Are you a lady, looking forward to an adventure with a group of friends in Africa!!!! Uganda is the country. The country is truly gifted by nature with about 1080 species of birds, over 300 species of mammals, 142 reptiles, 86 Amphibians, over 1240 butterflies, and this trip may possibly bless you with over 500 species of birds and many other species of wildlife. Well you can book a trip guided by the Uganda Women Birders, a trip that will bring you the traditions and cultures of Uganda, people’s lifestyles and wildlife all in one package. Experience the life of a Ugandan Woman!!! Below is a suggested special Itinerary for all lady travelers;
Day 1: Arrival in Uganda
At the Airport, you will be received by our well trained and experienced guide and taken to an accommodation of your choice. Early arrival will allow you time to spend time at the Botanical Gardens in Entebbe. This area kick starts the trip with great species of birds such as; Lizard Buzzard, Orange Weaver, Black-headed Gonolek, Striated Heron, Common and Wood Sandpipers and many others.
Day 2: Birding to Mabamba Swamp and proceed to Murchison Falls National Park
Mabamba Swamp is classified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). It is home to over 300 species and home to globally threatened species such as the Shoebill one of the most sought-after birds of Uganda vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It is also home to the Blue Swallow and the Papyrus Gonolek. The swamp also gives a chance to enjoy great sights of other water birds like; the Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Yellow-billed and White-faced whistling ducks, Saddle-billed Stork, White-backed Duck, Pygmy and Spur-winged Goose Purple Swamphen, African Fish-Eagle, Long-toed and Spur-winged Plovers and many others. At the swamp, you will be guided by well trained local guides among whom are hard working ladies also part of the Uganda Women Birders
Day 3-4: Birding the Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest National Park in Uganda deriving its name from the incredible Murchison Falls, where the Nile is forced through a 6-meter gap, forming the most powerful water surge on the planet. Exploring the park’s broad-leaved woodland, dry grasslands, and forests will give you a chance to encounter the following; Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Spotted Dikkorp, Water and Senegal Thicknee, Klittlitz’s Plover, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Senegal Thick-knee, Water Thick-knee, Black-headed Lapwing, Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak Weaver. Other specials include; Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Marabou Stork, Red-throated Bee-eater, Silver Bird, Beautiful Sunbird, Black-headed Gonolek, Speckle-fronted and Golden-backed Weavers, White-rumped Seedeater, Pel’s Fishing Owl, White Crested Turacco, Bruce’s Green Pigeon,Black-headed Gonolek, yellow-throated Longclaw, Water and Senegal Thicknee, Blue naped and Speckled mouse birds, Spur-Winged Plover, African wattled Lapwing, Purple -Backed Starlings, Crowned Lapwings, Black-bellied Bustards, Red-necked Spurfowls, Northern Red and Black-Winged Bishop, White-browed Coucal, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Carmine Bee-eater, Night jars (Pennant-winged &Standard-winged), White rumped canary etc. There are chances of seeing animals like; Giraffes, Elephants, kobs, Oribi, Elephants, Lions, Spotted Hyenas, Grass hare, Warthogs, leopards, buffalos.
A boat cruise on the calmer stretches will allow us to watch and photograph the birds and the large animals which throng the banks, and we may have chances of finding the world’s most peculiar bird, the Shoebill.
Day 5: Birding to Fort Portal and spend the rest of the day touring the town center, shops
Fort Portal is one of Uganda’s oldest towns. It holds a lot of attractions like the Palace of the Toro Kingdom, African shops with great items which will offer us a relaxing opportunity for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 6; Birding to Kibale Forest
Kibale Forest boosts of a great bird list of 325 bird species among which 6 are endemic to the Albertine rift region. Kibale Forest National Park is also a home to a diverse array of primates, from the nocturnal Demidoff’s Galago to our closest living relative, the Chimpanzee, other primates include; Black and White Colobus, Red tailed Monkey and the Sykes blue Monkey,Red &Guereza Colobuses, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, L’Hoest’s, Blue and Vervet Monkeys. Bush Pig and Buffalo, Bushbuck, Blue, Harvey’s and Peter’s Duikers are the other shy inhabitants of the forest interior.
