Although Uganda has a turbulent history and suffered from war for many years, it is a safe country to visit nowadays. You will be warmly welcomed by the friendly residents. Kampala the capital city is announced to be one of the safest capital cities in East Africa.
Most national parks are situated in the southwestern part of the country and all are safe for tourist activities. The border area with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo remains stable. All national parks and wildlife reserves are well protected by the rangers of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
All mentioned prices are inclusive of:
- Ground transport per comfortable 4WD safari vehicle
- All birding areas entry fees
- Visit to all mentioned places in the itinerary
- The services of an experienced birding guide and driver
- National park entrance fees
- Gorilla permits where applicable
- Chimpanzee permits where applicable
- Activities that are mentioned in the itinerary, except for the optional activities
- Accommodations in the mentioned locations
- Meals included in the final itinerary
- Bottled drinking mineral water
- Government taxes during the itinerary
- Ranger fees
- International flight fares
- Visa (available at the airport)
- Meals and snacks that are not mentioned in the itinerary
- Beverages not mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips and gratuities
- Laundry fees
- Optional activities that are mentioned in the program
- Items of personal nature
- Travel insurance
- International transaction costs
Officially Uganda has a rainy season from September-November and from Mid March-may and a dry season from January-Mid March and June-mid September. Dry season months are most popular with tourists, with July and August as the peak season.
Most rain falls in October-November and Mid March-May. However, this does not mean that it rains all day. Usually it is a tropical shower at night or shortly during the day, but in Uganda you can trust that after rain, comes sunshine. The weather is no reason to avoid traveling in the wet season.
Like in the rest of the world, climates seem to be changing thus difficult for us to predict the weather during your safari. On the contrary, the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine 365 days a year. During the day the temperature averages between 26°CC, though in some places it can cool down in the night.
One remarkable aspect about coming to Uganda is, whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in wet season, you will never find the crowded tourism. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one, even during the peak season!
At Avian Safaris, we have low group size limits. 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 the tropical rain forests of Uganda.
Our comfortable Safari vehicles offer seats for four to six people just to ensure that every birder has a window seat and enough space for luggage. However, we offer tours for larger numbers upon request.
Lone bird watchers are well entertained. Lone traveler safaris are organized at any time of client request. However, out of experience we know that lone travelling can be expensive sometimes we therefore designed a scheduled departure tour which is ideal in this case. Please click here to take a look.
Despite the fact that you need a passport which is valid for another six months, you are also required to have a tourist visa before you enter Uganda. Visas are purchased upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport. Photos are not required and a visa fee is US$ 50 per person.
If you are interested in a mountain gorilla safari in Uganda, you are required to buy a gorilla permit. A permit costs USD 600 only and USD 450 for the months of April, May and November, eight people are allowed per day at each gorilla group, the demand is high thus it would be wise to let us know of your interest in gorilla tracking early so that the booking is done in time. It is our pleasure to arrange this for you, all we need to know is the preferred date. In order to be able to buy the gorilla permit you have to provide us with your full names, nationality and passport number. Some level of fitness is required for the gorilla tracking, though you might be denied if your are found ill. Also note that the minimum age for tracking the gorillas is 15 years.
We provides full time 4WD safari vehicles with pop-up and clear sliding windows for easy photography even amidst the untamable savannah residents.
For your safari, you basically have the choice to stay in Budget, Midrange or Luxury accommodation. Budget accommodation consists of simple and basic rooms, bandas or tents, providing double or twin beds and mosquito nets when necessary. Private bathrooms are not always available and therefore you might have to share the washing facilities.
The 3-5 star accommodations offer comfortable rooms or luxury furnished safari tents with a private bathroom, Flush toilets as well as hot and cold running water. Also mosquito nets will be present where necessary.
All lodges are carefully selected and frequently visited by us, to ensure quality of the facility and service. Most of the safari accommodations are small-scale with a maximum of 8 rooms and offer a unique location or ambience.
Once you confirm the final itinerary with us, we request you requested to pay a deposit of the total cost (Please view our policy here). In case gorilla tracking is included in the program, You will be required to make a full payment for the gorilla permits. Note that availability of accommodations and permits is not guaranteed until officially confirmed by us. Reservations will be made as soon as the payment has been received on our account.
Our bank offers Electronic bank transfers and our Swift code will be sent to you for the transactions. Please note that all bank charges are at the expense of the client.
Different types of vaccinations are recommended and required before entering Uganda. Besides bringing mosquito repellents, we advise you to carry malaria prevention medications. Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory, just as a cholera stamp in your vaccination passport. Immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio) and Hepatitis A are recommended as well. Please consult your local doctor or health department for a detailed and updated advice.
Unfortunately there are only a few banks that accept Visa credit cards and the likes for transactions. Master cards, not widely accepted either and only a small number of banks do accept traveler cheques. Therefore, we advise you to bring cash and have money changed upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport. US dollars, Euro and Pound Starling are easy to change, although for some expenses, like the payment of visa, it is easier with US dollars.
NOTE: US dollar bills from the year 2001 and below are NOT accepted!
Of course a tip fully depends on the level of your satisfaction, but even a very small amount to show your gratitude will be highly appreciated. Therefore, feel comfortable to tip the much you wish.
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.
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.
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Family: Eurylaimidae, Genus: Pseudocalyptomena, Species: Pseudocalyptomena graueri
The Grauer's Broadbill or African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) is an actual broadbill, one of only a few African representatives of a primarily Asian family. It is bright green with a blue throat and vent and a small bill, quite unlike those of the other broadbills. It is endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests where it forages in canopies.
It is one of the African Big Five bird species, highly sought after by ornithologists but very elusive.
The species is both globally endangered and endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Kingdom: Amimalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Order: Coraciiformes, Family: Meropidae, Genus: Merops
The Blue-breasted Bee-eater is endemic to Africa and just as the name suggests, predominantly eats flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera.