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16 Days Uganda Birding Trip

This 16 Day birding Itinerary covers Mabamba, Lake Mburo, Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, Semuliki, Kibale and Murchison falls National parks of Uganda. The country has a wide range of habitats ranging from snowcapped mountain tops in the west to semi-arid areas in the northeast; rainforest in the center and west to open waters of numerous lakes.

The diversity of habitats explains the unique biological diversity and the bulk of the country lies in tropical Africa with the Equator crossing the southern half of the country. 

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to hotel

Arrival and transfer to the Hotel in Entebbe

Day 2: Mabamba Swamp

After an early breakfast, we will head to Mabamba swamp on the shores of Lake Victoria west of Entebbe International Airport. This is one of the few remaining wetlands in the country protected by the local communities, an extensive papyrus swamp with channels and lagoons, classified as an Important Bird Area and home to several pairs of Shoebills, Uganda’s most famous avian resident.

This charismatic species is the only representative in its family and one of the most sought-after Birds in Africa. Today we will make a special effort to find it by paddling through the channels by boat. There will be of course a good selection of classic African water birds; Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Goliath, Purple, Squacco, and Black-headed Herons, African Fish eagle and African Marsh Harrier, yellow-billed Duck, African and Lesser Jacana, Long-toed Lapwing, Blue-breasted bee-eaters, Swamp flycatcher, Hamerkop, African Water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Grey-crowned Crane, African open bill Stork, Northern Brown Throated, Orange, Golden-backed, Black-headed, and Village weavers, Red-chested Sunbird, cape wagtail, Fan-tailed widowbird, winding Cisticola, African Grey parrots can be seen flying overhead, Lizard Buzzard.
At the edge of the Mabamba swamp in farmlands, you are likely to find Great Blue and Ross`s Turacos, Western banded snake Eagle, Black, and white casqued Hornbill, African pied Hornbill, Superb Sunbird, Weyns`s Weaver, Purple, and splendid glossy Starlings, Later proceed to Lake Mburo National park.


Day 3: Lake Mburo National park

We start early after breakfast for a walk. This is the best and the only place in Uganda to see these typically southern savannah Species, of particular interest we look for, Red-faced Barbet, Tabora Cisticola, African Finfoot, and White-backed Night Heron.
Most of the park is dominated by tall grass savannah dotted with Acacia and Euphorbia trees, Common birds in this habitat include; Crested Francolin, Emerald- sported wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go away bird, Blue napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Green wood hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, African Grey Hornbill, Sport Flanked, White Headed and double toothed Barbets, Nubian and cardinal Woodpeckers, Trilling Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern blackTit, Chin-spot Batis, Greater Blue Eared Starling, Marico Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Brown-backed and white-browed scrub Robin, Rufous Chested Swallow, Black Bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Rufous Napped and Flapped Lark, Coqui francolin, Yellow-throated Longclaw, and southern Red Bishop, migratory brown Chested Plovers can be seen from the second week of July to December.


At night if the weather is good we look out for nocturnal species such as Black-shouldered Nightjar, Swamp and Pennant winged Nightjars, Verreaux`s Eagle-owl, and African Scops Owl.

Day 4: Birding to Ruhija:

Ruhija is the highest section of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest at an altitude of 2607 above sea level, offering the finest montane forest birding in Africa, and is a key destination for any birder coming to Uganda. The park is blessed with 90%of all the Albertine Rift endemics difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa. Ruhija is likely to be the highlight of any trip to Uganda with excellent birding on spectacular trails. Birds are both plentiful and easy to see, with many species associating in mixed feeding flocks that are active throughout the day.

