Birds in Uganda and Wildlife Adventure | 15 Days

birding and primates safaris-Birds in Uganda

From US $4230
per person (sharing)

Visiting: Mabamba Bay, Lake Mburo, Kibale Forest, Bwindi Forest  and Queen Elizabeth

Main Activities

  • Birding in Mabamba
  • Birding in Lake Mburo
  • Birding and Game Viewing in Queen Elizabeth N.P
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest
  • Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable

Route Map

Birding and Wildlife Safari — 10 Days, 9 Nights


This 15 days best value trip is designed to take you to the finest of Uganda’s birding zones which consist of swamps, tropical rain forests and savanna grass/wood lands. These include, Mabamba swamp, Murchison falls national park, Budongo forest, Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth National park, Bwindi impenetrable Forest and Lake Mburo National park. Birds expected to be seen in the different habitats include, the Shoe bill Stock, Red faced woodland warbler, African fin foot, Papyrus Gonolek, Bar- tailed Trogon, Black faced Rufous warbler, Chocolate backed Kingfisher, Blue breasted Kingfisher among others.

Day 1 — Arrival at Entebbe International airport

On arrival, the company guide/driver takes you to your hotel/lodge of choice for overnight stay.

Day 2 — Birding in Mabamba swamp than to Masindi town

birding in mabamba-Birds in Uganda

This day’s activity starts with birding in Mabamba swamp in search of the prehistoric shoebill. Early morning, drive south-west to Mpigi town and branch off to Mabamba Ramsar site. The distance to Mabamba takes one and a half hours. While birding in Mabamba, normally boats are used to paddle through the channels of the swamp in search of the Shoebill. Generally, it takes between two to three hours to locate the Shoebill.

Also, other species of water birds like the African Jacanas, Yellow-billed Ducks, White-faced whistling ducks, Long-toed Plovers, Village Weavers, Purple Swamphens, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Malachite Kingfisher, Grey-headed gulls, Gull-billed Terns, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, African darter, Rufous-bellied heron among others can be seen.

Day 3 — Travel to Murchison Falls National Park

Birds in Uganda

Start this day by birding while travelling to Murchison falls national park.

Murchison Falls National Park is most famous for its impressive wildlife diversity and its environs. Birders will be impressed by the quality and diversity of birds at this site. Expected birds to be seen along the way include Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Speckled Mousebird, Ruppells long-tailed starling, Spectacled Weaver, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Grasshopper Buzzard, Red-throated Bee-eater, Montagu’s harrier, African Paradise Flycatcher, Black-headed Batis, Arrow-marked Babbler, Black-bellied Fire Finch among others.

Arrive at the park and then proceed to the top of the falls for this thrilling and amazing experience where the River Nile forces its self into an 8m wide gorge which forms beautiful scenic falls.

Day 4 — Birding in Murchison Falls national park

This day involves birding in Murchison falls national park. Special birds to look for in Murchison Falls National Park include Shoebill, Secretary bird 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, Carmine Bee-eater, Nightjars (Pennant-winged &Standard-winged), White-rumped canary among others.

While in Murchison falls national park, there are chances of seeing animals like Giraffes, Elephants, kobs, Oribi, Elephants, Lions, Spotted Hyenas, Grass hare, Warthogs, leopards, buffalos.

Day 5 — Birding in Budongo forest

Birds in Uganda

After breakfast, drive to Budongo forest- the largest forest in Uganda for a birding expedition. Budongo forest found in Masindi is an ideal place for birding with lots of special species of birds which are also found in Congo. Spend the whole day in Budongo and the expected birds to be spotted from this forest include, Chocolate Backed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chestnut Wattle Eye, Ituri Batis, Chestnut-capped Warbler, Lemon-bellied Crombec, White-thighed Hornbill, Eremomela to mention but a few. Return to the lodge in the evening while birding.

Day 6 — Travel to Kibale Forest National Park

Early morning, transfer to Kibale forest taking Hoima- Kagadi road. It is a 7 hours’ drive up to Kibale Forest National Park. The whole day is generally spent on travel. However, there are occasional stopovers for beautiful views of the farming plantations along the way. Have lunch en-route in Fort portal town.

Kibale Forest National Park is one of the most attractive national parks in Uganda with varied tracts of tropical rain forests and several animal species. The park covers 795 km2 of the rain forest, swamps, rivers and few areas of grassland. Forest cover, interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park on an elevated plateau.

