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16 Day Birding Trip Uganda

This 16 days birding trip will take you to various  places in Uganda where different bird species can be  sighted starting with the Mabamba swamp on lake Victoria shore in search for the rare Shoebill storks,  Murchison for the Cliff Chat, Yellow-fronted Tinker-bird, Grey headed Bush, Queen Elizabeth National park African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper. In  Bwindi Impenetrable forest offers you  the most productive Montane forest birding safari experience in Africa and supports 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertan Rift endemic bird species. Besides  the common Mountain Gorillas trek and lastly the Kibale Forest and Bigodi swamp will offer you more of the  White Casqued Hornbill, Yellow White-eye, Tambourine Dove, Dark-capped Yellow, Grey-capped Warblers, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Black and White Shrike Flycatcher. Make it a point to explore Birds in East Africa with our 16 days birding trip.

16 Day Birding Trip Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport.

This is an optional day for birding depending on the time of arrival for the 16 day birding trip. Some may choose to rest and shed off the jet lag, while others go birding in and around Entebbe or Kampala. Stay in Lindsay Cottages, Entebbe Lake Victoria Guest house or Uganda wild life education Center Bandas.

Day 2: Mabamba Wetland and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park.

On our second day of the 16 days birding trip is that after an early breakfast, we drive to Mabamba Swamp, 50km west of Kampala, and stop en route at Mpigi Swamp for papyrus rarities. Keep your eyes open for White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, and other swamp specialities.

Also watch for the Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamp-hen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling-duck, Squacco, Rufous-bellied and Purple Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, Black Crake, African Marsh Harrier, Hamerkop, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Common Waxbill, Yellow-billed Duck, Blue-headed Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Intermediate Egret, Osprey, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, and Red-billed Fire-finch.

Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

Later, we transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. This park contains an extensive area of wetland, the bird population is rich, including the most sought after birds of Uganda, Green backed woodpecker, African Finfoot, Brown-chested Plover, Southern Ground Hornbill, Spot-flanked, Red-faced and Black-collared Barbets; White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Carruthers Cisticola, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-billed Oxpecker and Northern Brown-throated Weaver.

Stay in Arcadia Cottages, Rwakobo Rock  or Mihingo Lodge, Mantana Tented camp for 2 nights.

Day 3: Birding safari in Lake Mburo National Park.

After an early breakfast, we go on a birding and game drive following numerous tracks in Lake Mburo National Park. You have chances of viewing mammals such as Zebra, Topi, Elephant, Eland, Impala, Buffalo, Water Buck, etc. Birds you have chances of viewing include Black-headed Oriole, White-backed Scrub Robin, Bateleur, Ruppel’s Long-tailed Starling, Common Bulbul, Brown Parrot, Ruppel’s Griffon Vulture, Grey Hornbill, White-browed Coucal, Lesser Masked Weaver, Water Thick-knee, Wood Hoopoe, Verreux’s Eagle Owl, Woodland Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Little Bee-eater, Chinspot, Tawny Eagle, Senegal Lapwing, Plain-backed Pipit, Greater Honeyguide, Sooty Chat, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-faced Crombec, Brown-tailed, Bronze-tailed Starlings, Northern Brubru, Grey Kestrel, Coqui Francolin, Broad-billed Roller, Grassland Pipit, and Golden-breasted Bunting. Overnight at your lodge .

Day 4: Birding safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Yes ! on this fourth day of our 16 days birding trip, we shall spend most of our day driving to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to approximately half of the world’s endangered population of Mountain Gorillas. This vast reserve arguably offers the most productive montane forest birding safari experience in Africa and supports 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species.

About Bwindi Forest and Birding

Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is now an ecological island within a sea of human cultivation and therefore of immense conservational importance. Buhoma lies in the valley of the Munyaga River at 5100 ft and is bordered by steep, forested hills. Excellent forest birding, including the possibility of numerous rare and localized Albertine Rift endemics, makes this an exceptional birding experience.

Overnight  in  Bwindi Community , Gorilla Resort or  Buhoma lodge, silver buck lodge ..

Day 5: Uganda Birding safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest.
Forest birding at Bwindi ranks as the best bird watching in Uganda plus it is ranked as the number one hot spot in all of Africa (by members of the African Bird Club). It is home to over 23 highly-localized Albertine Rift endemics. Specialty birds include Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-faced Apalis, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, 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, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Sooty Boubou, Pink-footed Puffback, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, White-naped Raven, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick- billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk-eagle, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood-Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, (Western) Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, African Green Broadbill, Lagdens Bush Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Archer’s Ground Robin, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin-chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush-warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler and Red faced Woodland-Warbler. Overnight at your lodge .

Day 6: Uganda Gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi impentrable national park.

Gorilla tracking will be an optional excursion and those not wishing to go can spend time looking for the excellent birds around the lower trails accompanied by a local bird guide.

