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Uganda Birding Tour
Our 12 day Uganda Birding Tour begins with a tour to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (U.W.E.C), Botanical gardens and other areas in Entebbe. UWEC originally started as an animal orphanage in the 1920s but gradually grew to be a show place of various flora and fauna. Birds to look out for here include Crowned cranes, Parrots, Pelicans, ostrich, Crowned cranes, weaver birds like the orange weaver, black necked baglafect, the northern masked weaver, shoebill stork, African Fish Eagle, small banded snake Eagle, African Goshawk and the swamp flycatcher. Lunch break and then transfer to the botanical gardens where you will most likely be able to enjoy more prolific bird life.
A. Whyte the first curator of Uganda’s Museum started these gardens as a natural forest for use as research grounds for the introduction of various ornamental plants and exotic fruits to Uganda. Uganda Safari Birds to look out for here include the yellow-throated leaf love, the great blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, the black and white casqued hornbill, the pied hornbill. Yellow backed weaver, orange weaver, brown-throated weaver, and great reed warbler, sedge warbler and the fish eagle. Dinner and over night at the Forest Cottages / Hotel Africana /Fairway Hotel.
After an early breakfast drive to Mabamba Swamps. Mabamba is an extensive marsh stretching through a long narrow bay, fringed with papyrus towards the main body of Lake Victoria and is 50km west of Kampala.
Most of the birding is done by canoe. Bird species to look out for include the rare shoebill, Blue Breasted Bee-eater, white faced whistling duck, African water rail, Goliath herons, spur winged and Pygmy Geese. Dinner and overnight Forest Cottages / Hotel Africana /Fairway Hotel.
Head to Mabira Forest after an early breakfast. En route to the Forest look out for the hooded vulture, black kite and Marabou stork. Mabira forest reserve is the largest block of moist semi deciduous forest remaining in the central region of Uganda. Look out for the Cassin Hawk Eagle, Nahans Francolin, Leaf love, Blue Headed Crested flycatcher, Grey Spotted Wood Pecker, Black shouldered Nightjar, violet backed starling, Yellow Rumped Tinker bird and Capuchin Babbler. Return for Dinner & overnight at Forest Cottages / Hotel Africana /Fairway Hotel.
After an early breakfast set off for Lake Mburo National Park with a brief stop at the Equator. The park encompasses not only Lake Mburo but also four other small lakes. It’s easy accessibility from Kampala (about 4 hours drive from Kampala makes it the ideal birder gateway). Birding to the park begins as you turn off to Nshara gate.
Look out for the Handsome Francolin, Pink baked Pelican, Bee-eaters, Helmeted Guinea fowl, lilac-breasted roller, red faced barbet, Rufuos bellied heron, green capped Eremomela, long tailed Cisticola, the Malachite and Pied King fishers. Lunch break at Rwonyo. Transfer to the lakeside for a boat ride. The boat ride may yield sightings of the African Finfoot before it disappears into papyrus floating on the lake.
Other birds to look out for include the rare shoebill, Greater and Lesser Swamp Warbler; White winged Warbler, Red Headed lovebird, Green capped Eremomela, Handsome Fracolin and Carmine Bee-eaters. Dinner & overnight Mantana Luxury Tented Camp/ Mihingo Lodge or Arcadia Cottages.
After an early breakfast, embark on a foot safari (Nature Walk). While on the walk look out for the Red faced Barbet, Bare faced go away bird, Varreaux’s Eagle Owl, Yellow billed ox pecker and lead coloured flycatcher.
Lunch break. Proceed with a late afternoon game drive along the Zebra track. The African Wattled Plover, Black bellied bustard, and Temmricks Courser may be sighted. Also look out for other animal species such as Burchell’s Zebra and the Comical Warthogs. Dinner & overnight Mantana Luxury Tented Camp/ Mihingo Lodge or Arcadia Cottages.
