Birding Pal Tours is a different kind of International Tour Group Operator.

We found local birding tour guides who are experts and independent operators.

Your tour is flexible, to see the birds you want, because you can participate in the planning.

Birding Pal Tours guides know all the real hotspots and you get the most out of your trip.

You will experience local life, meeting new friends, discovering culture, learning history and trying new food, all with your local guide.

You don't have to miss birdwatching if your travel companion has another interest; your guide easily accommodates other travel booking / transportation needs.

Hiring a local guide gives your money more impact for you, and your guide and the local economy, boosting efforts to protect the habitat.

Georgia - September 08 to 19, 2015

Germany - October 12 to 15, 2015

India - 23d Nov. to 2nd Dec. 2015
and - 29th 9th March 2016
Birding Pal Tours Guide
With Sunil Kumar

Spain - May 5 - May 17, 2015 and May 26 - June 7, 2015

Uganda - 5th Jan - 20th Jan 2016
and again, 2nd July 2016 - 16th July 2016
Birding Pal Tours Guide

Georgia - Sept 8th to the 19th, 2015

Your guide Rolf Nessing


Birding in Georgia.

Birds between the Black Sea and Caucasus

Tour to the hot spot of biodiversity between Europe and Asia.
Black Sea and Adjara with gripping bird migration hot spot: Steppe Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Montagu`s Harrier and Pallid Harrier, Steppe Eagle and Booted Eagle.

Highlights: Semi-desert in the valley of the Iori River on the border with Azerbaijan with Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture and Cinereous Vulture, Steppe Buzzard, Ortolan Bunting, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Eastern Orphean Warbler and Green Warbler. Big Caucasus on the Georgian Military Highway with Twite, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper, Water Pipit, Bearded Vulture, Great Rosefinch, Caucasian Chiffchaff, Güldenstädt´s Redstart, Caucasian Grouse and Caucasian Snowcock. Black Sea and Adjara with gripping bird migration hot spot: Steppe Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Montagu`s Harrier and Pallid Harrier, Steppe Eagle and Booted Eagle.

Flight to Tbilisi and transfer by minibus in the Kakheti region, in eastern Georgia.

Accommodation in a private pension. Depending on our arrival we will visit the "Eagle Canyon" near our guesthouse: Rock Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Green Warbler.

After breakfast full day excursion to the "Chachuna - reserve" at the Iori River, near the border with Georgia and Azerbaijan. Birds of the semi-desert and the river accompanying forest: Short-toed Eagle, European Roller, Montagu`s Harrier and Pallid Harrier, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Eastern Orphean Warbler.

Full day excursion to the "Vashlovani National Park".
The Vashlovani National Park is a national park in the Kakheti region of Georgia in the far east. Vashlovani means "apple wood". The area is only about 500 - 600m above sea level and is characterized by the very dry climate. Deserts and Semi- deserts alternate. Rock formations and hills give the area a bizarre appearance. In between there are Pistachio and Juniper forests and bush areas with Black Juniper and Red Persian Juniper. Some Junipers are 400-500 years old.

Already in 1935, a reserve was established, which was expanded in 2003, at the same time was the Vashlovani National Park with an area of over 251 square kilometers.

In 2003, the first time the trail of a Caucasian leopard was discovered. The following year was the first time be included in the National Park with a camera trap a leopard. In the area live 46 species of mammals, such as Golden Jackal, Wolf, Lynx, Brown Bears, Jungle Cats and Porcupines.

We are looking for Buzzards, Eagles, Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Snake Eagles, Bonelli's Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Levant Sparrowhawk, Green Warbler, Grey-necked Bunting and Western-Yellow Wagtail (race feldegg). Common Pigeon, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Common Rock Sparrow. Maybe pull through the first Demoiselle Cranes that breed in the steppes of Russia.

By van along the Georgian Military Highway to Kazbegi (Georgian: Stepantsminda) in the region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti in the Greater Caucasus. In between time and again breaks with opportunities for bird watching. Accommodation in small family guesthouses with prevailing local amenities. In the late afternoon possibly a first excursion in the area.

Full day excursion in the " Kazbegi - reserve": In addition Steppe Buzzard, Griffon Vulture, Steppe Eagle, we are looking for here, the "Big Five" of the Caucasus: Great Rosefinch, Caucasian Chiffchaff, Güldenstädt´s Redstart, Caucasian Grouse and Caucasian Snowcock. But Twite, Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper, Water Pipit and Bearded Vultures are often seen.

With an all-terrain vehicle we drive from Kazbegi (Stepantsminda ) to the monastery Zminda Sameba at 2170m above sea level. From there we walk slowly on a footpath and have between some opportunity for bird watching. Hikes of varying difficulty depending on the daily condition are possible!

Day excursion around Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) and on the Roschka Pass to Khevsureti or weather permitting again the Kazbegi-reserve.

Today we travel from time of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) and go to the Black Sea in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. We can find accommodation in guest houses, which are operated by Adjarian families.

Raptor migration in Batumi. In this region, between the Black Sea and Small Caucasus (Pontic Mountains) is one of the largest in the entire Eurasian- African migration route. Taking place here every year a spectacular bird migration: daily up to 70,000 Honey Buzzards, thousands Steppe Buzzards, Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Montagu`s Harrier and Pallid Harrier, but also Steppe Eagle, Booted Eagle and many other birds of prey can be observed.

We spend the whole day near our private family house on the "Shuamta Hills" - an ideal place to observe the fantastic bird of prey coating over the subtropical forests of the neighboring "Mtirala National Park".

Day excursion to the Black Sea coast: migrating waders, such as Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin, Northern Lapwings and plovers, gulls and herons. The interesting small bird migration as a few surprises ready and again draw raptors over us (Pallid Harrier, Levant and Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Steppe Buzzard, Steppe Eagle, etc.).

DAY 10
Visit to the "Mtirala National Park" in Batumi. The Mtirala National Park is a nature reserve in the Georgian region of Adjara. The name Mtirala (English: crybaby) is derived from the at 4520 mm above her annual rainfall that made the area one of the wettest of the former Soviet Union.

The flora consists of 284 species in 202 genera together and is dominated by forests. 95 vertebrate species have been recorded in the park area. In addition to Brown Bears, Red Foxes, Badgers, Hares, Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus (Tenes) anomalus), Deer, Wild Cats and Wild Boar come in the park area also isolated Lynx and Wolves.

DAY 11
Visit the Botanical Garden of Batumi and the "Kintrishi-reserve" or the raptor migration in Batumi. Individual opportunity to attend the port city of Batumi.

DAY 12
Drive from Batumi to Tbilisi by minibus. Along the way shopping facilities of typical Georgian souvenir. Return from Tbilisi.

Price per person US$2750 per person in double room, (minimum 4 max 8 pax)
Single accommodations are available for an extra charge of US$250 per person.

Included in price: experience English speakong birding guide, 11 night accommodation, Full board or Packed Lunches, All transfers in Georgia, Entrance fees.
Not included in price: fly to Tbilissi/Georgia and back at home is not included.

For further information and details please contact Rolf   

Germany - October 12 to 15, 2015

Your guide Rolf Nessing


Birding in Germany.

