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Due to its geographic isolation and proximity to many regional centres of endemism, Uganda is the best spot in East Africa to watch animals in general and is well-known for being a primate destination. Uganda offers a diverse range of environments, including rainforests in the centre and west, the open waters of multiple lakes, and mountain summits covered in snow in the west and northeast.
The remarkable biological diversity is explained by the variety of habitats, and as most of the nation is in tropical Africa and the Equator runs through the southern portion, this is not surprising. The Rift Valley in the west and the range highlands, which include the Ruwenzori Mountain and the Virungas in the southwest corner, form its borders.
From Entebbe International Airport
Uganda, a land of diverse environments, unveils its secrets through a tapestry of rainforests, pristine lakes, and snow-capped mountain summits. Here, amidst the heart of Africa, a symphony of life awaits your discovery. Immerse yourself in the lush rainforests that envelop the center and west, where a mesmerizing array of wildlife calls these verdant realms home.
Join us on this immersive Mammal Watching and General Wildlife Tour, where every moment holds the promise of extraordinary encounters. Let Harrier Tours be your guide through this extraordinary tapestry of life, as we unveil the wonders that lie within the borders of Uganda.
Wetland birds, Savanna birds, Albertine Rift endemics and Semuliki Ituri forest specials. Other expectations include Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking
Transfer from Entebbe International Airport to the Boma Hotel or Airport Guest House upon arrival. You can visit Uganda’s national garden, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, depending on your arrival time. The Botanical Gardens were founded in 1898 and are situated along Lake Victoria’s famed beaches, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. The area is a fantastic place to start learning about Uganda’s wildlife and basic birdwatching. The grounds are home to thriving troops of red-tailed, velvet, and Guereza Colobus monkeys. Also, there is a significant possibility you may encounter a spot-necked otter along the lake.
The following bird species can be seen: Pink-backed Pelicans, African Grey Parrots, Great Blue Turacos, Ross’s Turacos, Eastern Grey Planting Eaters, Black and White Casqued Hornbills, African Pied Hornbills, African Open-Bill Stocks, Yellow-billed Stocks, and Bat Hawks.
After a leisurely breakfast, go to Mabamba Swamp on Lake Victoria’s shoreline. A large papyrus swamp with channels and lagoons that is designated as an IBA (Important Bird Area) and is home to numerous pairs of Shoebills, Uganda’s most renowned resident birds, is one of the many wetlands in the nation that are preserved by the local community. One of the most desired birds in Africa, this spectacular species is the lone member of its family. We’ll put extra effort into finding it today by boating through the waterways. Of course, there will be a good variety of African water birds.
African Marsh Harrier, African Fish Eagle, African and Lesser Jacana; Yellow-billed Duck; Long-toed Lapwing; Hamerkop; Blue-breasted Bee-eaters; Allen’s Gallinule; African Water Rail; Swamp Flycatcher; Papyrus Canary; Papyrus Gonolek; Grey-crowned Crane; Red-chested Sunbirds; African open-billed Stork; Northern Brown Throated; Orange, Golden-backed; Black-headed; and Herons; Cape Wagtails, Winding Cisticolas, Fan-Tailed Widowbirds; and African Grey Parrots Later in the day, we will head for Mabira Forest in quest of an African Wood Owl, an Eastern Potto, a Demiddoff’s Galagos, and a Lord Derby’s anomalous.
Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest intact piece of rainforest in Uganda’s central region. To name a few, we look for Nahan’s Francolin, Grey Long Bill, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Capuchin’s Babbler, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Forest Wood-hoopoe, Tit Hylia, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, African Crowned Eagle, Red-caped Robin-Chat, Red-headed Blue Bill, Eastern Forest Robin, and Green-tailed Bristle Bill.
