13 Days Uganda Savannah Birding Safari

13 Days Uganda Savannah Birding Safari
We will take you to the major Savannah national parks in Uganda for your ultimate Uganda birding experience. You will start your trip by visiting Mabamba Swamp the home of the Shoebill in Uganda. We will then continue to Murchison falls national park which has varied habitats for bird and over 450 bird species. We will then proceed to Queen Elizabeth national park known for its varied biodiversity and over 600 bird species. Lastly will be Lake Mburo national park the smallest of them and yet with amazing Uganda birding opportunities of rare key species and great nature walks.

Key Species
Shoebill, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Orange Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek, African Finfoot, Red-faced Barbet, Lesser Jacana, Lesser Flamingo, White-napped Pigeon, Lesser Kestrel, Black-winged Pratincole, Pel’s Fishing-Owl, white faced Go-Away bird, Black-billed Barbet
Habitat
Forest, Acacia, Savanna, grassland, agricultural lands, Riverine Forest, Moist woodland, Borassus Palm Savannah, Papyrus Swamps, Lakes and rivers
Optional Activity
Chimpanzee Trekking

Day 1: Arrival for Uganda Birding Safari
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be welcomed by a Safari Eye guide and transferred to your hotel. Depending on time of arrival, we have opportunities of birding Entebbe botanical gardens as an introduction to Uganda birding not too far from your lodge/hotel in Entebbe.
Journey time – 15 minutes
Meal plan – Dinner
Accommodation
Up market – Protea Hotel
Mid-range – The Boma
Budget – African Roots GH

Day 2: Birding Mabamba Swamp wetlands
This morning we bird the Mabamba bay in a boat with an engine attached to it. A variety of species to be seen include; elusive Shoebill, White-faced Whistling-duck, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Common Squacco Heron, long-toed Plover, Black Headed Herons, Striated Heron, Pygmy Goose, Yellow Billed Duck, Black Crake, Swamp Moorhen, Allen’s Gallinule, African Jacana, White Shouldered Tit, Little Swift, Brown Snake-Eagle, Eurasian Hobby, Grosbeak Weaver, Blue-headed Coucal, Fork-tailed Drongo, Flappet and Long-Crested Eagle, Common Stonechat, Little bee-eater. Whinchat, Grey Wagtail, Great Blue Turaco, Grassland Pipit, Orange Weaver, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black-headed weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Black Headed Gonolek, Ruppell’s Long-tailed Sterling, Grey-Headed Sparrow, Spur-winged Lapwing, Yellow Wagtail, African Pied Wagtail, Pied Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Stork, Carruther’s Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Rufous-napped Lark, Yellow-throated Greenbul and many others.

Day 3: Birding Tour in Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, we bird to Uganda’s largest National Park – Murchison Falls National Park. In addition to stopovers along the road for birding, we shall have a major stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary the only place in Uganda where you can find Rhinos. After briefing from the ranger guides, we track Rhinos in the field even as we enjoy sightings of different birds species. After this experience, we proceed to our lodge in the park continuing to bird along the way.
Journey time – 4 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
Up market – Bakers Lodge
Mid-range – Fort Murchison
Budget – Heritage Lodge

Day 4: Savannah Birding & Game drivers
We have an early morning breakfast leave to for a full days birding in the heart of the park in the northern bank of River Nile. You will be kept busy watching different bird species in the north of Uganda before we leave for the western and southwestern Uganda. The species we look out for include; Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, The Secretary Bird, House Martin, African Rock Martin, Lesser Stripped Swallow, Ethiopian Swallow, Angola Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Rock Thrush, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat. More species include; Isabelline Wheatear, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Penduline Tits, Brown Babblers, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Green Wood Hoopoe etc.

