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Forest Birding, 9 Days


Wine tasting with a chef & sommelier, learning the history of wine and how to taste it. A wine tour in the Milan  lands with the accompanying of a chef and sommelier who choose to live here and work as guide to help you to discover what Italian wines are about.

Start this fantastic tour, get picked up at meeting point in Milan city center by your guide and driver.
Visit Turin, rich in art and history. Explore the heart of the city with its history, secrets and anecdotes. You will see the Duomo.


  1. Mabamba Swamp
  2. Kibale National Park
  3. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  4. Queen Elizabeth National Park
  5. Semuliki National Park

Tour Duration

9 Days

Pickup / Drop off Offer

From Entebbe International Airport

Price Includes

  • Harrier Tours Leader and local guides
  • 8 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels and lodges
  • All main meals
  • All excursions, entry fees and permits

Price Excludes

  • International and domestic flights
  • Visa fees
  • Insurance
  • Drinks, airport meals/snacks and other items of a personal nature.
What to Expect

This is a  9 Day Forest birding tour of Uganda that covers most of the key forest birding locations

Target species: Albertine Rift endemics and Semuliki Ituri forest specials


Uganda’s Forest Birding Adventure with Harrier Tours: A 9-Day Itinerary

Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa”, is a treasure trove of avian wonders. Nestled within its heart are forests teeming with bird species that represent both the quintessential African birds and those unique to the continent. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or an enthusiastic amateur, the 9-day forest birding itinerary crafted by Harrier Tours offers an unmatched experience. With a diverse range of habitats from swamps to tropical rainforests and savannahs, this journey promises sightings of some of the rarest and most sought-after birds in the world.

Day 1: Arrival and Hotel Transfer

As your flight approaches Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s warm embrace begins to unfold. The experienced team from Harrier Tours will be waiting to greet you upon landing. Their presence guarantees a smooth transition and provides a concise summary of the enlightening birding excursion you are about to embark on. In a matter of moments, they will transport you away to your prearranged lodging for rest and supper. Nestled amidst the tropical magnificence of Entebbe, this tranquil domicile, filled with the gentle, harmonious notes of evening birdcalls, provides the ideal setting to unwind and acclimatise.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens: Forest Birding Paradise

Early arrival affords the opportunity to visit The only national Botanical Garden in Uganda was established nearby in 1901. This verdant sanctuary is situated on the margins of the magnificent Lake Victoria, only 34 kilometres from Kampala. These gardens are a symphony of native forest, agriculture, and horticulture, making them an irresistible destination for bird watchers.

With Harrier Tours as their guide, birdwatchers are in for a treat. The garden contains a wide variety of avian species, including the tranquil Pink-backed Pelican, Malachite Kingfisher, and Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbill. The Glossy Ibis, the Woodland Kingfisher, the Spur-winged Lapwing, the Yellow White-eye, and the Red-billed Firefinch are only a few of the many avian marvels waiting to be discovered.

However, the gardens offer more than a sanctuary for bird viewing. Butterflies flutter through the flora, a variety of plant species allure botany enthusiasts, and primates may occasionally cross your path.

Day 2: Mabamba Swamp and Journey to Kibale National Park

With the first light of dawn painting the African skies, Day Two of our adventure with Harrier Tours is primed to be an unforgettable experience for bird lovers. The kaleidoscope of habitats we traverse and the myriad of avian wonders they shelter promise a day of pure birding elation.

Setting forth from your lodgings, the drive takes us westwards, navigating through the undulating terrain of Uganda, interspersed with emerald farmlands and local villages. Yet, before the vastness of Kibale beckons, we have two birding jewels to explore.

Our first detour is the lesser-known but equally mesmerising Mpigi Swamp. This gem is particularly vital for its papyrus-endemic species. With the rising sun casting a golden hue, birders can anticipate the subtle melodies of the White-winged Warbler, or the contrasting vibrant colours of the Papyrus Gonolek. The industrious weaving of the Yellow-backed and Northern Brown-throated Weavers often provides a captivating spectacle against the lush papyrus background.

Shoebill on a 12 Days Birding Tour | Forest birding
Shoebill in Mabamba Swamp

Onwards, the expansive Mabamba Wetland calls out. This Ramsar-recognised sanctuary, sprawled over 16,500 hectares by the tranquil waters of Lake Victoria, is a birding paradise par excellence. Our primary quarry here, undoubtedly, is the Shoebill. This prehistoric-looking bird, with its unique shoe-shaped bill, has an aura that’s unparalleled. As you glide silently in canoes helmed by seasoned local guides, the serene ambience is occasionally punctuated by the distant calls of water birds. While the Shoebill’s sighting is the crown jewel, Mabamba has myriad other treasures: the nimble Swamp Flycatcher, the towering Goliath Heron, the dainty-footed African Jacana, and the melodious strains of the Winding Cisticola, among others.

