Uganda Birds and Primate Photo Safari
12 days – (17-28 October 2024)
Come and join us on this fantastic Uganda Birds and Primate Photo Safari. Photographing Uganda’s diverse bird species, especially the vulnerable and elusive Shoebill, provides a rare and remarkable opportunity. The unique landscapes and rich biodiversity make Uganda a paradise for birdwatchers and photographers alike.
Trekking to see the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural habitats is an unforgettable experience. Capturing these majestic creatures through your lens, observing their behaviors and interactions, offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for stunning wildlife photography.
The combination of birdwatching and primate trekking in Uganda offers a diverse range of photography subjects, from vibrant birdlife in lush habitats to the gentle giants of the mountain forests. The challenge and thrill of capturing these moments on camera create memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
Book Early as places are limited to 6 participants.
17 October 2024 – Entebbe
Upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will transfer to the Protea Hotel for an overnight stay. In the afternoon, you’ll embark on a guided tour to explore the stunning National Botanical Gardens of Uganda, primarily focusing on bird watching.
The National Botanical Gardens of Uganda, situated in Entebbe, is renowned for its diverse bird species. As you wander through this picturesque botanical haven, you’ll have the opportunity to observe an array of colourful and unique birdlife native to Uganda.
You might encounter a variety of bird species such as the African fish eagle, hornbills, weavers, sunbirds, and many more amidst the lush greenery and serene surroundings of the gardens.
The tour will offer you a relaxing and educational experience, allowing you to appreciate the rich biodiversity of Uganda while focusing on its vibrant birdlife. After the tour, you can return to the Protea Hotel to unwind and prepare for your next adventure.
18 October 2024 – Entebbe
Your day will start with a transfer to the pier for an exciting private tour of Mabamba Swamp, renowned for its population of the majestic Shoebill and various other bird species. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll navigate through the swamp’s channels, keeping an eager eye out for the iconic Shoebill and an array of other avian wonders that call this area home.
As the day progresses, you’ll take a break for lunch in town, where you can savor local cuisine and perhaps take a moment to relax before the next adventure.
Following lunch, the day continues with a serene Lake Victoria sunset cruise. Aboard a boat, you’ll witness the breathtaking beauty of the sunset over Africa’s largest lake. The calm waters and stunning vistas provide an ideal setting to unwind and appreciate the natural splendor as the sun dips below the horizon.
After this serene experience, you’ll return to your hotel, where you can relax and reflect on the day’s remarkable encounters with Uganda’s diverse birdlife and the serene beauty of Lake Victoria.
19 October 2024 – Masindi
Your journey continues with a road transfer from Entebbe to Masindi. The road trip offers an opportunity to witness the scenic landscapes and local life along the way as you travel to Masindi.
Upon arrival, you’ll check in at the comfortable Masindi Hotel, where you’ll spend the night. The hotel provides a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere, allowing you to rest and rejuvenate after your day of travel.
Masindi is a town surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes and is often a gateway to various attractions, including the nearby Murchison Falls National Park.
Feel free to unwind, enjoy the hotel’s amenities, and prepare for the upcoming experiences that await you in this enchanting region of Uganda.
20 October 2024 – Murchison Falls National Park
Your day promises exciting birding adventures! You’ll begin by exploring the renowned Royal Mile, a prime birding spot located in the heart of Budongo Forest Reserve. This forest is a haven for birdwatchers, known for its incredible avian diversity. Your time here will be filled with thrilling sightings as you encounter various bird species, including the elusive and stunning forest birds like the Chocolate-backed kingfisher, the White-thighed hornbill, and many more.
After the rewarding birding experience at the Royal Mile, you’ll then proceed on your journey towards Murchison Falls National Park. This scenic drive will allow you to soak in Uganda’s landscapes, passing through towns and countryside en route to one of the country’s most renowned national parks.
Upon arrival at Murchison Falls National Park, you’ll check in at the luxurious Paraa Safari Lodge, situated along the Nile River. The lodge offers stunning views and comfortable accommodations, providing a perfect setting for relaxation after a day of birdwatching and travel.
The evening at Paraa Lodge allows you to unwind, enjoy the facilities, and perhaps take in the breathtaking views of the Nile before indulging in a delightful dinner. Get a good night’s rest as you prepare for further exploration and wildlife encounters within Murchison Falls National Park the following day.
21 October 2024 – Murchison Falls National Park
Your day in Murchison Falls National Park will be packed with wildlife encounters and birdwatching!
