Day 1: Arrival into Uganda and Transfer to Hotel
For those arriving on January 23 (and most likely in the
evening), Johnnie will meet you all at the airport upon your
arrival into Entebbe. After grabbing bags and getting organized
in the vehicle, Johnnie (and likely the driver William) will take
you to the Boma Hotel (about 7 to 10 minutes away from the
Before departing for the evening, everyone should get on the
same page with Johnnie for an early morning start for good
looks at the Shoebill on Day 2 of the trip.
Day 2: Mabamba Wetlands for Shoebill and Complete
Afternoon of Birding in Areas Surrounding Mabamba and
After an early breakfast (about 6 AM) and after Johnnie
secures packed lunches from the hotel, the group will proceed
to Mabamba Wetlands at about 6:15 AM. Birding stops will
break up the drive to Mabamba Wetlands, but short stops will
be necessary to assure timeliness on finding the Shoebill
before the fishermen scare them away. Once arriving at the
wetlands, a very basic bathroom opportunity will be available
before getting on to the boat. You will be paddled in a canoe
through the swamp, looking for the mighty Shoebill and other
birds like Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco
Heron, Yellow-billed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Long-toed
Plover, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Bee-eater and
Birding along the road back towards Entebbe can be excellent
for several species. You will get a good start here on several
Sunbird species (like Red-chested Sunbird, Olive-bellied
Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Variable Sunbird) and several
weavers (like Black-headed Weaver, Slender-billed Weaver,
Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver,
Orange Weaver) among a good number of other species.
Additional birding on several spots (right along the road) on the
way back to Entebbe will also be worthwhile. On your way back
to Entebbe, the group should find Grey Kestrel, African Green
Pigeon, Great Blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco and more. Be sure
to ask Johnnie to clarify which Swift species you will see flying
You will likely see one or two hornbill species, as well as several
more birds and likely Red-billed Firefinch before the end of the
If time is left in the day, it will be worthwhile to bird the shoreline
and walkways of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Past trips
have picked up Pied Kingfisher, Spur-winged Lapwing, Black-
and-white Casqued Hornbill, Orange Weaver, Black-crowned
Waxbill and more.
We will need to get back to the hotel by about 5 PM. We will
have dinner and complete the bird list so we can get ready for
bed by about 8 PM.
Another early start will be worthwhile as we get on our way to
Murchison Falls National Park.
Day 3: AM Birding Stops on way to Murchison Falls
National Park: PM Birding near Paraa and Other Areas
near Murchison Falls National Park
We will leave early and just after breakfast, as we proceed to
Murchison falls national park. We will stop for some birding
breaks as new birds and suitable habitat offers the opportunity
for new trip birds.
Lunch will be at Masindi Hotel. After lunch, continue with the
drive to Paraa via the top of the falls. If time allows, we will have
a short walk around the top of the falls down to the river’s edge,
and from here, we will see the waters narrow as they are forced
through a rocky cleft and plunge down 35 meters in a majestic
We will then continue with the drive to accommodation.
Through out the day, we will look out for birds including several
raptors, Rock Pratincole, Red-throated Bee-eater, Yellow-
throated Longclaw, Grey-backed Fiscal, Piapiac, Greater Blue-
eared Starling, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Ruppell's Long-
tailed Starling, Black-headed Weaver, Grosbeak Weaver,
Golden-backed Weaver, Yellow-backed Weaver, Vieillot's Black
Weaver, Brown Twinspot, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Red-
billed Firefinch, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Pin-
tailed Whydah, Village Indigobird among others.
Day 4: Birding and Wildlife Viewing at Murchison Falls
After an early breakfast, proceed for a game drive getting back
in time for lunch. After lunch, we will transfer to the Paraa
northern bank for the boat trip up to the bottom of the Falls.