Crane migration and more

Cranes are dream birds and fascinate us humans since time immemorial. In the region near Berlin up to 80000 of the beautiful birds are occasionally seen. There are also White-tailed Eagles, Greater White-fronted Goose, Taiga- and Tundra Bean Goose, Barnacle Goose many species of ducks, gulls, waders and much more birds. The last Great Bustards of Germany live in this region. Massive small bird migration brings so many surprises.

A nightly roost flight of geese and cranes
Visit the Crane-Stork Information Center
daily excursions to the best birding places west of Berlin

English speaking bird guide: Rolf Nessing
Transfers to and from Rathenow railway station, there all hours train from / to Berlin. Driving time Berlin - Rathenow about 1 hours (about € 10 per person).
Travel by plane to Berlin and train Berlin - Rathenow – Berlin,
Lunch and Dinner are not included in the price!
3 nights with breakfast in a beautiful country house
All transfers during the daily birding
daily bird list

4 days / 3 nights
Price per person in double room from € 470
Number of participants: min. 2 to max. 6 people

Single room supplement: € 80
Extra fee for 2-3 participants: € 70 per person

For further information and details please contact Rolf   

India - 23d Nov. to 2nd Dec. 2015 and  29th 9th March 2016  

Your local guide Sunil Kumar


Birding in India.

Ten days Corbett Park, Pangot, Nainital and Sattal.

Birding Pal Tours Guide

Delhi International Airport pick up and 6 hour drive to Corbett-Park, 275km. from Delhi.

Overnight stay in Gargiya. Explore in the afternoon to dusk, Ramganga river area and Sitabani area by jeep.

DAY 2 and 3
Corbett Park, famous for its tigers, elephants and leopards, is also a birdwatchers dream, with its rich over biogeographic diversity. Home to more than 580 species of birds about half of the total species found in the entire Indian subcontinent. You can see hornbills, babblers, bulbuls, cuckoos, bee eaters, thrushs, doves, rollers, orioles, drongos, owls, flycatchers, warblers, chats, robins, kingfishers, finches, forktails, parakeets and many more. Birds that can be spotted at the banks of River,Ramganga on the outskirts of Corbett Park. Two days spend in the Park exploring the park by jeep, on foot and try for elephant back.(If elephant are avilable).

Morning birding in park and after break-fast. 3 hours drive to Pangot by car.

DAY 4, 5 and 6

Pangot is small village 310km. from Northeast Delhi, 60km.from Kathgodam and 80km.from Corbett Park. Pangot have richest oak, pine and rododendron forest in the area the Kumoan Himalayas. The green belt supports an enormous varity of Himalayan flora and fauna.

Pangot for a birdwatchers paradise. Pangot is 12 km. from Nainital and the drive is through the bird habitats of Cheena-Peak(Naini-Peak) range forests via Snow-view Point and Kilbury. Almost 200 birds species have been recorded at Pangot and surrounding area, Baggar, Timla-pani, Ghugukhan, Binayak and Kilbury.

Birds to be seen: Ceer Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, White-throated Laughing Thrush, Straited Laughingthrush, Black-headed Jay, Eurasian Jay, White-browed Shrike Babbler, Hill Partridge, Rufous-throated Partridge, Rusty-cheeked Scimiter Babbler, Scarlet Finch, Common Finch, Blue-capped Redstart, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Rufous Sibia, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Whiskered Yuhina, Himalayan Woodpecker, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Mrs Gould Sunbird, Fire-tailed Sunbird and more.

Morning birding, break-fast and than make a move to Nainital. Its only 45 minutes car drive from Pangot.


Nainital is set around a lake, at an altitude of 1951 mts. in the Central Himalayas of the Kumaon region. It was discovered by P.Barrow, a sugar merchant from Saharanpur in 1841. He was so moved by the splendour of the place that he had his boat carried up there and this hill station soon became fashionable focus of all.

Nainital is also paradise for bird lovers. You could identified more than 150 species of birds during your visit in this hill station. Place to go for birding is Snow-view, Kahala Garden, Mangoli Valley. Next morning birding in Mangoli-valley returning to the hotel for breakfast and then drive down to Sattal.

Bird to be seen: Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon, Black Eagle, Black Kite, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, White-collared Blackbird, Long-tailed Thrush, Blue-winged Minla, Scaly Thrush, Blue-fronted Redstart, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Spotted Launghingthrush, Streaked Laughingthrush, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Jungle Owlet, Asian-barred Owlet, Black-throated Sunbird, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Ashy Drango, Black Drango, Lesser-recket-tailed Drango, Common Rosefinch, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch, Barn Swallow, Red-Rumped Swallow, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Grey-hooded Warbler, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Spotted Forktail and more.

DAY 8 and 9

Sattal is 7 hour drive from Delhi, 1 hour from Nainital, 35km. from Kathgodam and 100km. from Corbett Park.

This is and ideal base for birders, nature enthusiasts, hikers and visitors wishing to explore Sattal and the surrounding area. (Staying in comfortable tents).

Bird to be seen: Kalij Pheasant, Blue-fronted Redstart, Black-faced Warbler, Mountain Hawk Eagle, White-throated Fantail, Great Barbet, Long-tailed Broadbill, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Nepal Wren Babbler, Oriental White-eye, Western Crowned Warbler, Grey-cheeked Warbler, Goldcrest, Black-lored Tit, White-throated Tit, Green-backed Tit, Spot-winged Tit, Long-tailed Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Brown Dipper, Golden Bush Robin and more.

DAY 10
Early morning birding. Breakfast and Lunch on the way Back to Delhi. 8 hours drive.

During this tour we hope to see at least 225 species of birds and a fair number of mammals.

You will enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the Kumaon, spectacular views of the Himalayas and surrounding countryside.

Price per person US$1900 in double occupancy (minimum 6 pax).

Included in tour: English speaking guide, comfortable accommodation, all meals, water bottles, transportation, park entrance fees.

Not included in tour: International flight, travel insurance, beverages, camera/videos fees, tips etc.

For further information and details please contact Sunil

Birding Pal Tours Guide

Jamaica November 9 to 14 2014

Your local guides Wolde Kristos and Vaughan Turland


Birding in Jamaica.

With 29 endemics, 18 endemic subspecies and 18 Caribbean endemics, Jamaica has more endemics than any other island in the Caribbean. It offers excellent birding year round in a wide range of mountain, tropical forest and wetland habitats. We have recorded more than 300 species on the island including winter visitors, transients and vagrants. Your tour around our breathtakingly beautiful mountainous island will visit five of Jamaica’s top IBA’s: John Crow Mountains, Blue Mountains, Bluefields, Cockpit Country Conservation Area, Black River Morass.

