21 days Best Multi Habitat Birding Trip to Uganda

21 DAYS - 20 NIGHTS

Description

Welcome to this birding trip that is going to take you to some of the most unique birding habitats Uganda has to offer, we always encourage and recommend an introduction to the birds of Uganda upon arrival at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens which is a mix of close to four habitats then the trip will start south words to the Mabamba bay lying on fringes of Uganda’s largest Lake Victoria and a very reliable sight for the Shoebill Stork.

Our first national park to visit will be Lake Mburo home to the Barbet in Uganda and the best savannah Park to explore close to Mbarara City after this we head further west to Bwindi Ruhija section the highest point of the park with 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics with excitement of finding the African-green Broadbill and the Grauer’s Swamp Warbler and at the same time  offering us chances to do the gorilla trekking experience this will be coupled with a visit to the lower Buhoma main trails that avails the Short-tailed Warbler, Kivu and the Oberleander’s Ground Thrush. From here you drive north into the savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park, here we shall be exposed to great grassland Warbler, Pipits, Larks and Coucals with numerous antelopes, the boat cruise in this park along the Kazinga channels is among the highlights of this birding trip to Uganda, lots of waders and large mammals with the biggest schools of Hippos and croc camps, this back has a record of over 200 bird species sighted in a day by our expert guides later getting you to Kibale Forest National Park, a large block of tropical rain forest that offers great birding with the highest changes of finding the rear and shy Green-breasted Pitta and home to 13 primate species with Chimpanzee tracking as the highlight of the ape experience.

This birding in Uganda trip further takes us to Semuliki Valley National Park which is an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest a connection to the West African Jingles one of the richest areas for forest birding in Uganda and Africa, most West African bird species can only be found here in East African making it I wish park to be visited by any birding client, this is somehow linked to the Budongo forest which protects the largest natural forest area in East Africa with over 350 bird Species and home to several primates including Chimpanzees, best area to find the Ituri Batis and Uganda Woodland Warbler always seen in Busingiro Eco tourism site of the Royal Mile, both southern sections of the Murchison Falls Conservation area in the Budongo Forest.

 Birding further north through the Butiaba escarpment is very rewarding but taking the Kaniyo Pabid route to look out for the Puvel’s Illadopis will be more worthy the energies as this is the only chance of seeing in on this Uganda Birding Trip, the boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and driving around the Delta area are memorable with great lists of both mammals and birds. This will further lead us to find the plain yellow rumped and only endemic bird to Uganda- Fox’s Weaver that nests in the mashes and galactic savannahs of eastern Uganda and one of Uganda’s unique wildlife Reserve Pian Upe also the best for Ostriches, Secretary bird, Cheetah and Roan Antelope concluding it with Mabira forest will be a Uganda birding trip of a life time in company of passionate and energetic Journeys Uganda Guides.

 

Key bird species this safari is focusing on include among others;

The only endemic bird to Uganda, the Fox’s Weaver, Karamoja Apalis, Secretary Bird, Ostriches the pompous Shoebill Stork with an outstanding number of Weavers, Cisticolas, Starlings, Larks and Pipits, Greenbuls, Kingfishers lots of migrants including Warblers, Wagtails, Bee-eaters, Chats and numerous Raptors and leaving no stone unturned with the local specialties include African Finfoot, Papyrus Gonolek, Black-winged Bishop, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Twinspots, a variety of Sunbird 2 of which are only endemic to the Albertine Rift, Red-headed Lovebird, White-throated Bee-eater, Brown and Grey Parrot, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, White-spotted Flufftail, Tropical Boubou, Silverbird, Black-lored Babbler, Double-toothed Barbet, African Paradise-flycatcher, many species of Greenbul, Red-headed Malimbe,  Shoebill, Papyrus gonolek, Regal Sunbird, Purple-breasted sunbird, Blue-headed sunbird, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Ross’s, Great-blue, Black billed and White crested turaco, Archer’s Robin-chat, Blue-shouldered, African Green Broadbill, White-starred Robin, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Puvels Illadopsis, Grauer’s-swamp Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Stripe Breasted Tit, Collared Apalis, Rwnzori Hill Babbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-spotted and Yellow-billed Barbet, Bar-tailed Trogon, Doherty and Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Dwarf Honey-Guide, Oriole Finch, Slender-billed, Sharpe’s, and Stuhlmann’s Waller’s Starling, Red-headed Malimbe, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Green and Dusky Twinspot, White-rumped, Thick-billed and Streaky Seedeaters, Pennant-winged, Square-tailed, Freckled, Black-shouldered and Rwenzori Nightjar, Ayres’s and Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Black Bee-eaters, white faced Go-away birds the list is endless as our target for this 21 days best Uganda birding safari is seeing over 500 bird species

