A Complete 20 Days Uganda Bird Watching Itinerary Guide

Among the most easily accessible ecosystems on the African continent, 34 significant bird-watching locations are spread out across Uganda. These areas are home to more than 1,075 species of birds. This action-packed adventure excursion is perfect for those who adore small birds, as well as those who are interested in seeing primates and other species.

Those interested in wildlife and birds will have a blast on this safari in Uganda. Birdwatchers will visit the best places in Uganda to see birds during the 20-day adventure. It capitalizes on the fact that birdwatchers in national parks really can’t help but notice the presence of wild animals. The most cherished aspect of traveling to Africa is the trekking excursion when you get to walk amongst apes like mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.

Starting in Entebbe, you embark on a northerly trek to discover the elusive shoebill. in the way, you stop in Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, among other stops in the western safari circuit.

Review the comprehensive schedule down below;

Birding Uganda – Shoebill in Mabamba Swamp


  • Accommodation in mid-range-priced lodges and meals as indicated in itinerary
  • 1 gorilla trekking permit ($800) and 1 chimpanzee trekking permit ($250) in Uganda
  • Park entrance fees and birding permits
  • All excursions and activities as indicated in the itinerary under the supervision of a professional English-speaking birding guide.
  • Ground transport and transfers in a 4×4 Custom Safari Landcruiser
  • Government taxes


  • Travel insurance
  • International flights
  • Visa fees and processing
  • Extra activities and meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Extra luggage on domestic flights
  • Service tips, gratuities, souvenirs, and snacks
  • Accommodation after the end of the trip

Detailed Itinerary: 20 Days Uganda Bird Watching

Day 1: Arrival — Entebbe

After a short (15-minute) ride, our driver will get you from Entebbe International Airport and drop you off at your hotel in the city. Prior to supper, you will have a meeting with your trip expert.

A wonderful way to get to know the avian fauna of Entebbe is to stay at Papyrus Guesthouse, where you may hear some native birdsong in the garden trees. Great Blue Turacos, Crowned Hornbills, White-throated Bee-eaters, Yellow Wagtails, Northern Brown-throated Weavers, lizard buzzards, and Eastern Grey Plantain Eaters make rare sightings.

Day 2: Mabamba Swamps — Shoebill tracking

Your first bird-watching adventure in Uganda will begin with an early breakfast and a canoe ride to the Mabamba Wetlands, which are located on the shores of Lake Victoria. One of the few remaining wetlands in the country that is managed by the local community is Mabamba, a Ramsar-protected wetland. A maze of waterways and lagoons make up this vast papyrus wetland. The most well-known bird in Uganda, the prehistoric shoebill enormous bird, calls this place home. Among the most coveted birds in Africa, this monotypic species is undeniably captivating.

Today, we will take extra precautions by paddling our boat through the channels in an attempt to locate the shoebills. Classic East African water bird species such as the Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Yellow-billed Duck, Malachite Kingfisher, Long-toed Plover, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, etc. will undoubtedly be visible along the route.

You can spot a wide variety of species on your birding journey back to Entebbe. Keep an eye out for the African open-billed stork, grey kestrel, African green pigeon, great blue turaco, Ross’s turaco, red-headed lovebird, swifts, sunbirds, weavers, finches, and more.

Day 3: Entebbe – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

A Journey to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Uganda

Your first country road trip will depart from Entebbe and head north to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is a few kilometers outside of Murchison Falls National Park. This will be followed by breakfast. After checking in, you’ll have lunch before hiking around the property to see the beloved birds and the endangered white rhinos.

The entire day will be devoted to birdwatching as you make your way around the sanctuary, which spans 70 square kilometers (7,000 acres). A 2-meter (6.6 ft) electrified fence surrounds Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Countless bird species, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, antelopes, and monkeys are among the forty or more animal and reptilian species that call this place home.

Some of the more common birds that you might see include the following: Long-crested Eagle, Crested Francolin, White-crested Turaco, Blue-naped Mousebird, Nubian Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grey Woodpecker, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Tropical Boubou, Black-headed Gonolek, Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird, and many more.

Day 4: Ziwa Ranch to Murchison Falls

You will return to the Ziwa wilderness after breakfast to make up for any time lost the day before.

