15 Days Uganda Birding and Gorilla Safari

This 15 day birding & primates safari in Uganda will take you to the major forests and national parks in Uganda. You will start with the famous Mabamba Swamp with very high chances of sighting the Shoebill. We will proceed to Murchison Falls National Park which is home to over 450 bird species and 76 mammal species with a wide range of habitats for birds. Kibale National Park protects a large block of rain forest that with excellent birding opportunities of the over 300 bird species including the sought after Green breasted Pitta. It has the highest concentration of primates in the World. We will continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park home to 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics. We shall then end with Lake Mburo national park because of its varied habitats that support several species of birds. The park is home to 315 bird species.

Key Species: Malachite, Purple-breasted, Regal, Scarlet-tufted Sunbirds, Rwenzori Turaco, Archer’s Robin Chat, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Green breasted Pitta, Yellow-billed Barbet, Bar-tailed Trogon, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Waller’s Starling, Dwarf Honey-Guide, Oriole Finch, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Red-headed Malimbe, Grey-headed Sparrow, Dusky Twinspot, Rwenzori Nightjar, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Black Bee-eaters.


Forest, Acacia Savanna, grassland, agricultural lands, Riverine Forest, Moist woodland, Borassus Palm Savannah, Papyrus Swamps, Lakes and rivers

Day 1: Arrive for the Uganda Birding and Gorilla Safari

On arrival at Entebbe international airport you will be received by a representative of Kagera Safaris to start your Uganda birding trip and there after transferred to your hotel for overnight.

Journey time –  20 minutes

Meal plan – Dinner


  • Up market – Protea Hotel by Mariotte
  • Mid-range – Best Western Garden Hotel
  • Budget – African Roots GH

Day 2: Mabamba swamp & Transfer to Murchison falls National Park

After early breakfast, drive southwards to Mabamba Swamp Wetland located on the fringes of Lake Victoria. In Mabamba swamp, our main bird of the day is the incredible shoe bill which is usually found patching in the floating vegetation or flying in the air on some occasions. There is a variety of water birds in this area and other birds in the forest and agricultural lands nearby; Veilots’s Black weaver, village weaver Orange weaver, Crowned Hornbill, Ross’s Turaco, Great Blue Turaco,  Papyrus gonolek, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Pied Wagtail

Mabamba Swamp is the best place to see the shoe bill in Uganda.

After this we transfer to Murchison falls national park to continue birding in Uganda’s largest national park. Depending on location of the lodge we might have some evening birding before retiring for the day.

Journey time –  1 hour

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


  • Up market – Paraa Safari Lodge
  • Mid-range – Fort Murchison
  • Budget – Heritage Lodge

Day 3: Birding in Murchison falls national park

We have an early morning breakfast and then go birding on a game drive. We will carry packed lunch with us to maximize our time in the field sighting savanna birds along other wildlife. We look out;  Secretary Bird, Giant, Pied, Malachite, Stripped, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, African Rock Martin; Ethiopian, Angola, Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Whinchat, White-fronted Black Chat. Common Bulbul and Yellow-throated Greenbul, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, Brown Babblers, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Honey guide, Scaly-throated Honey guide ,and many more

Day 4: Launch Cruise birding Uganda Safari

boat-cruise-murchisonToday we will take a boat to the delta in search of many water birds. While on the boat, we will look out for; Little Grebe, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, Allen’s Gallinule, Black Crake, African Crake, Black-crowned Crane, Egyptian, African Pygmy, and the Spur-winged Gooses, Storks like; the Saddle-billed, Open-billed. More birds include, Woolly-necked, the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Green Backed Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, the African and Eurasian Spoonbills, the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover and more.

Day 5:  Birding to Kibale forest National Park

Today we journey to Kibale National Park which is home to 13 primate species and 138 bird species with the Green breasted Pitta being the most sought after. This is a long drive but there are a few good birding spots along the way.

Journey time –  7 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


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

Day 6: Kibale forest birding for Green breasted Pitta

chimp trekking kibaleWe will start birding early morning when the birds are active and beginning to feed. One of our key species we search for today is the Green breasted Pitta, other bird species include the Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood hoopoe, Red Headed malimbe, Yellow-spotted barbet, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Great blue Turaco etc.

In the afternoon, we join other teams for chimpanzee trekking experiences. This will be time of finding the chimps on their afternoon feeding session after a brief rest from the morning feeding. This entire exercise can take a total of 4 hours, starting at 12 pm. Your tour guide will lead you to the briefing area where you will join other teams on the chimp trekking and a ranger guide to lead the way.

