Bird Watching and Mammals Tour in Uganda
This 21-day Uganda Bird Watching and Mammals Tour offer you the opportunity to record over 700 species of birds, many species of primates, boat rides for Shoebill, and a visit to eight different national parks, reserves, and sanctuaries. You will travel by car or private 4WD vehicles in small groups of a maximum of 10 participants each led by experienced tour guides and conservationists who live in Uganda and are experienced in bird watching and wildlife research. This tour is great not only as an introduction to birding but also as your introduction to Uganda’s amazing biodiversity!
This nature reserve in central Uganda was once home to hundreds of farmers who were forcibly evicted by President Museveni’s government. You’ll travel through both Mabira Forest, which is a part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on game drives where you may spot elephants, giraffes, rhinos, buffalos as well as many primate species including chimpanzees.
The main draw to Murchison Falls National Park is its namesake Murchison Falls, one of Uganda’s most impressive waterfalls. But there’s more to Murchison than just rushing waters. Fauna in Murchison includes lion, leopard, elephant, spotted hyena, warthog, and crocodile.
The largest area of intact rainforest left in Uganda is home to hundreds of bird species, from African Pittas to Red-chested Owls. The forest canopy also provides vital habitat for primates such as Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, and Blue Monkeys.
The Victoria Nile—passing through Jinja before reaching Kabale. In Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you’ll find over 200 species of birds. Victoria Nile is one of Africa’s longest rivers and was named after Britain's queen by explorer John Hanning Speke, who was led to it by local tribesmen in 1858. It runs for about 2,700 kilometers (1,678 miles) from Lake Victoria at Ripon Falls all the way to Sudan's Blue Nile River at Khartoum.
Accessible by car or boat, a small section of Budongo Forest has been established as a nature reserve known as Royal Mile. This short trail will take you through a range of different habitats from riverine forest to mixed semi-deciduous woodland. You can expect to see squirrels, bats, bushbucks, duiker,s, and vervet monkeys. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded in Budongo Forest making it an excellent location for bird watching tours in Uganda.
A veritable birders paradise, Kibale is home to over 500 species of birds. It's also home to a variety of primates including black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzee and red tail monkeys as well as elephant, forest buffalo, bushbuck, and civet.
Uganda is Africa’s most diverse country in terms of its flora and fauna, with eight climatic zones ranging from arid lowlands to rainforests on high mountain peaks. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s most popular destinations because it showcases a variety of ecosystems with mountains, rainforests, swamps, lakes, grasslands, and riverine forests.
Located in Kabale District, Ishasha to Buhoma is one of Uganda’s top birding routes with around 300 species recorded. The route begins at Lake Edward in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park before passing through Mgahinga National Park, then crossing into Buhoma via Ishasha. The route ends on Lake Bunyonyi from where you’ll drive back to Kampala via Queen Elizabeth National Park.
These verdant hills are home to seven forest reserves: Kibale Forest National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park. You’ll also see a few private concessions here for both birds (Kijugumwe is one of Uganda’s best birding sites) and mammals.
Covering 1,585 square kilometers, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s largest protected area. It’s also home to an impressive variety of primates, including endangered species like Eastern black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, De Brazza’s monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, and olive baboons.
If you have a little more time to spend on your holiday, maybe you’d consider a longer trip like this Mega Birding Uganda Tour.
The tour begins at Entebbe Airport with an excursion to Mabamba Swamp for boat trip in search of Shoebill, plus shore of Lake Victoria, then transfer to Jinja. Overnight at the Gately on Nile.
Full day excursion with box lunch to Mabira Forest. Overnight at Gately on Nile, Jinja.
Transfer with box lunch, via Kampala, to Murchison Falls National Park for overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge at Kaniyo Pabidi
Morning excursion on foot at Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo Forest, have lunch at Eco Lodge, then take an afternoon excursion to area above Murchison Falls. Overnight at Nile Safari Lodge.
You will drive to Paraa for morning launch trip on Victoria Nile to the Delta. Take picnic lunch and later take an afternoon excursion north of the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. One evening we'll stay out late in the hope of finding one or more of the night birds that can be seen here, perhaps Spotted (Grayish) Eagle-Owl or Long-tailed and Pennantwinged nightjars returning to the Lodge after dusk.
Overnight: Nile Safari Lodge.