Northeastern Uganda’s Karamoja subregion has the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, a conservation area. There are a variety of mammals to view in this area, including the Roan Antelope, Bush Pigs, Klipspringer, Leopold, Cheetah, Sitatunga, Bohor Reedbuck, Uganda Kobs, and Jackson’s Heartbeats. Eland, Topis, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Serval Cats, Bat-Eared Foxes, and White-Tailed Mongooses are among the animals that live there. Moreover, the Fox’s Weaver, Uganda’s sole endemic bird, can only be seen at Piane Upe. Among the other bird species found here are the Karamoja Apalis, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, Red-and Yellow Barbet, White-bellied Tit, White-billed Buffalo Weaver, Common Ostrich, Rufous Chatterer, Purple Grenadier, Yellow-billed Shrike, Stone Partridge, Black-bellied Fire Finch, Red-winged Lark, Clapperton’s Francolin, White-bellied Bustard, White-backed Vulture, Lapped Vulture
While birding in Pian Upe, look for species like the white-bellied go-away bird, Jackson’s hornbill, Hemprich’s hornbill, Fawn-coloured Lark, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, African Grey Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Silverbird, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Bristle Crowned, Northern White-crowned Shrike, and Superb Starling, as well as other similar birds. Grey Wren Warbler, White-crested Turaco, Four banded Sand Grouse, Straw-tailed Whydah, Long-billed Pipit, Black-headed Plover, Fan-tailed Raven, Pygmy Batis, Jameson’s Firefinch, and Augur Buzzard are among the bird species that may be found in the area. We keep an eye out for smaller jacanas, African jacanas, rufous-bellied herons, and Goliath herons in swampy places.
We will also be able to see some of the species that we might have missed in Pian Upe as we travel to Kidepo Valley through savannah grasslands.
The far north-east corner of Uganda, near Kenya and South Sudan, is home to this national park, which is the country’s most isolated and lonely. African Elephant, Zebra, Spotted Hyena, Buffalo, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Side-striped Jackal, Giraffe, Defassa Waterbuck, Warthogs, Dwarf Crocodiles, Topi, Bat-Eared Fox, White-Eared Kob, Uganda Kob, Rock Hyrax, and Orib are among the wildlife that may be seen in this area. Birds: species like the Kori Bustard, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller, and black-breasted barbet are among those to keep an eye out for here. Tiny Weaver, Yellow-rumped Seed Eater, Yellow-billed Shrike, Red-tailed Chat, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Rufous Bushchat, The following species are also present: Red-pate and Foxy Cisticola, Red-faced Crombec, Vinaceous Dove, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black-bellied Bustard, White-crested Helmet-Shrike, Black-faced Waxbill, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Brown Parrot, Pygmy Falcon, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Fox Kestrel, Beautiful Sunbird, Scaly Francolin, Little Green Bee-Eater, Mountain Buzzard, Red-winged Starling, Dusky Turtle Dove, and Abyssinian Scimtarbil
The park’s name, the falls, and its abundance of big game make it Uganda’s largest national park and a popular tourist destination. The area’s rich animals and picturesque wetlands scenery substantially improve the birding experience, yet the birds prefer the more unique habitats of dry savannah and open areas.
The Spotted Morning Thrush, Black-headed Gonolek, Grey Kestrel, Red-winged Warblers, Silverbirds, and Green-winged Pytilia will be the prominent species here. Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Grey-headed Kingfishers, Denham’s Bustards, Black-Headed Batis, Sooty Chats, Yellow Mantled Widowbirds, Blue-naped Mousebirds, and more species are found in the area. Dark Chanting Goshawk, Broad-Billed Rollers, White-Browed Sparrow Weaver, Yellow-billed Shrike, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Black-billed Barbets, Speckled Mousebirds, White-Crested Turacos Flycatcher, Northern Black, Ground Hornbills of Abyssinia, Grey-backed Shrikes, Spotted Thicknee Sunbirds, African Green Pigeons, and other birds Masked weaver Vitelline, barbets with double teeth, Senegal thick-knees, compact weaver Firefinches with a red belly, buff-bellied Warblers, Bruce’s Pigeons, and other species Whistling Cisticolas, Singing Cisticolas, Rattling Cisticolas, Croaking Cisticolas, Foxy Cisticolas, Woodland Kingfishers, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Whistling Cisticolas, Singing Cisticolas, Singing Cisticolas, Singing Cisticolas, Red-necked Falcon, Black-billed Barbets, Crested Francolin, Speckle-fronted Weavers, Black-bellied Fire Finches, White-throated Bee-eaters, Spot-Flanked Barbets, Black Headed Gonolek, Northern Red Bishop, Heuglin’s Francolin, White-Crested Turacos, and Vinaceous Dove
Murchison Falls National Park still provides good game viewing, with elephants, common warthogs, giraffes, buffalo, bushbuck, and oribi among the animals. Bohor Reedbuck, Uganda Kob, waterbuck, Kongoni, Bunyoro Rabit, lions, Leopold, mash mongooses, slim mongooses, banded mongooses, Pousargue’s mongooses, Patas monkeys, Jackson’s hartebeest, and several bat species
The availability of herbivores supports a strong lion population, and here is the only area to view Patas monkeys, Tantalus monkeys, and other bat species in the dry woods north of the Nile.
