8 DAYS UGANDA BIRDING SAFARI ∣ 8 DAYS UGANDA BIRDING TOUR

8 Days Uganda Birding Safari – SAFARI OVERVIEW

8 Days Uganda Birding Safari

This 8 days Uganda birding safari is a 7 nights/8 days Uganda birding tour that takes us to the country’s wonderful must see bird watching destinations. This 8 days birding safari in Uganda tour has been perfectly structured to ensure a high species count and more importantly, focusing on the species that are endemic, near-endemic, or ones not easily seen anywhere else. This trip is also offers stunning and varied landscapes and fantastic mammal sightings. Our first birding site will be Mabamba Swamp, a Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area on Lake Victoria shore to catch a rare glimpse of the unique and incredible, pre-historic like Shoebill. We visit Lake Mburo National Park to encounter many of 350 bird species here including the Red-faced Barbet (only seen in here) and the endemic African Finfoot.

The wonderful Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, host the most exciting selection of forest birds in Africa. More than 350 bird species have been recorded in Bwindi, with 23 special species which are endemic to the Albertine Rift Ecosystem including the rare, elusive and gorgeous African green Broadbill, the beautiful regal sunbird, the handsome francolin, the colorful Rwenzori turaco and Shelly’s Crimsonwing. Bwindi is also where almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas live. We continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a bird watchers paradise with over 600 bird species across a variety of habitats including: – rolling savannah grasslands, tropical rainforest, moist acacia woodland, beautiful saline crater lakes, freshwater lakes and wetlands. Over 95 mammal species also live here.

Finally, before our 8 days Uganda birding safari draws to a close, we’ll visit Kibale National Park. This famous home of Chimpanzees offers up to 375 bird species including the precious Green-Breasted Pitta. This amazing trip will end with a walk in community-run Bigodi Wetland which is home to over 200 bird species including the Great blue Turaco.

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8 Days Uganda Birding Safari – PRIME SAFARI ACTIVITIES

  Explore Uganda’s most Important Bird Areas, which offer up to 1073 species

  Cover a multitude of habitats for the Uganda’s sought after birds

  Searching for charismatic Shoebills on a canoe in Mabamba Swamp

  A very relaxing birding launch cruise along the spectacular Kazinga channel

  Exciting game viewing during birding expeditions in Queen Elizabeth & Lake Mburo Parks.

  Searching for the 23 Albertine Rift Endemic birds in Bwindi, the home of Moutain Gorillas

  Photo session at the Uganda Equator

8 Days Uganda Birding Safari – FEATURED SAFARI DESTINATIONS

  Day 1: Entebbe

  Day 2: Mabamba Swamp & Lake Mburo National Park.

  Day 3 & 4: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

  Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park.

  Day 6 & 7: Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

  Day 8: Departure

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8 Days Uganda Birding Safari − SAFARI HIGHLIGHT

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda via Entebbe International Airport & transfer to the hotel

Day 2: Bird Mabamba Swamp in search of Shoebill & transfer to Lake Mburo National Park.

Day 3: Morning boat ride on Lake Mburo, bird in the savannah & proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park- Ruhija sector

Day 4: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp, transfer to Buhoma sector & birding en route at the neck

Day 5: Half day birding in Buhoma & transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 6: Game viewing & birding in savannah, afternoon Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise & transfer to Kibale National Park

Day 7: Birding in Kibale Forest National Park & wetland walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Day 8: Short birding stop in Sebitoli sector as you transfer back to Entebbe Airport for departure

8 Days Uganda Birding Safari − DETAILED SAFARI ITINERARY

Day 1 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Arrive in Uganda via Entebbe International Airport & Transfer to the Hotel.

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you’ll be met by the Prime Uganda Safari representative who will warmly welcome to Uganda and transfer to a nearby hotel. Entebbe town is situated on the shore of Lake Victoria about 40km away from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

The town is incredibly “birdy” and if time allows, we’ll make an afternoon visit to the beautifully landscaped Entebbe Botanical Gardens right on Lake Victoria shore. Along with a bounty of more common species, our first birds here could include:- Orange Weaver, Palm-nut vulture, African fish eagle, Gray Parrot, Ross’s Turaco and Great blue turaco, a perfect introduction to the trip with easy birding in an open environment.

Highlight of the day: – Viewing the serene waters of Lake Victoria as you touch down Entebbe International Airport.  