8.00a.m. Met by guides in Montego Bay. Travel to Port Antonio (approx. 4 hours). Afternoon birding in local area for endemic Black-billed Streamertail Hummingbird only found in eastern Jamaica.
Overnight at Port Antonio. Ivanhoe Guest House or similar.
(L, D)
Morning and afternoon birding at Ecclesdown, Portland parish, John Crow Mountain IBA. Look for endangered Jamaican Blackbird, near threatened Crested Quail Dove, Yellow-billed Parrott and other endemics. Evening search for Jamaican Owl.
Overnight in Port Antonio.
(B, L, D)
Drive to Montego Bay (approx. 4 hours). Water birds and lunch en route. Afternoon visit to Rocklands Hummingbird Sanctuary at Anchovy. Red-billed Streamertail, Mango Hummingbird, Orangequit and many more. Then mountain drive and transfer to your hotel base, Idlers Rest Beach Hotel or simelar, on the beautiful South Coast (approx. 1.5 hours).
(B, L, D)
Early start for visit to Bluefields Mountains IBA. Of the 29 Jamaican endemic species we have observed 20 in this IBA, plus a further 13 endemic sub-species. Among the regular favourites on our tours are the : Jamaican Tody, Jamaican Stripe-headed Tanager, Orangequit, Jamaican Euphonia, Jamaican Elaenia, Jamaican Pewee, Olive-throated Parakeet, Northern Potoo (quite often seen at day time roost), Rufous-tailed Flycatcher, Jamaican Woodpecker, Arrowhead Warbler.
(B, L, D)
Early start to spectacularly rugged Cockpit Country IBA. The area supports 33 of Jamaica's 36 EBA range restricted species including 95% of the entire population of Black-billed Parrots. Also to be seen are Yellow-billed Parrots, Blue Mountain Vireo, Crested Quail Dove, Jamaican Blackbird, Jamaican Crow, Jamaican Lizard Cuckoo, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo.
(B, SL, D)
Day 6 - Subject to return flight departure time.
8 am Black River Upper Morass. Species here include Northern Jacana, Least Bittern, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, West Indian Whistling Duck and perhaps a sighting of the rare Spotted Rail and Yellow-breasted Crake. Transfer to Montego Bay.
(B, L.)

Price per person US$1625.00 in double occupancy (minimum 4 pax).
Single room supplement, add US$250

Included in tour: Guides, all ground transportation within Jamaica (from Day 1 to Day 7), all entrance fees to sites, specified accommodation, daily meal plan, breakfast, lunch and two course dinner.

Not included in tour: Gratuities, alcoholic beverages, items of personal nature, airport departure tax, or international airfare, government general consumption tax, bank electronic transfers.

For further information and details please contact Wolde and Vaughan   

Kenya August 08 to 23 and October 01 to 15/2014

Your local guide Moses Kandie


Birding in Kenya.

Arrival and check in to Mvuli houses, embark to Nairobi National Park after lunch for easy birding and game viewing from our Safari Van with a pop up roof hatch. Will have the opportunity of seeing Hartlaub's and White bellied Bustards, African Moustached Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Red-throated Tit, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Shelley's Francolin. We will retire to Mvuli house at dusk for a night.
We will take the earliest breakfast and depart to Masai Mara stopping by the Rift valley view point, which will enable us observe swifts and swallows flying by the edge. We will then drive down the beautiful meanders path to the plains which will yield bustards, larks, wheatears, pipits and raptors. Our arrival around lunch time will allow us check in, do a small compound walk for Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Green Pigeon, Violet-backed Starling, White-eaded Barbet, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Usambiro Barbet and many other species. After lunch we will drive into the Masai Mara, where apart from the game, will be looking out for Vultures, Bustards, Coursers, Lapwings, Eagles, harriers plus so many more. The game here include: Big cats, Elephant, Buffalo, Masai giraffe, plains zebra, black-backed jackal, Bat-eared fox and many more. We will be backed to the tented camp at dusk.
After a morning breakfast we will take packed lunch with us for a whole day birds and game viewing in the park. We will drive as far as Mara River, where Tanzanian species such as Brown-tailed Weaver may be seen. We may see the hunting by the big cats too. In the scrubby and grassy areas of the park we will see the Red-throated Spurfowl, Spotted Thick-knee, White-bellied, Kori and Black-bellied Bustard, Teminck's and Violet-tipped Coursers. Carrions will give us the chance to closely view White-backed, Ruppel's, Lappet-faced and sometimes White-headed Vultures. We will head backed to the hotel at dusk.
We will leave the camp immediately after breakfast and head to Lake Victoria, where we will check in to Sunset resort. We will then do a short walk along Dunga Road, lined up on both sides by papyrus grass which is a good habitat for Papyrus Canary, Marsh Tchagra, Carruther's Cisticola, Black-headed Gonolek and Red-chested Sunbird. The fresh water mangrove bush tops on the other hand will yield the Double-toothed and Black-billed Barbets. We will then retire to the Hotel.
Early breakfast and depart for a boat ride in Lake Victoria looking for Papyrus Gonolek, Northern Brown-throated, Slender-billed and Yellow-backed Weavers. Water Dikkop, African Skimmer and Open-billed Stork among terns and gulls. After this trip, we depart for lunch at Rondo Retreat in the Kakamega rain forest. We will start exploring the compound after lunch for Mackinnon's Fiscal, Northern Black Flycatcher, White-headed and Black Saw-wing, Grey-throated Barbet, Black and white Casqued Hornbill, Great Blue Turaco plus other common birds. Night at Rondo retreat.
Early breakfast and bird the road into the forest for Green-headed Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird, Yellow Spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Black-billed Weaver and chance for the rare African Gey Parrot. Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Banded Prinia, White-chinned Prinia, Red-headed Malimbe, some woodpeckers such as: Brown-eared, Yellow-crested and Buff-spotted. After lunch we will do trails within the hotel, where a small fish pond and streams through the Elephant-ear vegetation provide chances of the White-spotted Flufftail. Equatorial Akalat, Grey-winged and White-crowned Robin-chat along with White-tailed Ant-thrush will also be seen along the trails. Night at Rondo retreat.
Another early breakfast and a drive to Ischeno area of the forest for yet another birding through the forest into grassland, where targets will be Scaly-breasted and Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Brown-hested Alethe, Bar-tailed Trogon, Buff-throated Apalis, Turner's Eramomela, Uganda Woodland-warbler, Green Hylia, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Yellow-mantled Widow and Broad-tailed Warbler. We afterwards drive back to the hotel for lunch and depart to Kerio View hotel for a night. On our way we will look out for Jackson's, and Fan-tailed Widows, Lesser Jacana, however hard to find at the Chebonet Dam. Our arrival the hotel will see us explore the compound for Mottled Swift, Fan-tailed Raven, Ross's Turaco, Cliff Chat and others.
Early breakfast and depart to lake Baringo, birding down the valley, hoping to see White-crested Turaco, Crowned Hornbill, Boran Cisticola and many more lowland species. Our journey will provide great views of the Rift Valley formation, nice gorges and falls. We will arrive for lunch at Lake Baringo club. Being quite warm here; we will take a rest in rooms or swim at the pool till late afternoon, when we will do a compound walk. Night at Lake Baringo Club.
Very early boat trip in the lake for water birds such as Straited, Squacco, Goliath, Grey and Purple Herons. Senegal Thick-knee will be seen on one of the islands as we cruise to a river's mouth looking for African Skimmer, Black-tailed Godwit, Collared Pratincole, Purple and Allen's Gallinule. On our way back we will look out for Yellow-crowned and Northern Red Bishops, Malachite, Grey-headed, Pied and Woodland Kingfisher. We will then take breakfast and go for nocturnal birds, hoping to see Three Banded Couser, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Northern White-faced and African Scops Owls. We will break for lunch and after a nap proceed to Westbay area for Black-headed Lapwing, D'arnauds, Red-fronted, Red and Yellow, Black-throated Barbets, sometimes Dimorphic Egret, Magpie and Hildebrandt's Starlings. Bat Hawk may be observed chasing around bats at dusk. We will then retire to the hotel.
DAY 10
Early morning birding at the escarpment (basalt cliff) for Bristle-crowned and Red-winged Starlings, Verreaux Eagle, Lanner Falcon, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Common Kestrel, Purple Roller, Brown-tailed Rock Chat. We will then drive to Nakuru, where we will embark to the park for a close-up view of Greater and Lesser Flamingoes. Along the shoreline will be various waders that include Ruffs, Ringed Plover, Three-banded Pover, Avocet and Black-winged Stilt. The acacia bushes will present: Broad-billed Roller, Martial and Tawny Eagles. It is in this park that both Black and White rhinos will likely be seen. Baringo/Rothschild giraffe are also common in this park. Lunch time will see us at magnificent Lake Nakuru Lodge and afterwards a drive outwards for a night at Nakuru town.
DAY 11
Early morning drive to Samburu, arriving for lunch, after which we will embark for a game-drive at Samburu Game Reserve. Apart from beautiful game such as Grevy zebra, Reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx and more, birds such as Vulturine Guinefowl, Vulturine Fish Eagle, Somali Courser, Somali Bee-eater, Somali Fiscal, Golden Pipit, Banded Parisoma, Donaldson-Smith Sparrow-Weaver, Red-shouldered Kite, Ashy Cisticola, Fischer's and Golden-breasted Starlings will be seen.
DAY 12
We will embark on a game drive after breakfast till 10 o'clock and return to the hotel and depart after lunch for Mt Kenya at Castle Lodge forest for a night.
DAY 13
Morning breakfast and then birding along the road for Black-throated and Chestnut Apalis, White-tailed Paradise-flycatcher, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Lemon Dove, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Crested Guinefowl, White-headed Wood Hoopoe. We will then retire for lunch and depending on the weather, we may have an afternoon session. At dusk we will try to keep an eye for African Green Ibis.
DAY 14
As usual we will take an early breakfast and do a walk, hoping to see Oriole Finch, Hartlaub's Turaco, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Black-headed Waxbill, Abbott's, Wallers and Kendrick's Starling. Red-fronted Parrot may be seen flying by or perched. We will come for lunch and pack-up and leave towards Nairobi. We will do stops along the way, especially at the rice fields, which will allow as see Long-toed Lapwing, Fulvous Whistling Duck, African Snipe, White-winged Widows, Parasitic Weavers and much more. From here, we head to Nairobi to prepare for a flight back.

