This tour will take you through the major forests in Uganda renown for birding with well maintained trails. We start with Mabira forest with  over 300 bird species surrounded by agricultural lands both at subsistence level and commercial; Sugarcane and tea plantations. Next we move to Budongo forest protecting the largest natural forest in East Africa, boasting of 350 bird Species with excellent birding opportunities. We continue to Semuliki National Park which protects an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest of Democratic Republic of Congo. Being a relatively stable forest – it is one of the richest areas for forest birds in Africa with a large number of Central African species. Our birding trip will continue to Kibale National Park a large block of rain forest that offers great birding and harbors the highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The forest hosts over 300 bird species with opportunity of tracking Chimpanzees. This birding tour ends in Bwindi impenetrable forest which is home to over 300 bird species and was voted as Africa’s best birding spot by Africa bird club.

Key Species

Shoebill, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-bellied Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Speckled Tinkerbird, African Pied Hornbill, Green-breasted Pitta, Forest Wood hoopoe, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Scaly-breasted, Pale-breasted and Brown Illadopsis, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Green Crombec, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Buff-throated Apalis, White-breasted and Grey-headed Negrofinches, Chocolate-backed and African Dwarf Kingfishers. The elusive Nahan’s Francolin, African Pitta, Red-winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Dark-backed and Yellow-mantled Weavers, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Red-billed Dwarf and White-crested Hornbills, White-throated Blue Swallow, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated and Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, African Green BroadbillRed-eyed Puffback

Habitats

Forest, grassland, agricultural lands, Riverine Forest, Moist woodland , Papyrus Swamps, and rivers

Optional Activities

Chimpanzee trekking and Gorilla trekking

Day 1: Arrival for the Uganda Forest Birding Safari 

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by a Kagera Safaris representative and transferred to your Hotel. Depending on time of arrival you have an opportunity to explore Entebbe botanical gardens as an introduction to birding in Uganda.

Journey time –  1 hour

Meal plan – Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Kampala Serena
  • Mid-range – Cassia Lodge
  • Budget – Casa Miltu

Day 2: Birding tour to Mabira forest

birding-in-mabiraMabira forest is the biggest forest reserve closest to Kampala city and is known for its variety of animals mainly primates and bird species.  The forest has survived the sugar plantations and communities surrounding it. We will leave for Mabira forest very early in the morning to avoid the traffic driving into the city. The forest is home to over 300 bird species which can be a challenge to see if they are in the tree canopies. Some of the birds are found on the ground feeding, others in the tree branches and canopies.

Some of the birds are more easily heard than seen Chestnut and Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Grey Parrot, Red-tailed Bristlebil, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, White-bellied Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Speckled Tinkerbird, Forest robin, African Pied Hornbill, Blue-throated Roller among others.

Journey time –  1 hour

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Kampala Serena
  • Mid-range – Cassia Lodge
  • Budget – Casa Miltu

Day 3: Birding Safari to Budongo Forest

Today we bird our way to Budongo forest which has an abundant bird life with two species of birds not found elsewhere in East Africa: 10 of the 22 species of the Sudan–Guinea Savannah biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea–Congo forests that occur in Uganda. We arrive in Budongo late afternoon or evening after several stopovers birding. We have an opportunity to stop over at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for those interested in trekking Rhinos and birding briefly at the sanctuary.

Journey time –  4 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Mid-range – Masindi Hotel
  • Budget – New Court View

Day 4: Birding the Royal Mile in Budongo forest 

birding-budongo-forestWe bird the marvelous Royal mile and several other trails for the whole day. We look out for the White-thighed Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Yellow-spotted and Yellow billed Barbets, Western Black-headed Oriole. We are also likely to find the Red-tailed Bristlebill, Scaly-breasted, Pale-breasted and Brown Illadopsis, Spotted, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Green Crombec, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Buff-throated Apalis, and both White-breasted and Grey-headed Negrofinches, Chocolate-backed and African Dwarf Kingfishers, White-spotted Flufftails and the elusive Nahan’s Francolin. Other possibilities include; Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Crested Guinea-fowl, Tambourine Dove, Grey Parrot, African Emerald and Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoos, White-throated Bee-eater, Western Nicator, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Wilcock’s Honeyguide, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Blue-throated Brown and Little Green Sunbirds, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe and Uganda Woodland Warbler etc.

Day 5: Birding to Kibale National Park 

We leave for Kibale National Park for another experience of forest birding in Uganda. We have several stopovers as we drive to Kibale for great landscape views and birding opportunities at different points. We arrive at the lodge later that evening and bird the lodge grounds even as we look forward to full day tomorrow in this tropical rain forest.

Journey time –  7 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Papaya Lake Lodge
  • Mid-range – Primate Lodge
  • Budget – Chimpanzee guest house

Day 6: Birding in Kibale National Park

chimpanzee kibale forestKibale national park protects a large block of rain forest that offers excellent birding opportunities. The forest is host to over 300 bird species with the highlight for most people being the Green breasted Pitta.

The species to look out for include; White-naped Pigeon, African Pitta, Green-breasted Pitta, Red-winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, Grey-winged Robin, Dark-backed and Yellow-mantled Weavers, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked and Black-capped Apalises, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Orange-tufted, Green-throated, Green-headed and Tiny sunbirds. We will look out for Dusky and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Black bee-eater, Think-billed and Willcock’s Honeyguide etc.