The remainder of our drive to Kibale National Park is nothing short of scenic poetry. The ever-changing vistas, from savannahs to tropical forests, offer a glimpse of Uganda’s diverse ecosystems. As the horizon is painted with the hues of the setting sun, the dense canopies of Kibale loom, hinting at the avian treasures we’re set to discover in the days to follow.

Day 3: Delving Deeper into Kibale National Park

As the first fingers of dawn caress Kibale’s dense canopy, Day Three of our journey with Harrier Tours unfurls, promising an intimate communion with nature’s myriad wonders.

Kibale stands as a monument to primates, most profoundly represented by our closest wild relatives: the chimpanzees. A mere 98.7% DNA difference separates us, and this kinship is palpably felt as we delve into their world. Tracking these habituated primates through Kibale’s dense undergrowth, there’s a raw thrill in each step. Every rustle, every distant call holds the promise of a face-to-face encounter. Watching them – playing, grooming, foraging, and even sometimes squabbling – is a humbling experience, a powerful reminder of our shared lineage.

Yet, as any seasoned birder knows, while the primates might be the marquee attraction, it’s often the avian orchestra that steals the show. And in Kibale, this orchestra is diverse and melodic. As we meander through its trails, our path might be illuminated by the iridescent plumage of the Narina Trogon. The soulful tunes of the Western Nicator may echo as nature’s own background score. This rainforest, reaching towering heights, is a symphony of bird calls, each more enchanting than the last.

Beyond its primates and birds, Kibale is a mosaic of biodiversity. It’s a haven for the endangered Red Colobus Monkey, while the striking L’hoest’s Monkey flits through the trees. The playful antics of the Olive Baboon or the serene grace of the Blue Monkey offer countless moments of wonder.

But the realm of Kibale extends beyond its tree-dwelling residents. On the forest floor, a keen observer might glimpse the elusive forest elephant, distinct in its diminutive size and shaggy coat, a stark contrast to its savannah brethren. Buffalo herds might graze in clearings, while the shy antelopes thread silently through the undergrowth.

As the sun sets, painting the sky in fiery hues, our day culminates at the Primate Lodge. Here, ensconced in the heart of the forest, the symphony of Kibale continues. The distant hoot of an owl, the chorus of nocturnal insects, and the gentle whispers of the trees cradle us into restful slumber.

Tomorrow holds the promise of yet more wonders. But for now, as night blankets Kibale, we rest, rejuvenated by the primal pulse of this ancient forest. Join us as we continue our exploration of Uganda, where every dawn is a new story, and every dusk is a cherished memory with Harrier Tours.

Day Four: Journeying from Kibale to the Birding Paradise of Semuliki National Park

As dawn breaks on the fourth day of our expedition with Harrier Tours, we bid adieu to the lush expanses of Kibale, carrying with us memories of intimate primate encounters and avian serenades. Today, we head towards another gem on Uganda’s rich tapestry of biodiversity – the Semuliki National Park.

Semuliki is not just a forest; it’s a bridge between two worlds. Nestled at the crossroads of East and West Africa, this park is a melting pot of species. Its distinct ecology offers refuge to a wealth of West African species, making it an unparalleled birding destination in Uganda.

As we approach the forest, even its peripheries are teeming with life.  Common here are the Southern Red and Black Bishops, Piapiac crows, Whistling and Rattling Cisticolas, Mosque Swallows, and other forest edge species.

Day 5 & 6: The Wonders of Semuliki Forest Birding

Two whole days to lose oneself in the birding paradise that is Semuliki. Key species to be sighted include the African Pied Hornbills, Fire Crested Alethe, and the unique Olive Pigeon.

Venturing into the heart of Semuliki is akin to stepping into an avian wonderland. The forest’s dense canopy resounds with the calls of the unique Piping, White-crested, and Black Dwarf Hornbills. The Red-billed Dwarf, a canopy specialist, might provide a fleeting glimpse, while the imposing Black Casqued Hornbills traverse the skies above.

Yet, the beauty of Semuliki lies in its depth and diversity. The elusive Banded Bristlebill, the melodious Forest Robin, the vibrant African Paradise Flycatchers, and the petite African Piculet are only a few of the treasures awaiting discovery. The melodic calls of the Red-tailed Ant-thrush, the distinctive chirp of Xavier’s Greenbul, and the vibrant display of the Yellow-lored Bristlebill and Yellow-throated Nicator punctuate our journey, reminding us of the forest’s unparalleled richness.

Each corner of this park holds avian secrets waiting to be discovered.

