Day 1: Arriving in Uganda
After a safe arrival at Entebbe international airport, you will be shifted to The Lodge/Sophie’s Motel.
Day 2: Mabamba Swamp
Mabamba swamp, about 50km west Kampala, a wetland is listed as one of the top birding sites and is single handedly the best place to see the shoebill after bird the shoebill. Look out for these unique birds like white-winged warbler, yellow-backed weaver, northern brown throated weaver, blue-headed coucal among others. Don’t miss out on the shoe bill stock both in the sky and down on the marsh. Also look out for the swamp flycatcher, African purple swamp hen, African water rail, common moorhen, lesser jacana, African jacana African pygmy goose, white-faced whistling duck just to mention a few. Go back to The Lodge/Sophie’s Motel to dine and rest.
Day 3: Murchison falls National Park
After breakfast, we transfer to Murchison falls N.P. It is identified as Uganda’s largest protected area that protects a large section of untamed African savannah and is bisected by the longest river in the world, the mighty river Nile.
Day 4: birding on the Launch Cruise
Take a boat along the Victoria Nile to delta at lake Albert. This is home to hippo and many other enormous Nile crocodiles as well as special birds which include secretary bird, Abyssinian roller and ground horn bill, pied kingfishers, red throated bee-eaters, saddle billed stock, scared ibis, fulvous whistling-duck, Senegal and water thick-black headed and long toed lapwing, little bitten, osprey, red-necked falcon, blue-breasted bee-breasted bee-eater among others. Other noticeable species include white crested turaco, grey wood pecker, red throated bee-eater, red shouldered cuckoo-shrine, western violent-backed sunbird, black headed Gonolek, chestnut- crowned sparrow-weaver, brown twin sport, bar breasted fire finch, red-winged pytillia and red-winged warbler, Bruce’s pigeon.
Day 5: Budongo Forest
Budongo Forest is not just another ornithological site but the largest there is in Uganda, with the highest chimpanzee population in the country. Among the 366 bird species you will be able to spot the white headed barbet, northern crombec, yellow-footed flycatcher easily seen in ironwood trees; grey headed bush shrine, black billed barbet, grey headed olive back, black bellied fire finch, Madagascar heron, lesser weaver and the lemon-bellied crombec. Proceed in the afternoon and check out African dwarf kingfisher, African crowned eagle, yellow and grey long bill, chocolate-backed kingfisher, velvet-mantled drongo and Ituri batis. Return to Paraa Safari Lodge/ Sambiya River Lodge.
Day 7: Royal Mile and Busingiro
Royal Mile is identified as one of the best birding sites in the country having the best guided trails. Look out for some of these localized species; Cassin’s hawk-eagle, African dwarf, tallow and grey long bills, olive-browned cuckoo, blue-breasted kingfisher, crowned eagle, dusky long tailed cuckoo, forest flycatcher. Proceed 14km to Busingiro and enjoy excellent birding, check out the crowned eremomela, yellow-browned Camaroptera and Cabanis bunting. Return to Paraa Safari Lodge/ Sambiya River Lodge to dine and an overnight stay.
Day 8: Kibale Forest National Park
Depart for Kibale national park early morning after breakfast. Kibale Forest is another diverse ecological forest recognized for its large numbers in primates in East Africa. Check out the blue shouldered robin chat, yellow spotted barbet, black billed turaco, white –napped pigeon, green- breasted pitta, red-chest-fluff tail, African pitta, joyful greenbul, grey-throated flycatcher, white-bellied crested flycatcher, masked Apalis. You will dine and rest at Ndali Lodge/ Primates Lodge.
Day 9: Bigodi Sanctuary
The most sighted bird in the Magombe swamp is the great blue turaco. You can also see the white-tailed ant-thrushes, purple-headed, glossy-starling, brown Illadopsis, masked Apalis, white napped pigeon, Toro olive-green bull, black-billed turaco. You will dine and rest at Ndali Lodge/ Primates Lodge.
Day 10: Semliki National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Semliki national park for the whole day birding in the forest. Semliki is home to some of those Albertine unique bird species such as Congo serpent eagle, black-throated coucal, grey-throated rail, Nkulengu rail, long-tailed hawk, spot-breasted ibis, capuchin babbler, yellow-throated Nicator, northern bearded scrub robin, red-chested owlet, western bronze-napped pigeon, black-collared lovebird, white-bellied kingfisher, red –rumped tinker bird, lyre-tailed honey guide, Zenker’s honey guide. Do not miss out on the species seen along the Ikrumira trails like swamp palm bulbul, crested malimbe, ferry-breasted bush shrine, red billed, black dwarf, white crested, black casqued wattled and white-thighed hornbill. Stay overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge/ Rwenzori View Guesthouse
Day 11: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Connect to Queen Elizabeth national park. The park was named after the Queen of England and happens to be one of the most visited national parks annually. As you head to Queen Elizabeth enjoy the scenic view of ranges of Mountain Ruwenzori. another beautiful park with a lot to offer such as game drives, chimp tracking and birding as well. There are over 296 bird species out 610 in total. stay overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge/ Simba Safari Lodge.
