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Home » Uganda Safaris, Gorilla Trekking Uganda Tours & Wildlife Safari in Uganda Vacation Packages » 18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari, Uganda Birdwatching Tour -Trip

18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari, Uganda Birdwatching Tour -Trip

18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari – Overview

The 18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari is an amazing Uganda birding tour designed to enable you to watch the forest birds of Uganda.

It takes you through Mabira Forest, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, Semuliki Forest, Immaramagambo Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Echuya Forest, and the volcanic forests of Mgahinga.


It is such a specialized package that will generate ultimate safari memories for Uganda Birding safari undertakers and even educational travelers.

18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari – Highlights

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda

Day 2: Explore birds in Mabamba swamp

Day 3: Explore Birds in Mabira Forest

Day 4: Transfer to Budongo Forest Reserve & bird along the Royal Mile in the evening

Day 5: Have a whole day of birding in Budongo Forest Reserve.

Day 6: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park & bird in Kihingami swamp

Day 7 & 8: Explore birds of Kibale National Park

Day 9:  Undertake a swamp walk in Bigodi wetland sanctuary & transfer to Semuliki National Park

Day 10: Encounter birds of Semuliki National Park

Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park & have a whole day birding encounter in Maramagambo forest

Day 12:  Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National park

Day 13: Encounter birds of Buhoma

Day 14: Bird to Ruhija via neck

Day 15: Explore the Umubwindi Swamp

Day 16: Birding transfer to Kisoro & encounter birds in Echuya Forest

Day 17: Explore the birds of Mgahinga National Park

Day 18: Transfer back to Kampala.

18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari – Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport which is the main gateway to Uganda after your long flight. You will be welcomed by our courteous guide who will then transfer you to your respective lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Sheraton Kampala Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/Standard) Buziga Country Resort (Budget/Basic).

Day 2: Explore Birds in Mabamba Swamp

Transfer after an early breakfast to Mabamba swamp which is about 50kms west of Kampala. On your way to the destination and at the destination, you will have opportunities of encountering White Shouldered Tit, Papyrus Gonolek, Red Cap, White Winged Warbler, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Weyns Weaver and White Spotted Fluftail.

Mabamba swamp offers ideal encounters with the rare and endangered shoebill stork along with other species like Allen’s and Purple Gallinule, Jacanas, Grey herons, Ruffaus  Squaco, Purple and Goliath Heron, Bellied Heron, the Pallid Harrier which is globally threatened and migrant species of blue swallow, egrets, ducks among others.

The bird encounter is done on a canoe where you also have opportunity of encountering the elusive Sitatunga Antelope. You will retire and transfer back to Kampala.

Accommodation: Sheraton Kampala Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Buziga Country Resort (Budget/Basic).

Day 3: Explore Birds in Mabira Forest

Mabira forest which with in close distance to Kampala ion Jinja road is a mature rain forest that acts as a habitat to a range of forest birds.

Birding in Mabira does not only expose you to these birds but also impressive flora species that will combine to make the encounter memorable.

Birds that can be encountered in Mabira include;  Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Leaf love, Nahans Francolin, Yellow Spotted, Buff Spotted and Yellow Crested Wood Pecker, Grey Throated and Yellow Billed Barbet, Yellow Rumped, violet backed starling, Yellow Throated and Speckled Tinker bird, Olive Green cameroptera and Grey and Yellow Long bill, among other birds. You will return to Kampala after the activity.

Accommodation:  Sheraton Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Buziga Country Resort (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Transfer to Budongo Forest Reserve & Bird Busingiro Area in The Evening

Transfer to Budongo Forest Reserve after breakfast passing through the flat landscapes on Nakasongora before continuing to arrive in Masindi for lunch.

Continue to Budongo forest to have a birding exploration. Explore the Royal mile which was once undertaken by the King Kabalega of Bunyoro thus earning the name.

It offers chances of spotting a range of forest birds including; the chocolate backed Kingfisher, paradise fly catcher. The extension to Kanyange Lake allows you to explore water birds.

Accommodation: Masindi Hotel

Day 5: Have a Whole-day of Birding in Budongo Forest Reserve.

This is designed to enable have a whole day encounter in Budongo Forest reserve. This will give you chances of encountering a range of birds including; African Crowned Eagle, Nahan’s Francolin, White-spotted Flufftail, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Piping Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-crowned Elemomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Black-capped Apalis, Ituri Batis, Chestnut-caped Flycatcher, Grey-headed Sunbird and Western-black Headed Oriole among other birds.

Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 6: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park & Bird in Kihingami Swamp

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kibale National Park to the south of the Albertine rift. You will be birding en route until you reach Kihingami swamp.

The Kihingami wetland near Sebitoli is also a rich habitat for bird species that thrive in low lying scrubby and secondary forest bordered with extensive tea plantations.

Birders on this Uganda birding safari can expect to encounter White Collard Olive Back, Green-backed Twin spot, Red Headed Blue Bill, Scaly Illadopsis, African Emerlad Cuckoo, Uganda Spotted Woodpecker, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Red-capped Robin Chat, Equatorial Akalat, Cabanis’s and Joyful Greenbul, Luhdher’s Bush Shrike, White-spotted Flufftail, Lesser Honeyguide, Dusky and, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Olive-green Camaroptera, Blue-shouldered Robin Chat among other species of birds. Retire for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Chimpanzee guesthouse (Midrange/Standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 7 & 8: Explore Birds of Kibale National Park

The forested landscapes of Kibale Forest National Park offers great encounters with 375species of birds. The encounters start early in the morning after breakfast and stretches for the whole day.

Birds that may be encountered on this activity include among others; Blue-headed bee eater, Nahans francolin, masked apalis, White-naped Pigeon, Cassin spine tail, Crested fly catcher, Green- brested Pitta, Red Winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Red- chested fluff tail,  Grey winged Robbin, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet,  Hairy-breasted Barbet, Western Nicator, White-spotted Flufftail, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black Bishop, Grey-winged Robin-chat,  Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, White-breasted Negrofinch, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black-crowned Waxbill and Brown-throated Wattle-eye.

Accommodation: You will be having dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 9:  Undertake a Swamp Walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary & Transfer to Semuliki National Park

After breakfast, embark on the birding encounter in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Bigodi wetland birding encounter is under the control of the local community who possess specialty knowledge regarding different species of birds in their locality.

The swamp might offer sights of; great blue turaco, papyrus gonoleks, waxbills, hornbills, weavers, kingfishers, cuckoos, and flycatchers among others.

After this encounter, embark on the transfer to Semuliki National Park. Upon arriving in Semuliki, you will take an evening walk down the Sempaya hot springs to encounter the famous hot springs and have memorable birding en route. Retire for your overnight.

Accommodation: Semuliki Safari Lodge / Kirumia guesthouse.

Day 10: Encounter Birds of Semuliki National Park

The forest tract of Semuliki is an extension of West African jungle that stretch from Equatorial Guinea through Congo forming a habitat for Guinea Congo biome species that do not exist in other areas of East Africa.

The encounter in Semuliki offers you chances of spotting specialties like;  Congo Serpent Eagle, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Bate’s Nightjar, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Rufous-sided, Black-winged Broadbill, Black-throated Coucal, Icterine Greenbul, Nkulengu Rail, Spot-breasted Ibis, Long-tailed Hawk, Capuchin Babbler, Northern Bearded Scrub Robin, Yellow-throated and Western Nicator,  Red-chested Owlet, Black-collared Lovebird, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, White-bellied Kingfisher, Zenker’s and Lyre-tailed Honey guides, White-throated Blue Swallow, Crested Malimbe, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Blue-billed Malimbe, Chestnut Bellied and Pale-fronted Negrofinch, Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike, Piping, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, White Crested, African Piculet among other bird species.

Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 11: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & Have a Whole-day Birding Encounter in Maramagambo Forest

Transfer early in the morning after breakfast to Immaramagambo forest in the southeast of Queen Elizabeth National Park to encounter a range of forest birds.

The full-day birding encounter in the Maramagambo forest gives possibilities of spotting bird species like; Little Grebe, African Finfoot, Red-chested Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow bill, Black Coucal, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Barbets, Red-throated Wryneck, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike,  Brown-eared Woodpecker, Dark-capped Warbler, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Green Crombec, Broad-tailed Warbler, African Moustached Warbler, Croaking Cisticola, Black-and-white Shrike Flycatcher, Black-headed Batis, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Brown Illadopsis, African Paradise Flycatcher, Marsh Tchagra, Brubru, Black Bishop, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, White-breasted Negrofinch, and Western Black-headed Oriole.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget/Basic).

