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24 Days Classic Uganda Birding Safari

24 Days Classic Uganda Birding Safari – Overview

The 24 days Uganda Birding Safari is such a well detailed birding trip that will enable you explore the rich birding destinations of Uganda. The encounter takes you through the wetland areas of Mabamba, Bigodi, Namugoba and Bihingami, forested areas of Kibale, Bwindi, Budongo, Semliki and Mabira, the savannah landscaes of Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls.

These varied ecosystems have got distinctive bird species that will broaden your scope of experience. The safari tour incorporates of a wide range of Albertine endemics like; Handsome Francolin, Ruwenzori Turaco, African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Cuckooshrike, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Dusky Crimson-wing and Shelley’s Crimson-wing among others.

24 Days Classic Uganda Birding Safari – Highlights

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) & transfer to your hotel

Day 2: Bird watching encounter in Namugoba wetland

Day 3: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

Day 4: Encounter birds in Lake Mburo National Park

Day 5: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & encounter birds of Ruhija

Day 6: Encounter birds in Umubwindi swamp

Day 7: Birding transfer to Buhoma via neck

Day 8 & 9: Encounter birds of Buhoma

Day 10: Birding transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & bird along Kazinga channel

Day 11: Encounter birds of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 12: Birding transfer to Kibale National Park

Day 13: Whole day birding encounter in Kibale National Park

Day 14: Encounter birds in Bigodi wetland sanctuary

Day 15: Birding in Kihingami wetland & transfer to Semuliki National Park

Day 16: Whole day birding in Semliki National Park

Day 17: Birding transfer to Masindi

Day 18 & 19: Encounter birds in Budongo Forest Reserve

Day 20: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & visit the top of the falls.

Day 21: Encounter birds of Murchison Falls National Park

Day 22: Transfer to Kampala

Day 23: Whole day birding in Mabira Forest Reserve

Day 24: Birding encounter in Mabamba swamp

24 Days Classic Uganda Birding Safari – Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) & Transfer to Your Hotel

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), or Buziga Country Resort (Budget/Basic).

Day 2: Bird-watching Encounter in Namugoba Wetland

After an early breakfast, embark on the transfer to Namugabo wetland to encounter a range of bird species close to the shores of Lake Victoria. It is a new birding site thus less explored. It is positioned 57km west of Kampala and it also has shoe bill stork along with other species like; Lesser Jacana, Northern Brown Throated Weaver, Blue Swallow, Purple and Allen’s Galinule, White Faced and Fulvous Whistling duck, Common and Lesser Moorhen, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Glossy Ibis, Spur-winged Geese, African Pygmy-Goose, Long-toed Lapwing, Gray-rumped Swallow, Blue-breasted and Madagascar Bee-eaters, Greater Swamp-Warbler, Slender-billed Weaver, African Reed Warbler, Lizard Buzzard, African Pygmy and Malachite Kingfisher, Grey Headed Gull, White Winged Tern, Black Tailed Godwit, Ruff, African Wattled Plover and Three Banded Plover among other bird species. Retreat to Kampala overnight.

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

Day 3: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

The encounter starts early in the morning after breakfast heading to the southwest of Uganda 240km approximately 3 – 4 hours’ drive from Kampala. You have chances of spotting birds en route including the Wolly-Necked Stork, Ruffaous Bellied Heron, and Lilac Breasted Roller among other species.

The stop at the equator allows you to encounter the water experiments that justify the geographical divide between the south and northern hemispheres and impressive photo shooting. Continue on the drive to Lake Mburo National Park arriving early for lunch. In the evening, you will embark on the birding encounter within the Rwonyo environs before retiring overnight.

Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange/Standard), or Eagles Nest (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Encounter Birds in Lake Mburo National Park

After an early morning breakfast, embark on the full-day search for birds in the Savannah landscapes of Lake Mburo National Park. Explore the park on foot following the respective trails in the company of an armed ranger to save you from attacks of wild animals. Explore the Miriti and Warukiri swamps, Rubanga forest, and the salt lick.

The encounter offers you chances of spotting 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, Finfoot, White-winged Tit and Yellow-breasted Apalis among other birds. The boat ride on Lake Mburo in the afternoon exposes you to counts of Kingfishers and African fish eagle.

