This was not an intense birding trip searching for Albertine Rift Endemics etc; but a general wildlife "tailor made" tour the main targets being Gorilla, Chimpanzee and Shoebill with several other species of bird and mammal not recorded on previous visits to Africa. A direct British Airways flight from Heathrow to Entebbe cost £574 each inclusive of all extras and the transport and accommodation was arranged by an outfit called Wild African Safaris who, based on certain experiences of this trip, are definitely NOT recommended.
A 4wd Shogun, driven by William, with sunroof was used throughout, this proved ideal on game drives where we were accompanied by local ranger/guides, the directions of these park personnel regarding interaction with wildlife was excellent and they tried to oblige in all situations. Their knowledge of the animals and their behaviour warranted the greatest of respect and safety aspects were always paramount.
As there are numerous ground agents and tour operators in Uganda, and official information in respect of accommodation and park entrance fees is readily available on the Internet (www.traveluganda.net), organising a "personal" trip is a relatively easy proposition. Previous informative trip reports are also available on several web sites e.g. Surfbirds and Fatbirder.
A visa was required at a cost of £25, obtained from the High Commission of Uganda, 58/59 Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DX. Telephone 020 7839 5783.
Cost $275 each and it is recommended as essential to book well in advance.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD
We stayed in various types accommodation from basic bandas (mud huts) to relative luxury and at all locations the cleanliness of bedding was excellent and staff could not be faulted in their efforts to provide satisfaction. Mosquito nets were provided at most locations, the ones we had taken not being opened.
Cooked food, rice, eggs, fish, chips and soup, formed the main diet along with bananas, meat was avoided and only bottled water, soft drinks and a minimum amount of alcohol was drunk, resulting in no stomach problems of any description.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
All recommended vaccines (including Yellow Fever) are kept up to date as a matter of course and anti-malarial tablets were taken although no mosquitoes were encountered. The only annoyance was the "lake" flies at Murchison and ant bites, both of these being minor irritations.
In the Bwindi area there was a concentrated military presence and the forest could not be entered without an escort, but, this location appeared to be totally safe and no apprehension was felt.
As recommended U.S. dollars were taken but in retrospect we should have taken sterling and changed it to Ugandan shillings as the majority of the dollars were changed to shillings resulting in some poor exchange rates / extra commission charges. Sterling was easily exchanged at a bank in Mbarara.
Average exchange rates; £1 = $1.75, £1 = 3,500 Ush, $1 = 1,900 Ush.
The first week was very pleasant overall, mainly sunny with occasional short and light rain showers and temperatures around 26ºc. The notable exception was whilst Gorilla tracking where the humidity in the forest was intense and a torrential downpour occurred. As we travelled north the temperature increased and towards the end of the second week 40º was recorded at Murchison, which didn't help with daytime birding.
In order to visit the main National Parks there is an established 'triangular' route to follow and although the roads in the eastern part of the country were sealed (tarmac), the majority of travelling was done on marram (stone/dust) roads which greatly extended travel time between locations and the total distance of 1,600 kms covered seemed 2/3 times this. Punctures are regular and we apparently got away lightly with a total of 5.
Tuesday 13th January
Flight from Heathrow on Boeing 767 departed as scheduled at 21-15 hours.
Wednesday 14th January
Arrived Entebbe at 08-15 local time, (+3 hours) the 8 hour flight being due to a strong tail wind. Quickly cleared the airport and found William waiting, instead of travelling straight to Mabamba wetlands we were taken into Kampala before setting out for Mabamba where we eventually arrived at midday some 3 hours later than anticipated. After a 1½ hour 'paddled' canoe trip at this superb location (Shoebill no problem) we were told we must depart for Lake Mburo and after a 5 minute 'comfort' break at a roadside swamp we arrived in the dark at Rwonyo Camp. As there is no electricity in the Bandas here we had to use the vehicle headlights for unloading, the communal shower was like a dripping tap but the evening meal at the camp 'restaurant' wasn't too bad. On the plus side Impala were grazing round the Banda and Hippo & Buffalo were also grazing nearby, using the 'bush' toilet was quite an experience but I would have no hesitation in staying there again.
