- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe.
Upon arrival at Entebbe, you will be transferred to Mabamba Swamp to look for the Shoebill.
Day 2: Mabira Forest.
This morning we will depart early for the drive to Mabira Forest. We will pass through Kampala, the sprawling capital of Uganda, where grotesque Marabou Stork line the city’s high-rise buildings and flocks of Hooded Vulture, Black Kite and Pied Crow soar overhead.
As we head eastwards through villages and woodlands, it will become evident how birdy this country really is! Common and widespread roadside species we can expect to see today include the funky-looking Long-crested Eagle perched atop telephone poles, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Palmnut Vulture, hovering Blackwinged Kite, African Harrier-Hawk, Lizard Buzzard, the truly impressive Great Blue Turaco, raucous Eastern Plantain-eater, seemingly awkward Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill and floppy-flighted Crowned and African Pied Hornbills, dazzling-blue Woodland Kingfisher, Broad-billed Roller, Angola Swallow, Splendid and Rüppell’s Starlings, African Thrush, Northern Black Flycatcher, Sooty Chat, gregarious Grey-backed Fiscal, Scarlet-chested Sunbird and Pin-tailed Whydah.
Mabira Forest supports over 300 bird species, some of which are difficult to see elsewhere in Uganda. One of the sites that we will visit is a small forest pond where a wonderful selection of very secretive forest birds regularly come down to drink.
Species which we will search for include Red-tailed and the elusive Yellow-lored Bristlebills, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Eastern Forest Robin, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, Brown-chested Alethe, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, and two glowing seedeaters: Black-bellied Seedcracker and Red-headed Bluebill.
Some of the other specials we will search for are Grey Parrot, the highly localised Forest Wood Hoopoe, Grey-throated Barbet, Speckle-breasted, Buff-spotted, Brown-eared and Yellow-crested Woodpeckers, Willcocks’s Honeyguide, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Toro Olive Greenbul (one of nine greenbuls species found here), Western Nicator, the striking Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Redbellied Paradise Flycatcher, Lowland Sooty Boubou, the nomadic Weyns’s Weaver, the rare Tit-Hylia and Grey-headed Nigrita.
We will have our picnic lunch at the main forest Headquarters. This is one of the better sites in Uganda for White-spotted Flufftail and we stand an excellent chance of observing this fairly secretive rallid. Huge fruiting trees in this area are habituated by a variety of barbets, hornbills, honeyguides and concentrations of Great Blue Turaco. In the late evening we will make our way to Jinja for an overnight stay.
Day 3: Jinja to Masindi.
This morning we will depart Jinja and have a further opportunity to explore the fabulous Mabira Forest in search of any specials we may not have seen. Thereafter we continue on our journey west through Kampala and then north towards the town of Masindi.
North of Kampala we will bird an area of moist grasslands and swamps, and concentrate on finding several special birds, including Western Banded Snake Eagle, Green-backed Eremomela, Black Bishop and Yellow-mantled and Marsh Widowbirds. Dry woodlands further north will provide our best chance of finding the unusual Yellow-billed Shrike and Yellow-bellied Hyliota.
As we approach Masindi, the countryside becomes drier and consists of extensive grasslands dotted with fig trees. In this region we will stop to search for African and the less common Bruce’s Green Pigeon, White-headed Barbet, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Lesser Blue-eared, Purple and Bronze-tailed Starlings and Piapiac, a small corvid which associates with cattle and wild game. Finally, we will arrive in Masindi for a two night stay at a renovated colonial-era hotel.
Day 4: Budongo Forest.
Today will be our first introduction to central African forest birding, and we will spend the entire day in the vast Budongo Forest Reserve, the largest natural forest area in East Africa. We will concentrate much of our attention on “The Royal Mile,” a wide forestry track considered to be the country’s premier forest birding locality.