Bird Habitats that will be visited on this trip;

Tropical, Afro Montane and Riverine Forest, Wooded and grassland Savannahs, agricultural lands, Moist woodland, Borassus Palm Savannah, Papyrus Lakes, Swamps, and rivers

Optional Activities on this 21 days best Uganda Birding Safari;

  • Chimpanzee trekking
  • Night Games Drives
  • Gorilla Trekking

 

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport for our 21 days bes Uganda Birding Safari. Dinner and overnight at Bomas (Luxury) or Victoria View Guest House. BB

Early arrival will be given a welcome birding at the Entebbe Botanical gardens and expect to see the Superb, Mariqua, Red-chested, Green-throated, Scarlet-chested, Collared, Bronze, Olive and Olive-bellied Sunbird, Pink-backed Pelican, Vieillot’s Black, the and almost Lake Victoria endemic Orange Weaver, Golden Backed, Village, Slender-billed, Northern-brown Throated, Grosbeak, Black-necked and Black-headed Weaver,  Yellow-billed and African Open-billed Stork, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, African Jacana, Red-chested  Klaas’s, African Emerald, and Diederik Cuckoos, Yellow-billed Duck, the sought after Giant Kingfisher, , Pied, African Pygmy, Woodland and Malachite Kingfisher, the seasonal Eurasian, White-throated and Blue-checked Bee-eater, Wood, Common and Green Sandpiper, Black-and-white Casqued, African Pied and Crowned Hornbill, Black Crake, Africa and Red-billed Firefinch, Little Stint, Orange, Golden-backed, Village, Northern-brown Throated, Vieillot’s Black and Little Weaver, Ruff, Striated Heron, Gull-billed and White-winged Tern, Red-eyed, Blue Spotted and Tambourine Dove, Little Greenbul, Green Crombec and the secretive Bat Hawk among other bird species.

Day 2: Today our three weeks birding safari in Uganda takes us to Mabamba and afternoon transfer to L.Mburo National Park.

 After breakfast, we shall drive to Mabamba wetlands and Important Birding Area where we will be paddled in a canoe through the swamp looking for the expansive Shoebill Stork and other birds that inhabit the wetland like White-winged Scrub Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers’ and Winding Cisticola, Saddle-billed Stork, African pygmy and Spur-winged Goose, Lesser and African Jacana, Grey, Common Squacco, White Backed and Yellow-billed Duck, Purple and Goliath Herons, Yellow billed Egret, Malachite and pied Kingfishers, White-faced Whistling, African fish Eagle, Black Crake, African Jacana, Long-toed Plover, Gull-billed and White-Winged terns, Blue-Breasted Bee-eater, Cape Wagtail, Swamp Fly catcher, Winding Cisticola, Red-chested Sunbird, Fan-tailed Windowbird, Madagascar bee-Eater, Grey-rumped Swallow, the seasonal Intra African Migrating Blue Swallow depending on the time of visit. Later transfer to L.Mburo National Park birding en route for Lilac Breasted and Broad Billed Roller, Splendid Glossy Starling, Rufous Bellied Heron, Woolly-necked Stork, Banded Snake Eagle, White-winged Tit, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Weyns’s Weaver, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Pale-throated Greenbul and many more. Dinner and overnight at Mihingo (Luxury) or Eagles Nest.  FB

Day 3: Birding Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda

 After an early breakfast, we shall head for a morning boat trip for the African Finfoot, White-backed/ Black-crowned Night Herons, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-backed/ Golden-backed/ Slender-billed/ Village/ Spectacled and Northern-brown Throated Weavers, Greater and Lesser Swamp Warbler.  Afternoon game and birding drive for Topis, Zebras, Buffaloes, Impalas, Elands and many others, it is also a day for Barbets including the Spot-flanked, White-headed, Double-toothed, Black-collared, Crested and the special Red-faced Barbet, Coqui, Crested and Scaly Francolin, Bearded, Uganda Spotted, Golden-tailed, Nubian and Green-backed Woodpecker today we have chances of Nightjars like Freckled, Square Tailed, Pennant-winged among others. Dinner and overnight stay at Mihingo (Luxury) or Eagles Nest. FB

Day 4: Our 21 days best Uganda Birding safari takes us to Bwindi Ruhija

After early morning breakfast we bird our way out and proceed to Ruhija looking out for what we might have missed and as we get into Ruhija, expect species like Augur and Mountain Buzzard, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Strange and Black Billed Weaver, , Rwenzori, Chestnut Throated and Mountain Masked Apalis, White Browed Crombec, Dusky and Stripe-breasted Tit, Chin-spot and Rwenzori Batis, White-naped Raven, Black-crowned and Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Slender-billed, Narrow-tailed, Stuhlmann’s and Waller’s Starling, Northern Double Collard, Blue Headed, Regal, Purple-breasted and Collard Sunbird, Montane Oriole, Mountain Illadopsis, Olive Thrush, with many more. Dinner and overnight at Trekker’s Tavern or Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Luxury), FB

Day 5 & 6 Birding and Gorilla tracking in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

We have 2 days at this spot, one to do gorilla trekking and the other birding in Uganda Bwindi Forest. For the birds expect the high altitude rarities and the biggest number of Albertine Rift Endemics, among which we shall have the rhythmical Stripe-breasted Tit, Mountain Masked Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Scrub and Grauer’s Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Red-throated Alethe, the creepy African Green-Broadbill, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Strange Weaver, Handsome Francolin, the less musical Rwenzori Nightjar, Archer’s Ground Robin, among the high altitude rarities expect the White-napped Raven, Black-crowned Waxbill, birding around the forest margins is productive. Forest birding at Bwindi ranks the best in Uganda and perhaps the whole of Africa. It is home to 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics and the No. 1 Birding site in Africa as per the African Birding Club.
Here we mostly look out for bird species like Black-billed Turaco, Western Green Tinkerbird, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Mountain Greenbul, Rwenzori-hill Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Mountain Black Boubou, Ashy, Dusky-blue, Dusky Tit, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Pink-footed and Northern Puffback, Lagden’s and Doherty’s Bush-shrike, White-naped Raven, Montane Oriole, Narrow-tailed Starling, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Waller’s Starling, Brown-capped Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, East Africa Swee, Oriole Finch, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed and Streaky Seedeater, Mountain Buzzard, Ayres’s and Cassine’s Hawk-eagle, Dusky and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood-Owl, Scarce Swift, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogon, Red-chested Owlet, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Olive, Fine-banded, Cardinal and Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Yellow-streaked, Yellow-Whiskered and Mountain Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, Olive Thrush, the list is endless as this is one of the paradise site on this 21 days best Uganda birding safari. We stay at Trekkers Tavern or Bwindi Gorilla Lodge. FB 