Keep an eye out for a variety of birds, including the following: Western Banded Snake-Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Bateleur, Long-crested Eagle, Crested Francolin, White-crested Turaco, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Red-chested Cuckoo, Black Cuckoo, African Scops-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Square-tailed Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Blue-naped Mousebird, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Green Wood-hoopoe, African Hoopoe, White-headed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, and many more.

After lunch, you’ll spend the next three hours driving to Murchison Falls National Park, where you can go birdwatching. At one point, you will go dramatically past the peak of the mighty Murchison Falls. After that, you’ll make your way to the river’s shore, where you’ll witness the magnificent 35-meter-tall fall of the mighty Nile as it rushes through a narrow rocky gorge.

Be on the lookout for a variety of species around the falls, including raptors, rock pratincole, white-crowned barbet, red-throated bee-eater, silverbird, red-cheeked cordon blue, waxbills, finches, canaries, sunbirds, and white-crested turaco.

Day 5: Wildlife & Birds of Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park | Uganda

Join your safari guide for an early morning game drive on the southern tracks after breakfast. This is the greatest time to see the early risers because that’s when they’re most active.

This national reserve is home to a wide variety of animals, so you can go birdwatching or see some of your safari favorites up close. While Murchison Falls National Park is missing a rhino, it more than makes up for it with its other major five attractions. On the grasslands, you can frequently see elephants and buffalo. The plentiful Uganda kob herds are guarded by a robust lion population. This area is home to a wide variety of antelopes, including as the oribi, bushbuck, defassa waterbuck, grey duiker, and Jackson’s hartebeest. Before heading out again, you’ll have lunch at the camp.

After lunch, make your way to the northern bank of Paraa. From there, you can take a boat ride to the base of the fall, where you can see a variety of birds, crocodiles, and hundreds of hippos.

Keep an eye out for a variety of birds, including the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-headed Plover, Rock Pratincole, Swallow-tailed Bee-Eater, Red-throated Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, Spotted Morning Thrush, Speckle faced Weaver, and White-browed Sparrow Weaver. creatures such as the elegant Roth young giraffe, Uganda Kob, Defassa Waterbuck, Buffalo, Elephants, Warthog, Hippos, Oribi, and occasionally a leopard or lion are among the creatures to keep an eye out for.

Day 6: Drive Murchison – Hoima

You will enjoy excellent views of Lake Albert as you drive back to Masindi over the rift valley escarpment after breakfast, so be sure to bring your packed lunch.

Time allowing, you will have the opportunity to go birdwatching on the escarpment before visiting Busingiro Forest Centre.

When birdwatching near or along a road, keep an eye out for a variety of species, including but not limited to: Cliff Chat, Spotted Morning Thrush, Red-faced Crombec, Rattling Cisticola, Black-headed Batis, Red-winged Ptyalin, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Black-faced Waxbill, and Striped Kingfisher.

Day 7: Birding in Budongo Forest – Kibale Forest

After a hearty breakfast and your picnic lunch, your driver will take you to Budongo Forest, close to the southern entrance of Murchison Falls National Park, to see the Royal Mile birds.

When birdwatchers enter the fabled Royal Mile in Budongo Forest, they may break into a knowing grin and a contented grin. A number of Uganda’s most virgin forest ecosystems are accessible via this route. A canopy of towering, neck-cramping mahoganies, ironwoods, and figs is just what small songbirds crave. The verdant underbrush provides habitat for a wide variety of species while also providing excellent observational opportunities. If you’re looking for the best forest birding, this is the place for you.

Birdwatchers will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Uganda Woodland-Warbler, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, African Forest-Flycatcher, and the endemic White-thighed Hornbill the moment they step foot in the forest.

Among the several kingfishers that inhabit the Royal Mile, the elusive but captivating Chocolate-backed Kingfisher is the one that attracts the greatest attention from birdwatchers. But don’t miss the delicious birds, such as the Crowned Eagle, Magpie Mannikin, Red-chested Cuckoo, sunbirds, and greenbuls.

As you go down the Royal Mile, keep an eye out for primates such as black and white Colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and blue monkeys.