For those wishing to do the trekking, after breakfast, we shall assemble at the park offices for briefing prior to this historic event. Gorilla tracking is a captivating pursuit; it involves walking in the wilderness in search of these great apes. On occasions the Gorillas prove elusive but often can be found within an hour by the tracker guides. Each encounter is different and has its own rewards, but you are likely to enjoy the close view of adults feeding, grooming and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully playful display. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is NOT TO MISS on such an amazing experience of the Giants of Bwindi.

Overnight at your lodge .

Day 7: Uganda Birding safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Today, we shall start early after breakfast and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Due to the unpredictable rain seasons that sometimes make the roads impassable, we may either drive through Ishasha sector popularly known for its tree climbing lions or drive through the beautiful sceneries of Rukungiri district. Birding on the way may produce species such as Grey capped Warbler, African Long Crested Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Black headed waxbill, Black and white Manikin, Senegal Coucal, Red Chested Cuckoo, and others.

The Park, which is named after the Queen of England who visited it in 1954, is the second largest national park in Uganda. The park’s excellent biodiversity ranks it as one of the best birding sites in Uganda with over 610 species recorded (the one day record was 296 species).

Specialty species in the park include: Harlequin, Blue, Small (Common) Button Quails, African Crake, White-winged Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Papyrus Gonolek, Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrow-hawk, Lowland Akalat, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, rare Shoebill, Black Bee-eater, Caruthers’s Cisticola, Terek Sandpiper, Secretary Bird, and Temminck’s Courser.

While on your birding safari, little will you avoid Mammals such as African Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Lion, Ugandan Kobs, Side-striped Jackal, Baboons, Chimpanzees, Bush and Water Bucks, Warthogs, Giant Forest Hogs to mention but a few.

Stay in Mweya Safari Lodge, Jacana Lodge or Mweya Hostel.

Day 8: Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Boat trip on Kazinga Chanel

After breakfast we set out for a bird watching safari and game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park. Later in the afternoon you have an exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. This is a narrow neck of water that connects Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus. The birds you are likely to encounter include: African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Gray-headed Gull, Plain Martin Lesser Swamp-Warbler and Yellow-billed Oxpecker.

Day 9: Uganda Birding safari to Maramagambo Forest, transfer to Kibale Forest.

After an early breakfast, we head for IMaramagambo Forest. A few specialties at this forest include the Yellow-bellied and Jameson’s Wattle-eyes, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed and Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Brown and Grey-chested Illadopsis, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Least Honeyguide, Grey Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, and the African Finfoot. The trail through the forest leads past a bat cave, which is rather impressive, and if we are lucky we may come across a Python that lives in the cave and feasts on the bats.
Later in the afternoon, we drive to Kibale forest National Park. Kibale forest is a good site for a number of birds that are hard to find elsewhere including Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Cabanis’s Greenbul and Joyful Greenbul as well as White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky and Olive Longtailed Cuckoo, Lesser Honeyguide, Blue-shouldered Robin Chat, White-chinned Prinia, Grey Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera and White-collared Oliveback.

Stay in Chimpanzee Guesthouse, Kiable forest Camp and Ndali Lodge for three nights.

Day 10: Birding safari in Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park ( optional Chimp tracking).

After an early breakfast we drive to Kibale Forest National Park visitor center for briefing prior to chimp tracking. Kibale Forest is known for it’s thirteen species of primates; Monkeys include Black and White Colobus, Red Colubus, Red Tailed, Blue, and Black faced Monkeys. Other are Olive Baboon, Chimpanzee, Pottos and Bush Babies. Our tracking may last for a few to several hours and we will conduct light birding along the way.

Bird watching in the afternoon along the main road may be productive. Depending on the weather predictions, birding Bigodi wetland is also productive with riverine forest specialties. Species include: Black Headed, Grosbeak, Black-necked, Vieillot’s, and Black billed Weavers, Speckled Mouse-bird, Masked Swallow, Blue Flycatcher, Black and White Mannikin, Red-eyed Dove, White-chinned Prinia, Little Grey and Joyful Greenbuls, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Open-billed Stork, Olive-bellied Sunbird, White-throated Apalis, White-winged Warbler, Black-billed Turacco, White-spotted Flufftail, Alpine Swift, Collared Sunbird, Papyrus Sunbird, White-breasted Negro-finch, Superb Sunbird, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Hadada Ibis, Senegal Plover, Purple-headed Starling, Toro Olive Greenbul, Black-crowned Waxbill, Brown-backed, White-crowned Scrub-robins, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Abdim’s Stork, Red-headed Bluebill, Black-headed Heron, Senegal Coucal, Spectacled Weaver, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Red-faced Cisicola, Bocages (Grey Green) Bush Shrike, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, Yellow White-eye, Tambourine Dove, Dark-capped Yellow, Grey-capped Warblers, Shining Blue Kingfisher. Overnight at your lodge .