Day 12: Kazinga Channel
Begin with an early morning game drive to the Kasenyi plains where you will not only spot animals but also birds. You are likely to see more birds during the afternoon launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel. There are quite a variety of water birds like white-bellied cormorants, water thick-knee, green backed heron and yellow-billed stork. Stay overnight and enjoy dinner at Mweya Safari Lodge/ Simba Safari Lodge.
Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Though Bwindi is more popular for mountain gorillas, 350 bird species have been recorded with 23 Albertine Rift endemics, 14 rare species. Among these we have Grauer’s warbler, red-throated Alethe, dusky-blue flycatcher, Chanin’s flycatcher, chin-spot batis, Rwenzori batis black, Elliot’s woodpecker, mountain Illadopsis, red-tailed bulbul, blue-throated brown sunbird, blue headed-sunbird, northern double collared sunbird, grey-headed sunbird, McKinnon’s grey shrike, Luhder’s and Doherty’s bush-shrikes, black-billed weaver, dusky crimson-wing, oriole finch, African wood-owl, bar tailed trogon, red sheeted owlet, Tulberg’s African green broad bill, western green timber bird, Petit’s cuckoo-shrike, grey cuckoo- shrink Neumann’s warbler and red faced woodland- warbler. Stay overnight at Gorilla Resort Hotel/ Buhoma comm. Bandas (FB)
Day 15: Gorilla Tracking
Get up early and report to the Park headquarters for a brief talk with the guide; from here you will hit the montane forest for an encounter with the mountain gorillas. Watch out for their voices and listen to them grumble and the young as they swing from tree to tree, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male; the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas. If you have the energy this afternoon, take a guided walk on the species and an array of birds. Or take a guided community walk among the Batwa inhabitants of the park. Return to Gorilla Resort Hotel/ Buhoma Community Bandas. (FB)
Day 16: Nature Walk
Birders may take the Sabinyo gorge trail which ascends through the heath around Ntebeko for example the handsome francolin, regal sunbird, Rwenzori Turaco, Archer’s ground robin and strange weaver among others. Stay overnight at Gorilla Resort Hotel/ Buhoma Community Bandas. (FB)
Day 17: Ruhija
It is not only the highest gorilla tracking trailhead in Bwindi but also a strategic birding location. It is here where you will find the yellow-crested helmet-shrike, seldom seen specie in Uganda. Other bird species include the African green broadbill, stripe breasted tit, African hill babbler and Caruthers Cisticola, including very difficult to see species Fraser eagle-owl and Rwenzori double- collared sunbird, we should also come across green broad bill, Grauer’s rush warbler, white headed wood hoope, Waller’s and Stuhlmann’s starling, the four crimson-wings and hand some francolin. Stay overnight at Buhoma comm. Bandas/ Gorilla Resort Hotel (FB)
Day 18: Lake Mburo National Park
Though it is a small park, it has a lot to offer such as excellent game driving with the highest impala population. Lake Mburo has over 315 bird species and the best place to see acacia- associated birds such as Ruppell’s long-tailed starling, African fin foot, brown chested plover, southern ground horn bill and green-capped eremomela among others. Stay overnight at Rwonyo Camp/ Muhingo Lodge.
Day 19: Mabira Forest
Transfer to Mabira Forest, another prime bird destination with over 300 forest species recorded. This is one of the left few surviving forests in Kampala, though part of it has been used for lumbering. Mabira harbors a number of bird species with well-maintained trails that make birding easy. Conspicuous larger birds like stunning great blue Turaco and African grey parrot. The rare pretty tit hylia is present, only found in 2 places in East Africa. We are likely to see Nahan’s francolin, African pied hornbill and Forest wood-hoopoe, the blue-breasted, white-bellied, Dwarf and shining-blue Kingfishers, yellow-throated and Speckled Tinker birds live in the canopy and Toro olive greenbul and green-tailed bristle bill are secretive interior inhabitants. If there are safari ants on the march, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest robin and blue-shouldered Robin-Chat may be in attendance, yellow spotted and hairy breasted barbets are seen among others. The elusive purple throated, Jameson’s wattle-eye, grey and yellow long bill will be among our target while birding here, African paradise and red bellied paradise flycatchers, Tambourine dove, white breasted and grey-headed Negrofinches . Return to Kampala and stay overnight at
Day 20: Departure
After breakfast head to the airport for your home flight. This marks the end of the trip.