The Birding tour of Uganda

The Birding tour of Uganda

Excellent diversity of habitats and animal life

On this tour, see the birds at Semuliki, Mabamba, and more!

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

Your driver/guide will be at Entebbe Airport to pick you up from your flight and take you to Boma Guesthouse, a beautiful place in the middle of Entebbe, not far from the airport. Depending on the hour of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Entebbe.
Journey Time 15 minutes
Accommodation Boma Guesthouse
Meal Plan No meals included

Day 2: Budongo Forest

A half day journey from Kampala will bring you to Budongo Forest Reserve. You will stop for lunch in Masindi town (lunch is not inclusive).

Budongo Eco Lodge, also known as the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, is located in the heart of Budongo Forest Reserve, within the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park. This reserve has one of the largest forests in Uganda with an incredible biodiversity including 9 different primates, 360 species of birds and 290 different types of butterflies.

This afternoon you will go into the forest for a short bird-walk.
Journey Time 6-7 hours
Accommodation Budongo Ecolodge, Forest Cabins
Meal Plan Breakfast, dinner

Day 3: Forest Walk and Enter Murchison Falls N.P.

Today you will wake up early to walk the Royal Mile track. You can choose between a full or a half day hike – the choice is yours.

On this track you are able to spot African dwarf, blue-breasted and chocolate-backed kingfishers, Cassin’s hawk eagle, Nahan’s partridge, white-thighed hornbill, yellow-billed barbet , lemon-billed and lemon-bellied crombec, black-capped apalis, forest and chestnut-caped and yellow-footed flycatchers, Jameson’s wattle-eye, Ituri bati and black-eared ground thrus.

After this beautiful walk you will continue your journey into Murchison Falls N.P. The next few days will be completely focused on the largest national park of Uganda with its stunning nature. You will enjoy its extended wildlife and birdlife along the Nile and in the savanna plains.

You will sleep at Paraa Safari Lodge which offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each room has full facilities and a remarkable view from the balcony towards the Nile River. There is an impressive restaurant, swimming pool and bar.
Journey Time 2½ hours
Accommodation Paraa Safari Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Boat on the Delta & Game Drive

Just after dawn you will go for a long boat safari to the delta on the Albert Nile, looking for the rare Shoebill! You can also spot the fish-eagle, Goliath heron, saddle-billed stork, African jacana, pied and malachite kingfishers, African skimmer, piac-piac, rock pratincole, black-winged red bishop, yellow-mantled widowbird and, depending on the season, some migrates. In the sandy escarpments you can find the red-throated bee-eaters.

In the afternoon you will have a game drive to observe the elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards and many different antelope. As birders you should be on the lookout for birds of prey.
Journey Time Varies
Accommodation Paraa Safari Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Viewing the Falls & Road to Hoima

In the morning, you’ll take a 3-hour boat safari towards Murchison Falls. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, apes and so many beautiful birds you go to the bottom of the 43 meters high and famous Murchison Falls, which approaches you with a thunderous sound.

After lunch back at the lodge, you’ll continue your journey to the west. You will spend the night in Hoima, a small town on the road to the next destination. You will stay in the midrange KonTiki Hotel which features a spacious garden and a restaurant serving simple but filling meals.
Journey Time 4 hours
Accommodation KonTiki Hotel
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch

Day 6: Fort Portal

Today you have a beautiful drive through the heart of Uganda. You will be crossing a fairy-tale like landscape full of hills, villages and tea-plantations. And in the background, the massive Rwenzori Mountains!

In the late afternoon you will have the possibility to enjoy a stroll around the colonial town of Fort Portal or a hike around the crater lakes (not inclusive).
Journey Time 6 hours
Accommodation Rwenzori View Guesthouse
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 7: Semuliki Game Reserve

A 2-3 hour ride will bring you to Semuliki Game and Nature Reserve in the foothills of the mountains where you will spend the day watching birds. Here you will find some endemic species like:

Sspotbreasted ibis, Hartlaub’s duck, Congo serpent eagle, Chestnut-flanked goshawk, red-thighed sparrowhawk, long-tailed hawk, Nkulengu rail, black-throated coucal, chestnut owlet, Bates’s nightjar, black-wattled hornbill, white-crested hornbill, black dwarf hornbill, red-billed dwarf hornbill, red-rumped tinkerbird, spotted honeyguide, Gabon woodpecker, Zenker’s honeyguide, lyre-tailed honeyguide and African piculet.

You may also see the white throated blue swallow, palm swamp greenbul, eastern bearded greenbul, Sassi’s olive greenbul, yellow-throated nicator, northern bearded scrub-robin, lowland akalat, grey ground thrush, fiery-breasted bush-shrike, red-eyed puffback, black-winged oriole, Maxwell’s black weaver, blue-billed malimbe and the Grant’s bluebill.

After a full day in Semuliki you will drive to Kibale Forest where you’ll stay at a very nice tented camp in the middle of the forest. The camp has seven African style comfortably furnished tents, each with its own private ensuite bathroom with an eco friendly toilet and a bush shower. From your veranda you might spot Red or Black & White Colobus monkeys.
Journey Time 2 hrs to Semuliki & 3 hrs to Kibale
Accommodation Kibale Forest Camp
Meal Plan Breakfast, dinner

You’re only half way….there is more to come!

Day 8: Bigodi Swamp to Queen Elizabeth NP

After a good night’s sleep you will go to Bigodi swamp or a bird-walk where you can find the great blue turaco, and the papyrus gonolek, grey-throated, yellow-billed, yellow-spotted and double-toothed barbets, the speckled, yellow-rumped and yellow-throated tinker-barbets; the yellowbill, the brown eared woodpecker; the blue troathed roller; the grey parrot; the red-capped and snowy-headed robin-chats, and the grosbeak and northern brown-throated weaver.