Thursday 15th January
Game drive at Lake Mburo from 07-00 to 10-00 before late breakfast and departure for Buhoma. Stopped at a bank in Mbarara (William advised us to obtain Ugandan shillings), after which we turned on to the marram roads and after a 30 minute lunch break arrived in Buhoma at 16-30 hours. Booked into African Pearl Safaris executive bandas which were en-suite with solar electricity (lights out at 22-30 hours) and had a short walk round the vicinity before showering and evening meal served by Rodgers complete with bow tie.
Friday 16th January
After breakfast we set off on the 5 minute walk to Bwindi Forest headquarters for briefing at 08-30.We were assigned the 'difficult' trek and after being transported by mini-bus to our designated start we set off walking at 09-25, the party consisted of 6 tourist, 4 armed guards, 4 porters and a ranger/guide, (with a 2-way radio, which worked intermittently). Once into the forest the terrain was mostly 'mountainous' and the humidity very intense, we eventually found the 20 member group of Gorillas at 17-00 and had good views of the Silverback bedding down and two very close Blackbacks along with females, juveniles and babies. After some 20 minutes viewing it went dark as night and there was an absolutely torrential downpour at which point our guide told us we must start to return. The rain stopped some 20 minutes later but the saturated undergrowth made walking extremely hazardous and some of the downhill traversing was done on the 'backside'. After a further 2½ hours walking we reached a road where transport was waiting to take us back to the accommodation where we eventually arrived after 21-00 hours. As our clothes were wet through and filthy we asked if they could be washed and A.P.S. duly obliged and we had clean but un-ironed clothes the following afternoon at a very reasonable rate. Couldn't face much to eat so after soup retired to bed exhausted.
Saturday 17th January
We had intended to bird Ruhizha today and had pre-booked Alfred the bird guide, but due to the exertion of yesterday and the fact Alfred was not available we had arranged with our driver to inform the relief bird guide,
Emmy (who also proved to be excellent) that the 06-30 start was out and instead we would walk the 'gentle' waterfall trail which we did from 10-00 to 16-00 hours. The 2 porters we had employed yesterday and who had done a brilliant job and shown genuine concern told me they did this to earn money for their education so I asked our driver to find them for today which he did (as the porters 'rotate' they would probably been without a job anyway) for an 'easy' walk to make up for the previous day. Along with the armed guards and ranger this made a party of 8 including the two of us and cost $100 in total for park entry, ranger, bird guide and porter fees. (Yes. the porters had a good tip). The birds we recorded were mainly a haze due to a feeling of sheer exhaustion from yesterday's efforts, but the odd 'good' sighting was memorable. As we approached the waterfall a stream was crossed and a Mountain Wagtail did a fly-by, as this was a species I wanted to see, myself and an armed guard remained here whilst the others carried on to the waterfall, they returned over an hour later in which time the only birds I had seen were Rwensori Batis and Paradise Flycatcher.
Overnight at A.P.S. Buhoma Homestead.
Sunday 18th January
Set off for Queen Elizabeth National Park after breakfast and reached the start of the southern section in less than an hour, we then had a steady 3½ hour drive, viewing birds and game before arriving at Mweya Lodge mid afternoon. The remainder of the day was spent 'chilling out' and birding the local vicinity, including the airstrip. Mweya may be like a 'Travel-lodge' but it is in an absolutely superb location with brilliant panoramic views, excellent cuisine, friendly first class service (soiled towels were changed twice a day and the rooms sprayed and beds 'netted' in the evening), thirst quenching beer and 'tame' mammals (Warthog and Banded Mongoose incredibly so) birds, (Slender-billed Weavers feeding from the hand), and power showers?
In the middle of Africa! Unbelievable.