Day 7:  Our 21 days best Uganda Birding tour takes us to Buhoma via the Neck

We start after breakfast and put our focus on the “Neck” looking out for several special bird species, around the river expect the Cassine’s Flycatcher, African Black Duck, Mountain Wagtail and the Ducky-blues Flycatcher, Dwarf Honeyguide, Chin-spot Batis, Red-tailed Greenbul, Black-billed Turaco, Fine-banded Woodpecker, and we should come across Bee-eaters including Black Bee-eater and Cinnamon-chested Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Honeyguide Greenbul, Many-coloured Bush-shrike, Ayres’s Hawk-eagle, Narina Trogon, Red-throated Alethe, Gray Apalis, African Shrike-flycatcher and Red-headed Malimbe; and in areas of dry fern vegetation, we expect the Dusky Twinspot, Yellow Bellied Waxbill, African Stonechat, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Black and White-headed Saw-wing, Chubb’s Cisticola, as we bird back into the forested Bwindi look out for the greyer mantled Grey Apalis, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Augur Buzzard, Pink-footed and Northern Puffback, Red-tailed, Joyful, Ansorge’s, Little Grey Greenbul, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Rock Martin, Northern Yellow White-eye, Yellow-billed Kite, Yellow-rumped, Speckled and Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Dusky and Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Black-faced Rufous, Red-faced Woodland and  Mountain-yellow Warbler, Regal, Green, Collated and Northern Double-collared Sunbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Pale-throated Leaf Love, Black-billed, Brown-caped, Strange and Black-necked Weaver, Crested Guinea-fowl, African Crowned Hornbill, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted, Hairy-breasted and Yellow-billed Barbet, African Harrier Hawk the list is to infinity. Dinner and overnight stay Buhoma Lodge (Luxury) or Buhoma Community Homestay – (Ride for a woman) for 2 nights. FB

Day 8: Our 21 days Best Uganda Bird watching trip takes us to Buhoma main Trail

After an early breakfast, we start birding at this lower side of Bwindi which is a particularly beautiful portion of forest in the valley, and our walking is on a mainly flat and well-maintained broad path more like a forest margin offering great birding views and expect the uncommon singles or pairs of Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Black Bee-Eater, the small and chunky African Broadbill, Fine Banded, Elliot’s and Buff Spotted Woodpecker, the dingy Chapin’s Flycatcher, Equatorial Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Blue Headed, Little Green, Grey-headed, Green, Blue-throated Brown and Northern-double Collared Sunbird, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, the poorly known and extremely shy tactical Short-tailed Warbler, Black-throated, Buff-throated and Mountain Masked Apalis, Bocage’s, Many Colored and Luhder’s Bush-shrike, the superficially Akalat resembling White-bellied Robin-Chat, Northern and Pink-footed Puffback, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Waller’s, Stuhlmann’s and Narrow Tailed Starlings, Black-billed, Black-necked and Brown-capped Weaver, Yellow-whiskered, Shelley’s, Plain, Toro Olive, Slender Billed, Ansorge’s and Cabanis’s Greenbul among other birds. Stay at Buhoma Lodge (Luxury) or Buhoma Community Homestay. FB

 

Day 9 & 10: Our 21 days Best Uganda Birding Safari takes us to the cosmic savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After breakfast you will drive to the second biggest protected area in Uganda – Queen Elizabeth National Park. Birding here is at the apex with a variety of well selected savannah bird species which will be both grassland and wooded dwellers that include Flappet Lark, Grassland and Plain-backed Pipit, Blue, Harlequin Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, the shy and local intra African migrating African Crake, Black and White-browed Coucal, Broad Tailed, Grassland Moustached, and Grey Capped Warbler, Ovambo Sparrow-hawk, Banded-snake, Brown Snake, Black-chested and Martial Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Amur Falcon, Fawn-breasted, Common and Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Temminck’s Courser, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Golden Breasted Bunting, Senegal and Wattled Lapwing, and many more bird species. This park has a great number of mammals numbering to 96 which are both diurnal and nocturnal. We shall later have a longer drive into the national park in the late afternoon and evening. If we are lucky, we find the area’s tree-climbing lions Ishasha is famous for, as we go on safari among other mammals expect Cape Buffalo, the handsome Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, African Elephant and the brilliant hard to hunt Topi. On day 10 there will be a morning drive in such of some species mentioned on day 9 then later in the afternoon you have an exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a natural water channel connecting Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for wading birds and abundant Hippopotamus. Birding on the boat avails us opportunities of seeing the African Skimmer, African Spoonbill, Striated Heron, Water Thick-knee, Lesser Black Backed and Gray-headed Gull, Three-banded Plover, Green, Marsh, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Grey Plover was once recorded on the fringes of the channel, Terek Sandpiper most of which are winter visitors. Dinner and overnight stay at Mweya Saafari Lodge (Luxury) or Pumba Safari Cottages. Fb

