Bird Watching and Primates Uganda Safari- 11 Days

Young Mountain Gorilla

This Primates and birding safaris takes you to Uganda's forests with the highest concentrations of primates as well as specialty birds. Kibale Forest, has the highest concentration of primates in East Africa and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is known for its record as one of the most biologically-rich forests in Africa and the fact that it has Africa's number one birding spot for 2011 as by the African Bird Club.

Tour Highlights

Departs: Entebbe International Airport Tour Length: 11 Days Focus: Birding | Chimpanzee Trekking | Mountain Gorilla Trekking Key Species: Orange Weaver, Shelley's Crimsonwing, African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Kivu Ground Thrush, Albertine Rift Endemics, Green-breasted Pitta, Mountain Gorilla, Chimpanzee Expected # of birds: 300 Species Birding Pace: Moderate Physical Difficulty: Some degree of fitness is required for Chimpanzee and Gorilla trekking exercises Group Limit: Maximum 8 Bird Photography: Worthwhile- can be quite difficult in the forest

Day 1: Arrival For Uganda Primates and Birding Tour

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, transfer to the Hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, we bird Entebbe botanical Gardens or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Overnight at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel | Entebbe Travellers Inn (FB)

Day 2: Uganda Birding Tour to Kibale Forest National Park

Have breakfast then bird to Kibale Forest National Park. We will have several stops on the way if we are to increase our chances of see a number of the beautiful birds along, and probably a number of primate species.

Overnight at Kibale Primate Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (FB)

Day 3: Birding Tour and Primates Trekking in Uganda - Bird Uganda Tours

Today, we bird Kibale forest for the Green-breasted Pitta other species will include; Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Wood Owl, African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Black Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-and-white Mannikin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turaco, Black-billed Weaver, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Black-necked Weaver,African/Western Citril, Black-throated Apalis, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, African Blue Flycatcher, Bocage' Bush-shrike, Bronze Mannikin, Zebra Waxbill, Bronze Sunbird, and many more.

Chimpanzee

Overnight at Kibale Primate Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (FB)

Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking and Birdwatching Tour in Uganda

Chimpanzee tracking activity starts quite early in the morning, therefore you will be required to wake early, have breakfast then assemble for briefing by a ranger guide at the starting point. As the most accessible of Uganda's major rainforests, Kibale has a well established Chimpanzee tracking program with a high success rate. Other primates among the 13 recorded here you should expect to see include; Guereza Colobus, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L'Hoest's Monkey, Galagos, Potto, Bush Babies, Red-tailed Monkeys and the others. In the evening, a nocturnal primates walk will be available.

Overnight at Kibale Primate Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (FB)

Day 5: Bird Uganda Sebitore and Bigodi Swamp - Uganda Birding

This morning we bird the sebitore sector of Kibale Forest National Park for the Joyfull Greenbul and a number of other species and Bigodi swamp for the Papyrus endemics and water birds, in the afternoon. In Bigodi we expect the Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, just to mention but a few.

Overnight at Kibale Primate Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (FB)

Day 6: Uganda Birding Safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After an early breakfast, we bird to western Uganda for the birding experience in Africa’s No. 1 birding Spot. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to over a half of the world’s endangered Mountain Gorillas and is home to a number of nocturnal and diurnal Primates thus expect an excellent adventure.

Overnight at Gorilla Resort | Buhoma Community Rest Camp (FB)

Day 7: Mountain Gorillas Trekking and Bird Watching Tour of Uganda

There are less than 800 mountain gorillas in the whole world. Uganda is home to more than a half of these beautiful, majestic gentle giants and yet endangered apes. Therefore, Gorilla tracking in Uganda is a must experience not to be missed. Bwindi impenetrable forest habituates families of mountain gorillas along with other species of primates for example, Chimpanzees, Colubus monkeys, Olive baboons, name it.

Early in the morning, you have breakfast then assemble for a briefing from the ranger guide before heading for the Gorilla trekking. You have plenty of chances to spot more forest birds during Gorilla tracking, so keep your eyes open. If trekking is successful early, you can have a self-guided bird watching evening, look out for species like, the Black Bee-Eater, Dusky Tit, Brown-caped Weaver, the Yellow-billed and yellow-spotted Barbets, the African and Black-and-white Shrike Flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Brown-throated and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Apalises, Equatorial Akalat, Slaty Flyacatcher, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Grey Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, the Olive-green and Grey-backed Camaropteras, White-chinned Prinnia, Green Hylia, Short-tailed Warbler, White-tailed Antithrush, Cape Wagtail, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer's Warbler, Grauer's Rush Warbler, White-browed Crombec, the list is long.

Olive-belied Sunbird

Overnight at Gorilla Resort | Buhoma Community Rest Camp (FB)

Day 8: Ruhija Twitcher Tour of Uganda - Uganda Birding

Today we bird Ruhija in search for the darling African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Shelley’s and Dusky Crimson-wings, Striped-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, White-browed Crombec, White-napped Raven, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Sharp’s Starling, Mountain masked and Rwenzori Apalises and many more.

Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge | Trekkers Tavern (Full Board)

Day 9: Mubwindi Birding- Albertine Endemic Birds Tour in Uganda - Birding Uganda

Whole day birding Mubwindi Swamp. We look out for the Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, White-tailed blue flycatcher, Brown-capped warbler, Black-billed weaver, Black-necked weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, Grey-headed Sparrow, Waller's Starling, Stuhlmann's starling, Montane Oriole, Many Coloured Bush-shrike, Bocage's Bush-shrike, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Pink-footed Puffback, Ludher's Bush-shrike,Doherty`s Bush-shrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Rwenzori Nightjar.

Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge | Trekkers Tavern (Full Board)

Day 10: Transfer to Entebbe Birding Enroute

After breakfast, we bird to Kampala lunch enroute.

Overnight at Entebbe Traveller's Inn

Day 11: End of Bird watching tour -Departure

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.

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.

Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)

The Goliath Heron, is the world's largest heron. It measures 120–152 cm height, 185–230 cm wingspan and weighs 4–5 kg.

The species is very aquatic, even by heron standards, inhabiting marshes around lakes, swamps, mangrove wetlands, reefs with few cool water, and sometimes river deltas within elevations from see level to to 2,100 m.

Goliath Herons generally prefer to nest on islands or islands of vegetation coinciding with the start of the rains. The birds may abandon a nesting site if the island becomes attached to the mainland. They nest fairly low in variously sedge, reeds, bushes, trees or even on rocks or large tree stumps. The nests are large, often measuring around 1 to 1.5 m in diameter. In these nests they lay pale blue eggs, averaging 72 mm by 54 mm and weighing around 108 g. The clutch size can range from 2 to 5. Incubation lasts 24 to 30 days.

Mainly prey on fish, specializing in relatively large fish. The largest fish targeted may measure 50 cm although the heron may not be able to swallow prey up to this size. Small fish are generally ignored and the average Goliath catches around 2 or 3 fish a day. Breams, Mullet, Tilapia and carp have locally been recorded as preferred species. Frogs, prawns, small mammals, lizards, snakes, insects and even carrion are also part of the diet.

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)

Great Blue Turaco

Turacos are a group of African near-passerines. The Great Blue Turaco is the largest turaco and also the largest species in the diverse Cuculiformes order (which includes the cuckoos).

Generally, the Great Blue Turaco is 70–76 cm in length with a mass of 800–1,231 g. In the Bandundu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Blue Turaco is actively hunted for meat and feathers. The blue and yellow tail feathers are prized for making good luck talismans.

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