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Kampala, Uganda

Safari Overview

Love for birds is realized throughout this 25-days extensive birding safari. The eyes of visitors never cease enjoying and jotting down the various names, characteristics, sounds, and other details. Uganda, a beautiful country in the African continent, is a true birder's paradise. The country is home to more than 10% of the world's total bird population, with some migrating from all over the world during mating season. Visiting the lush tropical forests, swamps, water bodies, and marshes on a birding tour in Uganda will introduce you to a wide range of bird sounds and sights.

A Uganda birding tour in pursuit of your favorite bird species is a good treat, as it allows you to see some of the country's over 1080 bird species. Mabamba Swamp, Mabira forest, Mountain Elgon National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Semiliki National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park will be visited. This safari values time, as it begins and ends at the agreed-upon time and pickup location.

Detailed Trip

Day1: Arrival and Optional birding

The first thing you'll do when you arrive is meet with a representative from our company to begin your 25-day bird-watching vacation. This tour is a fantastic example of birds in love. While enjoying the lip-smacking taste of Juice or welcome coffee, you will be educated on what to expect throughout the tour and places to visit. After that, you'll check into your hotel and depending on the time and how everyone is feeling, we either relax at the hotel or go out for birding in the Botanical gardens to get introduced to the Uganda tropical birding game.

Day2: Birding Mabamba swamp and transfer to Mabira

After a delicious sunrise breakfast at the Lodge, you'll depart for Mabamba Bay for an unforgettable one-day bird-watching adventure. It is one of the few areas in Uganda where the endangered shoebill stork can be found. The Mabamba Swamp is located in Lake Victoria and is home to over 260 bird species. While here, we look out for; Blue swallows (depending on the month), Blue Breasted Bee-eater, White-faced Whistling Duck, African Water Rail, Goliath, Rufous Bellied and Purple Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Goose, African and Lesser Jacana, Long-toed Lapwing, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Carruther's and Winding Cisticolas and many other birds that can be seen in this area. The birding excursion will take place aboard a motorised canoe. This takes between two to four hours depending on the weather and luck of the day, then we shall get back to our car and drive to Mabira forest with a lunch stop enroute.

Day3: Birding Mabira and drive to Sipi

After an early morning breakfast, we shall begin with birding mabira forest, looking out for; Weyns’s Weaver, African Pied Hornbill, Forest Wood-Hoopoe, White-bellied, Blue-breasted, Dwarf and Shining Blue Kingfishers, Yellow-throated and Speckled Tinkerbirds, Toro Olive Greenbul and Yellow-eyed Bristlebill, Brown-chested and Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Robin and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat and the other uncommon species like; Tit-Hylia, Grey and Yellow Longbill, Forest Robin, Brown-eared, Buff-spotted and Yellow-Crested Woodpecker, Narina Tragon, Purple Throated Cuckoo-shrike, White-spotted Flufftail. We later break off for lunch. After lunch, we drive slowly through the lake victoria swamps as we look out for Papyrus Cannery to sipi where we reach in the evening for dinner and overnight stay.

Day4: Birding Mt. Elgon National Park

After a delectable breakfast, we go birdwatching on one of the certified birding trails. There are over 305 bird species in this area, including the black collared Apalis, cape rook, Jacksons, and moorland Francolins, Oriole Finch, Spotted Creeper, oustached Green Tinkerbird, Alpine Chat, White-starred Robin, Cape Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, Green Hylia, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Eastern Bronze-napped Pigeon and many more. This takes us the whole day and we get back to our lodge for dinner and overnight. 

Day5: Birding to Pia-upe

Begin our day with a hearty breakfast at the lodge, followed by a gorgeous drive to the least visited birding haven of the eastern countryside, Pian-upe. We arrive in time for lunch and then check-in. After, we go for an evening birding trip in this beautiful extensive wildlife reserve in search for the Endemic Fox's Weaver, Karamoja, Grey and Yellow Bellied Apalises, Quail Finch and Plover, Secretary Bird, Four Banded Sandgrouse, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Fawn-coloured Lark, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Jackson’s Hornbill, Hunter’s and Beautiful Sunbird, Stone Patridge always seen and heard by the bandas of Uganda Wildlife Authority and many more as we retire foe our dinner and overnight. 

