Uganda Bird Watching Tour – 18 Days

Uganda bird watching tour 18 days

Uganda Bird Watching Tour

  • 18 DAYS
  • COUNTRY: UGANDA
  • START: ENTEBBE
  • RETURN: ENTEBBE

Overview

Uganda is home to over 1,050 bird species spread across a range of habitats from forests, swamps and agricultural lands, to lakes and Savannah. Uganda is crossed by the equator, and the Albertine Rift valley can be found in the west of the country which makes it a rich heaven for bird watching enthusiasts.

This 18 Day Uganda Bird Watching tour is carefully planned to take you to the best Uganda birding spots promising you “mythical” sightings and birds living in the remote forests of Uganda that may not even be classified as of yet.

Safari Highlights

  • Top 10 birds including the shoebill, Green-breasted Pitta, African Green Broadbill, great blue turaco,  Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Standard-winged Nightjar, short tailed warbler, Doherty’s Bushshrike, Bar-tailed Trogon and the black breasted barbet
  • Game Drives, Tree Lions and Boat Safari in Queen Elizabeth N.P
  • Game Drive in Lake Mburo N.P
  • Kibale Forest Chimpanzee Tracking

Itinerary Summary

Day 1: Arival, bird watching in Botanical gardens
Day 2: Birding in Mabamba Swamp and Mpanga Forest
Day 3: Birding in Budongo Forest
Day 4: Birding in Budongo Forest – Royal Mile
Day 5: Boat Ride & Bird Watching in Murchison Falls National Park
Day 6: Boat ride, Game Drive and Birding in Murchison Falls National Park
Day 7: Game Drive, Bird Watching in Murchison and on the way to Kibale Forest
Day 8: Chimpanzee Trekking and BIrd Watching in Kibale Forest National Park
Day 9: Birding in Semiliki National Park
Day 10: Birding in Semiliki Forest
Day 11: Birding in Maramagambo Forest
Day 12: Birding in Maramagambo Forest
Day 13: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Day 14: Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Day 15: Gorilla Trekking
Day 16: Bird Watching in the highest peak of Ruhija Forest
Day 17: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe/Departure

 

See detailed itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arival, bird watching in Botanical gardens

Overnight Hotel Lake Victoria, Entebbe

Uganda bird watching tour’s early arrivals will have the opportunity to bird the Entebbe botanical gardens. The gardens host a variety of open country and wood land species which include: orange weaver, red chested sunbird, verreaux’s eagle owl, slender billed weaver, northern brown throated weaver, yellow backed weaver, sedge wabler, giant king fisher, great reed wabler, Pied hornbill, great blue turaco, Ross’s turaco to mention but a few.

Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 2: Birding in Mabamba Swamp and Mpanga Forest

Overnight Cassia Lodge, Kampala

Leave early in the morning with picnic lunch for Mabamba Swamp for the rare African Shoebill. Later transfer to Mpanga forest. This forest is a stunning patch of remnant, medium altitude evergreen and swamp forest. Look out for Blue breasted kingfisher, Weyn’s weaver, White spotted flufftail, Blue shouldered robin chat, Grey parrot, Lemon Dove, Black billed turaco, Fire crested alethe, Snowy headed robin chat, Dusky long tailed cuckoo, Hair breasted barbet, Woodland wabler, olive greenbul, Sooty boubou, Fiery necked nightjar, and you not surprised to meet the shy bush pig.

Drive back to Kampala for overnight stay at the hotel choice.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 3: Uganda Bird watching in Budongo Forest

Overnight Budongo Eco Lodge, Masindi

Start early in the morning for Budongo forest close to Murchison Falls National Park. On the way open your eyes for the white crested turaco, Ross’s turaco that are always seen flying across the road in around Luweero areas.

Evening birding at the edge of the forest is very interesting. Return to Masindi for overnight stay at lodge choice.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 4: Birding in Budongo Forest – Royal Mile

3 Nights at Paraa lodge

Leave at dawn with your picnic lunch to bird Budongo forest (Royal Mile). Spend the whole day birding here. This is the home to very rare Nahan’s francolin. Look out for the Banded snake eagle, African pied hornbill, Brown backed scrub robin, black bishop, brown twinsport, Black bellied firefinch, the chocolate backed kingfisher, white thighed hornbill, yellow spotted and yellow billed barbet, spotted greenbul, Cameroon sombre greenbul, slender billed greenbul, black capped apalis, lemon bellied crombec, green hylia, pale breasted Illadopsis, forest flycatcher, fire crested alethe, yellow long bill, yellow browed camaroptera, Crowned eagle, yellow footed flycatcher, and remember that this forest is home to the chimpanzees. Late in the afternoon drive to Murchison Falls National Park. This park has a variety of unique habitats and superb birds, which make a visit to this park a must for every birder.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 5: Boat Ride & Bird Watching in Murchison Falls National Park

Overnight Paraa lodge

After breakfast, go for a boat trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls, where the Nile thunders through a 7-meter gap, or down river to the delta where the Nile empties into Lake Albert (look out for the rare Shoebill). This is an experience not to be missed! The banks of the Nile are home to many species. You may see huge Crocodiles, big Pods of Hippos and other wildlife that may come down to drink from the river, – later return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, drive to the rolling plains, watch out for the secretary bird, black chested snake eagle, tawny and marshal eagle, carmine and swallow tailed bee eaters, to mention but a few.

You will also have chance to view the Elephants, Lions, Giraffe, Hartebeest, buffalo and many other mammals. Drive back to your lodge for overnight.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 6: Boat ride, Game Drive and Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

Early morning game drive to see the elusive wildlife and birds or take another boat trip down the river and then back to the lodge in time for lunch. In the evening, go out for another game drive and birding trip returning to the lodge at dusk.

