Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour
Fox’s Weaver (Uganda’s only endemic bird species)
Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour
TOP BIRDS OF THE TOUR – AS VOTED BY GUESTS
- Fox’s Weaver
- Red-pate Cisticola
- African Grey Parrot
- Black-billed Turaco
- Great Blue Turaco
- Black-headed Gonolek
- Blue-breasted Kingfisher
TOP MAMMALS OF THE TOUR – AS VOTED BY GUESTS
- Common Chimpanzee
- Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey
- Roan Antelope
- Boehm’s Bush Squirrel
DAY 1: 27/04/2022 – ARRIVAL IN ENTEBBE; MPANGA FOREST RESERVE TO MABIRA FOREST
The Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour kicked off by landing at the Entebbe International Airport, where our dedicated Driver-Guide, Veronica, was awaiting us. It was a smooth transit through the town and onwards to the road leading to Mpanga Forest Reserve.
We enjoyed amazing roadside birding with sightings such as Broad-billed Roller, Woodland Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Slender-billed Weaver, Meyer’s Parrot, African Grey Parrot, Lizard Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, Splendid Starling and Piapiac.
Soon we arrived at Mpanga Forest where great birds were awaiting us. Right at the forest edge we enjoyed many Black-and-white-Casqued Hornbills feeding loudly. We then took some trails into the forest scoring Black-billed Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, White-spotted Flufftails calling along the streams, Green Twinspot, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Western Nicator, Blue Malkoha/ Yellowbill, Black-and-white Shrike-Flycacther/ Vanga Flycatcher, Green Hylia, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, Palm-nut Vulture, White-breasted Nigrita, Crowned Eagle, Speckled Tinkerbird, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher/ Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher and Fraser’s Rufous Thrush/ Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush.
Mammals seen here included the Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey and Banded Mongoose.
After a lunch break, we continued our Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour to Mabira Forest enjoying roadside birds like Hooded Vulture and Black-winged Kite.
At Mabira Forest, Western Tree Hyraxes entertained us at night with their distinctive sounds.
DAY 2: 28/04/2022 – MABIRA FOREST TO PIAN UPE GAME RESERVE
We had a wonderful birding session in Mabira Forest as we scanned the undergrowth as well as the tall trees. We worked mainly along the large and wide trails, but also enjoyed a few inner tracks. It was a warm and sunny day and the light was perfect for forest birds.
Our main target was the Forest Robin, which outdid itself by showing very well. This was a major highlight for our Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour. We enjoyed close views of one adult bird, and later heard many more along different trails. Other exciting birds we had in Mabira Forest included Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Purple-banded Sunbird, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Yellow-lored/ Lesser/ Green-tailed Bristlebill, Plain Greenbul, Blue Malkoha, Western Oriole, Black-billed Turaco, African Grey Parrot, Ashy Flycatcher, Black-necked Weaver, Black-headed/ Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, brief fly-by of a Blue-breasted Kingfisher and African Pied Hornbill.
Mammals seen in Mabira Forest included the Red-legged Sun Squirrel, Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey and Uganda Grey-cheeked Mangabey.
We then took a drive North, passing Mt. Elgon to our right and onwards to Pian Upe Game Reserve, where our Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour was keen to find Uganda’s only endemic bird species – the Fox’s Weaver.
Roadside birds included Fan-tailed Widowbird, Rattling Cisticola, Singing Cisticola, African Openbill, Eastern Plantain-eater, Superb Starling, Shelley’s Rufous Sparrow, Grey-backed Fiscal, Grey Crowned Crane, Grey Kestrel and Silverbird.
We also enjoyed two new reptiles at our lunch stop, Malaba/ Brian Finch’s Rock Agama and Striped Skink.
DAY 3: 29/04/2022 – PIAN UPE GAME RESERVE
Today was a super special day on the Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour, when we were aiming to find our top target – the only endemic bird species in Uganda, the Fox’s Weaver. We started the morning with a host of birds around camp, including Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-crowned Tchagra, Moustached Grass Warbler, Yellow-fronted Canary, Flappet Lark and White-headed Barbet.
