11 Days Forest and Savanna Birding Tour in Uganda
The 11 Days Forest and Savanna Birding Tour in Uganda takes you to western and southwestern Uganda in the Albertine Rift or Africa’s Western Rift Valley is one of the most bio-diverse regions on the African continent. It conserves more threatened and endemic species than any other region of Africa and is an Endemic Bird Area.
This 11 days birding tour explores some of the key birding spots in the Albertine Rift. It starts from Lake Mburo which is Uganda’s smallest savanna park and famous for the African Finfoot and traverses the Kigezi highlands of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for the Specials in Ruhija, then to Queen Elizabeth National park and ends at Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Details of 11 Days Forest and Savanna Birding Tour in Uganda
Day 1 – Arrival and pick up
You arrive at Entebbe International Airport and a representative from our company will meet you brief you about the tour and drive you to your booked hotel in either Entebbe or Kampala. Please feel free to ask questions about Uganda along the way.
Accommodation: Lake Victoria Hotel
Day 2- Birding at Mabamba and transfer to Lake Mburo National park
Wake Up in the morning at 6 am have a quick cup of tea and pack breakfast and drive to Mabamba swamp. Mabamba Bay is a unique extensive marsh stretching along a narrow bay, fringed with papyrus towards the main body of Lake Victoria.
It lies between Busi Island and Buwaya/Zziba village on the mainland. The marshland forms part of Buwaya Bay, southwest of Nakiwogo Bay both of which are located west of Entebbe International Airport. The swamp is about 50 Km from Kampala on the northern edge of Lake Victoria.
The swamp is one of Uganda’s 33 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and a Ramsar-listed wetland of international importance. It hosts key protected bird species. Of the 200 species in the area, the Shoebill is the most popular attraction.
Other birds are the Blue Swallow, Papyrus Gonolek, Malachite Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Common Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, African Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced whistling Duck, Common Squacco Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Saddle-billed Stork, Grey-headed Gulls, and more.
After the session, we shall drive to Lake Mburo National Park. Lake Mburo is Uganda’s smallest savanna National Park. It is conveniently close to the highway that connects Kampala to the parks of western Uganda. Lake Mburo is home to over 350 bird species with a 90% chance of seeing the African Finfoot.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock Lodge | Main Destination: Mabamba Swamp and Lake Mburo National Park
Day 3- Whole day birding in Lake Mburo “Game drive”
We shall wake up at 6 am have a quick cup of tea, pack breakfast and go for a game drive in search of birds. The network of game tracks in the east of the park passes a variety of landscape features; acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock outcrops, and seasonally flooded valley floors.
Lake Mburo has about 350 bird species including White-winged Warbler, Shoebill Stork, Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Red-necked Spur, Common Quails, African grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Coqui Francolin, Long-tailed Cisticola, Southern red Bishop and so much more.
The best birding spots in the park include the swampy valleys of Warukiri and Miiriti and the roadsides between Rwonyo camp and the jetty. There are viewing platforms at the salt lick, in Miiriti valley, and in Rubanga Forest. From the morning game drive, we come back for lunch, have a rest, and go for a boat cruise in the evening.
The park is well-to-do with a variety of animal and plant species which can only be seen clearly if you take a boat trip. The Hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and birds like Pelicans, Herons, and African fish Eagle, Black Crake, African Finfoot, and Cormorants.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock Lodge | Main Destination: Lake Mburo National Park
Day 4- Lake Mburo and Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park (Ruhija)
We shall wake up at 6 am have breakfast and then have a short birding drive through the park as we transfer to Ruhija. Ruhija is a top and must-visit site in Uganda with outstanding birding in the spectacular environments. Here birds are very many and easy to spot. Starting early offers the finest opportunity of finding the remarkable Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Handsome Francolin, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Rwenzori Batis, Western Green Tinkerbird, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, as well as the Chestnut-throated Apalises among many others.
Accommodation: Agandi Eco Lodge | Main Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Ruhija side
Day 5- Birding in Ruhija
Wake up early in the morning at 6 am have a quick cup of tea and packed breakfast and drive to Ruhija through the park. Ruhija is the best birding spot in Uganda and Africa.
Located in the eastern part of the park the sector harbors species like Rwenzori Batis, Double Collared Sunbird, Black Flycatcher, White-tailed blue flycatcher, Brown-capped warbler, Black Billed weaver, Black Necked weaver, Red-Headed Malimbe; Grey-headed Sparrow, Waller’s Starling, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Montane Oriole, Many Colored Bush-Shrike, Bocage’s Bush-Shrike, Brown Crowned Tchagra, Pink Footed Puffback, Ludher’s Bush-Shrike, Doherty`s Bush-shrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Rwenzori Nightjar.
Accommodation: Agandi Eco lodge | Main Destination: Ruhija sector of Bwindi
Day 6- Ruhija and transfer to Buhoma
Wake up early in the morning at 6 am have a quick cup of tea and packed breakfast and drive to Buhoma as you bird through the park. The varied habitats of Uganda’s oldest forest mean it is the ideal habitat for a variety of birds, with 350 species recorded, including 23 endemics (90% of all Albertine Rift endemics) such as the Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as seven IUCN red data listed species. Easy to see are the African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers, and Red-headed Bluebill. Birding takes place along the main trail, the Buhoma Waterfall Trail, and along the bamboo zone.