We’ll eat breakfast early in the morning, pack a lunch, and travel to one of Uganda’s birding hotspots, The Royal Mile, which was traditionally renowned as a leisure location for the traditional King of Bunyoro, hence the name “Royal.” The forest is made up of massive mahogany trees, and it has been chopped back a few metres along the sides of the main route, creating an ideal viewing area.
Red-tailed monkeys, Guezera colobus, Ugandan crested mangabeys, blue monkeys, and olive baboons are among the wildlife.
Among the most important species are: Cameroon Sombre, Tambourine Dove, Rufous Flycatcher Thrush, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow Mantled Weavers, Olive Bellied, Blue-throated Roller, Green Throated, Chestnut Capped Flycatcher, White Thighed Hornbills, Chocolate Backed Kingfishers, Grey-headed Oriole, White-breasted Negrofinch, Sabine’s Spinetail, Grey Longbills, Yellow-browed Camaraptera, African Pigmy, Green-headed, Ituri Batis, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Shinning Blue Kingfishers, White-throated, Little Grey, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Olive Woodpeckers, Yellow-crested Woodpeckers, Cassin’s Spinetail, Rufous Crowned Elemomela, Spotted Greenbul, Brown-eared Woodpeckers, and Little Greenbulls
Several species of bats and the Uganda Crested Mangabey, Velvet, Red-tailed, and L. Hoest monkeys, as well as Olive Baboons, Dent’s Monkeys, Semuliki Red Colobus, De-Brazza’s Monkeys, and Guezera Colobus, are mammals.
Species of birds include: Green Crombec, Ayres’s Hawk Eagle, Red-Thrush, Rufous Sided Broadbills, African Emerald Cuckoos, Yellow Long Bill, Lemon Bellied, Yellow-Throated Nicator, Piping Hornbill, African Crowned Eagle, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, Red-Chested Cuckoo, Black Dwarf Hornbill, African Piculet, Red-Billed Dwarf Hornbill, Lowland Sooty Boubou, Congo Serpent Eagle, Olive Pigeon, Gabon Woodpecker, Green-tailed Bristle Bill, Grey Headed Sunbird, Grey-Throated Rail, Rufous Flycatcher Thrush, Yellow Crested Woodpecker, White Crested Hornbill, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Red-Headed Malimbe, Leave-Love Bird, Rufous Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail, Yellow-Throated Tinker Birds, Brown-Eared Woodpecker, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Crested Malimbe, and Brown Chested Alethe
Birding and primate watching in Semuliki, later transferred to Kibale National Park
The largest number of primates in Africa may be found in Kibale National Park, a tropical rainforest known for its domesticated chimpanzees and other primates. It is referred to as the global capital of primates.
Olive baboons, Guezera colobus, Ashy Red colobus, Uganda Crested Mangabey, L’hoest monkeys, blue monkeys, velvet monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys are among the numerous animals that may be found. Drive in the evening and at night to look for the African Golden Cat and other nocturnal creatures.
