Giraffe in Murchison Falls, Uganda by Nick Wilcox-Brown
Uganda is a land of contrasts. In half a day you can drive from mist-shrouded volcanic mountains to hot hazy savannah, dappled with wildlife. Serene undulating hills of tea plantations, lush but ordered, give way to tangled jungle and rainforest with the musical accompaniment of chaotic, cacophonous birdlife. Uganda is alive with these contrasts: The tiniest sunbirds, iridescent in the morning light, the massive lumbering yet silent elephant, disappearing like a vapor behind the trees, the chimpanzees crashing about the forest canopy, the lugubrious gorilla, chewing thoughtfully in the bamboo thicket. There’s the Nile, twisting its way north like a shimmering ribbon, through arid semi-desert scattered about with rocky kopjes. Snowcapped peaks, tropical, sandy, freshwater beaches, amazing birds and smiling faces everywhere. It’s all here, a feast for all the senses.
Let us show you the Uganda we know and love.
This is Africa the way it should be!
Nick has worked regularly in Uganda and made several films, so we will work with one of the finest safari companies and the foremost Bird guide (as used by the BBC).
During the day, we mix relaxed Birding, Photography and optional, informal tuition as required. In the evening, we settle in our comfortable accomodation to have a quiet drink, eat, and check our pictures, or simply relax and enjoy the ambience of these unique locations. Unlike many other, busier safari destinations, Uganda is very wild and quite special. You will come away with some incredible experiences, beautiful images and new photographic skills.
Incredible Sounds of the Swamp. Best Listened to on Headphone or Ear Buds
An overview of Murchison Falls, National Park Uganda. Filmed and edited by Nick Wilcox-Brown
• Bird observation and ID
• Bird & Wildlife photography skills
• Digiscoping for those that are interested
Martial Eagle, Murchison Falls NP, Uganda. Photo Nick Wilcox-Brown
A detailed itinerary is at the bottom of the page
April 2021. Exact dates TBC
Cost: Price TBC.
We regret that we do have to pass on single supplements, at cost.
Min Group size: 4 Max Group size: 6
Estimated flight price: London to Entebbe: £600
Other options are available including longer and shorter trips, the addition of Mountain Gorillas or flights between locations. Please ask!
We are fully insured and work with a fully registered tour company in Uganda. However our policy of working with small numbers of guests means that it is not economic for us to sell flights ourselves. You will need to book your own flights to Entebbe, We can guide you with this if required.
Red-Cheeked Cordon Bleu. Photo Nick Wilcox-Brown
Baboon eating fruit near the entrance to Murchison Falls NP, Uganda by Nick Wilcox-Brown
Please message us via the contact form with any questions or call on 01761 461526
Adult Grey Kestrel. Photo by Nick Wilcox-Brown
Cattle Egrets, flying down the Nile after sunset. Photo by Nick Wilcox-Brown
Day 1; Airport pick up and transfer to our Hotel
On our arrival at Entebbe International Airport we will be met by our Safari guide. Having passed immigration and luggage collection please exit the arrival hall gasther in a group. We will then be transferred to our hotel, taking 15 minutes. Overnight at a carefully selected Guest House [HB]
Day 2; Mabamba wetlands Press.
This is about 50 km west of Kampala. The wetland is a newly discovered home for the most sought after bird, the Shoebill. Birding is done on the canoes in marsh channels. Special birds include White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal and other swamp specialties.
Continue to Mabamba Swamp, most of the birding is done from a canoe. Look out for the Shoebill stork both in the sky and down on the marsh. Also look out for the Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamphen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Squacco Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, and Black Crake.
After lunch, we will head to the Botanical Garden look out for Orange-tufted, Red-chested Sunbirds, Orange, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Yellow-backed, Jackson’s Golden-backed, Black-headed, and Vieillot’s Black weavers and Black-headed Gonolek in the dense scrub;
Overnight at Guest House [FB]
Day 3 Depart for Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary After breakfast, we will drive to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Arrive at the lodge in time for lunch and in the evening head-out for the rhino nature walk.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which opened in 2006. It provides a safe home to Uganda’s only rhinos. Upon arrival we will proceed to the Visitor Centre for registration and a look at the information display before meeting the ranger who will give you an informative talk about the sanctuary and its inhabitants. The ranger is in radio contact with the monitoring ranger group. We will drive up close to where the rhinos currently are and continue on foot through the bush. We can approach the giants up to 30 meters which will give you an excellent opportunity for great pictures. Further animals that can be seen on the premises include the rare Shoebill Storks, bushbucks, leopards, Uganda Kob, Oribi, and other wildlife present at the ranch.
