12 Days Uganda Birding Safari Itinerary

12 Days Uganda birding safari itinerary is best for a combined birding safari, primate tracking, and wildlife safari. Bird watching during this safari includes a visit to the Mabamba wetland, Botanical gardens, Mabira forest, Kibale forest, Bigodi swamp, Semuliki forest, and Murchison Falls National Park. These are part of the best Uganda birding safaris destinations and therefore visiting them for a birding experience will surely be rewarded with lots of bird species to spot.

12-day birding Uganda itinerary is well designed for great bird watching including the endemic and rare bird species. Some of the bird species that will be spotted during this safari include the Congo basin bird species, forest bird species, and savannah species.

Yellow-billed Duck

Yellow-billed Duck

Safari Highlight: 12 Day Uganda Birding Safari

  • Day 1: Birding Mabamba wetland and Botanical Gardens in Entebbe
  • Day 2: Kasenge Forest birding then transfer to Mabira Forest for birding at Griffins Falls
  • Day 3Whole day birding in Nasemba (Mabira Forest)
  • Day 4: Transfer to Kibale Forest and do an evening Bigodi swamp walk.
  • Day 5: Birding and chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Day 6: Birding to Semuliki Forest and do an evening birding in Semuliki Forest reserve.
  • Day 7: Whole day birding Kirumia track in Semuliki for the special Congo Basin species
  • Day 8: Whole day birding in the monkey track (Semuliki)
  • Day 9: Transfer to Murchison Falls birding along the way and later do an extended evening bird watching.
  • Day 10: Morning birding in the park searching for Savannah species then later do an evening boat cruise to the bottom of the falls.
  • Day 11: Transfer to Royal mile do birding in that tropical rain forest
  • Day 12:  Transfer back to Kampala

Detailed Day by day 12 Days Uganda Birding Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Birding Mabamba wetland and Botanical Gardens in Entebbe

After early breakfast at the hotel, you will then transfer to Mabamba wetland on the shores of Lake Victoria for birding. Birding Mabamba for the shoebill search and other water birds like Lesser-Jacana, Purple Swamphen, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Squacco Heron. After bird watching in Mabamba, you have lunch then later on transfer to the botanical gardens.

At the botanical gardens, you expect to see birds like the Yellow-billed Stork, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Yellow White-eye, Purple-banded Sunbird, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana, Yellow-billed Duck, Glossy Ibis, African Open-billed Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Black Crake, Long-tailed Cormorant, Crowned Hornbill, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, Woodland Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Africa, and Red-billed Firefinch, Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill, Senegal Coucal, Little Stint, Little Weaver, Striated Heron, Ruff, Gull-billed Tern, White-winged Tern, Klaas’s and Diederik Cuckoos, Green Crombec, Tambourine Dove, Cameroon, Little and Tooro Olive Greenbul, Water Thick-knee among other species.

Later on, have overnight at Kampala.

Day 2: Kasenge Forest birding then transfer to Mabira Forest for birding at Griffins Falls

From Kampala, transfer to Kasenge forest in Mukono district, a forest resort with about 60 acres of land covered in natural forest. This forest offers bird watching since it’s a safe haven for a huge number of bird species. Some of the bird species that can be seen here include the African Grey Parrot, Common Bulbul, Slender-billed Greenbul, Madagascar Bee-eater, Open-billed Stork, and the Great Blue Turaco.

After birding in Kasenge Forest, you then transfer to Mabira forest. Griffins fall on the edge of a vast trail system. Some of the bird species in the forest include the Nahan’s Francolin, Tit Hylia, Yellow and grey long bills, Purple-throated cuckoo shrikes, llladopsis, Jameson’s wattle eyes, and many more.

Transfer to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Whole day birding in Nasemba (Mabira Forest)

After breakfast within a camp in the forest, you then head to the forest for a full day bird-watching experience. Birds in Mabira forest to look out for including the Black & white Casqued Hornbill, African pied Hornbill, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Jameson’s wattle eyes, Sooty flycatchers, Toro Olive Greenbul, Purple-throated cuckoo shrike, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Black-headed heron, Marabou stork, Hadada ibis, Yellow-billed kite and many more.

Later on, transfer to Kampala, arrive in the evening, check-in, have dinner and relax at the hotel.

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale Forest and do an evening Bigodi swamp walk.

