23 Days Western Birding Tour in Uganda: A Detailed Itinerary
On our 23 days western Birding Tour in Uganda, we’ll visit some of the nation’s most important ecosystems. The western region of the nation is perhaps the most abundant in terms of the wide variety of bird species a birder would take into account when arranging a birding safari in Uganda. In addition to the spectacular savannah inhabitants, it is home to the region’s highly sought-after Albertine Rift endemics, protected species from the Congo forest, a good number of foresters, mountain birds, and water birds.
This 23 days Western Birding Tour should see a satisfying number of species listed, and the majority of them should appear in a favorable photography position, according to the route and scheduled time. In general, it is important to celebrate the weather and consider it to be extremely favorable for experiencing nature.
Uganda Bird Safari
On the beaches of Lake Victoria, in Entebbe, the journey begins and concludes. Entebbe Botanical Gardens birdwatching may result from early arrival. The Shoebill, this trip’s most recognizable bird, is located the next day. Prior to visiting Lake Mburo National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, we spend the first morning in the Mabamba Wetlands. The journey then moves on to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is home to the nation’s largest concentration of Albertine Rift Endemics. Popular endemic species that should be protected include the endangered Grauer’s Broadbill, Red-throated Alethe, Dusky Crimson-wing, Strange Weaver, Stuhlmann’s Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warble We go birding in the north at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park, which is home to thirteen species of primates and the Green-breasted Monkey, Semuliki Valley, where we see the specialties of the Guinea-Congo Forest biome, Murchison Falls National Park, where we see more Savannah residents, and Budongo Forest, where we see the Ituri extension species.
The Western Birding Tour will take you through a wide range of environments, including lush rainforests, untamed savannahs, wetlands, and swamps. A mind-blowing mammal encounter is waiting, along with a variety of landscape that is possibly the best on the continent.
Itinerary: Western Uganda Birding Tour
Day 1: Arrival for Uganda Birding Exclusive Safari
You will be transferred to a hotel after landing at Entebbe International Airport for your Uganda Birding Tour.
Depending on when we arrive, we go birding in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens to get a taste of Ugandan species. The 40.7-hectare gardens, which are located on the northern banks of Lake Victoria, are practically on the equator. For Eastern Plantain eaters, the parking lot trees here usually provide excellent patch locations. The Turaco family, which includes plantain eaters, offers intriguing species that delight new Uganda birders to the hilt. Additionally, Splendid Starlings, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds, and Common Bulbul like visiting the same location. Shikra flies over this area, and Red-chested, Green-throated, Olive-bellied, Mariqua, Purple-banded, Collared, and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds seem to be drawn to the bottle-brush tree nearby like a bird magnet. The same tree is frequently visited by African Thrush and African Yellow White-eye. Additionally, we can anticipate seeing Gray parrots, Crowned and Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills, Hooded Vultures, Woodland Kingfishers, Lizard Buzzards, African Harrier-Hawks, the colorfully striking Black-headed Gonolek, White-browed Robin-chat, Double-toothed Barbet, Ross’s Turaco, Speckled Mousebird, Yellow-fronted Canaries, Black-headed
Typically, Vervet Monkey and the attractive Mantled Guereza amuse visitors in the grounds.
Day 2: Bird to Lake Mburo National Park Via Mabamba Wetland
Our trip to Mabamba, a Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area, takes us an hour and a half after we have an early breakfast. The Shoebill, the continent’s most common and sought-after bird, can be found in the Mabamba Wetland, one of the top two locations worldwide. The other location is Murchison Falls National Park. Over 80% of the time, you can see this strange-looking bird in Mabamba.
While traveling there, we might see Ross’s Turaco, Great Blue, and African Green Pigeon since they enjoy perching high on the wayside snags. We take a used motorboat owned by members of the community that can accommodate a motorcycle to the wetland, which is one of the best community-based efforts in the nation.
