There is no debate about the best birding destination in Africa. Uganda has registered a remarkable increasing population of avian species exceeding 1,008 recorded including residents, endemics and visiting members. We attribute this mouthwatering number to a transitional point and mixed zones from the East African savanna to the West African rainforest and the semi-arid conditions of the north and sub Saharan Africa. Twitchers and upcoming bird lovers, look no further than Uganda as your next destination owing to the fact that existing variety of habitats as rich savannahs, vast wetlands, arid and semi-dessert destinations, volcanoes and an Afro-alpine zone attract huge bird biodiversity around the remarkable Pearl of Africa. Birds not to miss on your birding expedition may include endangered rare Shoebill, Emerald Cuckoo, Fluftail, Egrets, Great Blue Turacos and
Upon arrival at the Airport you will be met and welcomed by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel in Entebbe. Depending on your time of arrival you can be able to go birding later on at the Botanical gardens. The most common bird species are Ruff, Wood, Common, Marsh Sandpipers, Common Green Shank, Long-tailed and Great Cormorants, Madagascar Bee-eater, Green Crombec, Orange weaver, Entebbe Weaver (an endemic to Uganda that was recorded at the site only once), White spotted Fluftail .
Overnight at: Overnight in BB at Boma Hotel (C) or African Routes Safaris/Pineapple Guest House (E). BB
After breakfast drive to the Mabamba bay, the only place and site (so far rated as the best in Africa and/or the whole world) where the elusive Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) can be spotted at any one time of the day. Other bird species to watch out for include; Rey-headed Gull, White Winged Terns, Madagascar Bee-eater, Yellow Billed Egret, Long toed Plover. Have lunch and in the afternoon you could have a walk along the tracks on the main road in search of more birds then you expect to see the Black Crake, African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Cape Wagtail, Swamp Flightier, Winding Cisticola, Blue- Breasted Bee- eater, Red Chested Sunbird and many more.
Overnight at: Dinner and overnight at Cassia Lodge – Metropole Hotel. Full Board
Early morning drive to Fort Portal where you will arrive in time for lunch. In the afternoon go birding in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary that is found 5 km after Kibale Forest National Park on the road to Kamwenge. Birding is a major activity around the swamp with paths cut and areas of the swamp board walked to give access to areas of the swamp that would be otherwise inaccessible. Specialties for Bigodi include Great Blue Turaco, Black Billed Turaco and White Spotted Crake.
Overnight at: Dinner and overnight at Primate Lodge / Crater Safari Lodge (C) or Chimpanzee Forest Guest House/Isunga lodge (E). Full Board
After breakfast, the activity is the chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest National Park and along the way you will see a number of bird species which include: black-capped apalis, blue-headed sunbird, collared apalis, dusky crimsonwing, purple-breasted sunbird and red-faced woodland warbler. Other Kibale specials include the African pitta, green breasted pitta, black bee-eater, yellow spotted nicator, yellow rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, black-eared ground thrush, brownchested alethe, blue-breasted kingfisher, Abyssinian groundthrush, and the crowned eagle. Have lunch and in the afternoon drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is home to total of 604 different bird species. Key species: African Skimmer, Black Rumped Button Quail, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Red Footed Falcon, Lesser Flamingoes, Grey Capped Warbler, White's and Abdim's Storks (in season), Amur Falcon, Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Wooly-necked and Saddle-billed Storks, and numerous classes of Raptors, Vultures and Plovers etc. Birding in the evening and over night and dinner at Mweya Safari Lodge/Mazike lodge (C) or Ihamba Safari Lodge/ Enganzi Lodge (E).Full Board
Overnight at: over night and dinner at Mweya Safari Lodge/Mazike lodge (C) or Ihamba Safari Lodge/ Enganzi Lodge (E).Full Board
After breakfast you will take off time in specific tracks of the park birding alongside the game drive game drive in which you will may encounter wildlife as lions, hippos, buffaloes, leopard, spotted hyena, elephants and the elusive giant forest hog in this park. All these are regularly sighted around the Mweya Peninsula. In the afternoon go for the boat cruise along Kazinga Channel, where the concentration of water birds and photographs is extraordinary. A variety of birds grace the grasses on the channel’s edge and these may include the Great White and Pink-Backed Pelicans, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Open-billed Stork, African Jacana, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers. There is also a Bird Observatory here, which was set up with the aim of studying both migratory and resident birds. Since its inception in 1997 more new species have been identified, including Uganda's first record of the Bar-tailed Godwit.
