This birding safari in Uganda will take you in search of the Albertine Rift endemics. We shall visit major birding sites in Uganda for the Albertine Rift endemics. Search for the shoebill at Mabamba Swamp; continue on to Lake Mburo national park for the savannah bird species. Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Queen Elizabeth, and Kibale forest will serve us with plenty of these species.
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
On arrival at Entebbe international airport you will be received by our representative and transferred to your to your hotel in Entebbe.
Day 2: Mabamba Swamp (best chances of sighting the shoebill)
After early breakfast, drive to Mabamba Swamp located on the fringes of Lake Victoria. In Mabamba swamp, take a hand paddled canoe in search for the incredible shoebill and other variety of water birds and Lake Victoria specials: – Swamp Flycatcher, herons, egrets, ducks, plovers, gulls, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, papyrus gonolek, papyrus yellow warbler, white winged warbler, Blue swallows. Transfer to Lake Mburo Park reaching in time for an evening game drive as you enter the park.
Day 3: Birding Lake Mburo to Ruhija in Bwindi Impenetrable national Park
Leave for early morning birding & game viewing before breakfast for an opportunity to see early risers around camp surroundings and Lake Mburo swamp areas, return and catch up with your breakfast. Take a boat ride in search for white backed heron & African fin foot and then transfer to Ruhija.
Lake Mburo species: Red faced barbet, green backed woodpecker, Tabora cisticola, cuckoos, grey-capped warbler, and black-headed weaver, brown-chested lapwing, rufous-napped lark, black-bellied bustard, lilac-breasted roller, helmeted guineafowl, Coqui francolin and many more.
Day 4: Bird watching in Mubwindi Swamp trail – Birding Uganda Safari
After breakfast with your picnic lunch take a trail to Mubwindi swamp that promises some of the most difficult to find of all Albertine rift endemics:- Grauer’s Rush warbler, African broadbill & Caruther’s cisticola. More species – Handsome francolin, African Hill babbler, Banded Prinia, Shelley’s crimsonwing, Collared Apalis, Regal sun bird and many more.
Day 5: Transfer to Buhoma Birding along the ‘Neck’
Drive to “the neck”, forest stretch linking Buhoma to Ruhija. The “Neck” is an important habitat and offers high chance to see the Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Black Bee-eaters, Bronze-napped Pigeon, Cassin’s grey flycatcher, pink footed puffback, Mountain wagtail, and a variety of Albertine rift endemics.
Day 6: Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Gorilla Trekking optional
The park supports 24 of 26 Albertine Rift Endemics that occur in Uganda. There are many birds in this area, we will be on the lookout for key endemics such as Red-throated Alethe, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Masked Apalis, Neumann’s Warbler and Ruwenzori Batis. Other non-endemic specials include Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Dusky Tit, Black Bee-eater, White-bellied Robin-chat, Waller’s and Narrow-tailed Starlings in the dead tree snags, the Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-necked Weaver, Lühder’s Bush-shrike among others.
Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth Park – Birding in Uganda Safari
Drive to Queen Elizabeth National park birding en route, via Ishasha sector of the park for a game drive in search for tree climbing Lions and birding for a variety of savanna birds. Afternoon boat rides on Kazinga Channel for more birding opportunities.
Day 8: Game Drive and Birding in Uganda Safari
We start the day exploring the Kasenyi Track and the Kob mating grounds in Queen Elizabeth famous for big game like Elephants, Lions, and herds of Buffaloes. It is also famous for its water bird concentrations waders, herons, storks, plover, Water Thick-knee, kingfishers, terns, ducks and geese, cormorants, ibises and pelicans. The Kasenyi track supports many raptors, Brown Snake Eagle, Bateleur and Martial Eagles. Transfer to Kibale and bird Bigodi sanctuary in search for Papyrus endemics and eight types of monkeys
Day 9: Chimp Tracking & Forest Birding in Kibale Forest National Park
Our day starts with a hearty breakfast and there after drive to the tourist center where you will meet site guides. This diverse forest is one of its kind in Africa, It is a home to 13 species of primates including, the habituated chimpanzees, red colubus monkey, Red tailed monkey ,white and black colubus, grey mangabey, L’Hoest monkey, and Baboons. This forest also offers an excellent opportunity to birdwatcher with 355species and butterfly lovers. Terrestrial animals that exist are the elusive forest Elephant (smaller& hairy) than its savanna counterpart,
Gaint forest hog and buffaloes. We will bird the Forest in search of the green-breasted Pitta, Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Many-coloured Bush shrike and many others.
Day 10: Transfer to Budongo forest
We take a long drive to Budongo, arriving late afternoon. If time allows, we may bird along the way at Busingiro section of Budongo Forest.
Day 11: Budongo Forest (Royal mile) and transfer to Murchison Falls NP
Early morning start to Budongo’s Royal Mile – historically a leisure spot for the Bunyoro King. The species we look out include the elusive Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher. We will also search for Chocolate-backed and African Dwarf Kingfishers. Fruiting trees attract White-thighed and Black-and-White Hornbills, Western Black-headed Oriole and Purple-headed Glossy Starling. Greenbuls and this is one of the only sites holding Spotted Xavier’s, White-throated and Honey guide. More on the list include Brown-crowned Eremomela and the elusive Lemon-bellied Crombec and Yellow-mantled Weaver, Rufous Thrush, Green Hylia, Grey Longbill and Uganda Woodland Warbler.
Day 12: Game drive & Boat Cruise
We depart early morning for a game drive to the Delta in search for Shoebill stork and other water birds. Animals you are likely to see here are Lions, Leopards, Giraffes, Oribis, Hartebeests, Elephants, to mention but a few. Afternoon boat ride to the bottom of the falls— the Nile River is forced into a gap only 7 meters wide – the immense force of the water and the views of the falls are inspiring. The boat safari offers you opportunities to view a variety of water birds, schools of Hippos and Crocodiles. Water Thick-knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver. Other specials include Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Red-throated Bee-eater, Silver Bird, Beautiful Sunbird, Speckle-fronted and Golden-backed Weavers, White-rumped Seedeater, Pel's Fishing Owl, White Crested Turaco and others.
Day 13: Birding Budongo Forest and transfer to Track Rhinos (optional)
Early morning drive to Budongo forest – Kaniyo Pabidi birding in search for Puvel’s Illadopsis; there is chance to see the Rufous sided broadbill and a variety of forest birds. Transfer to Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for the Rhinos and later transfer to Kampala
Day 14: Shopping / Departure
If your departure is in the evening then use the morning for souvenir shopping, otherwise transfer to Entebbe for your early morning flight and End of Uganda Holiday.