Expect to see a variety of characteristic African water and neighboring habitat birds when searching for the Shoebill, including the Malachite Kingfisher, Long-toed Lapwing, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Jacana, and Yellow-billed Duck. Depending on the time of year, there are also excellent opportunities to see numerous other species, including the Madagascar and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, African White-backed Duck, Lesser Jacana, Papyrus Gonolek, Blue-headed Coucal, African Marsh Harrier, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Common Waxbill, and Grey-capped Warbler.
We will drive to the Equator after looking for the Shoebill to get some illustrations and photography practice. We can anticipate seeing the gorgeous Lilac-breasted Roller, Wahlberg’s and Long-crested Eagles, Eurasian Kestrel, Gray-backed Fiscal, and Bare-faced Go-Away Bird as we continue along the highway.
As we go along the dirt road toward the park and our lodging, we will search for Red-backed Scrub-Robins, Red-faced Cisticolas, and Singing Cisticolas. Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Red-necked and Crested Francolins, Emerald-spotted Wood-dove, Crowned Lapwing, Brown Snake-Eagle, and the stunning African Black-headed Oriole can all occasionally thrive in this area. There are a few mammals that occasionally appear, including the enormous Common Eland, the Zebra, Impala, Topi, Waterbuck, Dwarf Mongoose, and the Common Warthog.
Day 3: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
This day, we explore the beautiful woodlands and thickets of the smallest wildlife reserve in Uganda. This park is excellent for woodland species, particularly some species that are at the northernmost extent of their range.
Red-Faced Barbet, an East African endemic, Crested and Spot-flanked Barbets, Brown-chested, Crowned, Wattled and Senegal Lapwings, Southern Black Flycatcher, Slate-coloured Boubou, Bateleur’s and Wahlberg’s Eagles, Wahlberg’s Honeyguide, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shri
We will return to our lodging for lunch, but you can still expect to see birds such as the Red-headed Weaver, Lappet-faced Vulture, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Trilling Cisticola, Chin-spot Batis, Green-wood-hoopoe, and others near the restaurant. In the hopes of locating the Grey Tit-flycatcher, White-backed Vulture, African Pipit, and the African Scops-owl in the dark, we go on another drive after lunch. That is precisely how it should feel at the end of a good day, as it should have passed swiftly.
Day 4: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
This morning, we ought to take a boat excursion on the beautiful Lake Mburo National Park in search of a few more magnificent birds that call it and its environs home. This lake is approximately 10 km2 and is wholly contained within the park. It is a luxurious watering hole that has greatly increased the populations of African Fish-Eagles and African Finfoot. We anticipate magnificent views of hippopotamus herds after a one-and-a-half-hour excursion. Black Crake, White-backed Night-heron, African Finfoot, Water Thick-knee, and African Fish-Eagles are looked for along the riverbank and in the riverine thickets. Our list of weavers should continue to expand to include Spectacled, Lesser-masked, Slender-billed, and Holub’s, and with some effort, we should locate Grey-capped Warblers, which enjoy calling along margins.
As we depart the park after the boat ride, we will conduct a birding drive and begin searching for the Augur Buzzard when we reach the road leading to the Kisoro. Along this stretch, Augur Buzzards are doing quite well. We should stop at Papyrus swamps for Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, White-winged and Greater Swamp Warblers prior to approaching the well-known Albertine rift ranges on a fine day. When we approach the mountain ranges, we will be at least 7 meters above sea level higher than our previous lodging, which will make it somewhat colder. The good news is that the endemic Albertine rift Mountain Gorillas and wildlife adore this weather and habitat, so we’re in for a treat. The newly described East African endemics, Ruaha Chat, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, and African Stone-chat, are among the last new species of birds we should see today.
Day 5: Birdwatching in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
After an early breakfast, we embark on a trek to Mount Sabinyo, where we hope to collect our first set of Albertine Rift endemics. The nearly-dark portion of the forty-minute drive typically reveals a Pied Crow, and as the sky brightens as we approach the forest, we should see Cape Robin-Chat, Yellow Bishop, Streaked Seed-eater, Plain Martins, and with any luck, a pair of Laner Falcons.