The next stop is Kibale National Park, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 8: Chimps Troops & Birds of Kibale Forest

Chimpanzees of Kibale and Budongo Forest and Birding in Bigodi Wetlands

Get up and moving by 7:30 in the morning because today is the day you’ll encounter the renowned primates of Uganda on a trekking adventure that pairs wonderfully with bird-watching: a chimpanzee encounter.

There are more primates and chimpanzees on Kibale than any other island. Kibale is home to around 370 species of birds, including some rare and exotic ones like the African pitta, blue-headed bee-eater, Cassin’s spinetail, Masked apalis, and Nahan’s francolin.

Birds such as the Green-breasted Pitta, Yellow-billed Barbet, African Emerald Cuckoo, Black-billed Turaco, Narina Trogon, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Sabine’s Spinetail, Chestnut Wattle-eye, and Narrow-tailed Staring are among the many species to be seen along the chimpanzee trail.

You can spend the afternoon hiking the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary route and seeing birds. As part of this community initiative, knowledgeable guides will lead you on a four-hour hike through an area known to be home to approximately 200 different bird species. Additionally, you may encounter other monkey species on the walk, including the Red Colobus, Black and white Colobus, Olive Baboon, Red-tailed Monkey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, and Grey-cheeked Mangabey.

Day 9: Kihingami Wetland – Semuliki National Park

Embark on an adventurous nature stroll at Kihingami Wetland, located 12 kilometers from Fort Portal, with the help of your Uganda bird-watching safari driver. The timid White-spotted flufftail calls Kihingami home.

The red-bellied paradise flycatcher, black-and-white shrike flycatcher, and red-headed bluebill are among the other species you might spot.

Afternoon hikers should head to Semliki Valley National Park. You can see hornbills of various sizes and shapes, such as white-thighed, dwarf, black-casqued, and white-crested varieties.

Day 10: Birds of Semuliki National Park

Semliki National Park

Abyssinian ground hornbills, African crakes, African pygmy geese, Black-billed barbets, Blue-breasted bee-eaters, Black-chinned quail finches, Black coucals, Broad-billed rollers, Double-toothed barbets, and many more birding specialties are visible in the Semliki Valley. Hortus verdulens, The marsh tchagra, the leaf-love The species list includes the following: Shoebill, Red-throated bee-eater, Piapiac, Pennant-winged nightjar, Moustached grass-warbler, and Red-necked falcon.

You and your walking guide will set off to discover the region’s avian treasures after breakfast.

The Sempaya hot springs and a Pygmy community are two more afternoon activities.

Day 11: Semuliki – Queen Elizabeth National Park

You don’t need to wake up early today. Having a dull and lazy morning may not be possible, though, due to the flying forest musicians.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, the most famous savannah wilderness in Uganda, is approximately three hours’ drive from Semuliki. Of all Ugandan national parks, Queen Elizabeth National Park stands tallest. With a list of bird species that exceeds 600, it ranks first for total diversity.

A variety of habitats may be found inside the park, ranging from the lush Maramagambo forest to the vast, unspoiled savannah, which is home to a wide variety of animals.

Birds such as the White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-billed Barbet, African Emerald Cuckoo, Black-billed Turaco, Kingfishers, Lesser Striped Swallow, Cisiticolas, Shrikes, Starlings, Widowbirds, and many more can be seen on the way to your safari camp.

Day 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda | Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise – Queen Elizabeth National Park

Early birdwatching and a wildlife drive along the Kasenyi paths will put you in the company of one of the grassland’s most prolific early birds. The best time to see lions hunting, leopards, elephants, and buffallo is first thing in the morning.

Afterwards, have lunch and then make your way to Mweya Jetty, where you will be able to board a launch boat on the Kazinga Channel.

Boat safaris in the Kazinga Channel can keep birdwatchers occupied for over two hours due to the abundance of birds in the area. Black crakes, jacanas, open-billed storks, saddle-billed storks, great and long-tailed cormorants, darters, and African shoebills are some of the most common birds seen on the channel.

It is not uncommon to see crocodiles, hippos, and elephants along the Kazinga Channel’s shores.

