In the heart of East Africa, beneath the equator, lies a country like no other… a land of jungle-covered volcanic peaks whose stunning beauty inspired Winston Churchill to refer to it as “the Pearl of Africa.” This is Uganda, and within its borders, several ecoregions come together to create a lush landscape that teems with life. With over 1,000 species of birds, 300+ mammals, and more than its share of reptiles, amphibians and butterflies, Uganda is a biological treasure-trove that is sure to thrill both the novice and advanced naturalist. Add to this the fact that Uganda has more species of primates than any other country on the continent-- including wild populations of Chimpanzee and Mountain Gorilla-- and one can understand why a visit to this country is truly unforgettable.
On this 12-day tour, we’ll visit a number of the country’s finest National Parks, including Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Kibale NP, and Queen Victoria NP. The avifauna of this area is one of the richest in the world, home to such charismatic species as the African Spoonbill, Goliath Heron, the Giant and African Pygmy Kingfishers, and the highly sought-after Shoebill. Africa is the land of megafauna as well, and this trip will not disappoint. Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, and a myriad of Antelope species will all be seen and experienced on this African journey. And those participating in the extension to Murchison Falls should be able to add White Rhinoceros to their list, during our visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
This tour is designed to also immerse participants in the rich culture of Uganda, and we’ll have many opportunities to meet local people and learn about their ancient customs as well as modern-day Ugandan life. Wild Latitudes takes to heart the importance of supporting local communities and conservation efforts in the countries we visit, and your participation on this trip will do just that. Not only will a significant portion of the trip fee go directly to help protect wild Gorillas and Chimpanzees, but we will stay in locally-owned and staffed accommodations, and make additional contributions along the way.
We hope you’ll join us on this incredible journey through one of the most enchanting countries in the world, and experience a part of Africa that few ever have.
We arrive in Uganda at Entebbe. After a brief introduction we'll enjoy a night of rest at our hotel near the airport. 1 night at Lake Victoria View Guest House.
We'll head west in our Land Rovers this morning to Mabamba Swamp. Our goal is to see Uganda’s most famous avian resident: the Shoebill. We'lll make a special effort to get views of the Shoebill and other water birds by paddling through the channels via small boats. We then drive west to our lodging at Lake Mburo National Park 1 night at Rwakobo Rock Cottages.
After breakfast, we’ll load into our Land Rovers to game drive through Lake Mburo National Park. This is the only location in Uganda to see southern savannah avian species such as Red-faced Barbet and the Tabora Cisticola. Of course, when in Africa we are never “just” birding, and this park will also yield a variety of mammals as well, including Impala, Waterbuck, Topi, Bushbuck, Burchell’s Zebra, Cape Buffalo, Warthog, the rare Bushpig, Dwarf and Banded Mongoose, Side-striped Jackal, and the massive Eland. 1 night at Rwakobo Rock Cottages.
Reaching the far southwestern corner of Uganda, we'll look for birds and wildlife in the ethereal mountains of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park over the course of several days. In addition to some great birding, it is here where we will go on a trek to see the amazing Mountain Gorilla up close. 2 nights at Trekker’s Tavern Cottages.
Departing in the morning, we head out to bird the famous Mubwindi Swamp Trail through the Bwindi Forest. This area is the best place to sight elusive Albertine Rift Endemic birds, including the highly localized Handsome Francolin, Grauer`s Rush Warbler, African Green Broadbill, Archer`s Robin-chat, Dwarf Honeyguide, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, and many more. We are also likely to encounter more primates in this forest, such as the beautiful L`Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys, and the distinctive Black and White Colobus Monkey. 2 nights at Bwindy Homestay.
We head to Queen Elizabeth National Park today, birding along the way. We'll spend two nights in the park. In the region known as Ishasha, we’ll keep a keen eye out for the area’s famous tree climbing Lions. The park is one of the most biodiverse in all of Africa and there are many wonderful birds to see here. On our second day in the park, we'll go on a morning game drive in our Land Rovers. Then after lunch, we'll enjoy a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel in the afternoon. Hippos, African Elephants, Cape Buffalo, and Leopards are some of the wildlife we may see in the park. 2 nights at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge.
Our destination for Day 10 is Kibale National Park. Along the drive, we'll make several stops to look for birds. Lunch will be in the city of Fort Portal. We should arrive at our lodge-- just outside the national park-- in the afternoon, with some time left to relax. The next day, we'll venture into the forest to look for wild Chimpanzees and other primates. In the afternoon we'll enjoy some great birding in the forest. Some species we hope to see include White-spotted and Red-crested Flufftails, African Blue Flycatcher, Joyful Greenbul, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Purple-headed and Chestnut-winged Starlings, Red-chested Owlet, Shinning Blue and Blue Breasted Kingfishers, Brown and Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, and Grey-throated Flycatcher. 2 nights at Kibale Forest Camp.
We head home today, driving from Kibale NP back to Entebbe, where our wonderful journey began.
COST of MAIN TRIP: $5,295
COST of EXTENSION: $985
START DATE: February 23, 2019
DURATION: 12 days
GROUP SIZE: Up to 14
TRIP FOCUS: Birding and Wildlife
A true lover of the natural world, Steve Robertson has been a student of nature his entire life. First, as a little boy, who caught every creature he could for the mini zoo he kept in the garage, then later as an adult, leading scientific research expeditions into some of the most remote regions of the world, searching for rare species in such places as Tasmania, Madagascar and the upper Amazon Basin. With degrees in Wildlife Biology, advanced biology & education, Steve has worked in the field of Environmental Education for over 30 years. From 1998 to 2017, he served as the Education Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, creating a number of innovative programs including International Ecotours, a program that has won hundreds of accolades from around the country. During his time with Audubon, Steve personally designed and led Ecotours to over 20 countries, spanning six continents.
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