Number of Days
Uganda Birding Safari and wildlife
Uganda Birding Safari and wildlife tour will take you from the Swamps of Mabamba to look for the Shoebill, to the devil’s cauldron in Murchison falls National Park. From here, you will go West to the home of our closely related cousins, the Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park, then south to the home of the tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This shall be followed by penetrating the impenetrable forest of Bwindi that is home to the Mountain Gorilla and the Albertine rift endemics, which shall be climaxed by the low savannah plains of Lake Mburo National Park where special species like the Tabora Cisticola, and the Red-faced Barbet can be seen.
- Mountain Gorillas
This Uganda birding Safari tour will take you to Murchison Falls National Park from the Swamps of Mabamba, where you may search for shoebills. From here, you will go to the west to Kibale National Park, the home of our distant relatives, the chimpanzee, and then south to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the habitat of the tree-climbing lions. The low savannah plains of Lake Mburo National Park, where rare species like the Tabora Cisticola and the Red-faced Barbet can be seen, will serve as the setting for the conclusion after entering the impenetrable forest of Bwindi, which is home to the Mountain Gorilla and the Albertine Rift Endemics.
Day 1: Arrival Transfer for the 18 days Uganda birding
On your arrival for this Uganda birding tour, you are transferred to Entebbe Travelers’ Inn for the night. For those who had earlier arrivals, there is an opportunity to go birding in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens and Uganda wildlife education center.
This is a great way to kick-start your journey into the wilds of Uganda and get a glimpse into its biodiversity. The gardens are full of exotic birds from around the world as well as many local species. With over 300 species of birds present in the garden, it is a delight for any avid birder or someone looking to explore this beautiful country and its wildlife. You look forward to exploring more of what Uganda has to offer in the upcoming days.
Day 2: Birding Mabamba Swamp and travelling to Murchison Falls National Park
In the early morning, we leave for Mabamba Swamp an important birding area, 50 kilometres west of Kampala, after a leisurely breakfast. Stop along the way at Mpigi Swamp for rare papyrus species. A few swamp-specific birds to watch out for are the White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, and others.
The Mabamba Wetland is our next stop. The majority of the birding in the swamp is done in a canoe by our local site guides. Keep an eye out for shoebills in the marsh and in the sky.
Additionally, be on the lookout for wetland birds including: Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamp Hen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pigmy Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Squacco Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, and Black Crake.
We go birding at Murchison Falls National Park in the afternoon. Murchison Falls National Park, which covers 3893 square kilometres and is the biggest national park in Uganda, guards a vast area of wild savannah that is divided by the great River Nile.
The adjacent Karuma and Bugungu Wildlife Reserves are also included in the considerably bigger Murchison Falls Protected Area, which has 5072 square kilometres in total. The imposing Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river abruptly bursts through a fissure in the escarpment of the Rift Valley to plummet into a foaming pool 43 metres below, inspired the name of the region.
It was first gazetted as a wildlife reserve in 1926 to conserve a savannah that Winston Churchill once compared to “Kew Gardens and the Zoo combined on an unlimited scale.” It is one of Uganda’s oldest conservation reserves.
The park is home to 76 different species of mammals, including the Nubian giraffe (formerly Rothschild giraffe), lion, elephant, leopard, hippopotamus, hartebeest, oribi, warthog, and Uganda kob. The park also has 360 bird species, including the rare Shoebill Stork, and therefore should not be missed on any Uganda bird watching safari.
Overnight at the Paraa Safari Lodge.
Day 3–4: Birding, game drives, and an afternoon launch trip
After breakfast, we go on a wildlife drive to the undulating plains, where we may a number of species of animals including: hartebeest, lions, buffalo, primates, mongooses, giraffes, and elephants. Following lunch, we’ll go on an afternoon launch cruise where you may see large hippos, Nile crocodiles, and other wildlife.
A broad range of waterbirds, including the Shoebill, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller, Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfisher, and many more, will also be seen.
Return to the lodge, for overnight stay.
Day 5: Transfer to Masindi
On the journey to Masindi, we will travel through a vast wilderness with an open palm savanna unlike any other in East Africa, where we may see birds such as the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Senegal Lapwing, White-rumped Seedeater, and the bizarre Piapiac. We shall halt near the escarpment of Butiaba.
Despite being close to the Budongo rainforest, it has quite contrasting desert savanna landscapes and has species such as the mocking cliff-chat, foxy cisticola, and brown babbler.