It is home to more than 1,450 chimpanzees protected inside the park and in total, thirteen primate species. Children have to be 12 years and above to able to track the Chimpanzees, children below 12 years can only engage in an educative forest walk.

The park boasts of more than 375 species of birds which include Green-breasted Pitta, White-naped Pigeon, crowned eagle and many others.

Reach Kibale forest in the evening, check in at your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7 — Birding and chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park

Early morning, go for a briefing where the tracking guidelines are passed on by the specialized site guide/ranger. After the briefing, walk into the forest with the specialized ranger and your guide in search of Kibale’s special- the Green-breasted Pitta and chimp tracking. On a lucky day, you can see the pitta displaying.

Chimp tracking is an adventurous activity that is also part of this day. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to a man with 98.7% DNA. When chimps are located, you are allowed to spend a maximum of one hour within their vicinity and then after, exit the forest.

Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon, head to Bigodi swamp for yet another amazing excursion. The expected birds of this activity include, Green Crombec, Little Greenbul, Tooro olive greenbul, Grey-capped Warbler, Western black headed oriole, White-spotted flufftail, Afep Pigeon, White-napped pigeon, Olive Pigeon, Cassin’s grey flycatcher

Also, apart from the chimpanzees, other primates that can be seen in Kibale forest national park include Red Colobus, Black and white colobus, Uganda Mangabey, olive baboon, Blue monkey, Vervet monkeys among others.

Day 8 — Travel from Kibale forest to Queen Elizabeth national park

Birds in Uganda

This day starts by birding while travelling to Queen Elizabeth national park. While birding on this trail, you might come across the African Emerald Cuckoo, Purple-headed Starling, Black-billed Turaco, Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-throated Barbet, Blue-throated Roller, Narrow-tailed Starling, Western Black-headed Oriole, Yellow-throated and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds.

Arrival to Queen Elizabeth is likely to be in the afternoon. If possible you may go for an evening game drive in the park.

Day 9 — Birding and game viewing in Queen Elizabeth national park

This day’s activities include birding and game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park boasts of impressive Crater Lake scenery, expansive grasslands, papyrus swamps and tropical forests, huge herds of Elephant and Buffalo, Lions, Leopards, and a diverse array of birds. It contains Uganda’s best game populations as well as some of Uganda’s best bird watching sites, an incredible bird list of over 600 bird species that are, almost half of Uganda’s bird species. This makes this birding site the highest not only in Uganda but in Africa.

Early morning, go for the game drive which takes you through a productive area of grassy plains that support large flocks of a variety of species which include, the Bateleur, Grey Kestrel, Lappet-faced, Ruppell’s Griffon, White-backed and Palm-nut Vultures, African Crake, Black Coucal, Common Button, Harlequin and Black-rumped Quails, Red-necked Spurfowl, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks.

Common animals in this park include Uganda Kob, Lion, Warthog, Bush Buck, Deffassa Waterbuck, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Elephants and many others.

In the afternoon, take a launch tour of the Kazinga Channel which is a natural magnet for herds of Elephants, Giant Forest Hogs, Buffaloes, Monitor lizards, Crocodiles and the abundant Hippopotamus. Birding here is excellent with great photographic opportunities. You might be blessed with groups of African Skimmers, Great-white and Pink-backed Pelicans, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Open-billed Stork, White-faced Whistling Duck, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood sandpiper and Common Sandpiper, Malachite Kingfisher, African Jacana, African Wattled Plover among others.

Day 10 — Birding through the Ishasha sector and travel to Bwindi impenetrable forest

tree climbing lions in ishasha

Start the day by travelling to Bwindi forest by passing through the Ishasha sector. This route consists of areas that are habitats to wildlife including the tree climbing lions which are likely to be seen as you drive through the Ishasha sector.

On your way, you can make occasional stopovers for some birding to enrich your birding list. The birds include Hamerkop, Lizard Buzzard, African Harrier-Hawk, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Greater- Painted Snipe, Black Crake, Grey Heron, Fan-tailed widow bird, African jacana, Pin-tailed Whydah, Village indigo, Black-crowned Waxbill among others.

On arrival in Bwindi -Buhoma, check in at your accommodation for an overnight stay and prepare for the next day’s activities of gorilla trekking and birding.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley has mist-covered hillsides that are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s gorilla population, including several habituated groups, which can be trekked.

