13 Days Kidepo Valley National Park Birding Trip | Mj Safaris Uganda

Day 1 : Arrival for Birding Kidepo Valley National Park Tour.

Arrival and meet with your guide at the airport,transfer to your hotel and later u may have optional birding in afternoon at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Situated on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens are virtually on the Equator, and cover an area of 40.7hectares. The gardens house a collection of species of plants of the tropical, sub-tropical and temperate zones, besides several shrubs and other plants which regenerated naturally over the years. The habitat has attracted a diverse array of birds (206 species) and monkeys. We shall look out for Orange weaver, Golden and Yellow-backed Weavers, Superb Sunbird, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Ross’s and Great blue Turacco, etc.

Overnight at Layco Lake Victoria Hotel or Entebbe Travellers Inn.

 

Day 2 –: Birding Mabamba Wetlands for the Shoebill and afternoon at Mpanga forest

After an early breakfast, we bird to Mabamba – Kamengo Wetlands about 50km west of Entebbe area on the shores of Lake Victoria. This is one of the few remaining swamps in Uganda protected by the local communities – an extensive papyrus swamp with its labyrinth of channels and lagoons, classified as an IBA (Important Bird Area) and home to several pairs of Shoebills, Uganda’s most famous avian resident. This charismatic species, the only representative in its family, is certainly amongst the most sought-after birds in Africa and we’ll make special efforts today to find it by paddling through the channels by boat. There will of course be a good selection of classic East African water birds: Pink-backed Pelican, Long-tailed Cormorant, Goliath Heron, African Fish-Eagle, African Marsh-Harrier, Yellow-billed Duck, African Water Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, and Malachite Kingfisher along with slightly more local species such as Long-toed Plover, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Swamp Flycatcher, White-winged & Papyrus Yellow Warblers. Other areas in and around Entebbe/Kampala may produce African Open-billed Stork, Grey Kestrel, Eastern Grey Plantain-Eater, African Green Pigeon, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher – maybe the rare Weyn’s Weaver.

Overnight at Layco Lake Victoria Hotel or Entebbe Travellers Inn.

 Day 3: Birding to Murchison Falls National Park

After breakfast, we will depart for Murchison Falls National Park via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for the White Rhino tracking since Uganda lost all her wild Rhinos due to poaching in the late seventies. Stopping in Masindi town for lunch and after proceed to Murchison falls National Park, is one of the most popular of our Uganda national parks. We will drive through the beautiful country side arriving in the evening. Special birds include Cliff Chat, Yellow Fronted Tinkerbird, Gray-headed Bush Shrike, Singing Cisticola, African Fin foot, Namaqua dove, Green-winged Pytilia, Red Backed Shrike, Crested Francolin, Black Headed Bush Shrike, Northern and Black-winged Red Bishops, Black-bellied Firefinch, Black-faced Waxbill and March Tchagra.

Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge or Murchison River Lodge.

Day 4 & 5: Birding Murchison Falls National Park

After an early breakfast, we will have a morning game drive. In the lush Borassus grassland, you may be able to encounter African Lion, Leopard, African Savannah Elephant, African buffalo, Rothschild giraffe, a variety of antelopes and much more game. After enjoying a packed lunch, we will then have an afternoon boat trip to the Lake Albert delta. Here, you will have the best chance of sighting the rare shoebills. You will also be dazzled with a variety of water birds including species like the Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfisher, Red-throated Bee-eater, 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 specialties 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 Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver, White-rumped Seedeater, Pels Fishing Owl, White Crested Turacco, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Carmine Bee-eater, Night jars(Pennant-winged &Standard-winged), White-rumped Canary and many more.

Overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge or Red Murchison River Lodge.

Day 6 – Bird to Kidepo Valley National Park (Stay at Savannah lodge or Apoka Rest Camp)

Day 7,8 & 9- We spend three full days birding and game viewing Kidepo Valley, National Park (Stay at Savannah lodge or Apoka Rest Camp)

Kidepo Valley National Park is the least explored of all Uganda’s parks and yet proves to offer the best as far as ornithological trips are concerned.  Kidepo has a record of 480 species in total, making it the second-highest after Queen Elizabeth National Park of all the protected areas in the country.

Being the only IBA located entirely within the Somali– Masai biome, 28 species from the Somali-Masai and Sudan–Guinea Savanna biomes are endemic to this park in the Uganda.

The Apoka Rest Camp and Park Headquarters overlooking southern Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your birding experience. The attractive Silverbird and small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike, frequent the thorn trees around the camp as do a number of other widespread species such as the Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, the Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu.

A small permanent water hole at the edge of the camp attracts swallows and a variety of seed eaters including the Yellow-rumped Seedeater and is visited at night by the Four-banded Sandgrouse, Elephants, Buffaloes, and occasionally Lions. Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and the Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill may be seen in the rank grass along the normally dry stream bed adjacent to the camp or along the track to Apoka lodge.

The Common Ostrich, Secretary Bird, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-crested Turaco, White-bellied Go-away bird, White-faced Scoops Owl, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, the Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Singing Bush Lark, Red-winged Lark, Ethiopian Swallow, the Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’s Wheaters, African Grey Flycatcher, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, Karamoja Apalis, White-bellied Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Superb Starling, Red billed Oxpecker, Eastern Violet backed, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, White-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted Weavers, the Green-winged, Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, Black-bellied and Black-faded Waxbills, Steel-blue and Strawtailed Whydahs, and the Brown-rumped Bunting, are just a few of the 480 bird species the Park boasts of. You should not afford missing taking a look at these beautiful birds.    African Lion Kidepo’s mammal list of over 80 species includes 28 species not found in any other Ugandan National park. Amongst these are such charismatic African animals as Bat-eared Fox, Carcal, Cheetah, and Klipspringer. Unfortunately, Kidepo suffered the same fate as many other Ugandan parks during the 1970s and 1980S and is still recovering from years of poaching that left game herds depleted. Spotted Hyena, Lesser Kudu, Grant’s gazelle and Beisa Oryx have not been seen at all in recent times and were presumed to be locally extinct. Other large mammals have shown a remarkable recovery and there are now healthy populations of Elephant, Common Zebra, Buffalo, Bohor Reedbuck, Waterbuck, and Kongoni. Predators are plentiful and Spotted Hyena, Leopard and Lion are frequently seen. The Oribis are abundant in the Narus Valley, whilst the dry thorn thickets in the north are home to Guenther’s Dik Dik. The Senegal Galago and Sidestriped Jackal may be found in the rest camp at night and White-tailed Mongoose is common but more likely to be found on a night drive. The park also has a very rich and diverse reptile fauna.

Day 10-  Birding and visiting the Karamajong Community in Kidepo (Cultural experience)

(Stay at Savannah lodge or Apoka Rest Camp)

 

Day 11- Birding to Gulu Town.Stay at The Boma Hotel

After breakfast, we drive to Gulu town birding on the way. Lunch in Kitgum town, late afternoon check into your hotel. Evening walk around town.

 

Dinner and overnight Boma hotel.

 

Day 12- Birding to Entebbe

After breakfast start driving to Entebbe airport, lunch on the way.

Stay at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel or Entebbe Traveller Inn

Day 13- Your guide transfers you to Entebbe International Airport hence the end of the tour.