19 Days Best Forest Birding Uganda

Birding Uganda

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport

Meet your local smiling guide and transfer to Imperial Botanical Hotel. If you arrive early enough, you will have a welcome birding afternoon around Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Watch out for the Brown throated waver, golden backed weaver, yellow backed weaver, grey headed gull, long tailed cormorant, common squacco heron, yellow billed duck, pied kingfisher, giant kingfisher, swamp flycatcher, broad billed roller, black and white casqued hornbill, splendid glossy starling, black headed gonolek, orange weaver, red chested sunbird, slender billed weaver, Ross’s turaco, pied hornbill, crowned hornbill, open billed stork, great red warbler, sedge warbler, grey capped warbler and many other species.

Dinner and overnight at Imperial Botanical Hotel.

Day 2: Mabamba Swamp Birding

After an early breakfast drive to Mabamba Important Bird Area with packed lunch. Mabamba is the closest and best spot to watch the majestic African shoebill in the wild. Stop over in Mpigi Swamp for papyrus rarities. Watch out for the usual papyrus gonolek, white winged warbler, yellow backed weaver, northern brown-throated weaver and blue-headed coucal. Proceed to Mabamba wetland

Most of the birding is done on the canoe. Look out for the majestic shy shoebill stork both in the sky exploring the heights and down in the marshy swamp, Watch out closely for the swamp flycatcher, purple swamp hen, African water rail, common moorhen, lesser jacana, African jacana, African pygmy goose, white faced whistling duck, squacco heron, blue breasted bee-eater, winding cistcola, goliath heron, black crake and many more. Afternoon transfer to Mpanga forest. This forest has a stunning patch of remnant medium altitude that is evergreen. Look out for Blue breasted kingfisher, White spotted fluftail, Grey parrot Lemon dove, woodland warbler and many more.

Return to Imperial Botanical Hotel for Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: Birding in Budongo Forest

Leave for Budongo forest. Several stopovers for birds enroute. Look out for the white crested turaco, Ross’s turaco and white crested helmet shrike. Stopover for lunch at Masindi hotel. Check in Budongo Nyabyeya Guesthouse. Evening birding may produce bat hawks, black shouldered nightjar, white crested turaco, crowned eagle, African wood owl.

Dinner and overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge

Day 4: Birding Safari

After an early breakfast start birding to the royal mile. This is the home to the rare Nahan’s francolin, look out for the banded snake eagle, African pied hornbill, brown backed kingfisher, white thighed hornbill, brown backed scrub robin, black bishop, brown twinspot, black bellied firefinch, the chocolate backed kingfisher, yellow billed barbet, spotted greenbul, Cameroon somber greenbul, slender billed greenbul, black capped apalis, lemon bellied crombec, green hylia, pale breasted illadopsis, forest flycatcher, fire crested alethe, yellow browed camaroptera, crowned eagle, yellow footed flycatcher, African dwarf kingfisher, catch up with the Chimpanzees as they toss about from one branch to another in the forest.

Dinner and overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge

Day 5: Birding in Bisingiro sector

After an early breakfast start for Bisingiro sector for a whole day birding. Look out for Ituri batis, rufous crowned eremomela, forest francolin, baboons yellow, yellow spotted barbet, red tailed antithrush, dusky long tailed cuckoo and many other forest bird species.

Dinner and overnight at Masindi hotel.

Day 6: Birding in Kanio Pabidi section and Chimpanzee tracking

After rather an early breakfast, drive to Kanio Pabidi section for birding and Chimp tracking. Special birds here include the puvellis illadopsis, crowned eagle, white crested turaco, afep pigeon, yellow rumped tinkerbird, Ross’s turaco, Narina’s trogon, red tailed thrush and rufous sided broadbill. Enjoy the baboons and chimps.

Dinner and overnight at Masindi hotel.

Day 7 & 8: Kibale National Park

Start off early for Kibale National Park. Kibale N.P is a rainy forest and a home to over 9 different species of primates. Some of these include chimpanzees, red colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangaby, red tailed monkeys and galagos. The forest is also home to scaly francolins, marsh tchagra, black bellied seed cracker, green backed twinspot, Bicoloured manikin, white napped pigeon, Afep pigeon, Narina’s trogon, joyful greenbul, olive long tailed cuckoo, the superb black bee eater and many more. An afternoon nature walk at Bigodi wetland will yield species like Blue headed coucal, blue breasted kingfisher, scaly throated honey guide, black faced rufous wabler and others.

