20 Days

Bird Watchng Safari Uganda

$12,000 per person

Overview

Best time to visit: Jan – Dec

Highlights:
  • Bird watching
  • Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest
  • Big game drives in Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth National Parks
  • Birding the Budongo Royal Mile
  • Boat cruises
  • Scenic views of western Uganda
  • Equator crossing for photos


Endemic Bird list for this tour:
  • The Dusky Crimson-wing
  • the Vulnerable Grauer’s Broadbill
  • Regal sunbird
  • Yellow-eyed Black flycatcher
  • Rwenzori Apalis
  • Stripe-breasted Tit
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Handsome Francolin
  • Kivu Ground Thrush
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Red-faced woodland warbler
  • Red-throated Alethe
  • Green-breasted Pitta

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Birding Botanical Garden

If time permits after your arrival, enjoy bird watching at Entebbe Botanical Gardens for an introduction of Ugandan birds. This place is offers patch spots for Great-Blue-turaco, common bulbul, yellow-fronted tinkerbird, The African yellow-white eye, African Thrush, sunbirds like Red-chested, olive-bellied, Purple-banded, Collared and the scarlet-chested sunbirds. We should also expect gray parrot, Crowned and Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills, woodland kingfisher, African Harrier-Hawk, Black-headed Gonolek, White-browed Robin-chat, Double-toothed Barbet, Ross’s Turaco, Speckled Mousebird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Hood Vulture. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Usually, the garden entertains Vervet monkey and the good-looking Mantled Guereza
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 2: Bird to Lake Mburo National Park Via Mabamba Wetland

After the early morning breakfast and an hour and half drive to Mabamba. The Mabamba wetland is one of the top two places in the world to find the shoebill which is an uptick bird for many birders on earth and Africa’s number one and highly sought-after; the other spot is Murchison Falls National Park. Mabamba offers 80% chances for seeing this alien-looking-bird.
While looking for a shoebill, expect a collection of typically water and nearby habitat birds like Papyrus Gonolek, African Marsh Harrier, common waxbill, Madagascar and Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Malachite kingfisher, African white-backed Duck, Lesser Jacana and several others.
After the search for the shoebill, drive to the Equator crossing for photos. Continue with the drive to the park. However, look out for the stunning Gray-backed Fiscal, Long-crested and Wahlberg’s Eagle, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Eurasian and Gray Kestrel
At the dirt road, as we approach the park and the accommodation, look out for the Singing and Red-faced cisticolas, occasionally this stretch can be perfect for crested and Red-necked francolins, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Emerald-spotted Wood-dove, Brown snake-Eagle. A few mammals are Impala, Zebra, Dwarf Mongoose.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Birding Watching in Lake Mburo National Park

On this day, explore the woodlands and thickets of Uganda’s smallest wildlife park. This park is great for woodland species, especially those that you would describe as being at their furthest northern range.
We’ll look out for Red-Faced Barbet which is an East African endemic, Crested and Spot-flanked Barbets, Brown-chested, Crowned, Wattled and Senegal Lapwings, Southern Black Flycatcher Slate-coloured Boubou, some eagles like Bateleur and Wahlberg’s Honeyguide, Black Cuckoo-shrike Sulphur- breasted Bush-shrike, White-winged Black-Tit, African Paradise Flycatcher, Common Scimitarbill and many others
Return to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, we do another drive with the hope of finding Gray Tit-flycatcher, White-backed Vulture, African Pipit, and the African Scops-Owl in the dark.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Drive to Kisoro for Mgahinga Birding

After breakfast, we’ll do a boat ride on Lake Mburo to find a few more great birds such as the African Fish Eagles and African Finfoot. We’ll also expect to get sights of the Hippopotamus schools. We scan the shoreline and the hanging riverine thickets for Black Crake, White-backed Night-heron, Water Thick-knee Our Weaver list should continue to grow with possible sights of Lesser- masked, Slender- billed, Holub`s.
After the boat cruise, drive as you depart and enjoy scenic views of the hills and landscape along this route. This route rewards you with a chance of sighting the Augur Buzzards. With luck we can also sight the Banded and Black-breasted Snake-eagles. We’ll stop at Papyrus swamps for papyrus canary, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, White-winged and Greater Swamp Warblers before we approach the popular Albertine rift ranges. Arrive and settle in at your lodge for the night.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Bird watching Mgahinga in Uganda

