4 days Birding Uganda Safari gets you immersed through the tropical forests and the marshy bay on the northern shore of the Lake Victoria, an idea destination identified as one of the best ornithological sites associated with excellent water- associated bird species and the best place to see the great blue Turaco using the Entebbe rout
Day 1: Visit Mabamba Swamp
Begin early, head to Mabamba Swamp, 15km west of Entebbe. This swamp is located on a marshy bay on the northern shore of the Lake Victoria and is identified as one of the best ornithological sites associated with excellent water- associated bird species and the best place to see the great blue Turaco using the Entebbe route. Look out for pygmy goose, lesser jacana, Papyrus Gonolek, yellow-backed weaver, Northern brown-throated weaver, blue-headed caucal, and other swamp specialties. At the swamp, most of the birding is on a canoe, paddled by our local site guides. It is truly a life-changing moment looking at this bizarre bird as it preens, showing off its huge grinning, and wooden-looking, clog-like bill. You may also have marvelous views of it as it soars on broad wings. And others like the swamp flycatcher, African purple swamp-hen, African water rail, common moorhen, white-faced whistling-duck, Squacco, Rufous-bellied and purple heron, blue-breasted Bee-eater, winding Cisticola, Goliath heron, black crake, African marsh harrier, malachite , common waxbill, yellow-billed duck to mention a few.
Transfer to Mabira forest
Transfer to Mabira Forest, another prime bird destination with over 300 forest species recorded. This is one of the left few surviving forests in Kampala, though part of it has been used for lumbering. Mabira harbors a number of bird species with well-maintained trails that make birding easy. Conspicuous larger birds like stunning great blue Turaco and African grey parrot. The rare pretty tit Hylia is present, only found in 2 places in East Africa. We are likely to see Nahan’s francolin, African pied hornbill and Forest wood-hoopoe, the blue-breasted, white-bellied, Dwarf and shining-blue Kingfishers, yellow-throated and Speckled Tinker birds live in the canopy and Toro olive greenbul and green-tailed bristle bill are secretive interior inhabitants. If there are safari ants on the march, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest robin and blue-shouldered Robin-Chat may be in attendance, yellow spotted and hairy breasted barbets are seen among others. The elusive purple throated, Jameson’s wattle-eye, grey and yellow long bill will be among our target while birding here, African paradise and red bellied paradise flycatchers, Tambourine dove, white breasted and grey-headed Negrofinches . Overnight stay at Sheraton Kampala hotel (high end), La Petit Village (mid range facility) or Forest Cottages Kampala (Budget facility)
Day 3: Birding safari in Botanical Gardens
This well- laid out antique garden characterised by indigenous forest, horticulture lies on the showers of Lake Victoria in Entebbe. Botanical gardens offers the finest introduction to Uganda’s birds such as Jackson’s golden-backed Gonolek, great blue and Ross’s Turaco, ashy flycatcher, black cuckoo shrike, red chested, Klaus’s , sedge, Eurasian and great reed warbler, fain tailed widow bird, malachite, woodland and pygmy kingfishers, black bishop, grey woodpecker, olive, olive bellied, red chested, superb, copper and collard sunbird slender billed, black necked, Violet’s lack weaver, African thrush, Hauglin’s Robin-chat, and the noisy black-and-white casqued hornbill. In the afternoon we carry on to Lutembe bay, located about 2 kilometers off Kampala-Entebbe road in the district of Wakiso. Lutembe is a well-known bird sanctuary/Ramser Site and IBA also one of the best migratory stopovers. There are large congregations of migrant birds, over 200 species including more than 100 water bird and Red Data species. Madagascar Squacco heron, white browed caucal and blue- headed coucal, hammer kop, egrets, storks mostly the open-billed stork, the black-winged stilt, the common moorhen, yellow throated long claw, flappet and Rufous-naped larks, Senegal, African-wattled and spur winged lapwing, grey capped, sedge and reed warblers, papyrus Gonolek are some of the easiest birds to spot. Overnight stay at Sheraton Kampala hotel (high end), La Petit Village (mid range facility) or Forest Cottages Kampala (Budget facility) Meal plan (Half Board).
Day 4: Birding Zika Forest
Zika forest is only 23km from Kampala off Kampala –Entebbe Road, a small forest of 100 acres. This forest is owned by the Uganda Virus Research Institute contains a four storey metal tower used to ascertain what sort of bugs inhabit which strata of forest vegetation. A fore arm-burning ascent of a narrow metal ladder is rewarded when you emerge into open skies to enjoy a scenic view of birds and monkeys easily. Red tailed monkeys can be seen and birds like the Purple starling, black-and-white casqued, African pied, and crowned Hornbills, little greenbuls to mention a few. You can also get to explore the forest at ground level. This marks the end of the trip.