Here, it is possible to view hundreds of hippos, crocodiles, and
a variety of bird life. The birds we hope to see include Egyptian
Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, African Harrier-Hawk,
Helmeted Guineafowl, Crested Francolin, Black-billed Wood
Dove, Venaceous Dove, White-crested Turaco, Diederick
Cuckoo, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Red-throated Bee-eater,
Broad-billed Roller, Wire-tailed Swallow, Rattling Cisticola,
Silverbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek,
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-headed Plover, Rock
Pratincole, Swallow-tailed Bee-Eater, Red-throated Bee-eater,
Black-billed Barbet, Spotted Morning Thrush, Speckle fronted
Weaver, White-browed Sparrow Weaver and more. Look out for
mammals like the graceful Rothchild Giraffe, Jackson’s
Hartebeest, Uganda Kob, Defassa Waterbuck, Buffaloes,
Elephants, Warthog, Hippos, and Oribi. If we are lucky, we may
see a Leopard and/or a Lion.
Day 5: Birding on Way to Masindi: The Escarpment;
Busingiro Forest Center and Additional Birding in the
After and early breakfast and after Johnnie has gotten the
packed lunches in order, we will proceed for the drive back to
Masindi driving through the rift valley escarpment, where you
will have good views of Lake Albert. We will bird the escarpment
before proceeding to Busingiro Forest Center. This morning
we should find species such as Sacred Ibis, Western-banded
Snake Eagle, Bateleur, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, White-
browed Coucal, African Palm Swift, Flappet Lark, Spotted
Morning Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Beautiful Sunbird, Grey-
backed Fiscal, Brown-crowned Tchagra and other new trip
In the afternoon, we will bird around the vicinity of the road, as
we head towards Masindi. We will be on the lookout for birds
like Striped Kingfisher, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Black-billed
Barbet, Cliff Chat, Spotted Morning Thrush, Northern Crombec,
Red-faced Crombec, Green-backed Eremomela, Yellow-bellied
Hyliota, Rattling Cisticola, Foxy Cistcola, Red-winged Grey
Warbler, Black-headed Batis, Western Violet-backed Sunbird,
Red-winged Pytilia, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-
faced Waxbill and more.
Day 6: Bird the Royal Mile with Wildlife Viewing
After an early breakfast, we will proceed to bird the Royal Mile.
We will look for African Crowned Eagle, Huglin’s Francolin, Blue-
breasted Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Dwarf
Kingfisher, White-thighed Hornbill, a selection of Tinkerbirds
and Barbets, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Brown-eared
Woodpecker, Greenbuls, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-tailed Ant-
thrush, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufus-crowned Eremomela,
Whistling Cisticola, Black-throated Apalis, Black-capped Apalis,
Grey-throated Flycatcher, Forest Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Red-
bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher,
Western Black-headed Oriole, Purple-headed Starling, Brown
Twinspot among others.
We should find a variety of primates, including Blue Monkey,
Red-tailed Monkey, Black-and- white Colobus Monkey, and
several other mammal species.
Day 7: Drive with Birding along the way to Fort Portal;
Late PM Birding at Kibale Forest National Park
After an early breakfast, we drive south to Fort Portal.
We will bird several forest areas (stopping 2 or 3 times based
upon what we have seen so far) to break up this drive. Though
we will cover about 4 hours of driving before noon, adding
several birding stops as we go which gets us there in the
We will stop several times for birding en-route. We hope to find
Western-banded Snake Eagle, Striped Kingfisher, Great Blue
Turaco, Lizard Buzzard, Lesser Striped Swallow, Joyful
Greenbul, Chubb’s Cisticola, Masked Apalis, Cassin’s Grey
Flycatcher, Whinchat, Stonechat, Green-headed Sunbird,
Common Fiscal among many others. Johnnie’s eyes and ears
will help us find numerous trip birds as well travel along.
As we get close to Fort Portal, we will bird Kibale Forest
National Park in the late afternoon. We will hope to add a few
trip birds before heading to the hotel for check in and dinner.
Dinner and overnight at Mountains of the Moon.
Day 8: AM Birding; Quick Transfer to Queen Elizabeth
National Park (QENP) with Birding and Wildlife Viewing at
QENP for Most of Day
We may try some early birding back at the forested area
outside of Fort Portal. Johnnie will have good judgment about
the best way for the group to maxmize productive birding that
day, by either birding Kibale in the morning or to get to Queen
Elizabeth National Park earlier. No matter the morning plan, we
will likely want to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park (which is
only a few hours away) before it is too hot at mid-day.
