Shoebill at Mabamba Bay
Shoebill at Mabamba Bay - Birds and Primates Tour

Overview of the Bird and Primate Tour

Uganda is landlocked and falls at the influence of several regional centres of endemism making it the best place in East Africa for Birdwatching.

Uganda has a wide range of habitats ranging from snowcapped mountain tops in the west to semi-arid areas in the north-east; rainforest in the centre and west to open waters of numerous lakes

The diversity of habitats explains the unique biological diversity and the bulk of the country lies in tropical Africa with the Equator crossing the southern half of the country. It is bounded by the Rift valley in the West through range highlands along the western border including the Ruwenzori Mountain and the Virungas in the southwestern corner.


Day one: Arrival

Entebbe International Airport and transfer to Airport Link Guest House

Day Two: Birding in Mabamba Swamp

Early breakfast and head to Mabamba swamp on the shores of Lake Victoria west of Entebbe International Airport. This is one of the highlights of the Birds and Primates Tour. Mabamba Bay is one of the few remaining wetlands in the country protected by the local communities, an extensive papyrus swamp with channels and lagoons, classified as an IBA (Important Bird Area) and home to several pairs of Shoebills, Uganda’s most famous avian resident. This charismatic species is the only representative in its family and one of the most sought after Birds in Africa. Today we will make a special effort to find it by paddling through the channels by boat. There will be of course a good selection of classic African water birds; Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Goliath, Purple, Squacco, and Black-headed Herons, African Fish eagle and African Marsh Harrier, yellow-billed Duck, African and Lesser Jacana, Long-toed Lapwing, Blue-breasted bee-eaters, Swamp flycatcher, Hamerkop, African water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Grey-crowned Crane, African open bill Stork, Northern Brown Throated, Orange, Golden-backed, Black-headed and Village weavers, Red-chested Sunbird, cape wagtail, Fan-tailed widowbird, winding Cisticola, African Grey parrots can be seen flying overhead, Lizard Buzzard.

At the edge of Mabamba swamp in farmlands, we are likely to find Great Blue and Ross`s Turacos, Western banded snake Eagle, Black and white casqued Hornbill, African pied Hornbill, Superb Sunbird, Weyns`s Weaver, Purple and splendid glossy Starlings, Later proceed Budongo.

One Night Stay at Masindi Court View

Day Three:  Birding the Celebrated Royal Mile

Two Nights Stay at Twiga Safari Lodge

We shall have early morning Breakfast carry our packed lunch and drive to one of Uganda's Birdwatching hot spot, The Royal Mile, Historically known as a leisure spot for the traditional King of Bunyoro hence the Royal. The forest comprises of very huge mahogany trees and the forest has been cut back a few meters along the sides of the mail trail providing excellent Viewing area.

Key species include African Dwarf and Chocolate Backed Kingfishers, African Pigmy, Blue Breasted and Shinning Blue kingfishers, Yellow and Grey Longbill, Forest Flycatcher, Rufous Crowned Elemomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Spotted Greenbul, Cassin`s and Sabine’s Spinetail, Nahan`s francolin, Chestnut Capped flycatcher, Yellow Mantled weavers, Cassin`s Hawk-Eagle, Blue-throated Roller, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Olive Bellied, Green Throated, Green-headed, Grey Headed, Western Black-headed Oriole, Yellow-crested and Brown-eared Woodpeckers, White thighed Hornbills, Ituri Batis, Chestnut wattle eye, White-breasted Negrofinch, Pale breasted, Scally Breasted and Brown Illadopsis, Rufous flycatcher Thrush, Tambourine dove, Slender Billed, Toro olive, Cameroon Sombre, White-throated, little Grey and little Greenbulls other wildlife include Guezera Colobus and Red-tailed monkeys and the Chimpanzees. Later after lunch, we proceed to Murchison Falls National Park.

Day Four: Birding in Murchison Falls, Game drive in the morning and Boat Cruise in the afternoon.

