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Superb Starling Superb Starling

Most Sought After Birds of Uganda Birding Safari - 32 Days

Jan 01, 2011

This is a once-in-a-lifetime bird Watching experience. This Safari takes you to all Uganda's prime birding spots including Africa's number one birdwatching spot, Ruhijja in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You have the opportunity to see specialties from the Albertine Rift Mountains and from the fivebiome species of Central and Eastern Africa to which Uganda is a midst. These biomes comprise the Sudan–Guinea Savanna with 22 Ugandan species restricted to it, the Guinea–Congo Forests biome with 144 species, the Lake Victoria Basin biome with 12 species, the Afrotropical Highlands biome with 88 species, and the Somali–Masai biome with 32 species. All the selected sites are very rich in other wildlife and flora, expect to meet a big number of mammalsfor example; Lions, Buffaloes, Leopards, Hippopotamus, Warthogs, and many more.

Tour Highlights

Departs: Entebbe International Airport Tour Length: 32 Days Focus: Birding | Game Viewing Key Species: Shoebill Stork, Orange Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek, African Finfoot, Red-faced Barbet, Shelley's Crimsonwing, African Green Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Kivu Ground Thrush, Green-breasted Pitta, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Puvel's Illadopsis, Nahan's Francolin, Karamoja Apalis, Fox's Weaver, Taita Falcon Expected # of birds: 650 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 Bird watching Safari

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, transfer to the Hotel. Depending on the time of arrival, we bird Entebbe botanical Gardens or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

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

Day 2: Uganda Avian Life Tour to Mabamba & L. Mburo National Park – (Shoebill, Orange Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek)

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 | Arcadia Cottages (Full Board)

Day 3: Birding Tour of  L. Mburo N.P-(African Finfoot, Papyrus Yellow Warbler & Red-faced Barbet)Red-necked SpurfowlRed-necked Spurfowl

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.

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

Day 4: Uganda Birding Safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

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

Overnight at Travellers Rest Inn  (Full Board)

Day 5: Mgahinga Uganda Avian Safari (Shelley's Crimsonwing Lagden' Bush-shrike)

We bird through a variety of Montane habitats, In search of the Rwenzori Turaco, Dwarf Honeygude, Kivu Ground Thrush, 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 Rest Inn  (Full Board)

Day 6: Avian Tour to Ruhija in Uganda-(African Green Broadbill & Shelley's Crimsonwing)

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: Whole Day Birding Mubwindi Swamp- (Handsome Francolin, Grauer's Rush Warbler & Chapin's Flycatcher)

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 Tour to Buhoma in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Dwarf Honeyguide, Kivu Ground-thrush, Oberländer's Ground-thrush)

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: Uganda Birdwatching and Optional Gorilla Tracking at Buhoma

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 600 only. It is our duty to arrange this for you should you be interested in this memorable activity.Mountain GorillaMountain Gorilla

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.

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

Day 10: Uganda Avian Journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park-(Black-winged Pratincole & White-napped Pigeon)

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 Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park-(Lesser Kestrel & Lesser Flamingo)

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 to Kibale Forest National Park of Uganda

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 and Optional Chimpanzee Tracking at Kibale Forest NP- In Uganda (Green-breasted Pitta)

We bird here for two full days in search of the darling Green-breasted Pitta and more forest species like the, Brown Illadopsis, Brown Illadopsis, Brown-capped Weaver, Brown-chested Alethe, Black-headed Oriole, African Emerald Cuckoo,African Green-pigeon, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Wood Owl,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-necked Weaver, 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: Bird From Kibal to Semuliki Valley National Park in Uganda

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: Uganda Birding Tour of Semliki Valley NP-(African Piculet, Great Snipe, Sassi's Greenbul, and White-throated Blue Swallow)

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.

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

Day 17: Semliki to Fort Portal- Uganda Birding Safari

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)ShikraShikra

Day 18: Uganda-Africa Birding Journey 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: Birding Tour in  Murchison Falls NP-(Lesser Kestrel, Black-winged Pratincole, and Shoebill)

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.

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

Day 20: Birding to Budongo Forest via Kaniyo Pabidi- Uganda Safaris

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: Uganda Twitcher Tour in Budongo Forest (Puvel’s Illadopsis, Nahan’s Francolin)

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: Uganda Twitcher Safari to Kidepo Valley National Park

Have breakfast then Bird to the 480 species search adventure in the only IBA located entirely within the Somali– Masai biome. The park has the second-highest bird record of any Ugandan protected areas, after Queen Elizabeth National Park and supports some of the rarest species in Uganda, such as Black-breasted Barbetand Karamoja Apalis.

We stop in Gulu town for lunch.

Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge | Apoka Rest Camp (FB)

Day 23: Whole Day Uganda Twitcher Tour in Kidepo Valley (Karamoja Apalis, Sandgrouses)

Today, bird the Kidepo Valley for special species and view a lot of other wild life. In the search, expect sight of the Karamoja Apalis, Black-breasted Barbet, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Buffalo Weavers, The Common Ostrich, Secretary Bird, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapperton's and Heuglin's Francolins, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, White-bellied and Hartlaub's Bustards, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Bruce's Green Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-crested Turaco, White-bellied Go-away bird, White-faced Scoops Owl, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow and Jackson's Hornbills, Red-fronted Barbet and many more.

Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge | Apoka Rest Camp (FB)

Day 24: Birds Of Uganda Tour at Namamu Kwenyi/Katarumu

The earlier session of this day, we bird the Namamu Kwenyi area and the Kidepo River (Katarumu) in the evening for some water species.Norther White-crowned ShrikeNorther White-crowned Shrike

Overnight at Apoka Safari Lodge | Apoka Rest Camp (FB)

Day 25: Bird Uganda Safari to Lake Bisina

With Lunch packed, the safari starts early in the morning since the way is long, a flight to Soroti is also recommendable.

Here we search for the Fox’s Weaver which is endemic to Uganda.

Overnight at Kumi Hotel (FB)

Day 26-27: Uganda Avian Watching at Lake Bisina (Fox's Weaver, Shoebill, and Papyrus Gonolek)

We bird for two days in this area as we search for the Fox’s Weaver (Uganda’ endemic bird). The area has water habitats harboring the Shoebill and a number of other bird species, both water and woodland.

Overnight at Kumi Hotel (FB)

Day 28: Uganda Avian Journey to Mt. Elgon National Park

The park harbours 43 of the 144 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 56 of the 88 species of Afro-tropical Highland biome that occur in Uganda. There are isolated records of the near-threatened species, the Taita Falcon.

Overnight at Locam Lodge (FB)

Day 29: Birding Tour of Mountain Elgon in Uganda (Taita Falcon, Hunter’s Cisticola)

Whole day birding, search for Hunter’s Cisticola and Jackson Francolin, Moorland Francolin, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Alpine Chat, White-starred Robin, Cape Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Northern Anteater Chat, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, Green Hylia, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Stout, Thrilling, and Rattling Cisticolas, chances of seeing the Banded Prinia, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Yellow-billed Shrike, Ludher’s Bush-shrike, Cape Rock, Fan-tailed and White-napped Raven, Chestnut Sparrow, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, White-headed Buffaloe-Weaver and many more.

Overnight at Locam Lodge (FB)

Day 30: Birding Trip to Mabira Forest of Uganda

We bird all the way to the biggest forest reserve closest to the city center with a record of 315 bird species. The forest has 74 of the 144 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome that occur in Uganda.

Overnight at Rain Forest Lodge Mabira (FB)

Day 31: Birding Mabira Forest In Uganda-(Nahan’s Francolin)

Whole day birding, Search for the Nahan’s Francolin which is an IUCN Red list’ endangered species, Cassin's Hawk-eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Afep Pigeon, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Sabine's Spinetail, Cassin's Spinetail, Blue-throated Roller, African Dwarf Kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Forest Woodhoopoe, African Pied Hornbill, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet,Yellow-billed Barbet, Green-breasted Pitta, African Shrike-flycatcher, Jameson's and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, Forest Robin, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-capped Robin-Chat, the Speckle-breasted, Yellow-crested, Brown-eared, and the Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Cassin's Honeyguide, Red-tailed Bristlebil, etc.

Overnight at Rain Forest Lodge Mabira (FB)

Day 32: End of Tour - Departure

 

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

Last modified on Monday, 03 August 2015 18:32

Shoebill Balaeniceps rex

Diet: Lungfishes, Catfish, Tilapia, Frogs, Reptiles, and small mammal

Habitat and feeding: Swamps, marshes, particular floating vegetation, generally muddy areas on fresh water bodies

The Shoebill is a massive bird, growing to heights of 3-1/2ft to 4-1/2ft tall.

The birds nest solitarily, laying one to three eggs in a large flat nest built amid swamp grasses or sedges, usually in remote areas. These eggs measure 80 to 90 mm high by 56 to 61 mm and weigh around 164 g. It takes 140 days of nest-attendance to get from new-laid egg to independent offspring and it takes three to four years to get from newly independent offspring to mature adult.

This species is considered to be one of the five most desirable birds in Africa by ornithologists.

Saddle-billed Stork 

(Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)

Diet: Mainly feeds on fish, frogs and crabs, but also on small birds and reptiles.

The Saddle-billed Stork breeds in forested waterlands and floodlands in tropical lowland. The female lays one or two white eggs weighing about 146g each. The incubation period is 30–35 days, with another 70 – 100 days before the chicks fledge.

Birds grow to 150 cm height,142 cm length and 2.4–2.7 m wingspan. The male is larger and heavier than the female, with a range of 5.1–7.5 kg. The female is usually between 5 and 7 kg. It is probably the tallest of the Storks. 

The long bill measures from 27.3 to 36 cm. 

Sexes can be readily distinguished by the golden yellow iris of the female and the brown irises and dangling yellow wattles of the male.

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.

Greater Blue-eared Starling

(Lamprotornis chalybaeus)

The Greater Blue-eared Starling is among the starlings with short tails. Grows to up to 23 cm from bill to tail.

Sexes are similar except the immature which is generally duller compared to the iridescent blue-green coloured adult.

They nest in holes in trees, either natural or excavated by woodpeckers. And sometimes in large stick nests of the Sacred Ibis or Abdim's Stork. Here they lay 3 to 5 eggs which are greenish-blue with some brown or purple spots, and hatch in 13–14 days. The chicks leave the nest in another 23 days.

Greater Blue-eared Starlings are omnivore, taking a wide range of invertebrates seeds and berries, especially figs, but insects are the main 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.

Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)

Woodland Kingfisher

This brightly coloured medium-sized Kingfisher ranges from 20 - 23 cm, from bill tip to tail.

The bird is endemic to Africa, preferring a variety of wooded habitats with some trees, especially Acacias, including around human habitation. The Woodland Kingfisher is aggressively territorial, attacking intruders including humans. It has a striking display in which the wings are spread to show the white linings.

They nest in tree holes excavated by Woodpeckers or Barbets, where they lay up to three round white eggs.

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.

 

Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)

Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill

The Black-and-white-casqued Hornbillis a large hornbill, approximately 70 cm of length. It has an oversized blackish bill with large casque. The female is slightly smaller than the male, and has a significantly smaller casque.

The Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill is found in wooded habitats in central and western Africa, ranging from western Kenya to Côte d'Ivoire with an isolated population in north Angola.

A monogamous species, pairs nest in suitable tree cavities. The female usually lays up to two eggs. The diet consists mainly of figs, fruits, insects and small animals found in the trees.

  1. Uganda
  2. Kenya
  3. Rwanda