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

Day 5: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Encounter Birds of Ruhija

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Ruhija in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is listed as the number one birding spot in the whole of Africa. The journey is 235km passing through farmed landscapes of south western Uganda and the towns of Mbarara and Kabale before arriving in Bwindi for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon, you will embark on the birding in forested hilly landscapes of Ruhija with opportunities of encountering Handsome Francolin Mountain Illadopsis, White-starred Robin, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Ayres’s and Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Augur Buzzard, Mountain Buzzard,  Grauer’s Warbler, Red-throated Alethe, Mountain Masked, Collard, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimson wing, Chestnut Throated and Black – Throated Apalis, Dusky Tit, Red Faced Woodland Warbler,  Stripe Breasted Tit among other bird species.

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

Day 6: Encounter Birds in Umubwindi swamp

After an early breakfast, embark on the birding encounter to the Umubwindi swamp which has got a legendary attachment that later resulted in 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 7: Birding Transfer to Buhoma via Neck

After an early breakfast, you will embark on the transfer to Buhoma in the northern sector of Bwindi. The transfer will involve birding en route with possible sights of Black Bee-eater, Red-throated Wryneck, Mountain Wagtail, Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher, Olive Thrush, White-starred Robin, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, MacKinnon’s Fiscal, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared, Mountain Masked Chestnut-throated, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grey Apalis, Sharpe’s Starling, Strange Weaver, Dusky Twin spot, elusive Regal and Purple-breasted Sunbird.

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

Day 8 & 9: Encounter Birds of Buhoma

These two days are designed to allow you to explore the birds of Bwindi in detail along the trails like the Munyange waterfall 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 10: Birding Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & Bird Along Kazinga Channel

After breakfast, you transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 160km about 5 hours’ drive. You will pass through the landscapes of Ishasha in the south of Queen Elizabeth where by chance you can encounter the tree-climbing lions that dwell in the fig trees of Ishasha. You will arrive at Mweya for lunch after which you will embark on the birding encounter along the 45m long Kazinga channel using the launch. The two-hour launch cruise will not only expose you to over 60 species of birds but also other Uganda safari offerings like Hippos, Nile Crocodiles not forgetting elephants, buffaloes, and other antelopes drinking on the channel side. the birds that might be encountered include; the African Skimmer, African Spoonbill, Striated Heron, Herring Gull, Water Thick-knee, Lesser Black Backed Gull,  Three-banded Plover, Green, Marsh, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Plain Martin, Gray-headed Gull, Lesser Swamp-Warbler among others.

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

Day 11: Encounter Birds of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Have a whole day encounter with birds in the varied ecosystems of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The birding encounter can be conducted in Mweya peninsular, environs of Lake Kikorongo, Maramagambo forest, Savannah plains of Kasenyi, Katunguru bridge Area among other areas. Queen Elizabeth National Park exposes you to birds like; Temminck’s Courser, Rupell’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.

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

Day 12: Birding Transfer to Kibale National Park

Depart after an early breakfast to undertake the bird watching experience in the Savannah landscapes of Kasenyi and the water environs of Lake Kikongoro before proceeding to Kibale National Park. This encounter also exposes you to a range of wildlife including lions, elephants, buffaloes, Kobs, water bucks among others. The birds that might be encountered include; Palm-nut Vulture, African White-backed Vulture, Hooded Vulture Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Long-created Eagle, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Grey Kestrel, Black-bellied Bustard, Crowned Plover, Temminck’s Courser, Senegal Plover, Rufous napped Lark, African Wattled Plover, Kittlitz’s Plover, White-tailed Lark, Flappet Lark,  Brown-backed Srub-Robin, Croaking Cisticola, Zitting Cisticola,  Black-lored Babbler, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-crowned Tchagra, Fork-tailed Drongo Pin-tailed Whydah, and Black-headed Gonolek. The Lake Kikorongo environs exposes you to Common Squacco Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Shoebill, Sacred Ibis, Black Crake, Knob-billed Duck,  African Jacana, Yellow Wagtail, White-winged Warbler, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Greater Swamp Warbler, Carruther’s Cisticola and Papyrus Gonolek.  Continue on the drive to Kibale 157km about 4 hours of drive arriving in the even9g for relaxation for diner and overnight.

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

Day 13: Whole Day Birding Encounter in Kibale National Park

The forested landscapes of Kibale Forest National Park offers great encounters with 375species of birds. It starts 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 have diner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 14: Encounter Birds in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

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, flycatchers among others.

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

Day 15: Birding in Kihingami Wetland & Transfer to Semuliki National Park

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. After this encounter, transfer to Semliki Forest National Park. In the evening, you can take short bird walks with in the close environs of your lodge before retiring for overnight.

