Bird Watching with Gorilla Trekking

Lake Mburo - Bwindi - Queen Elizabeth - Semuliki - Kibale - Budongo Murchison Falls - Kampala - Mabira

This is an exceptional bird watching tour that includes all of Uganda’s major bird sites. With gorilla trekking and wildlife tours worked into the itinerary, you have the chance to experience more than just Uganda’s birdlife.

We investigate the colourful and rare forest species of the western rainforests, the swamps and acacia forests of Mburo, and grasslands and savannahs of Murchison and Queen Elizabeth.

Lake Mburo

We begin the tour by heading to the beautiful and serene Lake Mburo. This park has 315 recorded species and is considered the best place in Uganda for spotting acacia-associated species. Six papyrus endemics are also present.

Our first look around and game drive should reveal a wealth of birds and some excellent large mammals. Mburo is noted for its zebra and antelope, including the giant eland.

  • common scimitarbill
  • Mosque swallow
  • lilac-breasted roller
  • black-bellied bustard
  • white-winged warbler
  • blue-headed coucal
  • northern black tit
  • black-collared barbet
  • southern ground hornbill
  • rufous-napped rufous
  • spot-flanked barbet
  • African wattled plover
  • bare-faced go-away bird
  • papyrus warbler
  • papyrus gonelek
  • African grey hornbill
  • emerald-spotted wood dove
  • Ruppell’s long-tailed starling
  • Temmrick’s courser
  • trilling cisticola
  • black-throated barbet
  • brown parrot
Lake Mburo - Bwindi

We have another half day in the acacia forests and swamps of Lake Mburo and a chance for some excellent birding. A morning nature walk should see several species of wetland and savannah birds, along with many impala and zebra.

In the afternoon we head west to Bwindi Impentrable Forest.


A full day’s birding in the exceptional Bwindi Forest National Park. This twitcher’s paradise is home to 348 species of birds and all 24 of the Ugandan Albertine Rift endemics. There are 14 endemics found no where else in Uganda and experienced bird watchers can identify in excess of 100 species in a day.

These forest birds (including the African green broadbill) are the focus of our hike, but with 200 butterfly species and 11 species of primate, the dense forests of Bwindi offer a lot more.

  • handsome francolin
  • Rwenzori turaco
  • great blue turaco
  • black-billed turacco
  • Rwenzori nightjar
  • dwarf honeyguide
  • Wilcock's honeyguide
  • African green broadbill
  • Kivu ground thrush
  • northern olive thrush
  • red-throated alethe
  • Archer’s robin chat
  • white-bellied robin chat
  • Frazer’s eagle owl
  • collared apalis
  • mountain masked apalis
  •  Grauer’s warbler
  • Neumann’s warbler
  • red-faced woodland warbler
  • short-tailed warbler
  • rusty-faced woodland warbler
  • Chapin’s flycatcher
  • white-tailed blue flycatcher
  • brown-necked parrot
  • Rwenzori batis
  • stripe-breasted tit
  • blue-headed sunbird
  • regal sunbird
  • purple-breasted sunbird
  • dusky crimsonwing
  • Shelley’s crimsonwing
  • strange weaver
  • bar-tailed trogon
  • white-tailed blue monarch
  • cinnamon-chested bee-eater
  • green tinker bird
  • pink-footed puff back
  • Waller’s starling
  • red-chested fluff tail
  • Lagden’s bush shrike
  • mountain yellow warbler
  • yellow-eyed black flycatcher

Today is a break from bird watching as we enjoy the exceptional experience of mountain gorilla trekking. The gorillas are the reason that many visitors choose to come to Uganda and Bwindi is perhaps the best place in the world to see them.

Providing we have been able to get permits, half the day will be spent tracking the gorillas and the other half walking in the foothills to indulge in some more leisurely bird and primate spotting.

Please click here to read about gorilla trekking.

Queen Elizabeth

We rise early and make the two hour journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This exceptional park is considered to offer the greatest variety of birds in Africa. With over 600 species across savannah, lakes and forests, you can expect to spot a serious number of birds.

We begin with a cruise down the Kazinga Channel, where in addition to wetland birds you can see an unbelievable quantity of hippo, buffalo and maybe a few crocodiles. This is a great introduction to Queen Elizabeth’s 95 species of mammal and 610 birds.

