This 25-day birding tour in Uganda will reward tourists with unique experiences. To find the Shoebill Stork, we will begin our search

25-day Birding Tour in Uganda

This 25-day birding tour in Uganda will reward tourists with unique experiences. To find the Shoebill Stork, we will begin our search at the Mabamba wetland, which is located on the edge of Lake Victoria. Murchison Falls National Park, home to 76 animal species and over 450 bird species, is our first national park for birdwatching. With over 350 different bird species and a habitat for many primates, including chimpanzees, Budongo Forest preserves the greatest natural forest area in East Africa. Semuliki National Park is home to one of the richest habitats for forest birds in Africa, protecting an eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s huge Ituri Forest.

We will continue our birding tour in Uganda to Kibale National Park, a sizable area of rainforest with over 300 different bird species and the chance to monitor chimpanzees. Next, we head to Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is renowned for its diverse range of wildlife and more than 600 kinds of birds. 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic species have been found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, while Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the country’s smallest national park, is home to over 180 bird species, including the Albertine Rift Endemics. Finally, we will go on fantastic nature treks and observe additional important species in Lake Mburo National Park.

Detailed Itinerary of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe

A Journeys Uganda representative will meet you at the Entebbe International Airport to begin your Uganda birding excursion, after which you will be transferred to your Entebbe accommodation. If your flight is in the morning, you may be able to visit the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, depending on when you arrive. Look out for the Bat Hawk, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Orange Weaver, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Malachite, Pygmy, and Giant Kingfishers among others If not, relax at your hotel and get ready to go birdwatching in Uganda the following day. Dinner and overnight at Papyrus Guest House.

Day 2: Birding Mabamba Wetlands

Following a leisurely breakfast, we make our way to Mabamba Swamp Wetland, situated near the edge of Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest freshwater basin. Depending on how many stops you make for birdwatching along the way, the drive could take an hour or longer.

You will travel through the Mabamba Swamp in a motorised canoe accompanied by a local site guide in pursuit of the prehistoric Shoebill, which is frequently spotted hovering over the papyrus plants or standing in the mashes, ready to hunt. Other varieties of water birds include the African Jacana, African Pied Wagtail, African Marsh Harrier, African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, White-winged Terns, African Purple Swamphen, Purple Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Winding Cisticola, Red-billed Firefinch, White-faced Whistling Duck, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, Saddle-billed Stork, Cape wagtail, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-billed Duck, and Long-toed Plover, among others.

Day 3: Birding to Budongo Forest via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Your bird guide will pick you up following an early breakfast at your hotel, and you will begin your birding adventure with stops at strategic locations along the way. Our first significant stop will be in Uganda’s Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a great place to go bird watching and home to rhinos. You will begin the Rhino trek after receiving a briefing from the ranger guide. Depending on where the rhinos are at the time, this can necessitate a quick drive before the hike. The entire rhino excursion, including the walk and seeing them while they graze or slumber, can take approximately one hour.

While tracking rhinos, we expect to spot some birds. Keep an eye out for the frequently sighted White-crested Turaco. We will depart for lunch following our rhino trekking experience and then make our way to our accommodation for the night.

Day 4: Birding the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest

We will carry on with our birding tour in the lush Budongo forest today. A portion of the forest is found at Kaniyo Pabidi in Murchison Falls National Park, and the remainder is found in Budongo Forest, a forest reserve outside the park. Numerous tree species and other primates, including chimpanzees, can be found in this area. Our focus for this safari is the wide variety of birds that inhabit this forest.

We plan to go for the royal mile, a one-mile stretch that was favoured by the King of Bunyoro, following an early breakfast and packed lunch. Depending on the activity of the bird species, we will enjoy a full day of birding along the forest road, finishing at the woodland bridge. You’ll be searching for some exotic bird species, such as Ituri Batis, Nahan’s Francolin, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Brown Twinspot, White-spotted Fluff tail, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, white-breasted negro finch, Grey-headed sunbird, Red-headed Bluebill, Green Sunbird, Little Green Sunbird, and many more, with the help of your bird guide and the site guide.