One of the key highlights on this Birds and Primates tour is Murchison Falls National Park. This is Uganda`s biggest National Park and famous for its big game., spectacular scenery and the falls for which the park was named. The birding experience here is greatly enhanced by the abundant wildlife and scenic landscape of wetlands; dry savannah and open habitats are more special Birds. The key species here will be ; Blue-naped and Speckled Mouse birds, Spotted Morning Thrush, Siverbird, Buff-bellied Warble, Black Headed Batis, Black Headed Gonolek, Chestnut-crowned and white browed Sparrow weaver, Viteline Masked weaver and Green-winged Pytilia ,Denham`s and Black bellied Bustard, Crested and Heuglin’s Francolin, Red-throated, White Throated, Swallow-tailed and Little Bee-eaters, Black bellied and Bar Breasted Firefinches, Bruce’s and African Green pigeons, Red-necked Falcon and Grey Kestrel, Senegal and Spotted Thicknee, Black Billed and Blue spotted Wood-Dove, Double toothed, Spot flanked and Black Billed Barbets, White crested Turacos, Speckle-fronted Weavers, Slender billed and Compact Weavers,Red-winged grey and Red winged Warblers, Broad-Billed and Abyssinian Rollers,Piapiac , Yellow Mantled Widowbird and Northern Red Bishop, Whisling, Siffling, Singing, Zitting, Rattling, Croacking and Foxy Cisticolas , Sooty and White Fronted black Chat, Northern White Crested Helmet shrike, Yellow billed Shrike, Dark and Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Northern Camine Bee-eaters, Grey headed , Woodland, and Striped Kingfishers, Brown Babblers, Abyssinian Ground and Grey Hornbills, Northern Black Flycatcher, Beautiful Sunbird, Vinaceous Dove, Osprey , Grey backed and Woodchat Shrike, Shelley`s Rufous Sparrow , Murchison Falls NP still offers rewarding game viewing and here the game includes Elephants, Common Warthog, Giraffe, Buffalo, Bushbuck, and Oribi, Bohor Reedbuck, Uganda kob, waterbuck and the Kongoni. The abundant of Herbivores support a healthy Lion population; Small numbers of Patas monkeys inhabit the dry woodland north of the Nile.

Day Five: Transfer to Kibale- Kibale Forest Lodge

Day Six: Birding in Semuliki Valley National Park to the famous Kirumia Trail.

Semuliki National Park lies in the Albertine Rift valley, north-west of the Ruwenzori Mountain. Semuliki forest represents an easterly extension of the great Ituri forest of the North-eastern DRC and its flora and fauna show strong affinities with the Congo basin forests, this, therefore, makes it the best place in Uganda with high chances of encountering most of the West African species that cannot easily be accessed from other places. We shall start at dawn after an early Breakfast and set off with our packed lunches and spend the whole day birding in the Kirumia trail or any other part of the forest, Key species include; Red-Billed Dwarf, Black Dwarf, Piping, African pied, Black and White Casqued, Crowned, White Crested, Black Casqued Wattled, and White Thighed Hornibills, Red rumped, yellow rumped and Yellow Throated Tinkerbirds, Yellow-throated, Dusky Long-tailed, Red-chested, and African Emerald Cuckoos, Rufous Sided Broadbills, Blue Billed, Crested and Red Headed Malimbe, Green-Tailed and Red tailed Bristle bill Fire Crested and Brown Chested Alethe, Lowland Akalat and Eastern Forest Robin, Leaf Love, Pale fronted and Chestnut fronted Negrofinches, African Piculet, Grey throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Ituri Batis, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Maxwell`s black Weaver, Yellow throated Nicator, Grey Headed Sunbird, Lemon Bellied and Green Crombec, Lowland Sooty Boubou, White napped and Olive Pigeon, Red tailed and White tailed Ant-Thrush, Rufous Flycatcher Thrush, Congo Serpent Eagle, Ayres`s and Cassin`s Hawk Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Grants and Red billed Blue bill, Yellow Long bill, Narina Trogon, Yellow Crested, Brown eared and Gabon Woodpeckers, Icterine, Xavier`s Simple Red tailed, and little Greenbuls. In this park, 53 species have been recorded but many of which are shy, rare and Nocturnal. Conspicuous species include Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Vervet, Red-tailed and Gentle monkeys, Olive Baboon and Guezera Colobus. De-Brazza’s Monkeys are rare and Chimpanzees occasionally heard but seldom seen. Elephant, Bushpig, Buffalo, White-bellied Duiker.

Day Seven: Transfer to Kibale National Park

Two Nights Stay at Kibale Forest Lodge

Kibale National Park is a tropical Rainforest famous for its highest concentration of Primates in Africa and reliable for Habituated Chimpanzees.

Day Eight: Chimpanzee trekking and Birding.

Today we shall leave at dawn and continue birding in this rainforest and our key species here will the Green-Breasted Pitta.