Transfer with box lunch to Masindi, via Butiaba on Lake Albert and Busingiro section of Budongo Forest. This morning we’ll head south towards Lake Albert, arriving at the escarpment in time for a Picnic lunch. We'll check the Butiaba marshes for Blue-breasted Bee-eater and Carruthers' Cisticola. In the Borassus palms Piapiac are numerous and tame, and various bishops and widowbirds are likely. In the afternoon, as we the Butiaba escarpment, we¹ll make stops to look for Black-billed Wood-Dove, Northern Carmine and Swallow-tailed bee-eaters, Yellowfronted Tinker bird, Spot-flanked, Black-billed, and Double-toothed barbets, Red-faced, Zitting, and Foxy cisticolas, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Red-backed Scrub-Robin, Mocking Cliff chat, White-shouldered Black-Tit, Sulphur-breasted Bush shrike, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-winged Bishop, Black-bellied Fire finch, Red-winged Pytilia, and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. We drive on further to the Busingiro site of Budongo forest where we’ll look for the forest birds confined to this forest in our region. These may include; Rufous-crowned elemomera, Ituri Batis, Toro olive greenbul, chocolate backed Kingfisher, scaly francolin and many more. Overnight at Masindi Hotel.
Full day excursion with box lunch to Royal Mile section of Budongo Forest. After an early breakfast we will depart for Budongo Forest, about an hour's drive away. We¹ll have a full day in this area, where a new system of trails is currently being cleared. Additionally, a broad road through one of the richest areas of forest (known as the Royal Mile) gives good access to many of the forest specialties found here. We hope to see many of the following: Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Nahan's Francolin, Crested Guinea fowl, White-spotted Fluff tail, African Emerald Cuckoo, Sabine's and Cassin's spinetails, Dwarf, Chocolate-backed, and Bluebreasted kingfishers, Blue-throated Roller, White-thighed and Black-and-white-casqued hornbills, Speckled and Yellow-throated tinker birds, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted barbets, Golden-crowned Woodpecker, Gray, Plain, White-throated, Icterine, and Red-tailed greenbuls, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Black-capped and Buff-throated apalis, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Yellow Long bill, Green Hylia, Yellow-footed, African Forest, and Graythroated flycatchers, Forest Robin, the rare Ituri Batis, Jameson's and Chestnut wattle-eyes, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Gray-headed, Green, Little Green, and Olive-bellied sunbirds, Western Black-headed Oriole, Purple-headed Glossy-Starling, Yellow-mantled Weaver, etc. Overnight at Masindi Hotel.
Transfer with box lunch to Kibale Forest National Park for overnight at Primate Lodge.
Morning excursions at Kibale Forest National Park (including morning session of Chimpanzee tracking including walk to look for Green-breasted Pitta). Overnight at Primate Lodge Kibale.
Early morning excursion to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, then transfer with box lunch to Queen Elizabeth National Park. We’ll visit a papyrus swamp in search of the striking Papyrus Gonolek and the secretive White-winged Warbler. We¹ll then take a picnic lunch and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park lies in an extensive area of rolling grass-covered hills, wooded valleys, and a series of extinct volcanic craters. During our stay we will visit some of these areas, and take an afternoon trip on a launch along the famous Kazinga Channel that links lakes Edward and George, with great photo opportunities. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge.
Morning and afternoon excursions in Queen Elizabeth National Park including boat trip on Kazinga Channel. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Transfer with box lunch via Ishasha to Buhoma for overnight at Engagi Lodge.
Gorilla tracking excursion with box lunch in Buhoma section of Impenetrable (Bwindi) Forest. Overnight at Engagi Lodge, Buhoma.
Full day birding excursion with box lunch in Buhoma section of Impenetrable (Bwindi) Forest. Overnight at Engagi Lodge, Buhoma.
Transfer with box lunch and birding en route to Ruhija.
Early morning birding before we can transfer to Ruhija sector of Bwindi forest this is about 1500-2000m above sea level, birding en-route. We’ll spend some time at the “Neck” of the Bwindi forest to look for some of the special birds, the forest offers. On the morning of this day we will make the short but slow and rough drive to the higher parts of the Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest.
As we arrive on the uppermost slopes, we’ll immediately realize why for so long this was known as Impenetrable, for in bygone days the dense undergrowth and steep terrain must have made entry very difficult indeed. Many different species are found at these higher altitudes, including quite a few of the Albertine Rift endemics. Undoubtedly one of the most sought-after birds here is the rare and hard-to-find Grauer¹s (African Green) Broadbill, and it would be with tremendous luck if we were to see this species. Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.
Excursion with box lunch to Mubwindi Swamp. We will start early enough with lunch box and take the trail through the forest to look for the special ARE and a visit to the Mubwindi swamp, returning late evening. Sometimes we find a few of these legendary species at a nest by doing the strenuous 8 km trek down into the Mubwindi Swamp; Some times Elephants on the trail sabotage our attempts! Far easier to see are most of the following, and we'll have a full day-and-a-half to work this area: Handsome Francolin, Brown-necked Parrot, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Montane Nightjar, Cinnamonchested Bee-eater, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Yellow-rumped and Western Tinkerbird, Tullberg's Woodpecker, Gray Cuckoo-shrike, Slender-billed and Yellow-streaked, greenbuls, Banded Prinia, Collared, Black-faced, and Chestnut-throated Apalises, Cameroon Scrub-Warbler, Mountain Yellow and Grauer's warblers, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, Archer's Robin-Chat, Ruwenzori Batis, White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Mountain Illadopsis, African (Ruwenzori) Hill Babbler, Stripe-breasted Tit, Blue-headed, Regal, and Purple-breasted sunbirds,Black-tailed Oriole, Mountain Boubou, the stunning Doherty's Bush shrike, Whitenecked Raven, Slender-billed and Waller's starlings, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Dusky Twin spot, and perhaps Oriole Finch. Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.