We hope to see the extremely elusive Cinnamon Bracken Warbler and Archer’s Robin-Chat as we begin our day-long hike into the highlands. Typically, these are the types of animals that we strive to observe. As we venture deeper into the mountains, we will be treated to the most breathtaking mountainous vistas that an East African excursion can offer. This small montane forest park offers unparalleled vistas!
Western and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, Kandt’s Waxbill, which recently split from Black-headed Waxbill, Albertine rift endemics such as Regal and Stuhlmann’s Sunbirds, Rwenzori Batis, the strikingly beautiful Rwenzori Turaco, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, and Stripe-breasted Tit will be sought. Mountain Yellow Warbler, Dusky-turtle Dove, Chubb’s Cisticola, Thick-billed Seedeater, Chestnut-throated Apalis, and many others are additional magnificent species that should be added to the tree and bamboo forests.
Day 6: Birding in Ruhija
Today, we transfer to Ruhija, which is renowned as Africa’s premier birding destination. Prior to our departure, the Grey-capped Warbler, Dusky-brown Flycatcher, White-necked Raven, and Straw-colored Fruit Bats in the parking lot occasionally capture our attention. We will tolerate this inconvenience if a similar situation arises in the future. As we drove through the town of Kisoro, we spotted a White-necked Raven with a very large and thick-looking bill. This is a raven with a very interesting appearance; it has a large and thick-looking bill.
We intend to make several visits in the Echuya forest in search of Albertine Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori, and Black-faced Apalises. We also hope to get a better look at the Mountain Yellow Warbler, Banded Prinia individuals as they skulk in the undergrowth, White-browed Crombec, Brown-capped and the endemic Strange Weaver, Northern Puff-back, Mountain Illadopsis, Red-throated Alethe, Doherty’s and Lagden’s Bush-shrikes, and many others to add to our list of endemics.
Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Common Waxbill, Grey-crowned Crane, Variable Sunbird, Thick-billed Seedeater, and Red-chested Flufftail have been observed in the Mwichuya marsh. When we enter the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we will search for Doherty’s Bush-shrike and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo to add to our daily bird list. The L’Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys are among the new primates that should be added to our ever-expanding list of mammals.
Day 7: Birding in Bwindi and Optional Gorilla Trekking
This is typically a significant day; we anticipate the big one! Mountain gorilla trekking is such a highlight that even birding excursions incorporate it. After breakfast, we proceed to the information office for a comprehensive orientation on how to conduct around Mountain Gorillas and family assignment.
This activity could take anywhere from one to eight hours, so a reasonable level of physical fitness is required. It is a breathtaking experience to gaze into the eyes of these gentle giants and to observe them go about their daily lives. Indeed, it is a “once in a lifetime” experience that will be remembered. Each encounter is unique and has its own rewards, but you are likely to appreciate the close-up views of adults feeding, grooming, and resting while the young playfully dangle from vines.
When you are finished monitoring gorillas, there is a good chance you will be eager to search for more restricted-range and Albertine Rift endemic species. In this instance, we will take a leisurely stroll to the secondary community forest. As they make their way through the foliage, we will search for Barred and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Grauer’s Warbler, Black-tailed oriole, the very skittish Luhder’s Bush-shrike, and Gray-cheeked Thrush.
Day 8: Birding in Mubwindi
After an early breakfast, we begin our trek to the renowned Mubwindi wetland in search of the region’s most elusive endemics. According to the African Bird Club, this section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Africa’s most popular birding location. You should anticipate superb weather and high-quality birds for birding, and this is typically the case; one is rarely disappointed. White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher, Black-tailed Oriole, Black-throated Apalis, Dusky Tit, Least, Willcock’s, and dwarf Honeyguides, Sharpe’s Starling, Mountain Buzzard, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, and Narina Trogon, to name a few, may be spotted during the early morning hours as we walk down the slopes of this mountainous terrain and habitat.
