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15 Days Ultimate Bird Watching and More in Uganda

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From$3,990
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From$3,990
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15 Days, 14 Nights
Entebbe
Entebbe
Min Age : 15+
Tour Details

15 Days Ultimate Bird Watching and More in Uganda Tour is one that you cannot miss! Includes visits to Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, continuing to Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National park and much more. To inquire more about this trip, book or to receive a personalized rate, please fill in the enquiry form (top right or below [depends on device you’re using]) and we will be sure to get back to you ASAP!

NOTE:

  • Gorilla tracking is dependent on the permits availability at the time of your booking. Gorilla permits in all parks are on a very high demand and we advise that you book them as early as possible.

  • Important travel information to plan your trip and make the most of your time here, from entry requirements, safety tips, how to get around to weather conditions, currency and accommodation is available here: Destination Uganda or Destination Rwanda

  • Gorilla Permits cost $600 each

  • Chimpanzee Permits cost $150 each

  • Gorillas are mainly found in Bwindi and Mgahinga

  • Chimpanzees are mainly found in Kibale National Park

  • Read our updated  FAQs to learn more

  • Make your choice in accommodation with us!

Departure & Return Location

Entebbe International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Park entrance fees
  • Services of a full time English speaking driver/guide
  • All activities as stipulated in the itinerary
  • All meals and accommodation as per the itinerary
  • All ground transportation in a comfortable 4x4 vehicle
  • All government taxes/levies

Price Excludes

  • Gorilla permit for $600, Chimpanzee permit for $150
  • Optional activities or forest walks
  • Personal insurance
  • Driver guide’s gratuity
  • Phone calls and bar bills

Complementaries

  • Park entrance Fees
What to Expect
  • Different kinds of mind-blowing bird species
  • Lake Mburo
  • Quuen Elizabeth National Park
  • Optional chimpanzee tracking or bird watching
  • Continue to the itinerary for more
Itinerary

OVERVIEW OF BIRDS IN UGANDA

Uganda is arguably the most attractive country in Africa to bird watchers, not only to because of the unusually number of species recorded within its borders, but also because it offers easy access to several bird-rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere.

Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity-1,008 species recorded in an area similar to that of Great Britain can be attributed to its location at a transitional point between the East African savanna, the West African rainforest and the semi-desert of the north. The key to Uganda’s diversity is its variety of habitats: arid semi-dessert, rich savannahs, lowland and montane rainforests, vast wetlands, volcanoes and an Afro-alpine zone. Uganda covers an altitude from 650 to 5000m.

Analytical of Uganda’s intermediary position is the fact that only one bird is endemic to the country, the rather ordinary Fox’s weaver. However, if you take only East Africa into consideration, then approximately 150 bird species (more than 10% of the regional checklists) are found only in Uganda. This list includes seven of the 20 horn-bill species recorded in the region, five out of 14 honey guides, seven out of 20 horn bill species recorded in the region, five out of 20 bush family as well as 13 members of the thrush family, 11 warblers, ten flycatchers, eight sun birds, eight weavers, eight finches, four tinker birds, four pigeons, 3 kingfishers, 3 sparrow hawks, 3 cuckoos and 3 night-jars.

Most of these Uganda’s specials are West African and Congolese forest birds that should be very difficult to see elsewhere for the simple reason that the other countries in which they occur are poorly developed for Tourism. The rain forests of Western Uganda must be seen as the country’s most important bird habitat, and that is the greatest interest to birdwatchers (bird watching), particularly if they are already familiar with typical East African birds. The most alluring forests in Uganda with localized species is Semliki, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest and Bwindi Forest. However, Kibale is the Uganda’s spot for forest birds and the nearby Magombe swamp. Even the relatively tame botanical gardens in Entebbe will throw up several interesting species.

Therefore, you want to see or watch a wide range of birds in Uganda for tour enthusiasts, try to visit Entebbe (water and forest birds), Lake Mburo (water and acacia associated birds), Queen Elizabeth (Over 600 species are recorded), Murchison Falls (a best place in East Africa to see the Papyrus-associated shoe-bill) and Kidepo (over 50 raptors recorded).

