Birding in Uganda

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8 Days Birding in Uganda

The 8 Days Birding in Uganda introduces Uganda as one of the richest African Birding Destinations with over 1090 bird species. 50% of all Africa’s bird species are found in Uganda, therefore, making Uganda a birding paradise. Uganda has 25 Albertine Endemics with only 1 Endemic Bird Species Fox’s Weaver.

The 23 Albertine Endemic birds are 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, 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.

  • Birding in Mabamba Swamp and Botanical Gardens,
  • Birding in Bigodi Swamp, Kibale Forest, 
  • Birding along the Kazinga Channel Cruise in Queen Elizabeth NP
  • Birding during a Game safari in Queen Elizabeth NP 
  • Kichwamba Orphanage Foundation for a coffee processing experience
  • Birding along Bwindi Forest Trail

Safari Overview of the 8 Days Birding in Uganda

Day     Activity Accommodation  Meal Plan
1 Arrival – Entebbe  Papyrus Guest House Bed only
2 Mabamba Swamp & Botanical Gardens Papyrus Guest House B,L,D
3 Kampala – Queen Elizabeth NP Bush Lodge B,L,D
4 Game drive and Kazinga Channel Cruise Bush Lodge B,L,D
5 Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi Forest NP Mwebesa House /Ride 4 a Woman B, L, D
6 Birding Mubwindi Swamp 4km Mwebesa House /Ride 4 a Woman B, L, D
7 Bwindi Forest – Entebbe Papyrus Guest House B, L, D
8 Departure  City tour Fly out Breakfast

Tour Itinerary of the 8 days Birding in Uganda

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL –ENTEBBE    15mins

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

DAY 2:  MABAMBA SWAMP & BOTANICAL GARDENS

Early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork. Look for the rare Shoebill Stork in the marsh, Swamp Flycatcher, African Purple Swamphen, African Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling-duck, Squacco, Rufous-bellied, and Purple Heron.

Other bird species include Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Winding Cisticola, Goliath Heron, Black Crake, African Marsh Harrier, Hammerkop, Malachite, Pied Kingfishers, Common Waxbill, Yellow-billed Duck, Blue-headed Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Intermediate Egret, Osprey, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, and Red-billed Fire-finch.

You will have lunch and thereafter head to the Botanical gardens, look out for the Grey Kestrel, Golden –backed weaver, Slender-billed, and forest birds including the splendid Ross, the Great blue Turaco, palm Nut vulture, African Grey parrot, and  Whilst bat Hawk.

Accommodation and meals at Papyrus Guest House

DAY 3: KAMPALA – QUEEN ELIZABETH NP         7 hours

After breakfast, head to Queen Elizabeth National Park with a stopover at the Uganda Equator for a water flow demonstration of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Proceed for Lunch in Mbarara Town thereafter head to the park arriving in the evening for relaxation. Dinner and Overnight at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge 

Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen’s great variety of habitats means it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of DR Congo allows visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.

DAY 4:   GAME DRIVE &  CRUISE AT KAZINGA CHANNEL

Arise early and set out for an early morning game drive and head to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs. You will search for lions, elephants, buffaloes, and other wild animals in their natural habitat before returning to the camp. Look out for some bird species such as African Wattled Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser, Martial Eagle, African Crake, Flappet Lark, and Moustached Grass Warbler among others.

After lunch, you will take on a scenic boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. The channel is a birders’ haven with up to 60 different bird species, on average to be sighted.

Look out for the African Skimmer, Gull-billed Tern, Gray-headed, and Lesser Black-backed Gulls among others.  On the cruise, you will have sightings of  Hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, wallowing Buffaloes on the reedy banks, and Elephants.  Later head back to the lodge for relaxation.

After the boat cruise, head out to the Kichwamba Orphanage Foundation.  Have a coffee tour experience learning about the processing of coffee and later a cultural dance session.

Accommodation and meals at Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge 

DAY 5: QUEEN ELIZABETH –  BWINDI PARK  6 hrs

After a relaxed breakfast, you will be departing for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorillas arriving in time for late lunch and relaxation.

Accommodation and meals at the Mwebesa Guest House / Ride for a woman

Bwindi offers some of the finest montane forest bird watching in Africa and is an unmissable destination for any birder visiting Uganda. There are an estimated 350 bird species with 23 endemics to the Albertine Rift and 14 recorded nowhere else in Uganda. Globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing are also found here. Other birds include the Handsome Francolin; Black-billed Turaco; African Broadbill; Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters; Western Green Tinkerbird; Purple-breasted, Blue-headed, and 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.

DAY  6: BIRDING EXCURSION / OPTIONAL GORILLA TRACKING

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.

Arise early today and prepare for the highlight of your safari, an unforgettable encounter with the Gentle Giants!  Following breakfast, transfer to the national park offices where you will be allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 as well as a gorilla tracking guide.

After a pre-tracking briefing by your guide touching on the gorillas generally, your assigned gorilla family as well as appropriate safety precautions, you drive to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling adventure.

Expect to walk between 2 and 8 hours in steep and slippery conditions at times with rain overhead, which can be quite a challenge so you require to be reasonably fit.

Upon sighting the gorillas, you spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; feeding, moving around playing, and grooming– it is a totally unique and unforgettable experience! Thereafter head back to the lodge for relaxation.

Accommodation and meals at the Mwebesa Guest House / Ride for a woman

DAY 7: BWINDI NATIONAL PARK -ENTEBBE  10 hours

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

Day 8:  DEPARTURE

Enriched with an experience of a lifetime and unforgettable memories you will say goodbye to the Pearl of Africa. Depending on your flight schedule you can join our guide on a city tour and thereafter you will be transferred to Entebbe Airport for your international flight.

Included in the 8 days Birding 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 Safari

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

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