The Green-Breasted Pitta will be our main species here as we continue birding in this jungle today. The finest location in Africa to locate this pita is by far Kibale.
Other species include Grey-Throated Titmice Flycatcher, African Blue Flycatcher, Dark-Backed Weaver, Dusky Cuckoo, White-Throated Greenbul, Red Chested Owlet, Yellow Billed Barbet, Hairy Breasted Barbet, Jameson’s Wattle Eye, Chestnut-Winged Starling, Yellow Spotted Barbet, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, Superb Sunbird, Olive-Tailed Cuckoo, Green-Headed Sunbird, Black-Mantled Weaver, Crested Guinea Fowl, Western Black-Headed Oriole, Purple Headed Starling, and African Goshawk.
The only guaranteed location in Uganda for seeing: Eastern Potto Demidoff’s Galogos and Thomas Galogos, Mash Mongoose, and African Palm Civet is during an evening stroll in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.
On this day, we’ll depart early for Queen Elizabeth National Park and spend the day on a boat excursion.
Our first opportunity to see the Saddle-bill Stork, African Skimmers, African Fish Eagle, Malachite Kingfishers, Goliath Herons, Black Crakes, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Grey Herons, and Pied Kingfishers, along with many other migratory and resident shorebirds, will be during the boat cruise.
Lions, leopards, waterbuck, elephants, Uganda kob, cape buffalo, spotted hyenas, serval cats, giant forest pigs, banded mongooses, bushbuck, and hippopotamus are among the other animals that may be seen in the area.
Another location with some of the greatest biodiversity ratings of any wildlife park in the world is Queen Elizabeth. It is one of the richest parks in Africa due to the diversity of its ecosystems, which include Acacia trees, open grassland, lush papyrus swamps, tropical rainforests, and lakes.
Here we shall look for species such as white-headed and double-toothed barbets, sooty chat, Holub’s golden weavers, African moustached warblers, white-winged tits, Ovambo Sparrowhawks, martial eagles, long-crested eagles, broad-tailed warblers, lappet-faced vultures, African white-backed vultures, Ruppell’s griffon vultures, and black-lored babblers.
The next day, after breakfast, we will go on a game drive to Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is well-known for its tree-climbing lions. To mention but a few, other birds to see include the Green Woodhoopoe, Banded Snake Eagle, Marsh Tchagra, Sooty Chat, Hooded Vulture, Yellow-throated Long Cock, Grey Crowned Cranes, White-backed Vulture, Red-coloured Widowbird, Crimson Rumped Waxbill, White-headed Barbet, Hamerkop on their huge nests, Long-crested Eagle, Black-chested Snake Eagle, and White-headed Vulture.
We’ll eat a leisurely breakfast this morning and prepare our sandwiches in preparation for our gorilla trekking trip. A remarkable life experience is climbing a hill to witness gorilla families (gentle giants) cuddling in a relaxed flocking play. You also get a chance to witness other forest antelopes, including yellow-backed duikers, blue and L’hoest monkeys, Guereza Colobus monkeys, and more. You will get the chance to get up close and personal with adults as they eat, groom, and rest, all while young stars are gently swinging from vines.
We’ll go birding today on the Buhoma Trail, keeping an eye out for animals like the African Broadbill, Newman’s Warbler, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin Chats, Blue-shouldered Robin Chats, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Equatorial Akalat, Arsornge’s Greenbul, and White-bellied Robin Chats, among others.
In the area, you can find a variety of bird species, including the Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Goshawk, Thick-billed Seedeater, Great Blue Turaco, Luhder’s Bush-Shrike, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Pink-footed Puffback, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Many-coloured Bush-Shrike, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Cassin’s Honey Guide, Ayres’s Hawk Eagle, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Bronze Sunbird, Red-headed Bluebill, Cardinal Woodpecker, Greenbuls, Bocage’s Bush Shrike, Grey-headed Negofinch, Fine-banded Woodpecker, White-chinned Prinnia, MacKinnon’s Fiscal, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, White-throated Mountain Babbler, Red-billed Firefinch, Yellow-rumped Tinker Bird, and Vanga Flycatcher.