Day 8: Birding and chimps in the forest
Chimp trekking is one of the adventurous “one in a life experience” you cannot miss out on this trip. Watching these great primates as they go about their routine is a wonderful encounter, as t they feed, defend territories and play about, swinging from tree to tree.
Kibale Forest has the highest number of recorded sightings of the; Green-breasted Pitta, which is another sought after bird of Uganda. Other birds include: African Pitta, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Red-winged Francolin, Joyful Greenbul, White-naped Pigeon, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Red-chested Flufftail, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Uganda Woodland Warbler, White-collared Oliveback, Leaf-love, African Broadbill, Willcock’s Honeyguide, White-winged Warbler, White-spotted Flufftail, Scaly-throated Honey guide, Black-throated Apalis, Forest Robin, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, African Shrike-flycatcher, Brown and Scaly-breasted Illadopses, Fire-crested Alethe. Black-bellied Seedcracker inhabit the forest edge, while the canopy holds; the Red-headed Malimbe, Grey-throated, Yellow-spotted & Yellow-billed Barbets, White-naped & Afep Pigeons, Red-chested Owlet and White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Crested Guineafowl, Narina Trogon, African Emerald Cuckoo, Grey Parrot, Sabine’s Spinetail, Black-billed Turaco, White-spotted Flufftail, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat and more.
Day 9: Birding in the forest and the Bigodi wetland
Bigodi wetland is a very productive area with riverine forest birds like; Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Cabani’s Greenbul and Joyful Greenbul as well as the White-spotted Flufftail, Dusky Long-tailed and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoos, Lesser Honey guide, Blue-shouldered Robinchat, White-chinned Prinia, Masked Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera and White-collared Oliveback and many others
Day 10-11: Birding to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a hoist of a multiple of ecosystems with; forests, savanna and aquatic habitats all hosting different species of birds and animals. A game drive in the park will bless you with species of birds like; Crested Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Long crested Eagle, White-browed Coucal, Black-headed Gonolek, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Piapiac, Violet-backed Starling, Sooty Chat, Flappet, Red-naped and Rufous-naped Larks, Augur Buzzard, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Black-headed Waxbill and many others.
An exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel will yield more species of birds. This is a narrow neck of water that connects Lakes George and Edward, with excellent photographic opportunities for waterside birds and abundant Hippopotamus. The birds include: African Skimmer, Striated Heron, African Spoonbill, Pink-backed Pelican, Water Thick-knee, Three-banded Plover, Marsh, Green, Wood and Common Sandpipers, Marabou Stork, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-headed Gull, Plain Martin, Lesser Swamp-Warbler and Yellow-billed Oxpecker. During the boat cruise, You will have fantastic opportunities of photographing and seeing mammals such as the African Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Leopard, Lion, Ugandan Kobs, Side-striped Jackal, Bush and Water Bucks, Warthogs, Giant Forest Hogs as they cool off at the channel.
Day 12: Birding to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Conservation Area lies in the rugged Kigezi highlands of South Western Uganda, protecting a continuum of forest that ranges from montane to low land areas. It is this altitudinal variation, combined with its location within the Albertine Rift that results in Bwindi impenetrable being the richest forest in East Africa in terms of its trees, butterflies and birds. Bwindi is a home to over 400 Gorrilas than more t half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.
Bwindi is a bird watchers’ haven, it holds 347 species of birds. The forest has 10 of the 26 globally threatened species, five of which are vulnerable. Bwindi has 23 of the locally Albertine Rift endemic species in the country and some, such as; African Green Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Shelley’s Crimson-wing have limited distributions elsewhere in their range.
Bwindi Forest Impenetrable National Park has 76 of 144 Guinea – Congo forest biome species that occur in Uganda, recorded especially in the North sector. The site also qualifies for Afro tropical highland biome species with 68 of 86, and for the Lake Victoria biome with 4 of 12 species. The park is blessed with 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa and seven IUCN red data listed species. An experienced birder watcher can identify over 150 species in a day.