Day 11: Birding Kibale Forest National Park. 

After breakfast, we head once more into Kabale Forest looking for any species we may have missed the previous day. Our trip list needs will take us to either the Sebitoli section or the Kanyancu area. Here, we have chances of seeing Black-billed Turacco, Honeyguide Greenbul, Purple-headed Starling, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Green-throated Sunbird, Little Green Sunbird, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Mountain Wagtail, Narrow-tailed Starling, Superb Sunbird, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, African Grey Parrot, Black Weaver, Speckled Tinkerbird, Long-crested Eagle, and many others. Later transfer to your lodge .

Day 12: Birding Safari Uganda – Murchison Falls National Park.

After breakfast, we drive northwards to Murchison Falls National Park birding through the Escarpment. Special birds include Cliff Chat, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Grey headed Bush Shrike, Singing Cisticola, African Finfoot, Namaqua Dove, Green-winged Pytilia, Red-backed Shrike, Crested Francolin, Black-headed Bush Shrike, Northern and Black-winged Red Bishops, Black Bellied Firefinch, Black-faced Waxbill and March Tchagra.

Stay at Pakuba lodge, Fort Murchison , Para Lodge and Murchison River  Lodge for 3 nights

Days 13. 16 day Birding Trip, Uganda Birding at the northern bank of River Nile, cruise trip to the bottom of Falls, and birding to the top Falls.

We start birding after an early breakfast. Depending on the information available from our site guides, we may choose to take a boat along the Victoria Nile or game drive to the delta.
Special birds to look for include Shoebill, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Senegal Thick-knee, Water Thick-knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver. Other specials include Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Marabou Stork, Red-throated Bee-eater, Silver Bird, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Speckle-fronted and Golden-backed Weavers, White-rumped Seedeater, Pel’s Fishing Owl, White Crested Turacco, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Carmine Bee-eater. Over night at your lodge .

Day 14: Bird watching safari in Uganda – Budongo Forest, Kanio Pabide section.

After an early breakfast, we bird through woodlands southwards toward the Kanio Pabide section of Budongo Forest. Birding in the forest and along Masindi Road is impressively productive. Special birds at Budongo include Rufous-sided Broadbill, the very rare Puvell’s Illadopsis, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Yellow and Grey Long bills, Whistling Cisticola, Black Bishop, Red-headed and Red-billed Quelleas, Magpie Mannikin, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-billed Shrike, Pigmy Sunbird, African Harrier Hawk, Blue Sunbird, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Rufous Flycatcher Thrush, Forest Robin, Red-headed Bristlebill, Paradise Flycatcher, Emerald Cuckoo, Double-collared Sunbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Little Greenbul, Slender-billed Greenbul, Buff-throated Apalis, Icterine Greenbul, Xavier’s Greenbul, Cameroon Sombre, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo. The forest is also home to Chimpanzees.

Stay in Masindi Hotel or Court View Hotel.

Day 15: Birding safari to Entebbe – Uganda.

After an early breakfast, we embark on a long drive back to Kampala and bird along the way. Stay in UWEC bandas/ Cottages, lake Victoria Guest house.

Day 16:  Depending on flight time, we still have an opportunity to do birding in the Botanical garden in Entebbe and later transfer to the Airport and End of our 16 birding trip in Uganda.

 

Safari Highlights:

Day 1: Arrival at the Entebbe Airport
Day 2: Birding in Mabamba wetland
Day 3:Birding In Lake Mburo NPK
Day 4: Transfer to Bwindi Forest NPK
Day 5: Birding in Bwindi Forest NPK 
Day 6:Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi NPK
Day 7:Transfer to Queen Elizabeth park
Day 8:Birding In Queen Elizabeth and Boat cruise.
Day 9: Birding in Maramagambo
Day 10:Birding in Kibale Forest NPK (optional Chimp Tracking) 
Day 11: Birding in Kibale Forest NPK
Day 12:Birding in Murchison Falls 
Day 13:Birding on Northern Bank of River Nile
Day 14:Birding in Budongao Forest, Kanio Pabide section
Day 15: Birding en-route to Entebbe
Day 16: Birding in Botanical Gardens and departure 

Safari Inclusion

  • Airport transfers
  • Ground transport per 4WD safari vehicle
  • English speaking driver/guide
  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary, based on double room ,single rooms an extra fees is charged.
  • Mineral water in the safari vehicle
  • Park entrance fees
  • Boat cruise.
  • Ranger fees
  • Permit for chimp tracking in queen Elizabeth Forest National Park

Tour Exclusions:

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned
  • International flight
  • Visa (USD $50 per person)
  • Gorilla permit (USD $600 per permit)
  • forest walk in Bwindi (USD $50 per person)
  • Tips & laundry service.
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