  • Goliath heron
  • common squacco heron
  • shoebill stork
  • African skimmer
  • African open-billed stork
  • yellow-billed stork
  • sacred Ibis
  • plain martin
  • banded martin
  • white-backed vulture
  • Rüppell’s griffon vulture
  • martial eagle
  • black-bellied bustard
  • red-necked spurfowl
  • stout cisticola
  • trilling cisticola
  • Rüppell’s glossy starling
  • red-chested sunbird
  • malachite kingfisher
  • pied kingfisher
  • grey-headed kingfisher
  • white-winged tern
  • swamp fly-catcher
  • grey-capped warbler
  • Verreaux's eagle-owl
  • collard pranticle
  • gabon nightjar
  • slender-tailed nightjar
  • black-headed gonolek
  • white papyrus gonolek
  • great cormorant
  • long-tailed cormorant
  • black bee-eater
  • white-tailed lark
  • papyrus canary
  • pin-tailed whydah
  • brimstone canary
  • great white pelican
  • pink-backed pelican
  • African mourning dove
  • black-rumped buttonquail
  • white-faced whistling duck
  • knob-billed duck
  • water thick-knee
  • spur-winged plover
  • African wattled plovers
  • ringed plover
  • black crake
  • yellow backed weaver
  • lesser masked weavers
  • African jacana

Queen Elizabeth

Game drives and savannah/ grassland species are the plan for today. We investigate the Mweya peninsula and northern circuits and crater lakes in search of birds and large game. Keep an eye out for lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and antelope in addition to the birds.

Maramagambo Forest

Our third day in Queen Elizabeth and yet a whole new group of birds. We visit the Maramagambo Forest and its central African rainforest and associated species. There is also excellent primate viewing in the forest, as we hike in search of those more elusive species.

  • fawn-breasted waxbill
  • black-headed batis
  • brubru
  • sulphur-breasted bush shrike
  • Eurasian golden oriole
  • bat hawk
  • red-tailed bristle bill
  • snowy-headed robin chat
  • chestnut wattle-eye
  • brown-eared woodpecker
  • red-headed blue bill
  • African hobby
  • African green pigeon
  • Ross's turaco
  • green crombec
  • dark-capped yellow warbler
  • scaly-breasted illadopsis

Maramagambo Forest

We spend another day in the forest but with an option of chimpanzee tracking, for those keen to try something new. In the Kyambura Gorge, you have the chance to follow wild chimpanzees for 3-4 hours as they roam through the forest. Should you choose this option, you can also expect to see black-and-white colobus monkeys and baboons.

The remainder of the day (or the whole day should you prefer) is spent in search of more of the difficult to spot forest birds, with a game drive as we head back to base.


We begin the morning with the drive to Semuliki National Park. This takes approximately 2 hours and will take us along winding roads and through increasingly dense vegetation. Semuliki is the closest thing you will find to Central African rainforest in East Africa and this is reflected in the bird species that you may see.

The unspoilt forests of Semuliki are home to 435 species of bird including 45 that are found no where else in Uganda, 216 true forest birds and nine species of hornbill.

  • red-eyed puff back
  • crested malimbe
  • red-bellied malimbe
  • brown-crowned eremomela
  • chestnut-flanked goshawk
  • red-thighed sparrowhawk
  • long-tailed hawk
  • Zenker's honey-guide
  • Lyre-tailed honey-guide
  • spotted honeyguide
  • African Piculet
  • northern bearded scrub robin
  • Capuchin babbler
  • yellow-throated green cuckoo
  • white-bellied kingfisher
  • Maxwell's black weaver
  • Congo serpent eagle
  • Nkulengu rail
  • grey-throated rail
  • spot-breasted ibis
  • Hartlaub’s duck
  • yellow-throated nicator
  • black dwarf hornbill
  • red-billed dwarf hornbill
  • piping hornbill
  • white-crested hornbill
  • white-thighed hornbill
  • black-wattled hornbill
  • western bronze-napped pigeon
  • black-collared love bird
  • black-throated coucal
  • chestnut owlet
  • Gabon woodpecker
  • white-throated blue swallow
  • palm swamp greenbul
  • eastern bearded greenbul
  • Sassi’s olive greenbul
  • lowland akalat
  • grey ground thrush
  • fiery-breasted bush shrike
  • Maxwell’s black weaver
  • Grant’s bluebill
  • red-rumped tinker bird
  • black-winged oriole

A second in the beautiful Semuliki forests.

Mabira - Mbale

Following a morning drive to Fort Portal, lying on the edge of the park, we take an afternoon tour in Kibale Forest National Park.

This stretch of easily accessible rainforest interspersed with grasslands and swamps has 355 recorded bird species and 13 primates. Many of the species are similar to those of Semuliki, but with more water and grassland species present.