Monday 19th January
Met for coffee at 06-00 in the hotel foyer to find Swamp Flycatchers 'performing' from the chandeliers although it was pitch black outside. Set off on a game drive at 06-30 and returned at 09-30 for a freshly cooked breakfast. We then walked to the bird hide accompanied by an armed ranger as a precaution against the elephants we passed (at a safe distance), starting at 10-30 and arriving back at the lodge at 13-15 hours,
the highlight probably being a party of 7 Giant Hogs which were observed in the open for over 10 minutes.
After lunch we took the Kazinga Channel launch trip from 15-00 to 17-00 hours with over 50 species of bird recorded including 200+ African Skimmers (most were roosting on a spit but some were 'skimming' adjacent to the boat) and both White & Pink-backed Pelicans. This is a must on any visit to Mweya Lodge.
Tuesday 20th January
Would have liked a longer stay at Mweya but, to keep to the proposed itinerary, we set off for Kibale after breakfast, less than an hour later we were at the salt works at Lake Katwe checking through the numerous waders feeding in the alkaline pools on the perimeter of these hand-dug extractions. A short stop was made at the nearby Lake Munyanyange before re-crossing the Equator and arriving at Kibale at 14-30 hours. We set out chimp tracking and the guide informed me he had heard and seen a Pitta near a wide forest track, so upon reaching this location I 'staked' the site out on my own for about an hour. In this time not one bird was seen, the only sign of life being an adult female Chimpanzee which appeared on the track some 20 metres away, standing upright she looked at me, didn't like what she saw so sauntered off through the forest. When the guide returned we set off along a narrow forest trail and encountered a 'silverback' chimp ambling along the forest floor, we tracked this old boy for over 10 minutes but could not keep up with him as he disappeared into the distance. The only bird seen in 3 hours at Kibale was a Grey-headed Sparrow at the parks headquarters, but having excellent views of 2 flocks of displaying Crested Guineafowl on the track to the main road made up for any disappointment. Travelled to Fort Portal with an overnight stay at the Rwenzori Travellers Lodge (35,000 shillings BB & EM) and although it was quite noisy due to the local football fans surrounding the downstairs television (it was the African Cup of Nations) the accommodation and food was well up to standard. (The armed car park attendant here was quite a novelty).
Wednesday 21st January
After breakfast discovered we had another puncture, which took over an hour to sort out, and with a further 2 punctures the journey to Budongo Forest took most of the day. After booking into the Nyabyeya College guest house we made an evening visit to the Royal Mile where we came across Vincent, the local ranger/guide, who was already booked with a client for the following morning. As we had to leave Budongo just after lunch the next day an agreement was made for us to pay all costs and 'tag along'.
Thursday 22nd January
Birding the Royal Mile until 12-30 departing for Murchison at 13-30. On arrival at Nile Safari Camp the first priority was to book a motor launch trip in search of Shoebill, this was organised for 17-00 hours at a cost of 30,000 shillings per hour. Things weren't looking too good when a possible Shoebill was seen distantly perched on the top of a riverside acacia tree. As we approached the tree the bird took flight and passed just in front of the boat. 'Captain' Moses saw where the Shoebill landed and skilfully negotiated us in to a position on the island bank some 15 metres from the bird. After some 10 minutes of excellent viewing the Shoebill once again took flight and disappeared into the papyrus reed bed. These things are absolutely huge in flight, the Vulcan bomber of the bird world. Returning to the Nile Safari camp we had a rapid walk round the nature trail in failing light.
Friday 23rd January
Vacated Nile Safari Camp at 06-00 and arrived early at Paraa ferry for the 07-00 crossing where some 20 nightjars were seen in the vehicle headlights on the road during the journey, the only one positively identified being breeding plumaged male Standard-winged. Game drive north of the Nile at Murchison from 07-30 to 11-00 after which some 3 hours was spent in the Paraa ferry crossing area waiting for the 14-00 hours motor launch trip to the falls. Arrived at 16-30 and took the steep walk to the top of the falls in preference to a return boat trip. Spent an hour around the picnic site and falls before taking position for the exodus of bats from the cave, raptors were also gathering and surprisingly the first noted successful strike was by an African Fish Eagle. More nightjars, rabbits and a fox were seen whilst 'lamping' on the journey, in the dark, to Sambiya River Lodge.
