15 Day Uganda Birding Safari to Mabamba Swamp, Murchison Falls, Kibale & Queen Elizabeth Birding Tour.
This tour takes you to Mabamba Swamp, Murchison falls, Kibale forest, Semliki Valley, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Day 1. Arrival at Entebbe Airport.
On arrival you will be received by our representative, your driver/guide who will brief you through your safari programme, then transfer to Kampala and check in to the service of Airport Guest House. Given time we shall bird around the Botanical gardens. Special birds here include; African hobby, Speckled Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, Brown and Grey Parrot, Klaas’s, Dederick and Leivellants Cuckoo, Fork Tailed Drongo, Brown Crowned Tchagra, white Chinned Prinia, Superb Sunbird, Golden-breasted and Orange Weaver, Black-headed Gonolek, to mention but a few. Dinner and overnight at Airport Guest House.
Day 2: Birding to Mabamba Swamp.
Have early breakfast and start birding on the way to Mabamba Swamp, which is about 50 kms west of Kampala. Bird en-route to the swamps lookout for papyrus specials such as the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged warbler, Nothern Brown-throated, Weyn’s weaver to mention but a few. Move to Mabamba swamps most of the birding here is done canoeing as we look out for the rare Shoebill Stork, African Water rail, Allen’s and Purple Gallinule (swamp hen) Squacco, Goliath, Purple, Grey Herons, a variety of Egrets, ducks etc. There are also chances of encountering the elusive Sitatunga Antelope adapted to swampy habitats. We later go back to the Airpot Guest House for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Birding to Lake Mburo National Park
After an early morning breakfast, we start birding towards Lake Mburo national park. We will have a stopover at the Equator for the water experiment and crafts shopping, before proceeding on westwards, we also have another lunch stop at Igongo Cultural Center. We later proceed on to the park, arriving in the afternoon and check in to the service of Rwakobo rock. We later go for an evening game drive, in the park. This is one of Uganda’s smallest savanna parks covering about 260sq km and is home to a variety of wildlife that includes; Zebras, Elands, Impalas and Topi. It has got a variety of habitats,like dry hillside, open and wooded savanna, forests, galleries and swamps, and this has contributed to the avifauna diversity and 313 bird species have been recorded in the park including; Crested and Red faced barbet, Long tailed cisticola(Tabora), Papyrus yellow warbler, African fin foot, Northern Brubru, Rofous-bellied and white backed night heron, Brown chested plover, White winged tit, Black-headed and Papyrus Gonolek, Northern brown throated weaver, White-winged warbler. We will go back to Rwakobo rock for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Birding in Lake Mburo national park – Boat cruise.
The day begins early in the morning as we go for a nature walk on the shores of Lake Mburo in the park, searching for wildlife that includes; Buffaloes, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Dwarf Mangoose, Reedbuck, Cliffspringers, Impalas, Zebras, Topis, Warthogs, Elands and Leopards among other mammals and also a variety of birdlife that includes the Black-headed and Papyrus Gonolek, Coqui Francolin, Brown-chested Lapwing, Lilac-breasted Roller and the rare Shoebilled Stork among others. We come back to the lodge in the afternoon for lunch, relax around and later in the afternoon go for a boat cruise on the lake for another view of wildlife. We come back to Rwakobo Rock for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: Birding towards Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi is the Bird watchers paradise! It about 350 species of birds and Contains 90% of all Albertine rift Endemic such as; the Nuemann’s (Short-tailed), Red-faced woodland and Grauer’s Rush Warblers, Bar-tailed Trogon, Wilcock’s Honey-guide, Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, Dusky Crimsonwing, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher among others, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa. Stay at Gorilla mist camp dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Birding Mubwindi Swamp, Bwindi Forest National Park.
After breakfast, we go down to UWA offices, pay for the activities, get ranger guides and start our birding session towards Mubwindi swamp. (Here we can also have optional Gorilla trekking, depending on the clients interests.) This is a good spot for the high elevation bird species and the Albertine rift endemics and we search for specialties that include; the Chestnut-throated, Mountain-masked, Black-throated and Rwenzori Apalis, Stripe-breasted and Dusky Tit, Black-billed Turaco, Grey-throated Barbet, Red-faced Woodland, Mountain-yellow, Grauer’s Rush and Grauer’s Wrabler, Northern Double-collard, Rwenzori Double-collard, Varieble, Blue-headed and Regal Sunbirds, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Grauer’s Broadbill, Bared Long-tailed Cuckoo, Archer’s Robin-chat, Oriole-finch, White-bellied Crested, Yellow-eyed Black, White-eyed Slate and Dusky Flycatchers, Ludher’s, Grey-headed and Dohert’s Bush-shrike, Scaly-breasted and Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-streaked and Mountain Greenbul, Banded Prinia and Dusky Crimsonwing among others. We come back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Birding towards Queen Elizabeth National Park.
