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Purple Starling Purple Starling

Uganda Birding Tour (The Remarkable West) – 23 Days

Jan 01, 2011

This Uganda Birding Safari takes you to the richest bird areas in Uganda. The western part of the country is probably the richest with a vast range of bird species a serious birder would consider while planning a Birding in Uganda Safari. The west is home to the country's twenty four Albertine Rift endemics, ristricted species from the Congo forest, a healthy number of forest species, mountain birds, water birds and not forgetting the remarkable savannah residents.

Tour Highlights

Departs: Entebbe International Airport Tour Length: 23 Days Focus: Birding | Wildlife Key Species: Shoebill Stork, Orange Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek, African Finfoot, Red-faced Barbet, Shelley's Crimson-wing, African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Kivu Ground Thrush, Albertine Rift Endemics, Green-breasted Pitta, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Puvel's Illadopsis, Nahan's Francolin Expected # of birds: 500 Species Birding Pace: Moderate Physical Difficulty: Moderate Group Limit: Maximum 8 Bird Photography: Worthwhile Possible Extensions: Mountain Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking

Day 1: Arrival for Uganda Birding Exclusive Safari

On your arrive for your Uganda birding Tour at Entebbe International Airport, you will be transferred to Hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, we bird Entebbe botanical Gardens or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Overnight at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel | Entebbe Travellers Inn (Full Board)

Day 2: Bird to Lake Mburo National Park Via Mabamba Wetland- Uganda Birding

Early in the morning, we bird Via Mabamba Swamps for the elusive Shoebill, Some papyrus endemics, the African and Lesser Jacanas, the White-faced and Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Blue breasted bee-Eater, Carruther's Cisticola, The Black-Chested, Brown and western Banded Snake Eagles, a number of Gull and Heron Species and other water birds species to L. Mburo National Park for our night. We have a short stop at the Equator for an informative talk, photography and the equator experience.

Overnight at Mihingo lodge | Acadia Cottages (Full Board)

Day 3: Birding Uganda L. Mburo N.P

Have an early morning breakfast before going birdwatching in a game car, bird and return for lunch then later go for a boat ride in search for the African Finfoot, Coqui, and the Red-winged Francolins, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Harlequin and Blue Quails, Common Button Quail, White-headed and Black-billed Barbet, Greenwood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Blue-napped Mousebird, Blue-breasted and Shining-blue Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Roller, African-grey Hornbill, the Nubian, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared, and the Grey Woodpeckers, Trilling, Stout, and Wing-snapping Cisticolas, Red-necked spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck's Courser, African-wattled Plover Rufous napped and Flappet larks, Rufous-chested Swallow ,Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-winged Bishop, Chubb's, Carruther's and a number of other Cisticolas, the Lesser and Great Swamp Warblers, Black Crake, Common Squacco, Striated, Goliath, Purple, Black-headed, Grey, and Black-headed Herons, Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, the African Fish Eagle, among others.African FinfootAfrican Finfoot

Dinner and overnight at Mihingo Lodge | Acadia Cottages (Full Board)

Day 4: Birding Mgahinga Gorilla National Park- Uganda Birding Tours

Today, we bird to Kisoro in western Uganda for the birding experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is the country's most scenic protected area

Overnight at Travellers Inn (Full Board)

Day 5: Birdwatching at Mgahinga in Uganda

We bird through a variety of Montane habitats, In search of the Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeygude, Kivu Ground Thrush, the Rwenzori-Double collared, Regal and the Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Archer's Robin-Chat, The cinnamon Bracken and Mountain Yellow Warblers, the Dusky and much Sought after Shelley's Crimson-wing and many more.

Overnight at Travellers Inn (Full Board)

Day 6: Uganda Birding Safari  to Ruhija

Today we bird Ruhija in search of the darling African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Shelley's and Dusky Crimson-wings, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, White-browed Crombec, White-naped Raven, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Sharp's Starling, Mountain masked and Rwenzori Apalises and many more.

Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge | Trekkers Tavern (Full Board)

Day 7: Birding Mubwindi- Uganda Birding Tour

As we bird Mubwindi Swamp we look out for the Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, Brown-capped warbler, Black-billed weaver, Black-necked weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, Grey-headed Sparrow, Waller's Starling, Stuhlmann's starling, Montane Oriole, Many Coloured Bush Shrike, Bocage's Bush Shrike, Brown Crowned Tchagra, Pink Footed Puffback, Ludher's Bush-shrike, Doherty's Bush-shrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Rwenzori Nightjar.

Overnight at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge | Trekkers Tavern (Full Board).

