Join us as we go in search of why Uganda has been named the ‘Pearl of Africa’
Uganda was famously named the ‘Pearl of Africa’ by non-other than Sir Winston Churchill – this is a truly fitting title for Uganda, and we believe this also rings true for it’s incredible birdlife!
This tour has been designed to take you on a Once in a Lifetime Birding Experience in search of Uganda’s most rare and cherished bird species as well as common species to give you a huge checklist. African Big Mammals will also be plentiful and we’ll also go trekking for the Critically Endangered Mountain Gorilla and our closest genetic relative the Chimpanzee!
The locations and destinations have been specially selected to give you an opportunity to visit some of Uganda’s top locations that are filled with pure birding gems. The tour will take you far and wide crossing different habitats and giving you a feel of Uganda’s beauty. The focus is on mainland Uganda as we traverse from Lake Victoria all the way to Western Uganda and back.
Join us as we travel through a variety stunning habitats and landscapes in Uganda in search of the meaning behind the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
Brief Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – Mabamba Swamp
We kick off our very first day of the tour at a Papyrus Swamp for a good chance of seeing the elusive Shoebill. We’ll also be on the lookout for any other interesting species such as the Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-billed Duck, Common Greenshank, White-winged Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Malachite Kingfisher, Carruther’s Cisticola, African Green Pigeon, Bronze Mannikin to name a few!
Day 2 & 3 – Lake Mburo National Park
Days 2 & 3 will be packed with with game drives, birding sessions and a leisurely boat cruises on to Lake Mburo. Species to look forward to are the White-backed Night-Heron, African Finfoot, African Darter, African Fish Eagle, Northern Brown-Throated Weaver, Striated Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Palm-nut Vulture, Black Crake, Purple Gallinules, White-faced Whistling Duck, Knobbed-billed Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Red-faced Barbet, Black-collared Barbet, Crested Barbet, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Long-tailed Cisticola and Brubru among many others!
Day 3 & 4 – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Over the next two days we’ll be searching for rare Albertine endemic species as well as looking for beautiful forest species such as the Regal Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Ludhers Bush-shrike, Petits cuckoo-shrike, Bar-tailed Tragon, White-tailed crested-flycatcher, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Willcock’s Honeyguide, Xavier’s Greenbul, Kivu Groundthrush, Graure’s Broadbill, Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Dusky Crimsonwing, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, White-browed Crombec, White-naped Raven, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Sharp’s Starling, Mountain Masked Apalis and Rwenzori Apalis among many many more!
Day 4 will be a special one to say the least! You’ll get the chance see the Critically Endangered Mountain Gorilla. After you’ve had breakfast, we’ll drive to the park headquarters to get a full briefing before we are unleashed into the virgin tropical rainforest which is home to half of the last remaining population of Mountain Gorillas in the wild. It’s always a truly special experience seeing these calm habituated Great Apes, where no doubt it will leave you emotional. Once you’ve finished your trek, you can opt to have a well-earned rest back at the lodge, or go on an evening bird walk to look for more Albertine endemics.
Day 5, 6 & 7 – Queen Elizabeth National Park
On Day 5, we’ll begin our journey to Uganda’s most popular National Park – Queen Elizabeth. Over the next three days you’ll be treated to beautiful savannah species, African Big Mammals (including tree-climbing Lions) and also on Day 6, we’ll be going trekking in search of our closest relatives, the Chimpanzee! Whilst trekking, you’ll also be doing some fine birding along the way looking for interesting forest species!
Species to look forward to include Grey-backed Fiscal, Red-winged Pytilia, Short-tailed Eagle, Red-capped Lark, Flappet Lark, Palm-nut Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Long-crested Eagle, Black-bellied Bustard, Crowned Plover, Red-and-yellow Barbet and Pin-tailed Whydah, Saddle-billed Stork to name a few! The time spent in this truly incredible park will be one that is not forgotten in a hurry!
Day 8 & 9 – Semuliki National Park
On Days 8 & 9, you’ll be heading deep into Africa’s last remaining lowland tropical rainforest, Semuliki National Park aka ‘The True Birders’ Haven’. Semuliki has an astonishing 441 bird species recorded where you’ll also be rewarded with crossover species from the Congo’s and Africa’s first national park, Virunga – one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet and home to the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. Species to look forward to are Black-Casqued Wattled, Piping, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail, 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, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Oberlaender’s Ground Thrush, Grey Ground Thrush, Little Grey Greenbul, Toro Olive Greenbul, Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-throated Nicator, Western Nicator among so much more!!
Day 12 – Budongo Forest Reserve
On Day 12, we’ll be heading deep into Budong Forest in searc of some truly special forest species. We’ll be keeping a keen eye out for 3 of the special forest species Bodingo holds: African Dwarf Kingfisher, Rufous-crowned Eramomella and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher!
