This special 10 day birding tour takes a different route from most Ugandan bird tours, thereby enabling you to see some more unusual birds. We concentrate on the often forgotten swamp and wetland areas of central and eastern Uganda, visiting Lake Mburo National Park (with its acacia-associated species), Mabamba Swamp (on Lake Victoria near Entebbe) and two further Ramsar sites in TESO (north eastern Uganda) – Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta.
Day 1: Entebbe (or Kampala) to Lake Mburo National Park
We begin the tour by heading south west, across the Equator, to the beautiful Lake Mburo National Park which has 315 recorded species and is considered the best place in Uganda for spotting acacia-associated species. Six papyrus endemics are also present.
Our evening game drive should reveal a wealth of birds and some mammals. Lake Mburo Park is noted for its zebra and antelope, including the eland, the largest antelope.
Day 2: Lake Mburo National Park
We have a full day in the acacia forests and swamps of Lake Mburo and a chance for some excellent birding. On a morning nature walk, we should see many species of wetland and savannah birds, along with many impala and zebra. In the afternoon, we take a game drive along the Kigambira loop, hoping to spot a few nocturnal bird species and the elusive leopard.
Day 3: Lake Mburo National Park to Entebbe
We start the day with a morning boat trip on the main lake exploring the papyrus fringes, a great chance to see papyrus species and other water-loving birds – not to mention hippos and crocodiles. Perhaps even watch an African Fish Eagle catch a fish and eat it.
In the afternoon, we head back to Entebbe where we will stay for three nights.
Day 4: Lake Victoria and Mabamba swamp
We spend the day exploring the edge of Lake Victoria near Entebbe, including Mabamba Swamp which is listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA). There is an excellent selection of water species and it is perhaps one of the most reliable places in the country to see the magnificent and prehistoric-looking Shoebill. To make the most of the swamps, much of the birding is done from a boat, which is also a great opportunity to see the elusive sitatunga antelope and African Clawless Otters.
Day 5: Heritage Trail, Entebbe
Just north of Entebbe lies the Heritage Trail. Established in 2000, this is a trail designed for bird watchers where 170 species have been recorded and it is common for serious birders to note over 100 species in a single visit. We should also have time to look for birds in Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Day 6 : Entebbe to Soroti
We leave early to drive east to Mbale and then north to Soroti, stopping on the way when we cross swamps to look for birds. We will stay in Soroti for four nights.
Day 7: Lake Bisina
From Soroti, we will spend the day around and on Lake Bisina, a Ramsar site. Fringed with swamps, it provides a number of exciting possibilities including the rare Fox’s Weaver which is endemic to Uganda.
Return to Soroti for the night.
Day 8: Lake Kyoga and surrounding swamps
We spend much of the day around the swamps and shores of the enormous Lake Kyoga (through which the river Nile flows on its long journey northwards), spotting its many water, swamp and papyrus associated species. There will be an opportunity to go out in a small boat to look for the Shoebill between Agu and Kyere. In the afternoon, we have a break from birding and visit a local community to experience something of rural life and culture in Teso.
Day 9: Lake Opeta and Pian Upe Reserve (Loporokocho Swamp)
A long day as we go east again, this time to Lake Opeta, another Ramsar site. We could also cross into the western edge of Pian Upe Reserve where we hope to see not only more wetland birds, but also some of the elusive small antelopes which live in swampy areas.
Day 10: Soroti to Entebbe
We return to Entebbe today, but not until we have had one last opportunity to stop and look for birds around the beautiful Awoja swamp half way between the towns of Soroti and Kumi as well as other swampy areas en route.
THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY. We can adjust the route, activities and type of accommodation according to your requirements and budget. Where there is a choice of accommodation available, you can decide whether you want to stay in lodges, hotels, superior camping or guest houses (ie: luxury, mid-range or budget accommodation).