Chocolate-backed Kingfisher

Day 5: Birding to Murchison Falls National Park

On this 5th day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda, you begin your journey to Murchison Falls today, birdwatching along the way till you reach your lodge, following a productive stay in the Budongo Forest. While travelling to your lodging, keep an eye out for the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, and Blue-breasted Kingfisher, among others.

Day 6: Birding Murchison Falls Park

After eating an early breakfast, we embark on a game drive to see birds. A few of the birds we will be keeping an eye out for are the African Pygmy Kingfishers, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Dark Chanting Go Shawk, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Lapwing, Red-necked Falcon, Martial Eagle, Senegal Thick Knee, African Rock Martin, Secretary Bird, Northern Carmine and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Giant, Pied, Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland, and Lesser Stripped, Ethiopian, Angola, Red-rumped and Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Rock Thrush, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, White-fronted Black Chat, and Sooty Chat. Yellow-throated Greenbul, Cameroon Sombre, and Common Bulbul

The Nubian Woodpecker, the Cardinal Woodpecker, the Brown-backed Woodpecker, the White-breasted and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits, the Black-lored and Brown Babblers, among others. Dinner and overnight at Hornbill Wilderness Lodge.

Dark-chanting Goshawk

Day 7: Boat cruise to the Delta

On this day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda, we will embark on a boat cruise to bird the Victoria Nile this morning shortly after breakfast, searching for the numerous water birds that call this Nile ecosystem home. The Shoebill, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Black and African Crake, Grey-crowned Crane, Southern Pochard, and African Skimmers are a few of the birds we target in this area.

The Marabou, Egyptian, African Pygmy, Saddle-billed, Open-billed, Yellow-billed, and Spur-winged geese. Other birds that can be found there are the Great White Egret, African and Eurasian Spoonbills, the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover, Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Green Backed Heron, Little Grebe, Common Squacco Heron, and Great White Egret. Dinner and overnight at Hornbill Wilderness Lodge.

Day 8: Birding to Kibale National Park

After breakfast, we will transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, where you can make pauses at the escarpment to observe many species, including the stunning sunbird. To go birding in the evening, we plan to arrive at our lodge later that afternoon. Thirteen different primate species can be found in Kibale Forest, with chimpanzees being the most notable. Dinner and overnight at Guereza Canopy Lodge.

Day 9: Birding Kibale Forest (Green-breasted Pitta)

To make the most of our time in the forest, we’ll have an early breakfast and depart the lodge with a packed lunch on this day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda. Our morning birding goal will be to locate the elusive Green-breasted Pitta. With the help of the site guide and rangers, we aim to improve our chances of seeing the Green-breasted Pitta, a highly sought-after bird that may be very challenging to spot in the jungle.

While we wait for the Green-breasted Pitta, we will continue our birding efforts and look for numerous other bird species, such as the African Pitta, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Great Blue Turaco, Yellow-headed Wood Hoopoe, Red-Headed Malimbe, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Joyful Greenbul, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Tiny Sunbird, and White-collared Olive-back, among others. You will be transferred back to Guereza Canopy Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Green-breasted Pitta

Day 10: Birding Bigodi Wetland and Chimp Tracking.

Get the chance to trek the chimpanzees this morning in the heart of the Kibale Forest for an unforgettable experience. Several butterflies, flora, and numerous other primates will also be visible. After getting transferred to the briefing area, you will be split into groups and given a ranger guide to help you find this beast in the forest. Birding the Bigodi Wetland in the afternoon, we look for species in the forest that we could have overlooked. Proceeds from this community-led project to preserve the forest’s buffer zone will support other community initiatives.

Day 11: Birding to Semuliki National Park

After breakfast today, we make our way to Semuliki National Park to conduct a hunt for unique East African species found in Central Africa. Driving to Semuliki Forest, we will make multiple stops to visit local forest patches and swamps for various bird species. Dinner and overnight at Semuliki Safari Lodge.