After breakfast, we’ll bird through a variety of montane habitats, in search for the Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeyguide, Kivu Ground Thrush, Stuhlmann’s Regal and the purple-breasted sunbirds, Archer`s Robin Chat, Cinnamon Bracken and Montane Yellow, the Dusky and much Sought after Shelley’s Crimson-wing among many others. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Transfer to Ruhija in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

On this day, we’ll travel to Ruhija, which is a sector in the Impenetrable Forests of Bwindi. The tour continues for more sightings of Albertine rift specials that may include the darling Grauer’s Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Shelley’s and Dusky Crimson-wings, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, White-browed Crombec, White-naped Raven, Purple-breasted sunbird, Sharp’s starling, Mountain masked and Rwenzori Apalises and Many more.
Arrive and settle in at your lodge in time for dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Gorilla Trekking & Birding

On this 20 Days Bird Watching Safari Uganda, we’ll trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to the biggest number of mountain gorillas among all national parks. After briefing at 08:00 am, we’ll head into the depth of the jungle for what is a most unique wilderness experience. The rangers will walk you down the narrow forest paths through thick undergrowth. Once found, the rangers will brief us through the dos and don’ts before making any contact with the mountain gorillas.

We’ll spend up to 1 hour watching the gorillas in their natural habitat. We’ll get in proximity with the gorillas as you quietly observe the gorillas play, eat, forage, groom, sleep and if we are lucky, we’ll get to watch the gorillas mate. This once in a lifetime experience will give us unique insights into the life and social dynamics of the gorilla families. Gorilla watching also gives us a chance to observe the uncanny similarities between gorillas and human beings and gorillas with whom we share 98% DNA. If we are lucky, we will experience the playfully exuberant energy of the juveniles who often skip from branch to branch and play with heightened enthusiasm when in the presence of humans.

After seeing the mountain gorillas, we’ll break for a picnic lunch in the forest before embarking on the hike back to the gorilla lodge.

If time permits, and when done with gorilla trekking, we’ll do a leisure walk to the community secondary forest. Look out for Barred and Olive long-tailed Cuckoos, Grauer’s Warbler, Black-tailed Oriole the very skittish Luhder’s Bush-shrike while they make their way through the vines, gray cuckoo-shrikes, Albertine sooty Boubou, Rwenzori and Black-faced Apalises. We also hope to get better looks at the mountain yellow Warbler Banded Prinia individuals as they skulk in the undergrowth, White-browed Crombec, Brown-capped and endemic strange weaver, Northern puff-back, Mountain Illadopsis, Red-throated Alethe, Doherty’s and Lagden’s Bush-shrikes and many more to richen our list endemics.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp

After the early morning breakfast, we start our hike to the famous Mubwindi swamp in pursuit of some of the toughest endemics of this area. This section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is well known for being Africa’s number one birding spot according to the African Birding Club. As we walk down the slopes of this mountainous terrain and habitat, we hope to see white-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Black-tailed Oriole, Black-throated Apalis, Dusky Tit, Wilcock’s, Least and Dwarf Honeyguide, mountain Buzzard, yellow-streaked Greenbul, Narina Trogon.
Continue to the marsh where we hope to find the uptick birds like Grauer’s Broadbill and Grauer’s Rush warbler, but we will look out for the Brown-Capped Weaver, Black-billed Turaco, Olive, Elliot’s, Cardinal, and Tulberg’s Woodpeckers Northern Black Flycatcher, Blue-headed, Tiny and Purple-breasted sunbirds, Dusky crimson-wing, Mountain Greenbul, Western Citril. Keeping the eyes in the trees, we will also see through the undergrowth for even mythical birds like Grey-chested Illadopsis, Oriole finch, the restless, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Carruther’s Cisticola, Equatorial Akalat, African Hill Babbler, Chestnut-throated Apalis, African Yellow-white-eye, White-eye Slaty-flycatcher, Stuhlmann, Waller’s, slender-billed and Narrow-tailed starlings. The Black-fronted Duiker, which is a small forest dwelling antelope, frequently shows up during this walk.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9 - Birding Buhoma of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