Day6: Morning Birding and drive to Moroto

Depending on what was missed on the last game drive, we start early with a morning birding safari then get back for a hot lunch and drive to Moroto in the afternoon. Moroto stop is important because it makes birding from Pia-upe to Kidepo relaxed and easier. It shortens the long distance and give chance to look for more birds that maybe be not seen if we drove straight. We stay at Karatunga tented camp

Day7: Birding to Kidepo via Metheniko and Bokora

Our day starts with a hot coffee then we emback on our drive for the whole day. We carry a packed lunch as we drive through Matheniko and Bokora wildlife reserves which are special habitats for several northern rarities. We look out for Bruce’s Green Pigeon, White-headed and White Billed Buffalo-Weavers not leaving out the White Browed Sparrow keep crossing and feeding on the road, Fox and Lesser Kestrel, Yellow Bellied Eremomela, White Bellied Canary are common on the drive not leaving out the Dark and Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Fantailed Raven, as you drive through Matheniko, be keen on the Buff Crest Bustard, Jackson and Red-billed Hornbill, Steel Blue Whydah, Greater, Superb and Lesser Blue-eared Starlings Purple Grenadier to mention but a few. We reach our lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight. 

Day8: Morning Birding and night game drive

The idea is to see and hear the birds after a sunrise breakfast at the lodge. Kidepo Valley is a huge desert area where it is easy to see birds both close up and far away. The birding session will last roughly 4-5 hours in the morning, and there will be approximately 475 bird species to observe. Little green bee-eater, pygmy falcon, Karamoja Apalis, Kori bustard, ostrich, and others are among them. You'll return to the resort for some rest after the sunrise birdwatching adventure. A sunset game drive throughout the park in the evening would be the ideal way to close the day.

Day9: Kidepo Valley NP to Murchison fall NP

Take an early game drive around the Nurus valley, where you may watch the birds and animals awaken for the day for 2-3 hours. You'll see warthogs, several antelope species, African elephants, Cape Buffaloes, and more. After that, return to the lodge for breakfast before departing for Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda's largest and oldest national park. Lunch will be served en route as you make your way to Masindi. Dinner and a pleasant nap late in the evening to greet your intestines.

Day10: Morning game drive and Afternoon boat cruise

Get up early in the morning for a gratifying activity in Murchison Falls National Park's northern and southern sections. You'll be out in the woods for three to four hours, taking in the breathtaking scenery, plants, and other sights. The park's northern savannah grassland is home to a variety of animals, birds, and primates, including lions, leopards, warthogs, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, and more. Before returning to the lodge for lunch, come to an arrangement with the camera and binoculars.

In the afternoon, you'll take a boat ride to the bottom of the Falls, where you'll get a clear view of the thundering falls crashing into the 7-meter-deep valley that leads to the Nile. On the boat, keep an eye out for a variety of water birds, as well as a school of hippos, Nile crocodiles, and other animals. Dinner, a campfire experience, and an overnight stay at the lodge round out the day.

Day11: Birding to Royale Mile via the escapment 

Breakfast will be followed by the start of the day's program. You will travel on a tour to Budongo Forest (Royale Mile), which is home to over 360 different bird species in the country. Birding the escarpment is productive, look out for Cut-throat Finch, Green-backed Eremomela, Cliffchat, Foxy Cisticola, Beautiful Sunbird, Bronze-tailed Starling, Yellow-crowned Bishop and many more as we proceed to the Royale mile where the big Mahogany trees are home to a variety of birds like; Chocolate-backed and Dwarf Kingfishers, Crowned Eagle, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Spotted Greenbul, Olive-bellied Crombec, Pygmy Kingfisher, Forest Flycatcher, Blue-throated Roller, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Forest Robin, Fire-crested Alethe, Nahan's Patridge, Cassin’s Spinetail, and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Xavier’s, White-throated, Red-tailed and Honeyguide Greenbuls, Scaly-breasted, Brown, and Pale-breasted Illadopses, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Yellow Long-bill, and Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher, and many more. Lunch will be taken between the two birding sessions, followed by dinner and a relaxing nap at dusk in Masinidi.