Day 12 &13: Birding Kirumia Trail in Semuliki National Park

We’ll be birdwatching in the Semuliki forest for two full days, looking for species found in the Ituri forest of the Congo in central Africa. The park offers the chance for you to visit both the “male” and “female” hot springs. The Congo Serpent Eagle, Grey-throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Spot-breasted Ibis, Yellow-throated Nicator, Northern Red-chested Owlet, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, White-bellied Kingfisher, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Zenker’s Honeyguide, White-throated Blue Swallow, Bate’s Nightjar, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Black-winged Oriole, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Crested and Blue-billed Malimbes, Negrofinch, Piping, Red-billed White-crested, Black-casqued, Wattled, White-thighed, and Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike. Dinner and overnight at Semuliki Safari Lodge.

Grey-throated Rail

Day 14: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park

We begin our journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park today, birdwatching en route, following an early breakfast on this day of the25-day Birding Tour in Uganda. You will have stops along the way to enjoy the stunning beauty of this region of the country and go birdwatching. Driving forward will take you past the Rwenzori mountains, homesteads, farms, and several crater lakes as you enjoy the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda.

Because the road through this area of crater lakes is unpaved, it can be extremely challenging at times during the wet season. Your guide can suggest a different route on a more stable road if it starts to rain just before you go out. You will be arriving at your lodge later that afternoon, considering that you will be stopping over multiple times for photos and birdwatching. Get some sleep and get ready to go birdwatching early the following day for the entire day. Dinner and overnight at Buffalo Safari Lodge

Day 15: Birding Northern Queen Elizabeth National Park Kasenyi and boat cruise at Kazinga channel

We get up early to start birdwatching in the park, which leads to Kasenyi in the northern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The following bird species are among those we hope to see: Rufous-necked Lark, Red-capped Lark, Black-bellied Bustard, Brown-snake Eagle, Spot-flanked Barbet, Lappet-faced Vulture, Whinchat, Common Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Yellow-throated Greenbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes. The Tits, Penduline and Black, The Brown-backed Nubian Woodpecker, the Cardinal Woodpecker, the White-tailed and Red-tailed Ant-thrushes, Brown Illadopsis, Grey Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, Least Honeyguide, Brown-eared Woodpeckers, Shining-blue Kingfisher, and numerous other species. We shall also embark on a boat cruise in the late afternoon, looking out for various wading species such as African Skimmers, African Spoonbills, Goliath Herons, Great White Pelicans, Water Thick Knees, White-winged Terns, and Pied Kingfishers, among others. Dinner and overnight at Buffalo Safari Lodge

Red-capped Lark

Day 16: Birding to Buhoma in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Ishasha

We will be stopping to go bird watching until we reach our lodge later that afternoon after our transfer to the impenetrable forest of Bwindi National Park. You may be able to see tree-climbing lions during our drive through the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 17: Gorilla Trekking in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Meeting the graceful giants of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park will be the highlight of your safari experience on this day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda. Savour the abundance of life found in the dense forest, which is home to numerous bird, butterfly, monkey, and mammal species. You will eventually come face-to-face with the massive and endangered mountain gorillas with the assistance of your guide, a park ranger. The entire trekking experience can be completed in one hour (very seldom) or up to six hours. You only have an hour with the gorillas, though, so make the most of it.

Day 18: Birding the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

You’re going to be bird watching all day. Be mindful of Stuhlmann’s Starling, Waller’s Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, and Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, African Golden Oriole, Dusky Crimsonwing, Brown-capped Weaver, Yellow-crowned Canary, and Montane Oriole Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Beautiful Wood Owl, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, and Francolin. Additional species: Lagdens Bush-Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, (Western) Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, African Green Broadbill, Ansorge Greenbul, Toro Olive-Greenbul, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Neumann’s Warbler, Grauer’s Rush-warbler, and Red-faced Woodland Warbler. Dinner and overnight at Ride for a Woman

Day 19: Birding to Ruhija via the Neck of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