Among the numerous specials we hope to find include Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tambourine Dove, Blue Malkoha (a skulking forest coucal), three forest-dwelling kingfishers (Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted and African Dwarf), the huge Whitethighed Hornbill, Yellow-spotted, Hairy-breasted and Yellow-billed Barbets and their diminutive cousins, the tinkerbirds (Speckled, Yellow-throated and Yellow-rumped all being likely), Western Oriole, Green Hylia, Grey and Yellow Longbills, the rarely encountered Uganda Woodland Warbler, Grey, Buff-throated, Black-throated, and the stunning Black-capped Apalises, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Green and the elusive Lemon-bellied Crombec, Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher, Chestnutcapped Flycatcher, Purple-headed Starling, Little Green, Grey-chinned, Collared, Olive-bellied and the Uganda birds and mammals itinerary 3 aberrant Grey-headed Sunbirds, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Crested and Red-headed Malimbes and White-breasted Nigrita.
Greenbuls are abundant, and we shall work slowly through any flock that we encounter looking for Plain, Grey, Yellow-whiskered, Slender-billed, Honeyguide, White-throated, Red-tailed and the striking Spotted Greenbul. The beautiful Nahan’s Francolin is sometimes heard, but we will require luck and patience to see this secretive and near-endemic species.
We will search the undergrowth alongside the track for the numerous understorey skulkers, which may include Scaly-breasted, Brown and Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Fire-crested Alethe, Fraser’s Rufous Thrush, Red-tailed Rufous Thrush, Yellow-browed and Olive-green Camaropteras and Greythroated Tit-Flycatcher.
We will keep an eye on any openings in the forest canopy, as Cassin’s HawkEagle and Crowned Eagle, White-throated Bee-eater and Cassin’s, Mottled and Sabine’s Spinetails are all possible.
Day 5: Masindi to Murchison Falls National Park.
This morning, we will bird Kaniyo Pabidi forest, situated within the southern sector of the Murchison Falls NP, and the only known site in East Africa for Puvel’s Illadopsis. We can expect to find this bird as well as a wide range of other forest species.
If we are very fortunate, we may obtain a glimpse of some rare and desirable birds that occur here, and possibilities include Nahan’s Francolin and Rufous-sided Broadbill. Flocks of Crested Guineafowl, sporting their “punk hair-do’s” are however, more regularly encountered.
A healthy Chimpanzee population survives, and the giant Chequered Elephant-Shrew is sometimes seen. After our picnic lunch in the shady forest, we will drive further north into the woodland section of the park. Here, we will search for Vinaceous Dove, Black-billed Wood Dove, Senegal Coucal, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, Whistling Cisticola, Buff-bellied Warbler, the elegant Silverbird, Western Black-headed Batis, Orange-breasted and Grey-headed Bushshrikes, White-crested Helmetshrike, Western Violet-backed and Beautiful Sunbirds and Fawn-breasted and Black-rumped Waxbills.
Murchison Falls is Uganda's largest national park and famous for its big game and spectacular scenery, not least the falls for which the park was named. Later in the afternoon after checking into our accommodations, we will make our way to the spectacular falls. The vista point at the top of Murchison Falls offers incredible views of the Victoria Nile boiling down the narrow gorge. Bare, rocky islets are favoured perches and breeding sites of Rock Pratincole.
We should see large numbers of these attractive waders wheeling in the spray of the falls. Thick riverine forest in this vicinity is home to the magnificent White-crested Turaco, often considered the most beautiful member of its striking family, Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Spotted Palm Thrush, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, the localised Red-winged Grey Warbler and Purple-banded Sunbird.
Day 6: Murchison Falls National Park.
We have a full day for exploration of the park. We will take a launch trip along the Victoria Nile to the Lake Albert Delta, where the westflowing Victoria Nile makes an abrupt turn and becomes the north-flowing Albert Nile. A plethora of waterbirds throng the well-wooded banks of the river and today, we can expect to find the Shoebill, most birders prime attraction to Uganda! This charismatic species, the only representative in its family, is certainly amongst the most sought-after birds in the world.
We will make a special effort to get close to and spend time observing the “King Whalehead.” The huge Shoebill usually stands motionless on the edge of channels waiting for a hapless catfish and sometimes allows close approach. In the heat of the day, Shoebills often soar over the Nile, an impressive sight indeed. Other water birds abound and we hope to see Darter, Intermediate Egret, Goliath and Purple Herons, Woolly-necked and Yellow-billed Storks, Hamerkop (near their giant stick nests), Egyptian and Spur-winged Geese, Osprey, African Fish Eagle, Black Crake, African Swamphen, the regal Grey Crowned Crane (Uganda’s national bird), Senegal Thick-knee, Long-toed and Spur-winged Lapwings, African Jacana, Malachite and Giant Kingfishers and the dashing Wire-tailed Swallow. Burrows in the river banks represent colonies of either colourful Red-throated Bee-eater or querulous Pied Kingfisher, while elegant Red-necked Falcon frequent palm trees which line the banks.