On this day we transfer to Buhoma, another section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Continue to the famous “neck” Where we hope to find the delicate-looking Mountain Wagtail and Cassin’s Flycatcher as they gourd the rocks in the stream. This stretch is at 1500m asl, is an overlapping area for low and high elevation wildlife.
It is here that you start seeing the real beauty of Greenbuls; plain, Little, Gray, Toro Olive, Red-tailed, Ansorge’s, Shelley’s and Honeyguide Greenbul. A couple of sunbirds like Little Green, Green, Olive and Blue-throated Brown, Collared and Northern Double-Collared wonder about here. Other birds speckled Tinkerbird, White-tailed Anti-thrush, Black-faced Rufous warbler, Grey-green and Many-colored Bush-shrikes, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Splendid and Purple Starlings, Bar-tailed Trogon, Buff-throated Apalis, African Black Duck and Little Grebe.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10: Birding Buhoma Main Trail

This morning, we proceed to bird in Buhoma main trail. This forest merges birds of the low and highland elevations. A good day yields a significant number of Guinea-Congo Forest, and Albertine Rift Montane ranges specialties. We will do the first minutes birding the secondary forest to be rewarded with undergrowth dwelling Grey-winged, Red-capped, Blue-shouldered and Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, Grey, Black-throated and Buff-throated Apalis, Grey-headed and white-breasted Nigrita, White-bellied Robin-chat, Red-headed malimbe, Dusky Tit, Red-chested, Klass’s and African Emerald cuckoos, Chubb’s Cisticola. Also, when we go to the primary forest when the light is at its best, we should find African Broadbill, African shrike-flycatcher, Red-tailed Bristlebill, flocks of Red-tailed Greenbul, Neumann’s Warbler and the nearly impossible Kivu Ground-thrush. The mixed flocks should be great for Golden Crowned woodpecker, Jameson’s Ant Pecker, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Petit’s cuckoo-shrike, Black-Bee-eater and recently split Willard’s Sooty Boubou. And many more birds.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & dinner

Day 11: Birding through the Ishasha Sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, we’ll bird through Ishasha which is the southern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park. On sunny days, the sky here is excellent for observing some raptors like Gabar Goshawk, White-headed and Lappet-faced Vulture, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk and Banded Snake-Eagle. This stretch usually offers impressive views of Wing-snapping, Croaking and stout cisticolas, Flocks of White-winged Widowbird, White-headed Barbet, Pin-tailed Whydah, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Greater-painted Snipe, Malagasy Pond-Heron, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, scaly and Red-necked Francolins.
Enjoy a game drive that offers a chance of seeing big game such as the tree climbing lions, elephants, leopards, Buffalos among others.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12- Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Awaken to a hearty breakfast, thereafter, head to the pristine savannah grasslands areas of this park. As you enjoy sightings of these mammals, you will also have a chance of seeing birds like Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Rufous-naped, White-tailed, Red-capped and Flappet Lark, African and Jackson’s Pipit.
More to our bird watching wish list is the Temminck’s courser, Senegal, Black-crowned, and wattled lapwing, Yellow-throated Longclaw, White-backed Vultures, Ruppell’s Griffon and others soaring the sky, Black chinned and Black faced Quail finches, and observe kob lekking ground activity.
After lunch we shall do an afternoon boat ride on the Kazinga Channel.
The boat ride typically targets congregations of birds and big mammals when they come down to cool off during the heat of the day. Look out for fishing African spoonbill, a few African skimmers, Gull- billed and white-winged terns, a few shower birds depending on the season, and these should include Curlew Sandpipers, Common, Marsh and wood sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Ruff, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Three-banded Provers and Common snipe.
Other good birds to expect to see include Four Gulls, Lesser- black-backed, Heuglin’s, Slender-billed and Grey-Hooded Gull, both Great-White and Pink-backed pelicans, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, yellow-billed, Marabou and Woolly-necked storks, our first of the many Red-throated bee-eaters and many more. If we choose to go out for a short evening drive, we will have chances for Square-tailed and Black-shouldered Nightjars.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 13: Transfer to Kibale National Park for Bigodi Wetland Birding

After breakfast, enjoy your drive to Kibale Forest. We’ll keep an eye in the bushes looking for Black-headed Batis and Black-crowned Tchagra. Arrive in time for lunch and thereafter leave for Bigodi sanctuary wetland. Walk through the papyrus looking for White-spotted flufftail, Hairy-breasted, Yellow-spotted and Yellow-billed barbet, Black and white shrike flycatcher, Joyful greenbul, Blue-throated Roller, white-collared Olive-back, superb sunbird and a shining-blue kingfisher. The walk is also famous for primates. We should see Uganda Red-colobus which are threatened in this region for being preyed on by Common Chimpanzee. The Uganda Mangabey, Olive Baboon, Mantled Guereza L’Hoest’s and Blue monkeys are also very likely to show up.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 14: Chimpanzee tracking and Birding