Day 5: Mubwindi Swamp

One of the highlights of this 16 Day birding itinerary is birding in Ruhija to the famous Mubwindi Swamp , Here we shall look out for species such as Handsome Francolin, Mountain Masked Apalis , Red faced woodland Warbler, Ruwenzori Apalis ,Chestnut throated Apalis, White browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Scally throated Honey guide , Mountain Sooty Boubou , Doherty`s Bushrike, Mountain Illadopsis , Red throated Alethe, Black headed waxbill, Shelly`s Crimsonwing , Dusky Crimsonwing ,Dusky twinspot ,Grauer`s Warbler, Dwarf Honey guide, White stared Robin, white tailed-Blue flycatcher, Mountain Thrush, Mountain Oriole,Great Blue and black billed Turacos, Yellow Billed and grey throated barbets, Waller`s Starlling, Narina Trogon ,White headed Wood hoopoe, African green Broadbill, Ruwenzori Batis, Archer`s Robin, evergreen Forest Warbler, Stripe breasted Tit, Chubb`s Cisticola, Banded Prinia, Oriole Finch , Mountain and Yellow Streaked Greenbulls, Barred long tailed Cuckoo, streaky seed eaters , Brown Necked Parrot, Slender Billed Starlling , Olive Pigeons, Mountain Buzzard, white Naped Raven, African Crowned Eagle, Regal sunbird, Purple Breasted Sunbird, Blue Headed Sunbird, Northern Bouble couloured sunbird and Variable sunbird, Grey Cuckoo shrike, Western green Tinker bird, Strange weaver and Black Billed weaver, Mountain Yellow Warbler, yellow whiskered green bul. White-eyed Slaty flycatcher, Nocturnal species that are likely to be seen include, Ruwnzori nightjar and African wood Owl

Day 6: Birding the Neck to Buhoma

The Neck is a relatively narrow stretch that separates the two sections of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is; Ruhija and Buhoma. This section is characterized by Riverine forest vegetation and some of the species likely to be seen here are; African black duck, Cassin`s grey Flycatcher, Mountain wagtail, Kakamega, and Red-tailed Greenbulls, Toro olive, Little grey, White throated, Slender Billed and Cameroon Sombre Greenbulls , Yellow spotted, Hairy breasted, yellow billed and Grey throated barbets, olive long tailed, Dusky Long-tailed, and African Emerald cuckoos, Black Billed and Brown capped Weavers, Dusky Tit, Grey-headed and Northern double colored , Olive , and Green Sunbird, Dusky blue and African dusky Flycatchers, African shrike Flycatcher, Gray and Buff throated and Black throated Apalises, Red headed Malimbe, Red tailed bristlebil,narrow tailed, Purple Headed, and Stuhllmann`s Starlings, Tambourine dove and Western bronze naped Pigeon, It is also the best place in Uganda to find the Black Bee-eater.

Day 7: Birding on Buhoma main trail.

Today we shall leave early after our breakfast and bird Buhoma trail, here we shall look out for species such as, Newmann`s Warbler, African Broadbill, Black Faced rufous Warbler, Red capped, grey winged and Blue shouldered Robin chats , Chapin’s Flycatcher, Oriole Finch , Arsornge`s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat and White bellied Robin Chat , Great blue and Black billed Turacos, Pink footed Puffback,Many Colored, Bocage`s and Luhder`s Bush Shrike, Scally Breasted, Pale Breasted and Mountain Illadopsis ,Thick Billed Seedeater, MacKinnon’s Fiscal, Elliot`s and Fine banded , Buff spotted and Cadinal Woodpecker, Brown throated wattle Eye, Baglafect Weavers, Red faced woodland warblers, White bellied crested Flycatcher,Blue throated brown Sunbird, Ayres`s Hawk Eagle, African Goshawk , Frazer`s eagle Owl Vanga flycatcher,Petti`s Cuckoo Shrike, Yellow Rumped Tinker bird, White chinned Prinnia, Grey Headed Negofinch, Red headed Bluedbill, Olive green Camaroptera ,Bronze , Scarllet chested , and Green headed sunbird, Cassin`s honey Bird, Honey guide greenbull , to mention but a few.