Day 8: Birding Safari from Bwindi-Buhoma

As we bird to Buhoma, we look out for species like, the Black Bee-Eater, Dusky Tit, Brown-caped Weaver, the Yellow-billed and yellow-spotted Barbets, the African and Black-and-white Shrike-flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Brown-throated and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Apalises, just to mention but a few of the forest species.

Overnight at Gorilla Resort | Buhoma Community Rest Camp (Full Board)

Day 9: Birding and Optional Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

There are less than 800 mountain gorillas in the whole world. Uganda is home to more than a half of these beautiful, majestic gentle giants and yet endangered apes. Therefore, Gorilla tracking in Uganda is a must experience not to be missed. Bwindi impenetrable forest habituates families of mountain gorillas along with other species of primates for example, Chimpanzees, Colubus monkeys, Olive baboons, name it. To be certain of going gorilla tracking, it is a must you buy a permit which is issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) at USD 500 only. It is our duty to arrange this for you should you be interested in this memorable activity.

At Buhoma, we look out for species like, the Black Bee-Eater, Dusky Tit, Brown-caped Weaver, the Yellow-billed and yellow-spotted Barbets, the African and Black-and-white Shrike Flycatchers, Common Stonechat, Brown-throated and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Apalises, Equatorial Akalat, Slaty Flyacatcher, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Grey Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, the Olive-green and Grey-backed Camaropteras, White-chinned Prinnia, Green Hylia, Short-tailed Warbler, White-tailed Antithrush, Cape Wagtail, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer's Warbler, Grauer's Rush Warbler, White-browed Crombec, the list is long.Mountain GorillaMountain Gorilla

Overnight at Gorilla Resort | Buhoma Community Rest Camp (Full Board)

Day 10: Bwindi-Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today we head to Queen Elizabeth National Park; we bird through the Ishasha sector as we look out for the African Thrush, Ruppell's Long-tailed Sterling, Black-headed Gonolek, Slender-billed Weaver, Little Weaver, Black-headed Weaver, Grey-headed Sparrow, Red-headed Lovebird, Spur-winged Lapwing, the African, Red-eyed and African Morning Doves, the Winding, Croacking and Zitting Cisticolas, and hundreds of other Savanna Species.

Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge | Simba Safari Camp (Full Board)

Day 11: Birding in Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park

Early in the Morning we leave for a game drive for more Savanna Species and in the afternoon we take a boat ride on the Kazinga Channel for water birds like the Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Skimmer, Yellow-billed and the Saddle- billed storks, African Wattled Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Water Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, the Grey-headed, Black-headed and Slender-billed Gulls, Grebes, Ducks and many more.

Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge | Simba Safari Camp (Full Board)

Day 12: Birding Uganda Kibale Forest National Park

After an early morning breakfast, set off for Kibale Forest NP, along the way expect to see; the Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, the Black and Black-winged Red Bishops, the African Palm and Little Swifts, Common Bulbul, Doves, Pigeons, the Lesser-stripped and Angola Swallows among others.

Overnight at Kibale Primate Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (Full Board)

Day 13 & 14: Birding Tour and Optional Chimpanzee Tracking

We bird here for two full days in search of the darling Green-breasted Pitta and more forest species like the, Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African WoodOwl,African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Black Bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Black-and-white Mannikin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Black-billed Turaco, Black-billed Weaver,Black-faced Rufous Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher, Black-headed Weaver, Black-neckedWeaver, African Citril (Western Citril),Black-throated Apalis, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-throated Roller, African Blue Flycatcher, Bocage' Bush-shrike, Bronze Mannikin, Zebra Waxbill,Bronze Sunbird name it.

Overnight at Kibale Primate Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (Full Board)

Day 15: Birding from Kibale-Semliki Forest National Park

Today morning, we bird Kibale Forest for more forest species possibly missed the previous days and later proceed to Semliki Valley National Park

Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge | Vanilla Hotel (Full Board)

Day 16: Bird Uganda Semliki Forest

Early in the morning, we take on to the Kirumia trail for our whole day birding experience. We look out for a number of predominantly Central African species which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa yet are some of the continent's most spectacular and sought-after birds such as; Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail, and other species; Blue Swallow, White-throated Swallow, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Spotted Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Lowland Akalat, Red-throated Alethe, Fire-crested Alethe, Snowy-headed Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Red-eyed Puffback, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Capped Wheatear, Common Stonechat, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Oberlaender's Ground-Thrush, Grey Ground-Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator, just to mention but a few. There is a single, unconfirmed report of the globally threatened Lesser Kestrel.Black-throated ApalisBlack-throated Apalis

Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge | Vanilla Hotel (Full Board)

Day 17: Bird Watching Tour from Semliki to Fort Portal in Uganda

The earlier session of this day will be spent searching for forest species possibly missed the previous day after which, we head to Fort Portal for the night.

