any time and ask any questions you would like to. You are going to find helpful and courteous service, and we always enjoy chatting with actual and potential birders, therefore, if you have any questions at all about our tours then please get in touch. We really want to hear from you.

Having such a dedicated and efficient team behind you makes all the differences when it comes to having an enjoyable tour, both before, during and after the tour.

Unbeatable Value for Money

At the end of the day, consistent high quality of services cannot be provided at a significant discount although we are dedicated to providing quality and satisfactory tours and excursions at prices which are simply fair. Contact us for a quotation, you will not be disappointed.

You will find our sales consultants friendly, supremely knowledgeable and prepared to go that extra mile to ensure you have the finest tour at the most attractive price without compromising on the experience. When you contact us, you will have direct telephone numbers of your personal consultant throughout the booking process.

Financial Security

Avian Safaris is a Ugandan fully registered company and bonded tour operator (No. 187156 in the index of registration), so you can be sure that all payments made to us in advance of your tour are fully protected. It might be quite difficult to let you know how important it is to book your tours with a reliable company. It may cost a bit more, but a financial failure that leaves you with a serious problem is far less likely.

We are such a credible tour operator company in the country; this is evident from our strong ties with the prime stake holders in Uganda's tourism industry.  Not only are we corporate members of Nature Uganda (NU)- a branch of the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) in Uganda which is the oldest oldest conservation organisation in East Africa, Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA)- The umbrella association of guides and guides clubs in Uganda,Uganda Bird Guides ClubUganda Cultural Guides Club, but also in good books with Uganda Wildlife AuthorityUganda Tourism Board along with several others.

Group Size

At Avian Safaris, we have low group size limits of any major birdwatching tour company. Our Off-the-shelf tours of six (6) individuals will bread a quality tour since better communication will be ensured and there are higher chances of seeing birds clearly and closely even when birding in Uganda's Rain Forests.Four of a group of six birders finding the Equatorial Akalat at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Quality Hotels

We operate with a variety of hotels which have been carefully selected on merit and frequently checked to ensure they meet our rigorous standards, many have been chosen for their commitment to sustainable tourism. As well as location, our selection also reflects our personal preference for places with character where the owners and managers like to engage with their guests.

We have contracts with a big number of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda hotels, this means we can pass on substantial savings to our clients and also guarantees us control to ensure the content and quality of your stay is of acceptable standards.

Comfortable Reliable 4x4 Vehicles

We have 4x4 vehicles, suitable for a variety of road conditions and game drives with ‘pop-up’ tops to maximize birding and Game viewing even in the savannah amidst the wild beasts. All vehicles are fitted with seat belts, reclining seats, a window seat for every member on board and for the comfort of all passengers, have a 'no smoking' policy.

Our Vision

We aim at establishing ourselves as a niche player in the private sector of Uganda’s avian tourism. By participating in conservation programs and organizing trips that give our guests the best travel experiences.

Mission

Internally we intend to create and nurture a healthy, exuberant, respectful, and enjoyable environment, in which our employees are fairly compensated and encouraged to respect the clients and the quality of the service we provide. In addition, follow-up will be mandatory so as to ensure client satisfaction and make any improvements as recommended by the clients. We seek fair and responsible profit, enough to keep the company financially healthy for the short and long term, and to fairly remunerate our employees.

Values

We exist to provide a valuable service to our clients, a rewarding opportunity for our employees, and profitability to our shareholders. We believe that success in this endeavour depends on our employees. Satisfied employees lead to satisfied clients, which leads to satisfied shareholders. To achieve this, we enable our employees to act with an entrepreneurial spirit, and we value those willing to take responsibility for their actions.

We treat employees as family, which fosters intimacy, informality, strong relationships, caring attitudes, and it makes work more fun. We treat employees with respect, which encourages them to treat each other and every client with respect.

We want our clients to experience legendary service that makes a lasting impression. Providing exceptional value to clients requires hard work and concentration. Hard work is most effective when processes are simple. Simplicity reduces costs and speeds processes. We believe in doing things right the first time, therefore do not cut corners.

We take pride in our efforts as well as the rewards. Throughout this endeavour, safety will be the over-riding force behind any decision. On our tours, our clients will travel in security and confidence, with professional and personable tour guides. Through their personal commentary, they should be able to have an in-depth look at the tour activities and the country with its people.

Objectives

Continuously provide enjoyable quality excursions, tours and safaris on time and budget.

Develop enthusiastically satisfied clients all of the time.