In the morning, we will be driving along the foothills of the
Rwenzori Mountains (crossing the Equator). We will be looking
for mammals and bird species including Pied Kingfisher, Grey-
headed Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher,
Lesser Striped Swallow, Winding Cisiticola, Trilling Cisticola,
Siffling Cisticola, Zitting Cisticola, Grey-backed Fiscal, Common
Fiscal, Black-headed Gonolek, Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling,
Purple-headed Starling, Wattled Starling, Fan tailed Widowbird,
Red-collared Widowbird among others.
Once at Queen Elizabeth National Park, we will find some good
birding. We will hope to find some new trip birds, and we will
look for Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Hairy-breasted
Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Little Greenbul, Green
Crombec, Black-and-white Shrike-Flycatcher, Bronze Sunbird,
Fan-tailed Widowbird, Black Bishop, Grey-headed Negrofinch,
and Black-crowned Waxbill.
Day 9: Birding at Queen Elizabeth National Park with
After an early breakfast, we will set off for a birding and wildlife
safari. One of our first stops will be reliable spot for Shining-
blue Kingfisher. We may also see African Fish Eagle, Yellow-
billed Kite, Helmeted Guineafowl, Red-necked Spurfowl,
Yellowbill, African Grey Hornbill, and White-winged Widowbird.
After enjoying our packed lunch, we will take a boat trip on the
Kazinga Channel. Here we should see hundreds of hippos,
crocodile and bird life from a boat for about two hours. We will
look for Great White Pelican, Pink-backed Pelican, Green-
backed Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Open-
billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Martial Eagle, Kittlitz’s Plover,
Water Thick-knee, Senegal Plover, Wattled Plover, Yellow-
throated Longclaw, Arrow-marked Babbler and Black-lored
Babbler. Mammals could include Uganda Kob, Bushbuck,
Defassa Waterbuck, Cape Buffaloe, Elephants, and Warthog. If
we’re lucky, we could see Leopard, Spotted Hyena and Lion
Day 10: AM Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park on
Way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (BIFNP)
with PM Birding through Ishasha Sector of BIFNP with
After breakfast, we will drive south to Bwindi Impenetrable
Forest National Park. We will take a several productive birding
stops en-route, and we will hopefully encounter African White-
backed Vulture, Lappet–faced Vulture, White-headed Barbet,
Spot-flanked Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Nubian
Woodpecker, Flappet Lark, Rufous-naped Lark, Plain-backed
Pipit, Lesser Striped Swallows, Zitting Cisiticola, Grey-backed
Shrike, Common Fiscal, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, and
Ruppell’s Long-tailed Starling.
After our picnic lunch, we will leave Queen Elizabeth National
Park and proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest through
Ishasha sector, arriving in the late afternoon. We will all be on
the look out for mammals like Topi, Uganda Kob, and Buffaloes
and (when lucky) tree climbing Lions. We will also look for
serveral new trip species including Black Kite, Black-shouldered
Kite, Palm-nut Vulture, Western-banded Snake Eagle-Eagle,
Lizard Buzzard, Shikra, Augur Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle,
Spot-flanked Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, White-browed
Robin-Chat, Sooty Anteater Chat, Black Cuckooshrike, Red-
shouldered Cuckooshrike, Bronze Sunbird, Olive-bellied
Sunbird, Copper Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-
chested Sunbird, Fork-tailed Drongo, Rufous-napped Lark,
Flappet Lark, Stout Cisticola, Grassland Pipit, Plain-backed
Pipit, Golden-breasted Bunting, Red-collared Widowbird and
Day 11: Bird Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
and Buhoma Trail
After an early breakfast, we find our way into Bwindi
Impenetrable Forest, learning the area does not quite live up to
its name. Bwindi is home to nearly two dozen species that are
endemic to the Albertine Rift zone. Some species we hope to
see are: Black Bee-Eater, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-
rumped Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Elliot’s Woodpecker,
African Broadbill, Ansorge’s Greenbul, White-bellied Robin-
Chat, Red-throated Alethe(ARE), Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red-
faced Woodland Warbler(ARE), Grauer’s Warbler(ARE),
Mountain Masked Apalis(ARE), Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Luhder’s
Bush-shrike, Pink-footed Puffback, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Blue-
throated Brown Sunbird, Purple-breasted Sunbird(ARE), Black-
billed Weaver, and Brown-capped Weaver among others. In
addition to a rich bird habitat, the park provides protection for
numerous butterfly and tree species. Much of this montane rift
zone is over 6000 feet in elevation.