  • red-capped robin chat
  • snowy-headed robin chat
  • grosbeak weaver
  • northern brown-throated weaver
  • Viellot’s black weaver
  • black-nested weaver
  • black-and-white casqued hornbill
  • red-capped robin
  • grey-winged robin
  • red-chested flufftail
  • green-breasted pitta
  • African pitta
  • Abyssinian ground thrush
  • black-eared ground thrush
  • masked apalis
  • black-capped apalis
  • collared apalis
  • Uganda woodland warbler
  • red-faced woodland warbler
  • chestnut-winged starling
  • grey-headed olive-back
  • dusky crimsonwing
  • yellow-spotted nicator
  • grey-throated barbet
  • yellow spotted barbet
  • double-toothed barbet
  • speckled tinker-barbet
  • yellow- rumped tinker-barbet
  • hairy-breasted barbet

  • Brown-eared woodpecker
  • blue-throated roller
  • scaly francolin
  • red-winged francolin
  • marsh tchagra
  • yellow bill
  • black-bellied seed cracker
  • grey parrot
  • green-backed twin spot
  • papyrus gonolek
  • bicoloured mannikin
  • bronze sunbird
  • orange-tufted sunbird
  • tiny sunbird
  • blue-headed sunbird
  • purple-breasted sunbird
  • white-napped pigeon
  • Afep pigeon
  • Narina’s trogon
  • joyful greenbul
  • little greenbul
  • olive long-tailed cuckoo
  • black bee-eater
  • great blue turaco
  • black-crowned waxbill
  • grey-headed Negro-finch
  • swamp flycatcher
  • red-chested paradise flycatcher
  • grey-throated flycatcher
  • white-bellied crested flycatcher

We spend a second day in Kibale and at the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary where forest species are accompanied by forest fringe and swamp specials.

You can also expect to see some fascinating primate activity as Kibale boasts the greatest variety and concentration of primates in East Africa.

Kibale - Budongo

We transfer to Budongo Forest, on the outskirts of Murchison Falls National Park. It’s a four hour drive that should see us arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon tour.

Budongo is thought to be the most ecologically diverse forest and home of the best bird watching site in Uganda. With 465 species of trees and shrubs; 359 species of birds; 289 species of butterflies and nine primates, you can expect an exciting afternoon.

  • brown-backed scrub robin
  • black bishop
  • brown twin-spot
  • black-bellied fire-finch
  • chocolate-backed kingfisher
  • blue-breasted kingfisher
  • shining blue kingfisher
  • African dwarf kingfisher
  • brown-backed kingfisher
  • black-necked weaver
  • Cassin’s hawk eagle
  • Cassin’s spinetail
  • Sabine’s spinetail
  • Nahan’s francolin
  • yellow-footed flycatcher
  • chestnut-capped flycatcher
  • forest flycatcher
  • Jameson’s wattle-eye
  • brown-crowned eremomela
  • ituri batis
  • lemon-billed crombec
  • black-eared ground thrush
  • yellow-billed barbet
  • black-capped apalis
  • grey longbill
  • yellow longbill
  • banded snake eagle
  • spotted greenbul
  • slender-billed greenbul
  • green hylia
  • pale-breasted illadopsis
  • yellow-browed camaroptera
  • blue-throated roller
  • white-thighed hornbill

Today we visit the incredible ‘Royal Mile’ in Budongo Forest. Known as Uganda’s best birding site, it is not uncommon to see 50 plus species in just 2-3 hours. Specials here include the Ituri batis, lemon-billed crombec and the dwarf kingfisher.

In the afternoon we make the short journey to Murchison Falls National Park.

Lake Kyoga

Our time in Murchison Falls starts with a boat trip to the base of the spectacular falls, where the River Nile forces itself through a 7m gap before plunging 43m into a frothing pool. In addition to the birds you should keep an eye out for large crocodiles (said to be the largest in Africa) and hippos.

This is another great park for bird watching, with 460 species including 53 raptors. It is also one of the best places in the world to observe the shoebill stork. The wildlife here is equally as impressive with 76 species of mammal and the largest chimpanzee population in East Africa.

Our afternoon is spent driving across the rolling plains on the look out for impressive specimens such as the secretary bird, black-chested snake eagle and tawny eagle.