Day 12:  Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Pass through the savannah landscapes of Ishasha with chances of spotting; Palm-nut Vulture, African Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture,  Brown Snake Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Bateleur, Long-created Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Martial Eagle, Grey Kestrel, Helmeted Guineafowl, African Crake, Black-bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Senegal Plover, African Green Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, Striped Kingfisher, Broad-billed Roller,  Double-toothed Barbet, White-headed Barbet,  Greater Honeyguide, Grey Woodpecker, White-browed Robin-Chat, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Green Crombec, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Grey-backed Fiscal and Cisticolas. Continue on the drive to arrive in Bwindi in the afternoon. You can opt for an evening forest walk with in close environs of Buhoma or relax at the lodge.

Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp (Upmarket/Luxury), Silverback Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Buhoma Community Rest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 13: Encounter Birds of Buhoma

The birds of Buhoma can be explored by taking these trails; the Munyange water fall trail, River Ivi walk and Habinyanja trail.

The birds that might be encountered include; Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Rufous-chested Fluff tail, Pink Footed and Northern Puff Back, Honey Guide, Red Tailed, Toro Olive, Slender Billed, Little, Sheilley’s, Little Grey, Cabani’s White Throated and Yellow Wiskered Greenbuls, Cameroon Sombre,  Elliots, Cardianl, Yellow Crested, Red Throated Allethe, Fine Banded woodpeckers, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Black faced Woodland Warbler, Waller’s, Stulman’s and Narro Tailed Starlings, Banded and White Chinned Prinia, Black Bee Eater, Blue Throated Brown, Northern Double Collard, Blue Headed, Collard, Olive, Green, olive Bellied, Rwenzori  Doulbe Collard and Green Headed Sunbirds, Kivu Ground Thrush, Bar tailed Tragon, African Broad Bill, Neumann’s Warbler, Red-chested Owlet, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher and Pale-breasted Illadopsis.

Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp (Upmarket/Luxury), Silverback Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Buhoma Community Rest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 14: Bird to Ruhija via Neck

Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a true birders’ paradise with great bird counts per square Kilometer.

The hilly forested landscapes of Ruhija offer sights of birds like; Macknon’s Fiscal, Augur Buzzard, Tropical Boubou, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, Mountain Buzzard and Wagtail, Western Bronze Naped Pigoen, Barred, and Dusky Long Tailed Cuckoo, Black Faced Rufous Warbler, White Headed Wood Hopoe, Ducky Tit, Ludhur’s and Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike,  Grey-Green Bush-Shrike, White-Eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Chestnut Throated Apalis, Streaky Seed-Eater, White Starred Robin, Stripe Breasted Tit among others.

Accommodation: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 15: Explore The Umubwindi Swamp

After an early breakfast, embark on the birding encounter to the Umubwindi swamp which has got a legendary attachment that later resulted into the naming of the entire national park as Bwindi.

The water-logged environment of Umubwindi swamp is a haven for a range of birds among which include; African Green Broadbill, Purple-breasted, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Grey Cuckooshrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Mountain Greenbul, Buff-Throated, Chestnut, Grey, Collard, Black Throated,  Mountain Masked, Blue headed and Regal Sunbirds.

Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 16: Birding Transfer to Kisoro & Encounter Birds in Echuya Forest

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kisoro. En route, you will spend some time birding in Echuya Forest Reserve with 150 species of birds of which 18 are endemic to the forest reserve.

Thus, birding in Echuya Forest reserve is rewarding with possible encounters of birds like; Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Regal Sunbird, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Montane Oriole, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver and Strange Weaver among others. Continue to Mgahinga for an evening bird walks along the border trail. Retire for the overnight.

Accommodation: Mount Gahinga Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Mucha Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Amajambere Iwacu Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 17: Explore The Birds of Mgahinga National Park

After an early breakfast, embark on a whole day birding encounter on the volcanic slopes of Mgahinga National Park.

Departing with a picnic lunch, you will commence this day long activity at Ntebeko following the gorge trail that loops up to Mount Sabyinyo with montane ecosystem that favors the thriving of Dusky Turtle Dove,  Cape Robin-Chat, Rwenzori Turaco, Kivu Ground Thrush, White Tailed Blue Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty, Olive Wood-pecker, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-starred Robin, White-napped Raven, Yellow-crowned Canary, Streaky and Thick Billed Seed-eater, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Shelly’s Crimson-wing among other bird species. Retire in the evening for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 18: Transfer Back to Kampala.

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kampala 519km about 10 hours’ drive. You will make a lunch stop at Igongo Cultural Center 12km past Mbarara town for lunch. Continue to Kampala arriving on the evening.

End of  The 18 Days Uganda Forest Birding Safari