Day 7: Bird watching Safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda

Have breakfast and then bird to the home of 600 bird species, the biggest of any protected area Queen Elizabeth national park. You shall birding stops until you arrive at your lodge for lunch. After lunch, you have an opportunity for an evening game drive and birding.

Journey time –  2 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


  • Up market – Kyambura Gorge Lodge
  • Mid-range – Park View Safari Lodge
  • Budget – Bush Lodge

Day 8:  Birding in at the Mweya Peninsular & Kazinga Channel

birds-and-wildlife-kazinga-channelWe bird the Mweya Peninsular and do a boat safari on Kazinga channel in the afternoon. Look out for; African Skimmer, Malachite Kingfishers, White-winged Terns, Swamp Fly-catcher, Grey-capped Warbler, Grey-headed Kingfisher, African Jacana, Pin-tailed Whydah, Martial Eagle, Gabon Nightjars. Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Common Squacco Heron, African Skimmer, African Fish Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Sedge Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Great white and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Mourning Dove, African Open-billed Stork, Yellow-billed, Egyptian Goose, a number of Gull species,  to mention but a few.

Day 9: Bird our way to Bwindi Impenetrable national park

Transfer to Bwindi Park early morning for the Albertine rift species: Grey headed Negrofinch, Black billed weaver, Black necked weaver, Stuhlmann’s starling, Pink footed puff back, Bocage’s bush-shrike, Ludher’s bush shrike, blue headed sunbird, Ross’s and Black billed Turaco

Journey time –  3 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


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

Day 10: Birding & Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national Park

gorillas-bwindiFor those interested in Gorilla trekking, you will spend the morning watching these enormous creatures.

Otherwise we be birding  along the water fall trail for the Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turacco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl. More species; Rwenzori Nightjar, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, (Western) Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, African Green Broadbill, Lagdens Bush-Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Toro Olive-Greenbul, White-bellied Robin Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush-warbler, Neumann’s Warbler and Red-faced Woodland Warbler.

Day 11: Birding to Ruhija sector of the forest via the Neck

birding-bwindi-impenetrable-forestToday we transfer to Ruhija sector of Bwindi forest via ‘the neck’ a forest stretch linking Buhoma to Ruhija. Birds to look out for include; Yellow-billed Waxbill, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Augur Buzzard, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Black, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Northern Puffbacks, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-throated Martin, Yellow White-eye, Yellow-bellied Kite, Speckled-rumped Tinker birds. African Stonechat, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Stripe-breasted Tit, Montane-masked Apalis, Red-faced Woodland, Montane Yellow Warbler, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet.

Journey time –  2 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


  • Mid-range – Ruhija gorilla safari lodge
  • Budget – Broadbill forest camp

Day 12:  Birding the Mubwindi Swamp trail

After breakfast take a trail to Mubwindi swamp which falls steep in the forest.  For anyone interested in this area, please be ready to hike down to the swamp and back up steep forest.

Once you are ready for all the hiking involved, enjoy watching and listening to some of the most difficult of all rift endemics.

Ruhija is the best place to bird for most of the albertine rift endemics: the beautiful Regal Sunbird, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Rush warbler, Grauer’s broadbill & Caruther’s cisticola, handsome francolin, African Hill babbler, Banded Prinia, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Collared Apalis.

Day 13: Bird watching to Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda

After breakfast, we bird to L. Mburo National Park. On checking in, we go for an evening game drive for a number of bird species and a variety of mammals.

Journey time –  3 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


  • Up market – Mihingo Lodge
  • Mid-range – Rwakobo Rock
  • Budget – Eagles Nest

Day 14: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park

Have an early morning breakfast before going birding. Species to look out for include the African Finfoot, Red-winged Francolin, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Blue Quails, Common Button Quail, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-napped Mousebird, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, the Nubian, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared, and the Grey Woodpeckers. Trilling, Stout, and Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Black-bellied Bustard, African-wattled Plover, Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Goliath, Purple, Black-headed, Grey, and Black-headed Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, the African Fish Eagle, among others.

Day 15: Birding Journey to Kampala/Entebbe

On the last day, we bird our way out of the park for more species. We will have a stopover at the Equator monument for our lunch before proceeding to Entebbe for your outbound flight home. Thank you for traveling with us.

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
  • Gorilla permit
  • 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

15 Days Uganda Birding and Gorilla Safari

25 Days Uganda Birding and Gorilla Safari