Birding the Pearl of Africa

BIRDING SAFARI IN UGANDA: KAMPALA AND ENVIRONS PLUS LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Discover birders paradise in the Pearl of Africa! This birding safari takes you from Kampala to the Mabamba Swamps and from Jinja to Lake Mburo National Park.

Day 1: ARRIVAL

You will be welcomed by a representative of Great Lakes Safaris who will transfer you to your hotel in Entebbe. Depending on the time of arrival you might spend the afternoon at UWEC, home to captive animals and over 170 species of birds. This includes 7 species of weavers, such as the rare Northern Masked Weaver and Orange Weaver. Overnight at The Boma.

Day 2: HERITAGE TRAILS

After a delicious breakfast transfer to the Heritage Trails, situated about 10 km from Entebbe. Here you will enjoy 4 hours of birding on the best trails around Kampala, with over 170 species of birds! Look out for the Brown Twin Spots, Moustached Warbler, Fain tailed Widow bird, White headed Barbets, Blue Monarch, Striped Kingfisher, Black Bishop, Black headed Gonolek, Klass’, Diederik’s Cuckoo and many more. Lunch at the park, relax while birding and later in the afternoon return to your hotel. Overnight at The Boma.

Day 3: MABAMBA SWAMP

Early transfer to Mabamba Swamp, 50 km west of Kampala. Look out for many different birds on our way to the swamp, like the Papyrus Gonolek, White winged Warbler, Northern Brown throated Weaver and Weyns Weaver. Mabamba Swamp is one of the best places to spot the rare Shoebill Stork. But also many other species can be found here, like the Allen’s Gallinule, Purple Gallinule (swamp hen), Grey herons, African Water Rail, Squacco, Goliath, Purple and a variety of egrets and ducks. The best way to enjoy the rich birdlife is by canoe and you might even have the luck to encounter the elusive Sitatunga Antelope, adapted to swampy habitats. Later in the afternoon continue to Kampala to your hotel. Overnight at Cassia Lodge.

Day 4: MABIRA FOREST & SOURCE OF THE NILE

After breakfast we transfer towards Jinja, the famous origin of the mighty river Nile. About an hour drive from Kampala we will stop at Mabira Forest for a walk through the tropical rainforest. Species such as the Toro Greenbul, Yellow whiskered Greenbul, Leaf love, Forest Robin, Buf spotted Woodpecker, Grey spotted Woodpecker, White spotted Fluff tail, Red headed Blue Bill, Yellow spotted Barbet, Grey throated Barbet, Yellow rumped Tinker bird, Yellow throated Tinker bird, Blue breasted Kingfisher, African Pygmy, Shining Blue, Woodland Kingfishers, Red tailed Ant Thrush, Chin spot Batis, Banded Wattle Eye, Chestnut Wattle Eye, Brown capped, Yellow mantled, Black Billed, Weyn’s Weavers, Red headed Malimbe, Purple headed Starling, Violet backed Starling and many more fascinating species that are living in this forest.
We continue to Jinja for lunch and a visit to the Source of the Nile. Here we will make a boat trip to the genuine origin of the famous river. Besides the many water birds like the African Fish Eagle, Open billed Stork, Long tailed Cormorant, Grey Heron, White Egret and Pied Kingfisher, you might see monitor lizards hiding in the bushes. In the afternoon return to Kampala for overnight at Cassia Lodge.

Day 5: KAMPALA – LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Today we leave the capital city and head towards the southwest. After a 4 hours drive we will reach Lake Mburo National Park, popular with birders and the only park in Uganda where you can find the zebra. As we enter the park and head towards the accommodation it is likely you will see some wildlife like impalas, topis, zebras and buffaloes. Look also for birds such as the Crested Francolin, Emerald spotted Wood Dove, Bare faced Go-Away bird, Green Wood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Spot-Flanked Barbet, Lilac breasted Roller, Northern Black Tit, Trilling Cisticola, Greater Blue Eared Starling, African Grey Hornbill and Brown Parrot. We will make an evening game drive along the Kigambira loop. Species that may be seen are the localized Red Faced Barbet, Black Collared Barbet, Red Headed lovebird, Lead colored Flycatcher and Green capped Eremomela. Dinner and overnight at Mihingo Lodge.

Day 6: LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Early start of the day as we will go for a nature walk guided by a ranger. Lake Mburo is the only national park where you can experience a safari on foot. You will encounter several species of wetland and savannah birds, impalas and other wildlife. After breakfast you will go on a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the rich birdlife and the hippos that are cooling off.
Late in the afternoon a game drive along the Zebra Track may reveal bird species such as Coqui Francolin, Black Bellied Bustard, Temmricks Courser, African Wattled Plover, Rufous napped and Flappet Lark, Rufous Chested Swallow, etc. Also look out for the elusive leopard and other nocturnal species. Dinner and overnight at Mihingo Lodge.

Day 7: LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK – ENTEBBE – DEPARTURE

On our way out of the park we will go for an early game drive along the Lakeside Track. This will give you the chance to spot some water birds like the Lesser and Great Swamp Warbler, White Winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Yellow Warbler and at times the elusive Shoebill. We transfer towards Kampala with lunch en route and a stop at the equator for photos and some shopping. Continue to Entebbe where you will be dropped at the airport for your flight home.

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