Get awoken by the sounds of the morning doves and drive to Queen Elizabeth with a brief. The drive takes you through the grasslands of Ankole and is punctuated with stops to see the famous long horned cattle. Over 611 bird species have been recorded so far thus making the park a birders paradise.
It is one of the richest parks in Africa and supports an astounding density of flora and fauna. Lunch at Mweya then transfer to the dock on the channnel for an afternoon launch cruise on Kazinga channel, which joins lakes Edward and George. This waterway is a birders paradise and those who experience it, consider it the highlight of their entire African safari. Birds to look out for include the Great Snipe, Fish Eagles, Pallid Harrier, Gull billed Tern, Lesser Kestrel and Shoebill stork. Other species of interest at the shores of the channel are the yawning hippos, crocodiles and monitor lizards. Dinner and overnight Mweya Safari lodge/Jacana Safari Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge or Simba Safari Camp.
After an early breakfast drive to Maramagambo for a foot safari through the forest. Bird species to look out for here include the bat hawks, brown eared woodpecker, fawn breasted Waxbill, Sulphur breasted bush shrike, and dark capped yellow warbler, red headed blue bill, African Finfoot and the Eurasian golden oriole.
On a good day the black and white colobus monkeys may also be spotted. Dinner and overnight Mweya Safari lodge/Jacana Safari Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge or Simba Safari Camp.
Rise early before the sun and embark on an early morning game drive to catch up with early risers. The drive takes you through the Kasenyi track and Kikorongo Crater area. The drive will enable you sight various bird species like the Great White Pelican, Lesser Flamingo, Martial Eagle, Rupell’s Griffon vulture and weavers.
Late breakfast, then transfer to Kibale Forest National Park. This park occupies undulating terrain on the main Uganda Plateau slightly tilted to the south and is drained by the Dura and Mpanga rivers that flow in a southerly direction into Lake George. This park is also home to the largest number of our closest living relative the endangered Chimpanzee as well as the rare I’hoest’s and Colobus monkeys. Over 325 bird species have been recorded in this park among which take time to look out for the African broadbill, white winged warbler and the blue headed Coucal. Dinner and Over night.
After an early breakfast, go out to the forest in search of the leaf love, will cocks honey guide, Joyful Greenbul, superb Black Bee eater, black bellied seed cracker, Bi coloured Mannikin, Yellow rumped tinker bird and yellow nicator. Butterflies, Olive Baboons, Mangabey, bush pig and the giant forest hog may also be spotted. Dinner and overnight.
Depart early in the morning for Murchison Falls National Park. This park has a variety of tourist facilities and is becoming well known internationally as one of the best sites in Africa for seeing shoebill. Stop for Lunch in Masindi. Proceed to the “Top of the Falls” where t drops 45 metres and forces its way through a 7 meter gorge. Look out for Rock Pratincole and the African Skimmer. Dinner and overnight Paraa Safari Lodge/ Red Chilli.
Rise early morning and embark on a game drive. Look out for bird species such as the spotted morning thrush, Denhan’s Bustard, Pallid Harrier, Lesser kestrel, swallow tailed Bee eater, Grey crowned cranes, silver bird and other animals such as Giraffes, Elephants and cobs.
Lunch break. Then embark on an afternoon launch cruise on to the bottom of the falls. As you cruise up the historic Nile, you will most likely be able to see dazzling red throated bee eaters, Goliath heron, malachite king fisher, Wattled plover, common Drongo and different other animals such as hippo, water buck and the Nile crocodile many of which grow to enormous size. Dinner and over night.
After breakfast take on another boat ride to the delta near Lake Albert. It is not unusual to see 40 or more bird species on a single boat trip including the shoebill, Papyrus Gonolek, lesser Flamingo and the Great snipe. Also look out for the Blue Grey Western Wall of the Rift Valley. Lunch break, then proceed to Kampala. Enroute to Kampala, look out for the white thighed hornbills, Great blue Turaco and primates such as monkeys and olive baboons.
End of services on this Uganda birding tour.