Uganda is truly a birder’s haven with total of over 1080 bird species all distributed in the different habitats. With 20 days Uganda birding safari, you will be guaranteed of ultimate bird watching expedition in the numerous Important Bird Areas (IBAs), endowed with special bird species. Over 34 birding sites are all over Uganda and they include swamps, forests, savannas and more. The important birds to keep an eye on n your long birding expedition include shoebill stork, green breasted pitta, great blue turacos, sunbirds, etc.
Day 1: Arrival at EBB (Entebbe Airport), Uganda
Entebbe International Airport (EBB) is located within Central Uganda, about 40kms from the heart of Kampala capital. Pick up by your driver guide and drive to have relaxation, dinner and overnight sleep in your pre-booked hotel in Entebbe city.
Day 2: Entebbe-Birding in Mabamba
Early rise and enjoy breakfast, after visit Mabamba Wetland located on Lake Victoria shores. Set off on a canoe to explore diversity of aquatic birds and other numerous avifaunal species including the shoebill stork, long toed plover, pink backed pelican, great blue turacos, blue breasted bee-eaters, grey kestrel, malachite kingfishers, African open billed stork, blue headed coucal, etc.
Day 3: Entebbe to Ziwa Rhino- Birding in Northwestern circuit
Travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, an important bird area and also rhino trekking location in Uganda. A significant bird population can be spotted in Ziwa Rhino Ranch including brown throated wattle eye, shoebill stork, black headed gonoleks, grey headed kingfishers, western banded snake eagle, Sulphur breasted bush shrike, cardinal woodpeckers, crested francolin, lizard buzzard, turacos and more. Dinner and overnight sleep at the pre-booked lodge at Ziwa/Masindi/Budongo Forest
Day 4: Birding at the Royal Mile, Budongo Forest
Enjoy an early breakfast, after travel to Budongo Forest for an early birding in Budongo Forest. There are lots of birds to sight including rufus crowned eremomela, western black headed oriole, yellow crested woodpecker, white thighed hornbill, blue breasted kingfishers, purple headed starling, black capped apalis, etc. Being an important primate paradise, you will also keep an eye on different primates including the red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, etc.
Day 5: Birding Murchison Falls NP, Uganda
Birding safari in Murchison Falls NP is a great opportunity to identify many birds – a total of 451 bird species exists in this park. Your birding excursion in Murchison Falls NP comes with great sightings of birds such as red winged grey warblers, shoebill stork, pel’s fishing owl, standard winged nightjar, long tailed nightjar, long toed plover, Senegal thick knee, secretary bird, Abyssinian ground horn bill, goliath heron, grey headed sunbird, grey headed kingfishers, black billed barbet, etc.
Day 6: Murchison Falls -Kibale for Green breasted pitta
Enjoy an early breakfast, after drive to Kibale for birding expedition. In Kibale, your main area of interest will be to look for the green breasted pitta. Over 375 bird species exist in the lush Kibale National Park and besides green breasted pittas, there are also yellow billed barbet, Sabine’s spine tail, black billed turacos, African emerald cuckoo, blue shouldered robin chat, Narina trogon, etc. There are also more than 13 primate species to keep an eye on including l’hoest monkeys, red tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys, pottos, bush babies, black and white colobus monkeys.
Day 7: Kanyanchu birding excursion, Kibale Forest
Wake up early and transfer to Kibale National Park for briefing and to be assigned a guide to lead you through an early search for the green breasted pittas. In addition, you will also come across the African emerald cuckoo, blue shouldered robin chat, Narina trogon, narrow tailed starling, chestnut wattle eye, etc. In the afternoon, your next birding excursion will be done at Bigodi Wetland a home to 138 bird species.
Day 8: Kibale to Semuliki -Birding expedition
Have breakfast and after, exit Kibale NP for Semuliki National Park a protected area with 441 bird species. Semuliki is a home to shoebill and several Congo basin avifaunal species.
Day 9: Semuliki birding expedition -Queen Elizabeth National Park
Enjoy an early breakfast and after, connect to Queen Elizabeth National Park where 620 bird species all live. These include the black billed turacos, yellow billed barbet, starlings, cisticolas, white spotted flufftails, lesser striped swallow and more. These are spotted in the swamps, wetlands, etc.
