birding safari in uganda
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BIRDING SAFARI IN UGANDA

Uganda

BIRDING IN MABAMBA WETLAND

Mabamba bay has grown into one of the most interesting and spectacular site for birding in Uganda and is one of the wetlands of International Importance. Apart from Murchison Falls National Park, Mabamba bay is the only place and site ( so far rated as the best in Africa and/or the whole world) where the elusive Shoebill can be spotted at any one time of the day. Recently, Mabamba has become one of the strong holds for the migrant Blue Swallow with over 100 individuals recorded every year. Mabamba has been surveyed in recent years and now boosts of over 260 species with one day’s record of 157 species.

There are other four globally threatened species and other species of regional significance, that is, the Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and the Blue Swallow. The Shoebill feeds primarily on lungfish (Protopterus aethipicus), which is also cherished by the local community. Shoebills are regularly recorded in pairs or in threes in the marsh at Nakowogo, about 2 km north east of Mabamba Bay.

 

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Recent visits also confirmed presence of flocks of other species especially migrants such as Gull-billed Terns, White-winged Black Terns and Whiskered Terns, and residents such as Grey-headed Gulls. Other interesting species found in the marsh include good numbers of Goliath Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese, Malachite kingfisher, Papyrus Canary, Northern Brown-throated weaver, Carruther’s Cisticola and a number of other birds. Five Lake Biome species have also been recorded here.

BIRDING IN MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK

Murchison Falls National Park is also Uganda's top birding destinations. In Queen Elizabeth, enjoy the relaxing two-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, and spot a variety of wildlife including hundreds of hippos, crocodile and birds. Look out for birds like Pelicans, Green-backed Heron, Storks, African Spoonbill, African White-backed Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Common Button Quail, African Crake, African Jacana, Black-bellied Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Water Thick-knee, Temminck’s Courser, Spur-winged Lapwing, African Wattled Lapwing, Senegal Lapwing, Kittlitz’s Plover, Black Coucal, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Rufous-naped Lark, Flappet Lark, Grassland Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, Yellow-throated Longclaw, White-browed Robin-chat, Sooty Chat, Zitting Cisticola, Croacking Cisticola, Babblers, among others

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WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT UGANDA

For anyone looking to discover someplace beautiful and off the beaten track, Uganda is a top tourist destination with something for everyone. Uganda offers Africa as you’ve always imagined it - wild, verdant, beautiful, and just waiting to be explored.

Uganda is very nearly the most complete safari destination in Africa – boasting both the Big Five, the enigmatic mountain gorilla, and the ever-popular chimpanzee. Uganda’s Big Five are represented across the country’s top ten national parks.

Thousands of travelers come to Uganda looking for an up close and personal experience with its most famous primate residents - the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the chimpanzees of Kibale National Park. Uganda’s national parks like Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park offer the best Wildlife viewing safari in the world.

One of Uganda’s greatest attractions is its natural beauty. The county has top luxury hotels, nature lodges, amazing tented camps, and backpacker budget options.

Compared to neighboring countries, Uganda offers up similar experiences at a cheaper rate. Visitors to parks like Kibale National Park will get a much more intimate chimpanzee experience than can be found anywhere else in the world.

UGANDA BIRDING TOUR CAN BE COMBINED WITH GORILLA TREKKING OR WILDLIFE VIEWING SAFARI. SEE GAME VIEWING AND BIRDING Itinerary IN UGANDA BELOW.

 

01Day One: Travel / Birding

After breakfast in Kampala, bird your way towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, crossing the equator on the road to Masaka with a lunch stop in Mbarara. Game drive en-route to your accommodation. Look out for species such as the Snake Eagle, Barbet, Cinnamon Chested Bee-eater, Kingfisher, Lesser Striped Swallow, Zitting Cisiticola, Grey-backed Shrike, Common Fiscal, Starling and Widowbird, among others.