Price per person US3600 in double occupancy (minimum 4 pax).
Single room supplement, add US$750

Included in tour: Meals, Accommodation, Transport, Guiding and Park fees.

Not included in tour: Alcoholic beverages, items of personal nature, airfare and gratuities.

For further information and details please contact Moses   

Spain 12 Days : May 5 - May 17, 2015 and May 26 - June 7, 2015

Birding Pal Tours local guide is Pau Lucio
See all his Birding Pal Tours in Spain

12 Days Birding in East and North Spain

This tour is designed to visit the maximum number of these “special” species that can be found in Spain such as White-headed Duck, Great and Little Bustard, Black bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouses, Lammergeier, Wallcreeper, Azure-winged Magpie, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, Lesser Kestrel, Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin, Ring Ouzel, Roller and many more.


DAY 1 - Arrivals.
You will be picked up from Valencia Airport. Transfer with Pau to the hotel in Gandia. Depending on your arrival, we can visit a local reserve or you can enjoy the beach and the pool of the tree stars hotel you will be accommodated the following 4 days. It is just a stone’s throw away from the Mediterranean Sea.

DAY 2 - Albufera de Valencia
Birding at local destination Albufera de Valencia. Some of the species that could be seen in this tour are: Purple Swamp-hen, Moustached and Savi’s Warbler, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern and Gull-billed Tern, Collared Patrincole, Mediterranean and Audouin’s Gull. Night in Gandia

Red-Knobbed Coot

DAY 3 - Steppes of Albacete
Birding at local destination Steppes of Albacete. Some of the targets will be Short-toed Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Thekla Lark, Corn Bunting, Stone Curlew, Great and Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Lesser kestrel. Furthermore, we will have a look to the many temporary lagoons scattered among the steppes to look for White-headed Duck, Greater Flamingo, Black-necked Grebe and a good number of waders. Night in Gandia.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse.

DAY 4 - El Hondo and Salinas de Santa Pola
Birding at local destination El Hondo and Salinas de Santa Pola. We will search for Glossy ibis, Roller, Bee-eater, Bearded and Penduline tit, Cetti’s Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Osprey, Cuckoo, Kentish Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Red-knobbed Coot and Great White Egrets. Later, we will visit a nearby gorge to look for Trumpet Finch, Rufous-tailed scrub Robin, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Sparrow, Crag Martin, Black Wheatear and Rock Bunting. Night in Gandia.

DAY 5 - Pego Marshes and Alicante mountains
Birding at local destination Pego Marshes and Alicante mountains. Pego Marshes is an important area for Purple, Night and Squacco Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Little Bittern, Collared Pratincole, Red-necked Nightjar, Whiskered Tern, Moustached warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Little Ringed Plover, Marsh Harrier and Great Reed Warbler. Then, we will set off to the mountains of Alicante to visit a Griffon Vulture colony, a Bonelli’s Eagle territory where can also be found Crested Tit, Crossbill and Bonelli’s Warbler. Night in Gandia.

Bonelli’s Eagle

DAY 6 - La Mancha
Travel to La Mancha. We will look for Eagle Owls which have been breeding near the town, Thekla Lark, Rock Sparrow, Booted Eagle, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Hoopoe, Little Owl, Black Kite, Ringed Plover, Sandpipers, Bearded Tit, White Stork, Iberian Grey Shrike and Lesser Kestrel. Night in Belmonte, in a18th century house.

Chick of Eagle Owl

DAY 7 - Serranía de Cuenca
Travel to La Serranía de Cuenca. A good number of orchids and beautiful forests are waiting for us. Regarding birds, some of our targets are Hobby, Egyptian Vulture, Alpine Swift, Short-toed Eagle, Woodlark, Black-eared and Northern Wheatear, Melodious Warbler, Firecrest, Rock Sparrow, Golden Oriole and Iberian Chiffchaff. Night in Villalba de la Sierra.

DAY 8 - steppes of Belchite
Travel to the steppes of Belchite where we will look for Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouses, Lesser-short toed Lark and the elusive Dupont’s Lark. We will also see the ruins of Spanish Civil War. Night in Belchite.

DAY 9, 10 11 - Spanish Pyrenees
Day 9, 10, 11 Travel to the Spanish Pyrenees to find breathtaking landscapes, orchids, mammals such as Marmots, Red squirrel and Chamois and stunning birds. Targets: Lammergeier, Alpine Accentor, Rock Thrush, Water Pipit, Red and Yellow-billed Chough, Wallcreeper, Golden Eagle, Subalpine Warbler, Nuthatch, Red-backed Shrike, Citril Finch, Ring Ouzel, Marsh Tit, etc. Night in Hecho.

