14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari: provides an exceptional and varied experience for bird lovers, owing to the nation's abundant

14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari

May 28, 2024
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14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari: provides an exceptional and varied experience for bird lovers, owing to the nation’s abundant birdlife diversity and a wide range of habitats housing various bird species.  Moving northwest lies the mighty Murchison Falls National Park, one of the most visited parks with the highest population densities of animal and birdlife species. In the northern part of the country, the Kidepo Valley National Park, stands as a premier birding destination in Uganda. The region is renowned for its semi-arid weather and savannah landscapes, which serve as a haven for a diverse range of bird species, such as Africa’s largest bird, the ostrich, and the rare Karamoja Apalis.

Mount Elgon National Park and the Sipi Falls area are two of the most important birding locations in the eastern region. The Baglafecht Weaver, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Goshawk, and endangered Fox’s Weaver, which are native to Uganda, are among the birds that can be seen at these sites. Additionally, the northern Ugandan park known as Murchison Falls National Park is a birder’s dream, home to a wide diversity of avian species and a popular birding destination in Uganda.

More than a thousand different bird species can be seen when birdwatching in these areas. Uganda’s position as a transitional region between the semi-arid north, the West African rain forest, and the East African savanna is thought to be the reason for this diversity. Anticipate seeing the endangered Shoebill Stork and the endemic Fox’s Weaver in Uganda, among other specials. Visitors can help ensure that these amazing species are preserved for future generations by taking part in birding excursions. Eastern and Northern Uganda are an incredible place for birdwatchers, giving a remarkable experience to both novice and expert observers alike, thanks to their diverse range of bird species and breathtaking natural scenery.

Day1: Arrival for the 14 days Eastern and Northern Uganda Birding Safari—Birding Botanical Gardens

Early arrivals can get used to birdwatching in Uganda at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. This is one of Uganda’s top birding locations. Along with a variety of sunbirds, they can expect to witness the virtually endemic Orange Weaver, Yellow-billed Duck, Village, Northern-brown Throated, Black-necked, Slender-billed, Grosbeak, Golden Backed and Black-headed Weaver, as well as The seasonal Eurasian, the seasonal and migrating White-throated and Blue-checked Bee-eater, Yellow-billed Duck, Wood, Common and Green Sandpiper, Black Crake, African Open-billed Stork, Black-and-white Casqued, African Pied and Crowned Hornbill, African Emerald, Africa and Red-billed Firefinch, Little Stint, Green-throated, Marico, Red-chested, Collared, Scarlet-chested, Bronze, Olive and Olive-bellied Sunbird, Pink-backed Pelican, Vieillot’s Black, African Jacana, Yellow-billed and, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Red-chested Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoo, African Pygmy, Malachite, Pied, Woodland, Giant Kingfishers.

Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Early in the morning after your breakfast drive North West of Uganda to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary along Gulu-Kampala Highway in Nakasongola District. En route keep an eye out for bird species like the Nubian Woodpecker, Common and Fawny-breasted Waxbill, African Hawk Eagle, African Blue Flycatcher, Bronze Manikin, Speckled Mousebird, Lesser-blue Eared Starling, Great Blue Turaco among others. The sanctuary is not only Rhino oriented but also a home to a diverse population of bird species over 300 species not forgetting the highly threatened Shoebill Stork along Lugogo Swamp.

Explore the sanctuary and Indulge yourself in the peaceful surroundings as you taste the whrling sounds of nature, and keep at eye out for bird species like African Black Crake, African Marsh  Harrier, Broad-billed Roller,  Rufous-naped Lark, African Jacana, Crowned and African-grey Hornbills, Black-winged Stilt, African Black-headed Oriole, Pygmy, Striped, Grey-headed,  and woodland Kingfishers, Bronze Manikin, Red-cheecked Cordon-bleu,  Palm-nut Vulture, Black-headed Gonolek, Blue-naped and Speckled Mousebird, Violet-backed Starling, White Egret,  White-crested Turaco, Banded Snake Eagle, Black-winged Red Bishop African and many others. After, transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. En route keep an eye out for the African Fish Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Giant Kingfisher, Bat Hawk, Black Cuckoo, Bateleur, Black-headed Gonolek, Blue-naped Mouse Bird, Black-winged Stilt, Greater Blue-eared Starling and Blue Spotted Dove, among others. Have dinner and overnight at Masindi Hotel.

