12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife & Primate Safari

12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife and Primate Safari

Embark on an immersive 12 Days best of Uganda safari journey through the natural wonders of Uganda, a paradise for birding enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and primate aficionados alike. Your adventure begins with an exhilarating shoebill tracking expedition in the pristine wetlands of Mabamba Swamp, where you’ll have the rare opportunity to encounter the iconic shoebill, a majestic bird species native to the region.


As you glide through the tranquil waters, surrounded by lush vegetation, keep your binoculars ready to spot a myriad of avian species that call this unique habitat home. Continuing your exploration, venture into the enchanting forests of Kibale National Park, renowned as the primate capital of East Africa. Embark on an unforgettable chimpanzee tracking excursion, trekking through dense foliage in search of these intelligent creatures.

Listen to the echoing calls of chimpanzees as you observe them swinging effortlessly through the treetops, displaying fascinating behaviors and social interactions. Your 12 Days best of Uganda safari journey then leads you to the misty rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you’ll embark on an awe-inspiring gorilla trekking adventure and have the exclusive opportunity to participate in a gorilla habituation experience, gaining insights into the daily lives and behaviors of these gentle giants.

In Mgahinga National Park, embark on a thrilling golden monkey tracking expedition, traversing volcanic slopes and bamboo forests in search of these playful primates. Conclude your 12 Days best of Uganda safari with a wildlife safari in Lake Mburo National Park, where you’ll encounter a diverse array of wildlife, including zebras, antelopes, and hippos, against the backdrop of stunning savannah landscapes, ensuring a truly unforgettable Ugandan adventure.

 

12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife and Primate Safari Highlights

 

Detailed 12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife and Primate Safari

12 Days Uganda Safari

Shoebill Tracking in Mabamba

Day 1: Pick-up and Go Shoebill Tracking in Mabamba Swamp

Resting on the edge of Lake Victoria in Uganda, Mabamba Swamp is a prime wetland birding site that spans a massive 16,500 hectares. It forms part of the list of Wetlands of International Importance. Featuring a network of marsh-filled waterways, this magnificent wetland provides the ideal habitat for the most sought-after bird in Uganda – the shoebill, as well as 260 other bird species. Visitors can enjoy a shoebill boat tour, meet the local fishermen and sample an array of locally grown fresh fruit. Other species to look out for include: blue swallow, papyrus gonolek, pigmy goose, swamp flycatcher, white-winged warbler, and many more. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak up the beautiful sunset over Lake Victoria – Africa’s largest freshwater lake.

 

Day 2: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park


Kibale Forest National Park, situated in Western Uganda, is famous for its high density of primates, breathtaking crater lakes, and thick, beautiful jungle. Thirteen primate species inhabit the beautiful tropical forest, including red-tailed monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus, and black and white colobus monkeys. Visitors may spot some of the 300 bird species and 250 butterfly species, and buffalo, forest elephants, leopards, bushbucks, and sitatungas also live in the park but are generally shy. The area is decorated by around 50 enthralling crater lakes and numerous pristine hiking trails. Several cultural tours are on offer which delve into the rich traditions of the Batoro people, giving travellers a chance to see Batoro dancing, singing and traditional healing up close.

 

Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest National Park

The most favourite of Kibale’s walks embarks on from the Kanyanchu Visitor center at 08.00 & 15.00 and lasts 2 to 3 hours. Chimpanzee are the most sought-after primate by visitors, but you should look out for the black & white colobus, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked mangabey. Your 12 Days best of Uganda safari guides will be able to show you pittas & different bird species and will give details of the tradit of the plant species within the forest. This walk is for 6 people in a group.

 

Day 4: Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

12 Days Uganda Safari

Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community development enterprise located on the fringe of Kibale National Park where guided 12 Days best of Uganda safari tours are conducted along a path through the wetland at time along boardwalk trail.  Bigodi is a birder’s paradise with 138 bird species having been identified there including the crowd please Great Blue Turaco. The sanctuary is also home to 8 primate species including the black and white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, red tail, vervet, and L’Hoest.

