Beginner or experienced, there can be many advantages of joining this 17 Days Birding Trip that takes you through Uganda’s prime spots for bird watching. This trip starts from Entebbe and then takeds you birding in Mabamba Wetlands, a common sightings for Shoebills, Lake Mburo National Park, Ruhija and Buhoma in Bwindi the renowned home of the gorillas, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest, Masindi, Busingiro and Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls Conservation Area. On this trip, expect to see many of Uganda’s 1065 bird species that include African Birds, migrants and endemic birds that can all be spotted within the different locations included in this tour package. You will bird through different bird habitats that include wetlands and swamps, shores of lakes and rivers, savanna grasslands, forests etc. Optional gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking have been included in this tour.
Day 1: Birding in Entebbe
Day 2: Birding in Mabamba Swamp & Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Day 3: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
Day 4: Birding to Ruhija
Day 5: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp
Day 6: Birding in Buhoma
Day 7: Birding in Buhoma
Day 8: Optional Gorilla Tracking / Full Day Birding in Bwindi
Day 9: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 10: Birding & Game Viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 11: Birding to Kibale Forest
Day 12: Birding and Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest
Day 13: Birding to Masindi
Day 14: Birding the Royal Mile & Busingiro Ecotourism Site
Day 15: Birding the Northern Section of Murchison Falls National Park
Day 16: Birding & Game Viewung in Northern Murchison Falls National Park
Day 17: Birding to Kampala / Entebbe
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Arrive at Entebbe International Airport meet our representative who will transfer you to your respective hotel of stay in Entebbe, early arrivals can be introduced to birding around Entebbe preferable in the Botanical Gardens which produces great results of birding with views of the Great Blue and Ross’s Turacos, Red Chested, Klaas’s and Diederick Cuckoo, Great Reed, Grey Capped, Ssdge, Greater Swamp and Eurosuian Reed Warblers, Fain Tailed Widow bird, Striped, Malachite, Giant, Woodland and Pygmy Kingfishers, Black Bishop, Grey Woodpecker, Olive, Olive bellied, Red chested, Superb, Green Throated and Collard Sunbirds, Orange, Yellow Backed, Golden Backed, Slender Billed and Black Headed Weavers, Lizard Buzzard, Grey Kestral, Black Kite, Gaber Goshawk, African Paradise and Red Bellied Paradise and Ashy fly catchers, and many more dinner and over night stay Sophie’s or Green Valley Inn BB. This day watch out for the Bat Hawk in the evening hours.
DAY TWO: BIRDING TO MABAMBA AND TRANSFER TO LAKE MBURO
Leave Entebbe early in the morning for Mabamba swamp birding enroute, we have a chance to see a variety of weavers on the way, Black headed Oriole, Black Bishop, and many others. In Mabamba swamp, we shall take a hand paddled canoe in search for the majestic Shoebill; here we have a chance to see a variety of water birds like the Purple and Allen’s Gallinule, Black Crake, Purple, Rufous Bellied, Goliath and Squacco Herons, Malachite King fisher, to mention but a few. After the swamp we transfer to Lake Mburo lunch and birding enroute, arrive for an evening game drive as you enter the park where we have a chance to see a variety of open woodland birds. Dinner and overnight stay at Arcadia Cottages or Rwonyo Rest Camp.
DAY THREE: BIRDING LAKE MBURO
Morning birding on foot along the park trails with an armed ranger then back to our lodge for breakfast, after this we proceed for a game and birding drive which gives us higher chances of viewing mammals like the Zebras, Impalas, Elands, Topis, Buffaloes among others, as we bird we focus our attention on the search for the Red Faced Barbet, Coqui Francolin, Brown Chested Plover, Tabora Cisticola, Lesser Blue Eared Starling, Buff Bellied Warbler, Red Headed Weaver, Black Shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, Sulpher Breasted Bush-shrike, Greed Capped Eremomela, Bare faced Go-away-bird, Red Billed Wood Hope and more acacia associated birds, in the afternoon we go for a boat ride in search for the African Finfoot, White Backed and Black Crowned Night Herons, Giant Kingfisher etc back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
DAY FOUR: BIRDING TO RUHIZHA
Today as we check out, we concentrate on the special species that were missed in this park, later we transfer to Ruhizha birding enroute, one of the main birding areas will be the bamboo zone where we look out for the Grey Cuckoo-shrike, for Handsome Francolin, Mountain Illadopsis, White-starred Robin, Mountain Greenbul, Red-throated Alethe, Grauer’s Warbler, Dusky Twinspot and Crimson wing late birding along the road brings great views of the Dusky Twinspot, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Magpie Manikin, Stripe breasted Tit, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Regal Sunbird, Chestnut Throated Apalis and a variety of other birds. Dinner and over night stay at Trekker’s Tervan or Gorilla Friends.