Overnight at Rwenzori Travellers Inn (Full Board)

Day 18: Birding Uganda to Murchison Falls National Park

Today we transfer to Murchison Fall National Park birding via the Escarpment in search for, the Yellow-rumped and Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds, Foxy Cisticola, Black Bishop, the Northern and Black-winged Red Bishops, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, Tropical Boubou, the Grey-crowned and Black-crowned Tchagras, Stripped Kingfisher, White-headed Barbet, and many more.

Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge | Red Chilli Rest Camp(Full Board)

Day 19: Murchison Falls NP Uganda Birdwatching Safari

Today, we do Game drive birding in search for, The Giant, Pied, Malachite, Stripped, Chestnut-bellied, Blue-breasted, Woodland and the African Pygmy Kingfishers, House Martin, African Rock Martin, Lesser Stripped Swallow, Ethiopian Swallow, Angola Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Nightingale, Rock Thrush, Pied Wheatear, Whinchat, Common Redstart, White-fronted Black Chat, Sooty Chat, Isabelline Wheatear, Common Bulbul, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Yellow-throated Greenbul, the Black, White-breasted, and Red-shouldered Cuckoo Shrikes, the Black and Penduline Tits, the Arrow-marked, Black-lored and Brown Babblers, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Lesser Honeyguide, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Black Scimitarbill, Green Wood Hoopoe, a number of Buzzards, Barbets, Rollers, Harriers, Vultures, Eagles, Bee-eaters, Warblers, and so forth.

We also take a boat on the Victoria Nile for water birds like the elusive Shoebill Stork, Little Grebe, Great White and the Pink-backed Pelicans, Red-knobbed Coot, African Water Rail, Allen's Gallinule, Black Crake, African Crake, Black-crowned Crane, Southern Pochard, The Egyptian, African Pygmy, and the Spur-winged Gooses, Storks like; the Saddle-billed, Open-billed, Abdim's, White, Yellow-billed, Marabou, and the Wooly-necked, the Little and Dwarf Bitterns, Night Heron, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Green Backed Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Cormorants, the African and Eurasian Spoonbills, the Lesser Flamingo, Lesser Jacana, African Finfoot, Painted Snipe, Wattled Plover the list is very long.Standard-winged NightjarStandard-winged Nightjar

Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge | Red Chilli Rest Camp (Full Board)

Day 20: Budongo Forest via Kaniyo Pabidi Uganda Birding

We leave the park birding and head to Uganda's biggest Forest Reserve and the second most important after Semliki National Park. We bird Kaniyo Pabidi for a few hours then proceed to the hotel in Masindi.

Overnight at Masindi Hotel | New Court View Hotel (Full Board)

Day21: Birding Uganda Budongo Forest

Today, we bird Budongo Forest which has a prolific birdlife with two species of birds not found elsewhere in East Africa: 10 of the 22 species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea–Congo Forests biome that occur in Uganda.

We bird the marvelous Royal mile and several other trails for the whole day. We look for the Puvel's Illadopsis and Nahan's Francolin other special birds include; the Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-throated Barbet, Honeyguide Greenbul, Chocolate–backed Kingfisher,White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Little Crake, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, African Citril, African Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-crowned Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Black-billed Bluebill, Black-winged Red Bishop, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Spectacled Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Compact Weaver, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Holub's Golden Weaver, Red-headed Weaver, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Purple Starling, Purple-headed Starling, Splendid Starling, Northern Puffback, Black-headed Gonolek, Tropical Boubou, Isabelline Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Western Violet-backed Sunbird and many more.

Overnight at Masindi Hotel | New Court View Hotel (Full Board)

Day 22: Birding Tour to Entebbe.

Overnight at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel | Entebbe Travellers Inn (Full Board)

Day 23: End of bird watching safari - Departure

 

For detailed information about this tour or customise one for you, please contact us.

Last modified on Sunday, 17 May 2015 10:05

Mountain Gorilla

(Gorilla beringei beringei)

Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world's most endangered apes with a population of less than 800 individuals world over- none in zoos. They are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

They share 97% DNA with human beings! They are our closest living cousins after the Chimpanzee.

They have up to 25 vocalization for communication

Mountain Gorillas are shy, social and very active during day. They live in families of 8-25 members with one leading male (The Silver Back).

Gorillas have a lifespan of 50 years in the wild. They reproduce at a very slow speed with a gestation period of approximately 8.5 months and an interval of four years to the next birth.

Diet: Mainly herbivores eating fruits, herbs, leaves, stems, roots and shoots. Sometimes ingest small insects like ants and termites.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)

This sedentary medium-sized wading bird of 56 cm long, weighing 470 gm  is know to occur from Africa to coastal southwest Arabia wetlands.

Hamerkops feed during the day, the main diet consists of amphibians and fish. Sometimes, they eat shrimp, insects and rodents. They walk in shallow water looking for prey, shuffling one foot at a time on the bottom or suddenly opening their wings to flush prey out of hiding.

Hamerkops, of all birds make the biggest nest in the trees, sometimes more than 1.5 m across, comprising perhaps 10,000 sticks and strong enough to support a man's weight. A mud-plastered entrance 13 to 18 cm wide in the bottom leads through a tunnel up to 60 cm long to a nesting chamber big enough for the parents and young.

They lay 3 to 7 eggs that start white but soon become stained. Both sexes incubate for 28 to 30 days. The chicks leave the nest at 44 to 50 days.

In culture, the bird is associated to bad omen; Some cultures in Uganda believe, when the bird patches on ones house then they are likely to be struck by lightening. In some places, when it calls over the house, people know that someone close to them has died. The Kalahari Bushmen believe that the inimical god Khauna would not like anyone to kill a Hamerkop. According to an old Malagasy belief, anyone who destroys its nest will get leprosy, and a Malagasy poem calls it an "evil bird". Such beliefs have given the bird some protection.

Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)

birding safaris uganda

The Goliath Heron, is the world's largest heron. It measures 120–152 cm height, 185–230 cm wingspan and weighs 4–5 kg.

The species is very aquatic, even by heron standards, inhabiting marshes around lakes, swamps, mangrove wetlands, reefs with few cool water, and sometimes river deltas within elevations from see level to to 2,100 m. 

Goliath Herons generally prefer to nest on islands or islands of vegetation coinciding with the start of the rains. The birds may abandon a nesting site if the island becomes attached to the mainland. They nest fairly low in variously sedge, reeds, bushes, trees or even on rocks or large tree stumps. The nests are large, often measuring around 1 to 1.5 m in diameter. In these nests they lay pale blue eggs, averaging 72 mm by 54 mm and weighing around 108 g. The clutch size can range from 2 to 5. Incubation lasts 24 to 30 days.

Mainly prey on fish, specializing in relatively large fish. The largest fish targeted may measure 50 cm although the heron may not be able to swallow prey up to this size. Small fish are generally ignored and the average Goliath catches around 2 or 3 fish a day. Breams, Mullet, Tilapia and carp have locally been recorded as preferred species. Frogs, prawns, small mammals, lizards, snakes, insects and even carrion are also part of the diet.

White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)

 

The very gregarious White-throated Bee-eaters grow to 19–21 cm length, excluding the tail streamers, which can exceed an additional 21 cm length.

Sexes are similar and weigh between 20 and 28 grams. 

White-throated Bee-eaters breeds in dry sandy open country, where nest colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a relatively long 1–2 m tunnel in which 6 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, but up to five helpers also assist with caring for the young.

Predominantly, they eat insects, especially bees, wasps, ants, beetles and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.

 

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)

Turacos are a group of African near-passerines. The Great Blue Turaco is the largest turaco and also the largest species in the diverse Cuculiformes order (which includes the cuckoos).

Generally, the Great Blue Turaco is 70–76 cm in length with a mass of 800–1,231 g. In the Bandundu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Blue Turaco is actively hunted for meat and feathers. The blue and yellow tail feathers are prized for making good luck talismans.

Grauer's Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)

Grauer's Broadbill

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Family: Eurylaimidae, Genus: Pseudocalyptomena, Species: Pseudocalyptomena graueri

The Grauer's Broadbill or African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) is an actual broadbill, one of only a few African representatives of a primarily Asian family. It is bright green with a blue throat and vent and a small bill, quite unlike those of the other broadbills. It is endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests where it forages in canopies.

It is one of the African Big Five bird species, highly sought after by ornithologists but very elusive.

The species is both globally endangered and endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus)

Blue-breasted Bee-eater

Kingdom: Amimalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Order: Coraciiformes, Family: Meropidae, Genus: Merops

The Blue-breasted Bee-eater is endemic to Africa and just as the name suggests, predominantly eats flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera.

 

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