After breakfast, we will start birding towards Queen Elizabeth national park, with birding stopovers at the neck of the forest for species that we may have missed for from Ruhija and these include; the Black-billed, Brown-capped and Strange Weavers, Dusky-blue and Cassin’s Grey Flycatchers, Black Cuckoo, Cinnamon-breasted and Black Bee-eaters, Yellow Bishop, Narrow-tailed, Stullumann’s and Waller’s Starlings, African Hill Barbler and Cubbs Cisticola among others. We have a lunch stopover at Kihihi, and later proceed on to Queen Elizabeth national park, entering through the Ishasha sector of the park, where the tree climbing lions can be seen and we later check in to the service of bush lodge for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, we will drive to QENP with several birding hotspots, a game drive in Ishaha might be rewarding as we look out for the tree climbing lions and savannah specialties that may include the Violet-backed and Wattled Starlings, Brown-chest and Senegal Lapwings, Spot-franked, Double-toothed and the White-headed Barbets, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, White-Backed, Ruppel’s Griffon and Lappet-faced Vultures among others. We later proceed on to the northern sector, arriving in the evening Birding to the lodge this evening as we search for the African Hopoo, Southern Red Bishop, Red Collared Widowbird and others as we drive to Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9: Whole Day of Birding Kasenyi area, QENP.
The day begins early with an early morning breakfast and then with our packed lunch, start birding along the Kasenyi plains. The park protects about 95 mammal species plus about 612 bird species that includes; the Grey-headed Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Black-headed and Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged, Grey-capped, Greater Swamp, Lesser Swamp, African Reed and Siege Warbler, Slender-billed Weaver and Brimstone Canary, near the Katungulu Bridge. We then proceed with birding/game drive towards the famous Kasenyi Track, winding through grassland dotted with Accacia and Cactus trees, nearby the Kobs’ matting grounds, where we normally locate Lions and other mammals including Buffaloes, Kob (the national animal for Uganda), Waterbuck, Bushbuck and Elephants. Along the road we may find Scaly Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Harlequin Quail and Common Button-quail, Rufous-naped, Flappet and Red-capped Lark, Martial Eagle, Western-banded, Black-chested and Brown Snake Eagles and Bateleur. In the afternoon we embark on a boat trip down the Kazinga Channel. This incredible area normally offers stunning views of Pink-backed Pelican, Saddle-billed Stork, Hamerkop, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Water Thick-knee, African Skimmer and over-summering Palearctic shorebirds. In the evening before dinner we will try for the nightjars that may include the Black-shouldered, Frekled, Square-tailed, Penant-winged and Slender-tailed Nightjars, as well as owls, like the African Scops, White-faced Scops, and the African Wood owls among others. Dinner and overnight Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge.
Day 10: Birding to Kibale National Park
After breakfast this morning, we will drive to Kibale National Park birding on the way with our lunch boxes. This is a few hours drive and therefore birding along the way or afternoon birding in the forest is fruitful. Check in at Kibale guest cottages.
DAY 11: Kibale National Park – Chimpanzee trekking
Today we will spend our full day at the Kibale National Park with activities mainly being birding and Chimp tracking. After breakfast, we assemble at the chimp tracking briefing ground, where we will learn all the required procedures. It is not strenuous, but can sometimes take longer depending on our luck. Lunch will be organized according to the trend of the day’s activities, either picnic lunch or a hot menu lunch. Kibale Conservation Area holds a good list of both special primates and birds. These include Chimpanzee, Red Colobus Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Red-tailed Monkey and Galagos. The forest is also home to the Scaly Francolin, Marsh Tchagra, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Green-backed Twinspot, Bicoloured Mannikin, White-naped Pigeon, Afep Pigeon, Narina’s Trogon, Joyful Greenbul, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black Bee-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Scaly-throated Honeyguide and Black-faced Rufous Warbler. Dinner and overnight at Kibale guest cottages.
Day 12: Birding to Hoima.
After breakfast, with our packed lunch, we transfer to Masindi, with some birding stopovers on the way, passing through traditional homesteads and tea plantations in the rolling hills of Tooro and Bunyoro kingdoms. We have our picnic lunch at Kagadi and then proceed on, arriving in the evening and check in to the service of L kolping hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Birding to Murchison Falls National Park.
After breakfast, we start birding towards Murchison falls national park, with a birding activity at Kaniyo-Pabidi, Budongo Forest. We later proceed on and check in to the service of Fort Murchison for dinner and overnight.
DAY 14: Murchison Falls National Park.
The day begins early as we cross the river for a game and birding drive on the northern section of the mighty River Nile. Lunch at Paraa Safari Lodge and after lunch we shall,proceed for a boat cruise to the bottom of the Falls. The key species of this park include; Shoebill Stork, Bat Hawk, Red-necked Falcon, White-crested Turaco, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Pel’s Fishing-owl, Standard-winged, Standard-winged, Pennant-winged and Long-tailed Nightjar, Swallow-tailed and Northern-carmine Bee-eater, Spotted Morning thrush, Silverbird, Greater Blue-eared, Violet-backed and Bronze-tailed Starling, Beautiful Sunbird, Northern Red Bishop, Rock Pratincole, Black-billed Barbet, White-fronted Black Chat, Cabanis’s and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Foxy Cisticola and Bar-breasted Firefinch among others. Dinner and overnight at Fort Murchison.
Day 15: Birding to Kampala
After breakfast, we cross the Nile by the ferry, leave Murchison Falls National Park birding all the way to Kampala. Stay at Lake Victoria View Guest House or straight to the Airport for your flight home.
This will be the end of our safari, thank you for supporting Terrain safaris