You’ll start with an early morning game drive, exploring the vast savannas and diverse landscapes of the park. Keep an eye out for iconic African wildlife such as elephants, lions, giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes, and if you’re lucky, the elusive leopard or cheetah. Additionally, Murchison Falls National Park is a haven for birdlife, so expect to spot numerous species during your game drive.
After your thrilling game viewing experience, you’ll have time for birdwatching. The park hosts an impressive variety of bird species, both resident and migratory, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts. You might catch sight of the rare Shoebill, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Goliath heron, and many more fascinating birds.
Later in the day, you’ll embark on a private boat cruise to the bottom of the magnificent Murchison Falls. This serene cruise along the Nile River allows for unparalleled views of the falls and provides an opportunity to spot wildlife like hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of birds congregating along the riverbanks.
After a full day of exploration and wildlife encounters, you’ll return to the comfort of Paraa Lodge for another relaxing evening. Enjoy the lodge’s amenities, share stories of your day’s adventures, and take in the beauty of the surroundings as you prepare for more exciting experiences ahead.
22 October 2024 – Kibale Forest National Park
Your journey from Murchison Falls National Park to Kibale Forest will take you through scenic routes and diverse landscapes, showcasing Uganda’s natural beauty along the way.
Upon arrival in Kibale, you’ll embark on an afternoon swamp walk—an immersive experience in the lush wetlands. This swamp walk allows you to explore the unique ecosystem of the area, offering opportunities to encounter various wildlife and bird species that thrive in this habitat. Keep an eye out for primates, birds, and other fascinating creatures as you traverse the swamp.
After the swamp walk, you’ll head to Turaco Treetops for your overnight stay. This unique lodge nestled in the forest canopy provides a tranquil and picturesque setting, offering an authentic experience of staying amidst nature. The lodge’s elevated position gives you a chance to appreciate the surrounding forest and its inhabitants, perhaps spotting some birds or monkeys from your treetop vantage point.
Enjoy the serenity of the forest, unwind in the comfortable accommodations, and relish the sounds of nature as you settle in for the night, anticipating more adventures in Kibale Forest the next day.
23 October 2024 – Kibale Forest National Park
The choice between trekking and photographing the chimpanzees or spending a full day birding at Kibale Forest presents two captivating experiences, each offering its own unique allure.
Trekking and photographing the chimpanzees: If you opt for this experience, you’ll embark on an exhilarating trek into the forest with experienced guides to search for and observe Kibale’s renowned chimpanzee population. The trek offers an opportunity to witness these fascinating primates in their natural habitat, observing their behaviors and interactions. Photographing these remarkable creatures amidst the lush forest setting can provide unforgettable moments and stunning photo opportunities.
Full day of birding: Choosing a full day dedicated to birding in Kibale Forest allows you to immerse yourself in the diverse avian life of the region. The forest is home to a multitude of bird species, offering birdwatchers the chance to spot various colorful and unique birds, including turacos, hornbills, barbets, and many more. Your day will be spent exploring different habitats within the forest, honing in on birding hotspots and capturing sightings of both resident and migratory bird species.
Both experiences promise an enriching encounter with Kibale Forest’s exceptional biodiversity. Whether you opt to spend time with the chimpanzees or indulge in a full day of birding, your stay at Turaco Treetops will offer a serene retreat amidst the natural splendor of the forest, allowing you to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures.
24 October 2024 – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Your journey continues to the renowned Queen Elizabeth National Park, known for its diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife.
Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a private Kazinga Channel cruise in the afternoon. The Kazinga Channel is a natural waterway that connects Lake Edward to Lake George, attracting a wealth of wildlife, especially along its banks. This private cruise offers an intimate experience, allowing you to witness the rich diversity of animals such as hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, and a variety of bird species that gather around the channel.
Following the captivating cruise, you’ll check in at the Mweya Safari Lodge for your overnight stay. The lodge offers breathtaking views of the park and the Kazinga Channel, providing a luxurious and comfortable setting amidst the wild beauty of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Take some time to relax, enjoy the lodge’s amenities, and perhaps savor a delicious meal while soaking in the stunning vistas that surround you. As the day winds down, reflect on the day’s remarkable wildlife encounters and the mesmerizing beauty of the park before retiring for the night in this beautiful safari lodge.
25 October 2024 – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The journey from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a scenic drive that takes you through beautiful landscapes and diverse terrains.
Upon arriving in Bwindi, you’ll check in at Engagi Lodge, a comfortable and inviting accommodation nestled in the heart of the forest. The lodge offers a serene atmosphere, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Bwindi as you prepare for an unforgettable gorilla trekking experience the next day.
Gorilla trekking is an incredible adventure that involves hiking through the dense forest in search of one of the habituated gorilla families. Your guide will lead you on this expedition, sharing insights about the forest and its inhabitants along the way.