DAY 12 - Madrid
Travel to Madrid. We will stop on the way in Sierra de Guara to look for Tawny Pipit, Lammergeier, Peregrin Falcon, Sardenian Warbler and other Mediterranean species. We will enjoy of a very close views of Griffon’s Vultures. Night in Madrid.

Spanish Imperial Eagle.

2150 € per person. Min 4 guests and Max 6 guests.

Included in tour:The price includes accommodation, full board (breakfast, picnic for lunch and warm Spanish dinner), guiding and transport.

Not included in tour: Plane fares, personal items, dinner and accommodation on day 13, are not included.

Please send a message to Pau.
Get started by filling out the form: Spain Itinerary - form

Uganda 5th Jan - 20th Jan 2016
and again, 2nd July 2016 - 16th July 2016

Your local guide Deogratius Muhumuza - Read his bio here

Birding in Uganda.

15 day birdwatching in Uganda
with Deogratius Muhumuza.

Highlights: Albertine Rift Endemics, Mountain Gorillas and Chimps

The tour starts and ends in Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria. Upon arrival, you will be picked from the Airport by your driver guide and taken to your hotel for dinner, refreshments and overnight stay. Early arrivals will give a chance to bird around Entebbe areas; the Botanical Gardens and/or any other nearby site that will be decided upon by the group.
Some of our routes connecting to sites are long with a few smooth tarmac roads (some still under construction); they are sometimes bumpy and dusty/muddy taking you through a patchwork of Uganda’s scenic areas passing through engrossing village streets with isolated pockets of woodland, tropical rain forests, Papyrus swamps, fertile farmlands, and captivating hilly landscapes. These are particularly in the southwestern part of the country.
Although we shall do our best to adhere to the schedule below, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control; including flight schedule changes or delays, health threats, local rebellions, participants logistical issues, weather, road or trail conditions etc. The right is reserved to substitute hotels, lodges or camps of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary.

Electronic map of Uganda

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) in Mabamba marsh photo by Martina Stolzi

This trip runs from 5th Jan - 20th Jan 2016
and again, 2nd July 2016 - 16th July 2016

Day 0 Arrivals
Transfer to your hotel close to the Airport for refreshment, dinner and overnight stay.

Early Arrivals will give a chance to bird in Entebbe Botanical Gardens (EBG) – optional activity

Situated on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, EBG is a beautiful place with colourful butterflies, birds and primates in an area of 40.7ha. The habitat has attracted a diverse array of birds – 206 species (both forest and shorebirds) and monkeys; Black and White Colobus and Vervet Monkeys.

Here, the birding walk is more relaxed. Some of the species we are likely to see here include harrier hawk, lizard buzzard, northern brown-throated wattle-eye, willow warbler, olivaceous warbler, African thrush, yellow-throated leaflove, African Grey Parrot, golden-backed, yellow-backed and orange weavers, , ross’s Turaco, crowned, African pied and black-and-white-casqued Hornbills, Superb, olive-bellied, collared and Marica Sunbirds, ruff, green crombec, Blue-cheeked bee-eater, heuglin’s and snowy-headed robinchat, red-cheeked cordon-blue, grey-headed negro-finch, etc

Overnight: L. Victoria view guest house. Self-contained rooms with hot shower

Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)

Day 1 Mabamba Swamp and Lake Mburo National Park
We bird to Mabamba wetland in the morning and continue to Lake Mburo in the afternoon.
Start very early at 6:00 and carry packed lunch and drive to Mabamba Wetland.
Mabamba is about 50km west of Entebbe area on the shores of Lake Victoria.

The bay comprises of an extensive marsh with a labyrinth of channels and lagoons, classified as an IBA (Important Bird Area) and home to several pairs of Shoebills, Uganda's most famous avian resident. Other interesting species include Lesser Jacana, Malachite Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, etc.

We shall be here till late this morning and later continue birding on the way to L. Mburo National Park stopping over at the equator for Lunch.

On our way, we stop at a pool where we normally encounter cranes, hottentont teals, saddle-billed storks, purple swamp hen, common swamphen, comb ducks, white-faced whistling and fulvous whistling ducks etc

Overnight: Eagles nest Camp for 2nights (located on a hilltop, it comprises of ensuite safari tents on elevated wooden decks with one of the best views of the park and the surrounding villages)
Note: look out for the resident Familiar Chat around the lodge!

Northern Crombec (Sylvieta brachyura) in Murchison Falls National Park

Day 2 Whole day birding in Lake Mburo National Park

Morning bird walk in the woods, mid-morning boat ride and afternoon birding in the wooded savannah for the rest of the day

We shall start early; have our breakfast and thereafter we go do an early morning bird walk in the woods. The boat ride along the shores of the lake will be looking for specials like the white-backed and black-crowned night herons, rufous-bellied heron, African Finfoot, African darter, water thicknee lesser moorhen etc.. The papyrus swamp along the shores of the lake holds the papyrus yellow warbler and papyrus gonolek.

You will also encounter pools of hippos, crocodiles, and buffalos.

We spend the rest of the day on a game drive in the wooded savannah. Most sought-after species here include tabora cisticola, red-faced barbet, possibilities of the rare crested barbet, which are only known in the remote north-eastern Tanzania, Rwanda and here, brown-chested lapwing, Chinspot batis, emerald-spotted wood dove, etc.

Our own new discovery on this very trip: Miombo Wren warbler is a possibility! Other species include common scimmitarbill, red-rumoed swallow, yellow-breasted apalis, spot-flanked barbet, sulphur-breasted bushshrike, African water rail, golden-tailed woodpecker, bearded woodpecker, white-shouldered black tit, white –headed barbet etc

Birding here is a delightful experience, with beautiful scenery and a markedly different fauna from other reserves. This is the best place in the country to see antelopes such as Eland, Zebra, Topi, Impala, and acacia-associated birds.

Lunch break will be at the Lakeside restaurant or Arcadia Cottages open Restaurant.

Day 3 Travel to Ruhiija sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Today, we shall check out the Camp, have an early morning breakfast and further southwest to Bwindi area. We have chances of birding on the way at a few spots. We may have lunch in Ntungamo or Kabale depending on our pace and later continue to Ruhiija. Early arrivals at Ruhiija will give a chance to bird along the main road. Our first encounter with the Albertine Rift Endemics begins here. We shall have dinner at the Camp

Bwindi is generally at a higher altitude and therefore is cooler. Temperatures range between 10 - 18 ° C, and forest birding at Bwindi ranks the best in Uganda and Africa as well. It is home to over 23 highly localized Albertine Rift Endemics.

Overnight: Broadbill Forest Camp for 2nights. Tents with bathrooms attached and hot shower

Day 4 Birding Ruhiija – Mubwindi Swamp

After breakfast, we shall carry our picnic lunch and head for a whole day birding following the famous trail through the forest up to Mubwindi Swamp. The 4km trail to Mubwindi Swamp drops from 2350m to 2050m ASL and is the best place for some of the most difficult to find of all the Albertine Rift Endemics including; the rare and localized Grauer's Rush Warbler, African Green Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird, and Archer's Robin Chat. Mubwindi Swamp is home to Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Apalis and African / Rwenzori Hill Babbler, and Carruthers' Cisticola.

Other key species here include Fraser's Eagle-Owl, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Eastern Mountain-Greenbul, Strange Weaver, Black-headed Waxbill, Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Waller's Starling, Stuhlmann's Starling, Ludher's Bush-shrike, Handsome Francolin and Montane/Rwenzori Nightjar.