Day 5: Birding on River Nile in Murchison falls national park
Today early in the morning, we continue birding Murchison falls national park. We will take a launch cruise on the Victoria Nile to have better chance of sighting of the different water bird species. Species to look out for include; Shoebill, Little Grebe, Great White and the Pink-backed Pelicans, Red-knobbed Coot, African Water Rail, Black Crake, African Crake, Black-crowned Crane, Southern Pochard, Egyptian, African Pygmy, and the Spur-winged Gooses, the Saddle-billed, Open-billed, Abdim’s, White, Yellow-billed & Marabou Storks. Wooly-necked, the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Cormorants, Eurasian Spoonbills, Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, Wattled Plover the list continues.

Day 6: Birding tour to Fort portal
Today after an early breakfast we leave Murchison falls national park and drive to Fort portal in western Uganda. We shall bird all the way with various stopovers especially in the swampy areas and forested patches along the various roads. Today we break journey in Fort portal and overnight after arriving later that evening. Fort portal is a green calm and touristic town which offers the needed rest before proceeding to Queen Elizabeth national park the next day.
Journey time – 6 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
Mid-range – Mountains of the Moon
Budget – Rwenzori View Guesthouse

Day 7: Birding to Queen Elizabeth national park
After an early breakfast, we bird our way to Queen Elizabeth national park which is not too far from Fort portal, approximately 2 hours but can be longer if we have birding stopovers.
We will bird the park towards Kazinga channel for more birding opportunities. Some of the species to look out for; African Skimmer, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, White-winged Terns, Swamp Fly-catcher, Grey-capped Warbler, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Collard Pranticles, African Jacana, Pin-tailed Whydah, Martial Eagle, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, Black-headed Gonolek. Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Common Squacco Heron, African Skimmer, African Fish Eagle, Great white and Pink-backed Pelicans,Yellow-billed, Egyptian Goose, a number of Gull species, to mention but a few.
Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
Up market – Kyambura Gorge Lodge
Mid-range – Park View Safari Lodge
Budget – Bush Lodge

Day 8: Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park
We shall wake up for an early breakfast so that we get to have ample time in the park because the entire day will be spent birding the different areas of the park.
Queen Elizabeth hosts over 600 bird species, we will bird the Kasenyi tracks and the craters track for hundreds of Savannah species which include; Red necked Spurfowl, Common Rock Thrush, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, Common Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Common Bulbul, 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, Lesser Honeyguide, Green Wood Hoopoe, and many more.

Day 9: Birding tour in Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an underground forest which also hosts Chimpanzees. Today we spend the day birding this beautiful section for different bird species that have their habitat here. We shall also visit the Kyambura game reserve which is home to the greater and lesser flamingos and great Egrets.

Day 10: 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.
Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
Up market – Mihingo Lodge
Mid-range – Rwakobo Rock
Budget – Eagles Nest

Day 11: Birding in Lake Mburo National Park
After an amazing time in Queen Elizabeth NP, we start early morning after breakfast birding in Lake Mburo national park. Today we shall also take a boat ride on Lake Mburo especially in search of the African Fin foot.
Species to look out for 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, African Fish Eagle, among others.

Day 12: Birding our way to Entebbe
Today we start journey back to Entebbe after a fulfilling Uganda birding tour. We will bird our way out of the park looking out for more species even as we exit Lake Mburo national park. We will have stopovers along the way for more birding opportunities. Our major stopover will be at the Equator monument for lunch and photo moments and shopping for souvenirs. After this will proceed to Entebbe for overnight as you prepare to leave for departure flight.
Journey time – 4 hours
Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation
Up market – Protea Hotel
Mid-range – The Boma
Budget – African Roots GH

Day 13: End of Uganda Savannah Birding Tour
Today depending on your flight time, have one last time to look around before transferring to the airport for your outbound flight. Thank you for choosing to explore Uganda’s avian variety with us, we hope you will return one day to bird other areas in Uganda.

What to bring
Long trouser and long sleeved tops
Insect repellent
Sun hut
Rain jacket
Waterproof hiking shoes
Day pack to carry lunch and water
Binoculars
Camera

Tour includes
Ground transport
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