It’s essential to prepare for the trek by ensuring you have suitable gear, such as sturdy hiking boots, comfortable clothing, rain gear, and a daypack with essentials like water and snacks. Additionally, following the guidelines provided by the park authorities is crucial for a successful and respectful gorilla trekking experience.
Take this evening to relax, soak in the ambiance of the lodge, and mentally prepare for the thrilling and awe-inspiring encounter with these magnificent mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
26 October 2024 – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The day begins with an early start for your much-anticipated gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. After a briefing by the park rangers about safety measures and gorilla trekking etiquette, you’ll set off into the dense forest in search of a habituated gorilla family.
The trek can vary in duration and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla group you’re visiting. As you navigate through the rugged terrain and lush vegetation, your experienced guides and trackers will lead the way, using their expertise to locate the gorillas.
Once you encounter the gorilla family, you’ll have a precious hour to observe these incredible primates in their natural habitat. You’ll witness their behaviors, interactions, and perhaps get the opportunity to take photos and create lasting memories of this extraordinary wildlife encounter.
After your magical time with the gorillas, you’ll trek back out of the forest, filled with awe and a deeper appreciation for these magnificent creatures and the conservation efforts to protect them.
Upon returning to Engagi Lodge, take time to relax and reflect on the incredible experience you’ve had today. Enjoy the comfort and hospitality of the lodge, sharing stories and reliving the highlights of your gorilla trekking adventure. This evening allows you to savor the memories of this once-in-a-lifetime encounter with mountain gorillas.
27 October 2024 – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
A forest walk with a local birding guide is a wonderful way to cap off your exploration in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. As you stroll through the forested trails, accompanied by the expertise of a knowledgeable birding guide, you’ll have the chance to spot and learn about a variety of bird species that call this diverse ecosystem home.
Bwindi is not only famous for its mountain gorillas but also renowned for its incredible birdlife. The forest is a haven for birdwatchers, boasting a multitude of bird species, including several Albertine Rift endemics. Your guide will help you identify and appreciate the different bird calls, behaviors, and unique features of these avian inhabitants.
Following your immersive birding experience, you’ll return to Engagi Lodge for your last night of the tour. Take this time to relax and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Reflect on the adventures, encounters with wildlife, and the beauty of Uganda’s natural landscapes during your stay at this comfortable and welcoming lodge.
Enjoy a delicious meal, share your experiences with fellow travelers, and savor the final moments of your journey through Uganda. Engagi Lodge provides a serene setting to unwind and appreciate the memories created during your exploration of Bwindi’s remarkable biodiversity.
28 October 2024 – End of Itinerary
After a hearty breakfast at Engagi Lodge, you’ll check out and embark on a transfer to Kihihi Airstrip for your flight back to Entebbe. The transfer to Kihihi Airstrip will likely involve a scenic drive through the beautiful landscapes of Bwindi.
Once you arrive at Kihihi Airstrip, you’ll board your scheduled flight to Entebbe. The flight offers stunning aerial views as you depart from Bwindi and journey back to Entebbe.
Your flight is expected to arrive at Entebbe International Airport around 11:25 am, marking the conclusion of your incredible journey through Uganda’s diverse and captivating landscapes, wildlife, and cultural experiences.
As you depart, carry with you cherished memories of gorilla encounters, birdwatching escapades, and the beauty of Uganda’s national parks and lodges. This journey has been filled with remarkable adventures and unforgettable moments, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders of this remarkable country.
Price + Inclusions
|Uganda Birds and Primate Photo Safari
|Price per person
|from AU$ 10,850
Departure date from Entebbe: 17 October 2024
Participants: Maximum 6
- 11 nights accommodation
- Internal flight
- Transfers as specified in the itinerary
- Meals as specified
- Activities as specified – subject to change due to weather conditions
- Private tour of Mabamba Swamp in search of the Shoebill
- English-speaking guide throughout
- Game drives in National Parks as per itinerary
- Park fees
- Travel Kit and documentation
- International Flights
- Gorilla Permit – USD 700
- Chimpanzee Permit – USD 200
- Travel and medical insurance
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls etc.)
- Optional extras (touring, activities etc.)
Terms and Conditions:
*Price is in Australian dollars Price correct as of 15 December 2023 but may fluctuate due to surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change.
^Deposit conditions apply. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for card payments. Packages may be withdrawn without notice. Gratuities, vaccinations, visas & travel insurance are not included. Please check prices, availability & other information with your travel consultant before booking.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Entebbe
Paraa Safari Lodge
Mweya Safari Lodge