Overnight stay at the Masindi Hotel
Day 6: Birding along the Royal Mile and Busingiro Sections of the Budongo
Forest Early in the morning, we go and spend the day birding along Budongo’s renowned Royal Mile. It is a large forestry trail that many believe to be an excellent birding location in Uganda.
In Uganda, this is the finest spot to see a variety of birds like Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail, and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher. There are several puzzling forest birds, such as the spotted, Xavier’s, white-throated, red-tailed, and honeyguide greenbuls, to put us to the test. The Yellow-mantled Weaver, Rufous Thrush, and Uganda Woodland Warbler are supported by the canopy. 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 are just a few of the skulkers that can be found in the underbrush along the track.
We’ll keep an eye out for any gaps in the forest canopy where it’s possible to see White-throated Bee-eaters, Cassin’s and Crowned Hawk Eagles, Cassin’s and Sabine’s Spine-tails, etc. The secretive canopy-dwelling Ituri Batis can only be found in the vicinity of the Park Headquarters in East Africa. The secretive canopy-dwelling Ituri Batis can only be found in the vicinity of the Park Headquarters in East Africa.
Spend the Night at the Masindi Hotel
Day 7: Transfer to Kibale National Park
We will leave for Kibale Forest after breakfast and arrive at Fort Portal in the late afternoon. Kibale National Park is the best East African safari location for chimpanzee tracking and also one of the best forest birding areas in Uganda. Of all Uganda’s tropical forests, it has one of the most beautiful and interesting regions.
13 different species of primates, including chimpanzees, live there. Its 1450 chimpanzees make up the majority of this endangered primate population in Uganda. Additionally, it is the greatest population of the endangered Red Colobus Monkey in East Africa and the uncommon L’hoest’s Monkey.
Other primates you could encounter are the Black and White Colobus, Blue Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Red-tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Bush infant, and Potto. The northern and central regions of the park are mostly covered with Kibale forest. At a height of 1590 metres above sea level, Kibale is the highest point in the park.
Additionally, there are 325 bird species in the park, including six that are endemic to the Albertine Rift. They consist of the Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Collared Apalis, and Black-capped Apalis.
This top birding site is famous for the African Pitta in addition to Green-breasted Pitta, Black Bee-eater, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbul, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, and Crowned Eagle are some of the species recorded.
Overnight at Ndali Lodge.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Tracking
After an early breakfast, we go to the visitor centre of Kibale National Park for a briefing before the chimp trekking. The duration of the activity varies depending on the location of the chimpanzees, however, once encountered you will be with the chimps for 1 hour.
It could be fruitful to go birding in the late afternoon along the major road.
Bigodi Wetland is an excellent birding destination with riverine forest birds, depending on the weather. The Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Cabanis’s Greenbul, Joyful Greenbul, White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Lesser Honey Guide, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, White-chinned Prinia, Grey Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, and White-collared Oliveback are just a few of the birds that can be found in Kibale National Park that are difficult to find.
Overnight at Ndali Lodge.
Day 9: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park
We go to Queen Elizabeth National Park after breakfast. It is Uganda’s second-largest national park, and it bears the name of the Queen of England, who visited it in 1954. The biodiversity ratings for Queen Elizabeth National Park are the highest of any game reserve in the world.
Open savannah, rainforest, papyrus swamps, ominous crater lakes, and the enormous Lake Edward serve as proof of this. Elephants, a plethora of hippos, the elusive Giant Forest Hog, and the handsome Uganda Kob are all frequently sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula, which also boasts a magnificent waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains. Queen Elizabeth National Park has almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 612 bird species, making it a superb Uganda Safari destination for game viewing and birding
Overnight at the Enganzi Lodge.
Day 10: A game drive and an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
A morning game drive will be conducted in search of lions, elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, warthogs, and many other animals. You enjoy a unique and thrilling launch voyage in the Kazinga Channel after lunch. The boat cruise is one of Uganda’s most thrilling water sports.
The Kazinga channel joins Lakes George and Edward and provides superb birding experience for water birds as well as plentiful hippopotamuses, buffalo herds, and elephants. Additionally, you could run across different bird species, especially waders. Some of the bird sightings on the channel include pelicans, kingfishers, cormorants, herons, and egrets.