Accommodation: Semliki Safari Lodge / Kirumia Guesthouse.

Day 16: Whole Day Birding in Semliki 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 17: Birding Transfer to Masindi

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Masindi town. You will go birding en route and arrive in Masindi in the afternoon for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Masindi Hotel

Day 18 & 19: Encounter Birds in Budongo Forest Reserve

These two days are designed for birding Budongo forest reserve in detail. The encounters in Busingiro and along the Royal Mile are very rewarding and an extension the Kaniyo Pabidi area. The encounter gives you possibilities of spotting; African Dwarf, Blue Breasted and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Yellow Crested and Brown-eared Woodpecker, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Crowned Eagle, Forest and Chestnut Capped Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Narina Trogon, Chestnut-crowned Eremomera, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher,  White-spotted Flufftail, Olive-bellied Crombec, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher, Green Sunbird, Little Green Sunbird, White-Breasted Negrofinch, Dusky Long-tailed and African Emerald Cuckoo, Western Black-headed Oriole, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grey and Yellow Longbill, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Forest Robin, Tit Hylia, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Green Crombec, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Crested Malimbe and Red-headed Bluebill, Xavier’s, Ictrine, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Slender-billed, Spotted, White-throated, Plain Greenbul, Toro Olive and Spotted Greenbul.

Accommodation: You will spend overnights in Masindi town

Day 20: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & Visit The Top of The Falls.

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Upon arrival, you will visit the top of the falls where the Nile is squeezed to pass through an 8m gorge before falling 43m below to what has been termed as the Devil’s Cauldron.  The site is a favorite spot for birds as they swing across the plume of spray and dancing according to the beats of the roaring water sounds as it clashes with the impermeable rocks. Retire in the evening for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Pakuba Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget/Basic).

Day 21: Encounter Birds of Murchison Falls National Park

The encounter commences after breakfast and the days’ distribution of areas will depend on your guide. The encounter includes birding in the savannah landscapes in the northern section, the Victoria Nile Delta, along the Nile launch cruise and the forested landscapes of the south. This encounter in Murchison Falls National Park might expose you to birds like; Silver Bird, Speckle-fronted and Golden-backed Weavers, Beautiful Sunbird, White Crested Turacco, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Pennant-winged Night jars, the Buff-bellied Warbler, White-rumped Seed Eater, Black Billed Barbet, Yellow-flanked Barbet and Bar-breasted Firefinch, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Red-winged Grey Warbler,  Shoebill Stork, Abyssinian and Rufaous Crowned Roller, Grey Headed and Striped Kingfisher, Abyssinian  Ground Hornbill, Red-throated and Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Saddle-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Sacred Ibis, Senegal Thick-knee, Fulvous and white Faced Whistling-Duck, Water and Spotted Thick-knee, Long-toed Lapwing, Black-headed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Red-necked Falcon, Vinaceous Dove, Osprey and Blue-breasted Bee-eater among other bird species.

Accommodation: You will be spending overnights at your previous lodge.

Day 22: Transfer to Kampala

After breakfast, take short bird walks in the park and then transfer to Kampala 311km about 5 hours’ drive. You will refresh yourself with the urban life and connect to the international scale before resting for overnight.

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

Day 23: Whole Day Birding in Mabira Forest Reserve

After breakfast, transfer to Mabira Forest Reserve for the whole day birding encounter. The mature tropical rain forest is a habitat to a range of forest birds like; African Pied Hornbill, Forest Wood-Hoopoe, Tit Hylia, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Black-Billed Turaco, Ruffaous Flycatcher Thrush, White-bellied, Blue-breasted, Shining-blue and Dwarf Kingfishers, Slender Billed, Yellow Whiskered, Toro Olive and Little Grey Greenbul, Green-tailed and Red Tailed Bristlebill, Forest Robin, Fire-crested Alethe,  Snowy-crowned and Blue-shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow Spotted, Grey Throated and Yellow billed Barbet, White-spotted Flufftail, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Little Green, Green Throated and Olive Bellied Sunbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Green Crombec, Black-throated Apalis, African Paradise Flycatcher, Black-and-white Shrike, African Flycatcher, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Blue Throated Roller,  Velvet-mantled Drongo among other species. After the activity, retreat to Kampala for overnight.

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

Day 24: Birding Encounter 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.

End of  The 24 Days Classic Uganda Birding Safari