25 Days Best of Uganda Birding and Gorilla Safari

We will start with the Mabamba wetland found on the fringes of Lake Victoria to search for the Shoebill. Our first national park to bird is Murchison Falls National Park home to over 450 bird species and 76 mammal species. Budongo Forest protects the largest natural forest area in East Africa with over 350 bird Species and home to several primates including Chimpanzees. Semuliki National Park protects an eastern extension of the vast Ituri Forest of Democratic Republic of Congo; it is one of the richest areas for forest birds in Africa. Our birding in Uganda tour will continue to Kibale National Park, a large block of rain forest that offers great birding with over 300 bird species and opportunity of tracking Chimpanzees. We then proceed to Queen Elizabeth national park known for its varied biodiversity and over 600 bird species. Bwindi impentrable forest has a record of 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park , the smallest national Park in Uganda hosting over 180 bird species including the Albertine Rift Endemics. Lastly we will bird Lake Mburo national park for more key species and great nature walks.

Key Species

Shoebill, Papyrus gonolek, Malachite Sunbird, Purple-breasted sunbird, Regal sunbird, Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, Rwenzori Turcaco, Black billed turaco, White crested turaco, Archer’s Robin Chat, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Puvels Illadopsis, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, 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, Green-bakced Twinspot, Think-billed and Streaky Seedeaters, Rwenzori Nightjar, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Toro-Olive Greenbul, Black Bee-eaters, white faced Go-away birds, African Finfoot.


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

Optional Activity

Golden Monkey, Chimpanzee & Gorilla Trekking


Day 1: Arrive in Uganda for the Uganda Birding Safari

On arrival at Entebbe international airport you will be received by a representative of Kagera Safaris to start your Uganda birding tour and there after transfer to your hotel in Entebbe. Depending on your time of arrival, you have an opportunity to bird Botanical gardens in case you have a morning flight. Otherwise you check into your hotel and prepare to start your Uganda birding tomorrow.

Drive time – 20 minutes

Day 2: Birding in Mabamba Wetland Swamp

shoebill-in-mabamba-swampAfter an early breakfast we drive to Mabamba Swamp Wetland in Kasanje which is located on the fringes of Lake Victoria – 2nd biggest fresh water body in the world. The drive can take about an hour or more depending on the birding engagement en route which leads to several stopovers.

In Mabamba swamp, you will take a motorised canoe with the area site guide in search of the incredible Shoebill which is often seen standing in the mashes waiting to hunt or flying in the air above the papyrus plants. There are also other variety of water birds like; African Jacana, White-winged Terns, African Purple Swamphen, Purple Heron, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Winding Cisticola, Red-billed Fire-finch, White-faced whistling duck, Long-toed Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, Saddle billed Stork, Cape wagtail, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-billed Duck Long-toed plover, African Fish Eagle and African Marsh Harrier, Swamp Flycatcher etc

B, L & D

Day 3: Birding to Budongo forest Via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

rhino-ziwaAfter an early breakfast at your hotel, your bird guide will pick you and you start your birding journey with stops in key areas along the way. Our first major stop over will be at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary which is an excellent birding area and home to Rhinos in Uganda. After briefing from the ranger guide, you will start the Rhino trek. This may require short drive before the trek depending on where the Rhinos are located at the moment. The Rhino trek can take about 1 hour in total from the walk and sighting them as they nap or feed.

We hope to sight some birds even as we track Rhinos, look our for the white-crested Turaco which is often seen here. After the Rhino trekking experience we will leave for lunch before proceeding to our lodge for overnight.

Drive time – 5 hours or Scheduled flight – 1 hour 10 minutes
B, L & D

Day 4: Birding the Royal Mile in Budongo forest

birding-royal-mileToday we continue birding safari in the rich Budongo forest. Part of the forest is located in Murchison falls national park at Kaniyo Pabidi and the other part is located outside of the national park as a forest reserve known as Budongo forest. This forest is home to various primates including Chimpanzees and several tree species. For our safari our interest is the many bird species we will look out for in this forest.