DAY FIVE: BIRDING TO MUBWINDI SWAMP
At the highest elevation bamboo forests, we will look out for African Black Duck and Mountain Wagtails in the small fast-flowing streams. Mountain and Augur buzzards; Ayres’s and Casin’s Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk; Rameron Pigeon; Brown-necked Parrot; Black-billed Turaco; Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo; White-headed Woodhoopoe; Western Green Tinkerbird; Olive Woodpecker; Thick-billed, Least, and the elusive Dwarf honeyguide; Black Sawwing; Gray Cuckoo-shrike; Eastern Mountain, Honeyguide, Red-tailed, Shelley’s and Yellow-streaked greenbuls; Olive Thrush; White-starred Robin; Stripe-breasted Tit; Mountain and the beautiful Gray-chested illadopses; African Hill Babbler (the local form often treated as a full species, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler); Black-faced, Ruwenzori, and Chestnut-throated apalises; Red-faced Woodland-Warbler; White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher; Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher; Ruwenzori Batis; Mountain Sooty Boubou; the rare Lagden’s Bushshrike; Sharpe’s Starling; Black-tailed Oriole; Strange Weaver, and Oriole Finch. Flowering trees attract the incredible Purple-breasted Sunbird as well as Blue-headed and Regal sunbirds, all three being extremely beautiful Albertine Rift Endemics. Dusky, Red-faced and the elusive Shelley’s crimsonwings, amongst the most beautiful and sought-after of African seedeaters, are possible at Ruhizha.
DAY SIX: BIRDING TO BUHOMA
Transfer to Buhoma birding enroute via the “neck” and making stopovers along the road searching for the Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Mountain and Augur Buzzard, Black and Cinnamon Chested Bee-eaters, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Many Coloured Bush-shrike, Barred and Dusky Long Tailed Cuckoo, we reach Buhoma and check in at our respective hotel, evening birding along the self guided trail is always rewarding with welcome views of the Pink Footed and Northern Puffback, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Northen Double Collard Sunbird, Green Twinspot, Red Headed Blue Bill, Grey Capped Warbler, Brown Capped, Black Billed and Black Necked Weaver.
DAY SEVEN: BIRDING BUHOMA
After morning breakfast we start our birding walk through the well maintained Buhoma trail with expectations of the Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Pink Footed and Northern Puff Back, Red Tailed, Honey Guide, Toro Olive, Cameroon Sombre, Slender Billed, Little, Little Grey, Shelley’s, Cabani’s, White Throated and Yellow Whiskered Greenbul, Elliot’s, Cardinal, Yellow Crested, Fine Banded woodpecker, Red Throated Allethe, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Black faced Woodland Wabler, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Waller’s, Stulman’s and Narrow Tailed Starlings, Black Bee Eater, Banded and White Chinned Prinia, Blue Throated Brown, Blue Headed, Northern Double Collard, Collard, Green, Olive, olive Bellied, Rwenzro Doulbe Collard and Green Headed Sunbirds, Bar tailed Tragon, Kivu Ground Thrush, African Borad Bill, Red-chested Owlet, Neumann’s Warbler, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher later back to the lodge for dinner and over night stay.
DAY EIGHT: OPTIONAL GORILLA TRACKING OR ANOTHER DAY OF BIRDING
An early morning trek into Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park with packed lunch led by experienced guides will lead us to a family of mountain gorillas. Tracking the gorillas through the dense mountain forest is a magical experience. You will spend one hour with the gorillas and be back to the lodge. Some gorilla families however are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy overnight as the night before. Today birding will be done with a main focus on special birds that might have been missed the previous day, the elusive short Tailed Warbler might be among these.
DAY NINE: BIRDING TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the southern Ishasha sector of the park for a game drive in search for tree Climbing Lions and birding for Broad-tailed Warbler and African Moustached Warbler, Larks and a variety of Pipits, Cuckoos, many raptors and enjoy our picnic lunch at the meandering Ishasha River. After this we shall carry on to our lodge Mweya Safari Lodge, Kingfisher Lodge Kichwamga or Mweya Hostels for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY TEN: BIRDING AND GAME VIEWING QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Morning game and birding drive through the park’s tracks down to the Kasenyi track and Kob mating grounds where have a concept of the hunter and the hunted living alongside one another, today viewing the lions and leopards are on our agenda, more big mammals like the elephant, cape Buffalo, water buck and much more are expected, back to the birding we lookout for the Temminck’s Courser, Red Caped Lark, Caspian, crowned, African Wattled and Senegal Plover, Martial, Wahlberg’s Brown Snake and Short Toed Snake Eagle, Rupell’s Griffon, Palm-nut, White Backed and Lappet Faced Vulture e.t.c. later in the afternoon we take a boat ride along the natural Kazinga Channel which links lakes George and Edward whispered to host the largest concentration of Hippos in Africa, a variety of migrants and good for water birding, Crocodiles later back to our lodge for dinner and overnight stay, a night game drive today is optional with expectations of the nightjars which at times gives us bonuses of seeing cats like the Blotched Genet, Leopard, Hyeana and Lion.