02Day Two:Birding and Game Drives

Have a cup of tea or coffee and a muffin at 6:15am before setting off for an early game drive or birding experience on the Kasenyi Plains with a packed breakfast. Return to your lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy the relaxing two-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, and spot a variety of wildlife including hundreds of hippos, crocodile and birds. Look out for birds like Pelicans, Green-backed Heron, Storks, African Spoonbill, African White-backed Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Common Button Quail, African Crake, African Jacana, Black-bellied Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Water Thick-knee, Temminck’s Courser, Spur-winged Lapwing, African Wattled Lapwing, Senegal Lapwing, Kittlitz’s Plover, Black Coucal, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Rufous-naped Lark, Flappet Lark, Grassland Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, Yellow-throated Longclaw, White-browed Robin-chat, Sooty Chat, Zitting Cisticola, Croacking Cisticola, Babblers, Copper Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-chested Sunbird, Grey-backed Fiscal, Black-headed Gonolek, Starlings, Weavers, Widowbirds, Bishops, Finches and Waxbills among others.

03Day Three: Maramagambo Forest

Have a cup of tea or coffee and a muffin at 6:15am and take your packed breakfast with you to watch birds in Maramagambo Forest. After a late lunch back at your lodge, proceed to the Katwe area, looking out for birds like little Grebe; African Finfoot; Greater and Lesser Flamingos; Augur Buzzard; Crested Guineafowl; Pied Avocet; Black-winged Stilt; Diederick Cuckoo; Yellowbill; Narina Trogon; Shining-blue Kingfisher; Black Bee-eater; Black-and-White-Casqued Hornbill; Yellow-rumped, and Speckled Tinkerbirds; Grey-throated and Yellow-Spotted Barbets; Brown-eared Woodpecker, Rufous-naped, Flappet and Red-capped Larks; Grassland and Plain-backed Pipits; Western Nicator, Yellow-whiskered, Little and Slender-billed Greenbuls; Snowy-headed and Red-capped Robin-chats; Brown-backed Scrub-robin; Grey-capped Warbler; Grey and Buff-throated Apalis; Brown-thoated Wattle-eye; African Paradise Flycatcher; Olive-bellied, Green, Olive, Variable and Collared Sunbirds; Starlings; Weavers; Widowbirds; Bishops; Finches; and Waxbills among others.

04Day Four: Ishasha Sector

After breakfast, bird your way to Ishasha sector with your packed lunch. Look out for species like the Black-headed Heron, African White-backed Vulture, African Harrier-hawk, African Crowned eagle, Helmeted Guineafowl, Black bee eater, Blue–breasted Kingfisher, White-headed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Tinkerbirds, Nubian Woodpecker, Apalises, Greater Honeyguide, White-browed Robin-chat, Sooty Chat, African Moustached Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, CroackingCisticola, Babblers, Copper Sunbird, Grey-backed Shrike, Common Fiscal, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-crowned Tchagra, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Fork-tailed Drongo, Starlings, Widowbirds, Finches, Waxbills and many more. Spend the night at a lodge or campsite in Ishasha.

05Day Five: Extra Birding

After breakfast, head south to view birds at the Edward Flats coming back to your lodge in time for lunch. Proceed to Ntungwe and nearby tracks, coming back in time for a shower and dinner. Look out for birds like the Cattle egret, Hamerkop, Storks, Shoebill, Ibises, Raptors, Red-necked Spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, Senegal Lapwing, African Wattled Lapwing, Brown Parrot, Diederick Cuckoo, White-browed Coucal, Blue-naped Mousebird, Striped Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Broad-billed Roller, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Larks, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Pipits, Sooty Chat, Cisticolas, Northern Black Flycatcher, Babblers, Sunbirds, Shrikes, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-crowned Tchagra, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Fork-tailed Drongo, Starlings, Weavers, Widowbirds, Finches and Waxbills among others. Look out for mammals like Uganda kobs, bushbucks, defassa waterbucks, buffaloes, elephants, warthogs… and if lucky a tree climbing lion or a leopard!

06Day Six: Birding and Travel

After breakfast, pack your luggage and proceed back to Kampala or Entebbe, birding en-route and arriving in the late afternoon. Look out for birds like the Nubian Woodpecker, Bateleur, Crested Francolin, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Broad-billed Roller, Striped Kingfisher, Blue-napped Mousebird, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Fork-tailed Drongo, Cisiticolas, Weavers, Widowbirds, Finches and Waxbills among others.

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