Day 1: Arrival for our savannah birding tour in Uganda
Arrival and transfer to Cassia or Lindsay Cottages for overnight stay. BB
Day 2: Birding to Namugabo Wetland
After breakfast, we bird to Nabugabo near Mabamba Wetland. This large wetland as just been discovered as a new birding site and a far better option that Mabamba an IBA on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is 57km west of Kampala. This is the home of the Shoebill stork. Other special birds on this trail include Lesser Jacana, Blue Swallow, Northern Brown Throated Weaver, Purple and Allen’s Galinule, Common and Lesser Moorhen, White Faced and Fulvous Whistling duck, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, Glossy Ibis, African Pygmy-Goose, Spur-winged Geese, Long-toed Lapwing, Blue-breasted and Madagascar Bee-eaters, Gray-rumped Swallow, Greater Swamp-Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Slender-billed Weaver, Lizard Buzzard, African Pygmy and Malachite Kingfisher, White Winged Tern, Grey Headed Gull, Black Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Three Banded Plover, African Wattled Plover and many more.
Day 3: Birding vacation to Murchison Falls
After breakfast we drive northwards through the Luwero triangle to Murchison Falls conservation area with a stopover for lunch probably in Masindi. This park is the largest protected area in Uganda and bisected by the Victoria Nile. Murchison falls has about three different eco systems namely; savannah which is woodland and grassland, riverine, tropical forest and woodland together with many water ecosystems. This park has a variety of wildlife which includes among others the Lions, Leopards, Reedbucks, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Hartebeest, Oribis, Uganda Kobs, Chimpanzees and many bird species including the rare Shoebill. Actually this is the 3rd best birding site in Africa according to African Bird Club.
we shall spend our nights at Paraa Safari Lodge of Sambiya River Lodge.
Day 4: Birding on the northern bank of the park.
We start birding after an early breakfast. If we spent a night at sambiya we cross with the very of 7:00 o’clock and do a birding drive which will take us upto the Albert delta point. Special birds to look out for here include Shoebill, Northern Carmine Bee-Eater, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, White Browed Sparrow Weaver, Silver bird, Buff-bellied Warbler Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Senegal Thick-knee, Osprey, Water Thick-knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Hauglin’s Francolin, Black Billed Wood-Dove, Namaqua dove, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, White Rumped Seed Eater, Red-throated Bee-eater, Beautiful Sunbird, Speckle-fronted and Golden-backed Weavers, White rumped canary etc. The boat trip we do today’s afternoon takes us to the bottom of the Falls where we have the biggest concentration of hippos, crocodile, and a variety of bird life. Look out for birds like the Yellow Billed Stork, Egyptian Plover, Red Chested Bee-Eater, White Faced and Fulvous Whistling Duck, Rock Pratincole, Wire Tailed Swallow Goliath and Purple Heron etc.
Day 5: Birding tour to Fort Portal
This is a whole day drive. We many stopovers enroute to stretch up we look out for special birds which might be missed else where. We stay at Rwenzori View Guest House or Mountains of the Moon Hotel.
Day 6: Birding to Queen Elizabeth
In the morning we start and head to Queen Elizabeth National Park which is the 2nd largest National Park in Uganda, with its varied habitats this park boats of 612 recorded species of birds. On this day, we shall do birding as we get into the park looking out for special savannah species like the African Moustached and Broad Tailed Warbler, Black and Senegal Coucal, Brown Backed and White Browed Scrub Robin, Hollub’s Golden Weaver, Common Quail and many more species. In the afternoon we take a two hours launch cruise along the Kazinga Channel. This is a natural channel joining Lakes George and Edward, and is one of the most productive birding cruises on the planet. Schools of hippos, huge families of buffalos, elephants and other Antelopes come to take water in the hot dry afternoons. Lots of birds are found here including the African Skimmers, African Spoonbill, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, African Crake, many migrants including the Grey Plover, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Herring Gull and many more, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Grey-headed Gull, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Collard Pratincole, Yellow-billed Ox-pecker etc. dinner and over night stay Mweya safari Lodge or Hostels
Day 7: Birding tour to southern Queen Elizabeth – Ishasha sector
With our picnic lunch we start our birding drive towards the Ishasha sector birding all way through. A game drive in this Sector exposes us to the Red Backed Shrike, Red-necked Spurfowl, Arrow-marked and Sharpe’s Babbler, White-backed, Rupell’s Grifon, Palm Nut and Hooded Vulture, Violet-backed Starling, Brown, Black-Chested and Western banded Snake-Eagle, Holub’s Golden-backed Weaver, Greater and Lesser Honeyguide, Trilling, Stout, Wing-Snapping and Croaking Cisticola, Grassland Pipit, Cardinal Woodpecker, African Wattled Lapwing, Pintail Snipe, Common Drongo, Blue-naped Mousebird, Double Toothed, White Headed Barbet and Spot Flanked, Yeloow Fronted Tinkerbird, African Cuckoo Hawk and many more savannah genus. As we carry on with the drive we should remember that this part of Uganda is home to the rare tree climbing lions and thus on a lucky day, we may come across some. We late drive back and spend our night at the previous place of accommodation
Day 8: Savannah Birding to Lake Mburo Savannah Park
After early morning breakfast we checkout and start our birding to Lake Mburo national park. This is one of the most accessible national parks in Uganda and one we can explore on foot with an armed ranger. It harbors several species of mammals which do not exist in the southern hemisphere of Uganda and among these are the Zebra, Impala, Eland, Topi, oribi, the Roan Antelope used to roam here but has not been seen in many months. Here we are at the epitome of savannah birding with special species like the Green – backed Woodpecker, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Temmincks Courser, Common Quails, Green Wood hoopoe, Blue-naped Mouse bird, Bare-faced Go-away Bird Coqui Fancolin, Green Capped Eremomela, Yellow Bellied Apalis, Nubian Woodpecker, Black Cuckoo-Shrike Brown-chested Plover, Lilac-breasted Roller, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow Southern Ground Hornbill if rarely seen, Spot-flanked, Red-faced and Black-collared Barbets, of the 313 different bird species and dominated by savannah, water birds like the rare Shoebill, White-winged Warblers, African Finfoot, Giant Kingfisher, White Backed Night Heron, Little Bittern, papyrus Yellow Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek among others, we spend or night at Arcadia Cottages or Mantana Tented Camp for two nights
Day 9: Birding Lake Mburo National Park
We look out for the missed species on day 8. we shall be driving, or we can choose to do a walk and later have a boat ride on the lake. FB
Day 10: Birding to Entebbe
Morning birding and then transfer to Entebbe we can chose to pass via Kampala or use the Mpigi route which gives us a chance of finding the papyrus gonolek or Shoebill if missed on our past days. End of our Uganda Savannah birding safari.