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7 Days Uganda Birding Tour | Shoebills, Chimps, Gorillas, & More

7 Days Uganda Birding Tour | Shoebills, Chimps, Gorillas, & More

7 Days

Our 7 Days Uganda birding tour explores four of Uganda’s best birding spots and wildlife safari parks. These include Mabamba Swamp, Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park.

You will see many endemics and special birds of Uganda. You will also havesome time to marvel at some of Africa’s rarest wildlife, and all this amidst spectacular scenery including the Africa’s largest lake/world’s largest tropical lake, Lake Victoria.

Some of the many regional specials and endemic birds that we will target on this tour are the incredible Shoebill stork, the African broadbill, the Green-breasted pitta, the Great Blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, African Grey Parrot, African Fish Eagle, Black Bee-eaters, Papyrus Gonolek, Bar-tailed Trogon, Narina Trogon, Neumann’s Warbler, Chapin’s Flycatcher, and Red-faced Barbet.

This rewarding 7-day Uganda birding safari is augmented by outstanding mammal viewing. You’ll have an opportunity to see the endangered Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees, as well as a variety of monkeys, the legendary Tree-climbing lions, Hippos, Crocodiles, Topi, Eland, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Zebras, Warthogs, Impalas, Reedbuck, Oribi, etc…


Day 1: Arrive in Entebbe

Day 2: Morning birding in Mamba Swamp and Transfer Kibale National Park

Day 3: Kibale Forest-Chimpanzee Trekking and Birding

Day 4: Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Day 5: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Birding And Optional Gorilla Trekking

Day 6: Bwindi to Lake Mburo National Park

Day 7: Lake Mburo National Park to Entebbe/Kampala.


Day 1: Arrive In Entebbe

When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport, Tulambule Uganda Safaris will be there to welcome you to the country. From there, you will be taken on a drive-by tour of the city en route to your guest house/hotel in Entebbe.

Entebbe city is located in central Uganda, about 40km southwest of the capital city Kampala. It is stunningly situated on the shores of Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria. The tropical sun, fresh air, and relaxed pace of life will make you feel instantly at home in “the Pearl of Africa”. You’ll have some time to refresh and relax.

Time permitting, you may tour Entebbe Botanical Gardens. The primary target here is the gorgeous Orange Weaver – small, loose breeding colonies are usually present in the trees at the edge of Lake Victoria.

Other conspicuous bird species in the gardens include African Grey Parrot, Ross’s Turaco, Great Blue Turacos, Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, the scarce Orange-tufted Sunbird, Eastern Plantain-eater, and the Woodland Kingfisher.

Overhead you will watch for Yellow-billed Kites, Hooded Vulture, and Pied Crows and you will certainly find the grotesque-looking Marabou Stork. In a small remnant patch of forest, you may also spot Guereza colobus – an incredibly beautiful black-and-white colobus monkey with a long bushy tail.

From there, you drive back to the hotel or guesthouse for the evening and a scrumptious welcoming dinner.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Hotel No. 5/Protea Hotel Entebbe/ Lake Victoria Serena Resort

Midrange: Boma Hotel Entebbe/ 2 Friends Beach Hotel/ Lake Victoria Hotel

Budget: Airport Guest House

Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 2: Birding In Mamba Wetland And Transfer Kibale

Day two of your 7 days Uganda birding tour will start with an early breakfast in the hotel/guest house. You will then check out and set off. The first stop is the legendary Mabamba Swamp, about a one-hour drive to the north.

This extensive 16,500-hectare wetland is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria and is a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. It is home to several pairs of Shoebills, the most famous and iconic avian residents of Uganda.

This prehistoric-looking bird is very high on most world birders – wish lists, and for good reason. It is just unique, with huge yellow, human-like eyes and that enormous bill that looks like a shoe. You will do your bird-watching adventure from a big traditional canoe paddled by an expert local bird guide.