Dinner and overnight at Mantana luxury tented camp, Ndali lodge or Chimpanzee Guesthouse

Day 9: Travel to Semuliki Forest

With packed lunch leave for Semuliki forest. This is a moist semi-ciduous forest and a home to sport breasted ibis, Northern bearded scrub robin, capuchin babbler, lyre tailed honey guide, yellow throated green cuckoo, white bellied kingfisher, Maxwell’s black weaver, black winged oriole, red eyed puff back, red bellied malimbe, brown crowned eremomela, Zenker’s honey guide, African piculet and many more species.

Dinner and overnight at Semuliki lodge.

Day 10: Birding in Semuliki Forest

Whole day birding in the Semuliki forest.

Dinner and overnight at Semuliki lodge.

Day 11: Morning Birding in Semuliki Forest

Morning birding in the Semuliki forest Reserve, afternoon visit to the Volcano looking Sempaya hot springs. Relax as you watch water do its magic like “there is no tomorrow”

Dinner and overnight at Semuliki lodge.

Day 12: Birding in Imaramagambo Forest Queen Elizabeth NP

At the break of the day, start off for Imaramagambo forest west of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Key species include dark capped yellow warbler, fawn breasted waxbill, black headed batis, Brubru sulphur breasted bush shrike, Eurasian golden oriole, bat hawk, red tailed bristlebill, green crombec, black and white flycatcher, brown eared woodpecker, red headed bluebill, African hobby, African green pigeon, Ross’s turaco, African finfoot.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge or Parkview Lodge

Day 13: Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel

Whole day birding. Afternoon enjoy birding along Kazinga channel on boat. Kazinga channel joins Lake Edward and Lake George, which gives it a wonderful site in a lovely environment with its various beautiful water birds along the channel.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge or Parkview Lodge

Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP

Transfer Southwards to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park the home to the forest giants that are cousins to human beings, the gorillas. This Impenetrable Forest is still one of the best virgin tropical rain forests in East Africa. Birding begins early in the morning with the early risers at the Luxury bush camp. After breakfast with our packed lunch we set off for the whole birding.

This forest has over 300 bird species recorded. These include among other forest rarities, red throated alethe, equatorial akalat, forest robin, montane oriole, grey throated barbet, hairy breasted barbet, African broadbill, black bee eater, pale breasted illadopsis, Narina’s trogon, Pettit’s cuckoo shrike and black faced rufous warbler. Please note that this forest receives rainfall almost all year round, a raincoat and hiking shoes with a good tract are appropriate.

Dinner and overnight at the Luxury bush camp.

Day 15: Bird watching Bwindi

Many bird watchers who have been to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before have shown interest ion tracking gorillas. Have this optional day for that activity. Carry packed lunch and enjoy the giant forest primates in their jungle.

Dinner and overnight at the Luxury bush camp.

Day 16 & 17: Birding

Depart at the crack of dawn for a 50km drive to the highest peak of the forest- Ruhija. Several checks at the rare bird spots may produce rare species such as white starred robin, grey cuckoo shrike, strange weaver, banded prinia, brown chested alethe, slender billed greenbull, yellow streaked greenbull, white browned crombec, mountain illadopsis, Luehder’s bush shrike, grey bush shrike, grey green bush shrike; all these and many others are among the 345 species recorded in this park.

Birding to the Mubwindi swamp is very rewarding. One has to be prepared to walk on steep mountains. You drop from 2400m to 2050m above sea level. Birding in the bamboo zone is good for handsome francolin, archers robin chat, stripe breasted tit, purple breasted sunbird, mountain greenbull, duikers, wallers, chestnut winged starling, dusky crimsonwing, mountain illadopsis, mountain yellow warbler to mention a few. Birders who come with camping equipment can camp at Ruhija campground.

Day 18: Go back to Kampala

Depart for Kampala early enough, stopover for lunch in Mbarara and proceed, if time allows do some shopping for your memorable African handcrafts.

Dinner and overnight at Imperial Botanical Hotel.

Day 19: Departure

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers
  • Transport in a 4×4 Safari Car
  • Fuel for the round trip
  • Services of an English speaking driver guide
  • All park entry fees
  • Drinking water in the vehicle

Cost excludes

  • Uganda and Rwanda Visa fees plus all expenses of person nature such as drinks and tips
  • airfares