In addition to the birds, large numbers of huge Nile Crocodile, Hippopotamus, African Buffalo, Vervet Monkey and Olive Baboon are often seen at very close range, and herds of African Elephant sometimes bath en masse in the shallows. The scenic area north of the Nile holds a number of birds typical of dry savanna. We will search here for Secretarybird, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Tawny and Martial Eagles, Shikra, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Harlequin Quail, Heuglin's Francolin, Helmeted Guineafowl, flocks of Collared Pratincole, Black-headed Lapwing, Swallow-tailed and Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, Black Scimitarbill, Shortwinged and Black-backed Cisticolas, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Great Sparrow, Bar-breasted Firefinch and African QuailFinch.
A few birds with their ranges centred on the Sahel reach their southern limits here, and we hope to find the stately Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, White-fronted Black Chat and White-rumped Seedeater. Mammals are well represented here, and we should see Bushbuck, Giraffe (belonging to the endangered form known as Rothschild’s Giraffe), African Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Oribi and Defassa Waterbuck. If we are lucky we may see groups of the shy Patas Monkey, while this is one of the best places in Uganda to find Lion.
The moist, grassy woodland to the south of the Nile is very different from that of the North bank and supports a host of localised birds including Brown-backed Woodpecker, Brown Babbler, Redwinged Warbler, the unusually proportioned Purple Starling, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-bellied Firefinch, Cabanis’ and Brown-rumped Buntings, and if we are fortunate, Bat Hawk, African Cuckoo-Hawk, White-breasted Cuckooshrike and Red-winged Pytilia. Other species which we will search for here are African Cuckoo, African Grey Hornbill, Grey Woodpecker, Northern and Redfaced Crombecs, African Paradise Flycatcher (often of the spectacular white morph), Northern Puffback, Black-crowned and Brown-crowned Tchagras, Tropical Boubou and Red-cheeked Cordonbleu. In the evening, we will embark on a night drive in search of one of Africa’s most sought-after birds, the Pennant-winged Nightjar. Witnessing a male Pennant-winged Nightjar fluttering up from the track, his regal pennants trailing behind him, is likely to be a highlight of the trip. Other possibilities include Spotted Thick-knee, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Northern White-faced Owl and Slender-tailed, Longtailed and Swamp Nightjars. Nocturnal mammals which we may encounter include Leopard, Serval, Uganda birds and mammals itinerary 5 White-tailed Mongoose, African Civet, Crested Porcupine, Blotched and Common Genets and Uganda Grass-Hare.
Day 7: Murchison Falls National Park to Masindi via the Butiaba Escarpment. After final birding in Murchison Falls National Park, we will depart for Masindi, stopping en route at the dry Butiaba Escarpment, at the head of the Albertine Rift Valley. This productive birding site may produce Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Namaqua Dove, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Black-billed Barbet, White-shouldered Black Tit, Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, Mocking Cliff Chat, Green-winged Pytilia, Foxy Cisticola, Little Weaver and Cinnamon-breasted and Golden-breasted Bunting. The dry scrub soon changes to moist rainforest as we again approach the Budongo Forest Reserve, this time at Busingiro. We will bird a section of this forest where the elusive canopy-dwelling Ituri Batis is a possibility, and will make a concerted effort to find this and other species before checking into our hotel. Masindi Hotel
Day 8: Masindi to Kibale National Park. Today we will drive south from Masindi. Our first birding will be at an area of papyrus swamps where we will target papyrus specials including Blue-headed Coucal, the stunning Papyrus Gonolek, the skulking White-winged Swamp Warbler, Greater Swamp Warbler, Carruthers’s Cisticola, and elusive Papyrus Canary. The surrounding woodlands and agricultural lands are also rich in birdlife. Here we will look for Redheaded Lovebird, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, African Blue Flycatcher, Compact Weaver, Brown Twinspot, and the beautiful Grey-headed and White-collared Olivebacks. Further along the route, we will stop at a patch of forest, which generally provides superb birding. Our target species will include Dusky Long-tailed and African Emerald Cuckoos (the latter particularly common and conspicuous at this site), Joyful Greenbul, Lowland Masked Apalis, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Blackand-white