Day 8: Birding in Queen Elizabeth


Today we start early after breakfast for Queen Elizabeth National park. This will be a whole day of birding and traveling as we make several stops in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth in Ishasha birding on the way.
Queen Elizabeth is yet another area with some of the highest biodiversity ratings than any other game park in the world. Its varied habitat s of open savannah, Accacia woodlands, tropical rainforests, Dense papyrus Swamp and lakes makes it one of the richest parks in Africa. Here we shall look for species such as; Trilling , Red faced, Croaking, Stout and Zitting Cisticolas, Hollub`s golden weavers, White headed and Double toothed Barbets, Sooty Chat, Broad Tailed and African Moustached warblers, White winged Tits, Martial Eagle, Bateleur Eagle, Ovambo Sparrow hawk, long crested Eagle, White headed ,Lappet faced, African White backed and Ruppell`s griffon Vultures, Arrow marked and Black lored Babblers, Nubian and Cardinal woodpeckers, Here we have another chance to look for Brown Chested Lapwing, Grey backed and Common Fiscal, Woodland kingfisher, White browed Robinchat,Blue spotted Wood-Dove , Red eyed Dove, Blue Throated Roller, Blue Malkoha, Red colored Widowbird, Red capped Lark,Grassland Pipit and plain Backed Pipit.

Day 9: Drive to Semuliki National Park.

On this day we shall leave Early in the Morning for a game drive in the Northern part of Queen Elizabeth and a Boat Cruise Later transfer to Semuliki National park. Here we look out for African Crake, Black Chinned Quail finch, Black Coucal, Green winged Pytilia, Marsh Tchagra, Black crowned lapwing, Fawn breasted, Crimson rumped and Common Waxbills, Red shouldered Cuckoo Shrike. While on the boat Cruise we shall have our first chance to see the African Skimmers, Saddle-bill Stork, African Spoonbill,Kitlitiz`s plover, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath and Grey Herons, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, African Fish Eagle, Black Crakes and many other migratory and resident shore birds.

Day 10: Birding in Semuliki valley National Park to the famous Kirumia Trail.

Semuliki national park lies in the Albertine Rift valley, north-west of the Ruwenzori Mountain. Semuliki forest represents an easterly extension of the great Ituri forest of the North-eastern DRC and its flora and fauna show strong affinities with the Congo basin forests, this therefore makes it the best place in Uganda with high chances of encountering most of the West African species that cannot easily be accessed from other places. We shall start at dawn after an early Breakfast and set off with our packed lunches and spend the whole day birding in the Kirumia trail or any other part of the forest, Key species include; Red-Billed Dwarf, Black Dwarf, Piping ,African pied, Black and White Casqued, Crowned, White Crested, Black Casqued Wattled , and White Thighed Hornibills, Red rumped, yellow rumped and Yellow Throated Tinkerbirds, Yellow throated, Dusky Long tailed, Red Chested, and African Emerald Cuckoos, Rufous Sided Broadbills, Blue Billed, Crested and Red Headed Malimbe, Green-Tailed and Red tailed Bristle bill Fire Crested and Brown Chested Alethe, Lowland Akalat and Eastern Forest Robin ,Leave-Love, Pale fronted and Chestnut fronted Negrofinches, African Piculet, Grey throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail , Swamp Palm Bulbul ,Ituri Batis, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Maxwell`s black Weaver, Yellow throated Nicator, Grey Headed Sunbird, Lemon Bellied and Green Crombec ,Lowland Sooty Boubou ,White naped and Olive Pigeon ,Red tailed and White tailed Ant-Thrush ,Rufous Flycatcher Thrush, Congo Serpent Eagle, Ayres`s and Cassin`s Hawk Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Grants and Red billed Blue bill, Yellow Long bill , Narina Trogon , Yellow Crested, Brown eared and Gabon Woodpeckers, Icterine,Xavier`s Simple Red tailed, and little Greenbuls , to mention but a few.

Day 11: Birding to Kibale National Park

Today we shall leave at dawn and continue birding in this rainforest and our key species here will be the Green-Breasted Pitta, kibale is so far the best place in Africa to find this Pitta. other species will be, White spotted Flufftail, Jameson`s Wattle Eye, African Blue Flycatcher, Afep , White naped and Western bronze naped Pigeon, Joyful Greenbul, Brown-Backed Scrub Robin, Purple headed and Chestnut winged Starling ,Red Chested Owlet, Shinning Blue and Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Brown and Scally breasted Illadopsis , Western Black Headed Oriole, Grey throated tit Flycatcher, Crested Guinea fowl, White Throated Greenbul Yellow Spotted, Yellow Billed and Hairy Breasted Barbets.