DAY ELEVEN: BIRDING TO KIBALE FOREST NATINAL PARK
In the morning we do birding in the park looking out for more grassland birds including the Black Coucal, Hollub’s Golden and Lesser Masked Weaver, White Winged Widowbird, African Crake, Quails and many more species, later we transfer to Fort Portal where we shall have our African Buffet lunch then carry on for afternoon birding to Kihingamy Swamp, expect to see the Ludher’s Bush shrike, Cassin’s grey flycatcher, Equatorial Akalat, Joyful Greenbul, Grey Winged Robinchat, White Collard Oliveback, African Black duck, White napped and Afep Pigeons, Joyful Greenbul and many others overnight at Primate Lodge of Nature Lodges.
DAY TWELVE: BIRDING AND CHIMP TRACKING IN THE FOREST
After an early morning breakfast, we set out into the forest and try all the best of luck to find the Green Breasted Pitta and other forest bird species in this area we get back to the lodge where we shall have our lunch then in the afternoon report to the starting point for chimp tracking, while tracking, birding can as well be done, do not hesitate to ask your ranger guide about the special birds you come across on this walk. This forest is home to the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in the world. Thirteen different species have been identified here. Later we get back to our lodge for dinner and over night stay
DAY THIRTEEN: BIRDING TO MASINDI
Transfer to Masindi birding enroute. We have about three routes to this place depending on the weather we shall chose one of these, birding stops will be at certain spots trying to find special birds. We later get to our destination and spend our night at Masindi or New Court View Hotel.
DAY FOURTEEN: BIRDING THE ROYAL MILE AND BUSINGIRO SECTION
After breakfast we transfer to Budongo birding enroute, stopovers will be at particular points to lookout for the Cabans’s Bunting, Dark Caped Yellow Warbler, Black Bellied Fire Finch, Brown-backed Scrub- Robin, Grey Headed Oliveback, we proceed to the Royal Mile searching for Cassin’s Spinetail and Hawk Eagle, Nahan’s Francolin, Chocolate-backed and Dwarf Kingfisher, Spotted, White Throated and Yellow Whiskered Greenbul, Blue-throated Roller, Chestnut capped and Forest Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Tit hylia as we get back to our lodge, we branch off to one of the ponds and search for the Shining Blue Kingfisher, variety of swifts and Sabine’s Spinetail. Back to the lodge for dinner and over night stay.
DAY FIFTEEN: BIRDING TO NORTHERN MURCHISON FALLS
After an early breakfast we check out and start birding to the northern part of Murchison Falls, we have a stopover at Kaniyo Pabidi to lookout for the Puvel’s Illadopsis, the Grey and Yellow Long Bill and many others, we later proceed with our journey via the top if the falls, on a day when the tse-tse flies are few, we look out for the Grey Headed Bush Shrike, White Helmet and Northern White Crowned Shrike later find our ferry and cross to Paraa Safari Lodge for dinner and over night stay.
DAY SIXTEEN: BIRDING AND GAME VIEWING NORTHERN MURCHISON
Starting with a morning game and birding drive down to the Delta at times provides chances for the Shoebill stork and other water birds. Animals we are likely to see include: the Lion, Leopards, Giraffes, Oribis, Hartebeests, Reedbuck and Elephants. Birding in this section of the park is excellent with the northern Uganda savannah bird species which may include the Western Violet backed and beautiful Sunbird, chestnut crowned sparrow, Brown Rumped Bunting, Red-winged Pytilia, Black Billed Barbet: the Northern Carmine, Swallow-tailed and Red Throated Bee-Eater, Abyssinian ground Hornbill, Stanley’s Bustard, White Fronted Black-chat, Silver bird and many others. In the afternoon we take a boat ride on the Victoria Nile to the bottom of the falls. Birding here gives us chances of seeing the Rock Prantincole, African Finfoot, White Faced and Fulvous Whistling Duck, big schools of Hippos and Crocodiles. Evening birding drives are always rewarding.
DAY SEVENTEEN: BIRDING TO KAMPALA OR ENTEBBE
Depending on your flight time and day, today we transfer to Kampala or Entebbe International Airport birding enroute for the White crested Turaco, we may have a chance to see the Red-headed Weaver, Yellow billed Shrike, Vaneceous Dove, Great and Lesser Blue Eared Starling, Yellow Bellied Hyliota and other grassland birds and many others after which transfer to the Airport for your flight, end of our 17 day birding safari in Uganda.
End of Safari
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