Overnight Paraa lodge

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 7: Game Drive, Bird Watching in Murchison and on the way to Kibale Forest

2 Nights at Ndali Lodge / Primate Lodge

Early game drive to the top of Murchison falls where you can have a closer look into the gorge. Uganda Bird watching tour on the way, where the Nile squeezes into a 7 meter gorge dropping 40 meters. The falls are spectacular and thunderous with a beautiful rainbow displayed on sunny days. Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park via Hoima as you bird en route.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 8: Chimpanzee Trekking and BIrd Watching in Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park most of which is a rain forest is a home to over 9 species of Primates. These include chimpanzees, red Colubus monkeys, grey cheeked mangaby, red tailed monkeys, galagos etc. The forest is also home to Scaly francolins, marsh tchagra, Black bellied seed cracker, and Green backed twin spot, Bicoloured mannikin, white napped pigeon, Afep pigeon, Narina’s trogon, joyful greenbul and olive long tailed cuckoo, the superb black bee-eater. A nature walk at Bigodi wetland will be good for your afternoon birding. This is the home to Blue headed coucal, Blue breasted kingfisher, Scaly throated honey guide, black faced rufous wabler, etc.

Overnight Ndali Lodge / Primate Lodge

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 9 – 10: Birding in Semiliki National Park

Overnight Semliki Lodge

Drive early morning with your packed lunch for Semliki forest. This forest is a moist semi-deciduous forest a home to spot breasted ibis, Northern bearded scrub robin, Capuchin babbler, Lyre tailed honey guide, yellow throated green cuckoo, white bellied king fisher, Maxwell’s black weaver, Black winged oriole, Red eyed puff back, Crested and red bellied malimbe, Brown crowned eremomela, Zenker’s honey guide, African piculet, etc. Also look out for the rare shoebill.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 11-12: Birding in Maramagambo Forest

2 Nights at Mweya lodge

At the break of day, start for Maramagambo forest west of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Key species here are Dark capped yellow wabler, Fawn breasted waxbill, Black headed batis, Brubru, Sulphur breasted bush shrike, Eurasian golden oriole, bat hawk, Red tailed bristle bill, Green crombec, Black & white flycatcher, Brown eared wood pecker, Red headed blue bill, African hobby, African green pigeon and Ross’s turaco.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 13: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Transfer to southwards to the home of the giant cousins of human beings. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is still one of the best virgin tropical rain forests in East Africa.

2 Nights at Gorilla Forest Camp / Engagi Lodge

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 14: Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Overnight Gorilla Forest Camp / Engagi Lodge

Birding begins early in the morning with the early risers. After breakfast carry a picnic lunch for whole day birding in the only natural tropical forest in the area. This forest has over 300 bird species recorded. These include red throated alethe, equatorial akalat, forest robin, montane oriole, grey throated barbet, hairy breasted barbet, African broad bill, black bee-eater, pale breasted illadopsis, Narina’s trogon, Pettit’s cuckoo shrike, black faced rufous warbler, and many other forest rarities. This forest receives rainfall almost throughout the year. A rain jacket and hiking shoes are solutions. Return for dinner and overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp / Mantana Tented Camp.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 15: Gorilla Trekking

Overnight Gorilla Forest Camp / Engagi Lodge

Many birders who have been to this forest have shown interest in trekking these cousins of human beings in their jungle homes. Have this optional day for gorilla trekking. Carry your picnic lunch and plenty of water and enjoy the forest giants.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 16: Bird Watching in the highest peak of Ruhija Forest

Overnight Trekker’s Tavern

Depart at the crack of dawn for a 50km drive to the highest peak of the forest – Ruhiija. Keep your eyes and ears open for the African green broad bill. Look out for a white starred robin, grey cuckoo shrike, strange weaver, banded prinia, brown chested alethe, slender billed greenbul, yellow streaked greenbul, white browed crombec, mountain illadopsis, Luehder’s bush shrike, grey green bush shrike; all these and many others are among the 345 species recorded in this park.

Birders who come with camping equipment can camp at Ruhiija campground. Otherwise the two best days for this highest point will be driving from Buhoma.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 17: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park

Overnight Mantana tented camp

After an early breakfast, then drive to Lake Mburo National Park. Your drive is punctuated with several stops to see the barefaced go away bird, crowned plover, watt led lapwing, southern red bishop, variable sunbird, African harrier hawk, larks and many others. Enjoy the fabulous long horned Ankole cattle as you bird. Dinner and overnight at Mantana tented camp at the edge of Lake Mburo National Park. Enjoy free songs of the morning dove, deidrick cuckoo, grey-capped warbler, black-headed weaver, etc.

Meal Plan: B, L, D

Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe/Departure

Leave at dawn to get the African fin foot at lake Mburo before it disappears into the papyrus beds floating on the lake. Look out for the brown chested lapwing, lilac breasted roller, carmine bee-eaters, black bellied bustard, helmeted guinea fowl, handsome francolin, rufous napped lark, vultures, eagles, kites and the like.

Transfer to Entebbe Airport for departure.

Meal Plan: B, L

Important: By no means are you restricted to this itinerary. This Uganda Birding Tour Itinerary can be tailored to suite your travel style and budget. Contact our tour experts to help you plan this trip.

Included in the price

  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Light aircraft transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • All scheduled safari activities offered by the camps or lodges
  • Airport and road transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • National Parks and conservation entry fees
  • One gorilla trekking permit per person @ US $600

Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Gratuities
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Any additional activities not offered as scheduled by the camps or lodges
  • Visas and visa fees where relevant
  • Beverages with the exception of all inclusive hotels
  • Additional activities not included as scheduled at hotels, lodges or camps

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