Day 12: Birding to Budongo forest

After having breakfast, set off for Budongo area. This will be a whole day of traveling with a good chance of birding on the way, Stop over will be done on strategic points to provide Birding Opportunities, stretch our legs, and enjoy our picnic Lunch, Arriving in Masindi Late in the evening.

Day 13: Whole Day Birding to the Famous Celebrated Royal mile

We shall have early morning Breakfast carry our packed Lunch and drive the tone of Uganda`s Birdwatching hot spot, The Royal Mile, Historically known as a leisure spot for the traditional King of Bunyoro hence the Royal. The forest comprises very huge mahogany trees and the forest has been cut back a few meters along the sides of the main trail providing an excellent Viewing area.
Key species include African Dwarf and Chocolate Backed Kingfishers, African Pigmy, Blue Breasted and Shinning Blue kingfishers, Yellow and grey Longbill, Forest Flycatcher, Rufous Crowned Elemomela, Yellow browed Camaraptera, Spotted Greenbull, Cassin`s and Sabine’s Spinetail , Nahan`s francolin, Chestnut Capped flycatcher ,Yellow Mantled weavers, Cassin`s Hawk Eagle, Blue throated Roller, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Olive Bellied, Green Throated, Green headed, Grey Headed, Western Black headed Oriole, Yellow crested and Brown eared Woodpeckers, White thighed Hornbills, Ituri Batis, Chestnut wattle eye, White breasted Negrofinch, Pale breasted, Scally Breasted and Brown Illadopsis ,Rufous flycatcher Thrush , Tambourine dove, Slender Billed, Toro olive, Cameroon Sombre, White throated, little Grey and little Greenbulls. Later after Lunch, we proceed to Murchison Falls National Park.

Day 14: Birding in Murchison Falls

On this day, we visit Uganda's biggest National Park, famous for its game, spectacular scenery, and the falls for which the park was named. where we will enjoy a game drive in the morning and a boat Cruise in the afternoon. 

The birding experience here is greatly enhanced by the abundant wildlife and scenic landscape of wetlands; dry savannah and open habitats are more special Birds. The key species here will be ; Blue-naped and Speckled Mouse birds, Spotted Morning Thrush, Siverbird, Buff-bellied Warbler,Black Headed Batis, Black Headed Gonolek, Chestnut-crowned and white browed Sparrow weaver,Viteline Masked weaver and Green-winged Pytilia ,Denham`s and Black bellied Bustard, Crested and Heuglin`s Francolin, Red-throated, White Throated, Swallow-tailed and Little Bee-eaters, Black bellied and BarBreasted firefinches, Bruce`s and African Green pigeons, Red-necked Falcon and Grey Kestrel, Senegal and Spotted Thicknee, Black Billed and Blue spotted Wood-Dove ,Double toothed, Spot flanked, and Black Billed Barbets, White crested Turacos ,Speckle-fronted Weavers, Slender billed and Compact Weavers,Red-winged grey and Red winged Warblers, Broad-Billed and Abyssinian Rollers,Piapiac , Yellow Mantled Widowbird and Northern Red Bishop,Whisling,Siffling, Singing,Zitting,Rattling,Croacking and Foxy Cisticolas , Sooty and White Fronted black Chat ,Northern White Crested Helmet shrike, Yellow billed Shrike, Dark and Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Northern Camine Bee-eaters, Grey headed , Woodland, and Striped Kingfishers, Brown Babblers, Abyssinian Ground and Grey Hornbills ,Northern Black Flycatcher, Beautiful Sunbird, Vinaceous Dove, Osprey , Grey backed and Woodchat Shrike, Shelley`s Rufous Sparrow.

Day 15: Birding on the way to Entebbe


Day 16: Departure

Book Uganda Birding Trip

Enjoy a birding Safari


Price includes

  • Bottled Drinking water

  • Accommodation

  • Meals

  • Guide fees

  • Transport

  • Park fees

Price Excludes

  • Visa

  • Insurance

  • Personal Expense

  • Tips

  • Alcoholic Beverages

Packing list

  • Camera

  • Antimalarials

  • Warm light-weight clothes

  • Backpacker/ small bag to accommodate your rain gear, and drinking water.​

  • Trekking trousers

  • A torch/headlamp and batteries​

  • Closed trekking shoes

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