Accommodation:-

Luxury: – Serena Lake Victoria Resort/Protea Hotel Entebbe

Midrange: – 2 Friends Beach Hotel Entebbe/Lake Heights Hotel Entebbe/Boma Hotel Entebbe

Budget: – Acacia Boutique Hotel/Airport Guesthouse Entebbe

 

Meal Plan: – Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 3-5km or 10-20 minutes

 

Activities & services of the day include:-

  • Pick up from the airport and transfer to the hotel

 

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Entebbe city tour
  • Birding in Entebbe Botanical Gardens
  • Visiting Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Visit to Uganda Wildlife Education Center

 

Day 2 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Bird Mabamba Swamp in Search of Shoebill & Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park.

After breakfast at around 6.30 am, we’ll grab our cameras and binoculars and embark on an amazing birding journey to Mabamba swamp, a Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area on the shore of Lake Victoria. On reaching the swamp, we’ll embark on a canoe ride in search of the Shoebills (Balaeniceps rex). We hope to see at least one these prehistoric-like beast standing in the swamp or soaring overhead.

We’ll also see a variety of other special birds including:- Africa Pygmy goose, Lesser jacana, Gull-bellied tern, Blue-breasted bee-eater, Carruther’s cisticola, Papyrus gonolek , White winged warbler, Blue swallow, Pallid harrier, Swamp flycatcher, Palm-nut vulture, Carruther’s cisticola and Viellot’s, Grosbeak, Black-headed, Northern brown-throated and Clarke’s weavers.

We may have the opportunity to encounter the elusive swamp dwelling Sitatunga Antelope. You will retire from the activity and then transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Make a stop at Uganda Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing photo shoots.

Highlight of the day: – Canoe ride in Mabamba Swamp in search of the incredible Shoebill.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mihingo Safari Lodge/Matana Tented Camp

Mid-range/Moderate: – Rwakobo Rock/Emburara Farm Lodge/Arcadia Lodge Mburo

Budget/Basic: – Eagles Nest Mburo

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 280km or 4-5 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Mabamba Swamp
  • Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Photo shoots at the Equator

Day 3 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Morning Boat Ride on Lake Mburo, Birding in the Savannah & Proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park- Ruhija Sector.

We will have breakfast at around 7.00 am. We’ll the transfer to Rwonyo jetty for a 2 hours boat ride on Lake Mburo which starts at 8.00 am. Keep an eye out for the colourful kingfishers, magnificent African fish eagles and rare, elusive but beautiful African finfoot. You will also have a chance to see hippos, crocodiles and hippos.

After the boat cruise, we’ll embark a 3 hours birding encounter on by vehicle in the savannah landscapes of Lake Mburo for chances of spotting birds like Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Brown-chested Lapwing, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Brown Parrot, Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Red-faced Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Long-tailed Cisticola, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, White-winged Tit and Yellow-breasted Apalis among other birds.

This driving experience also offers an opportunity to explore counts of wild game including the Rothschild giraffes, the Topis, elands, waterbucks, Buffaloes, Burchell’s Zebra, Impala, and Warthogs among other species. From the activity, set off for the transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Ruhija 235km about 5 hours’ drive enjoying the views of countryside landscape arriving evening for relaxation dinner and overnight.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage is a true African jungle. With its misty peaks and fern-loaded forests, this 321km2 park is indeed an amazing biodiversity hotspot hosting almost half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas along with other 120 species of other mammals live. Bwindi host more than 350 bird species including 23 species which are listed in IUCN Red Data Book and/or endemic to the Albertine Rift.

Highlight of the day: – The evening birding adventure in Ruhija Sector

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Gorilla Forest Camp/Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs

Midrange/Standard: – Gorilla Mist Camp/Bakiga Lodge/Haven Lodge Buhoma

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp/Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 235km or 4 – 5 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Morning boat ride on Lake Mburo
  • Bird in the savannah of Lake Mburo National Park
  • Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Ruhija sector

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Morning game drive in Lake Mburo Park
  • Horseback safari in Lake Mburo Park

Day 4 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding in Mubwindi Swamp, Transfer to Buhoma Sector & Do Birding En Route at the Neck.

