Explore and experience numerous IBAs (Important Bird Areas) in Uganda on 15 days birding safari and stand a chance to discover interesting birds. From savanna to aquatic birdlife, this birding expedition is a big deal. Visit Mabamba Wetland, Kibale, Semuliki, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and more for great birding safari in Uganda.
Day 1: Pick up at Entebbe Airport for your birding expedition in Uganda
Meet your Birding Expert at Entebbe Airport and he will take you through what 15 days birding Uganda safari is all about, then drop off at the hotel in Entebbe for relaxation. Dine and have an overnight stay at pre-booked lodge/hotel.
Day 2: Shoebill stork and transfer to Masindi
Take a canoe/boat for about half day searching for shoebill stork in Mabamba Bay plus several other birds. These include African marsh harrier, Pygmy Goose, Yello-billed ducks, The Swamp Bizarre (Shoebill) and many more, after proceed to Budongo Forest via Luweero-Masindi route.
Day 3: Birding the Royale Mile and Transfer to Murchison Falls
Have memorable bird sight in Budongo Forest with the Royal Mile being your birding spot. The expected birds to sight include Grey-headed Oliveback, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Nahan’s Francolin, Spotted Greenbul, Red-winged Pytilia, Namaqua dove, Ituri Batis, Cabanis's Bunting, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Dwarf Kingfisher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, and more. After, transfer to your accommodation in the Northern section of Murchison Falls via the Butiaba Escarpment.
Day 4: Birding Game-drive & boat cruise in Murchison Falls
After breakfast, board a 4x4 vehicle and you will be driven through the Northern game tracks to sight some of amazing birds that make Murchison Falls National Park a home to over 451 bird species and some of these 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 and Water Thick-knees, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver. 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 Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver and White-rumped Seedeater, Rock Pratincole, African Darter and Giant Kingfisher. Some large and small mammals will also be spotted including the Rothschild giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, warthogs, antelopes and more. Retreat after 2-3 hours of birding combined with game viewing, have lunch and later, go for boat cruise along the Kazinga channel and here, your sightings include aquatic birds, animals such as hippos, crocodiles, etc.
Day 5: Birding to Kibale Forest National Park
Have breakfast, after set off well-prepared for 7-8 hours’ drive though birding has no time limit to Kibale National Park. The expected towns to drive through include Hoima, Fort Portal and you proceed to check in at your lodge. Kibale spreads up to 795sq.kms of land area in Kabarole district, Western Uganda and holds over 375 bird species.
Day 6: Green breasted pitta and Transfer to Semuliki
Breakfast early and meet the park guide for briefing, then embark on a search for the Green-breasted Pitta in Kibale Forest for a long day. As you walk through the forest, lots of other species such as primates will be spotted plus other birds like Chestnut-winged Starlings, Red-chested Owlet, Brown and Scaly Illadopsis, African wood Owl, Superb Sunbird Black Bee-eater, and many more. Return and lunch will be provided at the lodge then drive to Semuliki National Park.
Day 7: Semuliki National Park bird watching.
A long day birding expedition in Semuliki starts early, taking the Kirumia trail. Over 441 bird species make Semuliki an Important Bird Area and they include most of the Congo Forest species. Your bird sightings will include the Ituri Batis, Dwarf Hornbill, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Capuchin Babbler, Long-tailed Hawk, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Eastern Piping, Little and Long-tailed Hornbills, Grant's Bluebill, Yellow-throated Cuckoo and more.
Day 8: Queen Elizabeth NP with afternoon boat cruise
Bird to Queen Elizabeth National Park expecting to enjoy bird watching at the Crater Lake area. The birds to sight in the Craters include Sabine’s Spinetail, Joyful Greenbul, Giant Kingfishers, Ross’s Turaco, etc. Transfer to your lodge and relax depending on the time you arrive, have lunch then proceed for 2 hours of launch cruise on Kazinga channel 40kms channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Lots of aquatic birdlife will be at your display plus hippos, crocodiles, etc.
Day 9: Birding game-drive and transfer to Ishasha sector
Exit the lodge before the sun rises, after drive through Kasenyi Plains expecting lots of birds including Black-bellied Bustard, Slender-billed Weaver, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Martial, Brown Snake, Black-chested Snake, and Beaudouin's Snake Eagles, Rufous-napped, Red-capped and White-tailed Larks, Short-tailed Pipit, Kittlitz's and Forbes's Plovers, Temmink's Courser, Bateleur Eagle and many more. In addition, you will come across a range of antelopes, elephants, buffaloes, hyenas and more. You will transfer to Ishasha in the afternoon and this area is popular for the tree climbing lions and bird watching.
Day 10: Ishasha birding, drive to Bwindi
Visit the Ishasha swamp for birding, a rich area with incredible birds such as Shoebill stork, Martial eagle, Lappet-faced, Whiter-headed and backed, Hooded and Palmnut vultures, etc. Settle for lunch and proceed to Buhoma sector for overnight stay.