On this day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda, we will travel towards “the neck” of the woodland that connects Buhoma and Ruhija in the early morning. The following are the birds that we keep an eye out for: Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Little Grey Greenbuls, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Black Bee-eaters, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Cuckoo Shrike, The Yellow White-eyed, Red-throated Martin, Yellow-bellied Kite, and Chestnut-throated Apalis Tinkerbirds,  African Harrier Hawk, African Stonechat, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Stripe-breasted Tit, Red-faced Woodland, Montane Yellow Warbler, Regal Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Crested Guinea Fowl, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, and  Yellow-spotted Barbet. Dinner and overnight at Bakiga Lodge

Day 20: Birding Mubwindi Swamp

Get ready to spend the full day birdwatching along the Mubwindi Swamp Trail in the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In general, Ruhija’s birding is straightforward, although finding the birds requires a lot of hiking across mountainous terrain. We will look for the stunning Regal Sunbird, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, African Green broadbill, Caruthers cisticola, Handsome Spurfowl, African Hill babbler, Banded Prinia, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Doherty’s Bushrike, Collared Apalis, and others. You will carry a picnic lunch on this trail to Mubwindi Swamp, which promises some of the most challenging of all rift endemic species.
Later that evening, make your way back to the lodge in the hopes of seeing some Rwenzori nightjars as you drive through the forest. Dinner and overnight at Bakiga Lodge

This 25-day birding tour in Uganda will reward tourists with unique experiences. To find the Shoebill Stork, we will begin our search
Archer’s Robin-chat

Day 21: Birding to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Following breakfast, travel early to Kisoro, stopping along the route to birdwatch in the papyrus regions at Lake Bunyonyi outflow and the Echuya forest for some Albertine Rift endemics that we could have overlooked in the dense Bwindi forest. The following birds can be found in the Echuya Forest: Collared Apalis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Red-throated Alethe, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, and so on. Dinner and overnight at Kisoro Traveller’s Rest Hotel

Day 22: Birding Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

This 22nd day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda will be spent birding Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. More than 180 bird species have been found at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, including some endemic species from the Albertine Rift. There’s more to this gorgeously vegetated park’s rewards than just bird watching. As you bird your way through the forest, you’ll pass through a range of montane habitats on the superb Gorge route. This is Uganda’s smallest national park, primarily protected for the preservation of golden monkeys and mountain gorillas.

We keep an eye out for a variety of bird species, such as the Cinamon Bracken Warbler, Lagden and Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeyguide, Kivu Ground Thrush, Regal, Purple-breasted, and Double-collared Sunbirds, Archer’s Robin-chat, Cinnamon Bracken, Mountain Yellow Warblers, the Dusky and extremely rare Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, among others. Dinner and overnight at Kisoro Traveller’s Rest Hotel.

Day 23: Birding to Lake Mburo National Park

On this day of the 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda, we go to Lake Mburo National Park following breakfast. Before reaching Lake Mburo National Park, we will make multiple stops for birdwatching in locations with bits of woodland, marshlands, and water. After that, we’ll go on a nighttime bird walk in this park with an armed ranger guide to see the different kinds of birds that live there. A wide range of species, including warthogs, zebras, elands, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, and many more, may also be sighted. Dinner and overnight at Rwakobo Rock Lodge

Day 24: Birding Lake Mburo National Park

Eat breakfast early in the morning before we begin our day of bird watching. We’re going to go on a boat ride on Lake Mburo today and try to spot the elusive African Fin foot. The park is home to a variety of other bird species that are worth spotting, such as the White-backed Night Heron, Giant Kingfisher, African-grey Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Grey Woodpeckers, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Barefaced Go-away bird, Blue Quails, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Coqui Francolin, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, and Greenwood Hoopoe. Dinner and overnight at Rwakobo Rock

The Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Black-headed Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, Rufous-chested Swallow, African-wattled Plover, Rufous-napped and Flappet larks, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s & Carruthers Cisticolas, and the renowned African Fish Eagle, which is usually by the trees along the lakeshores, are just a few of the birds that can be seen soaring through the air.

This 25-day birding tour in Uganda will reward tourists with unique experiences. To find the Shoebill Stork, we will begin our search
African Finfoot

Day 25: Transfer to Entebbe and departure

Our 25-day Birding Tour in Uganda comes to an end today. We depart Lake Mburo National Park to Entebbe International Airport via the Equator Monument following an early breakfast.

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