Day 10: Birding in Queen Elizabeth NP
Leave the lodge for birding expedition in Kasenyi plains for 2-3 hours. As you drive, expect to sight bustards, buff throated apalis, hairy breasted barbet, snowy capped robin chat, shining blue kingfisher, herons, plovers and more. An afternoon boat cruise to see water birds will be done in the afternoon.
Day 11: Ishasha birding & Bwindi for next birding experience
Leave your accommodation after breakfast and have some pack of lunch, then drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Ishasha. Visit the Ishasha River expecting to enjoy sight of birds such as shoebills, African crowned eagle, African green pigeon, African wattled plover, palm nut vultures and you can combine birding expedition with a mini game drive to see the tree climbing. After, proceed to Bwindi which will be your next birding spot in Uganda.
Day 12: Birding on Buhoma region, Bwindi
Wake up early and enjoy your breakfast, leave afterwards with pack of lunch for full day birding expedition in Buhoma sector. Over 360 bird species are in Bwindi and your main area of interest are the Albertine rift endemic birds plus resident species. These include kingfishers, starlings, swallows, raptors, apalis, tinkerbirds, etc.
Day 13: Ruhija, Bwindi birding
After breakfast, the next birding expedition will be at Mubwindi swamp of Ruhija sector with park guide. The birds to sight along the Mubwindi swamp are numerous but key ones include double toothed barbets, helmeted guinea fowl, African pygmy kingfisher, African shrike flycatcher, cinnamon bee-eater, red chested flufftail, strange weaver, brown capped weaver, African paradise flycatcher, barred long tailed cuckoo, red faced woodland warblers, palm nut vultures, African wood owl, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori batis, snowy crowned robin chat, white throated greenbul, western green tinker bird and more.
Day 14: Buniga birding
Transfer to Buniga Forest for another birding expedition. The Buniga Forest walk on 1.5kms comes with incredible bird sightings, primates and opportunity to meet the Batwa pygmies to learn more about their daily way doing things, cultures, traditions etc.
Day 15: Mgahinga National Park
Drive to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park a 33.7sq.kms protected area and a home to lots of Albertine rift endemic birds and other species. The birds to expect to come across on birding trail in Mgahinga include yellow vented bulbul, paradise flycatcher, double collared sunbird, pin tailed whydah, white necked raven, grey capped warblers, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turacos, olive woodpecker, etc.
Day 16: Birding & Lake Bunyonyi
Wake up early, meet the guide for morning birding tour in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Enjoy sight of Kivu ground thrush, blue headed coucal, Archer’s robin chat, olive woodpeckers, dusky crimson wing, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turacos, yellow vented bulbul, olive pigeon, speckled mouse bird, grey capped warbler, fire finch stonechat, paradise flycatchers, etc. After, get back to have lunch and check out, then transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation- take a boat/canoe ride to one of the islands while spotting some birds.
Day 17: Lake Mburo from Lake Bunyonyi
Rise up early, enjoy breakfast and then drive to Lake Mburo National Park with lunch enjoyed in the vehicle (packed lunch). Connect via Mbarara to Lake Mburo and in total, your journey will cover 5-6 hours. Have a relaxed afternoon/evening at the pre-booked lodge at Lake Mburo National Park, Kiruhura district, western Uganda.
Day 18: Full day birding in Lake Mburo
Enjoy breakfast early morning, after catch up with game drive which combines birding expedition. Over 350 bird species in Lake Mburo National Park will make your birding experience memorable as you identify majority of them including African finfoot, hairy breasted barbet, blue headed coucal, Carruthers’s cisticola, brown chested lapwing, etc.
A boat cruise will be in the afternoon on Lake Mburo for you to sight aquatic birds including shoebill storks, kingfishers, fish eagles, bee-eaters, papyrus gonoleks, papyrus yellow warblers and more.
Day 19: Rubanga Forest & relax
Have the best of Rubanga Forest walk with expectations to identify birds such as double toothed barbet, red shouldered cuckoo, red headed lover bird, green wood hoopoe, emerald spotted wood and more. Have a relaxed evening after guided nature walk in Rubanga Forest.
Day 20: Back Entebbe/Kampala- End of Uganda birding expedition
Check out of the accommodation, meet your driver for return journey via Masaka with Equator crossing to be your stopover spot. After photography, proceed to Kampala or Entebbe to be dropped off at the hotel and this marks the end of 20 days birding safari.