You will search the maze of channels in an attempt to find this special species. Other water birds abound and you should find several species of egrets, waterfowl, and herons, Long-toed Lapwing, the ever-present African Fish Eagle, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Purple Swamphen, African and the tricky Lesser Jacanas, African Marsh Harrier, Malachite Kingfisher, and African Pygmy Goose.

The papyrus hosts the endearing Swamp Flycatcher, Blue-headed Coucal, White-winged Swamp Warblers, the indescribable Papyrus Gonolek, and the nomadic and unpredictable Weyn’s Weaver. If you’re very lucky, you may also see the rare Sitatunga, an elusive swamp-dwelling antelope.

From there, you’ll begin a fairly long journey of about 5 hours west to Kibale Forest National Park. You will stop for lunch en route as you continue on your drive. Expect to arrive at your overnight accommodation in the late afternoon.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Crater Safari Lodge/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge

Midrange: Chimpanzee Forest Lodge -Cottage/Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Lodge – Main House/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 3: Kibale Forest – Chimp Tracking & Birding

The towering Kibale Forest National Park has the highest primate density and diversity of any reserve in Africa, including over 1500 chimpanzees – our closest living relatives.

Other primate highlight includes sightings of localized Central African Red Colobus, handsome L’Hoest’s Monkey, and the scruffy Ugandan Grey-cheeked Mangabey. You will embark on a Chimpanzee trek and our chances of finding these, one of our closest living relatives, are excellent!

Birds are typical of the medium-altitude forest, with excellent mixed species flocks and specials such as Afep and the rare and globally threatened White-naped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Blue-throated Roller, Narina Trogon, African Shrike-flycatcher, Scaly-breasted illadopsis, Brown Illadopsis, Chestnut Wattle-eye, and Blackand-white Mannikin.

The stunning Green-breasted Pitta also occurs in this forest; however, a pre-dawn start and a good deal of luck and perseverance will be needed to locate this mythical low-density understory inhabitant! At night you may encounter bushbabies and African Wood owls.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Crater Safari Lodge/Primate Lodge/Kyaninga Lodge

Midrange: Chimpanzee Forest Lodge – Cottage/Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Lodge -Main House/Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 4: Kibale, Queen Elizabeth NP & Bwindi

Today, you depart Kibale National Park and head south for the famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a gorilla conservation stronghold and a hotspot for Albertine Rift Endemics.

En route, you drive through the beautiful savannah grasslands of Queen Elizabeth National Park, a UN Biosphere Reserve that is home to over 600 bird species and 95 species of mammals including rare tree-climbing lions.

After a slow drive through Queen, you’ll continue to Bwindi, where you’ll be based for 3 nights. Bwindi is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and is home to about half of the world’s population of endangered Mountain Gorillas.

This 32 km2 park offers arguably some of the most productive montane forest birding in Africa and supports 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species. Excellent forest birding, not least the prospect of numerous rare and localized Albertine Rift endemics, makes this a true birding Mecca.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/ Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Midrange: Haven Lodge/Gorilla Mist Camp

Budget: TrekkerÔÇÖs Tavern Cottages/Buhoma Community Restcamp

Meal Plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 5: Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Birding And Optional Gorilla Trekking

From your comfortable base, if you are departing on an optional gorilla trekking adventure will search for a habituated family of Mountain Gorillas. Spending an hour with these gentle giants of the forests is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest wildlife experiences on Earth!

You will spend the balance of your time here birding the trails leading out from the camp. Special species you will look for include Bar-tailed Trogon, Dusky Tit, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Kivu Ground Thrush, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Equatorial Akalat, rare Grey-chested Babbler, Red-throated Alethe, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Willcocks’s Honeyguide, Black-billed Weaver, Magpie Mannikin and the newly described Willard’s Sooty Boubou.

High exposed perches in the open forest are favoured by African Goshawk, the dazzling Black Bee-eater, Sooty Flycatcher, and forest starlings including Narrow-tailed and Waller’s, Stuhlmann’s.

