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Great Birding adventure in Uganda - 10 Days

Highlights

  • Day 1: Arrival
  • Day 2: Birding in Mabira forest
  • Day 3: Travel to Mabamba bay wetland to search for the shoebill stork
  • Day 4: Transfer to Lake Mburo National cruise and a Launch cruise
  • Day 5: Early morning birding and travel to Queen Elizabeth national park
  • Day 6: Morning birding and Kazinga channel boat ride
  • Day 7: Transfer to Semliki national park and do afternoon birding
  • Day 8: Morning birding and depart to Kibale national park
  • Day 9: Bird the forest and Bigodi wetland in the afternoon
  • Day 10: Departure

Overview

The 10 daysafari in Uganda is one of the best tours you will ever have throughout your life time. The trip exposes you to a variety of bird species ranging from the endemic, rare and popular birds. First the safari takes you to Mabamba bay wetland, an important birding area in Uganda where the rare shoebill stock is mostly spotted by all birders.

Then you proceed to Lake Mburo national park, also a prime birding destination in Uganda to feel the whispers of the little birds.

The trip further takes you to Queen Elizabeth national park to bird along the famous Kazinga channel, then to Semliki national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to spot species only endemic to these parks.

Day 1
Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival, be received by our driver guide at the airport and transfer directly to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda for relaxation, dinner and a night stay at the hotel in preparation for the next big birding day.

Accommodation

Serena Lake Victoria Resort

Cassia Lodge

Common Lens hotel

Day 2
Day 2: Birding in Mabira Forest

After breakfast, start on the short journey to Mabira forest located along Kampala-Jinja highway for a great introduction to Uganda’s long forest bird list. It’s a good starting site for birding adventures around Uganda. Mabira forest harbors over 315 bird species including even the rare ones. Birding here is mainly done at Najjembe village with active sights and sounds of birds in the surrounding trees.

Be sure of spotting the Reed cormorant, Black headed heron, Marabou stork, Hadada ibis, Yellow-billed kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Hooded vulture, European Honey-Buzzard, African Harrier-Hawk, Ayres’s Hawk Eagle and many others. Later in the early evening, then travel back to Kampala.

Accommodation

Serena Lake Victoria Resort

Cassia Lodge

Common Lens hotel

Day 3
Day 3: Travel to Mabamba bay wetland

In the morning after breakfast, travel to Mabamba bay wetland an important birding area in Uganda. It will be an all-day birding experience that will mainly focus on one of the threatened species in Uganda; the Shoebill Stork. This is one place that birders are always sure of spotting the shoebill stock.

Other birds to spot in the swamp are the Rufous Bellied Heron, Reed Warbler(s), Pygmy and Spur Winged Goose, Lesser Jacana and the African, African Marsh Harrier and many others. In the evening, return to your hotel for dinner and relaxation.

Accommodation

Serena Lake Victoria Resort

Cassia Lodge

Common Lens hotel

Day 4
Day 4: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

Embark on the journey to Lake Mburo national park, a birders’ haven in Uganda to feel the whispers of the little birds. It has varsity of rolling hills, woodlands, forests, seasonal and permanent swamps, lakes and Savannah vegetation all creating awesome dwellings for over 350 migratory and residential birds.

On reaching the park, have lunch and then embark on the boat for a cruise on Lake Mburo to also sight the sea birds that dwell here like the brown chested wattled plover, African fin foot, Grey crowned crane, black-bellied bustard and many others.

Accommodation

Mihingo Lodge

Arcadia cottages

Eagle’s Nest

Day 5
Day 5: Early morning Nature Walk and travel to Queen Elizabeth national park.

Having had breakfast, walk through the forest spotting different bird species up to the edge of the forest which is the major birding area in this park. Watch as you listen to the sweet melodies of the red papyrus gonolek, black papyrus gonolek, and yellow papyrus gonolek found in the papyrus swamp areas, Abyssinian ground hornbill, African fishing eagle, saddle billed stork, white winged warbler, papyrus yellow warbler plus many others.

