8 days Birding in Uganda Safari

8 Days Birding in Uganda Safari

The 8 days Birding in Uganda Safari introduces the country as a premier African destination for birdwatching, boasting an impressive array of over 1090 bird species. With 50% of Africa’s avian diversity within its borders, Uganda truly stands out as a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

Among its notable features are the 25 Albertine Endemics, a unique group of birds found exclusively in this region, with Fox’s Weaver being the sole endemic species.

Within this category, birdwatchers can spot a diverse range of species including Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis.

Other bird species include Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, and Shelley’s Crimsonwing.

Safari Highlights of the 8 Days Birding in Uganda Safari.

  • Birding in Mabamba Swamp and Botanical Gardens,
  • Birding along the Kazinga Channel Cruise in Queen Elizabeth NP
  • Birding during a Game safari in Queen Elizabeth NP 
  • Birding along Mubwindi Swamp Trail

Tour Itinerary of the 8 days Birding in Uganda Safari

Day 1:  Arrival in Entebbe

Welcome to the Pearl of Africa! Arrival at Entebbe Airport where you will be welcomed by a company representative and transferred to your hotel in Kampala. Overnight at Papyrus Guest House on the start of your 8 days Birding in Uganda Safari.

Day 2:  Mabamba Swamp & Botanical Gardens

Begin your journey with an early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, located 50 km west of Kampala. This area is renowned for its abundance of bird species, particularly the rare Shoebill Stork.

Explore the marsh for sightings of not only the Shoebill Stork but also other bird species such as the Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamphen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling-duck, Squacco Heron, Rufous-bellied Heron, and Purple Heron.

Additionally, you might spot a variety of other bird species including the Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, Black Crake, African Marsh Harrier, Hammerkop, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Common Waxbill, Yellow-billed Duck, Blue-headed Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Intermediate Egret, Osprey, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, and Red-billed Firefinch.

After lunch, proceed to the Botanical Gardens where you can keep an eye out for the Grey Kestrel, Golden-backed Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, and various forest birds including the resplendent Ross’s Turaco, the majestic Great Blue Turaco, Palm-nut Vulture, African Grey Parrot, and even the elusive Bat Hawk.

Your accommodation and meals will be provided at the Papyrus Guest House.

Birding Safaris in East Africa

Day 3: Kampala – Queen Elizabeth NP

Following breakfast, embark on a journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park, making a brief stop at the Uganda Equator for a demonstration of water flow illustrating the division between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Afterward, continue to Mbarara Town for lunch before proceeding to the park. Upon arrival in the evening, take time to unwind and relax. Enjoy dinner and spend the night at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge.

Renowned as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen Elizabeth boasts an impressive array of habitats, providing a haven for over 600 bird species. This diversity is unparalleled among East African national parks, especially considering the park’s relatively compact size.

The convergence of savanna and forest landscapes, coupled with its connection to the vast forests of the DR Congo, offers visitors the opportunity to observe avian species from both East and Central Africa.

Day 4:   Game Drive and Boat Cruise

Wake up early and embark on a dawn safari, venturing towards the Uganda Kobs’ mating grounds. As the sun rises, explore the wilderness in search of majestic creatures like lions, elephants, and buffaloes thriving in their natural habitat.

Look out for a myriad of avian species, including the African Wattled Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser, Martial Eagle, African Crake, Flappet Lark, and the elusive Moustached Grass Warbler.

After lunch, indulge in a leisurely yet captivating boat cruise along the picturesque Kazinga Channel. Delight in the symphony of bird calls echoing through the air as you spot an array of avifauna, such as the African Skimmer, Gull-billed Tern, Gray-headed, and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Along the banks, observe the graceful presence of hippos, Nile crocodiles, and buffaloes basking in the sun, with occasional glimpses of elephants adding to the spectacle.

Accommodation and meals at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge

Uganda wildlife safaris

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth Park  –  Bwindi National Park

Following a leisurely breakfast, you’ll set off for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the habitat of endangered mountain gorillas. You’ll arrive in time for a late lunch and some relaxation at your accommodation, the Haven Lodge

Bwindi is renowned for its exceptional montane forest bird watching, making it a must-visit for birders’ in Uganda. The park boasts around 350 bird species, including 23 endemics to the Albertine Rift and 14 exclusive to Uganda.