We shall return to our Camp this evening for dinner and overnight stay.

Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) photo by Martina Stolzi

Day 5 Optional Gorilla tracking and transfer to Buhoma sector of the forest thereafter.
Note: to consider this activity, one MUST be in reasonably good health. It involves very challenging and strenuous hikes in the impenetrable forest with rugged terrain!

Those not doing the gorilla trek may spend time birding along the community road trail. Along the way to buhoma, we may have time to do the popular ‘NECK’ birding.

Those doing the Gorilla trek will set off early after breakfast, carry packed lunch and gather at the park headquarters for briefing prior to the activity.

Trekking up the hillside to view a family of gorillas nestled in casual, frolicking play is a fascinating, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You will have an opportunity to enjoy close views of adults feeding, grooming and resting, as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully gentle display.

After here, we set off for Buhoma through the neck. The neck is a relatively narrow stretch connecting a small extension northern patch of the forest to the main body of Bwindi Impenetrable forest which is in the south. It is characterized by riverine forest vegetation.

Some of the species we are likely to see here include; Mountain Wagtail, Red-tailed and Shelley's Greenbul, Cassin's Flycatcher, Black Duck, Banded Prinia, Grey-throated Barbet, Common Buzzard, Black-billed Turaco, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-tailed Greenbul, Black Bee-eater and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Many-coloured Bush-shrike, Ayres's Hawk-eagle, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-throated Alethe, Grey Apalis, buff-throated apalis, African Shrike-flycatcher, Red-headed Malimbe, Dusky crimsonwing etc.

Arrival at Buhoma will be late this evening

Overnight: Buhoma Community Rest Camp for 2nights (tents and cottages with bathrooms attached and hot shower)

Striated Heron (Butorides striatus) in Lake Mburo

Day 6 Birding at Buhoma

We begin early after breakfast, carry picnic lunch and begin a whole day birding along the main trail at Buhoma.

Some of the key species here include Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-faced Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Chapin's Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, cassin's Grey Flycatcher, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill-Babbler, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Narrow-tailed Starling, Strange Weaver, Magpie Mannikin, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre's Hawk-eagle, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, (Western) Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg's Woodpecker, Elliot's Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Lagdens Bush Shrike, Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, Archer's Ground Robin, Ansorge's Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, and Short-tailed Warbler.

In addition to the birds, other likely encounters include Ruwenzori and Yellow-backed Duikers and the beautiful L’Hoest and Blue Monkeys.

We return to our Bandas this evening for refreshments, dinner and overnight stay.

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

Day 7 Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Start early after breakfast for Queen Elizabeth National Park. This is a rather long journey that may take most of our time this day. We shall have a few stops for stretching legs, to have our packed lunch and birding on the way. We shall drive through Queen Elizabeth NP’s distant southern segment - Ishasha section, famed for its tree climbing lions. Birding on the way here may produce species like the Stout cisticola, Rufous-breasted Wryneck, back –throated seedeater, African Golden Oriole, African fire finch, white-winged and red-collared widow-birds. Watch out for occasional lions in the large fig tree along the main road!

Overnight: Bush lodge with ensuite tents and bandas for 2 nights

Day 8 Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park for the whole day. Evening transfer to Fort-Portal town

Queen Elizabeth National Park is yet another area with some of the highest biodiversity ratings than any National Game Reserve in the world. Its varied habitats of open savannahs, acacia woodlands, tropical rain forests, dense papyrus swamps and lakes, make it one of the richest parks in Africa. Game in the park includes Elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, bushbuck, a profusion of Hippos, the elusive Giant Forest Hog and handsome Uganda Kob; with occasional Lion and Leopard.

The park boosts of over 612 bird species recorded, and a one-day record of 296 species

Start early this morning after breakfast, we carry our lunch packs and drive for about 20min to the park. We do a birding /game drive in the savanna along Kasenyi trail for the whole morning; transfer to Mweya Peninsula for a lunch break and later go for a Launch Cruise along the famous Kazinga Channel at 02:00pm.

Following one of the numerous trails in the park on a game / birding drive will produce special sightings of such species as Common Buttonquail, African Crake, Martial Eagle, Stout Cisticola, Black-crowned Tchagra, white-tailed lark, zitting cisticola, grassland pipit, rufous-napped lark, croaking Cisticola, temminck’s courser, African Skimmer, Senegal lapwing, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, black coucal.

Along the Kazinga Channel, there are chances of spotting the African Skimmers, the new record for Uganda – Grey prantincole, snowy-capped robin chat, spoonbills, kittliz plover, flamingos, crowned plovers and many other shorebirds both migratory and resident.

Later in the afternoon, we shall drive to Fort-portal town. Dinner at our lodge

Day 9 Birding with the communities in the Bunyaruguru area just 30min drive from here

Today we shall spend half of our day birding on the Kamweru crater on a canoe, along the crater escarpment and thereafter follow the community wetland boardwalk nature trail. The communities here have initiated a community tourism project to help save the degraded wetland and the Crater Lake (Nzuguto wetland and Kamweru crater in particular) due to intense uncontrolled human activity. The project advocates for conservation of wildlife outside protected areas, and empowering communities with alternatives to prevent over-dependency on natural resources.

The guides are from the local community and a percentage of the proceeds go to support numerous community conservation projects.

Your visit here will have a great impact in support to community tourism as a means of empowering local people to protect the environment and improvement on their livelihoods both socially and economically.

A big chunk of the Crater escarpment has been conserved hence attracting interesting species of birds; to mention but a few, malachite, woodland, and pygmy kingfishers, yellow-backed weavers, red-headed blue-bills, green-backed woodpecker, black-&-white casqued, pied and crowned hornbills, greatblue turaco, snowy-headed robin-chat, green-backed heron, east-African swee, great cormorants, and white-collared olive-back are usual encounters here.

The nearby historical cave houses the lesser-stripped swallows. The fish eagle is resident here. Further to the community wetland boardwalk nature trail; the dark-capped yellow warbler, grey-capped warbler, the african fire-finch, green hylia, grosbeak weaver, green crombec, blue-headed coucal, white-browed coucal, the ross’s turaco, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, olive sunbird, white-spotted fluff tail, carruther’s cisticola, dusky-blue flycatcher etc, are some of the specials here. The vervet monkey is also resident here.

Besides the birding, you get to meet the local people in their small farms and experience the life of a Ugandan villager. This, and the bigodi wetland community project in Kibale National park, are the only viable community tourism ventures in Uganda.

Tonight, we shall stay fort-Portal town.

Overnight: Raja Excelsior hotel fort-portal for 2nights Dinners at the Gardens restaurant

Day 10 Birding Semliki National Park along the famous Kirumila Trail

Semliki forest is one of the richest for lowland forest birds in Uganda and marks the eastern extension of the great Ituri Forest. A large number of Guinea-Congo biome species reach their eastern limits here. This therefore makes it the best place in Uganda with high chances of encountering some of the West African species that cannot be easily accessed from other places.