We then ventured deeper into the Pian Upe Game Reserve; with our Local Guide, Daniel. The habitat was quite ideal and many sections of the reserve had received good rainfall. The Whistling-thorn Acacias were still dominant in most sections. Here we added White Stork, Abdim’s Stork, Croaking Cisticola, Red-pate Cisticola, Little Weaver, Western Black-headed Batis, Blue-naped Mousebird, Black-billed Barbet, Plain-backed Pipit, Black-bellied Bustard, Ruppell’s Vulture, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Green-backed Eremomela and Lesser Blue-eared Starling. Soon we started scoring our main target – the Fox’s Weaver. We enjoyed several pairs at different sites, including one pair that was building a nest. This marked the cream of our entire Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour.
In the afternoon, we embarked on searching for another special bird of Pian Upe Game Reserve and the Teso-Karamoja region. We managed to get two individuals of the range-restricted Karamoja Apalis, and managed to follow one bird for some minutes. Other birds seen in the afternoon hours included Northern Puffback, Heuglin’s Wheatear, Fox Kestrel and Brown Snake Eagle.
Mammals were great all day and we scored Roan Antelope, Defassa Waterbuck, Olive Baboon, Common Zebra, Bohor Reedbuck, Topi, Lelwel Hartebeest and Oribi.
We also enjoyed great views of the Tropical House Gecko and African Five-lined Skink.
DAY 4: 30/04/2022 – PIAN UPE GAME RESERVE TO MASINDI
We had a long day ahead of us connecting from Pian Upe Game Reserve to Masindi. The day was very exciting, as we enjoyed views of Uganda’s best-kept countryside. We were able to view different crops and farming methods along the way.
We enjoyed crossing the Victoria Nile on our way near Karuma Game Reserve. Other iconic landscapes included the marshy Lake Kyoga fringes, Mt. Elgon and a morning view of Mt. Kadam.
We enjoyed many roadside birding spots on the way scoring species such as Abyssinian Roller, African Palm Swift, Red-chested Sunbird, Black-headed/ Yellow-backed Weaver, African Jacana, African Openbill, Long-toed Lapwing, White-faced Whistling Duck, Winding Cisticola, Crested Francolin, Diederik Cuckoo, Black-headed Gonolek, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Western Yellow Wagtail, Spotted Morning/ Palm Thrush, D’Arnaud’s Barbet and Piapiac.
We arrived in Masindi in good time to rest for the next day – when we would explore the famous Royal Mile; an iconic destination on the Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour.
DAY 5: 01/05/2022 – BUDONGO FOREST AND THE ROYAL MILE
We woke up to the sound of a very happy Woodland Kingfisher. Other birds that were early at Masindi Hotel included African Emerald Cuckoo and African Thrush.
We then started our drive to Budongo Forest and the Royal Mile; as we enjoyed roadside birds. We made several stops along the way to bird some active spots and pick up our Local Guide, Raymond. Here we added Black-crowned Waxbill, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Brown Babbler, Western Citril, African/ Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Yellow-mantled Widowbird and Red-collared Widowbird.
As we entered Budongo Forest, we managed to get a very obliging pair of Chestnut-capped Flycatchers, Little Greenbul, Little Grey Greenbul and Superb Sunbird. We then continued to the Royal Mile, which is the most famous birding trail in Budongo Forest. Here we birded all day as we also explored the thinner trails branching out into the forest. We scored many exciting species including Blue-breasted Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Little Green Sunbird, Green/ Grey-chinned Sunbird, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Willcock’s Honeyguide, White-thighed Hornbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Green Twinspot, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Yellow-crested/ Golden-crowned Woodpecker, Crowned Eagle, Grey Longbill, White-throated Greenbul, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, a brief view of Ituri Batis and Western Nicator.