One of Bwindi Forest’s star avian attractions is the little, pitta-like Neumann’s Warbler, a vocal yet very secretive bird! You will need patience and luck to see this skulker – one of the Albertine Rift endemics.

Other understorey birds you will look for include displaying African Broadbill, Black-faced Prinia, and the handsome but shy Black-faced Rufous Warbler.

The mid-story and forest canopy support Elliot’s and Tullberg’s Woodpeckers, Cabanis’s, Ansorge’s Greenbuls, the enigmatic Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-browed Crombec and the rare Jameson’s Antpecker

Birding at Buhoma is a truly magical experience! Other wildlife that we may be fortunate enough to find here includes Duikers, Colobus, L’Hoest’s, and Blue Monkeys.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/ Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Midrange: Haven Lodge/Gorilla Mist Camp

Budget: Trekker’s Tavern Cottages/Buhoma Community Restcamp

Meal Plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 6: Bwindi To Lake Mburo

Day six of your 7 days Uganda birding tour will start with an early breakfast and then check out of your accommodation, saying goodbye to the wonderful staff.

You will then head northeast towards your final park of this fantastic birding safari, the Lake Mburo National Park. The drive to Mburo will take about 5 hours, but you will still look for birds, and make rest stops as needed.

You will enter Mburo through the Sanga Gate. Just outside the park, you’ll come across some of the world-famous long-horned Ankole cattle of the Bahima people that live in the area -always a highlight and worthy of a few photos.

The 260km2 park is a superb wetland and Acacia savanna sanctuary that is a famous spot for serious birders. Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50 km-long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the park’s borders.

You will reach you and check-in, followed by a superb late lunch. You will end your day with an afternoon/early evening game drive in the park. Lake Mburo is home to 350 bird species as well including Plains Zebra, Impala, Common Eland, African Buffalo, Oribi, Waterbuck, Leopard, Hippos, Hyena, Topi, Reedbuck, and Banded, Slender, and Dwarf Mongoose.

Some of the avian gems of the park you will look for include the localized Red-faced Barbet, African Marsh Harrier, Rufous-bellied Heron, White-backed, Lappet-faced and White-headed Vulture, African Hawk-eagle, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Brown Snake Eagle, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Green Wood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, White-headed Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Tropical Boubou, Woodland Kingfisher, Long-tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Green-capped Eremomela, and Meyer’s Parrot.

You will then return to your lodge in time to freshen up. Then you will have your excellent farewell dinner after an amazing tour through the Pearl of Africa.

Accommodation Options:

Luxury: Mihingo Lodge

Midrange: Rwakobo Rock

Budget: Eagles Nest Mburo

Meal Plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 7: Lake Mburo National Park To Entebbe

After your early morning breakfast, you will undertake a short private boat cruise on the lake, your last safari activity of this 7 days Uganda birding tour

This is one of the most beautiful, tranquil boat cruises you can imagine. Apart from the stunning scenery, you will hope to tick some special final species for your trip, including African Finfoot, African Fish Eagle, Squacco Heron, Water Thick-knee, Pied and Giant Kingfisher, and loads of Hippopotamus.

After the boat cruise, you will embark on the transfer to Entebbe, about 4 hours away. However, there is one more surprise in store!

You will make a stop at the Ugandan Equator Monument at Kayabwe, where you can stand with one leg in the Northern hemisphere while the other remains in the Southern! It makes for great photographs and memories.

It is also an impressive site for purchasing souvenirs to take back home as a memento of this incredible birding tour in Uganda.

Accommodation: Not Included

Meal Plan: Breakfast

End Of The Tour

The Tour Includes

  • All meals from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 7;
  • Bottled drinking water while in transit;
  • Accommodations;
  • Ground transportation during the tour;
  • All guiding services.

The Tour Excludes:

  • Any airfares;
  • Visa fees;
  • The optional gorilla trek permit (see above);
  • Any drinks over and above the bottled drinking water supplied while in transit;
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Telephone calls; and
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

7 Days Uganda Birding Tour | Shoebills, Chimps, Gorillas, & More