23 Days Classic Birding Uganda

Start/End: Kampala

Duration: 23 Days

Activity: Birding

Destinations: Mabamba Swamp,Rubanga forest,Mgahinga National Park,Echuya Forest, Mubwindi swamp, Munyaga trail, Ishasha sector, Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plains, Kazinga channel, Lake Albert, Kibale forest, Bigodi wetland, Murchison falls national park.



This 23 Classic Uganda Birding Safari exhausts Uganda’s top birding destinations following well designated trails viewing night birdlife as well on a spot lit night drive in Semliki, watching the magnificent salt lick, enjoying the shoe bill boat ride amongst other activities

Trip Summary

  • Day 1: Arrival
  • Day 2: Birding in Mabamba Swamp.
  • Day 3: Salt lick + birding in Rubanga forest
  • Day 4 &5: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park + birding on the gorge and farm trails.
  • Day 6: Echuya Forest
  • Day 7&8: Mubwindi swamp and school trail
  • Day 9, 10&11: Water fall trail, camp area & Munyaga trail
  • Day 12: Birding in Ishasha sector
  • Day 13&14: Ishasha plains, Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plains, birding boat ride Kazinga channel
  • Day 15&16:  Spot lit night drive +shoe bill boat ride on Lake Albert +hot spring visit
  • Day 17&18: Kibale forest and Bigodi wetland
  • Day 19, 20, 21&22: Birding in Murchison falls national park
  • Day 23: Transfer to Kampala (airport transfers)

Day 1: Arrival

Meet our RAK Safaris driver guide on arrival at the airport and transfer to your chosen hotel in Entebbe.

Laicco Lake Victoria (luxury)

The Boma Entebbe (midrange)

Central Inn (budget)

Day 2: birding in Mabamba Swamp.

After breakfast you will drive to Mabamba bay on Lake Victoria. The swamp will offer you opportunities to see lots of swamp specialists and rarities like the shoebill. The swamp also protects other good bird species that includes the swamp fly catcher, African marsh harrier, papyrus Gonolek, African Pygmy Goose, White-backed Duck, black headed weaver, Long Toed plover, whistling duck, gross beak weaver, blue swallow, Lesser Jacana, black kite, Blue Swallow, Fan Tailed Widow Bird, Red Chested Sunbird, Yellow Billed Duck and Hottentot Teal, Blue-breasted Bee-eater and many more.  After lunch drive to Lake Mburo with a lunch stop over en-route.

Rwakobo Lodge for dinner and overnight.


Day 3: salt lick + birding in Rubanga forest 

The day begins early with early morning breakfast and then start our birding/ game drive in the saltlick are of the Park and later a guided walk in Rubanga forest in  search  of the red faced barbet  which is an endemic to this park, the grey crowned crane,  African Fin foot, Spot-flanked barbet, Brown Chested Plover, White Winged Warbler, brown chested lap wing, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Nubian wood pecker, and Crested Barbet, Red shouldered cuckoo shrike, Carruthers’ and Tabora Cisticola, Papyrus Gonolek, Northern Brown Throated Weaver, brown parrot, Scaly-throated Honey guide, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Coqui Francolin, green wood hoopoe  and many more

Mihingo lodge (high end)

Rwakobo rock (mid range)

Eagle’s nest (budget)

Day 4 &5: transfer to Mgahinga National Park + birding on the gorge and farm trails.

After breakfast you will leave for Mgahinga national park via Kabale while birding en-route. On arrival, check into your lodge. During the time spent here be on the lookout for Albertine rift endemics.  Go birding on the farm trail and the gorge trails of Mgahinga national park and look out for birds like; Archer’s Robin chat, Handsome Francolin, scarlet tufted sunbirds, Dusky Turtle Dove, Rwenzori Turaco, western green tinker bird, Kivu Ground Thrush, olive pigeon, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, stripe breasted tit, Malachite Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar, Rwenzori Double Collared Sunbird, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimsonwing, dusky turtle dove, cape Robin and many more.