This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.

Day 11 — Birding and Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest

Gorilla Trekking-Bwindi Gorilla Trekking

This day’s activities start very early in the morning with a briefing by the site ranger for gorilla trekking. After the briefing, proceed through the dense bush to trek for these endangered animals. This wonderful and memorable activity can take between 2- 7 hours while searching in the jungle forest. For conservation purposes, the time allowed with the Gorillas after being located is one hour. This is an awesome and thrilling experience not worthy of forgetting.

After trekking, return to your lodge and rest.

In the afternoon, go for birding in Bwindi forest in search of the Albertine rift endemics such as, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Black-billed Weaver, Short-tailed Warbler, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Red-throated Alethe, Mountain Illadopsis, Dusky long-tailed cuckoo, Eulberg’s woodpecker, Banded Prinia, Elliot’s woodpecker, Dwarf honey guide, Brown-capped Weaver, Pink-footed puff back, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat among others.

Day 12 — Birding in Bwindi impenetrable forest

Birds in Uganda

Start and spend the entire day by birding in Buhoma main trail in search of the Albertine rift endemics such as the Short-tailed Warbler, Equatorial Akalat, Bar-tailed Trogon, Narina Trogon, Black-billed Turaco, Regal Sunbird, Northern double- coloured sunbird, Petits’ cuckoo Shrike, Kabbani’s Greenbul, Pink-footed puff- back, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Dusky blue- flycatcher, Black Bee-eater, African broadbill, Green-headed Sunbird, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Dwarf- honey guide, Many-coloured bush- shrike among others.

Day 13 — Transfer to Lake Mburo national park

birding Safari-Birds in Uganda

Early morning, drive to Lake Mburo national park for yet another amazing birding and game viewing expedition. On your way, enjoy the beautiful scenic views of the hills and the banana plantations.

While on the way, have occasional stopovers for birding to enrich your birding list.

On arrival in Lake Mburo national park, go for an evening game drive in the park with beautiful sightings of the topis, impalas, elands, zebras, buffaloes, bushbucks, waterbucks and so many others.

There are bird species that can be seen during this game drive and they include, Tabora Cisticola, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Trilling Cisticola, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Barefaced Go- away bird, African Wattled Lapwing, African Fish Eagles, Lilac-breasted Roller.

Day 14 — Boat cruise and game drive on Lake Mburo national park to Entebbe

game drive at lake mburo

This day’s birding is conducted on the lake by taking a boat cruise which takes two hours. This activity is so productive with a lot of sightings such as the Goliath Heron, African finfoot, African Fish Eagle, Lesser -Masked Weaver, Northern- Brown-throated Weaver, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, White-backed Night Heron, Green-backed Heron, Shinning Blue –kingfisher among others.

This expedition also gives you an insight into the different animal species found on the shores of Lake Mburo. Animals that can be seen include, school of Hippos, Buffaloes and Crocodiles.

In the evening, go for the game drive in search of wildlife animals such as Zebras, Bushbucks, Buffaloes, Impalas, Elands, Waterbucks, Topis among others.

Day 15 — Transfer from Lake Mburo National Park to Kampala then Entebbe

Early morning, transfer to Kampala and along the way, there are amazing and interesting encounters that give you an insight of the cultural and traditional ways of the local communities for example herds of “Ankole cow” which is an indigenous cow that is found only in the western part of the country.

Stop and take in a visit to the Equator that runs through Uganda. It’s marvellous to have pictures taken underneath the Equator Sign.

Generally, people tend to carry out nonscientific experiments, most of them are manipulated illusions and not authentic, but fun to watch.

There are Curio and Souvenir Shops that you can visit. A couple of them have their wares nicely displayed and make it easier to shop for crafts, including of course the Equator T-Shirt that is an optional buy for many visitors and others.

Costs include

  • Ground transport
  • Chimpanzee permit
  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Accommodation
  • Game drives
  • Boat cruises
  • Birding fees
  • Ferry crossing
  • Vehicle entrance fees
  • Park entrance fees
  • Nature walks
  • Services of an English speaking guide

Costs exclude

  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance
  • Visas
  • All extras and other optionals
  • Tips to the guide
  • Charges by the porters during gorilla trekking

Price — US $4230 per person (For two people)

The price slightly increases if you decide to travel as a solo traveler. Conversely, the price payable  per person reduces from the stated amount if the tour is booked by more than two people.

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