  • secretary bird
  • black-chested snake eagle
  • tawny eagle
  • marshal eagle
  • African fish eagle
  • bat hawk
  • red-necked falcon
  • Denham’s bustard
  • carmine bee-eater
  • swallow-tailed bee-eater
  • red-throated bee-eater
  • shoebill stork
  • goliath heron
  • saddle-billed stork
  • African jacana
  • pied kingfisher
  • malachite kingfisher
  • piacpiac
  • black-winged red bishop
  • yellow-mantled widow bird
  • African skimmer
  • rock pratincole
  • long-toed plover
  • Egyptian plover
  • blue-napped mousebird
  • spotted morning thrush
  • silver bird
  • bluff-bellied warbler
  • ring-winged grey warbler
  • black-headed batis
  • black-headed gonolek
  • chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver
  • green-winged ptyilia
  • white-rumped seed-eater
  • standard-winged nightjar
  • pennant-winged nightjar
  • Senegal thick-knee
  • four-banded sand grouse
  • Bruce’s green pigeon
  • vinaceaous dove
  • Pel’s fishing owl
  • white-crested turaco
  • Abyssinian ground hornbill
  • black-billed barbet
  • brown-backed woodpecker
  • white-fronted black chat
  • singing cisticola
  • foxy cisticola
  • black-backed cisticola
  • green-backed cisticola
  • green-backed eremomela
  • yellow-billed shrike
  • Emin’s shrike
  • white-breasted cuckoo-shrike
  • lesser blue-eared starling
  • bronze-tailed starling
  • beautiful sunbird
  • bar-breasted firefinch
  • black-bellied firefinch
  • black-rumped waxbill
  • paradise whydah
  • brown-rumped bunting
  • Cabanis’s bunting
  • Vitelline masked weaver
  • yellow-backed weaver

Murchison Falls

A full day of game drives on the look out for grassland and savannah species and wildlife. Good chances to see elephant, lion, hyena, giraffe, buffalo and antelope.

Murchison Falls - Kampala

A last chance to see the incredible falls, this time from the top. We combine this with a morning game/birding drive, and another opportunity to spot the more elusive species. This is also a great chance to see the impressive goliath heron and African fish eagle.

We then set off for the long drive to Kampala (approximately 5 hours).

Mpanga Forest

It’s a short drive to the pleasant Mpanga Forest, just 35km from Kampala. This small medium altitude rainforest is a well developed eco tourism site, with several interesting trails and bird watching opportunities.

It is home to over 180 bird species, red-tailed monkeys and bushbuck amongst other species. We spend a full day on the Base Line and Hornbill trails before returning to Kampala.

  • blue-breasted kingfisher
  • blue kingfisher
  • spotted greenbul
  • Uganda wood warbler
  • green crombec
  • Frazer’s ant-thrush
  • grey-green bush shrike
  • shoebill stork
  • pink-footed puffback
  • Weyn's weaver
  • blue-shouldered robin chat
  • snowy-headed robin chat
  • African grey parrot
  • lemon dove
  • black-billed turaco
  • great blue turaco
  • fire-crested alethe
  • black-and-white casqued hornbill
  • African pied hornbill
  • white-spotted flufftail
Mabira Forest

An hour’s drive from Kampala, take us to Mabira Forest. This is one of Uganda’s largest surviving natural forests and one of most important ornithological sites. In addition to the 300 plus species of birds in the forest, keep an eye out for red-tailed monkeys and the 218 butterfly species.

  • great blue turaco
  • African grey parrot
  • yellow-whiskered greenbul
  • toro greenbul
  • buff-spotted woodpecker
  • speckle-breasted woodpecker
  • black-bellied seed cracker
  • yellow-spotted barbet
  • forest robin
  • yellow-throated tinker bird
  • woodland kingfisher
  • chestnut wattle eye
  • red-tailed ant thrush
  • purple-headed starling
  • red-headed malimbe
  • purple-throated cuckoo shrike
  • Nahan's francolin
  • forest wood hoopoe
  • green-tailed bristlebill
  • grey-crowned negro finch
  • snowy-headed robin-chat
  • African pitta
  • Cassin hawk eagle
  • leaf love
  • joyful greenbul
  • grey-spotted woodpecker
  • white-spotted fluff-tail
  • red-headed bluebill
  • grey-throated barbet
  • yellow-rumped tinker bird
  • blue-breasted kingfisher
  • shining blue kingfisher
  • banded wattle eye
  • chin-spot batis
  • Weyn's weaver
  • violet-backed starling
  • grey longbill
  • sooty boubou
  • black-throated apalis
  • African blue flycatcher
  • black and white flycatcher

Mabira - Kampala

Depending on your departure time, we will return to Mabira Forest for a last morning’s twitching before heading back to Kampala or Entebbe where the tour ends.




Prices start from:

  • Budget: £2999
  • Comfort: £3400
  • Luxury: £3910

For details on pricing and categories, click here

Prices based on couples sharing and exclude international flights.