Day 13: Ishasha Sector – Birds and Tree Lions

Upon waking up, you will go on a game drive to Ishasha Sector in the south of the park to see the wildlife as the sun rises.

Some of the birds you might see at Nyamusingiri near the Maramagambo area include the following: Black Bee Eater, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Snowy-capped Robin-Chat, Buff-throated Apalis, Honeyguide Greenbul, Red-colored Widowbird, and many more.

Lions that are adept in climbing trees are native to the Ishasha region. Additionally, you may come across enormous forest hogs. Buffalo, which are stunning animals, typically have a reddish brown coloration as a result of breeding with forest buffalo found in rainforests. You may be sure that you will see numerous fascinating antelope species, including bushbuck, topi, and Uganda kob.

Day 14: Ishasha – Buhoma (Northern Bwindi)

A trip to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you can see birds and other wildlife, will begin with an early morning drive. The gorilla park’s headquarters and the north gate entry are located in Buhoma Sector, where you’ll find a forest lodge where you’ll need to check in.

Any birdwatching tour in Uganda must include a stop at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Birdwatching in Africa’s highland forests is second to none at the gorilla refuge. There are an estimated 350 bird species in the area, 14 of which are unique to Uganda. Many rare and endangered bird species, such as the blue-headed sunbird and Neumann’s warbler, call this forest home. In fact, it is home to 90% of the endemic bird species in the Albertine Rift.

Birdwatchers can take a leisurely stroll through the forest after settling into their cottage to see common and uncommon birds such as raptors, bee eaters, kingfishers, barbets, tinkerbirds, woodpeckers, apises, honeyguide greenbul, swallows, larks, pipits, chats, shrimpkes, starlings, widowbirds, and many more.

Day 15: Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail Across Bwindi

At around 8:30 in the morning, following a briefing at the resort with your walking safari guide, you will set out on the path. Intense afternoon sunrays will find you under the jungle canopy if you hit the trails in the misty early morning hours. Along for the ride are two rangers armed with rifles and a local guide. Pack lightly; all you need is a daypack, some food, a camera, and some walking shoes. The hike typically takes four to five hours to complete.

Along this path, you can see birds in a montane forest like nowhere else in Africa.

You will need to choose between two paths that converge in the jungle and descend to Buhoma town. The more extensive one meanders across multiple ridges and the Kashasha river, taking around six hours to complete. The shorter one meanders along the Ivy River after beginning at the Kashasha River and continuing along the Nteko valley. The Ivy River Trail begins at Nteko village, which is approximately 15 kilometers away. But for serious ornithologists, the two paths offer the same adrenaline rush.

The following are some of Bwindi’s upcoming specials:

  • Common broadbill in Africa
  • Spotted bee-eater
  • Turaco with a black bill
  • Whip-billed rufous warbler
  • rufous-crowned warbler
  • The sunbird with a blue head
  • A bee-eater with a cinnamon chest
  • the broadbill
  • Lovely francolin
  • A variety of bushshrike
  • The mountain masked apalis and the Neumann’s warbler are all species of birds.
  • The greenbul with olive-breasted
  • Sunbird with a purple breast
  • A magnificent sunbird
  • Western green tinkerbird, Ruwenzori apalis, Shelley’s crimsonwing
  • A greenbul with yellow streaks
    Your driver will be waiting for you when you cross across, and he or she will take you to a cabin in the woods high above the formidable Bwindi Jungle.

Day 16: Rushaga Sector, Buniga/Nombe Forests

The Rushaga section of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a great place to go birdwatching first thing in the morning. The waterfall route leads you through a beautiful tropical rainforest and is a great place to see birds.

Rare and endangered species found only in the Albertine Rift Valley include the Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, the Banded Prinia, the Regal sunbird, and the Short-tailed warbler.

If you’re looking for a place to hike in the sunset sun, try the Nombe or Buniga pocket forests. Beautiful Bwindi specialties such as the Stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, Doherty’s bush shrike, and Purple-breasted sunbird can be seen at these spots.

