7 days birding tour to Murchison falls park and Budongo forest

This 7 days tour takes you for birding and safari in Murchison Falls National park – the biggest park in Uganda, and birding in Budongo Forest which is the biggest forest in East Africa. This is one of the most productive short birding trips in Uganda one can do as you will cover a range of habitats including: savanna, grassland, woodland, wetland and forest. Murchison Falls and Budongo forest are located next to each other, and actually overlap in some areas hence it is easy to combine the two for a great birding experience. As an extra you will also visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is located along the way to Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo forest. The sanctuary is home to the only rhinos in the wild in Uganda, and over 300 species of birds.

The tour also offers wonderful animal sightings including the chance of sighting all the famous African “big five” animals (Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion & Leopard).

Trip itinerary

Day 1 – Transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for rhino tracking and birding

Your driver and bird guide shall pick you from your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala at 7am and depart for Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only place in Uganda with rhinos roaming freely in their natural habitat. The sanctuary has an impressive bird list of about 340 species in woodland, savannah and swamp habitats. You will be looking out for woodland and grassland bird species.

On arrival you shall set out for a 1 hour guided Rhino tracking adventure to see the rhinos and thereafter continue birding in the sanctuary.

Optional night walk for nocturnal species

Overnight at Amuka Lodge Ziwa (midrange)

Day 2 – Birding in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and transfer to Masindi

Today you will rise up early and set out birding in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and improve your bird list from the previous day. After lunch you shall transfer to Masindi and overnight

Overnight at Masindi Hotel (midrange)

Day 3 – Whole day birding on the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest looking for Ituri Batis and Puvel’s Illadopsis

Today you shall transfer to Budongo Forest for a full day of forest birding along the famous “Royal Mile”. Budongo forest is the biggest forest in Uganda and one of the top birding destinations for forest species in East Africa. The forest lies on the edge of the Albertine rift valley and extends into Murchison Falls National Park.

The “Royal Mile” is a wide track going through the forest providing excellent views into the forest. It is the main birding trail in Budongo and it is one of the best birding trails in Uganda. Top on the list of birds to look for in Budongo are the Puvel’s Illadopsis and the Ituri Batis which are two species in Budongo Forest cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa.

Overnight at Pakuba Safari Lodge

Day 4 – Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park through the escarpment looking for Foxy’s Cisticola

Today you shall transfer to Murchison Falls National Park while birding along the Butiaba escarpment and enjoying breathtaking views of the Albertine rift valley. One of the special species to look out for is the Foxy’s Cisticola.

Day 5 – Morning birding and safari in Murchiso Falls Park and afternoon boat ride with top of the falls hike

Today you shall set out for birding and safari adventure in the savannah plains in the northern part of the Murchison Falls National Park. Located along the River Nile, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s biggest park and the number one safari destination because of its huge volume and diversity of wildlife in addition to the spectacular Murchison Falls! You will explore the vast savanna on northern bank of the Nile that will provide savannah birds and plenty of big game.

Animals to see include giraffes, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, elephants etc…

In the afternoon you shall take a shared Murchison Falls boat cruise ride of 2 hours long down to the bottom of the Murchison Falls. The ride offers sighting of birds nesting in the cliffs overlooking the Nile and many water birds along the river banks. Other wildlife such as crocodiles and hippos will be sighted basking along the Nile.

At the base of the Murchison falls you shall go on a guided hike to the top of the murchison falls. The waterfalls are a sight to behold! The entire Nile squeezes through a gap about 7 meters wide between rocks and emerges with such an explosion. When you reach the top of the falls you will meet your guide and continue back to the lodge.

Optional night birding safari for nocturnal species

Day 6 – Morning boat ride on the Nile to the delta point to look for the Shoebill

Today you shall take a private boat trip on the Nile to the Delta point. You will spot several water birds, however the highlight shall be Shoebill at the delta.

Day 7 – Drive back to Kampala

After breakfast you may do some more birding in the morning and thereafter depart for Murchison Falls National Park

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