The 6 days birding safari is conducted within a radius of 70 kilometers from Kampala City and then the Kalangala, the largest of the Ssese islands in Lake Victoria. It will give you an experience to see swamp birds, tropical forest birds and Lake birds. You will also have an opportunity to visit Uganda’s largest botanical garden on the shores of Lake Victoria.
The trip starts and ends in Kampala/ Entebbe.
Day 1. Mabira Tropical Forest
Day 2. Lutembe Beach and Zika Forest
Day 3. Mabamba Swamp
Day 4. Botanical garden and to Kalangala Island
Day 5. Kalangala’s Virgin Island
Day 6. Return to Kampala and end of trip.
Day 1: Mabira Tropical Forest
After breakfast, head to Mabira Forest, one of Uganda’s prime bird destinations. A home of over 300 forest bird species. Mabira’s well maintained trails make birding easy. Common sights of birds like stunning great blue Turaco and African grey parrot and a possibility of encountering rare pretty tit Hylia, only found in 2 places in East Africa. On the search list will be 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.
The elusive purple throated, Jameson’s wattle-eye, Tambourine dove, white breasted, grey and yellow long bill, African paradise and red bellied paradise flycatchers, and grey-headed Negrofinches
Inevitable encounter of safari ants will enable us see the elusive blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest robin and most likely, yellow spotted and hairy breasted barbets.
The forest is also a home of monkeys. And , for recreation, it has a forest zipline which can spice your trip (as an extra).
Return to Kampala via Uganda Martyrs Shrine – Namugongo. And head to your Hotel.
Lodges : Luxury ________________ midrange ______________ Budget _____________
Day :2 Lutembe Beach and 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 greenbul to mention a few. You can also get to explore the forest at ground level..
After lunch, we drive to Lutembe bay on the shores of lake Victoria, just 2 kilometers off Kampala-Entebbe road. 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.
Day 3: Mabamba Swamp
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.
Day 4: BOTANICAL GARDENS
Wake up to an early breakfast and head to the Botanical beach, This well- laid out antique garden characterized 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.
Leave for an early lunch and head to Nakiwogo for a 3 hours ferry to Kalangala island .
Night in Kalangala.
Day 5. VIRGIN ISLAND – KALANGALA
Wake up to a lazy breakfast, relax at the shores of lake Victoria, the world’s 2 largest fresh water lake dive into your Lodge’s swimming pool as you sip your favourite cocktail.
You can take a forest walk and get acquainted with the rich birdlife and botanical experience at the biggest island out of the 66 units that form the Sesse archipelago.
In the afternoon, take a local boat to the Untrodden Virgin Island, about 30 minutes away. where you will interact with about 200 spieces of birds at very close range. The beauty here is that you will be able to get tropical forest birds and lake / water body birds on a less than 40 acres island.
Return back to your Lodge, take your dinner as you listen to the sounds of nature.
Day 6: ENTEBBE END OF SAFARI
Take an early morning 3 hours ship back to Entebbe, a sail on Lake Victoria. Arriving Entebbe towards Midday. Drive straight to the airport for your flight back, or, depending on your departure time, you may take an afternoon boat ride to the Ngamba Chimbanzee Sanctuary yin lake Victoria as an extra activity.
End of trip.