From Kampala, embark on the transfer to Kibale National Park to continue with the search for more forest bird species. Arrive in the afternoon and later transfer to the nearby Bigodi swamp for a nature walk. Bigodi swamp is an array of biodiversity including several primate species like red colobus monkey, blue monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, and many more.

The Bigodi wetland is also home to several bird species up to about 200 species some of which include the Great Blue Turaco, Black-crowned Waxbill, White-spotted Flufftail, White-breasted Negrofinch, Yellow Spotted Barbet, Black Bishop, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Western Nicator, Superb Sunbird, Brown-backed Scrub-robin and many more. By sunset, transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Birding and chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park

Early Morning Green-breasted Pitta search and other special species then later do an afternoon chimp tracking. Kibale is a birdwatcher’s paradise. More than 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.

In the Afternoon, have a chimpanzee trekking experience as you search for man’s closest relative by DNA. Spend several hours trekking in search of the chimpanzees and a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the chimps. During chimpanzee trekking, you will also spot several bird species.

Later on, return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Birding to Semuliki Forest and do an evening birding in Semuliki Forest reserve.

From Kibale forest, you will transfer to Semuliki forest while birding along the way. You spotted several bird species on your slow drive to the Semuliki forest arriving in the afternoon. Visit the Semuliki forest for birding a home to about 40% of the total number of bird species in Uganda and 66% of the forest bird species.

Semuliki harbors a large number of predominantly Central African species that cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa and these include some of the continent’s most spectacular and sought-after birds such as; the Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Black-wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail and many more.

Transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 7: Whole day birding Kirumia track in Semuliki for the special Congo Basin species

After breakfast, later on, spend the entire day birding in Semuliki forest. Bird species that can be spotted here include the Blue Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Red-throated Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Capped Wheatear, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black Saw-wing, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Hawk, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Grant’s Bluebill, Afep Pigeon, Yellow-billed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-billed Barbet, and many more.

Day 8: Whole day birding in the monkey track of Semuliki National Park

On the 8th day of your 12 day birding Uganda safari, you will still spend the entire day birding in the vast Semuliki forest, this day taking mainly the monkey tracking. The 11km Red-tailed monkey track extends to the eastern border of the park. Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Red-tailed Greenbul, Brown-chested Alethe, and many more bird species can be spotted on this day. There are several forests and woodland bird species along this trail.

Spend the entire day on this track before returning to the hotel by evening.

Day 9: Transfer to Murchison Falls birding along the way and later do an extended evening bird watching.

From Semuiki, you will have a road transfer to the Murchison Falls National Park. Arrive in the afternoon and have a bird watching experience in the park in search of savannah bird species before you return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 10: Morning birding in the park searching for Savannah species then later do an evening boat cruise to the bottom of the falls.

After breakfast, have time to go bird watching in Murchison Falls National Park. Notable bird species in Murchison include the pre-historic-looking shoebill stork that is mainly seen on a boat cruise on the Victoria Nile towards the Lake Albert delta. With over 400 bird species in the park sightings are great, migratory birds are present from November to April.  Other notable bird species include the Abyssinian ground hornbill, Black-headed Lapwing, Grey-crowned crane, Senegal thick-knee, African jacana, Black-billed Barbet, Denham’s bustard, Eastern grey plantain-eater, Goliath Heron, Giant Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, silver bird, swamp flycatcher, and many more.

In the afternoon, you will then take a boat cruise that takes you to the bottom of the spectacular Murchison Falls, the strongest falls in the world. After the boat cruise,

you then transfer back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 11: Transfer to Royal mile do birding in that tropical rain forest

Transfer to Royal mile in Budongo forest for birding in the tropical rain forest. Bird species that can be spotted in the Royal mile include the African Crowned Eagle, Nahan’s Francolins, White-spotted Flufftail, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dwarf Kingfisher, Piping Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Ituri Batis, Chestnut-caped Flycatcher, Grey-headed Sunbird, Western-black Headed Oriole and many more.

Then later transfer back to Masindi and if time allows we can bird the Masindi- Kafu sketch searching for the nomadic species like the wattled sitatunga. Overnight in Masindi.

Day 12: Transfer back to Kampala

On the last day of your 12 days birding Uganda itinerary, you transfer back to Kampala making several stopovers along the way, and go birding via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Searching for the white-crested Turaco, white-crested helmeted shrike then later transfer to the airport for your safe flight back home.

End of 12 days birding Uganda Safari Itinerary

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