Accommodation: Ride 4 a Woman | Main Destination: Buhoma Sector of Bwindi
Day 7 – Whole day birding in Buhoma
In the morning wake up at 6 am have breakfast and drive to the starting point of the trails and embark on the search for the forest species in Bwindi. As we bird in Buhoma, we look out for species like the Regal Sunbird, Dusky Tit, Brown-caped Weaver, Yellow-billed and Yellow-spotted Barbets, African Shrike Flycatchers, Black-and-white Shrike Flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Brown-throated, and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Apalises, to mention but a few of the forest species.
Accommodation: Ride 4 a Woman | Main Destination: Buhoma
Day 8- Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park
Wake up early in the morning have a cup of tea and packed breakfast and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the south in Ishasha. The park is 62 km from Buhoma and famous for it its largest number of birds (600 species) in an area of 1995 km2. Along the way we hope to add Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed Weaver, Little Weaver, Black-headed Weaver, Grey-headed Sparrow, Red-headed Lovebird, Spur-winged Lapwing, the Ring-necked, Red-eyed and African Mourning Doves, the Winding, Croaking and Zitting Cisticola among others. We shall bird Ishasha and after transfer to the northern part of Queen Elizabeth National park and you check-in at your lodge.
Accommodation: Enjojo Lodge | Main Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 9- Birding in Maramagambo forest (Queen Elizabeth National Park)
Wake up early in the morning at 6 am have a quick cup of tea pack breakfast and go on a birding expedition to Maramagambo Forest and have lunch at Jacana Safari Lodge. After lunch, you continue the birding exercise and go back to the hotel in the evening.
Maramagambo forest covers a part of Queen Elizabeth National Park from the escarpment of Kichwamba and all through to Lake Edward. At Maramagambo forest you will have a chance to watch a variety of forest birds.
The list includes a number of uncommon bird species like; the Rwenzori Turaco, the White napped Pigeons, Pygmy Kingfisher, African skimmer, Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Chapin’s Flycatcher, African Broadbill, Black – Bee-eater, Papyrus Gonolek, White-tailed Lark, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Canary, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Corncrake and African Finfoot among others.
Accommodation: Park View Safari Lodge | Main Destination: Maramagambo Forest
Day 10 –Birding in Queen Elizabeth (Game drive and Boat cruise)
Wake up early in the morning at 6 am have a quick cup of tea, pack breakfast, and go on a birding game drive up to lunchtime. With over 600 bird species, the park has the biggest number of birds of any protected area in East Africa.
In the afternoon, go for a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel.
Kazinga Channel is a haven for water birds that are easily seen during a boat cruise. Some of them are Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Common Squacco Heron, White-faced Whistling and Knob-billed Ducks, African Fish Eagle, Great-white and Pink-backed Pelicans, African open-billed Stork, Water Thick-knee, Malachite and Pied kingfishers, Swamp flycatchers and Yellow-backed Weavers, Black Crake, African Jacana, Spur-winged and African Wattled Plovers.
Hundreds of African Skimmers may be seen roosting on sandbars near the entry to Lake Edward but are migrants from the southern tropics and typically present only from December to May.
Other birds to watch out for in the park are Grey-headed Kingfisher, African Mourning Dove, Red-chested Sunbird, Swamp Flycatcher, Grey-capped Warbler, Slender-billed, Yellow-backed and Lesser Masked Weavers, Pin-tailed Whydah, Brimstone Canary, Gabon, and Slender-tailed Nightjars.
Accommodation: Park View Safari Lodge | Main Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 11- Transfer back to Kampala and evening birding at Entebbe botanical gardens
Wake up early in the morning, have breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Entebbe Botanical gardens for birding. This is the only National Botanical Garden in Uganda. It was established in 1901 and is strategically located on the shores of Africa’s greatest Lake – Victoria.
The place is just 34 km’s from Kampala. The gardens host a variety of water, open country and woodland bird species among which include: the Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Eastern plantain-eater, Yellow White-eye, Purple-banded Sunbird, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana, Yellow-billed Duck, Glossy Ibis, African Open-bill, Malachite Kingfisher, Blue-checked Bee-eater, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Black Crake, Long-tailed Cormorant, Crowned Hornbill, Vieillot’ Black Weaver; Woodland Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, the Africa and Red-billed Firefinch, Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill, Senegal Coucal, Little Stint, Little Weaver, Striated Heron, Ruff, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos, Green Crombec, Tambourine Dove, Little and Tooro Olive Greenbuls, Water Thick-knee, Madagascar Bee-eater, Egyptian Goose, Black-headed Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Black-headed Gonolek, Long-tailed Starling, Grey-Headed Sparrow, Spur-winged Lapwing, Orange weaver and a variety of primates.
Depending on your flight time, this will mark the end of the 11 days birding tour in Uganda. From the Botanical Gardens, we drive you to the airport for your exit flight or to a hotel.
Accommodation: Lake Victoria Hotel | Main Destination: Entebbe Botanical Gardens
INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
Inclusions of 11 Days Forest and Savanna Birding Tour in Uganda
- Airport transfers
- Transport in a 4×4 Safari vehicle
- Services of an English speaking driver and bird guide
- Fuel for the whole safari
- Boat cruise and game drives
- All park entry fees
- All the activities mentioned in the itinerary
- Drinking water in the Vehicle
- Meals and Accommodation
Exclusions of 11 Days Forest and Savanna Birding Tour in Uganda
- Flight and Visa Fees
- Alcoholic drinks
- Other expenses of personal nature