Among these are globally threatened species like the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimsonwing. Additionally, you can spot a variety of other birds such as the Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turaco, African Broadbill, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Western Green Tinkerbird, Purple-breasted, and Blue-headed.

Other bird species include Regal Sunbirds, Short-tailed and Black-faced Rufous Warblers, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, and Many-colored Bush-Shrike, among others.

birding watching in uganda

Day  6: Birding Excursion  / Optional Gorilla Trekking

After breakfast, head out for a birding session along the 4km Mubwindi Swamp. This is the best place for some of the Albertine rift endemics including Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill, the beautiful Regal Sunbird, the Great Blue Turaco, and the skulking Doherty’s Bushshrike.

Along the forest roadsides and trails, we expect to find endemics such as Ruwenzori (Collared) Apalis, skulking Red-crested Alethe, and Archer’s Robin-Chat,  White-headed Woodhoopoes.

Some common bird species in Bwindi include Purple-breasted, Blue-headed, and Regal Sunbirds, Sooty Boubou, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Red-faced Woodland, Neumann’s, and Grauer’s Warblers, Black-faced Apalis, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher,  Stripe-breasted Tit, Dusky Crimson-wing, and Strange Weaver. Rare gems we’ll hope to see include Kivu Ground-Thrush, White-bellied Robin-Chat, and Dusky Twinspot.

Many primates roam the canopy including chimpanzees, Guereza Colobus, and Blue and L’Hoests Monkeys.

Optional Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park.

Get an early start today and gear up for the pinnacle of your safari: an unparalleled encounter with the Gentle Giants! After breakfast, make your way to the national park offices, where you’ll be grouped into teams of 8 and assigned a gorilla family, along with a seasoned gorilla tracking guide.

The Gorilla Experience

Following a briefing from your guide covering general gorilla information, details about your assigned gorilla family, and safety protocols, embark on an exhilarating journey. You’ll drive to the trailhead, ready to begin your adventure.

Be prepared for a trek lasting anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, navigating through steep and slippery terrain, often under the canopy of rain. This demanding terrain requires a reasonable level of fitness.

Once you catch sight of the gorillas, you’ll spend a precious hour observing them in their natural habitat: feeding, moving about, playing, and grooming. It’s an utterly unique and unforgettable experience!

Afterward, return to the lodge to unwind and reflect on the day’s extraordinary encounters.

Accommodation and meals at the Haven Lodge

Day 7: Bwindi Forest – Kampala

After breakfast, we depart the impenetrable forest of Bwindi and head back to Kampala. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then proceed back to Kampala arriving in the evening. Dinner and Overnight at Papyrus Guest House. Alternatively, you may decide to depart through Rwanda – Kigali or continue a birding expedition in Rwanda. 

Day 8:  Departure

Soaked with a wealth of experiences and creating unforgettable memories, it’s time to bid farewell to the captivating Pearl of Africa.

Depending on your flight arrangements, you have the option to partake in a city tour with our guide before heading to Entebbe Airport for your international departure.

Included in the 8 days Birding in Uganda Safari

Ground transportation in a safari customized 4WD Toyota Landcruiser with gasoline/fuel, Mineral water in the vehicle, services of an English-speaking Driver/guide, All birding activities Nature walks, Boat cruises, Game drives, Accommodation,  Meals as shown (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner), all Park Entrance Fees, Boat rides where applicable, Statutory Taxes where applicable   

Excluded in the 8 days Birding in Uganda Safari

International Airfares; Excess baggage charges; Ugandan Entry Visa Fees USD 50 per person;  Room service, Alcoholic drinks, and Beverages, Laundry, etc.; Tips and Gratuities for your Driver/guide and hotel staff, International Airport Departure Taxes, Optional activities unless specified as included, Any other services not expressly shown in the itinerary or indicated as included.  

Ready to start planning your Birding in Uganda tour today? Lets start with an Enquiry.

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