On this day, we will go bird watching through Ruhija and the Neck area. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s Ruhija and Buhoma sections are divided by a small area known as “The Neck.” The African Black Duck, Mountain Wagtail, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Kakamega and Red-tailed Greenbuls, and Red-faced Malimbe; Barbets include yellow-spotted, yellow-billed, hairy-breasted, and grey-throated barbets; Grey-throated Apalis, Black Bee-eater, Ruwenzori Apalis, African Shrike Flycatcher, Mountain Yellow Warble; African Emerald, Olive Long-tailed, and Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo.
Also to be seen are red-tailed bristlebils, starlings such as purple-headed, narrow-tailed, and Stuhllmann`s starlings, Western bronze-naped pigeons, and Tamborin doves.
The Neck is also regarded as Uganda’s prime location for viewing black bee-eaters.
We’ll go to Mgahinga today and have the chance to stay at Mucha Lodge. We will go birding at Mgahinga and keep an eye out for different bird species. The following are some of the species we might see: Mountain Buzzard, Dusky Twinspot, African Crowned Eagle, White-starred Robin, Olive Pigeons, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Mountain Oriole, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Striped Tit, Handsome Francolin, White-breasted Crombec, Chubb’s Cisticola, Mountain Thrush, Regal Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted Sunbird
Black-fronted duikers, yellow-backed duikers, L’Hoest monkeys, silver monkeys, and Guereza Colobus monkeys are among the mammals that can be spotted in this area. The African wood owl, Ruwenzori nightjar, Demidoff’s Galagos, Spectacled Galagos, Eastern Potto, Rare African Golden Cat, African Civet Cat, and Side-striped Jackal are among the nocturnal species that are likely to be sighted.
Mgahinga National Park is the smallest park in Uganda, comprising only 33.7 square kilometres. It includes the Ugandan foothills of Muhavura, Gahinga, and Sabinyo, three of the Virunga Volcanoes. Mgahinga National Park is adjacent to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; these three parks comprise the transboundary Virunga Conservation Area, which protects half of the 780 mountain gorillas in the world. The volcanoes are the last refuge of the Golden Monkey, whose bamboo habitat can be located on the foothills of Mount Gahinga.
In this area, you can also find a variety of unique species known as the Albertine Rift Endemics. Some of these include the Rwenzori Turaco, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Dwarf Honey Guide, Ruwenzori Double-coloured Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Red-throated Alethe, Equatorial Akalat, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Coloured Apalis, and Doherty’s Bushshrike, among others.
On this day, we will proceed to Lake Mburo, stopping at a number of wetlands in search of, among others, the Papyrus yellow warbler, Papyrus gonolek, Papyrus canary, white-winged warbler, and Caruthers’s cisticola. We will embark on a nighttime boat excursion in search of the White-backed Night Heron, African Finfoot, Giant Kingfisher, Shinning Blue Kingfisher, and numerous other species of water birds.
This is the finest and only location in Uganda to observe the red-faced barbet, Tabora cisticola, a savannah-dwelling species of particular interest.
This park will also provide opportunities to view a variety of animals, including Impala, Buffalos, Warthogs, Hippos, Zebra, Defassa Waterbuck, Side-striped Jackals, Dwarf and Banded Mongooses, Leopold, Bush Pigs, Bushbucks, Topi, and Elands.
The majority of the park consists of a grassy savannah with Acacia and Euphorbia trees.
Crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Emerald-sported Wood Dove, Blue-naped Mousebird, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Common Scimitarbill, Green Wood Hoopoe, African Grey Hornbill, Cardinal and Nubian Woodpeckers, White-Headed, Sport Flanked, and Double-Toothed Barbets, and African Grey Hornbill are among the birds that inhabit this habitat.
Greater Blue Ear Starling, Black-Headed Gonolek, Marico Sunbird, Brown-backed and White-Brown Scrub Robin, Rufous Chested Swallow, African Wattled Plover, Black-Bellied Bustard, Rufous Napped and Flapped Lark