Flycatcher, Many-colored and Lühder's Bushshrikes, Chestnut-winged Starling, Bluethroated Brown Sunbird and Dark-backed Weaver. Thereafter we will continue to our comfortable tented camp adjoining Kibale National Park. Day 9: Kibale National Park. The Kibale National Park will be today’s birding destination. The towering Kibale Forest has the highest primate concentration and species diversity of any reserve in East Africa. Primate highlights might include sightings of localised Central African Red Colobus, handsome L'Hoest's Monkey and the scruffy Grey-cheeked Mangabey. We will also embark on a Chimpanzee trek. Our chances of finding these, our closest living relatives, are excellent. The birds are typical of medium-altitude forest, with excellent mixed species flocks and specials such as Afep and the globally-threatened White-naped Pigeons, Red-chested Owlet, Narina Trogon, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Shrike-flycatcher, Superb and Green-headed Sunbirds, Chestnut Wattle-eye and Black-and-white Mannikin. A night drive through the forest may produce Potto - a primitive, slow-moving primate - Demidoff’s and Thomas’s galagos (more commonly known as bushbabies), the gliding Lord Derby’s Anomalure and the arboreal Servaline Genet and African Palm Civet. Day 10: Kibale National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Finally we will bid farewell to these enchanted forests and head for the open savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Birding around the lodge itself is rewarding, with resident spectacular species including Greyheaded Kingfisher, White-browed Robin-Chat, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-headed Gonolek, Brimstone Canary and Red-chested Sunbird.
Day 11: Queen Elizabeth National Park.
We will spend time birding in the spectacular Crater area in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains and the main game-viewing area along the Kasenyi track. Species that will be the focus of our search include Rüppell's Vulture, Bateleur (one of Africa’s most spectacular raptors), Brown Snake Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Grey Kestrel, Red-necked Spurfowl, Harlequin Quail, Kurrichane and the rarely encountered Black-rumped Buttonquails, African Crake, Pied Avocet, Temminck’s Courser, Senegal and Crowned Lapwings, the marsh dwelling Black Coucal, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Greater Honeyguide, Flappet, Rufous-naped, Red-capped and the scarce White-tailed Larks, Plain-backed Pipit, Fan-tailed Grassbird, Croaking, Red-faced, and Stout Cisticolas, Marsh Tchagra, Black-lored Babbler, Southern Red Bishop, flocks of Red-billed Quelea, Red-billed Firefinch and Black-chinned Quailfinch. A highlight of the tour is the launch trip on the Kazinga Channel, which allows a close approach to African Buffalo and Hippopotamus, as well as numerous waterbirds. Amongst many others, we hope to find White-breasted Cormorant, two species of pelicans, African Openbill, Saddle-billed Stork, Glossy Ibis, African Wattled Lapwing, Water Thick-knee, several species of gulls and terns, Swamp Flycatcher and Winding Cisticola. Mammals will also be a highlight in this area. Species we have a good chance of finding are Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyaena, African Elephant, African Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Bushbuck, Hippopotamus, Common Warthog and the spectacular Giant Forest-Hog, the largest and undeniably ugliest pig on earth.
Day 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Today we depart QENP and head for the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a bastion for gorilla conservation and a hotspot for Albertine Rift Endemics. If conditions allow, we will drive through the extensive southern Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National Park en route to Bwindi. Savanna bird and mammal species are likely to be seen, and we may be fortunate in sighting Ishasha’s famous tree-climbing Lions. The elusive Scaly Francolin is another species that we hope to find on this route. After a long drive, we will reach the headquarters of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park at Buhoma, where we will be based for three nights. The Park is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to approximately half of the world population of Mountain Gorillas.
This vast reserve offers arguably some of the most productive montane forest birding in Africa and supports 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species. Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighbouring Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is now an ecological island within a sea of human cultivation and therefore of immense conservation importance.