Day Seven: Navigating the Savannahs – From Semuliki to Bwindi via Queen Elizabeth National Park

On the seventh day with Harrier Tours, as we bid farewell to the dense canopies of Semuliki, we steer our journey towards the mystic terrains of Bwindi, with the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park poised as a tantalizing intermediary.

The transition from Semuliki’s lush forests to the sprawling savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park is nothing short of dramatic. This expanse, dotted with acacia trees and wetlands, offers a birding experience that’s contrasting yet equally mesmerising. Here, the avian populace has adapted to the vast open grasslands, shimmering lakes, and seasonal marshes, providing a veritable feast for bird enthusiasts.

We make a few  detours and road side birding stops including the verdant Maramagambo Forest. This patch of green amid the savannah is an avian hotspot, where the chirps and calls of forest-dwelling birds guide our path. Every rustle in the underbrush might hint at a winged wonder, and every flash of colour in the canopy could lead to a rare sighting.

Venturing further south into Queen Elizabeth National Park, we are not just in pursuit of birds. The iconic tree-climbing lions of Ishasha beckon. These magnificent creatures, with their powerful builds yet graceful demeanour, defy gravity and lounge in tree branches, presenting a spectacle that’s both unique and awe-inspiring.

Beyond the lions, the park’s wetlands offer sightings of an array of waterbirds, each adding a new note to the melodious symphony of the day. Herons wade gracefully, kingfishers dive with precision, and the skies above might be dotted with the silhouettes of various raptors.

As the sun casts long shadows over the savannah, our journey winds its way to the mystical terrains of Bwindi. With memories of Semuliki’s forests, Maramagambo’s avian treasures, and Ishasha’s arboreal lions, we move forward, with anticipation brewing for what Bwindi might unveil.

Day Eight & Nine: Reveling in Bwindi’s Ruhija – An Avian Elysium

Nestled within the heart of Uganda lies Bwindi, a realm often synonymous with the majestic mountain gorillas that traverse its dense undergrowth. Yet, to the discerning birder, Bwindi, particularly its Ruhija sector, offers a tapestry of avian wonders that rivals the allure of its famed primates.

Day Eight: Discovering Ruhija’s  Forest birding Treasures

The first light of dawn finds us in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi. As the mist gently rises from the montane forest floor, the symphony of birdsong commences, each note echoing nature’s timeless melodies. With Harrier Tours, today is dedicated to unveiling Ruhija’s avian jewels.

Montane forests, by virtue of their altitude, climate, and vegetation, host a distinct set of bird species. In Ruhija, species such as the Handsome Francolin, Strange Weaver, and Mountain Illadopsis flit through the foliage, their calls providing an aural guide for our journey. Every rustle in the leaves, every movement in the canopy could signify a rare sighting – perhaps the delicate Shelley’s Crimsonwing or the vibrant Dusky Crimsonwing.

Day Nine: Deepening Connections in Ruhija

Our second day in Ruhija commences with an air of anticipation. With a deeper understanding of the forest’s rhythms, our exploration takes on a more intimate tone. The forest, with its towering trees and cascading sunlight, becomes a sanctuary where humans and nature commune.

Ruhija’s birdlife is both diverse and abundant. The Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, with its piercing gaze, may peer curiously from a branch, while the African Green Broadbill, a true Bwindi specialty, may grace us with its presence. As we delve deeper, the rare Rwenzori Turaco might flash its vibrant plumage in the canopy above, while the regal Archer’s Robin-Chat forages on the forest floor.

Every moment in Ruhija will be a celebration of nature’s grandeur, each bird sighting a testament to Bwindi’s ecological richness.

As we conclude our ninth day with Harrier Tours, the memories forged in Ruhija – of its birds, its sounds, its very essence – are etched in our souls. These two days will not just be about observing birds but experiencing a profound connection with nature in one of its purest sanctuaries.

Day Ten: Entebbe – Concluding Our Avian Odyssey

As we wind our way back to Entebbe on this final day, the landscapes evoke vivid memories of the past nine days: the enigmatic Shoebill of Mabamba, the diverse tapestry of Kibale’s birds, the savannah’s charm in Queen Elizabeth, and the montane splendors of Bwindi’s Ruhija.

Our journey, meticulously crafted by Harrier Tours, transcended mere birdwatching. Each location unveiled a unique avian narrative, and every moment was an intimate communion with nature. With cameras filled with breathtaking captures and hearts brimming with memories, the essence of this expedition will linger long after its conclusion.

As we bid farewell, the allure of Uganda’s avian wonders remains indelible, a testament to our shared adventure in this birding paradise. With Harrier Tours, every journey is not just an itinerary, but a cherished memory.

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