Uganda has some megastar attractions -- Shoebill at Mabamba Swamp, Chimpanzees at Kibale Forest, and Eastern Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest among them. It also has an incredible variety of birds (sometimes in incredible numbers as well) across the country. If you don't have the time, money or stamina for our regular three-week tour, which is offered every other year, this shorter offering -- focusing on the attractions outlined above -- may fit the bill. It visits fewer locales than our regular tour (cutting out Murchison Falls, Masindi and the Budongo Forest), but should still provide a satisfying experience with many Ugandan specialties, both avian and mammalian. However, if you're hoping to have the chance to look for every possible Albertine Rift endemic, this isn't the tour for you!
We'll start with a morning at Mabamba Swamp looking for the incredible Shoebill, with plenty of other waterbirds also on offer. A boat trip on Lake Mburo could yield African Finfoot, White-backed Night-Heron, African Fish-Eagle, and big numbers of Hippopotamuses, while the park's grasslands offer the tour's only chances for Burchell's Zebra and Impala -- plus a host of grassland species. Next up is Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest, with the chance to track a family of Eastern Mountain Gorillas and sample some of the avian riches of this extensive forest. Widely considered to be one of the top birding hotspots in Africa, the site is home to nearly 350 bird species.
A full day in the vast Queen Elizabeth National Park will offer up another slice of classic East Africa, with possibilities including mammals such as African Elephant, Topi and Kob, and a big list of open-country birds such as eagles (Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Bateleur, and Tawny and Wahlberg's eagles), Red-necked Francolin, Harlequin and Blue quails, and Small Buttonquail. We'll finish with a visit to Kibale Forest, where we'll spend a morning with a ranger, tracking some of the park's Chimpanzees. The forest is home to 13 species of primates, including the rare l'Hoest's monkey and East Africa's largest population of the threatened Uganda Red Colobus, as well as a host of forest birds.
Our two week exploration of Uganda should bring a host of highlights, and the thrill of seeing some of the world's most iconic mammals and birds. The mix of habitats we'll visit should yield a fine variety of bird species, including dozens with names that will sound new and strange to those who've never birded in this part of the world before: various species of illadopsis, boubou, brubru, camaroptera, apalis, tchagra, gonolek and greenbul, as well as barbets, turacos, sunbirds, and more. Join us for the adventure!
Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.
ITINERARIES • TOUR STATUS • DETAILS • SPACE REQUESTSITINERARIES • We issue a separate itinerary for each year, typically at least 9 months before that year's first departure. Most itineraries don't vary much year to year, but there may be small or rarely more substantive changes. A sample previous-year itinerary is usually available even if the one for your chosen departure is not. We do not require any deposit for provisional bookings until the itinerary for the departure is ready.
- 2023 sample (PDF)
- 2025 (PDF expected Feb 2025)
DEPARTURES • We have 1 departures currently scheduled through 2025, with details including limits, guides, fees, and space available listed below.
Nov 1-14, 2025
Guided by: Jay VanderGaast & local guide
Tour Manager: Sharon Mackie
Tour Limit: 8
Status: Provisionally full; waitlist available - The itinerary has not been finalized for this tour. The trip has provisionally filled but, if you are interested, we can waitlist you for the trip. As we do not require deposits until the itinerary and price are finalized, we often have folks drop off a tour when the deposit is required, and so space opens up! Click below to be waitlisted for this tour with no obligation; if you are waitlisted, we will also notify you in case of an added departure of this tour.
Tour Fee: Fee TBD
REQUEST WAITLIST OR MORE INFO
Enjoy looking through the 1 most recent Field Guides triplists for this tour linked below!