Day 11: Birding to Kibale Forest National Park – Uganda

Our 21 days best Uganda Birding safari takes us to Kibale Forest National Park. Birding on the way through the savannahs and wetlands in search for Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Scrub Warbler, the locally common with a restriction to papyrus swamps Carruther’s Cisticola, White collard Oliveback, as we enter Kibale National Park, special forest bird both skulking  and canopy species will be sought after including; Black throated Apalis, Red Capped and Blue Shouldered Robin-chat, Afep and on lucky days the White Napped Pigeon, Narina Trogon, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Narrow-tailed Starling, Red-headed Malimbe, Yellow-bill, Sooty Flycatcher, Wahlberg’s Honeybird, Rofous Flycatcher Thrush and many more. Dinner and overnight at Crater Safari Lodge (Luxury) or Kibale Forest Lodge. FB

 

Day 12: Whole day birding and chimp tracking in Kibale Forest National Park.

Birding in Kibale National Park is a delightful experience. We shall be out slightly before good light in the forest to maximize our chances of finding the  Green-breasted Pitta still or about to start displaying and this is the bird of today, after succeeding in seeing it we shall look for other bird species like the White spotted Flufftail, Red-chested Owlet, Afep and White-naped Pigeon, White-throated, Plain, Slender-billed and Joyful Greenbul, Blue-shouldered and Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Grey, Masked and black-throated Apalis ,Splendid glossy, Narrow-tailed and Purple headed glossy Starling, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Tiny, Superb, Blue-throated Brown, Green headed, Green, Little green and Green-throated sunbird, Grey-headed Olive-back and many more. Lunch at the hotel and later go chimp tracking or take walk in the Bigodi Wetland or bird around the hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight at Crater Safari Lodge (Luxury) or Kibale Forest Lodge or Equivalent. FB

Day 13: Birding to Semliki

Our 21 days best Uganda multi habitat birding safari takes you to Semliki Valley national park after breakfast at dawn. Semliki Forest is the part of Uganda that meets with the West African Jungles and an extension of the Ituri Forest thus an Important Birding Area for the Guinea Congo biome endemics. Birding here gives us chances of seeing the small Congo Serpent Eagle, Orange-tufted Sunbird, the distinctive and mostly heard then seen Black-throated Coucal, the pale yellow billed Capuchin Babbler, Long-tailed Hawk, African Piculet, Black-winged Oriole, Zenker’s Honeyguide, Pale Fronted, Chestnut Breasted and White Breasted Negrofinch, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-bellied Kingfisher, Yellow Throated Green Cuckoo, the olive washed Lemon-bellied Crombec, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Piping, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, White Crested, Black-casqued Wattled, and White-thighed Hornbill, Fiery Breasted Bush-shrike, Red-billed Helmet Shrike, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, African and Rufous-sided Broadbill, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Xavier’s and Icterine’s Greenbul, Crested Malimbe, Blue-billed and Red-bellied Malimbe, and many mores, later drive back and spend our night at Crater Safari Lodge Kibale Forest Lodge. FB 