Green-breasted Pitta - Birds primate tour
Green-breasted Pitta Green-breasted Pitta - Birds Primate Tour

Kibale National Park is so far the best place in Africa to find this Pitta. other species will be, White-spotted Flufftail, Jameson`s Wattle Eye, African Blue Flycatcher, Purple-headed and Chestnut-winged Starling, Red Chested Owlet, Shinning Blue and Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Brown and Scally breasted Illadopsis, Western Black Headed Oriole, Grey-throated tit Flycatcher, Crested Guinea fowl, White-throated Greenbul, Yellow Spotted, Yellow Billed and Hairy Breasted Barbets, Grey-headed Olive-Back, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Fawn-breasted and Black-crowned waxbills, Green-backed Twinspot and Black and white Mannikin, Pied Hornbill, white wooded Hoopoe, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Superb, Green-throated, Tiny, Orange Tufted and Green-Headed sunbirds, Dark-backed, Black-necked and Yellow-mantled Weavers, Dusky and Olive longed-tailed Cuckoos, Grey-throated and white-bellied crested Flycatcher, Scarce Swift, Thick-billed and Willcock’s Honey guides, Grey Parrots, Red-chested Flufftail, Uganda Woodland Warbler, African Goshawk and the majestic Crowned Eagle and other wildlife include Olive baboon, Guezera Colobus, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, L’host, Gentle(Blue) Vervet and Red-tailed Monkeys, Elephants, Bush Pigs and Buffalos,

Day Nine: One Night Stay at Buffalo Lodge

African Skimmer
African Skimmer

On this day we shall leave early Morning for Queen Elizabeth National Park take a boat cruise in the afternoon.

While on the boat Cruise we shall have our first chance to see the African Skimmers, Saddle-bill Stork, African Spoonbill, Kitlitiz's plover, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath and Grey Herons, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, African Fish Eagle, Black Crakes and many other migratory and resident shorebirds.

Other wildlife includes Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Bushbuck, Giant Forest Hog, Hippopotamus, Spotted Hyenas, Banded Mongoose, Waterbuck, Leopards and Lions.

Day Ten: Game drive Later proceed to Bwindi

Queen Elizabeth is yet another area with some of the highest biodiversity ratings than any other game park in the world. Its varied habitat s of open savannah, Acacia woodlands, tropical rainforests, Dense papyrus Swamp and lakes makes it one of the richest parks in Africa. Here we shall look for species such as; Trilling, Red-faced, Croaking, Stout and Zitting Cisticolas, Hollub`s golden weavers, White-headed and Double-toothed Barbets, Sooty Chat, Broad Tailed and African Moustached warblers, White-winged Tits, Martial Eagle, Bateleur Eagle, Ovambo Sparrow hawk, long-crested Eagle, White-headed, Lappet-faced, African White-backed and Ruppell`s griffon Vultures, Arrow marked and Black lored Babblers and Later proceed to Bwindi.

Three Nights Stay at Ride4woman

 Day Eleven: Gorilla trekking


A special day for Birds and Primates Tour. Today we shall have early breakfast and carry our packed lunches ready for Gorilla trekking experience.

Trekking uphill to see the families of Gorillas (Gentle Giants) nestled in a casual flocking play is a fascinating life experience. You will have an opportunity to enjoy close views of adults feeding and grooming resting as young stars swing from vines in a delightfully gentle display. Besides, you have a chance to see other forest Antelopes like; Ruwenzori and Yellow-backed Duikers, Blue and L.Hoest Monkey, Guereza Colobus Monkey.

Day Twelve: Birding in Buhoma main Trail

Today we shall go birding in Buhoma trail, looking out for species such as Newmann`s Warbler, African Broadbill, Black Faced Rufous Warbler, Red capped, grey winged and Blue shouldered Robin chats, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Oriole Finch, Arsornge`s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat and White bellied Robin Chat, Great blue and Black billed Turacos, Pink footed Puffback, Many Colored, Bocage`s and Luhder`s Bush Shrike, Scally Breasted, Pale Breasted and Mountain Illadopsis, Thick Billed Seedeater, MacKinnon’s Fiscal, Elliot`s and Fine banded, Buff spotted and Cadinal Woodpecker, Brown throated wattle Eye, Baglafect Weavers, Red faced woodland warblers, White bellied crested Flycatcher, Blue throated brown Sunbird, Ayres`s Hawk Eagle, African Goshawk, Frazer`s eagle Owl Vanga flycatcher, Petti`s Cuckoo Shrike, Yellow Rumped Tinker bird, White chinned Prinnia, Grey Headed Negofinch, Red headed Bluebill, Olive green Camaroptera, Bronze, Scarllet chested, and Green headed sunbird, Cassin`s honey Bird, Honey guide Geenbull, to mention but a few other wildlife include Peter and the striking yellow-backed Duiker. 

