The Best One Week Birding Tour in Uganda

Curious about where to spend 7 days birding in East Africa? A one-week bird-watching tour in Uganda could be just what you’re looking for.

After all, Uganda is popular for its wonderful year-round climate, diverse wildlife (did you know you can see the Big 5?), and friendly people. 

Now, you may be asking about what makes Uganda a great birding destination.

Although Uganda’s bird-watching tours may not be quite as world-famous as mountain gorilla tracking, that doesn’t make them any less stunning. It’s a little-known fact that the Pearl of Africa is among the best places for birding tours in the world.

Just how great is the birding in Uganda? Uganda has over 1,000 known species of birds, making up 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the world’s bird species.

What’s more is how much the country treasures their wildlife. Uganda has up to 33 Important Bird Areas (IBA) developed just for bird watching and birding tours. At the majority of these birding spots in Uganda are trained local tour guides who can identify different species.

With 33 Important Bird Areas, choosing where to start can be a lot (even though you can go birding with a day trip from Kampala!). So today, we’re giving you a helping hand to plan your birdwatching in Uganda trip with a 7-day birding tour.

7 Day Birding Tour in Uganda

If you are a birder, this 7-day birding tour in Uganda checks a lot of the right boxes. This 7-day Uganda birding tour takes you to major birding hotspots, covering several habitats in a range of different biomes. 

Take this as our suggestion for a great way to experience the various landscapes and remarkable scenery as you explore the beauty of Uganda.

So, let’s get started!

Uganda Birding Tour Day 1 – Arrival in Uganda

Arrive in Uganda, meet your new favorite birding safari company, and transfer to your lodging near Mabamba wetlands. An excellent choice is Nkima Forest Lodge. After resting, you’ll enjoy birding in Nkima Forest where you can spot the White-spotted Flufftail. You can also see the Green Sunbird in flowering plants near the lodge. 

Uganda Birding Tour Day 2 – Birding in Mabamba Wetland, Lake Victoria

Following some early morning birding in Mabamba Wetland on Lake Victoria, you’ll head to Mabira Forest. Have an early breakfast and go birding in the Mabamba Wetlands, a few minutes’ drive from Nkima Forest Lodge. 

Did you know Mabamba is home to 260 bird species? We can’t promise you’ll see all 260, but you’re welcome to try! You might also consider taking a local motorized boat to help you explore the wetlands to record many water birds such as the famous Shoebill.

After about 4 hours of birding in the Mabamba Wetland, you’ll leave for Mabira Forest along Kampala Jinja highway. Have lunch on the way and continue birding to Mabira Forest for the rest of the afternoon. You can enjoy a well-earned rest at the Rainforest Lodge Mabira.

Uganda Birding Tour Day 3 – Birding in Mabira Forest

The early bird gets the worm, and the early birder catches the most amazing views of birds. Today we’ll get up early and go birding in Mabira Forest. Mabira has a bird list of about 316 species, including 74 out of the 144 Guinea – Congo Forests species recorded in Uganda.

Some of the Mabira forest specials include Narina Trogon, Forest Woodhoopoe, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Forest Robin, Green-tailed Bristlebill, and so much more. Get your binoculars and cameras ready!

Uganda Birding Day 4 – Birding by the Nile River, Jinja

From Mabira, you’ll continue to Jinja, the birthplace of the Nile River. The area around Jinja serves as a great birding destination along the majestic Nile, the longest river in the world! 

During a boat ride, you will view the wonderful bird species Uganda offers. Over 60 species have been sighted on the route of the boat cruise. Continue to Mt. Elgon National Park in eastern Uganda.

Uganda Birding Day 5 – Spend the Day Birding at Mt. Elgon National Park

On day 5 of your birding tour in Uganda, you’ll spend the day birding at Mount Elgon National Park. Mountain Elgon National Park is home to over 300 bird species. 

These include 56 out of the 87 Afrotropical highland species and 40 restricted range species. Some key species to look out for in the park include Alpine Chat, Mustached Green Tinkerbird, Jackson’s Francolin, Black-shouldered Kite, and Lammergeyer, among others.

Uganda Birding Day 6 – Birding at Mpanga Forest 

Following Mount Elgon you’ll drive back to Kampala and head to Mpanga Forest along the Masaka highway. Notable birds to look for at Mpanga Forest include the Slender-billed Greenbuls, Narina Trogon, and Superb Sunbird, among others. 

You’ll take Masaka highway back to Kampala, a journey of at least one hour as you unwind from the spectacular sights of your birdwatching tour in Uganda.

Uganda Birding Day 7 – Head Back to Entebbe

This is your transfer back to the airport for your flight.

Ready to Book Your Uganda Birding Tour?

This 7-day birding tour in Uganda is a fast-paced trip that’s all-birding, all-the-time – so make sure you’ve got your birding safari equipment ready.

For a leisurely trip you can take, look at our 22-day Birder’s Paradise adventure or our 15-day Beautiful Birds tour. Or you can take a look at some of the best birding parks in Uganda and let us know what catches your eye!

Of course, we would be happy to show you all that Uganda has to offer at a pace that fits your schedule. Feel free to get in touch and we can start planning your birdwatching tour in Uganda.

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Warren Ankwasa

Founder, Kikooko Africa Safaris

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