Day 14: Bird watching to – Masindi Uganda

After an early breakfast, our 21 days best Uganda birding safari takes us to Masindi, birding stops will be at certain secret spots of your experienced Journeys Uganda safari guide trying to find special species like the Masked Apalis, African Emerald, Olive and Ducky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Joyful Greenbul, Yellow Mantled and Forest Weaver, White-collared Oliveback, Afep Pigeon, on the river look out for African Black Duck, Cassine’s Flycatcher and Mountain Wagtail, over the forest and in the canopies we have a collection of Narrow Tailed, Purple-headed Glossy, Waller’s and Stuhlmann’s Starling, Yellow Billed, Grey Throated, Yellow Spotted and Hairy Breasted Barbet, the skies provide opportunities for the Mottled and Sabine’s Spinetail among others. We later get to our destination and spend our night at Masindi Hotel for two nights.

Day 15: Bird watching safari to Budongo Forest – Royal Mile and Busingiro.

We begin birding at dawn, as we get closer to the forest we check out the grasslands for the Cabanis’s Bunting, African and Black-bellied Firefinch, Brown-twinspot, Grey-headed Oliveback, Zebra Waxbill, Singing and Whistling Cisticola, the undergrowth inhabiting Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Black-and-white Mannikin, Brown-crowned Tchagra, White-thighed Hornbills always fly over, Red-collared Widowbird, Black Bishop then continue to the Royal mile looking out for Key bird species that include: Blue Breasted, African Dwarf and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Brown-eared and Yellow Crested Woodpecker, Forest and Chestnut Capped Flycatcher, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Crowned Eagle, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Lemon-bellied and Green Crombec, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Blue-throated Brown, Superb, Little Green Sunbird, Collared and Green Sunbird, Grey-headed and White-Breasted Negrofinch, Western Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Brown-chested Alethe, Yellow and Grey Longbill, Forest Robin, Brown, Pale-breasted and Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Tit Hylia, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Green Twinspot, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Crested Malimbe and Red-headed Bluebill, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Xavier’s, Icterine, White-throated, Slender-billed, Spotted, Plain, Spotted and Toro Olive Greenbul the Nahan’s Partridge is among the shyest bird species we shall be looking out for today which is an IUCN Red list’ endangered species. Back to Masindi Hotel for dinner and overnight stay. FB

Day 16: Birding to northern Murchison falls

Our 21 days best Uganda Birding Safari starts with early birding via Busingiro eco-tourism site to the Butiaba escarpment. This stretch is one of the best of Uganda’s Birding spots. Recorded birds here include the plain bright rufous Foxy Cisticola, Singing, Rattling and Whistling Cisticola, Grey-headed Oliveback, Black-bellied Firefinch, White-headed and black billed Barbet, Northern Crombec, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Red-winged Pytilia, White Rumped Seed-eater, Vitelline and Lesser-masked Weaver, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Banded Snake Eagle and on lucky days we have a secret spot for the Red-winged Grey Warbler and groups of the rather shy and secretive Dusky Babbler among others. We later drive and check in at Kabalega Wilderness Lodge or equivalent for 2 nights FB

Day 17: Birding Northern Murchison Falls National Park

Today our 21 days best Uganda birding safari starts after an early breakfast. We may bird on a boat along the Victoria Nile to the delta or do a birding drive to the delta. Later in the afternoon, you take a launch trip to the bottom of the falls. Recorded birds in this park include Shoebill, Secretary Bird is occasionally sighted, Northern-carmine Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Spotted Thick-knee, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, along the water areas we find the Pied Kingfishers, Grey, Purple, Common Squacco and Goliath Heron, White-faced and Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Saddle-billed Stork, Glossy and Sacred Ibis, Senegal Thick-knee, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, the wooded and grassland savannahs attract the Red-necked Falcon, Black-billed and Vinaceous Dove, Grosbeak Weaver, Black-headed Gonolek, Buff-bellied Warbler, Beautiful Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Marabou Stork, Silver Bird, White-browed Sparrow, Speckle-fronted, Golden-backed, Heuglin’s Vitelline-masked and Little Weaver, White-rumped Seedeater, the boat to the bottom of the falls gets you closer to the Rock Pratincole, on very lucky days the huge and unmistaken Pel’s Fishing-Owl, African Darter and Giant Kingfisher, Shoebill Stork has been sighted several times on this cruise. Back to the Lodge for dinner and overnight stay, a late drive in exposes us to the Standard-winged Nightjar, Pennant-winged, Long-tailed and Plain Nightjar. FB