Day 12: Gorilla Trek or More Birding at Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park
For those going on the National Park provided Mountain Gorilla
Trek ($600 fee in 2014 to 2015), Johnnie will assure everyone
is awake and has breakfast before the short walk to get to the
National Park gate. At the gate, Johnnie will introduce you to
the Park guides, who will lead the Gorilla trek. Please ask
Johnnie if you need more guidance here.
A birding trip will also be available for those not on Mountain
Gorilla Trek. After an early breakfast and after we have seen
the Gorilla Trekkers depart, we will re-enter the forest and track
down some of the birds we didn’t encounter the previous day.
Maybe we will find White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Scaly-breasted
Illadopsis, Mountain Illadopsis, Short-tailed Warbler(ARE),
Dwarf Honeyguide(ARE) and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo . We
should find mixed feeding flocks with several species seen in
one tree or location. In addition to forest, Bwindi affords some
marshland birding and a bamboo zone with its own avifauna.
Before we leave Bwindi we hope to see: Stuhlmann’s Starling,
Chubb’s Cisticola and African Citril.
After the Gorilla trek, we will meet back up as a full group and
try for some additional birding for those left with the energy to
Day 13: More Birding at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
National Park Birding the Neck on the way to Ruhija
After breakfast, we will bird as we travel to Ruhija via the neck,
looking out for birds like Black Bee-eater, Red-throated
Wryneck, Mountain Wagtail, Toro Olive-Greenbul, White-
starred Robin, Olive Thrush, Cassin’s-grey Flycatcher, Red-
faced Woodland Warbler(ARE), Grader’s Warbler(ARE), Chubb’
s Cistcola, Banded Prinia, Mountain Masked Apalis(ARE),
Chestnut-throated Apalis, Collared Apalis(ARE), Stripe-
breasted Tit(ARE), Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Sharpe’s Starling,
Regal Sunbird(ARE), Strange Weaver(ARE), Dusky Twinspot,
Yellow Bishop, Black-throated Seedeater among others.
Birding through the neck is often very productive.
Though the wasps build fascinating and massive nests here,
you do need to be careful. (Please listen to Johnnie’s direction
about the best use of mosquito repellent and likely not using
any repellent at all).
A late evening drive along the road can often turn up Rwenzori
Nightjar and several other nocturnal birds. Be sure to remind
Johnnie about the night birding here.
Day 14: Bird Mubwindi Swamp
After breakfast, we’ll walk down to the Mubwindi Swamp, where
you can find the Grauer’s Rush Warbler(ARE), Archers Robin
Chat (ARE) and African Green-Broadbill(ARE). We will also be
looking for other specialties including the Black-billed Turaco,
Western Green Tinkerbird, Fine-banded Woodpecker,
Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, African Hill
Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
(ARE), Mountain Yellow Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler
(ARE), Grauer’s Warbler(ARE), Chestnut-throated Apalis,
Collared Apalis(ARE), Stripe-breasted Tit(ARE), Rwenzori Batis
(ARE), Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, Blue-headed
Sunbird(ARE), Regal Sunbird(ARE), Black Saw-wing and more.
If we are very lucky, we may find African Green-Broadbill(ARE).
Certainly one of the highlights of any birding trips in Uganda,
this walk is physically challenging, but taken slowly it is quite
manageable for many participants. The elevation change is
about 1000 feet.
For those not thinking the Mubwindi Swamp is suitable for the
physical abilities, an alternative birding day with a National Park
Guide can be arranged. If you make this choice, you will be
separated from the rest of the group for the day.
Day 15: AM Final Birding in Ruhija Section of Bwindi
Impenetrable Forest National Park; Birding throughout
Rest of Day on Way to Lake Mburo
After an early breakfast, we will bird around the Ruhija and the
National Park entrance (as we exit) for a little bit more birding
as we leave. We may yet add a few more Albertine Rift
endemics, likely get a few better looks at a few key species, and
likely add a few other surprises before leaving the National Park.