Day 13: Birding the Main trail
Birds that can be seen on the main trail include; Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-throated Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Rwenzori Batis, Black-and-white Shrike Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill Babbler, Dusky Tit, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Sooty Boubou, Pink-footed Puffback, Doherty’s Bush Shrike, White-napped Raven, Montane Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Waller’s Starling, Strange Weaver, Brown-capped Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Magpie Mannikin, Yellow-crowned Canary, Thick-billed Seed-eater, Streaky Seedeater, African Green Broadbill, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Black-billed Turacco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African wood Owl, Rwenzori Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Bar-tailed Trogon, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, Western Bronze-napped Pigeon, Red-chested Owlet, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Elliot’s Woodpecker, African Broadbill, Western Green Tinkerbird, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Petit’s Cuckoo Shrike, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Archer’s Robin Chat, Toro Olive Greenbul, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin Chat, Olive Thrush, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Short-tailed Warble (Neumann’s Warbler), and Red-faced Woodland Warbler.
Day 14: Gorilla tracking and birding
Gorilla tracking is a captivating pursuit; it involves walking in the wilderness in search of the great apes, our closest relatives. Each encounter is an exciting one, different and has its own rewards but more exciting is an opportunity to enjoy the close view of adults feeding, grooming and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully playful display, a one-time experience that one cannot afford to miss.
Day 15: Buhoma Community Village Walk and a visit to the Ride for A Woman Project
The community walk brings you some of the activities carried out by women at the country side in Uganda so as to earn a living for their families. These activities include; tea and coffee picking, crafts making and preparing of the traditional meals. Along the walk, you will be entertained by a group of cheerful dancers performing their cultural dance that will help you relax away from the busy birding schedule.
The Ride for a Woman project was set up to empower women that have undergone domestic violence with skills in sewing, baskets weaving, cooking lessons, biking, farming and many other activities so as to allow them to earn livelihoods from such activities. A day spent with group of women is quite inspirational, don’t miss to learn how to weave a basket in a day!!!!
Day 16: Birding to Ruhiija.
Ruhiija is likely to be one of the highlights of any bird watching safari to Uganda with excellent birding in spectacular surroundings. The Birds are many and somehow easy to see with many bird species associating in mixed feeding flocks that are active throughout the day. An early start offers the best chance of finding the striking; Handsome Francolin, African Green Broadbill, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Western Green Tinkerbird, Mountain and yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Regal Sunbird, Black-headed Waxibill, Grauer’s Warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Night jar, Mountain-masked and Chestnut-throated Apalises, Rwenzori Batis, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher and many more.
Day 17-18: Birding to Lake Mburo.
Lake Mburo National Park is 260 sq.km and it has a markedly distinct fauna from the other reserves. It is the only national park that contains an entire lake. Situated in rolling hills and open grassy valleys, the park also consists of four other smaller lakes. The park is covered in an extensive open and wooded acacia savannah. It is the best place to see the gigantic Eland antelope as well as Zebra, Topi, Impala, Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, Monitor Lizard and many others.
Common conspicuous birds that may be encountered include; Red faced Barbet, Tabora and Trilling Cisiticolas, Brown-eared, Nubian, Bearded and Grey Wood peckers, Red-necked Spurfowl, Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away -bird, Blue-naped Mousebird, Lilac-breasted Roller, and Green Wood-hoopoe, Common Scimitarbill, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Black Tit, Chin-spot Batis, Greater and Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Marico sunbird, Coqui Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow, Yellow-throated Longclaw and Southern Red Bishop and the migratory Brown-chested Plover. Some of the nocturnal species include; African Scops Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and Fiery-necked, Pennant-winged, Swamp, and Black shouldered Nightjars and many other savannah birds.
A boat-ride on L.Mburo can also be a rewarding one with sights of birds like the African Finfoot, a very shy bird, White-backed Night heron plus sights of other water birds.
Day 19: Birding to Kampala
Day 20: Birding the Botanical Gardens with other Members of Uganda Women Birders
It is always exciting for women, ladies to come together and share a moment. This will be a birding activity where we meet other Women birders and share experiences in a bid to promote this activity among the ladies in Uganda.
If time allows, we may have a chance to take part in one of the traditional ceremonies, here in Uganda to give a client a feel of Uganda as well as to crown off the tour in style. Uganda is a country of diverse culture and as we crown off the trip. This will be an exciting activity where we dress in traditional attires so as to grace the function.
Evening Transfer to Entebbe for departure.