After an early breakfast and with packed lunch we will leave for the royal mile – a stretch of 1 mile that the King of Bunyoro enjoyed to spend time at. Here we shall enjoy a full day’s birding along the forest road and ending at the forest Bridge depending on the activity of the bird species. Together with the site guide and your bird guide, you will look out for some of these exotic bird species; Ituri Batis, Nahan’s francolin, Chocolate backed Kingfisher, Brown twin spot, White spotted fluff tail, Jameson’s wattle eye, white breasted negro finch, Grey headed sunbird, Red headed bluebill, Green sunbird, Little green sunbird and the list goes on.

B, L & D

Day 5: Birding Tour to Murchison Falls National Park

After a fruitful time in Budongo forest, today you start the journey to Murchison Falls birding at different points until you arrive at your lodge. Bird at the top of the water falls and in the Kaniyo Papidi area on the way to your lodge.

Drive time – 2 hours
B, L & D

Day 6: Birding in Murchison falls national park

Abyssian-groundWe have an early morning breakfast and then go birding on a game drive. We will look out; Secretary Bird, Northern Carmine and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Giant, Pied, Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, African Rock Martin; Lesser Stripped, Ethiopian, Angola, Red-rumped and Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Rock Thrush, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat. Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre and Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits,  Black-lored, and Brown Babblers, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Honeyguide, Scaly-throated Honeyguide,and many more.

B, L & D

Day 7: Boat tour to the Delta

birding-on-boat-murchison-falls-parkToday morning after breakfast, we take a boat tour birding the Victoria Nile towards the Delta in search of the many water birds that enjoy this habitat along the Nile.

Some of the birds we aim for in this area include; the Shoebill, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Black Crake, African Crake, Grey-crowned Crane, Southern Pochard, The Egyptian, African Pygmy, and the Spur-winged Goose, Saddle-billed stork, Open-billed stork, Yellow-billed stor and Marabou stork. More birds include;  the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Green Backed Heron, Little Grebe, Common Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, African and Eurasian Spoonbills, the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover.

B, L & D

Day 8: Birding to Kibale forest National Park

Leave for Kibale forest National Park birding stops in the escarpment for sighting of the beautiful sunbird and other species. We aim to arrive at our lodge later that afternoon for evening birding around the lodge. Kibale forest is home to 13 primate species with the highlight being the chimpanzees.

Drive time – 5 hours
B, L & D

Day 9: Birding for Green breasted Pitta in Kibale forest

We will have an early breakfast and leave the lodge with our packed lunch so that we have maximum time in the forest. Our morning focus while birding will be to search for the elusive Green breasted pitta. This a sought after bird can also be rather difficult to sight in the forest but with guidance of the site guide and rangers we hope to increase our chances of sighting the Green breasted Pitta.

In the meantime as we search for the Green breasted Pitta we shall continue birding and equally search for many other bird species which include Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Great blue Turaco, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood hoopoe, Red Headed malimbe, Yellow-spotted barbet, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin, Blue shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, Red-chested Flufftail, African Pitta, Joyful Greenbul, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Nahan’s Francolin, Tiny Sunbird, White-collared Oliveback and many more.

B, L & D

Day 10: Chimpanzee trekking and birding in Bigodi swamp 

chimpanzee-in-kibale-forestThis morning have an opportunity to trek the chimpanzees deep in Kibale forest for an experience of a life time. In addition you will sight several butterflies, plants and many other primates. You will be transferred to the briefing area where you are divided into different groups and given a ranger guide to lead you in the forest as you search for this creatures.

In the afternoon, we bird Bigodi wetland for species we might have missed in the forest. This is a community initiative conserving the buffer zone to the forest, proceeds go to different community programs.

B, L & D

Day 11: 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.