After breakfast at around 7:00 am, we’ll embark on the birding encounter to Mubwindi swamp, arguably the top birding walk in Bwindi’s Ruhija sector. We’ll either have a packed lunch somewhere in the forest today or return to the lodge for lunch before birding in the afternoon again. We’ll descend several meters from Mubwindi Swamp Trail head to a swamp area. This walk down to this swamp is not for the faint-hearted, this is an obligate pilgrimage for the serious birder, since it is down there that resides the MOST coveted of Albertine Rift endemic birds − the rare and localised African Green Broadbill. This globally threatened species is only known from two sites in the world, the other being a remote forest in eastern DR Congo.

Other Bwindi specials to look for here include Carruthers’s cisticola, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Neumann’s warbler, Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Chapin’s flycatcher, Blue-headed sunbird, Regal sun bird, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, Purple breasted sun bird, Dusky crimsonwing, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Grey Cuckooshrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Mountain Greenbul, Red-chested flufftail, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater and Chubb’s cisticola plus much more. Retire from the activity in the afternoon drive to Buhoma birding along the neck.

Highlight of the day: – Encountering the rare and beautiful African Broad Bill.

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Gorilla Forest Camp/ Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs

Midrange/Standard: – Haven Lodge Buhoma/Silverback Lodge

Budget/Basic: – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: –

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Mubwindi Swamp
  • Drive to Buhoma Sector

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Visit the Batwa people to learn about their hunter gatherer culture.

 

Day 5 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Half Day Birding in Buhoma & Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After an early breakfast at around 7.00 am, we’ll transfer to the forest following the waterfall trail for birding. Special bird species to look for include: – Bar-tailed Trogon, Black Bee-eater, Handsome francolin, Olive long-tailed cuckoo, Dusky tit, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Abyssinian/Kivu ground thrush, Banded Prinia, Grauer’s swamp Warbler, White-bellied Robin-chat, Equatorial akalat, Grey-chested iladopsis, Red-throated alethe, White-bellied crested flycatcher, White-eyed slaty flycatcher, the enigmatic Chapin’s flycatcher, White-browed crombec, Neumann’s warbler, Black-faced Prinia, Jameson’s antpecker, Black-faced rufous warbler, Willcock’s honeyguide, black-billed weaver, magpie mannikin and newly described Willard’s sooty boubou.

Key your eyes at the snags and canopy contours for sooty flycatcher and forest starlings – including Waller’s, Stuhlmann’s and narrow-tailed. Other wildlife that we may be fortunate enough to find includes Black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s, blue and red-tailed monkeys. We will either have a packed lunch somewhere in the forest today or return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta before birding in the afternoon again. We’ll retire from the activity for relaxation dinner and overnight.

From the activity, we’ll have our lunch and then transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 160km about 7 hours’ drive.

Highlight of the day: – Birding in Buhoma sector of Bwindi for a chance to see several Albertine Rift endemic bird species.

 

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mweya Safari Lodge/Mazike Valley Loge/Katara Loge

Midrange/Standard: – Enganzi Game Lodge/Bush Lodge/Kasenyi Safari Camp

Budget/Basic: – Pumba Safari Cottages/Park View Safari Lodge

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – Approx. 160km about 7 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Buhoma Sector
  • Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Gorilla trekking in Bwindi
  • Batwa people cultural visit

 

Day 6 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Game Viewing & Birding in Savannah Landscapes in Queen Elizabeth N.P, Afternoon Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise & Transfer to Kibale National Park

We’ll have our breakfast at around 7.00 am and embark on a 3-4 hours game viewing and birding encounter in the varied habitats of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The birding encounter can be conducted in either Mweya peninsular, environs of Lake Kikorongo, savannah plains of Kasenyi, Katunguru bridge Area among other areas.

Queen Elizabeth National Park exposes you to birds like, Temminck’s Courser, Rüppell’s Griffon, Martial Eagle, White Headed, Lappet Faced Vultures, Blue Quail, Harlequin Quail, Small (Common) Buttonquail, African Crake, African Skimmer, Black Headed Gonolek, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Amur Falcon, Lowland Akalat, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Greater and Lesser Flamingo among others. The sights of wildlife like elephants, buffaloes, spotted Hyena, side stripped jackals and Antelopes among others may not be missed.