Day12: Bird from Masindi for Kibale forest NP

Discover the magic of the path that connects Masindi and Kibale Forest, the world's primate capital and home to the Green-breasted Pitta. It's a full-day drive with a lunch stop and other amenities. In the countryside, you'll see people having fun, African huts strewn about, and more. Arrive late in the evening and check-in at the Lodge, where you'll finish the day with dinner and a relaxing snooze.

Day13: Half day bird watching and Isunga cultural community experience

This day is dedicated to birds and the Isunga cultural community. Early in the morning, you'll have roughly four hours with the birds. Kibale National Park is home to over 350 bird species, the majority of which you will see during your expedition, including six that are native to the area. These and other birds to search for while ticking off your checklist include the yellow-spotted nicator, African green pigeon, Barn swallow, white-shrike-fly catcher, brown eared woodpecker, and more. Return to the resort for lunch after the morning session, and then call it a day after dancing and singing with one of Uganda's greatest cultural communities, the Isunga cultural community. The day ends with dinner and an overnight stay.

Day14: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp

Begin your day with a delectable breakfast at the Lodge, and then embark on the ultimate chimpanzee trekking adventure in Kibale Forest National Park. As you track your cuisines the chimps where they are grazing, playing, or napping, you will notice birds of the jungle. Chimpanzees have around 98 percent human-like DNA and a far closer resemblance when compared to humans. They communicate with over 25 sounds, and hearing to them chat is unforgettable. You spend over 2-5 hours looking find them, then an additional hour photographing them and photographing them at their home. After that, return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. You can also go to Bigodi Swamp, one of Uganda's most famous Ramsar sites, to see Baboons and an amazing community of people and birds.

Day14: Full day birding at Semiliki Np

This day starts with a heavy breakfast meal at the lodge, and thereafter a Full day bird watching experience at Semiliki National Park; the birders Haven. This is home to over 40% bird species in Uganda.one other feature you will look out for in your stay is the Sempaya Hot springs in the forest, where most birds also dwell. You will seek to identify the over 460 bird species around the park; notably the storks, Turacos, eagles, egrets, woodpecker, cranes, and more. your will put the binoculars and camera on task for about 5-6 hours, with a Lunch break in the mix, and then an evening sunset return to the lodge for dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day15: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park

At daybreak, you will have breakfast, and thereafter checkout of the lodge for A transfer to the Medley of Wonders-Queen Elizabeth National Park via the crater lakes, visiting and knowing about crater lakes, there formation and History. You will reach your Lodge at Queen Elizabeth national Park in the Afternoon, checking in for Lunch, and refreshment. Let this day end after dinner. Overnight stay at the Lodge.

Day16: Full day birding

We start early for a game drive and birding the vast grassland area the whole morning looking out for; Larks, Pipits, Harlequin Quail, Blue Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, Black Coucal, African Crake, African Moustached, Broad Tailed and Grey Capped Warblers, Martial Eagle, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Amur Falcon, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Terek Sandpiper, Crimson Rumped Waxbill, Sulpher Breasted Bushshrike, Golden Breasted Bunting, Temminck's Courser, Senegal and Wattled Lapwing, Brown Snake Eagle and many more bird species. This park has a great number of mammals numbering to 96 which are both diurnal and nocturnal. We shall later have a longer drive into the national park in the late afternoon and evening. If we are lucky, we find the area's tree-climbing lions Ishasha is famous for, as we go on safari among other mammals expect buffaloes, Uganda Kob, Elephant, and topi. Later in the afternoon you have an exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a natural water channel connecting Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus. Birding on the boat avails us opportunities of seeing the African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Lesser Black Backed and Gray-headed Gull, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Grey Plover, Terek Sandpiper most of which are winter visitors. Dinner and overnight at our Lodge.