Drive time – 3 hours
B, L & D

Day 12 & 13: Birding Kirumia trail in Semuliki national park

We shall spend two full days birding in Semuliki forest for central African species of Congo’s Ituri forest. Semuliki forest is a continuation of Congo’s ituri forest and some of the species we will look out for include the; Congo Serpent Eagle, Grey-throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Spot-breasted Ibis, Yellow-throated Nicator, Northern Red-chested Owlet, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, White-bellied Kingfisher, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Zenker’s Honeyguide, White-throated Blue Swallow, Bate’s Nightjar, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Black-winged Oriole,  Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Crested and Blue-billed Malimbes, Fiery-breasted Bush-shrike, Pale-fronted Negrofinch, Piping, Red-billedWhite-crested, Black-casqued, Wattled and White-thighed Hornbills.

You have an opportunity of visiting both the ‘female’ and ‘male’ hot springs found within the park.

B, L & D

Day 14: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today after an early breakfast we start trip to Queen Elizabeth national park birding along the way. You will have stopovers for both birding and photography moments of the beautiful scenery in this part of the country. You will drive past several crater lakes, homesteads, farms and later with the Rwenzori mountains ahead as you drive.

The road through this crater lakes regions is not tarred therefore sometimes it is very difficult during the rain season. In case it rains right before your set off, your guide may advise a different route on a more stable road. Because you will be having several stopovers for pictures and birding, you can expect to arrive at your lodge later that afternoon. Have some rest and prepare to start the next day very early for a whole days birding.

Drive time – 4 hours
B, L & D

Day 15: Birding in Imaramagambo forest

We start early for a whole day birding in the park leading to Maramagambo Forest. Bird species we expect to sight include Whinchat, Common Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes. The Black and Penduline Tits, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, White-tailed and Red-tailed Ant-thrushes, Brown Illadopsis,  Shining-blue Kingfisher, Brown-eared Woodpeckers, Least Honeyguide, Grey Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, and many others.

B, L & D

Day 16: Birding to Buhoma sector in Bwindi Impenetrable forest

Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park, we have stopovers birding until we arrive at our lodge later that afternoon. We will drive through Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park where you have chances of sighting the tree climbing lions.

Drive time – 4 hours
B, L & D

Day 17: Gorilla trekking in Buhoma Sector


The highlight of your safari will be meeting the gentle giants of Bwindi National Park! Enjoy the fullness of the impenetrable forest abounding with life, host to several species of birds, butterflies, primates, mammals. Eventually with help of your guide who is also a park ranger, you will find yourself face to face with the enormous and rare mountain gorillas. The trekking experience takes anything from on hour (rarely) to about 6 hours to accomplish. However, you only have one hour with gorillas to capture your finest moment.

B, L & D

Day 18: Birding in Buhoma Sector

Otherwise for those not interested in trekking gorillas, you have a full day bird watching. Look out for;  Stuhlmann’s Starling, 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, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Wood Owl. More species; 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, Ansorge’s Greenbul, White-bellied Robin Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush-warbler, Neumann’s Warbler and Red-faced Woodland Warbler. 

B, L & D

Day 19: Birding to Ruhija via ‘the Neck’ of the forest

Early morning make your way towards ‘the neck’ of the forest linking Buhoma to Ruhija. We look out for; Yellow-billed Waxbill, Black Saw-wing, Chubbs’ Cisticola, Grey Apalis, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Black Bee-eaters, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Cuckoo Shrike, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Little Grey Greenbuls, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-throated Martin, Yellow White-eye, Yellow-bellied Kite, Speckled-rumped Tinkerbirds. African Stonechat, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Stripe-breasted Tit, Montane-masked Apalis, Red-faced Woodland, Montane Yellow Warbler, Regal Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Crested Guinea Fowl, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet, African Harrier Hawk. 