Establish a market presence that assures short-term and long-term profitability, growth and success.

We are fully committed to supporting growth and development of sustainable tourism.

Contribute positively to the communities in the tourism areas and wildlife Conservations.

Responsible Birdwatching

 

UGANDA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST 

KENYA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

RWANDA BIRD WATCHING ITINERARIES LIST

UGANDA AND RWANDA BIRDING ITINERARIES LIST

Last modified on Saturday, 27 August 2016 05:12

Common Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

common squacco heron

The Common Squacco Heron is a palearctic migrant, breeding in southern Europe and Greater Middle East, and wintering in Africa.

This small heron is stocky with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back, growing to 44–47 cm long (bill tip to tail, 20–23 cm width and 80–92 cm of wingspan.

The Squacco Heron breeds in marshy wetland habitats of warm countries. The birds nest in small colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs where they lay up to 3-4 eggs.

Their diet consist of fish, frogs and insects.

Shoebill Balaeniceps rex

Diet: Lungfishes, Catfish, Tilapia, Frogs, Reptiles, and small mammal

Habitat and feeding: Swamps, marshes, particular floating vegetation, generally muddy areas on fresh water bodies

The Shoebill is a massive bird, growing to heights of 3-1/2ft to 4-1/2ft tall.

The birds nest solitarily, laying one to three eggs in a large flat nest built amid swamp grasses or sedges, usually in remote areas. These eggs measure 80 to 90 mm high by 56 to 61 mm and weigh around 164 g. It takes 140 days of nest-attendance to get from new-laid egg to independent offspring and it takes three to four years to get from newly independent offspring to mature adult.

This species is considered to be one of the five most desirable birds in Africa by ornithologists.

Saddle-billed Stork 

(Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)

Diet: Mainly feeds on fish, frogs and crabs, but also on small birds and reptiles.

The Saddle-billed Stork breeds in forested waterlands and floodlands in tropical lowland. The female lays one or two white eggs weighing about 146g each. The incubation period is 30–35 days, with another 70 – 100 days before the chicks fledge.

Birds grow to 150 cm height,142 cm length and 2.4–2.7 m wingspan. The male is larger and heavier than the female, with a range of 5.1–7.5 kg. The female is usually between 5 and 7 kg. It is probably the tallest of the Storks. 

The long bill measures from 27.3 to 36 cm. 

Sexes can be readily distinguished by the golden yellow iris of the female and the brown irises and dangling yellow wattles of the male.

Mountain Gorilla

(Gorilla beringei beringei)

Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world's most endangered apes with a population of less than 800 individuals world over- none in zoos. They are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

They share 97% DNA with human beings! They are our closest living cousins after the Chimpanzee.

They have up to 25 vocalization for communication

Mountain Gorillas are shy, social and very active during day. They live in families of 8-25 members with one leading male (The Silver Back).

Gorillas have a lifespan of 50 years in the wild. They reproduce at a very slow speed with a gestation period of approximately 8.5 months and an interval of four years to the next birth.

Diet: Mainly herbivores eating fruits, herbs, leaves, stems, roots and shoots. Sometimes ingest small insects like ants and termites.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)

This sedentary medium-sized wading bird of 56 cm long, weighing 470 gm  is know to occur from Africa to coastal southwest Arabia wetlands.

Hamerkops feed during the day, the main diet consists of amphibians and fish. Sometimes, they eat shrimp, insects and rodents. They walk in shallow water looking for prey, shuffling one foot at a time on the bottom or suddenly opening their wings to flush prey out of hiding.

Hamerkops, of all birds make the biggest nest in the trees, sometimes more than 1.5 m across, comprising perhaps 10,000 sticks and strong enough to support a man's weight. A mud-plastered entrance 13 to 18 cm wide in the bottom leads through a tunnel up to 60 cm long to a nesting chamber big enough for the parents and young.

They lay 3 to 7 eggs that start white but soon become stained. Both sexes incubate for 28 to 30 days. The chicks leave the nest at 44 to 50 days.

In culture, the bird is associated to bad omen; Some cultures in Uganda believe, when the bird patches on ones house then they are likely to be struck by lightening. In some places, when it calls over the house, people know that someone close to them has died. The Kalahari Bushmen believe that the inimical god Khauna would not like anyone to kill a Hamerkop. According to an old Malagasy belief, anyone who destroys its nest will get leprosy, and a Malagasy poem calls it an "evil bird". Such beliefs have given the bird some protection.

  1. Uganda
  2. Kenya
  3. Rwanda