Go to Enganzi Lodge for Dinner and overnight
Day 11: Visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After breakfast, you should get going right away. We’ll also travel via the Ishasha region, where, if you’re fortunate, you could be able to see lions that climb trees, and then we’ll proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
About half of the mountain gorillas in the world’s endangered population live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This large reserve is home to 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species and provides possibly the most fruitful montane forest birding in all of Africa. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, formerly a portion of a much bigger forest that also encompassed the Virunga Volcanoes in neighbouring Rwanda, is today an ecological island among a sea of human agriculture and is thus of major conservation concern.
Bwindi is ranked as Uganda’s greatest place for forest birdwatching.
At least 23 species found nowhere else on Earth are found in the Albertine Rift. These include: Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, and Rwenzori Batis are just Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Black-and-white Shrike Flycatcher, and Yellow-crowned Canary African Green Broadbill, Streaky Seedeater, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Thick-billed Seed-eater, Black-billed Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, African Wood Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Rare Swift, Oriole Finch, Trogon with barbed tail, 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, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Equatorial Akalat To name a few, there are white-bellied Robin-Chats, olive thrushes, white-tailed ant thrushes, Grauer’s rush warblers, short-tailed warblers, Neumann’s warblers, and red-faced woodland warblers.
Stay one night at the Buhoma Community Rest Camp.
Day 12: Mountain Gorilla Trekking
We will meet at the Park Offices after breakfast for the briefing before this momentous occasion. It may take one to eight hours to go for the ultimate Uganda gorilla trekking experience, which entails wandering through the bush in pursuit of these gentle giants. Make sure you are physically fit since gorilla tracking may be a difficult exercise. Each group is limited to eight members per day. The gorillas might be difficult to locate on occasion, but the tracker guides can usually locate them within an hour. Staring into these gentle giants’ eyes and admiring them as they play and go about their everyday lives is a lovely experience. You should never miss the opportunity to go on a gorilla tracking expedition since it really is a “once in a lifetime” event. Although every gorilla experience is unique and has its own benefits, you are sure to love the up-close view of adults eating, grooming, and relaxing as the young playfully romp and swing from vines.
spend the night at Buhoma Community Rest Camp,
Day 13: Buhoma Village Walk
We go for a stroll in the Buhoma Community after breakfast. You will get to see the Batwa in person and learn about their way of life. When the Batwa were relocated from the forest, they were given land, and the majority of their basic requirements were met. Therefore, they use the proceeds from the community walk to pay for food and clothing. Additionally, they purchase alcohol and use the proceeds from the sale of their crafts for leisure activities like reading.
You’ll also get to see how they make juice. We’ll also stop by a traditional healer, where you can see how he uses animal and plant materials, as well as tree bark and leaves, to cure patients’ illnesses. To maintain the attire of earlier healers, he wears goat and cow skin. In addition, you will visit tea plantations and 10 other places that illustrate the lifestyle of the Buhoma community.
At the Buhoma Community Rest Camp, stay
Day 14: Travel to Ruhija
We go to the Ruhija area of Bwindi National Park after breakfast.
We’ll go through “The Neck” along the route, a brief section of forest that links the park’s southern and northern halves. This forest system is made up of a few Albertine Rift species with limited ranges and the eastern extension of the enormous Congo forests. This location is ideal for birders to see a variety of species that are normally logistically extremely tough to observe since it is much more accessible and highly safe to enter this forest, which stretches into Democratic Republic of Congo. The Cassin’s Flycatcher, Black Bee-eater, African Black Duck, White-browed Crombec, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, and many more are among the specialities that may be found here. Overnight at Gorilla Mist Camp
Day 15: Mubwindi Swamp birding area
We bird-watch in the Mubwindi Swamp region all day long. The best area to discover some of the most elusive rift endemics is along the 4-kilometer route to Mubwindi Swamp. This contains many bird species including the stunning Regal Sunbird, the Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill, and the Archer’s Robin-Chat. Dwarf Honeyguides, Stripe-breasted Tits, and Ruwenzori Apalis.
Other bird species recorded are the uncommon and restricted Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler which is a very important bird in this area, African Hill Babbler (and occasionally distinguished from the Ruwenzori Hill Babbler). Black Goshawk, Augur Buzzard, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, and Handsome Francolin among other species.