  • Destination: Kibale Forest National Park
  • Activity: Bigodi Wetland Walk and Fort Portal City Tour
  • Accommodation: Turaco Treetops (Mid-Range), Kyaninga Lodge (Up Market)
  • Meal Plan: Lunch, Diner, Drinking Water

 

Day 5: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park   

Located in southwestern Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the county’s most popular parks. Volcanic craters, grassy plains, tropical forest and giant lakes connected by a channel inhabited by abundant hippos, are what you will see at the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park has almost 100 types of mammals and 606 different bird species, including the peculiar shoebill.

The 40-kilometre-long Kasinga Channel alone is said to contain the world’s largest concentration of hippos, and a guided boat trip here is a popular way to see the wildlife. Other species to spot include buffalo, the rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, Defassa waterbuck and elephant. Don’t miss the chance to explore the dramatic Kyambura Gorge, is home to habituated chimpanzees.

  • Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Activity: Scenic Game Drives, Boat Cruise and Culture in Queen Elizabeth
  • Accommodation: Twin Lakes Safari Lodge (Mid-Range), Mweya Safari Lodge (Up Market)
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Diner, Drinking Water

 

Day 6: Full Day Adventure in Queen Elizabeth National Park


The Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth takes place in the open grasslands of Kasenyi in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is a primary game viewing area due to the variety of wildlife which includes antelopes, elephants, buffalos, and lions. Visitors will be accompanied by an experienced 12 Days best of Uganda safari guide able to track down these animals.

Maramagambo Forest

Situated near the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Maramagambo Forest is bordered by two lakes, Kyasanduka and Nyamasingiri. The forest is well-known for its bat caves and hosts a number of primates such as chimpanzees, Bates’s pygmy antelopes and red-tailed monkeys. The area is a popular spot for various activities which include hiking and birding.

  • Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Activity: Scenic Game Drives, Boat Cruise and Culture in Queen Elizabeth
  • Accommodation: Twin Lakes Safari Lodge (Mid-Range), Mweya Safari Lodge (Up Market)
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Diner, Drinking Water

 

Day 7: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Located in southwestern Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities – the forest is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas on earth. This gorilla experience takes place among a rugged landscape of dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys, and steep ridges.

The untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique ecological significance, and aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other drawcards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot, and a variety of brightly-coloured butterflies to identify. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes, three of which are still active.

  • Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Activity: Adventure Tree Climbing Lions & Scenic Drive to Bwindi Forest
  • Accommodation: Gorilla Mist Camp (Mid-Range), Kiho Gorilla Lodge (Up Market)
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Diner, Drinking Water

 

Day 8: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

12 Days Uganda Safari

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Wake early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla trekking. Before 8:00 am, report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers. The guides will then take you through the bush, pushing your way through the undergrowth, to track the gorillas. (Please note this trek can take from 30 minutes to 5-6 hours). A reasonable degree of fitness is required, as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them ‘talk’ to one another, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the Silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas. It’s amazing to think there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left.

  • Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Activity: Enjoy Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Accommodation: Gorilla Mist Camp (Mid-Range), Kiho Gorilla Lodge (Up Market)
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Diner, Drinking Water

 

Day 9: Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi & Batwa Cultural Village

The Batwa Cultural village is where the Batwa (Pigmies) still live in the same way they used to years ago in tree houses. The Batwa only began leaving their forest homes around 15 years ago and they have been able to remain on this land thanks to the support of a generous American benefactor who donated the land back to them and created a cultural program. The fees from visiting tourists and are given to the Batwa project and they delight in welcoming visitors to their village and demonstrating how they make weapons, dance, make fires using sticks and cook.

Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi

Found inside the Ugandan borders, at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, this is a learning experience that has become a stable activity presented by the Uganda Wildlife Authority on a small scale. The experience accommodates a maximum of 4 each day. Bookings for this kind of activity are done approximately 6 months prior to the habituation day specifically during the months of December all through to March and July to October. Gorilla Habituation allows a person 4 hours in the company of the gorillas.