Grauer’s Rush Warbler and Grauer’s Broadbill, as well as Brown-capped Weaver, Black-billed Turaco, Olive, Elliot’s, Cardinal, and Tulberg’s Woodpeckers, Northern Black Flycatcher, Blue-headed, Tiny, and Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Dusky Crimsonwing, Mountain Greenbul, and western Citril. Keeping the eyes in the trees, we will also see through the undergrowth for even mythical birds like Grey-chested Illadopsis, Mountain Illadopsis, Oriole Finch, the restless White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Carruther’s Cisticola, Equatorial Akalat, African Hill Babbler, Chestnut-throated Apalis, African Yellow White-eye, White-eyed Slaty-flycatcher, Stuhlmann’s, Waller’s, Slender-billed and Narrow-tailed Starlings. During this stroll, the Black-fronted Duiker, a small forest-dwelling antelope, frequently appears.
Day 9: Birding in Buhoma
Today, we will transfer to Buhoma, an additional section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Depending on how well we performed the day before, we may decide to take care of unfinished business; Ruhija has the greatest chance of obtaining Handsome Francolin.
The journey will continue to the renowned “neck,” where we expect to observe Mountain Wagtails and Cassin’s Flycatchers foraging on rocks in the stream. This segment, at 1500 meters above sea level, is a zone where low- and high-elevation wildlife coexist! Here, the true majesty of Greenbuls becomes apparent, including Plain, Little, Gray, Toro Olive, Red-tailed, Ansorge’s, Shelley’s, and Honeyguide Greenbuls. Several Sunbirds, including Little Green, Green, Olive, and Blue-throated Brown, Collared, and Northern Double-collared, frequent this area. Other birds to look for will include, the fascinating Black Bee-eater, Yellow-throated and Speckled Tinkerbird Tinkerbird, White-tailed Anti-thrush, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grey-green and Many-coloured Bush-shrikes, Dusky Blue Flycatchers, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Splendid and Purple Starlings, Bar-tailed Trogon, Buff-throated Apalis, African Black Duck and Little Grebe among others.
Day 10: Birding Buhoma Main Trail
This morning, we will bird the primary trail in Buhoma. This forest contains both lowland and highland species. A good day produces an abundance of Guinea-Congo forest and Albertine Rift montane ranges endemic species. We will spend the first minutes of our time birdwatching in the secondary forest, where we will be rewarded with habitations in the undergrowth. Grey-winged, Red-capped, Blue-shouldered, and Snowy-crowned are all bird species. Robin-Chats, Gray, Black-throated, and Buff-throated Apalises, Grey-headed and White-breasted Nigritas, and White-bellied Nigritas. Cuckoos, Chubb’s Cisticola, Northern, and Mackinnon’s Shrikes.
Also, if we arrive in the primary forest when the light is optimal, we should discover African Shrike-flycatcher, African Broadbill, Red-throated Alethe, Red-tailed Bristlebill, flocks of Red-tailed Greenbul, Neumann’s Warbler, and the improbable Kivu Ground-Thrush. Golden-crowned Woodpecker, Jameson’s Antthrush, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, and the recently divided Willard’s Sooty Boubou should do well in the mixed flocks. By the end of the day, the inventory should contain additional species of birds.
Day 11: Birding from Bwindi – Queen Elizabeth National Park
After more than a week of birding in a montane forest, we will have to leave these incredible locales and travel to the Great East African Rift Valley. We will bird through Ishasha, the southern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and have a delightful time working on our woodland and open-country birds once more. On sunny days, this area’s sky is ideal for observing raptors, many of which may have been observed previously. Gabar Goshawk, White-headed and Lappet-faced Vulture, Rufous-breasted Sparrow-hawk, and Banded Snake-Eagle are the species most likely to be novel.
Wing-snapping, Croaking, and Stout Cisticolas, White-winged Widowbird, White-headed Barbet, Pin-tailed Whydah, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Greater-painted Snipe, Malagasy Pond-Heron, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Scaly, and Red-necked Francolins.
