Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest Reserve boast of rich avifauna, with a Checklist of over 460 bird species and 76 mammals due to wide range of habitats. It is certain that the birds’ species list is incomplete and many additions can be expected with more intensive research.The spots support 20 species from three non-qualifying biomes: 11 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests, 6 species of the Afro tropical Highlands and 3 of the Somali–Masai biome.
Departs: Entebbe International Airport Tour Length: 8 Days Focus: Birding | Game and primates watching Key Species: Shoebill Stork, Orange Weaver, Puvel's Illadopsis, Nahan's Francolin, Lesser Kestrel, Black-winged Pratincole Expected # of birds: 250 Species Birding Pace: Moderate Physical Difficulty: Moderate Group Limit: Maximum 8 Bird Photography: Worthwhile Possible Extensions: Chimpanzee Trekking
Day 1: Arrival for Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest Birding Tour
Avian Safari's bird guide will pick you from the airport to your hotel, depending on the time of arrival, we bird Entebbe botanical gardens.
Overnight at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel | Entebbe Traveller's Inn
Day 2: Uganda Bird watching Tour to Murchison Falls National Park
After breakfast, we bird to Uganda’s largest National Park. We stop in Masindi for lunch then proceed to the top of the spectacular falls.
Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge | Red Chilli Rest camp
Day 3: Whole day Birding on a Game drive - Bird Uganda Tour
We have an early morning breakfast then go birding on a game drive, we take the best trucks and to the delta, we bird. We carry packed lunch with us so we will waste no moment if we are to see a bigger number of savanna birds along with other wildlife. Among the many species you should expect include; The Secretary Bird, 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.
Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge | Red Chilli Rest Camp
Day 4: Nature Walk and Launch Cruise birding Safari in Uganda
Wake up early, bird on foot with a game ranger for the early and late morning active birds. We get back to the hotel for lunch then take a launchcruise to the bottom of the falls. Here, your list should include; The 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 Woolly-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.Lelwel Hartebeest
Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge | Red Chilli Rest camp (FB)
Day 5: Game drive and Transfer to Budongo Forest - Uganda Birding Safari
Day 6: Uganda Birding Tour in Budongo Forest Reserve
Here is a Prolific Birdlife with two species 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 have been recorded at this site.
Rare species to catch here will include the Puvel’s Illadopsis, Nahan’s Francolin, and the Chocolate–Backed Kingfisher, White-headed Saw-wing, White Wagtail, Black-eared Ground-Thrush, Little Crake, Yellow-billed Barbet, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Lemon-bellied Crombec, African Moustached Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-throated 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
Day 7: Birding to Entebbe - Bird Watching Tour Uganda
We bird whole way to Entebbed for the last night on your Uganda bird watching tour.
Overnight at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel | Entebbe Traveller's Inn
Day 8: Departure - End or Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest birding Tour
For detailed information about this tour or customise one for you, please contact us
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.
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)
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.