Day 17: Gorilla Trek or Forest Walking Trail

Gorilla trekking ( Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Uganda)

As you reach the trekking center, a palpable sense of anticipation fills the air, as the first rays of sunlight peek through the verdant canopy of Bwindi. You and the gorillas’ safety is of the utmost importance, as the park rangers emphasize in their 7:30 a.m. regulation. They will pair you with a gorilla family that best suits your interests and activities. This is more than just a stroll; it’s an adventure!

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as your knowledgeable guides lead the way. With its towering trees covered in vines and the melodic chirping of birds, this rainforest is truly alive. Although the going gets tough and the landscape grows wild, the allure of what’s to come motivates you to keep going. Both in locating the gorillas and in divulging the wonders of this extraordinary site, your guides are true masters.

After that, there’s a thrilling moment. Listen closely; the gorillas are close by, the guides say. You feel a chill run down your spine at the slightest sound of nature. A gorgeous silverback and his family appear out of nowhere. You get a glimpse of them in their element, engaging in playful antics and displaying calm power. As awe-inspiring as it is, it brings home just how much these animals need our protection.

By two o’clock in the afternoon, you should be ready to leave; once you’ve eaten lunch in the bush, head back to your cottage for the night. During the jungle stroll, keep an eye out for rare birds; but, your guide will likely be more concerned with locating the gorillas.

Conversely, the gorilla journey might not pique your curiosity. If that’s the case, you have two more options for birdwatching: the Batwa route in Buniga Forest or the circular track inside Bwindi.

Day 18: Bwindi – Echuya Forest – Lake Mburo

As the sun rises over Lake Bunyonyi, you will drive down the slopes to reach the Kabale-Mbarara after breakfast. You will make a short stop at the Echuya Forest reserve west of Kabala on the way to Lake Mburo National Park.

This forest reserve spans 34 square kilometers and is home to over 100 bird species. The montane forests are home to a high percentage of the bird species. As one of the few known locations for Bradypterus graueri in Uganda, the swamp is expected to be home to a greater population of the species than the adjacent Mubwindi wetland. Rare birds such the Francolinus nobilis, Batis diops, Ploceus alienus, and Cryptospiza jacksoni may be visible if you visit the Afrotropical Highlands biome.

After having a cultural history session at a museum outside of Mbarara town, make your way to your lake on the fringe of Lake Mburo National Park just in time for sunset.

Day 19: Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is a modest 360-sq-km savannah wildlife reserve that is midway between Bwindi and Kampala. Professional birdwatchers have recorded more than 310 bird species in this park.

The park offers the ideal vantage point in Uganda to observe the birds that inhabit acacia trees. The Rubanga Forest is home to a wide variety of forest species. Avian enthusiasts must visit the wetlands to see the blue-headed coucal and the magnificent papyrus gonolek, two of six papyrus rarities. Some of the park’s southern species, including the bare-faced go-away bird and the black-collared barbet, have reached the northernmost extent of their range. Birds that migrate from November to April make an appearance.

You can expect to see every bird on this list and more on a wildlife drive, walking safari, or boat launch on Lake Mburo;

  • South African finfooting
  • Scoops owls in Africa
  • Flightless bird with no feathers
  • Kingfisher with blue breasts
  • Coucal with a blue head
  • Lapwing with a brown chest
  • Cisticola from Carruthers
  • Improving the painted-snipe
  • Barbet with a hairy breast
  • Swallow of the mosque
  • Gönolek made of papyrus
  • Warbler of papyrus yellow
  • Northern red-faced barbet
  • Southern ground hornbill, or shoebill
  • Scissola tree
  • Swamp warbler with white wings
  • Bird with a yellow-rumped tail

Day 20: Lake Mburo – Entebbe

Suppose you have to return home via Entebbe Airport on a late-night flight. That being said, you’ll need to get a head start and hit the road so you can reach Entebbe by lunchtime. Once there, you can do some shopping and get ready for your long international trip.

Conversely, you might have reserved a room in Entebbe. Since you are not in a rush, it might be wise to depart slightly later in the morning. Leave the park on a leisurely note, or spend the afternoon at Entebbe’s Botanical Gardens to see birds.

We will make every effort to ensure that you have a decent spot to rest, repack, or stay the night, regardless of your preference.

End of the 20 Days Uganda Bird Watching Itinerary