Day 3: Birding the Royal Mile on the 14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari

Take your break fast early in the morning and begin our birding safari at dawn in Busingiro and the Royal Mile. This popular leisure park was for the Omukama Kabalega the traditional ruler of Bunyoro Kitara Empire hence the name Royal Mile. These two sections offer unique forest bird species such as the  Forest and Chestnut Capped Flycatcher, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, African Dwarf, Chocolate-backed, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Yellow Crested and Brown-eared Woodpecker, Chestnut-crowned Eremomera, Western Black-headed Oriole, Yellow and Grey Longbill, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Crowned Eagle, Spotted, Plain, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Crested Malimbe and Red-headed Bluebill, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Olive-bellied Crombec, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Green Sunbird, White-Breasted Negrita, Dusky Long-tailed and African Emerald Cuckoo, Forest Robin, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Tit Hylia, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Green Crombec, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, White-throated, , Slender-billed, Spotted, Xavier’s Citrine and Toro Olive Greenbul, Little Green Sunbird. After return to Masindi Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Birding Kaniyo Pabidi and Northern Murchison Falls National Park

You will start your early birding safari via Busingiro to the escarpment to Kaniyo Pabid area of Budongo Forest after an early breakfast in search of the endemic Puvel’s Illadopsis. This area is among Uganda’s top places to go birdwatching. The following bird species can be seen in this area: Foxy Cisticola, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Green Hylia, Collared, Superb, and Green Sunbird, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Northern Crombec, Red-winged Pytilia, Singing Cisticola, Sabine’s and Cassin’s Spinetail, Lesser-masked Weaver, Chestnut-wattle-eye, Grey-headed Oliveback, Black-bellied Firefinch, Buff-throated Apalis, Black-bellied Firefinch, Green Sunbird, and Sooty Flycatcher.

We traverse to the park’s northern sector in the afternoon for a game and birdwatching drive-in search for a variety of woodland and savannah species, including the Martial Eagle, Senegal Thick-knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Dark Chanting Goshawk, and Abyssinian Ground Hornbill. Be eager to see wildlife such as Buffaloes, Lions, leopards, Hippos, Giraffes, Waterbucks, Warthogs, Jackals and Kobs among others. We register at. A night drive is planned later in order to look for animals and nocturnal nightjars. Spend the evening and night at Pakuba Safari Lodge.

Day 5: Birding along the boat in Murchison Falls National Park

Our 14 days Up country Uganda birding Safari starts at dawn with a leisurely breakfast in Murchison Falls National Park, set off to the boat ride down the Victoria Nile to the Albert Delta. Later in the afternoon, you go on a launch excursion to the base of the falls. Along the boat expect to see bird species like the Blue-breasted Bee-eater, the threatened Shoebill Stork, Vinaceous Dove, Giant Kingfisher, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Buff-bellied warbler, African Darter, Goliath Heron, Sacred Ibis, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller, Pied Kingfishers, Ground Hornbill, Senegal and Water Thick-knees, Black-headed Gonolek, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Saddle-billed Stork, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, and Grosbeak Weaver, Red-throated Bee-eater, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Silver Bird, Beautiful Sunbird, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver, White-rumped Seedeater, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Marabou Stork, Rock Pratincole, and others. As they descend the river to cool off and quench their thirst from the intense heat, you may be able to spot other animal species like crocodiles, buffaloes, hippos, and other water birds. After return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Transfer to Kitgum and birding en route