Day17: Game drive and Afternoon boat cruise

Keep the Vibe of the place with a tasty breakfast Meal at the lodge, and thereafter a rewarding game drive at the Kisenyi area and other parts of the park, where you stand a chance of identifying the different mammals in the wilderness, notably, the warthogs, Cape Buffaloes, African elephants, giraffes, and more. Lunch comes in, as you seal the evening with a Boat cruise at Kazinga Channel- a place with a school of Hippos, crocodiles and more.

Day18: Transfer to Bwindi (Buhoma) Via Ishasha sector

Start your day with a heavy breakfast meal at the lodge, and Later Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park, passing via the Ishasha Sector; famous for the tree climbing lions. A one-hour game drive in quest to spot one lazily lying at the tree branch is well-deserving, before Lunch. Thereafter, drive to your lodge with the view of the lush vegetation and undulating hills. The day is ended at the lodge in the evening, with dinner and overnight.

Day19 &20: Bwindi (Buhoma) birding & Gorillas.

 Bwindi Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to approximately half of the world endangered population of Mountain Gorillas. This vast reserve offers arguably the most productive montane forest birding in Africa and supports 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species. Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighbouring Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is now an ecological island within a sea of human cultivation and therefore of big conservation importance.

Forest birding in Bwindi ranks the best in Uganda. It is home to 23 highly localized Albertine Rift Endemics. Special birds include; Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Black-and-white-Shrike-flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seed-eater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, African Green Broadbill, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Archer’s Ground Robin, Toro Olive Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler, and Red-faced Woodland Warbler and many more.

Day 21: Birding to Ruhija sector 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

Day22: Mubwindi Swamp birding

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.

Day23: Birding to Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo national park is a gem of a park. Though the park is just 370 sq km in size, its landscapes are varied and even a short drive is alive with interest and color. You will pass gallery forests, open savannah and acacia woodland, rocky kopjes, seasonal and permanent swamps, and open water as you search for the wealth of wildlife they support. A variety of vegetative habitats surround the open water of Lake Mburo. The lake’s western side is dominated by a grassy escarpment rising above a shoreline fringed with acacia forest and the closed canopy Rubanga Forest. To the north and east, grassy valley floors, made seasonally lush and soggy by rain, drain between undulating hills. These seep through expanses of wetland into the lake. Rock Kopjes are found along the eastern margins of the park. These varied habitats support an impressive variety of wildlife including 68 mammal species. These include some rarities.

Lake Mburo national park is the only park in Uganda to contain Impala and the only one in the rift region to host Burchell’s Zebra and Eland. In Uganda, Topi are only found in Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks. Common wildlife species include warthog, buffalo, oribi, Deffassa Water buck and reedbuck. Leopard and hyena are also present while hippos and crocodiles are found in the lake.

Common conspicuous birds we will encounter on our journey to Lake Mburo include; Crested Francolin, Emerald Spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Blue-napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Green Wood hoopoe, Common Scimitar Bill, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Black Tit, Chin-spot Batis, Greate Blue-eared Starling, and Marico Sunbird. The woodland in the immediate vicinity of Rwonyo also supports many of these widespread species.

Day 24: Time with Birds and Animals the whole da

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, 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 African Finfoot, Papyrus Gonolek, Common Scimitarbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Black-collard Barbet, 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 Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-faced Barbet, Crested Barbet, Green-capped Eremomela. A small number of the migratory Brown-chested Plover is regularly observed. Spot lighting along the entrance road may produce interesting nocturnal species such as the African Scops Owl, Verreux’s Eagle, and Freckled, Black Shouldered and Pennant-winged Nightjars. Overnight at our lodge.

Day25: Departure

You will check out of the lodge after an early breakfast and depart for the agreed-upon drop-off place in Kampala or the Entebbe international airport. You will stop for an hour near the equator for lunch, photos, and to observe the demonstrations at the place where the marginal line divides the world into the northern and southern hemispheres.

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