Day 13, 14 & 15 – Murchison Falls National Park
Over the next few days we’ll be birding and taking game drives in Murchison Falls National Park. It’s the largest national park in Uganda and boy does it pack a punch! It’s very existence is determined by the famous Murchison Falls – the rushing waters of the River Nile forced through a narrow gorge is spectacle to behold and has been fascinating the world for centuries. The park is blessed with having all of Africa’s Big Five – Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and of course the African Elephant – which large herds gather together at the river to quench their thirst. It’s also a fantastic spot to see formidable Nile Crocodile too, where they wait to ambush an unsuspecting character. The park, luckily for us birders, is also well endowed in bird species too, holding a whopping 460 bird species! With some of the highlights including the Red-throated Bee-eater, Eurasian Curlew, Black-billed Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Denham’s Bustard, Black-billed Barbet, Southern and Northern Carmine Bee-Eater, Rüppell’s Vulture, Lapet-faced Vulture, Silverbird, Black-billed Wood Dove, Pallid Harrier, Egyptian Plover and Montague’s Harrier. This park truly has it all and it will be a wonderful way to end this truly spectacular tour!
On Day 15, and on our last day of the tour we’ll be saying goodbye to the Murchison Falls and to Western Uganda in general as we embark on our journey back to Entebbe – but not without stopping on the way to look for any more species we may have missed to add to our now incredibly impressive list! Bragging rights are in order!
Key Bird Species
Popular Species on this tour: Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Shoebill, Papyrus Gonolek
Below is a list of species that could be encountered on this tour!
Shoebill, Red-throated Bee-eater, Eurasian Curlew, Black-billed Barbet, White-headed Barbet, Denham’s Bustard, Black-billed Barbet, Southern and Northern Carmine Bee-Eater, Rüppell’s Vulture, Lapet-faced Vulture, Silverbird, Black-billed Wood Dove, Pallid Harrier, Egyptian Plover, Montague’s Harrier, Bat Hawk, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Verraux’s Eagle-owl, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Rufous-crowned Eramomella, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, White-browed Robin-chat, Red-chested Sunbird, White-Headed Saw-wing, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black Bee-Eater, Blue Malkoha, White-chinned Prinia, Speckled Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, African Pitta, Abyssinian Groundthrush, Dusky Crimsonwing, Black-capped Apalis, Collared Apalis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Spot-breasted Ibis, Long-tailed Hawk, Nkulengu Rail, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Black-throated Coucal, White-bellied Kingfisher, Piping Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbill, Black-Casqued Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Lyre-tailed Honey Guide, African Piculet, Gabon Woodpecker, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Yellow-throated Nicator, Icterine Greenbul, Xavier’s Greenbul, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Northern Bearded Scrub Robin, Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Crested Malimbe, Red-bellied Malimbe, Blue-billed Malimbe, Chestnut-
breasted Negrofinch, Grant’s Bluebill, Orange-Cheeked Waxbill, Grey-backed Fiscal, Red-winged Pytilia, Short-tailed Eagle, Red-capped Lark, Flappet Lark, Palm-nut Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Long-crested Eagle, Black-bellied Bustard, Crowned Plover, Red-and-yellow Barbet and Pin-tailed Whydah, Saddle-billed Stork, African Mourning Dove, Diederik Cuckoo, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Blue-naped Mousebird, Grey-Headed Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-capped Lark, Grey-capped Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-chested Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Lesser Masked Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Narina Trogon, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Ludher’s Bushshrike, African Crowned Eagle, Grauer’s Broadbill, Bar-Tailed Trogon, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Grey Cuckooshrike, Black-throated Wattle-Eye, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Handsome Francolin, Rufous Flycatcher-thrush, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Red-headed Malimbe, Bronze-naped Pigeon, Dusky Flycatcher, Regal Sunbird, Gravers Broadbill, Kivu Ground Thrush Handsome Francolin, Ruwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Nightjar, Stripe-breasted Tit, Black Bee-eater, Grauer’s Broadbill, Red-throated Alethe, Mountane Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Grauer’s, Swamp Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Archer’s Robin-chat, Blue-headed Sunbird, Dwarf Honeyguide, White-backed Night-Heron, African Finfoot, African Darter, African Fish Eagle, Northern Brown-Throated Weaver, Striated Heron, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Palm-nut Vulture, Black Crake, Purple Gallinules, White-faced Whistling Duck, Knobbed-billed Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Red-faced Barbet, Black-collared Barbet, Crested Barbet, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Long-tailed Cisticola, Brubru, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-billed Duck, Common Greenshank, White-winged Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Malachite Kingfisher, Carruther’s Cisticola – among so much more!
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