We will then start a good drive to Lake Mburo. We will take
several birding stops to break up the trip. These short stops
will be right along the road as suitable habitat presents itself.
By late afternoon, we will reach Lake Mburo. Lake Mburo
National Park is located in southern Uganda, west of Lake
This day we will find various number of species including
species like Bateleur, Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted
Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Blue-
naped Mousebird, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet,
Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Fork-
tailed Drongo, Black-crowned Waxbill, and Black-headed
Waxbill among others.
Day 16: Bird Lake Mburo National Park with Wildlife
After an early breakfast, we will then spend a whole day birding
Lake Mburo National Park. Habitat here is acacia forest, lake
and a large expanse of papyrus wetlands. The papyrus swamps
are host to numerous species found in no other habitat. We’ll
be looking for species like the African Marsh Harrier, Wahlberg’
s Eagle, Grey-crowned Crane, Marsh Tchagra, Papyrus
Gonolek, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Brown-throated Wattle-
eye, Red-faced Barbet, White-headed Saw-wing, Nubian
Woodpecker, Diedrick and Klass’s Cuckoos, Long tailed
Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis and more. We will also enjoy
great looks at mammals, like the gorgeous Eland, Zebra,
Impala, Buffalo, Reedbuck, Topi, Waterbuck, Bushbuck,
Hippos, Oribi, Bush-duiker and others.
If we can fit in a boat trip on the lake, African Finfoot is a distinct
possibility. This may be best after we spend the morning
After dinner, we will try for the African Scops Owl, Swamp
Nightjar, Black-shouldered Nightjar and Freckled Nightjar.
Day 17: AM Birding Lake Mburo National Park and Birding
on Way to Entebbe; Birding at Entebbe Botanical
Gardens Late in Day
We will need to spend some time ensuring the bags are all
packed for the journey home. But after breakfast, we will be
able to spend another full morning birding at Lake Mburo, likely
focusing on some of the bird species we may have missed.
This may also be the best time for the boat trip for African
Finfoot (unless we accomplished this during the day before).
After lunch and after some final birding at Lake Mburo, we will
proceed for the return journey back to Entebbe, arriving in the
late afternoon. We may have time for a little more birding at
Lake Mburo as we leave the Park, but we likely will have seen
all the key species, and it may make more sense to bird several
stops on the way back to Entebbe.
On the way we will look out for any remaining birds which we
may have missed. Perhaps Bateleur, Long-crested Eagle,
Grey Kestrel, Crested Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Grey
Crowned Crane, Speckled Pigeon, Laughing Dove, Broad-billed
Roller, Lailac-breasted Roller, White-headed Barbet, Brown-
backed Scrub-Robin, Black-lored Babbler, Tropical Boubou,
Splendid Glossy Starling will round out the trip list.
If we were not able to bird the Entebbe Botanical Gardens on
the second day of the trip, we may also re-adjust trip plans to
add a visit to the Entebbe Botanical Gardens at the end of the
day here. This will mean getting to the airport later, but I have
picked up 25 plus trip birds here in 3 hours birding in the late
Flights should be planned for after 8 PM, allowing a full day of
birding your last day in Uganda. Most flights leave in the
evening, and you are free to fly home the next day.
Day 18: Flights Home Today
According to your flight time and plans, we will arrange a
convenient transfer to the airport.
As you travel home today, you can reflect on the amazing
Uganda experience that you just have had.
Birding and Wildlife
|Many itineraries are possible year
round, but best times are June and
into August, and then November and
|Uganda Options on Length of Trip and
Pacing: These itineraries are for the birders,
loving an early start and birding until dusk. A
more leisurely paced trip can also be
developed over one week or two weeks. Trips
for specifically for photographers can also be
arranged. Please contact and let us know
what pace of trip best meets your needs.
|Uganda Comprehensive Birding and Wildlife
|Please call Charles (in the USA at 720-320-1974 or toll
free at 888-203-7464) or Emma (in the UK (447)
8502-21856 or her cell at (441) 1780-752644.), and/or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to click here.