After the swamp walk you’ll continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the second largest national park in Uganda. It is located at the eastern base of the massive Rwenzori Mountains, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George.

You stay in a nice eco cottage-tent, with eco-toilet and a private outside bathroom with double “bush” shower with hot water (on request). Of course your outside bathroom is fenced and gives you all privacy. Overlooking the spectacular Kazinga Channel, you’ll have the chance to watch wildlife at the waterhole from your own private verandah and fall asleep to the roaring of Lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!
Journey Time 3½ hours
Accommodation Bush Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, dinner

Day 9: Game Drive and Boat Safari

Breakfast is at 6 a.m. before starting a long game drive in Queen Elizabath NP. You will be in time to see the sun rise. You will search for all the wildlife in the park: elephant, buffalo, lion, waterbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, warthog, etc.

After lunch you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. Here you will see an incredible amount of water-birds. Just to mention a few: yellow-billed and saddle-billed storks, various plovers, pelicans, cormorants and fish eagles. Difficult to spot, but also around is the papyrus and the black-headed gonolek.
Accommodation Bush Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10: Ishasha + Bwindi Forest N.P.

Today you will drive through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth N.P. towards Buhoma.

In Ishasha you will do a game-drive looking for the tree-climbing lions and again the rich birdlife of this area. Here you can find for example the black bee-eater, the broad billed roller, the Cassin’s grey flycatcher, the Ross’s Turaco and the double toothed barbet.

After the game drive you proceed to Buhoma in the north of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve. This area is famous because of the presence of gorillas, but also extremely interesting for birders because of the 350 species of birds in this forest; and 23 of them are endemic!

In the afternoon you will go for a short walk on the Muyanga River Trail with the chance to encounter blue kingfisher.
Journey Time 2½ hrs to Ishasha & 2½ hrs to Bwindi
Accommodation Mahogany Springs Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 11: Optional Gorilla tracking or Bamboo trail

This morning you start early for an extended walk in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve. You have a good chance to find the black-billed turaco, dusky and barred long-tailed cuckoos, bar-tailed trogon, black bee-eater, grey-throated barbet, Petit’s cuckoo-shrike, Alliot’s woodpecker, red-tailed bulbul, mountain and icterine and yellow-whiskered greenbulls, white-bellied robin-chat, white-tailed ant-thrush, rusty-faced warbler, white-browed crombeck, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, white-tailed blue flycatcher, white-tailed crested monarch, narrow-tailed starling, McKinnon’s grey shrike, Luhder’s and Doherty’s bush-shrikes and black-headed waxbill.

Note: You may also choose to do a gorilla tracking today. A gorilla permit costs 600 US$ pp and has to be booked well in advance (advise: book at least 3 months before departure).

After your walk (or gorilla track) you will proceed to Ruhija, to see this side of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, another bird paradise!!

You will stay in a good mid-range lodge on a hill top in the forest, perfect for viewing albertine rift endemics. The eco-friendly lodge has a lovely cozy atmosphere with 5 spacious cottages all with ensuite bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets. A place of infinite calm surrounded by untamed majesty and commanding panoramic views.
Journey Time 1 hour to Ruhija
Accommodation Trekkers Tavern Cottages
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 12: Ruhija Hike

After an early breakfast you will go for the Waterfall Trail. There is some flexibility in today’s program, so discuss the options with your guide. Besides those mentioned already, the species you can spot here are the Lagdon’s bush shrike, francolins and various apalis species. There is also a chance to see one of the 20 endangered species as the African green boardbill and the Grauer’s rush warblers.

Tonight you will stay in the Trekkers Tavern again. Enjoy the forest ambiance and panoramic views over the Ruhija side of Bwindi Impenetrabel Forest Reserve.
Journey Time 2 hours
Accommodation Trekkers Tavern Cottages
Meal Plan Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13: Lake Bunyonyi and Echuya Forest

After an early breakfast you pick up your packed lunch and proceed to the most beautiful lake of the world (according to the BBC). Here you will stay one night in a midrange tented camp on an island. This small island is a bird paradise with many small bird species.

But before going to the island, you will visit Echuya Forest. Here you can find the regal and the blue-headed sunbird, the red-faced woodland warbler and the Rwenzori batis, cinnamon bracken warbler, African harrier-hawk, African hill bubler, Chubb’s cisticola, cinnamon-chested bee-eater and the white-tailed blue flycatcher.
Journey Time 3 hrs to Echuya & 2 hrs to the island
Accommodation Heritage Lodge Tented Camp
Meal Plan Breakfast,packed lunch

Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Today you will start your journey back to Kampala. But as a special treat, you will spend a night in Lake Mburo National Park where you can enjoy a spectacular safari walk where many birds can be found. A very common sighting is the national symbol of Uganda; the crested crane.

Mihingo Lodge features ten rooms built on wooden platforms with stilts. Suspended under the thatched roof is a spacious and comfortable tent. From the dining and pool area, you can enjoy the view of a west-ward oriented valley and its stunning evening sunsets over Lake Mburo N.P.
Journey Time 6 hours
Accommodation Mihingo Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, dinner

Day 15: Mbamba Bay & Back to Entebbe

In the early morning you will leave the park and head for Mbamba Bay, where you will have the best chance to see the shoebill stork. You will enter the swamp with a small boat to look for this huge and prehistoric-looking bird. After this excursion you will proceed to the airport, depending on the departure-time of your flight.

Note: If your return flight is before 8 pm, we advise you to book an extra night in Kampala or Entebbe (you can visit the botanical gardens in Entebbe, where many birds can be found).
Journey Time 6 hours
Accommodation Not included
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch