Bird Watching in Uganda's Rain Forests - 10 Days

Bateleur

Tour Highlights

Departs: Entebbe International Airport Tour Length: 10 Days Focus: Birding Key Species: Orange Weaver, African Piculet, White-throated Blue Swallow, Puvel's Illadopsis, Nahan's Francolin Expected # of birds: 300 Species Birding Pace: Moderate Physical Difficulty: Moderate Group Limit: Maximum 8 Bird Photography: Can be difficult in the forest Possible Extensions: Chimpanzee Trekking

Day 1: Arrival for Uganda Rain Forests Birding Tour

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.
Dinner and Overnight at Rain Forest Lodge Mabira (FB)

Day 2: Uganda Birding Tour to Mabira Forest

This is the biggest forest reserve closest to the city center. It boosts of a 315 bird species record with 74 of the 144 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome that occur in Uganda

Search for 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'sand 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 among others.Dinner and

Overnight at Rain Forest Lodge Mabira (FB)

Day 3: Uganda Birding Safari to Budongo Forest

Today, we bird to 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 Savannah biome and 93 of the 144 species Guinea–Congo Forests biome that occur in Uganda.

We carry packed lunch along.

Overnight at Masindi Hotel | New Court View Hotel (FB)

Day 4: Birding Budongo Forest 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.

Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill

Overnight at Masindi Hotel | New Court View Hotel (FB)

Day 5: Birding Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi Birdwatching Spots

Overnight at Masindi Hotel | New Court View Hotel (FB)

Day 6: Uganda Birding Trip to Semliki National Park - Bird Watching Uganda

Semliki harbours a large number of predominantly Central African species which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa and these include some of the continent's most spectacular and sought-after birds such as; Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Lyre-tailed Honey guide Black-wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail, 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 (FB)

Day 7 & 8: Semliki forest and the Kirumiya trail- Uganda Birding Safaris

Being one of the richest for both flora and fauna in Africa most especially birds, we bird the place for two days. We aim at a record of 400 species including; the African Piculate, Blue Swallow, White-throated Blue 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, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Black Saw-wing, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Long-tailed Hawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Chestnut-flanked Goshawk, Grant’s Bluebill, Afep Pigeon, Blue-headed Coucal, Bates’s Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Cassin’ Spinetail, Sabine’s Spinetail, White-bellied Kingfisher, Shinning-blue Kingfisher, Gabon Woodpecker, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Black-billed Barbet, White-headed Barbet, just to mention but a few.

Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge | Vanilla Hotel (FB)

Day 9: Birding to Kampala

Have breakfast and with packed lunch, bird to Entebbe for the Last Night

Day 10: End of Birdwatching Safari - Departure

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.

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.

Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)

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.

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