Day Thirteen: Transfer to Ruhija via the Neck

The Neck is a relatively narrow stretch that separates the two section of Bwindi impenetrable National Park, which is; Ruhija and Buhoma. This section is characterized by Riverine forest vegetation and some of the species likely to be seen here are; African black duck, Cassin`s Grey Flycatcher, Mountain Wagtail, Kakamega and Red-tailed Greenbulls, Toro olive, Little grey, White-throated, Slender Billed and Cameroon Sombre Greenbulls, Yellow-spotted, Hairy breasted, yellow-billed and Grey-throated barbets, olive long-tailed, Dusky Long-tailed, and African Emerald cuckoos, Black Billed and Brown-capped Weavers, Dusky Tit, Grey-headed and Northern double coloured, Olive, and Green Sunbird, Dusky blue and African dusky Flycatchers, African Shrike Flycatcher, Gray and Buff-throated and Black-throated Apalis, Red-headed Malimbe, Red-tailed bristlebill, narrow tailed, Purple Headed, and Stuhllmann`s Starlings, Tambourine dove and Western bronze naped Pigeon, It is also the best place in Uganda to find the Black Bee-eater.

Day Fourteen: Birding in Ruhija to the famous Mubwindi Swamp.

Here we shall look out for species such as Handsome Francolin, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red faced woodland Warbler, Ruwenzori Apalis, Chestnut throated Apalis, White browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Scally throated Honey guide, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Doherty`s Bushrike, Mountain Illadopsis, Red throated Alethe, Black headed waxbill, Shelly`s Crimsonwing, Dusky Crimsonwing, Dusky Twinspot, Grauer`s Warbler, Dwarf Honey guide, White stared Robin, white tailed-Blue flycatcher, Mountain Thrush, Mountain Oriole, Great Blue and black billed Turaco, Yellow Billed and grey throated barbets, Waller`s Starlling, Narina Trogon, White headed Wood hoopoe, African green Broadbill, Ruwenzori Batis, Archer`s Robin, evergreen Forest Warbler, Stripe breasted Tit, Chubb`s Cisticola, Banded Prinia, Oriole Finch, Mountain and Yellow Streaked Greenbulls, Barred long tailed Cuckoo, streaky seed eaters, Brown Necked Parrot, Slender Billed Starling, Olive Pigeons, Mountain Buzzard, white Naped Raven, African Crowned Eagle, Regal sunbird, Purple Breasted Sunbird, Blue Headed Sunbird, Northern Bouble coloured and Variable sunbird, Grey Cuckoo shrike, Western green Tinker bird, Strange weaver and Black Billed weaver, Mountain Yellow Warbler, yellow whiskered Greenbul. White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Nocturnal species that are likely to be seen include, Ruwnzori nightjar and African wood Owl and other wildlife include L’host and Blue monkeys are readily seen around, while Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzee are fairly common but rarely seen. Boehm’s squirrel and the Ruwenzori Sun Squirrel.

Two Nights Stay at Trekkers Tavern

Day Fifteen: One Night stay at Rwakobo Rock

Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. This is the best and the only place in Uganda to see these typically southern savannah Species of particular interest we look for, Red-faced Barbet, Tabora Cisticola, African Finfoot, and White-backed Night Heron.

Most of the park is dominated by tall grass savannah dotted with Acacia and Euphorbia trees, Common bird in this habitat include; Crested Francolin, Emerald- sported Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go away bird, Blue napped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Greenwood hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, African Grey Hornbill, Sport Flanked, White-Headed and double toothed Barbets, Nubian and cardinal Woodpeckers, Trilling Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Blacktit, Chin-spot Batis, Greater Blue Eared Starling, Marico Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Brown-backed and white-browed scrub Robin, Rufous Chested Swallow, Black-Bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Rufous Napped and Flapped Lark, Coqui francolin, Yellow-throated Longclaw and southern Red Bishop, migratory brown Chested Plovers can be seen from the second week of July to December. At night if the weather is good we lookout for nocturnal species such as Black-shouldered Nightjar, Swamp and Pennant winged Nightjars, Verreaux`s Eagle-owl, African Scopes Owl. This park will also give us a variety of game viewing such as Buffalos, Impala, warthogs, Zebra, Hippos, waterbuck, Dwarf and Banded mangoes, Side-striped Jackal, Bushbucks, Topi and Elands.

Day Sixteen: Driving to Entebbe and Departure.