15 Days Uganda birding safari
The 15 Days Uganda birding safari is one of the best birding experiences in Africa targeting seeing as many bird species in Uganda . The trip starts in the botanical gardens and wildlife educational centre, then links to Murchison Falls Conservation in North Western Uganda. Bird through Budongo Forest, the Royal Mile, Busingiro and Murchison Falls National Park. Bird along the Albertine Rift as you travel to Kibale Forest, another rewarding birding destination.
The trip later continues to Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to 606 bird species, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Lake Mburo National Park. Other highlights en route will include gorilla safaris and chimpanzee tracking, guided walks, boat trips, meeting local people.
Detailed 15 Days Uganda Birding Safari
Day 1: Arrival and Birding the Entebbe Environs
Upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our team and transferred to your accommodation at Lindsay Cottages or Cassia Lodge. Depending on your arrival time, we can start with optional birding in Entebbe, specifically at the lush grounds of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of forest and lakeshore birds. Some of the notable species you may encounter include the Palm-nut Vulture, Great Blue Turaco, Eastern Gray Plantain-eater, African Pied Hornbill, Splendid Glossy Starling, and Orange and Slender-billed Weavers.
Day 2: Birding to Masindi
After breakfast in the morning, we will begin our birding adventure either at the Botanical Gardens or the Lutembe Bay. We will then proceed to Masindi, passing through the scenic Luwero triangle. As we drive through undulating grasslands and mosaic woodlands, we will keep our eyes peeled for a variety of bird species, including the White-crested Turaco, Bronze-tailed Starling, Lesser Blue and Great Blue Eared Starlings, Black, Yellow Mantled and Black Winged Bishops, White Headed Barbet, Cardinal and Nubian Woodpecker, Lesser and Greater Honeyguide. We will spend the night at Masindi Hotel or New Court View for two nights.
Day 3: Birding Budongo- Royal Mile and Busingiro
We will depart early for the nearby Budongo Forest, where we will explore the famous Royal Mile. This road is surrounded by towering forest canopy, offering a spectacular birding experience. The forest trails in Budongo are well-maintained, and we will have the chance to spot elusive species such as the Nahan’s Francolin, White-thighed Hornbill, Cassin’s Spinetail, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Forest Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Lemon Bellied Crombec, Tit Hylia, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Forest Robin, Yellow-billed, Grey-throated, Hairy-breasted, and Yellow-spotted Barbet, Great Blue and Black-billed Turaco, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Spotted, Plain, Slender-billed, White-throated, Little Grey, and Little Greenbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, and Black-capped Apalis, among others.
Day 4: Birding to the Northern Sector of Murchison Falls National Park
Today, we will start early and drive through the Budongo Kaniyo Pabidi area in search of the elusive Puvel’s Illadopsis. Afterward, we will proceed to the top of the magnificent Murchison Falls. We will time our ferry ride to Paraa Safari Lodge, where we will spend the night. A night drive in this area is highly recommended, as we may have the opportunity to spot nocturnal mammals and birds.
Day 5: Birding Murchison Falls Tour
One of the highlights of our visit to Murchison Falls National Park will be the boat trips to the bottom of the falls and the delta area. During these boat rides, we will have the chance to observe a wide variety of water birds, including the iconic Shoebill. Other bird species to look out for include the Red-throated and Northern Carmine Bee-eater, as well as various mammals such as Rothschild’s Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Waterbuck, and more. We will also keep an eye out for the Saddle-billed, Yellow-billed, and African Open-billed Stork, African Finfoot, Red-necked Falcon, Senegal Thick-knee, Rock Pratincole, Giant, Woodland, Grey-headed, Malachite, Pygmy, and Striped Kingfishers. On our game drives, we will search for Heuglin’s Francolin, Black-billed Barbet, Northern and Red-faced Barbet, Swallow-tailed, Blue-breasted, and Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Abyssinian Rollers, Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, and Black-winged and Northern Red Bishops. We will spend the night at Paraa Safari Lodge.
Day 6: Birding Murchison Falls – Kibale Forest National Park
Today, we will embark on a long drive from Murchison Falls to Kibale Forest National Park. Along the way, we will make a few birding stops, with the option to explore either the Ishasha or Rukungiri routes, both of which offer interesting birding opportunities. We will also have a chance to spot the Tabora Cisticola, Red-faced Barbet, and Coqui Francolin. In the evening, we will arrive at Primate Lodge or Nature Lodges in Kibale Forest, where we will spend two nights.
Day 7: Kibale National Park – Chimp Tracking and Birding
Kibale Forest National Park is renowned for its diverse primate population, including 13 different species. Today, we have the opportunity to go chimpanzee tracking, an exhilarating experience that allows us to get up close to these fascinating creatures. While birding in the forest, we may also encounter species such as the White-naped Pigeon, African Gray Parrot, Black Bee-eater, Hairy-breasted, Yellow-spotted, and Yellow-billed Barbet, Chestnut-winged and Purple-headed Starlings, Blue-throated Brown and Superb Sunbirds, and White-collared Oliveback, among others.