After your early morning breakfast, we head Northeast through Karuma and Gulu to reach Kitgum, we start birdwatching. On the way to Kidepo Valley National Park, expect to have some birding stops in order to reduce on the journey since there is a long stretch to reach Kidepo Valley National Park. Our senior birding guide will take you to some secret locations along the way for some birdwatching as you keep an eye out for a variety of bird species, including the Yellow-bellied Eramomela, Wood Warbler, Northern Brownbul, Martial Eagle, Pied Wheatear, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Black-headed Lapwing, Nightingale, Yellow-bellied Eramomela, Red-necked Falcon, Familiar Chat. We will also stop for lunch along the way. Later in the evening, we shall check into hotel for dinner and stay overnight in Kitgum Town.

Day 7: Birding to Kidepo Valley National Park on the 14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari

Earlyird in the morning, after breakfast, we shall extend further northeast to get to Uganda’s most magnificent national park. Naturalists find it challenging to see everything in a single visit to any natural enclave, but the journey is well worth it once you get to this rich, unmatched national park, which is largely accessible by gravel roads. Using the vast plains of the Kalenga Hills as a base, we want to look for Hemprich’s Hornbills before travelling to the park and spending three nights at Savannah Lodge for dinner and relaxation.

Kidepo National Park has a wide range of species that are not seen in other Ugandan Savannah parks, which is an exciting discovery. The brightly coloured Purple Grenadier, Brown-backed woodpecker, White-crested Turaco, Quail plover, Karamoja Apalis, Black-faced Firefinch, Cut-throat Finch, Emin’s shrike, Heuglin’s wheatear, Jameson’s Firefinch, Familiar Chat, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Yellow-spotted Bush-Sparrow (Petronia), Orange River and Ring-necked Francolin, Red and Yellow Barbet, Red-pate and Wing-snapping Cisticola, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Rufous Chatterer, the giant Pygmy Sunbird, Mocking, Kori, Cliff-chat, Long-billed Crombec, Orange and Red-winged Pytilia, White-fronted Black-chat, Three-streaked Tchagra, White-bellied Tit, Pygmy Sunbird, and Heuglin’s Courser We attempt a late drive around nightfall in search of nocturnal birds like Standard-winged, Abyssinian, and Long-tailed Nightjars.

Day 8 & 9: Kidepo exclusive birding and wildlife Adventure

On our 14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari, we shall start the day with an exceptionally early breakfast and spend the whole day exploring one of Uganda’s most beautiful but least visited national parks. We can combine our investigation of the Narus River Valley with a drive to the Kanangorok hot springs. 86 distinct kinds of animals may be found at Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda’s third-highest site for wildlife diversity. It safeguards both large and small herbivores equally well as any other protected area, thanks to its 28 species that are exclusive to Uganda.

You can look through the bird checklist to find 463 confirmed and 26 unconfirmed bird species. After lunch, we can choose between going on another wildlife drive and seeing a cultural performance by the native Karamojong people, who are well-known for their distinctive nomadic lifestyle, rich storytelling, and dancing traditions. We can travel to Kalenga and Kadepo for this purpose. Each tribe in Uganda has something special that you may exchange and learn from, not simply these Karamajongos. To maximise your time there with our enthusiastic interpreters, all you need to do is make the most of your time with them. Return to Savannah Lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 10: Birding to Moroto Via Matheniko Bokora

Start your birding as soon as you leave the park, depending on what you missed on the previous game drive. As you drive through Matheniko, keep an eye out for the Buff Crest Bustard, White Browed Sparrow, Yellow Bellied Eremomela, Jackson and Red-billed Hornbill, Steel Blue Whydah, Dark and Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Greater, Superb, and Lesser Blue-eared Starling, to name a few. Other common species of the drive include Fox and Lesser Kestrel, Yellow Bellied Eremomela, and White Bellied Canary. Dinner at Kara Tunga Safari and overnight stay