After breakfast, opt to trek in search of chimpanzees as this part of the country offers you 90% chance of seeing these incredible primates. As we walk down the forest paths in search of the chimps, also look out for the Green-breasted Pitta. This pitta is one of the most difficult birds to find! The time we should spend in the forest looking for the Pitta, we will also look for the White-throated greenbul, Crowned Eagle, Thick-billed Honeyguide, Brown-chested and Fire-crested Alethe, Crested-Guineafowl, Western Black-headed Oriole, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-browed camaroptera, Blue Malkoha, Brown-eared woodpecker, Western Nicator, Dusky-long-tailed cuckoo, Bronze-naped pigeon, Yellow-mantled weaver, Lesser Honeyguide, Red-chested owlet and African wood-owl among others.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 15: Transfer to Fort portal

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll slowly transfer to Fort Portal city. Along the road, through the forest is a good spot to see Masked-Apalis, Sooty flycatcher, White-napped and Afep pigeon, Back-crowned waxbill.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16: Transfer to Semuliki Forest

On this day, transfer to Semuliki Forest to collect some of the Guinea-Congo forest biome specialties that have this forest as the most eastern extension. Being the only connection to Ituri forest from DR Congo makes it that spot where over 35 restricted range specialties exist in East Africa. When the recent birds are breeding, it is effortless to spot Black-and southern Red Bishops, Piapiac which is a social crow, Rattling and whistling cisticolas, and Mosque swallow before entering the forest.
Once at the forest, look out for Piping, white-crested, Black-dwarf Hornbill, the canopy dwelling Red-billed dwarf and the gigantic Black-casqued hornbills. Other good birds like Yellow-lored Bristlebill, yellow-throated Nicator, Black-headed and African Paradise flycatchers, Forest Robin, African Piculet, African Dwarf kingfisher and Hartlaub Duck, Xavier’s Greenbul, Red-tailed anti-thrush, Crested Malimbe, Dusky-crested flycatcher, Orange-cheeked waxbill, Black-bellied Seed cracker, Grant’s and Red-headed bluebills, Brown-Illadopsis among others we will be looking for.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 16: Transfer to Masindi

After an early breakfast, embark on a 6-7 hour drive to Masindi. Arrive in time for dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 17: Birding Royal Mile of Budongo forest

Set off early for birding Uganda’s most birdy spots, which is in the country’s most significant forest reserve. This part of the forest awards you with sights of the African and Black-bellied firefinches, Grey-headed Olive back, Compact weaver, Wahlberg’s Eagle and White-thighed Hornbill, making them our last species of hornbill.
More to the above is the African Dwarf, Chocolate-baked in the forest canopy and shining-blue kingfishers, Chestnut-capped flycatcher, Rufous-Crowned Eremomela, Ituri Batis, Forest flycatcher, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Nahan’s Francolin, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Spotted greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Lemon-bellied Crombec.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 18: Morning delta cruise + Game drive

After an early breakfast, enjoy an exclusive morning boat cruise to the delta. Look out for goliath heron, shoebill, African fish eagle, open billed stork among others. Afterwards, start a mid morning game drive in search of leopards, lions, buffalos and giraffes. This drive will reward you with barbets, widow birds, tinker birds, bishops and many raptors.

Break for lunch and thereafter start an enroute birding via the top of Falls, the worlds’ most powerful falls. Enjoy spectacular views from different angles.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 19: Kaniyo Pabidi & Transfer to Entebbe

After breakfast,embark on birding in the forest. Look out for Puvell’s illadopsis, nahan’s Francolin, Black billed turaco, crested guinea fowl, white tilled and red tiled anti thrush.
Start your journey to Entebbe but with stops along the way as you enroute bird. Arrive and check into your hotel and have dinner thereafter.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 20: Departure

Depending on the flight time, you can spend the day having a leisurely walk around the city of Entebbe as you look out for the birds here. Your guide will then transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Get in Touch

What To Carry

  • Passport copy
  • Face masks
  • personal sanitizer
  • personal medication
  • hiking/trekking boots
  • warm gloves
  • Both short/long sleeved shirts
  • raincoat
  • Both short/trousers
  • swimming costume
  • small torch
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • a good camera
  • refilling water bottle
  • extra cash in local currency and a pair of keen eyes!
What to Carry image on savannah safaris

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