Ruhija Gorilla safari lodge (high end)

Haven lodge (midrange)

Trekkers Tavern (budget)

Day 6: Echuya Forest

The forest hosts over 150 bird species with 18 of these being endemic to the reserve. Set off for Echuya forest with your picnic lunch after breakfast at your lodge. Look out for species like; the mountain masked Apalis, Grauer’s warbler, Many-coloured bush shrike, Mountain Hill Babbler, Dwarf honey guide, Doherty’s, and Ludher’s Bush-Shrike, Northern Double Collared Sunbird,  Lagden’s bush shrike Black Faced Rufous Warbler among others.

Ruhija Gorilla safari lodge (high end)

Haven lodge (midrange)

Trekkers Tavern (budget)

Day 7&8: Mubwindi swamp and school trail

On these two days you will be birding in Bwindi impenetrable forest specifically the Mubwindi swamp and the school trail. It’s advisable that you wear light rain gear and sturdy walking shoes because Bwindi is a rain forest and can have a slippery terrain sometimes. Look out for species like; fine banded wood pecker, chest nut throated Apalis, the African Green Broadbill, bar tailed trogon, Strange Weaver, Yellow- Eyed Black Flycatcher, white bellied Robin chat, Purple Breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Olive Pigeon, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Nightjar and Grauer’s Warbler among others.

Ruhija Gorilla safari lodge (high end)

Haven lodge (midrange)

Trekkers Tavern (budget)

Day 9, 10&11: water fall trail, camp area & Munyaga trail

Leave the Ruhija sector of Bwindi and transfer to Buhoma sector of Bwindi forest. You will spend three days birding along the water fall trail, munyaga trail and camp area. Look out for the Bronze napped pigeon, Chapin’s fly catcher, , Mountain Illadopses, black billed weaver, dusky tit, strange weaver, Stripe Breasted Tit, Bronze Napped Pigeon, Black Bee-eater, White Bellied Robin Chat,  Brown Caped Weaver, Willcock’s honey guide, dwarf Honeyguide  Kivu ground thrush, Dusky cuckoo, read throated alethe, Forest Ground Thrush,  Red Fronted Antpecker,; the Short Tailed Warbler, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Kivu Ground Thrush, Many-Coloured Bush Shrike, White Collared Olive Back and Black Faced Rufous Warbler among others.

Engagi lodge (high end)

Silver back lodge (midrange)

Buhoma community rest camp (budget)

Day 12: birding in Ishasha sector

Leave Bwindi after breakfast and transfer to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park.
You will arrive at lunchtime, check into your lodge and have lunch then enjoy an afternoon birding drive looking out for Brown Chested Plover, Wattled starling, Diederick’s Cuckoo, Ruppel’s Griffon vulture,  Bateluer, White Backed vulture, Black Rumped Buttonquail, and Lappet Faced Vultures, and Violet Backed Starlings  and lots of wildlife like the tree climbing lion, elephants, warthogs and many more

Ishasha wilderness camp (high end)

Savanna Hotel (midrange)

Enjojo lodge (budget)

Day 13&14: Ishasha plains, Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plains, birding boat ride Kazinga channel

On Day 15, you will have a morning drive in the Ishasha plains after breakfast, we go for another birding drive in the Ishasha plains with possible sightings of Western-banded eagle, White-back vulture, Martial Eagle, Brown Snake-Eagle, Lappet-faced eagle, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture then transfer to Mweya after lunch. Go birding in the Kasenyi plains on Day 16 followed by a boat ride on Kazinga channel. Expect to see species like Vereaux’s Eagle-Owl, African fish eagle, Plain-backed and Grassland Pipit, African Reed, Wing-snapping cisticola, Temminck’s Courser, Eurasian Reed and Sedge Warblers, Broad-tailed Warblers, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged butter quail,  African Skimmer, Greater Swamp, Lesser Swamp, Common Button-quail, Black-crowned Tchagra, Winding, Stout, Croaking and Zitting Cisticola, African Crake, Collared Pratincole, Grey-headed gull, Common Black-headed Gull, African Moustached and among others.