Buhoma lies in the valley of the Munyaga River at 5100 feet and is flanked by steep, forested hills. Excellent forest birding, not least the prospect of numerous rare and localised Albertine Rift endemics, makes this a true birding Mecca.
Days 13 & 14: Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
From our comfortable base, we will depart for an optional gorilla trekking adventure where we will search for one of the three habituated family groups of Mountain Gorilla. Spending an hour with these gentle giants is, without a doubt, one of the greatest wildlife experiences on Earth.
We will spend the balance of our time here birding the trails leading out from the camp. Species we will search for include Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Bar-tailed Trogon, Dusky Tit, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Equatorial Akalat, White-tailed Rufous Thrush, Red-throated Alethe, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Bocage's Bushshrike, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Black-billed Weaver and Magpie Mannikin. High exposed perches in the open forest are favoured by African Goshawk, the dazzling Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Sooty Flycatcher and forest starlings including Waller’s, Stuhlmann’s and Narrow-tailed. One of Bwindi’s star avian attractions is the diminutive, pitta-like Neumann’s Warbler, a vocal yet very secretive bird! Other under-storey birds we hope to see include displaying African Broadbill, Banded Prinia and the handsome Black-faced Rufous Warbler. The mid-storey and canopy supports Elliot’s and Tullberg’s Woodpeckers, Cabanis’s, Kakamega and Ansorge’s Greenbuls, the enigmatic Chapin’s Flycatcher, strange Grauer’s Warbler and White-browed Crombec. The rare Jameson’s Antpecker may also been seen probing under moss on dead branches or gleaning warbler-like in the canopy, while Scarce Swifts forage over the forest. Birding at Buhoma is a truly magical experience. Other wildlife that we may be fortunate enough to find here include the huge Yellow-backed Duiker, Guereza Colobus, L’Hoest’s, Blue and Red-tailed monkeys, Chimpanzee and several species of squirrels including Fire-footed Rope, Carruthers’ Mountain, Ruwenzori Sun and Red-legged Sun Squirrels. Day 15: Buhoma to Ruhija, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Although the distance is not large, we will spend the entire day on this route due to the superb birding it provides. In scrubby areas beyond Buhoma, we will search for Ross’s Turaco, Red-throated Wryneck, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Bronze, Copper and Variable Sunbirds, Baglafecht, Black-necked and African Golden Weavers, Yellow Bishop, Village Indigobird and Black-throated Canary. Further along the road, we will pass through Kitahurira or “The Neck,’ another well-known birding locality. Here we will search for species such as Black Sparrowhawk, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Cinnamon-chested Beeeater, Cassin’s Honeybird, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Whitechinned Prinia, Mountain Wagtail, Pink-footed Puffback, the rare Tiny Sunbird and the attractive Brown-capped Weaver. Even further up the road, cultivated areas provide feeding opportunities for many seedeaters. Our main targets here will be the highly sought-after Dusky Twinspot and Yellow-bellied, Black-headed and Black-crowned Waxbills. African Stonechat, Streaky and Thick-billed Seedeaters, African Citril and Yellow-crowned Canary may also be found here. The noisy Chubb’s Cisticola will mock us from deep within the bracken, and the beautiful Doherty’s Bushshrike can be lured out from the dense vegetation. Mackinnon’s Shrikes survey the road from high, exposed perches. Uganda birds and mammals itinerary 8 Finally, we will reach the seldom-visited higher camp in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The ranger station at Ruhija is situated at an altitude of 7500 feet, with breathtaking views over steep, forested valleys toward the distant Virunga Volcanoes. Ruhija is likely to be one of the highlights of any trip to Uganda with excellent birding in spectacular surroundings. The only accommodation available at Ruhija is a basic hostel, with a superb panoramic view of the surrounding forested valleys. We will have our own chef and kitchen set up for us. Excellent meals will more than compensate for the basic dormitory-style accommodation. Day 16: Ruhija, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We will concentrate our birding on the trails to the unique Mubwindi Swamp and along the main access roads. This area is the most accessible site on Earth for the rare and localised Grauer’s Broadbill, one of Africa’s most sought-after birds. This globally