Uganda Bird Watching Safari | 11 Days
Uganda Bird Watching Safari — 11 Days, 10 Nights
This Uganda Bird Watching Safari takes you to some of the richest birding areas in Uganda. The western part of the country is probably the richest with a vast range of bird species any serious birder would consider while planning a Birding expedition in Uganda. Western Uganda is home to the country’s twenty-four Albertine Rift endemics, restricted species from the Congo forest, and a good number of forest species, mountain birds, water birds and not forgetting the remarkable Savannah residents.
The Uganda bird watching tour starts and ends in Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria. First day is forarrival; next day we’ll take you to swampy Mabamba bay to search for the iconic bird ‘Shoebill’.
Day three, proceed to Lake Mburo National Park. The tour continues to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi boosts of 360 bird species with a record of 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics.Birding continues north to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park which is home to 13 primates.
This bird watching safari therefore covers a multitude of habitats from lush rainforest, to wild Savannah, to wetlands and swamps. The scenery is varied and arguably some of the finest in all of Africa, and the mammal experience would be great enough.
Day 1 — Arrival at the airport
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, the company guide/driver picks and transfers you to the booked hotel/lodge in/around Entebbe or Kampala for overnight stay.
Day 2 — Bird watching in Mabamba and drive to Lake Mburo National Park
Start this day by driving to Mabamba – Kamengo Wetlands which is about 50km west of Entebbe area on the shores of Lake Victoria. Mabamba is one of the few remaining swamps in Uganda protected by the local communities .It’s an extensive papyrus swamp with its 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).
This charismatic specie, the only representative in its family, is certainly amongst the most sought-after birds in Africa and we make special efforts on this day to find it by paddling through the channels by canoe. There is of course a good selection of classic East African water birds such as Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Goliath Heron, African Fish-Eagle, African Marsh-Harrier, Yellow-billed Duck, and Malachite Kingfisher along with slightly more local species such as Long-toed Plover, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, and Swamp Flycatcher.
Day 3 — Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, go for a morning boat ride on Lake Mburo with African Finfoot as the highlight. After the boat ride, bird out to the Camp for lunch.
After lunch, do a birding game drive in search for Scaly, Red-necked Coqui, and the Red-winged Francolins, Blue-spotted and Emerald-spotted Wood-Doves, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Harlequin and Blue Quails, Common Button Quail, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Common Scimitar bill, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, the Nubian, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared, and the Grey Woodpeckers.
Day 4 — Birding to Ruhija – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This section of Bwindi is generally at a higher altitude and therefore cooler. Temperatures range between 10 and 18 degrees centigrade. Forest birding at Bwindi ranks the best in Uganda. It is home to over 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics.
On this day, birding is in Ruhija in search of the darling African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Shelley’s and Dusky Crimson-wings, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, White-browed Crombec, White-naped Raven, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Sharp’s Starling, Mountain masked and Rwenzori Apalises among others.
Day 5 — Birding to Mubwindi Swamp
The hike to Mubwindi Swamp is not very light. Some level of physical fitness is required to enjoy this fascinating bird walk. Birds that are likely to be seen 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, Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill-Babbler.
Day 6 — Birding To Buhoma through the Famous “Neck”
The “The Neck is a famous spot for mid elevation and forest birds
Day 7 — Whole Day Birding at Buhoma
Buhoma is another section in Bwindi National park. While birding on this route, there’s hope for the endemics and different other species such as Pink-footed Puff back, Many-colored Bushrike, Sooty Flycatcher, White-bellied Robinchat among others to be seen.
Day 8 — Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park
On this day, head to Queen Elizabeth National Park, which was named after the Queen of England who visited it in 1954.It is the second largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity, this park ranks among the best birding destinations in Uganda with over 610 species recorded which include among others;Harlequin Quail, Blue Quail, Common Buttonquail, African Crake, White winged Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Papyrus Gonolek, Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Lowland Akalat, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Caruthers’s Cisticola, Terek Sandpiper, and Temminck’s Courser.
On the way, bird through the Ishasha sector which is popular for its tree-climbing lions.
Day 9 — Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, have a morning game drive around the park. While on the game drive, have excellent opportunities to see African Lion, Leopard, Giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, African Elephant, Defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi, and many more.
After lunch, do a boat ride on the famous Kazinga Channel for game viewing at close quarters. 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 to Kibale Forest national park
After breakfast, the tour continues to Kibale forest arriving at an appropriate time for birding in Bigodi wetland, one of the most successful community-based initiatives in Uganda.
Kibale Forest national park hosts 13 species of primates including the chimpanzee (Man’s closest relatives- sharing over 98% DNA with man), L’Hoest’s monkey and other primates that you may see which include, the black and white colobus, blue monkey, grey cheeked Mangabey, red tailed monkey, olive baboon, bush baby and potto.
The park also boasts of 325 bird species, including the Green-breasted Pitta , African pitta, Black Bee-eater, yellow-spotted Nicator, Yellow rumped tinker bird, little Greenbul, black eared ground thrush, brown chested Alethe, blue breasted kingfisher, Abyssinian ground thrush, and the African Crowned Eagle.
Day 11 — Birding in the morning for the Green-breasted Pitta
Early in the morning, search for the Green-breasted Pitta and record calls for possible available species calling in the forest in the morning. Expected bird species may include Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycatcher, Black Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-and-white Manikin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turaco, Black-billed Weaver.
After this morning birding, drive back to Kampala or Entebbe and have lunch en route.
- Ground Transport
- All meals
- Birding fees
- Park entrances
- Vehicle entrances
- Bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Services of an English speaking guide
- Gorilla trekking permit
- All extras at the accommodation that is, drinks, telephone, laundry among others.
- Tips to the tour guide
- Charges for the porters during gorilla trekking
- Flight tickets
Price — US $2530 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.