You have an opportunity to engage in Chimpanzee trekking in the afternoon after the morning birding in the forest.

Day 7: Birding to Semuliki national park

Today after breakfast we bird our way to Semuliki national park for an experience searching for central African species found only here in East Africa. We shall have several stopovers birding nearby forest patches and swampy areas for different bird species as we drive to Semuliki forest.

Journey time –  3 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Semuliki Safari Lodge
  • Mid-range – Mountains of the Moon
  • Budget – Rwenzori View Guest house

Day 8 &9: Birding Kirumira trail in Semuliki forest   

hotsprings-semuliki-parkSemuliki is rich in both flora and fauna and a haven for birds. We look out for predominantly Central African species, which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa.

The species include; Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honey guide, the Piping, Red-billed Dwarf and White-crested Hornbills. We also look out for White-throated Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender’s Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator etc.

Day 10: Birding to Bwindi impenetrable national park

We bird our way to Bwindi impenetrable forest in the Buhoma section for Gorilla tracking and more birding opportunities. Bwindi Impenetrable is the richest forest in East Africa in relation to its trees, butterflies and birds. It is home to over 360 Mountain Gorillas – half of the world’s population. The bird list for the park currently totals 347 species. The forest has 10 of the 26 globally threatened species in Uganda, five of which are vulnerable and boasts of 24 of Uganda’s 25 Albertine Rift endemics.

Journey time –  7 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Buhoma Lodge
  • Mid-range – Haven Lodge
  • Budget – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Day 11: Gorilla trekking and birding in Bwindi forest

uganda gorilla bwindi forestWe arrive later that evening ready to engage in gorilla trekking tomorrow for those interested or continue birding.

Buhoma section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has tracks that run through the forest offering excellent viewing points. The bird species to look out on these trails include; Brown, Blue-headed, Northern Double-collared and Grey headed Sunbirds, Black Bee-Eater, Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Common Stonechat, Black throated Robin chat, Barred Long tailed Cuckoo, Black throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Chin spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, African broadbill, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, Handsome Francolin and White-bellied Robin-chat, Cape wagtail, White-chinned Prinia, Olive Green and Grey-backed Camaropteras etc.

Day 12: Birding to Ruhija section of Bwindi impenetrable forest 

On our way from buhoma section to Ruhija section of Bwindi impenetrable forest, we bird “The Neck” – an important bird habitat that offers high chances of seeing the Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Black Bee-eaters, Bronze-napped Pigeon, the rare Chapin’s Flycatcher, Cassin’s grey flycatcher, pink footed puffback, Mountain wagtail etc.

Journey time –  2 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Mid-range – Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge
  • Budget – Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Day 13: Birding in Ruhija

birding-in-bwindi-impenetrable-forestToday we bird towards Mubwindi Swamp where the trail drops steeply through the dense forest and then winds through swampy forest.

In Ruhija the birds we hope to sight include the; Rwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Banded Prinia, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbul. Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Mountain Illadopsis, Archer’s Robin-chat, White-starred Robin, Strange Weaver, Blue headed, Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, Northern Olive Thrush, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Black headed Waxbill, Dusky Crimsonwing, Willcock’s Honeyguide, Sharpe’s Starling and many others.  More birds include African Green Broadbill, Yellow-billed Barbet, Black-billed Turaco, Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Hoopoe, Montane Oriole, Pink-footed Puffback, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Waller’s Starling, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Dwarf Honey-Guide, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Oriole Finch, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Red-headed Malimbe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Grey-headed Sparrow, Dusky Twinspot, Think-billed and Streaky Seedeaters, Rwenzori Nightjar etc.

Day 14: Birding to Kampala

We start journey back to Entebbe after a fulfilling Uganda forest birding experience. We shall have stopovers birding along the way until we arrive at our destination. We will have a brief stopover at the Equator monument for pictures and more souvenir shopping before retiring to the hotel later that evening.

Day 15: End of the Uganda Forest Birding Safari 

We have come to the end of our forest birding tour in Uganda. We will transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. Thank you for birding Uganda with Kagera safaris, we look forward to host you on your next tour of the Pearl of Africa. Bon Voyage

What to bring

  • Long trouser and long sleeved tops
  • Insect repellent
  • Garden gloves (for gorilla trekking)
  • Sun hut
  • Rain jacket
  • Waterproof hiking shoes
  • Day pack to carry lunch and water
  • Binoculars
  • Camera

Tour includes

  • Ground transport
  • Park entrances
  • Birding fees
  • Boat trips
  • Bottled water in the safari vehicle
  • Full board accommodation for two nights
  • Service of an English-speaking driver guide
  • All mentioned activities except for the optional ones

Tour excludes

  • Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
  • Tips to porters and driver/ guide
  • Insurance

Other Uganda Birding safaris 

One Day Bird Uganda Safaris

8 Days Uganda Birding in Murchison falls NP and Budongo Forest

13 Days Uganda Savannah Birding Safari

25 Days Uganda Birding and Gorilla Safari


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