Day 11: Buhoma trailhead birding, Bwindi
Leave early for Buhoma trailhead briefing before you set foot in the forest for birding tour. The long day birding in Buhoma comes with amazing sightings of birds such as Kivu Ground Thrush, Chapins Flycatcher, Willard’s Sooty Boubou, Neumann’s Warblers, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Black-faced Rufous Warblers, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Brown-capped Weaver, the Western Green Tinkerbird, the Stuhlmann's Starling, the Narrow-tailed Starling, the African Wood Owl, the Waller's Starling, the Lagdens and Many-coloured Bush-Shrikes, the Montagne Oriole, the White-tailed Ant-Thrush, the Cinnamon a chested Bee-eater, the Grey Cuckoo-shrike, the Yellow-crowned Canary, the African Golden Oriole, the Grauer's Rush-warbler, the Strange Weaver, the Olive Thrush, the Thick-billed Seedeater, the Dusky Crimson wing, the African Green Broadbill, the Handsome Francolin, the Yellow-bellied Waxbill, etc.
Day 12: Birding to Ruhija via the Neck
After an early morning breakfast, we bird to Ruhija through the neck. Key bird species include: Mountain Wagtail, Chin-spot Batis, Black-billed Turacco, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-tailed Greenbul, and we should come across Bee-eaters including Black Bee-eater and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Many-coloured Bush-shrike, Ayres's Hawk-eagle, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Narina Trogon, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-throated Alethe, Gray Apalis, African Shrike-flycatcher and Red-headed Malimbe; and in areas of dry fern vegetation, we expect to watch the Dusky Twinspot. Other birds here include Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Augur Buzzard, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Pink-footed, Northern Puffbacks, Red-tailed, Little Grey Greenbuls, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-throated Martin, East African Swee (Yellow-bellied Waxbill), Yellow White-eye, Dark-capped Bulbul, Yellow-bellied Kite, Yellow-rumped, Speckled-rumped Tinkerbirds, African Stonechat, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Stripe-breasted Tit, Montane-masked Apalis, Red-faced Woodland, Montane Yellow Warbler, Regal Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Yellow-throated Leaf Love, Crested Guinea Fowl, African Crowned Hornbill, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet, African Harrier Hawk and many more
Day 13: Whole day Birding Mubwindi
After breakfast we head for a whole day birding to Mubwindi Swamp. This is the best birding spot for the Albertine rift endemics including African Green Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird, Dwarf Honeyguide, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis Black Headed Waxbill, and African Hill Babbler, Grauer's Scrub-warbler, Fraser's Eagle-Owl, African Green Broadbill, Grauer's Rush Warbler, Purple-breasted, Blue-headed, Regal, Northern Double Collared, Eastern Olive and Collared Sunbird, Strange Weaver. This part of Bwindi is generally at a higher altitude. Forest birding at Bwindi ranks the best in Uganda and perhaps the whole of Africa. It is home to over 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics and the No. 1 Birding site in Africa as per the African Birding Club. Here we mostly look out for bird species like Black-billed Turaco, Western Green Tinkerbird, Fine-banded Woodpecker, African Green-Broadbill, Mountain Greenbul, Stripe Breasted Tit, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland, Grauer's and Mountain Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-throated, Buff Throated, Black-faced and Rwenzori Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Red-throated Alethe, Ashy, Dusky-blue, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon's Fiscal, Pink-footed Puffback, Doherty's Bush-shrike, White-napped Raven, Montane Oriole, Stuhlmann's Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller's Starling, Strange, Brown-capped, Baglafecht and Black-billed Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, East African Swee, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre's Hawk-eagle, Handsome Francolin, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood-Owl, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, (Western) Bronze-napped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Elliot's Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Archer's Robin-chat, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Ansorge's Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, Olive Thrush, Red-faced Woodland Warbler. Dinner and overnight at our lodge.
Day 14: Birding to Lake Mburo National Park
An early morning breakfast warms our morning then we bird to lake Mburo national Park. We focus our attention on the search for the Red Faced Barbet, Coqui Francolin, Brown Chested Plover depending on the month as it is an Intra African migrant (July – Dec), Tabora(Long-tailed) Cisticola, Lesser Blue Eared Starling, Buff Bellied Warbler, Red Headed Weaver, Black Shouldered Cuckoo Shrike, Sulpher Breasted Bush-shrike, Green Capped Eremomela, Bare faced Go-away-bird, Green Wood Hope and more acacia associated birds, we later drive out of lake Mburo as 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, 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
Day 15: Early morning birding and Departure
After an early morning breakfast, we enter the park where we bird both in our car and the boat looking out for Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Red-necked Spurfawl, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Temmincks Courser, Common Quails, Green Wood hoopoe, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, African Grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Lilac-breasted Roller, Coqui Francolin, Red-faced and Black-collard Barbets, Black-bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow, Southern Red Bishop, and Yellow-throated Long Claw among others. The fringing swamps in the park also hide secretive papyrus specialties such as the Papyrus Gonolek. Common conspicuous birds we may encounter on our journey to Lake Mburo include Crested Francolin, Common Scimitarbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Trilling Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Black Tit, Chin-spot Batis, Great Blue-eared Starling, and Marico Sunbird. The woodland in the immediate vicinity of Rwonyo also supports many of these widespread species.
The more open grassland north of the Rwonyo Camp, particularly along the Zebra Track, is worth exploring for species such as Coqui Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-napped and Flappet Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow, Yellow-throated Long Claw, and Southern Red Bishop. A small number of the migratory Brown-chested Plover is regularly observed as we drive out of the park depending on the month.