Day 8: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, we will embark on a scenic drive from Kibale Forest to Queen Elizabeth National Park. As we make our way to the park, we will have several birding stops along the route, allowing us to spot a variety of bird species.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its diverse birdlife, and we will have the opportunity to observe species such as Wahlberg’s Eagles, Brown Snake Eagles, Short-toed Snake Eagles, Red-necked Spurfowl, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Crake, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Lesser Masked Weaver, Black Coucal, Black-lored Babbler, Arrow-marked Babbler, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, and many others. In the evening, we will check in at Mweya Safari Lodge or Mweya Hostels, where we will spend the night.
Day 9: Whole Day Birding Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today, we will dedicate the entire day to exploring the birdlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park. With its diverse habitats including savannah, wetlands, and forests, the park is home to a wide range of bird species. During our birding excursions, we may encounter Wahlberg’s Eagles, Brown Snake Eagles, Martial Eagles, Red-necked Spurfowl, African Crake, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Lesser Masked Weaver, Black-lored Babbler, African Skimmer, Papyrus Gonolek, Grey-headed Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, African Wattled Plover, Pink-backed Pelican, Great White Pelican, and many more.
We will explore different areas of the park, including the Kasenyi Plains, Mweya Peninsula, and Ishasha sector. In the evening, we will return to Mweya Safari Lodge or Mweya Hostels for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 10: Queen Elizabeth to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After breakfast, we will leave Queen Elizabeth National Park and embark on a scenic drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. As we journey through the beautiful landscapes, we will have opportunities for birding stops along the way.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas, but it is also home to an incredible array of bird species. Some of the bird species we may encounter include African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Black Bee-eater, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Regal Sunbird, African Paradise Flycatcher, Ruwenzori Batis, Ruwenzori Turaco, and many more.
We will arrive in Bwindi in the evening and check in at Gorilla Resort or Buhoma Community Bandas, where we will spend the night.
Day 11: Optional Gorilla Trekking or Birding Buhoma
Today, you have the option to either go gorilla trekking or continue birding in the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. If you choose gorilla trekking, you will embark on an unforgettable adventure to track and observe a habituated gorilla family in their natural habitat. This is a unique and awe-inspiring experience that allows you to get up close to these gentle giants.
Alternatively, if you opt for birding, you will have the opportunity to explore the rich avian diversity of the Buhoma area. Some of the bird species you may encounter include African Green Broadbill, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Red-throated Alethe, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Bar-tailed Trogon, and many others.
Whether you choose gorilla trekking or birding, it will be a day filled with incredible wildlife encounters. In the evening, we will return to Gorilla Resort or Buhoma Community Bandas for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 12: Birding from Bwindi to Lake Mburo National Park
After breakfast, we will depart from Bwindi and continue our journey to Lake Mburo National Park. Along the way, we will make several birding stops, allowing us to add more species to our bird list. Lake Mburo National Park is a compact gem with a variety of habitats, including savannah, acacia woodlands, and lakeshores.
The park is home to numerous bird species, including the African Finfoot, Papyrus Gonolek, Brown-chested Lapwing, Coqui Francolin, Red-faced Barbet, Southern Ground Hornbill, Green-capped Eremomela, and many others.
We will also have opportunities for wildlife sightings, with the possibility of encountering zebras, impalas, buffalos, and other mammals. In the evening, we will check in at a lodge near Lake Mburo and enjoy dinner and overnight stay.
Day 13: Birding Lake Mburo to Kampala
Today, we will have an early start for birding around Lake Mburo National Park. We will explore different habitats, including the lakeshores, acacia woodlands, and grassy plains, in search of avian species. Some of the birds we may encounter include the African Finfoot, White-winged Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Red-faced Barbet, Brown-chested Lapwing, Grey Crowned Crane, African Hawk-Eagle, Nubian Woodpecker, Lilac-breasted Roller, and many more. After a productive morning of birding, we will drive back to Kampala, where we will spend the night at Cassia Lodge or Lindsay Cottages.
Day 14: Birding Kampala- Mabamba Islands- Mabira Forest
After breakfast, we will embark on a birding adventure around Kampala. Our first destination will be Mabamba Islands, a wetland renowned for its population of the elusive Shoebill. We will take a boat ride and explore the marshes, searching for the iconic Shoebill as well as other wetland bird species such as the African Jacana, White-winged Tern, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, and Swamp Flycatcher.
Afterward, we will proceed to Mabira Forest, a lush rainforest teeming with birdlife. Here, we will have the opportunity to spot species such as the White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Green-breasted Pitta, and many others. We will spend the night at Mabira Rain Forest Lodge, nestled within the forest.
Day 15: Airport Transfer
After breakfast we start by looking out for the Red Caped Robin-chat around the Logde then hit the trail to try and find Weyn’s Weaver, Olive Green Cameroptera, Tit Hylia, African Pied Hornbill Grey and Yelloe Long Bill, Forest Wood-Hoopoe, Blue-breasted, White-bellied, Dwarf and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Soty Flycatcher, Yellow-throated, Yellow Rumped and Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow Crested Woodpecker, Toro Olive Greenbul and Green-tailed Bristle bill, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Robin and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat after this beautiful show we transfer to the airport for flight back home.