We shall start at dawn after an early breakfast and set off with our packed lunch. We spend the whole day bird watching the Kirumila Trail or any other part of the forest depending on the reliable information from our site guides. Key species include Red-billed, Black-wattled, Black-billed and White-crested Hornbills, African Piculet, pallid Honey-guide, Black-chested Coucal, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Rufous-sided Broadbill, White-bellied, Dwarf, and Pygmy Kingfishers, Piping, White-thighed, Black and White-casqued, and African Pied Hornbills, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-bellied, crested and Blue-billed Malimbe, Swamp Palm Bulbul,Green-tailed Bristlebill, Leaf Love,Long-tailed Hawk Chestnut-breasted Negrofinche, Black-winged Oriole, and others.

We return to our hotel later in the evening for dinner and overnight stay. On our back, we look out for Red-throated bee-eaters, grey-headed kingfisher, and southern red and black-winged bishops

Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) in the city center of Kampala photo by Martina Stolzi

Day 11 Kibale Forest National park.

We start after an early morning breakfast, check out the hotel, and bird on the way towards Kibale Forest. Along the main road look out for yellow-backed weavers, lesser honeyguide, white-collared olive-back, little rush warbler, grey-capped warbler etc. We check in our lodge this morning and have a relaxed birding around the lodge.

We have lunch at our lodge, and later continue to Kibale Forest. This afternoon we bird in the Bigodi community wetland.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a community owned and managed nature reserve. A 4km trail has been created in the wetland adjacent to the forest. The habitat here consists of a swamp surrounded by low, scrubby secondary forest and cultivation.

Key species include among others; White-spotted flufftail, Green-backed Twinspot, Scaly Illadopsis, Olive-green Camaroptera, White-collared oliveback, magpie manninkin, white-winged warbler, white-chinned Prinia, Blue-shouldered Robinchat, Lesser honeyguide, grey-throated tit flycatcher, Uganda Spotted and speckle-breasted Woodpeckers, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Red-capped Robin Chat and Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Great Sparrow-hawk, Red-headed Bluebill, Luhdher's Bush Shrike.

Usual encounters are vervet, black and white colobus, red colobus and red-tailed monkeys. Grey-cheeked mangbeys are also residents here.

Overnight: Chimpanzee Guesthouse for 2nights – self-contained rooms with hot shower.

Day 12 Birding in the forest or/and Chimp tracking

After an early morning breakfast, we shall make an early start for the forest, where more than 330 rainforest species, including restricted range species have been recorded.

Kibale’s specials include, among others: Green-breasted Pitta, African Crowned-Eagle, Afep Pigeon, Red-winged Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, Superb sunbird, Narina Trogon, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Black Bee-eater, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Green-throated Sunbird, African Pitta, African Broadbill, Willcock's honeyguide, Thick-billed Honeyguide, Joyful Greenbul, Honeyguide Greenbul, Black-and-white Flycatcher, Pink-footed Puffback, Chestnut-winged Starling, Green-headed sunbird, and Dark-backed Weaver.

Chimp tracking on this day will be in the afternoon, for those who will be interested.

You will have a whole morning birding and later in the afternoon, go look for chimps.

Day 13 Travel Masindi Town

We wake up this morning; have breakfast and setoff for Budongo area. This is another long journey on a murrum road that may take the whole day with chances of birding on the way. Stopovers will be done at strategic points to provide opportunities for birding, stretching legs and enjoying our picnic lunch. Arrival in Masindi will be late this evening. Some of the birds we look for while travelling include, Masked Apalis, Black-faced rufous warbler, yellow-mantled weaver, black duck, yellow-mantled widowbird, compact weavers, brown twinspot, compact weavers, white-crested turaco, red-necked falcon, Uganda spotted woodpecker, etc

Overnight: Kolping hotel Masindi for 2nights - self-contained rooms with hot showers Dinners at Masindi hotel

Day 14 Whole day Birding the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest

We shall have an early morning breakfast, carry picnic lunch and drive to one of “Uganda's bird watching hotspots”, the Royal Mile. This is historically known to have been a leisurely spot for the traditional King of Bunyoro, hence the name Royal Mile. Here the forest has been cut back a few metres along the sides of the main trail, which provides a good viewing area. Depending on how we shall be successful this morning, we may decide to spend the whole morning here and later in the afternoon bird to Busingiro section of the forest.

Before we get to the forest, we look for cabanis bunting, great sparrowhawk, brown- twinspot, brown-backed scrub robin, whistling cisticola, greater honeyguide etc

Key species include: Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African dwarf Kingfisher, Chestnut-capped flycatcher, Crowned eagle, Olive-green camaorptera, Yellow Longbill, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Forest Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Camaropera, Ituri Batis, Red-headed Bluebill, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, lemon-bellied crombec, Green Crombec, Crested Malimbe, and pallid honeyguide.

Day 15 Transfer to Entebbe for your flight back home
As we travel back to Entebbe, we shall stop at a wetland in luwero to look for the rare Haurtlaub’s marsh widowbird, fan-tailed widowbird, broad-tailed grassbird, and African moustached warbler

We arrive Entebbe at 13h00

~ End of trip ~

Price per person
USD2375 for 6 people sharing accommodation
USD2677 for 4 people sharing accommodation
Single Room Supplement US$320.

Included in tour price: National Park entrance fees, shared accommodation (in basic facilities for 14nights) and all meals, bottled drinking water throughout the trip, forest and game reserve entrance fees, birding walks and game drive charges, Boat hire at Mabamba, and L. Mburo, Kazinga channel launch Cruise, Bigodi wetland entrance, car hire and fuel throughout the tour (we shall use an 8-seater 4WD omnibus with an open roof hatch), a knowledgeable birding guide charge, and site /local guides fees.

Not included in tour: Flight charges to and fro your country of origin, visa fees, alcoholic and additional soft beverages like sodas; laundry services, gorilla and chimp trek fees ($600 and $150 respectively), tips to guides and hotel staff, night game drives, and any other items of personal nature.


This trip runs from 5th Jan - 20th Jan 2016 and,
02nd July 2016 - 16th July 2016

Itinerary changes
Although we shall do our best to adhere to the trip schedule, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control; including flight schedule changes or delays, health threats, local rebellions, participants logistical issues, weather, road or trail conditions etc. The right is reserved to substitute hotels, lodges or camps of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary.

Trip cancellation and refund policy
When the traveler notifies us more than 45 days prior to the first day of any of our trips, 75% of the final payments will be refunded. With 30-45 days’ notice, one receives a 50% refund of the final payments of the tour. No refund can be made with less than 30 days’ notice. No partial refund can be given once a tour begins. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect your investment.

Note: we act as agents to accommodation owners and other services providers; thus in case of cancellation, the traveller is bound to be affected by the cancellation and refund policies of the respective service providers (example: non-refundable Gorilla Trekking Permit).

Travel insurance
We strongly recommend that you consider a plan to help protect your trip investment. Travel insurance helps to cover; unexpected events prior to departure causing the need to cancel or change your dates, weather events or local strikes causing interruption or changes to your itinerary, missed connections, delayed arrival, lost/delayed baggage and medical or evacuation coverage.