We retire from the activity for lunch. In afternoon, we will embark on a stunning 2 hours birding boat cruise along 40km long Kazinga Channel which connects lakes, Edward and George. Highlights of the voyage include our close (and safe) approach to African buffalo, Elephants, Hippos and Crocodiles. We’ll see several fantastic waterbirds such as African Open-billed, Yellow-billed, Saddle-billed and Marabou Storks, African spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Wattled Lapwing, Water Thick-knee and Pelicans. We’ll return to the lodge for relaxation dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – The birding boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel.

 

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Mweya Safari Lodge/Mazike Valley Loge/Katara Loge

Midrange/Standard: – Enganzi Game Lodge/Bush Lodge/Kasenyi Safari Camp

Budget/Basic: – Pumba Safari Cottages/Park View Safari Lodge

 

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Drive Distance & time: – 157km or 3 hours

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Game viewing and birding in the savannah landscapes
  • Birding boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge/Kalinzu Forest
  • Community cultural visit
  • Lion tracking
  • Night game drive

 

Day 7 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Birding in Kibale Forest National Park & Wetland Walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

This day of our fantastic 8 days Uganda birding safari starts with an early morning breakfast after which we transfer to the Kanyanchu area for a wonderful birding experience. We’ll have a chance to encounter the very secretive Green-breasted Pitta, one of Africa’s ultimate avian prizes. As the pittas tend to display most reliably at sunrise, we’ll be out well before first light (at around 7.00 am) to position ourselves in a known and active territory.

As we search for these gorgeous birds, we’ll encounter a host of other birds including African pitta, African grey parrots, Afep pigeon, Great blue turaco, Abyssinian ground thrush, Black bee-eater, Black-capped Apalis, Black-eared ground thrush, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Blue-headed bee-eater, Crowned eagle, Dusky Crimsonwing, Little greenbul, Masked Apalis, Purple-breasted sunbird, Red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori Apalis, Scaly-breasted illadopsis, Western nicator, White-naped pigeon and Yellow-rumped tinkerbird. You will also have opportunities to see a variety of primates including Uganda red colobus, the rare L ’Hoest’s monkey, Black-and-white colobus, Red-tailed monkeys, Blue monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, Olive baboon, Bushbabies and Pottos.

After our birding encounter in Kibale, we have a picnic lunch in the forest and in the afternoon we go birding in the nearby community-run Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary where a good selection of new birds is on offer, including White-spotted Flufftail, Joyful Greenbul, Red-headed Bluebill, Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Black Bishop, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Barbet, Orange-tufted Sunbird and Black-crowned Waxbill. Other birds at Kibale could include Cassin’s Flycatcher, Red-headed Malimbe and Sabine’s Spinetail. We settle for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Highlight of the day: – Encountering several special bird species in Kibale such as the Green breasted pitta.

 

Accommodation:-

Luxury/Upmarket: – Crater Safari Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge/Primate Lodge Kibale

Midrange/Standard: – Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse/Kibale Forest Camp/Turaco Tree Tops

Budget/Basic: – Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Activities & services of the day:-

  • Birding in Kibale National Park
  • Wetland walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Optional activities you can choose to do on this day include:-

  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Cultural encounter
  • Night walks in Kibale forest to see some of the nocturnal creatures such as Bush babies, Pottos and Night jars.

 

Day 8 of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari: Short Birding Stop in Sebitoli Sector as you Transfer Back to Entebbe Airport for Departure.

After breakfast, set off for the transfer to Entebbe 366km about 7 hours’ drive making a short birding at Sebitoli – an extension of Kibale Forest en-route.

 

 Highlight of the day: – Birding in Sebitoli sector

Meal Plan: – Breakfast & Lunch

 

Activities & services of the day including:-

  • Short bird walk in Sebitoli sector of Kibale
  • Transfer to Entebbe International Airport for departure

End of the 8 Days Uganda Birding Safari

8 Days Uganda Birding Safari − SAFARI INCLUSIONS

   Full time English professional safari driver guide

   4×4 safari van/ 4×4 Safari land cruiser with pop up roof for game viewing with functional A/C

   Full board accommodation

   Boat cruise fees

   Wi-Fi Internet on board the safari vehicle

   Bottled water

8 Days Uganda Birding Safari − SAFARI EXCLUSIONS

   International &domestic flight fees

   Visa fees

   Laundry services

   Items of personal nature

   Gratuities and tips

   Other beverages/ drinks

   Other extras not mentioned in the itinerary above

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