Overnight at: Overnight and dinner at Ishasha Jungle Lodge. Full Board
After breakfast, game drive and birding in the southern region of the park the Ishasha Sector where you will have a chance to see the tree climbing lions that enjoy lying on the top of fig trees during the hot hours of the day. After lunch, proceed to Bwindi National Park. Though the gorillas are its most famous inhabitants, Bwindi is also noted for its biodiversity and the richness of its flora and fauna. The diversity of birds in Bwindi National Park is extremely high, representing one of the forest's avifauna in Africa. The bird list for the park currently totals 334 species, 67 non-forest-dependent species, and 182 forest-dependent species. Thirteen of these species occur nowhere else in Uganda, seven are not known to occur anywhere else in East Africa, and 17 are known for East Africa only in Bwindi and one or two other East African forests. Rare species include the spectacular globally threatened endemics like the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing.
Overnight at: Overnight and dinner at Bwindi Engagi Lodge/ Bwindi Jungle Lodge (C) or Bakiga Lodge/ Gorilla Valley lodge/Buhoma Community Tented Camp (E). Full Board
On this day you will go, (optional), gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest National park; perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences. The activity starts with a briefing from the ranger guides after which you proceed with the trekking. Bwindi forest in Uganda has a population of about 420 gorillas, which is half the world population according to 2012 gorilla population surveys. It is not predictable the time you will spend to encounter the gorillas but it normally takes between 2 – 6 hours. You have an hour to observe the primates and their behaviors, while taking photographs. Do not forget to carry your lunch boxes and water. If you are not interested in the gorilla tracking, early morning you can go birding in the forest with your guide. Proceed to Ruhija for dinner and the overnight
Overnight at: Dinner and the overnight at Bakiga Lodge or Cuckooland Lodge (E). Full Board.
Have breakfast go for birding the whole day in the Rujija sector of Bwindi National Park. Ruhiija is likely to be one of the highlights of any trip to Uganda with excellent birding in spectacular surroundings. Birds are both plentiful and easy to see; many species associating in mixed feeding flocks that are active throughout the day. An early start offers the best chance of finding the striking handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, western Green Tinker bird, Mountain and yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Mountain marked and chestnut-throated Apalises, red-faced woodland Warbler, Rwenzori batis, white-tailed crested Flycatcher and many more.
Overnight at: Overnight and dinner in Bird Nest Bunyonyi /Lake Bunyonyi at Arcadia Cottages Bunyonyi (E). Full Board
In the morning, have a canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi for birding. The lake is one of the most popular destinations for birding and the guide will help you spotting birds by stopping over in different islands. Bird species include: Pied kingfisher, Malachite kingfisher, Cinnamon chested bee eater, Bronzy sun bird, Knobed coot. Very rara, Pied wagtail, Black clake, Common stone chat, Grey shrike, Grey crowned crested crane, Hadada ibis, Swamp fly catcher, Black heron, Great commrant, Fan tailed widow bird, Streaky seed eater, Speckled mouse bird, Pin tailed whyder, Bronze manikin, Black headed weaver. Have lunch in Kabale and from there proceed to Lake Mburo where you will have a game drive as you enter the park.
Overnight at: Overnight and dinner at Rwakobo Rock Lodge/ Mantana Mburo Lodge (Supplement for Mihingo lodge) (C) or Arcadia Cottages Mburo/Mpogo Safari lodge (E). Full Board
Have a morning drive and go birding in the park. The park has about 313 different bird species which include the rare Shoebill stork, White-winged Warblers, Black-billed Barbet, Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Red necked Spur, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Temminck’s Courser, common Quails, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Barefaced Go-away bird, African-grey Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Lilac-breasted Roller, Coqui Francolin, Red necked spur fowl, Black Bellied Bustard, African-wattled Plover Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous chested Swallow , Southern Red Bishop and Yellow-throated Long claw among others. You will check out headed for Entebbe with a brief stop at the equator for photographic moments and lunch en route and later be transferred to the Airport for your flight out. HB
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Bwindi Jungle Lodge