Day 18: Birding to Mbale

We start our 21 days best Uganda Birding Safari early and drive further east to Mbale via Lira a long stretch with a few birding stops where we expect the Red-winged Warbler, Banded Snake Eagle, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, the largest crested Great Spotted Cuckoo, Red-billed Wood Hoopoe, Black Scimitarbill, Green-wood Hoopoe, The stubby, black billed Parasitic Weaver should be keenly sought. The swamps towards and after Soroti are good for the Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird and Black Coucal, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Northern-brown Throated Weaver, the Saddle Billed Stork will be among the sightings on this route. Dinner and overnight stay at Mt. Elgon Hotel. FB

Day 19: Birding Pian Upe for the Fox’s Weaver and other Eastern Uganda rarities

Today is very special on this 21 days best Uganda birding safaris as we drive and explore the least visited haven of Eastern Uganda Birding. The Virgin grasslands and wooded habitats have created an incredibly welcoming habitat for dry country birds and unique mammals that are highly sought after not leaving out the Roan Antelope and Cheetah. Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve being dotted with the Red acacia and Bush willows with Harrisonia abyssinica coupled with the skies as a great habitat for many birds of prey, on the search look out for Secretary Bird, Four Banded Sandgrouse, the strange and small courser or Lark like looking Quail-plover, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Fawn-coloured Lark, the small and neat Abyssinian Scimitarbill, the Fox’s Weaver has plenty of nests on the main road trails and being the only bird endemic to Uganda, will lighten up our birding which make Pian Upe one of the birding havens in the country, almost a must see as they are breeding around Feb/March, Hartlaub’s Bustard, Jackson’s Hornbill, the almost endemic and uncommon Karamoja Apalis, Hunter’s and Beautiful Sunbird, the rare Ostriches which are better seen while in this reserve related to Kidepo valley national park, Bruce’s Green Pigeon,  Red-fronted Warbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Wailing Cisticola, Pygmy Sunbird, Yellow-billed Shrike, to mention but a few. Dinner and overnight stay at the Pian Tented Camp. FB

Day 20: Birding to Jinja

Depending on the luck of day 19, we could spend today’s morning before departure looking out for what might have been missed then our 21 days best Uganda Birding safari takes us to Jinja where we shall spend our night at Mabira Rainforest Lodge (Luxury) or Sunset Hotel. FB

 

Day 21: Birding Mabira Forest then Entebbe onwards

After early breakfast we take a short drive to Mabira Forest, although isolated by the surrounding banana and sugar plantations, this remarkably productive forest is possibly the richest in the country with well-maintained trails that make birding easy though with a few boda-boda interruptions mostly on the Sanga Trail. Mixed flocks are often found along the broad tracks, and noisy groups of the near-endemic Weyns’s Weaver, arguably the most attractive of the group, busy themselves in the forest canopy. We can also hope to see African Pied Hornbill and the white lacking families of Forest Wood-Hoopoe, while the seasonal pools can attract White-bellied, Blue-breasted, Dwarf and Shining-blue Kingfishers. Yellow-throated and Speckled Tinkerbirds live in the canopy and Toro Olive Greenbul and Green-tailed Bristle bill are secretive interior inhabitants. If there are safari ants on the match, Brown-chested and Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Robin and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat may be in attendance. Other interesting species include the very uncommon Tit-Hylia, Grey and Yellow Longbill, Forest Robin, Brown-eared, Buff-spotted and Yellow-Crested Woodpecker, Narina Tragon, Purple Throated Cuckoo-shrike, White-spotted Flufftail among other and later transfer to Entebbe for your flight back home, end of our 21 days best Uganda multi habitat Birding safari. BL

Recommended readings

Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi Second Edition (Princeton Field Guides, 127) Paperback – December 8, 2020
By Stevenson Terry and John Fanshawe.