Many other bird species like Black-billed, Ross’s, Ruwenzori, Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Bronze-winged Pigeon, Barred Long-tailed, and African Emerald Cuckoos Blue-throated Roller, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Red-chested Owlet, Narina, and Bar-tailed Trogons White-headed Woodhoopoe, Thick-billed and Dwarf Honeyguides, Western and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, Grey-throated, Double-toothed, and Yellow-spotted B Arbets African Broadbill, Rock Martin, Tullberg’s, Speckle-breasted, and Olive Woodpeckers, as well as Black Saw-wing and Rufous-necked Wryneck Red-throated Alethe, Chubb’s Cisticola, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Olive, and Mountain Thrushes Gray and Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Ansorge’s, Kakamega, and Cabanis’ Greenbuls Banded Prinia, Black-throated and Black-faced Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken-Warblers, and Black-faced Rufous Warblers have also been recorded.
Short-tailed Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Sooty Flycatcher, and Chapin’s Flycatcher are some of the other common bird species. Pale-breasted, Mountain, and Gray-chested Illadopsis, White-starred Robin, White-bellied, and Archer’s Robin-Chats, Rwenzori Batis, White-tailed, and African Blue-Flycatchers Gray-headed, Western Violet-backed, Green, Green-headed, Blue-headed, Green-throated, Stuhlmann’s, Northern Double-collared, and Regal Sunbirds, as well as Mackinnon’s Shrike, are some of the birds that inhabit the Ruwenzori Hill.
Slender-billed, Waller’s, Narrow-tailed, Stuhlmann’s, and Sharpe’s Starlings, as well as Lühder’s, Gray-green, Many-colored, and Lagden’s Bush-shrikes Red-faced and Dusky Crimson-wings, Black-billed, Strange, and Brown-capped Weavers, as well as Jameson’s Ant-pecker
Overnight at Gorilla Mist Camp
Day 16: Travel to Lake Mburo National Park
The Lake Mburo National Park is a real beauty. Even though the park is just 370 square kilometres in size, the different landscapes are alive with intrigue and colour on even a short trip. As you look for the diverse array of animals that these habitats sustain, you will travel through gallery forests, open savannah, acacia woodland, rocky kopjes, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and open water.
The open water of Lake Mburo is surrounded by a variety of vegetative ecosystems. A grassy cliff rising above a beach bordered by an acacia forest and the closed canopy of Rubanga Forest dominates the lake’s western side. Grassy valley bottoms to the north and east drain between undulating hills, which are rendered seasonally lush and wet by rain. These flow into the lake via vast marsh areas. Along the eastern borders of the park, there are Rock Kopjes.
An astonishing array of animals, including 68 mammal species, is supported by these diverse ecosystems. These include some uncommon items. Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s sole park with Impala and the only one in the rift zone with Grant’s Zebra and Eland.
Only the Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks in Uganda are home to topis.
Warthogs, buffalo, oribi, Deffassa waterbuck, and reedbuck are examples of common animal species. Hippo and crocodile are abundant in the lake, while leopard and hyena are also prevalent.
On our trip to Lake Mburo, we will likely see the following notable birds: 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 Many of these common species are also supported by the woodlands close to Rwonyo.
Overnight at Mantana tent camp.
Day 17: The whole day Birding and wildlife viewing in the park
Birdwatching and game drives in the park We will go on a morning game drive in the park after breakfast in search of species including zebras, impalas, elands, topis, and buffaloes. We’ll take a boat trip in the late afternoon to search the park for unique bird species and other creatures.
At the Mantana Tented Camp, stay.
Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe Airport for your flight home
FAQs for the Uganda Birding and Wildlife Safari
What are the ideal months to visit Uganda for a birding safari?
Your interests will determine the ideal times of year to go birding in Uganda.
Typically, the dry season (June to August and December to February) is a wonderful time to go bird watching in Uganda since the air is cleaner and the birds are more active. Due to an inflow of migrating birds, the rainy season (March to May and September to November) may also offer productive birding.
If you are interested in seeing certain bird species in Uganda, please contact Bird Uganda Safaris for a customized itinerary. We have been organizing tours in Uganda and other countries in East Africa for more than 20 years.
What is the appropriate clothing recommended for a Ugandan Birding Safari and wildlife to Uganda
Uganda is on the equator and experiences sunny conditions most of the year therefore wearing layers and comfy, move-friendly clothes is often advised. Light, breathable textiles like cotton and linen are excellent alternatives for staying cool in the heat.
It is also a good idea to carry sun-protective gear, such as long-sleeved shirts, slacks, and a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also highly recommended.
You may also want to pack rain gear and warm clothes, depending on the time of year and the region you will be visiting. Heavy rainfall is usual during the rainy season, however, in the tropical forests of Kibale and Budongo and the montane forests of Bwindi, it could rain any time of the year. The temperature may be chilly at higher altitudes, even at lower altitudes.