SOME OF THE BIRD SPECIES IN UGANDA

• Ostrich, It the World’s largest bird and its restricted to Kidepo Valley National Park
• Pelicans, these are water birds and commonly found in Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park
• African darter, it’s a snake bird with an elongated rufus neck extended in a serpentine fashion
• Goliath heron, this commonly seen during boat trips in Murchison Falls NP
• Hamerkop; This is a medium sized water bird seen on the Mweya Peninsula in QENP
• Saddle billed stork, This is the largest and most hand some of several storks usually seen in pairs on game drives in Murchison falls
• Marabou stork, this is a Macabre carrion-eating stork common in rural and urban Environments especially in down town Kampala
• Shoebill, Unmistakable large grey swamp-dweller and is the main motivating factor behind many ornithological tours to Uganda. They are mainly seen in Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Mabamba Swamp and in Murchison falls
• Flamingos, astonishing and sociable pink-white algae eaters commonly seen in large concentrations in Katwe and Flamingo crater lakes in QENP
• African Fish Eagle, Unique grey snake-eating raptor
• Helmeted guinea fowl
• Africa Jacana; common in most wetlands in Uganda
• Grey crowned crane; Uganda’s national bird common in swamps and grasslands
• African grey parrot; they are mostly seen in any forested habitat
• Great blue turaco; found I forested areas including Entebbe Botanical gardens
• Ross’s turacco
• Eastern grey plantain-eater
• African emerald cuckoo
• Coucals
• Verreaux’s eagle-owl; largest owl species in Uganda and mostly seen during night drives
• Pennant/standard winged nightjars; mostly seen on the road to the top of Murchison falls after dusk
• Pied Kingfisher
• Giant Kingfisher
• Malachite Kingfisher
• Red-throated bee-eater; breeds in tall sandbanks on Lake Albert and the Nile below Murchison falls
• Lilac-breasted roller
• Hoopoe
• Black and white casqued hornbill
• Four-tailed drongo
• Piacpiac; commonly found in Jinja and Murchison falls
• African Finfoot
• Jackson’s francolin
• Denhams bustard
• African skimmer
• Blue throated roller
• Black bee eater
• Forest/white headed wood hoope
• African pied hornbill
• Chocolate-backed kingfisher
• Papyrus gonolek
• Red headed bluebill and many more.

Day 1Arrival-Visit to Botanical Gardens for birding

Arriving at the airport you will be met by a representative from Churchill Tailored Safaris who will transfer you to your hotel and give you a briefing about your safari.
Depending on time of arrival you can be shown around Entebbe’s Botanical Gardens, which is home to a variety of birds including the Diedrerik Cuckoo, Black Bishop, and Gaber Goshawk. You can also visit the Uganda Wildlife Educational Center before returning to your hotel for dinner.
Keys Species of Entebbe: Great Reed, Ashy Fly Catchers, Black Kite, Black Headed Weavers, Great Blue Turacos, Green Throated Sunbirds.
Later head to your lodge at Best Western Garden hotel on BB

Day 2Entebbe-Nabugabo-Mabamba-Lake Mburo National Park

Your safari continues as you depart to Lake Mburo for two nights. We first have a stopover at Nabugabo near Mabamba Wetland. This recently discovered site is the newest birding destination in Uganda, and is a better option than Mabamba, although both are located on the shores of Lake Victoria. Nabugabo has a recorded 260 species and is the number one destination to see the elusive and prehistoric looking Shoebill Stork (Balaeniceps Rex).

Later on we continue Lake Mbruo for the evening.

Key Species of Nabugabo: Lesser Jacana, Blue Swallow, Black-Shouldered Nightjar, Afep Pigeon, Blue Breasted Bee-Eater, Papyrus Gonolek, White Winged Warbler.
Overnight at Rwakobo rock lodge on FB

Day 3Lake Mburo National Park

It’s an early start today morning as we explore Lake Mburo. Lake Mburo is an extension of the Tanzanian Plains and has distinctly different fauna compared to other Ugandan parks. It is the best place in the country to see Eland Antelope, Zebra, Topi, Impala, and Acacia. The five lakes within the park attract hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of water birds, while fringing swamps hide black and yellow papyrus gonalek. Take a morning game drive and then a boat safari in the afternoon to get a closer look at the water birds of the park. Key Species of Lake Mburo: Brown Chested Plover, Red Faced Barbet, Southern Ground Hornbill, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Yellow Billed Oxpecker, African Finfoot, Black Collard Barbet.
Overnight at Rwakobo rock lodge on FB

Day 4Lake Mburo-Bwindi Impenetrable forest

The next day you continue to the Southern part of Uganda, to Ruhija a subsection of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for two nights. The Montane Forest is home to over half the world’s remaining gorilla population as well as 23 Albertine Rift Endemics, which can be found no other place on Earth. Passing through the verdant countryside you will notice the dramatic change in scenery and landscape. Arriving in the late afternoon you will have dinner at your hotel before retiring for the evening.
Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla lodge on FB.