Drive time – 3 hours
B, L & D

Day 20:  Birding in Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija Sector

Today prepare to bird the entire day in Ruhija sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park – Mubwindi swamp trail. Birds in Ruhija are generally easy to see but the area is also considerably steep with lots of hiking  as you search for the birds. You will carry a picnic lunch on this trail to Mubwindi swamp that promises some of the most difficult of all rift endemic species, We will look our for the beautiful Regal Sunbird, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Rush warbler, African green broadbill, Caruther’s cisticola, Handsome francolin, African Hill babbler, Banded Prinia, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Dohertys Bushrike, Collared Apalis and others.

Return to the lodge later that evening, hopefully you will sight some of the Rwenzori night jars on the forest roads as you drive back.

B, L & D

Day 21: Birding to Mgahinga Gorilla national park

birding-ugandaTransfer to Kisoro early morning after breakfast birding along the way; Papyrus areas at Lake Bunyonyi out flow and Echuya forest for some Albertine rift endemics that we might have missed in Bwindi impenetrable forest. Birds in Echuya forest include; Dwarf Honeyguide, Red-throated Alethe, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Collared Apalis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strip-breasted Tit, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Strange Weaver etc.

Drive time – 4 hours

B, L & D

Day 22: Birding in Mgahinga Gorilla national Park

birding-mgahinga-gorilla-national-parkMgahinga gorilla national park is home to over 180 bird species recorded including some Albertine rift endemics. This park with beautiful vegetation will reward you with more than birding. You shall traverse a variety of montane habitats along the excellent Gorge trail as you bird your way in the bird. This is the smallest national park in Uganda and was predominately protected to conserve the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

Some of the bird species we look out for include the Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeygude, Kivu Ground Thrush, Rwenzori Double-collared, Regal and the Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Archer`s Robin chat, cinnamon Bracken and Mountain Yellow Warblers, the Dusky and much Sought after Shelley’s Crimson-wing and many more.

B, L & D

Day 23: Birding to Lake mburo national park

After breakfast, we bird to Lake Mburo National Park. We shall have several birding stopovers at forest patches, swampy areas and water patches before finally arriving in Lake Mburo national park. We will then take an evening bird walk with an armed ranger guide to explore the various bird species in this park. We will also have opportunities for sighting a variety of mammals like, Warthogs, Zebras, Eland, Uganda Kob, Bush buck and many others.

Drive time – 4 hours
B, L & D

Day 24: Birding in Lake mburo national Park

Fish-eagle-lake-mburoHave an early morning breakfast before we start our birding for the day. Today we will take a boat ride on Lake Mburo and look out for the elusive African Fin foot. Other bird species to look out for in the park include; Red-winged Francolin, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Blue Quails, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, Grey Woodpeckers. Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Red-necked spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, African-wattled Plover Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb’s & Carruther’s Cisticolas, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Black-headed,  Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans,  and the famous African Fish Eagle which is usually by the tress along the lake shores, etc.

B, L & D

Day 25:  End of Uganda birding and Gorilla safari

Today marks the end of your Uganda birding safari. After an early breakfast, we exit lake Mburo national park to Entebbe international airport via the Equator monument. We hope you had an amazing time birding Uganda in the various national parks and forest. We look forward to hosting you again for another region in Uganda.

Drive time – 4 hours
B & L

Suggested Safaris

7 Days Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration & Diani Beach Safari
6 Days Rwanda Primates Safari
Hippo-with-baby-murchison-falls-park 2
12 Days Uganda Primates and Wildlife Safari
Zebras in Serengeti
8 Days Tanzania Safari and Zanzibar Beach
14 Days Uganda’s Safari Highlights

Why Book With Us?

  • Customized travel
  • Accredited
  • Passionate Guides
  • Comfortable Vehicles
  • Intimate Lodges
  • Responsible travel

Got a Question?

Don’t hesitate to give us a call or write us. We are an expert team and we excited you.

Mob: +256 782 477992
Tel: +256 392 176513

info [at] kagerasafaris.com

We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings

  • Cookie Policy

Cookie Policy