Birds of Africa South of the Sahara Paperback – July 1, 2011

By Peter Ryan  and Ian Sinclair

This book offers unrivalled coverage of African birds in a single volume, and is the only book to describe and illustrate all of the birds found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert including Socotra, Pemba and islands in the Gulf of Guinea.

The life of Birds by David Attenborough published in 1998 by BBC books

This will make it easy to understand why so many people around the world are so fond of birds since they are lively; they are lovely and everywhere with characters easily identified.

Threatened Birds of Africa and related Islands, the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book Part 1 – 1995

By N.J Collar and N.Stuart

The Safari Companion – A Guide to Watching African Mammals by Richard D Estes. Illustrated by Daniel Otte, (Russell Friedman Books, JHB 1993). This book has been described as the tool to make us all instant experts in animal behavior, and it should quickly assert itself as the principal reference on animal behavior for game rangers, safari guides and nature lovers. The book will enable safari-goers to recognize and understand interesting behavioral displays such as courtship rituals, territorial marking, aggression and care of young. Only recommended for serious naturalists, as the book is heavy on detail, much of it presented in ‘hard -to-digest’ scientific format, with frequent use of symbols and icons.

Land Mammals of Southern Africa: a field guide by Reay Smithers (Macmillan) 229 pages. If you’re going to buy only one mammal field guide for southern Africa, it may as well be this one. Based on the late Reay Smithers’ comprehensive mammal handbook, this excellent little guide, delightfully illustrated by artist Clare Abbott, covers 197 land mammal species most likely to be seen, with clear distribution maps. Scholarly and accurate, yet concise, this book is interesting and very readable. A revised edition of this book – coordinated by Peter Apps – is now available.

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa by Chris and Tilde Stuart (2nd edition Struik 1993). A good companion to the above field guide. The Stuarts’ book, which is copiously illustrated with an excellent array of photographs, and clear distribution maps, also contains a section on marine mammals.

Southern, Central and East African Mammals: A Photographic Guide by Chris & Tilde Stuart, 1992. This well-illustrated, compact guide suffers from inadequate research: the selection of mammals & the reserves in which they can be seen is inconsistent.

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa by Dorst & Dandelot. 1990.

Collins Field Guide to Mammals of Africa including Madagascar (Haltenorth & Diller, 1992).

The Behavior Guide to African Mammals by Richard Estes. (University of California Press 1991 (hard cover) 1992 (paperback). A more detailed version of Estes’ Safari Companion, this book is on the heavy side, but considered by many to be the best African mammal guide.

Guide to Southern African Game & Nature Reserves by Chris & Tilde Stuart (Struik, 2nd Ed, 1992) The book contains detailed, practical information on more than 400 reserves in southern Africa. If you’re going to spend more than just a week or so in southern Africa, this book will help you make the most of your journey. It contains many maps, opening and closing times, information on accommodation and facilities offered and many references to birds and mammals to be seen.

EQUIPMENT:
You should pack a pair of binoculars in good repair, along with a belt pack or backpack (for carrying books, sunscreen, extra battery, memory card, etc.). As a precaution, it is a good idea to pack your binoculars, a change of clothing, toiletry items, medication, and travel documents in your airline carry-on bag. Your leader will have a spotting scope depending on how early you confirm your trip with Journeys Uganda; however, if you have one and wish to bring it, you are encouraged to do so. You will want to pack an alarm clock, a water flask or canteen, a strong flashlight, a washcloth, and between-meal snacks such as trail mix. A small daypack for carrying essentials in the vehicles on game drives and bird walks is useful. Insects are generally not a problem. Bring your preferred insect repellent and plenty of sun scream. You should also bring a supply of indigestion and diarrhea medicines in case they are needed as recommended by your personal doctor.

 

 

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