Immediately after lunch, start on the journey to Queen Elizabeth national park, the most visited park in Uganda because of its diverse wildlife. On the way, have beautiful views of the Kigezi highlands, spot the Ankole long horned cattle grazing in large savanna fields and also the Ankole people, some from the garden or markets carrying huge bunches of yields on their heads, an image portraying a typical Ugandan.

Accommodation

Mweya safari Lodge

Ihamba safari Lodge

Pumba safari cottages

Day 6
Day 6: Morning game drive and Kazinga channel boat ride

Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the important birding areas in Uganda with over 600 bird species making it the national park with the highest bird diversity in East Africa. Early morning, have a game drive through the park to Spot both the Eastern and the central species, the woodland, forest and water birds ranging from Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pinkbacked Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill to Bar-tailed Godwit and many others.

In the afternoon, bird the major birding spot in the park, Kazinga channel on a boat ride along the Mweya peninsula joining Lake George and Lake Edward. As the boat meanders towards Lake Edward, see the numerous bird species including Common Squacco Heron, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Godwit, and a Water Thick-knee, lone African Spoonbill among others, some feeding on the shore, others flying over the channel and others in the trees along the shores.

Accommodation

Mweya Safari Lodge

Ihamba Safari Lodge

Pumba Safari Cottages

Day 7
Day 7: Transfer to Semliki national park and do afternoon birding

Have breakfast and travel to Semliki national park, the prime destination for birding in Uganda. It is one of the richest area for forest birds in Africa.

On arrival, have lunch and enter the jungle to spot the central African species that cannot be seen anywhere else in East Africa, these include the Congo Serpent eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Nkulengu rail, black-wattled horn bill, and Lyre-tailed honey guide plus many others.

Accommodation

Semuliki safari lodge

Ntoroko game Lodge

Kirimia Guest house

Day 8
Day 8: Morning birding and depart to Kibale National Park

In the morning, have breakfast and go for the early morning birding that is mainly done at the forest edge along the Bundibugyo road to easily spot the various bird species. Spend a considerable amount of time here, the experience is unregrettable. Each extra minute stood here exposes a birder to an extra bird species. See the Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Black-casqued WattledHorbill, Red-rumpedTinkerbird, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-throated Nicator, Leaf-love, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe and many others.

In the afternoon, having had lunch, then transfer to Kibale national park, the primate capital of the chimpanzees. A forest that also homes several bird forest bird species. The journey gives you clear views of the Rwenzori Mountain and beautiful sceneries of the green landscape.

Accommodation

Primate Lodge

Kibale Forest camp

Rwenzori view guest house

Day 9
Day 9: Birding in Kibale Forest and Bigodi wetland in the afternoon

In the morning, head to the park headquarters for a simple briefing from the local guide and then enter into the forest to hunt for the birds. Kibale forest is a birder’s paradise and early morning birding exposes bird watchers to almost 70% of the 370 bird species that call this forest a home. For the lucky birders, they spot the four bird species that have not been recorded in any other national park of uganda; Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis. Other bird species to note include the Abyssinian ground thrush, Afep pigeon, African pitta, Black bee-eater, Black-capped apalis, Black-eared ground thrush, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Blue-headed bee-eater, Blue-headed sunbird, Brown illadopsis, Brown-chested alethe, Cassin’s spinetail, Crowned eagle, Dusky crimsonwing and many more.

In the afternoon after lunch, also bird Bigodi wetland to spot the water birds that dwell in this wetland.

Accommodation

Primate Lodge

Kibale Forest camp

Rwenzori view guest house

Day 10
Day 10: Travel back to Kampala

Early morning, after breakfast, checkout of the hotel and travel back to Kampala or directly to the airport in Entebbe. This five to six hour journey gives a chance to spot the tea plantations and other beautiful features along the way. That would be the end of the 10 birding days in Uganda, a safari that is to turn you into a story teller.

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