Leisure Birding Excursions, Short Bird Watching Trips – Uganda Africa
Best time of year: All year round.
Key Sites: Buhoma, Ruhiija, Nkuringo and Rushaaga.
For those interested in experiencing a short but thrilling birding and wildlife vacation, we have designed two short, four-day tours in Uganda’s top destinations. All ten national parks in Uganda qualify as Important Bird Areas (a BirdLife International designation) and each is a haven for bird watching. What’s more, each park represents several unique ecosystems and encompasses an exceptional assemblage of birds, plants, and other wildlife. Select from the two tours, below, or ask us to customize your own tour.
Birds & Wildlife Tour of Queen Elizabeth National Park (4 days)
Bird Watching Safari to Murchison Falls National Park (4 days).
BIRDS & WILDLIFE TOUR OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK (4 days):
Spanning the equator is the vast Queen Elizabeth National Park which boasts an impressive Crater Lake scenery, expansive grasslands, papyrus swamps and tropical forests, huge herds of Elephant and Buffalo, Lions, Leopards, and a diverse array of birds. The park contains Uganda’s best game populations (95 mammal species) as well as some of Uganda’s best bird watching, an incredible bird list of 610 species and an overwhelming record of 296 species in a single day, the highest in Africa!
The boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, which links Lakes George and Edward, is one of the most productive birding excursions on the planet. Depending on time of arrival, some late afternoon birding might produce; African Morning Dove, Grey-Headed Kingfisher, Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed, Yellow-Backed and Lesser-Masked Weavers, Pin-Tailed Whydah and Black-Winged Pratincole. We will spend 3 nights in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth supports an impressive range of habitats; its five basic habitat types (forest, grassland, bushy grassland, acacia woodland and lakeshore/swamp vegetation types) further embrace at least 57 microhabitats, which is reflected in the park’s diversity of birds and mammals.
Day 1: Arrival for the tour – Uganda.
Upon arrival, you will be met by one of our representatives and transfer to the hotel for overnight stay. (Residents will travel on this day and spend a night in one of the Lodges in the Park). Choice of accommodation here includes: Mweya Safari Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge and Mweya Hostel for the duration of the 3 nights.
Day 2: Bird watching safari to Ishasha and Kyambura Gorge.
On this day, we have a whole day game and bird watching drive to the Ishasha sector and Kyambura Gorge. You have chances of seeing; the Harlequin and Blue Quails, Small (Common) Buttonquail, African Crake, White winged Warbler, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Papyrus Gonolek, Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Lowland Akalat, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Black Bee-eater, Caruthers’s Cisticola, Terek Sandpiper, Secretary Bird, and Temminck’s Courser. Mammals found here include African Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Lion, Ugandan Kobs, Side-striped Jackal, Baboons, Chimpanzees, Bush and Water Bucks, Warthogs, Giant Forest Hogs, to mention but a few.
Day 3: Bird watching safari to Kasenyi Trail and Imaramagambo Forest.
This day we spend the morning on a game drive to the Kasenyi Trail. We shall carry packed lunch. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Imaramagambo Forest. Specialties here include; the Yellow-bellied and Jameson’s Wattle-eyes, Black Bee-eater, White-Tailed and Red-Tailed Ant-Thrush, Brown and Grey-chested Illadopsis, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, Brown-Eared Woodpeckers, Narina Trogon, Least Honey guide, Grey Greenbul and Brown-Chested Alethe. The trail through the forest leads past a bat cave, which is rather impressive, and if we are lucky we may come across a Python that lives in the cave and feasts on the bats.
Day 4: Bird watching safari to Kazinga channel, Uganda.
After breakfast, we shall take a boat trip bird watching along the supernatural Kazinga Channel till late morning. Kazinga Channel links Lakes George and Edward, and is one of the most productive birding excursions on the planet. During the launch cruise we expect to meet congregations of African Skimmers, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, African Crake, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Grey-headed Gull, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Collard Pranticoles, Yellow-billed Ox-pecker and many others.
Lunch at the Lodge and afternoon transfer to Kampala.
–End of vacation–
BIRD WATCHING SAFARI TO MURCHISON FALL NATIOAL PARK (4 days), Uganda.
Murchison Falls is the largest national park in Uganda. It protects a chunk of untamed African savanna intersected by the Nile River. It is named for the dramatic Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river violently explodes through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. This is a powerful and beautiful spectacle.
The park’s large size and wide range of habitats allows for an impressive checklist of more than 460 bird species. This is the most reliable location for the icnonic Shoebill stork. We are almost certain of seeing the bird, which is regularly recorded along the Nile inside the park, especially at the delta and on two islands in the river. Other birds of interest include; Lesser Flamingo, Great Snipe, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Red-throated Bee-eater, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, White-crested Turaco, and more.
Day 1: Bird watching tour to Murchison Falls N.P.
Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide who will drive you to Murchison Falls. We stop over at Masindi for lunch.
Stay at Paraa Safari Lodge / Red Chilli / Nile safari Camp for the next three nights.
Day 2: Bird watching to the bottom of the Falls.
On this day, after an early breakfast, we take a boat birding to the bottom of the falls in the morning and game drive to the delta in the afternoon. Birds we hope to pick up here include; Red-throated Bee-eater, Violet-backed Starling, Spot-flanked Barbet, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Red-faced Crombec, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Crested Francolin, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Silver Bird, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Pet Lark, Striped Kingfisher, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Long-crested Eagle, Croaking Cisticola, Blue Quail, Northern Red Bishop, Sooty Chat, Heuglin’s Francolin, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Piapiac, Grey Kestrel, Rufous Sparrow, Broad-billed Roller, Yellow-throated Long Claw, Black-bellied Bustard, Bateleur, Klaas’ Cuckoo, Carmine Bee-eater, Rattling Cisticola, Swallow-tail Bee-eater, Viteline Masked Weaver, White-winged Widowbird, Grey-capped Warbler, Blue-naped Mousebird, Martial Eagle, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks, Siffling and Foxy Cisticolas, Black-billed Barbet, Ruppel’s Griffon, Lappet-faced and Palm-nut Vultures, Tawny Eagle. Mammals present here also include; Warthogs, Elephants, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Oribi, Rothschild Giraffe, Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Jackals, Lions, Bush Bucks, Bohor Reedbuck, and primates like the Patas Monkey.
Day 3: Bird watching across the Nile.
Cross the Nile and go for a whole day game drive up to the top of the falls. We expect to encounter; the White-rumped Canary, Foxy Cisticola, Egyptian Plover, Red-winged Grey warbler, Secretary Bird, Bat Hawk, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Vinaceous Dove, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Carmine Bee-eater, Nightjars (Pennant-winged & Standard-winged), White-rumped Canary, etc.
Day 4: Game drive in Uganda.
Morning game drive and afternoon transfer to Kampala.
–End of vacation–