We will have a decent chance of spotting African Bush Elephants, Leopards, and Lions in the trees during this time of the journey.
Day 12: Birding in Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park
If it is a calm day, we should anticipate a beautiful sunrise at Queen Elizabeth National Park. In this section of the park, the Kasenyi side is preferred because it provides excellent lekking grounds for the Kob. Open grasslands and irregularly dispersed thickets provide ideal microhabitats for quite timid birds, attracting early-morning game viewers and birders alike. It is also the finest place to observe birds such as Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Rufous-napped, White-tailed, Red-capped, and Flapped Lark, African Pipit, and Jackson’s Pipit. These four larks are a significant objective for the beginning of this morning’s excursion. We should observe Temminck’s Courser, Black-crowned, Senegal, and Wattled Lapwings, Kittlitz’s Plover, Yellow-throated Longclaw, White-backed Vultures, Ruppell’s Griffon, and other birds soring in the sky, Black-chinned and Black-faced Quailfinches, and Kob lekking activity on the ground. In accordance with the tradition of game birding, we will search vistas, thickets, and Euphorbia Candelabrums for lions. This section of the park is dominated by the cactus-like Euphorbia Candelabrum.
African Lions adore congregating at Kob lekking grounds
We will take an afternoon boat excursion on the Kazinga channel after lunch. This park’s Lake George and Lake Edward are connected by a 40-kilometer-long natural channel. Due to the abundant fauna along the channel’s banks, we only travel a distance of less than 4 kilometers to Lake Edward, where we will make a turn.
This boat excursion typically targets flocks of birds and large mammals when they descend to cool off during the day. The fishing African Spoonbill, a few African Skimmers, Gull-billed and White-winged Terns, and, depending on the season, a few shower birds such as Curlew Sandpipers, Common, Marsh, and Wood Sandpipers, Common Greenshank, Ruff, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Three-banded Plover, and Common Snipe should be easily observed. Other good birds to expect to see include four Gulls; Lesser Black-backed, Heuglin’s, Slender-billed and Grey-hooded Gull, both Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Yellow-billed, Marabou and Woolly-necked Storks, our first of the many Red-throated Bee-eaters and many more. If we decide to take a brief evening drive, we will have the opportunity to observe Square-tailed and Black-shouldered Nightjars.
Day 13: Birding in Kibale Forest National Park
We will leave Queen Elizabeth National Park while keeping an eye out for Black-headed Batis and Black-crowned Tchagra in the foliage as we enjoy a scenic and photographable drive along the Mountains of the Moon.We will depart for the Bigodi Sanctuary Wetland as soon as we arrive at our lodging. The sanctuary is one of the country’s most successful community-based initiatives. We should search for White-spotted Flufftail, Hairy-breasted, Yellow-spotted, and Yellow-billed Barbet, Black-and-White Shrike-Flycatcher, Joyful Greenbul, Blue-throated Roller, White-collared Oliveback, Spurb Sunbird, and a Shining Blue Kingfisher using the community’s site guide.
We should see Uganda Red Colobus, which are endangered in this region due to predation by Common Chimpanzees (remember to ask our guide why this is the case). The likelihood of seeing the Uganda Mangabey, Olive Baboon, Mantled Guereeza, L’Hoest’s, and Blue Monkey is also high.
Day 14: Birding Tour and Optional Chimpanzee Tracking
Kibale National Park is the finest destination for chimpanzee tracking in East Africa, and it is the most beautiful and diverse of Uganda’s tropical rain forests. It is known as the primate capital of the world because it is home to 13 species of primates, including the chimpanzee (man’s closest genetic relative, with whom he shares over 98% of his DNA). It has 1,450 chimpanzees, the greatest population of this endangered primate species in Uganda.