Day 11: Birding Pian Upe and Transfer to Mountain Elgon

Explore the least-travelled birding paradise of Eastern Uganda after breakfast in the morning. The combination of virgin grasslands and wooded areas has produced an extraordinarily hospitable habitat for rare and highly sought-after dry-country birds and mammals, including Cheetahs and Rolan Antelope. With the skies serving as a great habitat for many birds of prey, including Hartlaub’s Bustard, Jackson’s Hornbill, Karamoja Apalis, Beautiful Sunbird, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Quil-plover, Fawny Lark, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, and Red-fronted Tinkerbird, keep an eye out for them while searching. The Fox’s Weaver has many nests on the main road trails, making it nearly a must-see as they breed in February and March. Later, transfer to Elgon and stay at Lacalm Lodge.

Day 12: Birding Mountain Elgon National Park

Full day birding, look out for the Moustached Green Tinkerbird, African Reed Warbler, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Cape Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Northern Anteater Chat, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Little Rush Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, northern Double-collared Sunbird, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Grey-headed Sunbird, the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, and African Reed Warblers. There is a chance of seeing the following: Ludher’s Bush-shrike, Cape Rook, crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Fan-tailed and White-napped Raven, Chestnut Sparrow, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Banded Prinia, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, White-browed Crombec, Stout, Thrilling, and Rattling Cisticolas, Green Hylia. Return at Lacalm Lodge dinner and overnight.

Day 13: Birding to Mabira Forest on the 14 Days Uganda Up Country Birding Safari

Following an early breakfast, we will head to Mabira Forest Reserve, which is near Kampala and is Uganda’s largest remaining region of wet semideciduous forest, for our 14-days birding bonanza. It is one of the best places to go birdwatching since it provides a habitat for a variety of bird species that are uncommon in the congested, industrialised districts of Jinja and Kampala.  Look for the Cassin’s Hawk Eagle on our birdwatching expedition today. In the forest, Nahan’s Francolin has also been seen. The Olive-green Cameroptera, Red-capped, Blue Shouldered, and Snowy-crowned woodpeckers, Brown-eared, Buff-spotted, and Yellow Crested woodpeckers,

Brown-chested Alethe, Yellow-rumped, the gorgeous greenish Yellow banded Weyns’s Weaver, Fire-Crested Alethe, Yellow-throated, and Speckled Tinkerbirds, Grey and Yellow Longbills and Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, the white-less winged Forest Wood-hoopoe, Chestnut and Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Black Bellied Seed-cracker and the Blue-headed Blue-bill, Green-throated, Green, Orange Tufted and Superb Sunbird, Yellow Mantled Weaver, , Little-green Sunbird, Dwarf, Blue Breasted, and Shining-blue Kingfisher, the large-tailed almost spineless Cassin’s Spinetail, the quiet, ground-dwelling dark brown robin-chat Chestnut and Jameson’s Alethe, the gorgeous greenish yellow banded Weyns’s Weaver, Narina Trogon, Blue-throated Roller are all found here, within Mabira Forest. Dinner and overnight at Sunset Hotel.

Birding Mabira Forest and Transfer to Entebbe International Airport

As our 14 Days Up Country Uganda birding Safari draws to an end, enjoy your early morning breakfast and head to the Mabira Forest trails in search of the bird species you might have missed the day before, like the magnificent Blue Turaco, the stunning Congo (African) Pied Hornbill, Black-bellied Seedcracker, and the majestic African Crowned Eagle soaring high above the canopy, Forest Wood Hoopoe, Blue-throated Roller, Tambourine Dove, Yellow and Speckled Tinkerbirds, White-spotted Flufftail, African Paradise Flycatcher Forest Robin, Speckled and Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, Honeyguide and Toro Olive Greenbul and Fire Crested Alethe, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Red-headed Bluebill, among others. Around noon transfer to Entebbe for Lunch as you prepare for your departure at Entebbe International Air Port.

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