There are variations in weather due to the typically equatorial climate of Uganda. Part of our trip will take place in areas where the weather can change suddenly. Daytime temperatures average about eight to ten degrees warmer than nighttime temperatures in the Lake Victoria region, and temperatures are generally about fourteen degrees lower in the southwest. However, overcast conditions are frequent, particularly in the forest and mountain areas. Nights can be mild to warm, cooler at higher altitudes. Mean annual temperatures range from about 16° C in the southwestern highlands to 25° C in the northwest; but in the east and northeast, temperatures may exceed 30° C.
Many of the high-altitude areas (esp. Bwindi) we'll visit on this trip will be chilly (10-18°C / 50-65°F). The terrain is rugged and walkways can be very slippery.
You are advised to carry warm layered clothing, rain gear and heavy hiking shoes (jungle boots) to negotiate the slippery surfaces.

Those doing the Gorilla trek should be in reasonably good health because the activity is so challenging!

Accommodations on this trip are in the budget to midrange categories; and are clean, with spacious en-suite rooms with private hot-showers and toilets. The entire hotels, lodges and camps serve a wide selection of both local and international dishes, have well stocked bars and some have recreation facilities like fire place to help you relax after long journeys and long hours in the field. Most of them are strategically located in scenic and wilderness areas where you will have opportunities of hearing buzzes of insects and birds.

Recommended for the field is light-weight, neutral-coloured clothing that can be easily rinsed out and quickly dries. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will help protect you from insects, thorny plants, and sunburn. Shorts may be appropriate for some occasions; long pants that convert into shorts by unzipping the legs are generally very useful and popular. A sweater or jacket is useful for cooler nights and early mornings. You may consider bringing raingear, including a small umbrella.

Strong-soled shoes or hiking boots are essential, as we will spend a good amount of time on our feet. Dress is casual throughout. Laundry service will be available regularly during the tour (cost not included), which should help you in deciding what to pack. Making use of laundry service means you will not need to bring many items of clothing.

Alternatively, to lighten your load, you may consider bringing some clothes you have planned to discard. These can be worn on tour and left behind; they will be well received by local people we meet on the tour.

Ugandan currency is the Shilling; at the time of writing, the exchange rate is approximately 3200UgShs for US$1. Credit cards are not used in most hotels and lodges where we shall be staying. They are commonly used in a few shopping centres in the capital Kampala. ATM machines are available in most towns. You are advised to carry cash for personal expenses which can be exchanged upon arrival at the airport or while on safari. Or your visa ATM cards which can be used to access cash in local currency. We do that for the days we shall be in Kampala /Entebbe. Larger bills ($50 and $100) attract a significantly better rate of exchange than smaller. Any local currency can be changed back to US Dollars or your preferred local currency at the airport on departure. US Dollars cash notes MUST be dated 2006 or newer and must be in good condition.

A passport with a tourist visa valid for at least six months after your departure is required to enter Uganda as well as a yellow fever vaccination certificate. You may not be required to obtain the tourist visa for Uganda prior to your departure, as it can be obtained upon arrival at Entebbe Airport (cost at time of writing is $50).
It is very important that your passport, credit cards, traveler's cheques, and other valuables be on your body at all times. We caution against carrying these items in your backpack or purse as petty crime is inevitable. If you must leave your valuable items like Cameras, Jewelry etc., in the car or hotel, make sure your driver guide or hotel management is notified about the effect. We shall not take responsibility for any loss of such items whatsoever.

As bird enthusiasts, you are encouraged to carry your own birding equipment if you are to get the best memories of your tour. Amongst the equipment you may need are; a good pair of binoculars, a spotting scope with its tripod. Other equipment include an alarm clock, a water flask or canteen, a flashlight, camera and its batteries, small backpack for carrying essentials on day activities, insect repellent and sunscreen. Please try as much as possible to minimize on the baggage.

It is important to note that modern medical facilities and prescription drugs are not common in Uganda; apart from a few recommended hospitals in Ugandan major towns. Thus one should be in reasonably good health to consider this tour.

Although food hygiene and quality is excellent and we rarely experience any serious stomach problems, you may want to bring the remedy you prefer or is prescribed for an upset stomach. Moist toiletries are useful for keeping refreshed and clean during travelling and before packed lunches. If you are taking prescription medication or over-the-counter medicine, be sure to bring an ample supply that will allow you to get through the tour safely. Please consult your physician as necessary. Remember to pack all medication in your carry-on baggage, preferably in original containers or packaging. As airline baggage restrictions can change without warning, please check with your airline for procedures for packing medication.

Malaria is present, including the chloroquine-resistant strain; most areas are at risk. Malorone is the drug of choice in areas where chloroquine-resistant malaria is found. A single dose should be taken one week before the start of the tour, continued throughout the tour, and for four weeks after its conclusion. Malorone is available by prescription only, and may not be suitable for those using cardio-vascular medication; consult your physician.

As standard travel precautions, you should always be up to date with tetanus shots, and strongly consider inoculations against Hepatitis types A and B.

All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. Recommended is bottled water (we shall have enough in our car). It is also recommended that you only eat well-cooked meat and fish, served hot. Pork, salad, and mayonnaise may carry increased risk. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Community Support

Uganda Eco Tours and Voluntourism
As a way of giving back to the communities, Uganda Eco Tours in collaboration with World Community Development Programme (WCDP) and FAIR2.ORG run a programme that helps to support rural schools, local women groups, and vulnerable groups or communities. The support varies from the purpose of the visit, the community dynamics and the willingness by the traveller to be involved.

We normally encourage most of our clients whose visit may not be necessarily for the cause, but can however offer something to one of the schools, or community groups. A pen, pencil, an exercise book, old clothing, soccer balls, school bag, etc can make a change in the life a young school going kid in the rural areas. For more information, please visit:

Departure Tax – none
Electricity - 220-240 volt AC, with British type 13-amp 3-prong plugs.
Language - English is the official language and widely spoken.
Time – Uganda is 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Recommended Readings
For Birds
Stevenson, Terry and John Fanshawe. A Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Academic Press, 2001
Ian Sinclair, Peter Ryan. Birds of Africa, south of the Sahara Second edition

1. Kefa M. Otiso, Culture and Customs of Uganda (Culture and Customs of Africa) 2006. (Book Available at Amazon Sales)
2. Philip Briggs with Andrew Roberts (6th Edition). Uganda, the Bradt Travel Guide 2010. A good guide to travelling in Uganda
3. Finlay, Hugh, M. Fitzpatrick, M. Fletcher and N. Ray (5th Edition). East Africa Lonely Planet Publications. 2000. An excellent general reference work to travelling in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

4. Kingdon, Jonathan. The Kingdon Fieldguide to African Mammals Academic Press, 1999. This excellent book covers all of Africa's mammals. Larger mammals (squirrel size and larger) are covered to species level and smaller mammals to genus level. This is the recommended mammal book. The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals (Princeton Pocket Guides) by Jonathan Kingdon, may also be helpful

5. Spawls, Stephen, Kim Howell, Robert C. Drewes and James Ashe. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa Academic Press, 2001. A superb and comprehensive but rather bulky guide to all the species of reptiles occurring in Uganda.

6. Dharani N. Field Guide to the Common Trees and Shrubs of East Africa Struik, 2002. A newly published guide to the more common trees and shrubs found in East Africa

Thanks for reading our itinerary, come join us. Happy birding.

Ross's Turaco Musophaga rossae
Ross's Turaco (Musophaga rossae) photo by Martina Stolzi

Birding Pal ©2015

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