Uganda Bird Watching

1,040 bird species occur in Uganda to the bird watcher.

22 days Uganda Bird Watching

22 days Uganda Bird Watching Itinerary
Uganda bird watching safari

Day 1 Arrival to Uganda 

Overnight in Entebbe, protea hotel on full board.

Day 2  Domestic Flight to Kidepo valley national park 

Fly to Kidepo with Areolink dinner and overnight Apoka Safari Lodge. Afternoon wildlife and bird watching game drive.

Day 3  Full day UGANDA Bird watching 

Morning Birding and afternoon birding with key species of 470 species; Abyssinian roller, Abyssinian scimitarbill, Black-breasted barbet, Carmine bee-eater, Chestnut weaver, D'Arnaud's barbet, Fox kestrel, Golden pipit, Jackson's hornbill, Karamoja apalis, Purple grenadier, Pygmy falcon, Red-throated bee-eater, Rose-ringed parakeet, Rufous chatterer, White-bellied go-away bird, White-eyed kestrel.

Best time for bird watching 

All year-round good, though its best from March through April for all the specials and migrants. November to February has the least rain, while June to August has more. Rain shouldn’t be too much of a problem in this semi-arid part of the country. Migratory birds are in the valley from November to April. For wildlife viewing, the middle and end of the Dry season (November to February) is best.

Dinner at Apoka lodge. 

Murchison Falls national park is excellent for seeing a wide array of common birds and specials, including the sought-after shoebill. 

Sightings of this sought-after bird are almost guaranteed on a boat trip on the Victoria Nile towards the Lake Albert delta. This boat trip, as well as the more popular ‘launch’ trip towards Murchison Falls, are, in fact, great for checking off many water-associated birds. With 53 species recorded, raptors are also very well represented.  

Day 4  Moving to Murchison falls national park 

We start early as we bird watch on the way to Murchison falls national park with lunch to be had in Gulu town. Thereafter continue heading to Murchison falls entering the park via the northern tangi gate. Head to pakubal safari lodge in the heart of the park for dinner and overnight.

Day 5  Full day bird watching safari 

Today birding with in the park among the species are Abyssinian ground hornbill, African jacana, African quail-finch, Black-billed barbet, Black-headed gonolek, Black-headed lapwing, Blue-headed coucal, Denham's bustard, Eastern grey plantain-eater, Giant kingfisher, Goliath heron, Malachite kingfisher, Palm-nut vulture, Piapiac, Red-throated bee-eater, Shoebill See photos, Silverbird, Speckle-fronted weaver, Squacco heron, Swamp flycatcher, White-browed sparrow weaver

Best time for bird watching 

The bird watching in Murchison falls is best done from January to March. This is the low tourist season, but there is plenty of bird activity. December to February has the least rain, while April to May and August to October have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails which will eat into your birding time. Migratory birds are present from November to April. 

Day 6  Boat ride and Bird watching 

Morning birding on the delta lunch at the paraa lodge and an afternoon boat ride to the bottom of the falls. Travelers will hike up to the top of the falls where the vehicle will pick you up and take you to budongo forest for overnight at the budongo eco lodge.

Day 7  Royal Mile 

Transfer to the royal mile prestine haven, an ideal destination for a keen birder. The royal mile is a habitat for some of the following birds African Crowned Eagle, Nahan's Francolin, White-spotted Flufftail, Sabine's Spinetail, Cassin's Spinetail, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Piping Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-crowned Elemomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Black-capped Apalis, Ituri Batis, Chestnut-caped Flycatcher.

After several hours of birding we will have a packed snack and head to hoima where you spend a night 

Kibale forest national park 370 species have been recorded and many are forest specials, including the sought-after African pitta. Four bird species have not been recorded in any other National park of Uganda: Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis. The best bird-watching spot is the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary – a community project where experienced guides take you on a four-hour trail.  

Day 8  Transfer to Kibale forest national park 

The drive takes to Kibale forest area overnight stay at the Kibale Guest Cottages.

Best time for bird watching 

The birdlife in Kibale is good year-round, but at its best from March to May and from September to November. June to September is the main fruiting season, so food is abundant, and many birds are in breeding plumage. Migratory birds can be found here from November to April. 

December to February and June to July have the least rain while March to May and September to November have the most rain. The rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails, limiting your bird-watching time. 

Day 9  Chimpanzee tracking, birding watching 

Morning birding and afternoon chimpanzee forest walk

Dinner and overnight 

Semliki Wildlife Reserve is not among the top destination for wildlife viewing, but for a bird-watcher it is a paradise. With more than 460 species recorded within different sectors of the reserve. Boat trips on Lake Albert are ideal for a chance to see the elusive shoebill stork. The adjacent Semuliki National Park offers a great opportunity to add several species associated with the Congolese rainforest. Migratory birds are present from November to April. 

Day 10  Semliki national park 

You head to Semliki wildlife reserve for another epic birding experience. Noteble species include Abyssinian ground hornbill, African crake, African moustached warbler, African pygmy goose, Black coucal, Black-billed barbet, Black-chinned quailfinch, Blue-breasted bee-eater, Broad-billed roller, Double-toothed barbet, Green wood-hoopoe, Marsh tchagra, Pennant-winged nightjar, Piapiac, Red-necked falcon, Red-tailed leaflove, Red-throated bee-eater, Shoebill, Standard-winged nightjar.

