With 14 days birding safari in Uganda, you have 2 weeks of exploring and rediscovering what the Pearl holds- taking 13nights/14days. Over 1080 bird species make Uganda a true birders haven, representing 50% of bird species in Africa and 11% of the bird species in the world. The huge concentration of birds in Uganda means higher opportunity to sight diversity of species in single habitat compared to most birding destinations in Africa.
Uganda is estimated to have over 34 Important Bird Areas (IBAs), each hosting a huge collection of birds- resident and migrant species. On these 14 days birding expedition, the key spots to consider visiting include Mabamba Wetland/Swamp, Budongo Forest, Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 1: Entebbe Airport-Hotel
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB) early and meet your driver for briefing about your birding expedition. Board your 4x4 vehicle for transfer to the hotel where relaxation, dinner and overnight will be had.
Day 2: Mabamba Swamp birding & Royal Mile
Begin your day with breakfast and after, your birding expedition on Mabamba Wetland follows using a canoe. At your exposure, there will be lots of birds to keep an eye on but most importantly the shoebill stork, vieillot’s weaver, lesser jacana, blue swallow, Carruther’s cisticola, white winged warblers, pallid harrier, pygmy goose, flappet lark, papyrus gonoleks, palm nut vulture, papyrus canary, cattle egret, grey plantain eater;
Malachite kingfisher, Northern brown throated weaver, goliath heron, white winged black terns, grey headed gulls, gull billed terns, etc. After, retreat from the birding expedition and drive to Budongo Forest Reserve via Kampala-Gulu highway.
Day 3: Royal Mile birding, Budongo & Murchison Falls
Enjoy a hefty breakfast and leave for birding in Budongo Forest where over 360 bird species all reside. Budongo is 825sq.kms extensive natural forest in Uganda with diverse birds to see such as white thighed hornbill, lemon billed crombec, yellow billed barbet, yellow footed flycatchers, Jameson’s wattle eye, forest flycatchers, chocolate backed kingfishers, Africa dwarf, black capped apalis, Nahan’s francolins, etc.
Day 4: Murchison Falls N/Park birding expedition
Start your birding journey via the Northern section of Murchison Falls National Park as early as 6:30am in a 4x4 vehicle. Over 451 bird species dwell within Murchison Falls NP diverse habitats and they include shoebill storks, silver bird, piapiac, speckle fronted weaver, giant kingfisher, blue headed coucal, black headed gonolek, black billed barbet, swamp flycatchers, red throated bee-eaters, swamp flycatcher, white browed sparrow weaver, palm nut vulture, etc.
In the afternoon after lunch, you will be spotting diverse aquatic birds on a boat cruise along Victoria Nile to the base of Murchison Falls. These include the francolins, cuckoo, malachite kingfishers, woodpeckers, African darter, bee-eaters, hamerkops and more.
Day 5: Travel to Kibale for birding
Located in Kabarole, Kibale National Park alone is a home to all 375 bird species and these range in the different habitats including its lush forest, swamps, savanna grassland etc. The birds to search for during Kibale birding expedition include the African green breasted pitta, crowned eagle, grey parrot, blue headed bee-eaters, Abyssinian ground thrush, dusky crimson wing, little greenbul, scaly breasted illadopsis, white napped pigeon, yellow rumped tinker bird, Rwenzori apalis, red chested owlet, masked apalis, purple breasted sunbirds, etc. Upon arrival, relaxation and dinner at the pre-booked lodge.
Day 6: Birding safari in Kibale, Kabarole district
Have breakfast, after leave early for birding in Kibale National Park. The 795sq.kms Kibale National Park features diversity of birds (375 bird species) and the main birds to expect to identify include blue headed sunbird, dusky crimson wing, Nahan’s francolin, little greenbul, grey parrot and more.
Kibale also holds 13 primate species, they include 1500 chimpanzees, pottos, bush babies, red colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, l’hoest monkeys, blue monkeys, etc. In the afternoon, you will be enjoying a guided nature walk combined with birding in Bigodi Wetland to sight the great blue turacos.
Day 7: Semuliki for birding adventure
Breakfast early morning, after you will set off at 6:30am and drive to Semuliki National Park. This park remains one of the least visited hence guaranteeing you authentic experiences. Over 441 bird species exist in Semuliki and they consist of the red billed dwarf hornbill, lyre tailed honeyguide, blue billed malimbe, spot breasted ibis, lowland akalat, red rumped tinkerbird, Gabon woodpecker, black wattled hornbill, Sassi’s olive greenbul, etc.
There are also some mammals that live in Semuliki which you will come across including the grey cheeked mangabeys, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, Angolan colobus monkeys and more.
Day 8: 3 hours’ drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, you will leave by 6:00am for 3 hours birding road trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese, Western Uganda. This park holds up to 620 bird species and they include shoebill storks, verreaux’s eagles, martial eagle, yellow throated longclaw, Ovambo sparrowhawk, temminck’s etc.
Enjoy an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel 40kms linking Lake Edward & Lake George. The aquatic birds should be expected to sight on a boat cruise including saddle bellied stork, white faced whistling duck, African spoonbill, water thick-knee, African jacana, etc.
Day 9: Birding & drive to Bwindi in Kabale
Leave your lodge early for great birding in Ishasha sector where you come across the shoebill stork, African crake, eagle, ruppell’s griffon vulture, palm nut vulture, yellow billed oxpecker and more. After bird watching at Ishasha, transfer to your lodge in Buhoma sector- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Day 10: Buhoma birding
A special day will be enjoyed in Buhoma on birding expedition and birds to come across include white bellied robin chat, bar tailed trogon, ayre’s hawk, cinnamon chested bee-eater, petit’s cuckoos, black billed turacos, Rwenzori batis, Kivu ground thrush, Doherty’s bush shrike, etc.
Day 11: Ruhija
Drive to Ruhija after heavy breakfast and you will be visiting the Mubwindi trail for birding. The birds to meet along Mubwindi include the common buzzard, Carruther’s cisticola, red chested fluff tail, African green broadbill, grey throated barbets, dwarf honeyguide, African pygmy kingfishers, handsome francolins, shelley’s greenbul, brown capped weaver birds, black bee-eaters, yellow rumped tinker bird and others.
Day 12: Buhoma birding
Enjoy a good time exploring the birds residing in Buhoma sector during an early birding tour. The birds to en-rich your birding experience in Buhoma include the grey crowned cranes, pink footed puff back, crested guinea fowl, white saw wing and others.
Day 13: Buhoma-Lake Bunyonyi
Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi and enjoy sight of little birds including the African kingfishers, grey crowned cranes, cardinal woodpecker, African harrier hawk, weaver bird and more. You will take a boat ride to the punishment island or other islands that make up 29 islands on Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 14: Drive back to Kampala/Entebbe
Connect back to Kampala or Entebbe from Lake Bunyonyi and today marks the end of 14 days birding safari in Uganda. This will be a journey of 8 and half hours’ drive through Kabale-Mbarara route.