Overnight at Safari lodge [FB]
Day 4 Depart for Murchison National Park
Drive to Murchison Falls National park. The wildlife biodiversity in Murchison Falls National Park contains the most astonishing number of species - 76 types of mammals and 451 different birds. The River Nile, on its journey from Murchison Falls, attracts a whole host of different wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos and water birds. Other animals include lion, warthogs, buffalo, rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, topi, waterbuck, elephant and leopard. The River Nile, on its journey from its source at Lake Victoria to join Lake Albert – here it is suddenly channeled into a gorge only six meters wide, and cascades 43 meters below. The earth literally trembles at Murchison Falls - one of the world's most powerful flows of natural water. In the afternoon you will cross the ferry and venture out for an afternoon game drive.
Overnight at beautiful MRL cottages [FB]
Day 5 Boat trip to Nile Delta in search for shoe bill
Early morning boat cruise along the Victoria Nile to the delta at Lake Albert in search of the Shoebill. This is a second shot at this must-see species. This is home to Hippos and enormous Nile crocodiles as well as special birds which include Shoebill, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfisher, Red throated Bee-eater; lining the banks we see Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling duck, Senegal and Water thick-knees, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwings, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove, and Grosbeak Weaver.
We will spend the whole of the afternoon at the northern bank of the Victoria Nile, Birds recorded here include Egyptian Plover, Shoebill, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Rock Pratincoles, Secretary Bird, Bat Hawk, Denham’s Bustard, Pel’s Fishing Owl, White-crested Turaco, Vinaceous Dove, Senegal Thick nee, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Nightjars (Pennant-winged and standard winged) and White-rumped Canary.
Overnight at MRL cottages [FB]
**Day 6, Game drive Murchison falls – Boat trip to bottom of the falls **
Up early for a morning game drive your drive will take you across to Lake Albert and the Nile Delta where you are most likely to see a lot of animals. Murchison Falls National Park is well cited for the best wildlife viewing - Giraffe, Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Nile crocodile, hippo, Oribi, Bush Buck, Waterbuck.
Return to the lodge for lunch and the chance to relax before taking a boat trip in the afternoon which takes around 3 hours. This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison Falls National Park since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The birdlife is stunning with eagles, brightly colored kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the river banks. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.
Overnight at MRL cottages [FB]
Day 7: Transfer to Semliki Wildlife reserve
Today after breakfast, you will drive to semliki wildlife reserve, check in and bird around the lodge.
After dinner or before, head out with a spotlighting lookout for the nocturnal birds. You will stand a good chance of finding African Scops Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, White-tailed and Standard-winged nightjar and many more night species.
Overnight at Semliki safari lodge FB
**Day 8: Whole day birding in the forest - Semliki National Park **
Whole day birding in the forest; Kirumira trail has become the most popular trail for its richness in diversity of bird species. Semliki is known for its most sought after rarities and these include Congo Serpent Eagle, Black-throated Coucal, Grey-throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Spot-breasted Ibis, Capuchin-babbler, Yellow-throated Nicator, Northern Beaded Scrub-robin, Red-chested Owlet, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, White-bellied Kingfisher, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Zenker’s Honeyguide, White-throated Blue Swallow, Bate’s Nightjar, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Black-winged Oriole, Red-billed Helmeted Shrike, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp-palm Greenbul, Crested Malimbe, Blue- billed malimbe, Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike, Pale-fronted Nigrita, and Piping, Red-billed Dwarf, White-crested, Black-casqued Watled and White-thighed hornbills;
Overnight at Semliki safari lodge FB
Day 9: Boat trip to Lake Albert - Semliki National Park
An early morning rise, tea in your tent and a good breakfast before you depart on A Boat Trip on Lake Albert to try and see the incredible and rare shoebill, visually a cross between a dodo and a dinosaur. The lake is superb: there are sand cliffs where brightly coloured colonies of red-throated bee-eaters dart in an out of their burrows, there are several fishing villages along the way, virtually untouched by the ‘western world’. Then drive back to the Lodge through the borassus palm forest and the acacia savannah reveals different species of raptors and passerines.
In the afternoon, bird around the lodge
Overnight at Semliki safari lodge FB
Day 10: Return to Entebbe
Today after breakfast our guide will transfer us back to Entebbe Airport for our outbound flight. Please note that check-in time for international flights should be done 2 hours prior to departure of the flight. In the departure hall (after check-in) you will find a small restaurant, a sitting area and several duty-free shops for your convenience.