Mammals were also active all day and we scored Western Guereza, Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey and Stuhlmann’s Blue Monkey.
DAY 6: 02/05/2022 – KANIYO PABIDI FOREST AND MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK; TO KIBALE FOREST
We had a great time exploring Muchison Falls National Park and the Northern tip of Budongo Forest, known as Kaniyo Pabidi. The forest here was alive with bird sounds and we also enjoyed some great sightings adding to our Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour. We then explored the savannah woodland habitat on the South and East of Muchison Falls National Park; all through to the top of the Muchison Falls (Kabalega Falls).
Birds seen included Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Village Weaver, Whistling Cisticola, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Rock Pratincole, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, White-rumped Swift, Woolly-necked Stork, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Pin-tailed Whydah, Thick-billed/ Grosbeak Weaver, a calling White-spotted Flufftail, Lizard Buzzard, Grey-headed Nigrita, Helmeted Guineafowl, Lesser Striped Swallow and Blue-throated Roller.
Mammals seen included Common Warthog, Western Guereza, Olive Baboon, Bushbuck and Uganda Kob (a range-restricted highlight species seen on the Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour).
We then embarked on our drive South towards Kibale Forest National Park. Roadside birds were active all through including Ruppell’s Starling, Grey Kestrel and Eastern Plantain-eater.
DAY 7: 03/05/2022 – KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK, CHIMPANZEE TREKKING AND BIGODI SWAMP WALK
We had a whole day to explore the vast habitat types around Kibale Forest National Park; a key location on the Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour. We started the morning with a walk along the Bigodi Swamp. Here birds were very active with Great Blue Turacos and Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills welcoming us. We walked on the main trail, as we recorded birds along the way. Other birds we managed to record here included singing White-spotted Flufftail and Brown Illadopsis. We had great views of Little Greenbul, Grey-headed Nigrita, Yellow-billed Barbet, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Western Nicator, Black-necked Weaver and Green Crombec.
We also enjoyed good views of Olive Baboon, Boehm’s Bush Squirrel, Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey and Uganda Grey-cheeked Mangabey. We then enjoyed a mid-morning Common Chimpanzee trek deeper into Kibale Forest. We had a wonderful family that gave us great views. Near the Common Chimpanzees was a very loud Narina Trogon, Yellow-spotted Barbet and Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush.
Our afternoon birding session was also very successful. We enjoyed birding the wide roads in Kibale Forest as we sought new species. We scored Purple-headed Starling, African Green Pigeon, African Grey Parrot, Honeyguide Greenbul, Superb Sunbird, Bocage’s Bush-Shrike, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, Northern Yellow White-eye, African Palm Swift and a nesting pair of Vanga/ Black-and-white Shrike-Flycatcher. African Wood Owls entertained us in the evening with their distinct calls.
We also managed to add the Jackson’s Tree Snake to our reptiles list – a mega find for our Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour.
DAY 8: 04/05/2022 – KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK TO ENTEBBE
We had a morning birding session in Kibale Forest before heading back to Entebbe. We walked inner forest trails as well as wider roads, seeking the local birds. We recorded birds’ species such as Olive-bellied Sunbird, Green-headed Sunbird, Green Hylia, Grey Crowned Crane, Blue Malkoha, African Goshawk and Blue-throated Roller. On the way out from Kibale Forest, we enjoyed roadside birds such as African Stonechat, Long-crested Eagle, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater and African Harrier-Hawk.
We enjoyed two beautiful Blue Duikers along the forest trails; at different spots. This is a great mammal to see and one of the highlights of our Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour. We also had great views of Olive Baboons and a Western Guereza family.
We then headed back to Entebbe to catch our evening flights; marking the end to our lovely Uganda Birding and Wildlife Custom Safari Tour.
Schmidt’s Red-tailed Monkey
Mt. Kadam from Pian Upe Game Reserve
African Five-lined Skink