Day 5Ruhija

Today, we head towards Mubwindi Swap in Ruhija to look for such varieties as Shelly’s crimsonwings, Stripe-breasted Tit, African Hill Babbler, and the Purple-breasted Sunbird.
Key Species of Ruhija Bwindi: Grauer’s Warbler, Rwenzori Nightjar, Rwenzori Batis, Olive Pigeon, African Green Broadbill, Strange Weaver, Yellow-Eyed Black Flycatcher, Purple Breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird.
Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla lodge on FB.

Day 6Ruhija - Buhoma

We are nowhere near being done with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and continue to a section of the park called Buhoma for two nights. As we transfer to Buhoma we explore an area called “the neck of the forest.” This is an excellent area for bird watching, and if we are lucky we may see such species as the Lagden’s Bush Shrike and Black Bee-eater.
Overnight at Mahogany springs hotel on FB

Day 7 & Day 8Buhoma- Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth

Your safari continues as we head north to Ishasha, just outside Queen Elizabeth National Park. Although Ishasha is best known for their tree climbing lions there are also a variety of bird species in the area. Arriving in the afternoon we have a bird watching activity before returning to the hotel for the evening.
Key Species of Ishasha: Brown Chested Plover, Diederick’s Cuckoo, Wattled and Violet Backed Starlings.
Overnight at Enjojo lodge on FB

Day 9Ishasha to Northern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today you depart for two nights to Queen Elizabeth National Park, which boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game park or reserve in the world. From open savannah to rain forest, Queen Elizabeth has a wealth of over a 100 mammal species, and an astounding 606 bird species, making it a premier birding safari destination. Arrive in the park in the afternoon, and go for a game drive and birding in the early evening.
Overnight at Mweya safari lodge on FB

Day 10Queen Elizabeth National park

Spend the whole day in the Park viewing the various birds and wildlife. We will visit the infamous Maramagambo Forest and Kasenyi Plains in search of birdlife. In the afternoon you will go for a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel to view the hippos, crocodiles, and birds that congregate to the river’s edge. You will also get the opportunity to visit the Queen Elizabeth Bird Observatory which was founded in 1997 to study the patterns of migratory and resident birds.

Key species of Queen Elizabeth: African Skimmer, Black Rumped Button Quail, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Red Footed Falcon, Lesser Flamingoes, Grey Capped Warbler, White’s and Abdim’s Storks (in season), Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Wooly-necked and Saddle-billed Storks, Vultures and Plovers.
Overnight at Mweya safari lodge on FB

Day 11Queen Elizabeth National Park-Kibale National Park

Today you depart for Kibale National Forest for two nights. The large block of rainforest is the home to over thirteen primate species including chimpanzees, red colobus, and L’Hoest monkeys. Kibale National Forest is also home to over 355 bird species, and a range of other animal species including the elusive forest elephant.
Overnight at Kibale Guest cottages on FB

Day 12Kibale National Park

This morning go for an optional Chimpanzee track or birding activity.

Later in the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, which is rich in bird species, vegetation, and wildlife. This is also a great opportunity to support local tourism initiatives which benefits social and economic development in the area.
Key species of Kibale: White Collard Oliveback, Leaflove, African Broadbill, Willcock’s Honeyguide, Green Breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Grey Winged Robin, Red Winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, White Bellied Crested Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Red Chested Fluftail, Grey Winged Robin, White Napped pigeon, Chestnut Winged Starling.
Overnight at Kibale Guest cottages on FB

Day 13Kibale-Semiliki National Park

You continue with your safari concludes as you head north to Semliki Valley National Park for two nights. Based in Western Uganda, Semliki holds part of Congo’s Ityiru Forest. With over 350 bird species being recorded, Semliki is an extraordinary birding location, drawing many wetland varieties. Relatively new to the tourism circuit, new species are still being discovered in the reserve. You may be lucky enough to discover one!
Driving into the park we will stop at the hot springs before continuing to the wildlife reserve to spend the evening birding en route.
Overnight at Ntoroko game lodge on FB

Day 14Semiliki National Park

Today, we will continue birding at the National Park, spending the afternoon on a boat in Lake Albert to look for wetland varieties.
Key species of Semliki: Shoebill the African Pygmy Goose, Red-necked Falcon, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue-breasted Bee-Eater, Black-billed Barbet, Piapiac, Leaflove and Black-chinned Quail-Finch.

Overnight at Ntoroko game lodge on FB

Day 15Semiliki-Entebbe International Airport

Today you depart Semliki for Entebbe, stopping en route for lunch you continue to the airport to catch your late return flight home.

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