 

Day 10: Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

12 Days Uganda Safari

Golden Monkey Tracking in Africa

Situated in Uganda, Lake Mutanda is a small freshwater lake sandwiched between the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the Virunga Mountains. Set against a misty mountain backdrop, the picturesque lake is dotted with islands, and the surrounding landscape is scattered with wetland ecosystems and lakeside forests stretching up the mountain slopes which provide a safe habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla. Visitors can look forward to gorilla tracking, bird watching, lake lounging, volcano hiking, and paddling in a traditional dugout canoe.

 

Day 11: Scenic Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

Situated in the southwestern region of Uganda, Lake Mburo National Park is an easily accessible, compact little gem. Renowned for its impressive biodiversity, Lake Mburo National Park shelters almost seventy mammal species and over 300 avian species in its forests, swamps and grasslands. This spectacular landscape features open plains of savanna interrupted by rocky ridges, forested gorges and lush dense woodland. Crocodiles, hippos and a myriad of water birds are found in and around the five lakes, of which Lake Mburo is the largest. Other commonly spotted wildlife include: impala, oribi, eland, zebra, buffalo, Defassa waterbuck, leopard, hyena, hippo and reedbuck.

 

Day 12: End of 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari

12 Days Uganda Safari

Game Drive Safari in Africa

As the sun sets on the final day of the 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari, travelers find themselves immersed in a tapestry of unforgettable experiences and memories. From the lush jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where encounters with majestic mountain gorillas left hearts pounding with excitement, to the serene waters of the Nile River, where the rhythmic splash of hippos provided a soothing soundtrack to the journey, every moment has been a testament to Uganda’s natural wonders.

As the group gathers around a crackling campfire under the vast African sky, sharing stories of encounters with lions, elephants, and elusive leopards, there’s a palpable sense of gratitude for the unparalleled beauty and diversity of Uganda’s wilderness. With cameras filled with snapshots of breathtaking landscapes and hearts brimming with the joy of 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari adventure, the travelers bid farewell to this remarkable journey, carrying with them memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Destination: Entebbe Aiport
  • Activity: Scenic Drive to Entebbe Airport via Equator Crossing in Kayabwe
  • Accommodation: No Accommodation
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Drinking Water

End of 12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife and Primate Safari

12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife and Primate Safari Inclusions and Exclusions

Included

  • Airport transfers.
  • Transportation by a 4WD Safari Land Cruiser
  • Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary.
  • Birding Mabamba Wetland.
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest.
  • Chimpanzee Habituation in Kibale Forest. 
  • Kibale Night Walk
  • Birding Ruboni -Rwenzori sites.
  • Birding Kyambura & Maramagambo guided walk.
  • Golden Monkey Habituation in Mgahinga
  • Game drive Ishasha
  • Gorilla trekking permit per person
  • Gorilla Habituation Experience
  • Guided village walk for only 1 pax.
  • Park fees.
  • Bigodi Nature Walk.
  • Birding in Mgahinga National Park (Gorge trail)
  • Services of English-speaking 12 Days Best of Uganda Safari driver/guide.
  • Enroute lunches.
  • Bwindi Birding walk
  • Village experience around Lake Mutanda
  • Lunches Enroute
  • Bottled drinking water throughout the safari
  • All government taxes.
  • Our assistance

12 Days Best of Uganda Birding Wildlife and Primate Safari Exclusions

  • Other drinks.
  • Tips to local guides.
  • Telephone expenses.
  • Porter fees while trekking Gorillas and chimpanzees.
  • Personal insurance.

Any Questions!

Note: For Any Questions About Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Tracking, Wildlife Tours, Wildebeest Migration, Birding in East Africa, Click on the Button and Talk to Our Travel Destination Experts.
Destinations: Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, & DR. Congo.

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P.O BOX 143056 Kampala, Uganda
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