Best time for bird watching 

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve bird watching is good year-round, reaching its pick at the height of breeding season in March, just after the dry months from December to February. There is occassional rain throughout the year, but March to mid-May and August to October are the wettest months. Migrating birds are in Toro-Semliki wildlife reserve from November to April. 

Dinner and overnight. 

Queen elizabeth national park has the largest bird checklist of any protected area in East Africa with over 600 bird species recorded. This is mostly due to the wide variety of habitats: from savannah to forest to wetland. Many of the birds in the park are regarded as specials within East Africa, which makes it a prime destination for birders. The swamp areas in the Ishasha sector are a good place to look for the elusive shoebill stork.  

Day 11  Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park 

Queen Elizabeth NP is good year-round, but at its best from late May to September, when the rain is less and food is abundant. June to July has the least rain, while April to May and September to November have the most rain. African finfoot, African hobby, African skimmer, Ayres's hawk-eagle, Black bee-eater, Black-rumped buttonquail, Broad-billed roller, Caspian plover, Collared pratincole, Crab plover, Great blue turaco, Great white pelican, Grey-winged robin-chat, Palm-nut vulture, Papyrus gonolek, Pel's fishing owl, Pink-backed pelican, Red-chested sunbird, Rufous-bellied heron, Sand martin, Shoebill, Siberian gull, Spotted redshank

Dinner and overnight Mweya Safari Lodge

Day 12 Full day birding dinner overnight Queen Elizabeth national park.

Morning and Evening bird watching excursion.

Day 13 Transfer to Ishasha

Drive to Ishasha the swamp areas in the Ishasha sector are a good place to look for the elusive shoebill stork. The park is great for raptors as well. Dinner and overnight Ishasha Wilderness camp.

Day 14 Drive to Bwindi forest national park

Bwindi forest national park which should be on every birder’s itinerary. The park offers some of the best montane-forest (mountain-forest) bird watching in Africa. There are an estimated 350 bird species, with 14 not recorded anywhere else in Uganda. There are 23 birds endemic to the Albertine Rift (which is 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics) including short-tailed warbler and blue-headed sunbird. The main birding spots are along the Buhoma waterfall trail, the Mubwindi swamp trail and in the bamboo zone. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Dinner and Overnight

Best time for bird watching

The birdlife in Bwindi is good year-round, but at its best in March and September. June and July have the least rain while March to mid-May has the most. Heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails, which can limit your bird-watching time. The main nesting season is in May and June, with food being abundant from late May through September. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Day 15 Bird watching Bwindi forest national park buhoma area

Full day bird watching in the forest with these notable species African broadbill, African green broadbill, Black bee-eater, Black-billed turaco, Black-faced warbler, Blue-headed sunbird, Cinnamon-chested, Collared apalis, Handsome francolin, Many-colored bushshrike, Mountain greenbul, Mountain-masked apalis, Purple-breasted sunbird, Regal sunbird, Rufous warbler, Shelley's crimsonwing, Short-tailed warbler, Western green tinkerbird, Yellow-streaked greenbul

Dinner and Overnight Buhoma lodge

Day 16 Gorilla tracking experience

Mountain gorilla tracking dinner and overnight Buhoma Lodge

Day 17 Birding watching through the neck of the forest

Drive to Ruhija, this drive opens up through the neck of the forest into the Mubwindi swamp. Dinner and overnight Gorilla lodge.

Day 18 Bird watching

Ruhija – mubwindi swamp full day birding.

Day 19 Travel to Mgahinga

Drive to mgahinga forest where not much research has been done so far regarding the birds of Mgahinga, but the park is still of great interest to birdwatchers. Over 180 bird species have been recorded, and several are localized forest birds – 12 of which are considered endemic to the Albertine Rift. There are several guided mountain hikes on offer where birders get an opportunity to tick of some Afro-alpine endemics such as the scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Dinner and overnight Kisoro

Day 20 Project Planning

Half day Mgahinga forest bird watching for the following notable species Alpine chat, Alpine swift, Archer's robin-chat, Blue-headed coucal, Dusky crimsonwing, Kivu ground-thrush, Olive pigeon, Olive woodpecker, Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori nightjar, Ruwenzori turaco, Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird

And travel to Lake Mburo national park after your lunch. Dinner and overnight Mantana tented Camp

Day 21 Bird watching

Full day bird watching, Lake mburo has over 310 bird species recorded in Lake Mburo national park. This park is the best place in Uganda for acacia-dwelling birds. Forest species are also present in Rubanga Forest. A bonus for birders is the swamps, in which six papyrus endemics are resident, including the spectacular papyrus gonolek and the blue-headed coucal. Lake Mburo is also a place to find southern species at the northern limit of their range, including the black-collared barbet and southern ground hornbill. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Here some the notable species Abyssinian ground hornbill, African finfoot, African scops owl, Bare-faced go-away bird, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Blue-headed coucal, Brown-chested lapwing, Carruther's cisticola, Greater painted snipe, Hairy-breasted barbet, Mosque swallow, Papyrus gonolek, Papyrus yellow warbler, Red-faced barbet, Shoebill, Tabora cisticola, White-winged warbler, Yellow-rumped tinkerbird

Day 22 Entebbe airport for international onward flight

Drive back towards Kampala and heading to entebbe for your flight home.

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