Mweya Safari lodge (high end)

Ihamba Safari Camp (midrange)

Queen Elizabeth Bush lodge (budget)


Day 15&16:  spot lit night drive +shoe bill boat ride on Lake Albert +hot spring visit

You will drive to Semliki national park after breakfast. Check into your lodge on arrival and relax and freshen up. At night enjoy a guided spot lit drive to view night bird and wildlife. Visit the sempaya hot springs and enjoy an egg boiled in the hot springs. Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Albert to view the shoe bill and lots of other birds. Capuchin Babbler, White-thighed horn bill, and White-bellied Kingfisher, Black Dwarf, Black-casqued Wattled hornbill, and Zenker’s Honey guide, African Piculet, , Spotted honey guide, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Nicatoer, Red-billed Dwarf hornbill, Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed honey guide, Icterine Greenbul, Forest Scrub Robin, Nkurengu Rail, Shining-blue king fisher, Oberlaender’s Ground Thrush, Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Swamp-palm Bulbul, Orange-tufted Sunbird, White-crested, and Piping Hornbills and lots more

Semliki Safari lodge (high end)

Kanyanchu bandas (budget)

Day 17&18: Kibale forest and Bigodi wetland

Check out of your lodge in Semliki national park and drive to Fortportal home of Kibale forest national park. The park has over 335 bird species with lots of swamp and forest specialists. With forest walks and guided walks in Bigodi swamp expect possible viewings of African Crowned Eagle, Mountain Wagtail Purple-headed Starling, Scaly Illadopsis, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Toro Olive,  White-spotted Flufftail, Afep Pigeon, Gross- Splendid starling, Cardinal Woodpecker, Green-breasted Pitta, Buff-spotted woodpecker, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Woodhouse’s Antpecker, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Green-backed Twinspot, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Grey-winged and Red-caped Robin Chat, African Broadbill, Lesser, Willcock’s honeyguide,  Chestnut-winged, Dark-backed Weaver, Red-headed Bluebill, Red-chested Owlet, Thick-billed Honeyguide,  Red-thighed Sparrow hawk, Booted Eagle, Claas’s Cuckoo, Pale-fronted negrofinch, Northern Bearded Scrub-Robin, Diederik cuckoo, Lead-coloured, Cassins and, Cabanis’s, Litlle Grey and Xavier’s Greenbul Chestnut-breasted Nigrofinch and lots more

Primate lodge (high end)

Kluge’s guest farm (midrange)

Kibale forest camp (budget)

Day 19, 20, 21&22: birding in Murchison falls national park

Leave Kibale after breakfast and have a long days drive to Masindi reaching Murchison falls late in the evening with a stopover for lunch enroute. Murchison falls is the largest national park in Uganda. You will go birding along the Royal mile, Busingiro, along Paraa road, in Kaniyo Pabidi forest and also along the Nile on a boat ride to the bottom of Murchison falls. Expect to see lots of birds like, Pygmy Kingfisher, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Sooty Flycatcher, Buff-throated Apalis, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul African Shrike Flycatcher, Chestnut-caped and Forest Flycatcher Spotted, the Yellow and Grey Longbills, Chestnut Wattle-eye Green Crombec, Greenbul, Brown-eared Woodpecker, African Dwarf king fisher, Rufous-sided Broadbill Chocolate-backed kingfisher and Crowned Eagle, Yellow-spotted, Fairy-breasted and Yellow-billed Barbets, and Jameson’s Wattle-eye greenbull Scaly-breasted, Brown and  Puvel”s Illadopsis, , Fire-Crested and Brown-cheted Aleth, Green Hylia, Black-throated Apalis,Collared, Superb and Green Sunbird, Sabine’s and Casin’s Spinetail to mention but a few.

The boat cruise will also grant you opportunities to see hartebeests, elephants, hippos, Nile crocodiles, lots of antelopes that water at the river banks and lots of water birds like the Pied kingfisher, papyrus warbler, shoe bill and lots more.


Paraa lodge (high end)

Fort Murchison lodge (midrange)

The Red Chilli (budget)

Day 23: transfer to Kampala (airport transfers)

Leave Masindi after a game drive in Murchison falls and  transfer back to Kampala with a lunch stop over and birding enroute. You will be transferred to the airport to board your home flight.


End of Safari

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