Morning excursion in Ruhija area, then transfer with box lunch to Kisoro for overnight at Traveler’s Rest
Full day birdwatching excursion with box lunch in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Overnight at Traveler’s Rest, Kisoro
Transfer with box lunch to Lake Mburo National Park for overnight at Arcadia Cottages.
Full day excursion with box lunch in Lake Mburo area. We will spend the whole day in Lake Mburo National Park; do a boat-ride in the morning and an afternoon game-drive to look for species like Long-tailed Cisticola, Red-faced Barbet and many others. This delightful small park contains rolling scrub-covered hills, open dry areas, pockets of woodland, papyrus beds, marshy lake fringes, and opens water. It is the only area where we can see Common Zebra and Impala, and we should also find good numbers of Oribi, Olive Baboon, and Vervet Monkey. A variety of new and interesting birds occur within this park and we hope for African Fin foot (via a short boat trip), Lizard Buzzard, African Goshawk, Coqui Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Red-headed Lovebird, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Lilacbreasted Roller, Green Wood hoopoe, Greater Honey guide, Green-backed Woodpecker, the restricted range Red-faced Barbet at its only Ugandan site, Mosque and Rufous-chested swallows, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Broad-tailed Grass bird, Gray Tit-Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, White-winged Black-Tit, African Penduline-Tit, Violet-backed Starling, Fan-tailed Widowbird, and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu. Two rarities seen here on a past tour were White-backed Night-Heron and Thick-billed Cuckoo. Overnight at Arcadia Cottages.
Morning excursion with box lunch at Lake Mburo, then transfer to Entebbe Airport.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Black-billed Wood-Dove, Northern Carmine and Swallow-tailed bee-eaters, Yellowfronted Tinker bird, Spot-flanked, Black-billed, and Double-toothed barbets, Red-faced, Zitting, and Foxy cisticolas, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Red-backed Scrub-Robin, Mocking Cliff chat, White-shouldered Black-Tit, Sulphur-breasted Bush shrike, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-winged Bishop, Black-bellied Fire finch, Red-winged Pytilia, and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Spotted (Grayish) Eagle-Owl or Long-tailed and Pennantwinged nightjars, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Nahan’s Francolin, Crested Guinea fowl, White-spotted Fluff tail, African, Emerald Cuckoo, Sabine’s and Cassin’s spinetails, Dwarf, Chocolate-backed, and Bluebreasted, kingfishers, Blue-throated Roller, White-thighed and Black-and-white-casquedhornbills, Speckled and Yellow-throated tinker birds, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted barbets, Golden-crowned Woodpecker, Gray, Plain, White-throated, Icterine, and Red-tailed greenbuls, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Black-capped and Buff-throated apalis, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Yellow Long bill, Green Hylia, Yellow-footed, African Forest, and Graythroatedflycatchers, Forest Robin, the rare Ituri Batis, Jameson’s and Chestnut wattle-eyes, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Gray-headed, Green, Little Green, and Olive-bellied sunbirds, Western Black-headed Oriole, Purple-headedGlossy-Starling, Yellow-mantled Weaver
What is included?
- Airport pickup/drop off.
- Recently introduced 18% VAT on accommodation at all facilities as per our standard itineraries.
- All ground transportation in a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with roof-hatches.
- Accommodation in standard twin / single rooms.
- Meals as described in the itinerary (BB, HB, or FB).
- Services of an English speaking driver guide.
- Fuel for the entire trip.
- Bottled drinking water, tea and coffee while in transit.
- All National Park, game reserves and sanctuary entrance fees.
- All activities described in the itinerary unless described as extras.
What is not included?
- Pre/post tour accommodation, day room charges and meals.
- Cost of a gorilla permit which is US $ 700 at the moment.
- Insurance of any kind.
- Emergency rescue flight costs local or international.
- Tips and gratitude to your driver/guide/hotel staff etc.
- All expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone bills etc.
- Bank transfer charges of US $ 30 per transfer.
- Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"
People who work for Livingstone African Safaris have been offering safaris and birding tours since 2000. They specialize in personalized, fully customizable private safaris and trips for people who want to go on safaris and see a lot of different things in Uganda. Because we're not only great at what we do (birding tours and safaris), but we also make sure everyone has a great time. We take the time to talk with you and come up with a plan that you will love. After talking with us, you can think about the options, take our advice, tweak it a little for fun, and make a one-of-a-kind, personalized tour that will meet your needs.