Safari Brief

With 1065 species, Uganda offers the highest concentration of birds in Africa and is the most accessible place to see the mythical Shoebill.

This 9 Days Uganda birding safari takes you through prime birding spots in Central and Western Uganda. The safari takes you through Entebbe, Mabira Forest, Mabamba Wetland, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Maramagambo Forest, Lake Mburo National Park. On this tour, you will also bird through different habitats that include the shores of Lake Victoria, wetlands, swamps, savanna grasslands, forests etc.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1: Birding in Entebbe and viscinity

We begin our day birding at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) or the Entebbe zoo. UWEC originally started as an animal orphanage in the 1920s but gradually grew to be a show place of various flora and fauna. Birds to look out for here include Crowned cranes, Parrots, Pelicans, Ostrich, weaver birds, the northern masked weaver, Shoebill stork, African Fish Eagle, small banded snake Eagle, African Goshawk and the swamp flycatcher. After lunch, we transfer to the nearby botanical gardens where you will enjoy a diversity of bird life. Birds to look out for here include the yellow-throated leaf love, the great blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, the black and white casqued hornbill, the pied hornbill. Yellow backed weaver, orange weaver, brown-throated weaver, the great reed warbler, sedge warbler and the fish eagle.

Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Your guide will also join you at dinner and explain the plan of action for tomorrows’ assault on Mabira Forest as well as day 2’s search for the mythical shoebill in Mabamba.

Day 2: Birding Mabira Forest

Mabira Central Forest Reserve is the largest block of natural forest that survives to this day near the capital, Kampala and the former industrial hub, Jinja town. Today, we look out for Grey Throated and Yellow Billed Barbet, Buff Spotted and Yellow Crested Wood Pecker, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Nahans Francolin, Leaf love, Violet backed starling, Yellow Rumped, Yellow Throated and Speckled Tinkerbird, Grey and Yellow Long bill, Olive Green Cameroptera. Return to your booked accommodation in Kampala for dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 3: Birding to Mabamba Swamp

Mabamba is an extensive marsh stretching through a long narrow bay, fringed with papyrus towards the main body of Lake Victoria. We head to Mabamba after an early breakfast, 50km west of Kampala. Most of the birding is done by canoe. While birding here we look out for species like the rare Shoebill, Spur winged and Pygmy Geese, Goliath and Purple Herons, Blue Breasted Bee-eater, white faced whistling duck, African water rail. Mid-morning, we continue to Lake Mburo National Park with a brief stop at the Equator crossing. The park encompasses not only Lake Mburo but also four other small lakes. Birding to the park begins as you turn off to Nshara gate. Look out for Tabora Cisticola, the Malachite, Giant, Striped, Woodland and Pied Kingfishers, the Coqui Francolin, lilac-breasted roller, red faced barbet, Rufous bellied heron, green capped Eremomela. Transfer to the lakeside for a boat ride. The boat ride may yield sightings of the African Finfoot before it disappears into papyrus floating on the lake. Other birds to look out for are the Little Grebe, Greater and Lesser Swamp Warbler; White winged Warbler, Red Headed lovebird, Green capped Eremomela in the night we can look out for Nightjars. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 4: Birding Lake Mburo

After an early breakfast, embark on a foot safari (Nature Walk). While on the walk, look out for the Pale and Lead coloured Flycatcher, Yellow billed ox pecker, Brown Chested and African Wattled Plover, Green Backed Nubian and Uganda Spotted Woodpecker, Red faced Barbet, Bare faced go away bird, Varreaux’s Eagle Owl, Pearl Spotted Owlet, Yellew Bellied Apalis. After lunch, proceed with a late afternoon game drive along the Zebra track. The African Wattled Plover, Black bellied bustard, and Temmricks Courser may be sighted. Also look out for other animal species such as Burchell’s Zebra, Eland, Impala and the sturdy warthogs. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 5: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park

This morning, we transfer to Queen Elizabeth, the second largest National Park in Uganda. The park boasts of over 610 bird species on record so far, making the park a birding paradise. It is one of the richest parks in Africa and supports an astounding density of flora and fauna. We get to Mweya in time for lunch after which we embark on an afternoon launch cruise along the 40 kilometre natural channel that links lakes Edward and George. This waterway is both a mammal and birding haven in Africa with the biggest concentration of Hippopotamus and many migratory birds. Birds to look out for include the Great Snipe, African Fish Eagle, Grey Plover, Pallid Harrier, Gull billed Tern, Lesser Black Backed Gull, African Skimmer, African Spoonbill, and many more. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 6: Birding Immaramagambo forest

After your early breakfast, drive to Maramagambo for a foot safari through the forest. Bird species to look out for here include the Bat hawks, Brown eared woodpecker, Fawn breasted Waxbill, Sulphur breasted bush shrike, Blue breasted Kingfisher, and dark capped Yellow warbler, Brown backed Scrub Robin, red headed Blue bill, African Finfoot and the Eurasian golden oriole. On a good day the black and white Colobus monkeys may also be spotted. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 7: Birding Queen and transfer to Kibale Forest

Today, you are up early for a morning Game drive. The drive takes you through the Kasenyi track and Kikorongo Crater area. On this drive, look out for various bird species including the Great White Pelican, Lesser Flamingo, Martial Eagle, Rupell’s Griffon vulture and weavers, African Skimmer, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, White-winged Terns, Swamp Fly-catchers, Grey-capped Warbler, Grey-headed Kingfisher, African Jacana, Common Squacco Heron, brown snake Eagle, grey Kestrel, red-necked Spurfowl, harlequin quail, Senegal and crowned lapwings, African Fish Eagle, Egyptian Goose, Papyrus Canary. You will have late breakfast and then commence your transfer to Kibale Forest National Park. This park occupies undulating terrain on the main Uganda Plateau slightly tilted to the south and is drained by the Dura and Mpanga rivers that flow in a southerly direction into Lake George. This park has the highest concentration of primates in East Africa. Over 325 bird species have been recorded in this park including the African broadbill, Green Breasted Pitta, White winged warbler and the blue headed Coucal. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 8: Birding Kibale Forest

After an early breakfast, head out to the forest in search of the Leaf love, Will cocks honey guide, Joyful Greenbul, superb Sunbird, Black Bee eater, Black Bellied Seed Cracker, Bi-coloured Mannikin, Black-headed Owl, African/Rwenzori/Abyssinian Hill Barbbler, Alpine Swift, Ashy Flycather, Barn Swallow, Black bee-eater, Black Cuckoo, Black cuckoo-shrike, Black and white Casqued Hornbill, Black and white Mannikin. Yellow rumped Tinker bird and Western nicator. Butterflies, Olive Baboons, Mangabey, bush pig and the giant forest hog may also be spotted. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Day 9: Birding en-route to Kampala

We will start early with birding stopovers en-route to look out for special species like the Joyful Greenbul, Dusky Longtailed Cuckoo, Bush Shrikes, Valvet Mantled Drongo and other bird species which we might see en-route. On arrival back in Kampala, your guide will transfer you to the airport for your flight back home.

Or if you are spending the night, the next morning, and depending on your departing flights, you could visit the UWEC (zoo) as an optional activity for a behind the scene special where you get a chance to feed the giraffe, Lion, Leopard. Your guide will be available to transfer you to the airport for your flight back home.


If you’d like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we’re very happy to help. Edris & team. +256 772 425 294