In this forest, we will search for Chimpanzees and make an early start in search of the Green-breasted Pitta. This Pitta is one of the most elusive species in Africa! White-throated Greenbul, Crowned Eagle, Thick-billed Honeyguide, Brown-chested and Fire-crested Alethe, Crested Guineafowl, Western Black-headed Oriole, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Blue Malkhoa, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Western Nicator, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Bronze-napped Pigeon, Yellow-man
Day 15: Birding from Kibale – Semliki Forest National Park
Today we transfer to Fort Portal, but if we are unsuccessful in locating magnificent species such as the Green-breasted Pitta, we will return to the forest for another attempt. It is possible to see Masked Apalis, Sooty Flycatcher, White-napped and Afep Pigeon, Black-crowned Waxbill, and spectacular views of the Blue-throated Roller along the road that passes through the forest.
Day 16: Birding in Semuliki Forest
This morning, we bird Semuliki Forest in order to capture some of the few Guinea-Congo forest biome specialties whose easternmost range extends to this forest. As the only connection to the Ituri forest from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is home to more than thirty-five East African species with restricted ranges. Before entering the forest, it is simple to identify Black and Southern Red Bishops, Piapiac, a social crow, Rattling and Whistling Cisticolas, and Mosque Swallow when the resident birds are breeding. When we reach the forest, we will endeavor to obtain excellent views of the Piping, White-crested, Black Dwarf, and Red-billed Dwarf Hornbills, as well as the enormous Black Casqued Hornbills. Xavier’s Greenbul, Red-tailed Ant-thrush, Crested Malimbe, Dusky-crested Flycatcher, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Black-bellied Seed-cracker, Grant’s and Red-headed Bluebills, and Brown Illadopsis are among the additional birds we will search for.
Day 17: Birding to Masindi
Today is the longest driving day of the journey; Masindi is seven hours’ drive from Fort Portal. Depending on what will be missing from our list, we may opt to spend a few minutes searching for Northern Masked Weaver, White-collared Oliveback, Highland Rush Warbler, and White-collared Oliveback in the wetlands surrounding Fort Portal.
The few pauses we should make along the way are for lunch and to add some highly probable bird species, such as the Yellow-shouldered and Red-collared Widowbird, Brown Twinspot, Red-backed and Brown-backed Scrub-Robin.
Day 18: Birding the Royal Mile of Budongo Forest
We departed early this morning for the most bird-rich areas in Uganda, which are located in the country’s most significant forest reserve. The Royal mile, named in honor of Omukama (King) Kabalega, who ruled the Kingdom of Bunyoro from 1870 to 1899, offers many birdwatchers from around the globe pleasant field hours. In the midst of the forest is a large road with a beautiful canopy cover. The sides of the road are well-kept, with vistas extending up to 7 meters; this is excellent for birding in dense undergrowth.
Here, things frequently go well before and after entering the forest. The forest margins that we typically explore are home to African and Black-bellied Firefinches, Grey-headed Oliveback, Compact Weaver, Wahlberg’s Eagle, and White-thighed Hornbill, the last of our Hornbill species.
The interior should demonstrate African Dwarf, Chocolate-backed in the forest canopy and Shining Blue Kingfishers, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Rufus-crowned Eremomela, Ituri Batis, Forest Flycatcher, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Nahan’s Francolin, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Pale-breasted Illidopsis, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Lemon-bellied Crombec, and Fire-crested Alethe.
Day 19: Birding to Murchison Falls National Park
The tour proceeds to Uganda’s largest national park, which is also the park with the lowest elevation. During and after our departure from Masindi, we will search the trees for Purple Starlings. When we approach the thickets and wooded acacias of the escarpment, we will search for birds emblematic of this habitat. Northern Red Bishop, Beautiful Sunbird, White-fronted Black-Chat, Bronze-tailed, Violet-backed, and Lesser Blue-eared Starlings Whistling and Foxy Cisticola, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Black-faced Waxbill, Cliff Chat, Spot-flanked, Martial Eagle, Black-billed Barbet, and hopefully decent views of the elusive Dusky Babblers.