threatened species is only known from two sites in the world, the other being a remote forest in eastern Congo. Carruthers’s Cisticola and the localised Grauer’s Swamp Warbler are resident in Mubwindi Swamp and if we are very fortunate we will see Red-chested Flufftail. Today’s other target species include Mountain and Augur Buzzards, Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, the furtive Handsome Francolin, African Olive Pigeon, Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Western Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, Thickbilled, Least and the elusive Dwarf Honeyguides, Black Saw-wing, Grey Cuckooshrike, Olive-breasted and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Olive Thrush, White-starred Robin, Archer's Ground Robin, Stripebreasted Tit, the beautiful Grey-chested Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler, Mountain Masked, Ruwenzori, and Chestnut-throated Apalises, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Whitetailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Ruwenzori Batis, Mountain Sooty Boubou, the rare Lagden’s Bushshrike, Sharpe’s Starling, Mountain Oriole, Strange Weaver, and Oriole Finch. Flowering trees attract the incredible Blue-headed, Regal Sunbird and scarce Purple-breasted Sunbird, all three being extremely beautiful Albertine Rift Endemics. Dusky, Red-faced and the elusive Shelley’s Crimsonwings, amongst the most beautiful and sought-after of African seedeaters, are possible at Ruhija. At night we will set out to search for Ruwenzori Nightjar, African Wood Owl and Spectacled Galago. If we are very fortunate, Fraser’s Eagle-Owl may be seen. Day 17: Ruhija to Lake Mburo National Park. After enjoying a morning of further birding at Ruhija we will head north again. Travelling through mixed broad-leafed and Acacia woodlands and wetlands, we will arrive at Lake Mburo National Park for a two night stay at the comfortable Mantana tented camp situated within the park. A late afternoon drive may produce a variety of birds and mammals and we hope to see African Scops Owl, which is a resident in the camp itself.
Day 18: Lake Mburo National Park.
We will spend all of today birding in Lake Mburo National Park, a superb wetland and Acacia savanna sanctuary that hosts some sought-after species. Raptor watching will be a major feature of our day.
Potentials include African Marsh Harrier, White-backed, Lappet-faced and White-headed Vultures, Brown Snake Eagle and African Hawk-Eagle. Lake Mburo’s woodlands are the northern-most example of the southern savanna system and are therefore home to several species at the edge of their range.
Most sought-after of these is the elusive Red-faced Barbet, known only from remote north-eastern Tanzania, Rwanda, and here. We will also search for Crested and Coqui Francolins, Emeraldspotted Wood Dove, Red-chested, Jacobin, Levaillant’s, Klaas’s and Dideric Cuckoos, Blue-naped and Speckled Mousebirds, Lilacbreasted Roller, Striped Kingfisher, Green Wood Hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Nubian and Bearded Woodpeckers, several swallows including Lesser Striped, Red-breasted, Mosque, Red-rumped and White-headed Saw-wing, Black Cuckooshrike, White-browed Scrub Robin, Trilling Cisticola, the meadowlark-like Yellow-throated Longclaw, Chinspot Batis, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Grey Penduline Tit, Arrow-marked Babbler, Brubru, Wattled Starling, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Marico Sunbird and Red-headed Weaver.
Specials we will watch for include African Finfoot, Long-tailed Cisticola and Green-capped Eremomela. Mammals we may find include foraging groups of Banded and Dwarf Mongoose surveying the world from atop their adopted termite mounds, Common Zebra, Hippopotamus, Common Warthog, Eland (the world’s largest antelope), Defassa Waterbuck, Bohor Reedbuck, Impala, Oribi, and Topi. Just outside the park, we will come across some of the worldfamous long-horned Ankole cattle.
Day 19: Lake Mburo National Park to Entebbe and departure.
After final early morning birding at Lake Mburo, we will make our way back to Entebbe. If time allows we will visit the extensive, 100- year-old Entebbe Botanical Gardens. We will concentrate on finding the area’s two special birds, the attractive Orange Weaver and the elusive Orange-tufted Sunbird. This area is also weaver-paradise and we may also find Golden-backed, Slender-billed, Northern Brown-throated, Village, Vieillot's Black, Black-headed and Thick-billed Weavers! We may check into a comfortable guesthouse in Entebbe for a few hours to freshen up before our long flights home. Later we will head to Entebbe International Airport for our final departure.
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