As we continue our drive, we will stop and search for Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Cut-throat, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eater, Northern Crombec, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Dark-chanting Goshawk, White-rumped Seed-eaters, and a great many others.
Day 20: Game Drive and Boat Ride to Murchison Falls.
Excellent views of Heuglin’s Francolin, an endemic to central Africa.
Today, we will search for some Southern Sudan endemics and new, beautiful mammals that appear during an African expedition.
We drive into the expansive Savannah of Uganda’s largest National Park, north of the Nile River. Speckle-fronted Weaver, Red-necked Falcon, Red-headed, Cardinal, and Red-billed Queleas, Denham’s Bustard, Black-headed Lapwing, Spotted Thick-knee, and the critically endangered and rare White-headed Vulture should all be spotted. Seasonal migrants include Swallow-tailed and Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Banded Martin, Scarce Swift, Senegal Coucal, Tawny Eagle, Heuglin’s Francolin, Pale and Gambaga Flycatcher, Senegal Thick-knee, and Senegal Coucal. Our target selection of mammals will include African Lions, Rothschild Giraffes, Lelwel’s Hartebeests, Oribis, Side-striped Jackals, and Bohor Reedbucks.
After a proper lunch on the banks of the mighty River Nile, we embark on a three-hour boat voyage to the base of Murchison Falls, a pleasant journey on the Victoria Nile where we can observe the Giant Kingfisher, White-crested Turaco, and Rock Pratincole.
Day 21: Boat Ride to the Delta and Evening Game Drive
This morning, we will take a boat ride to the delta, which will transport us down the Victoria Nile and into Lake Albert. It is a pleasant ride through nature to get there and back. The riverine forest is a favorite of raptors, large mammals, and reptiles. Here, visitors can observe six-meter-long Nile Crocodiles and countless herds of Hippopotamuses. The riverbanks, riverine forest, and thickets are ideal habitats for the Giant Kingfisher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Saddle-billed Stork, Little Bittern, and Shoebill. Occasionally, with a little more effort, Pel’s Fishing-owl, White-backed and Black-crowned Night-Heron can be observed.
Before embarking on the late afternoon to evening travel, we will take a lunch break and a siesta. This park’s expansive savannah grasslands provide spectacular photography opportunities as the sun sets. The Kobs and other mammals against a backdrop of the Albert Nile, Cattle Egrets returning to their roosts, and distant blue mountains bathed in golden sunlight is a scene with which few others can compete.
Expect encounters with Giraffes to be favorable.
The planned evening drive positions us in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. Imagine a place where you are surrounded only by fauna, where the night sky is filled with stars and the moon and there is no surrounding light pollution. It is essentially experiencing the moment of your favorite untamed animal. This is also one of some of our Avian Safaris guides’ favorite moments. Depending on the season, we hope to locate nightjars such as the Swamp, Slender-tailed, Long-tailed, Square-tailed, Standard-winged, Pennant-winged, Plain, European, and Grayish Eagle-owls. White-tailed and Marsh Mongoose, Bunyoro Grass Rabit, Leopard, Blotched Genet, Slender Gerbils, Fat Mice, and Spotted Hyena are among the new mammals to watch out for.
Day 22: Birding to Entebbe
After a formal breakfast, we cross to the southern bank of the Nile and continue birding to Entebbe via the summit of Murchison Falls. These cascades are arguably the most powerful in the world. The base of the falls is beautiful, but the summit is truly remarkable! This is where the longest river in the world squeezes through an eight-foot crevice and descends forty feet straight down! We intend to include this experience on all of our excursions that visit this region.
Today’s excursion has the potential to add excellent birds to our list; here are a few. Depending on the season, other residents and migrants include the Brown-backed Woodpecker, Black and Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, White Helmet-shrike, Yellow-billed Shrike, Red-winged and Orange-winged Pytilias, Bat-hawk, Beaudouin’s, Short-toed and Brown Snake-Eagles, Abdim’s Stork, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Green-backed Eremomme.
Day 23: Departure
End of the 23 Days Western Birding Tour in Uganda