Saturday 24th January
Although we had a Chimp track booked at Kaniyo Pabidi, which would have meant a 06-00 start, we had been informed the chimps hadn't been seen for 2 days so decided to have a 'lie in' with an 08-30 breakfast before setting off for Kampala and eventually arriving at the Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe at 18-30 hours.
Sunday 25th January
Spent 09-30 to 18-30 birding in the excellent Botanical Gardens, which is located on the shore of Lake Victoria where a total of 66 species was identified and several more, e.g. Weavers, were not, to give some idea of the size of this site, Tarzan's adventures were filmed here. Sitting at a hotel table overlooking the imported sand 'beach' on the perimeter of the gardens felt more like a tropical island than a lake.
Overnight again at the Botanical Beach Hotel.
Monday 26th January
Return flight to Heathrow, with departure at 09-50, took over 9 hours due to headwind.
A 12 day trip was nowhere near long enough although we did manage to visit the majority of premier sites it seemed almost endless travel. The close interaction, on foot, with animals gave a far more 'genuine' feeling for the wild than that experienced in neighbouring Kenya. In retrospect we should have spent the first day in the Botanical Gardens, overnight at Entebbe visiting Mabamba Wetlands early the next morning and then on to Lake Mburo. (We arrived here absolutely shattered following the overnight flight and travelling).
Most Ugandans are really friendly and helpful people and nowhere did we have feelings of apprehension, the military being openly evident at locations along the western border. Many areas were reminiscent of the White Peak in my native Derbyshire and the biggest surprise of the trip was bumping into a fellow county birder in the 'middle of nowhere'. A return to this superb country would be made without hesitation
Notes: Very common - daily sightings in good numbers or at numerous locations. Common - regular sightings in suitable habitat at more than 3 locations. Fairly common - noted at 3 locations in reasonable numbers
Great White Pelican, 50+ QENP (Kazinga Channel)
Pink-backed Pelican, 7 QENP (Kazinga Channel), 35 Entebbe (roosting in trees)
Great Cormorant, 100+ QENP (Kazinga Channel), 40+ Entebbe (ssp lucidus-White-Breasted)
Long-tailed Cormorant, Fairly common
African Darter, Common along the Nile at Murchison.
Squacco Heron, Very common Mabamba, common elsewhere.
Striated Heron, 1 Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Cattle Egret, Common
Little Egret, Fairly common
Intermediate Egret, 1 Murchison (Nile)
Great White Egret, Fairly common
Black Heron, 1 QENP (Kazinga Channel)
Goliath Heron, Common
Purple Heron, Fairly common
Grey Heron, Fairly common
Black-headed Heron, Fairly common
Hamerkop, 2 Mabamba, 4 QENP (Kazinga Channel)
Yellow-billed Stork, 4 QENP, 12 Lake Munyanyange
Saddle-billed Stork, Fairly common
Marabou Stork, Very common
African Openbill, 20+ Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Shoebill, 1(immature) Mabamba, 1(adult) Murchison (Nile).
Sacred Ibis, 6 QENP, 4 Murchison (Nile)
Hadada Ibis, Common
Glossy Ibis, 10+ QENP
African Spoonbill, 2 QENP
Egyptian Goose, Fairly common
Spur-winged Goose, 4 Murchison (Nile).
African Pygmy Goose, 8 Mabamba
Yellow-billed Duck, 2 Mburo, 2 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Black Kite, Common, (ssp parasiticus & aegyptius -Yellow-billed Kite)
Black-shouldered Kite, Fairly common
African Fish Eagle, Common
Osprey, 1 Murchison Falls
Palmnut Vulture, Fairly common
Hooded Vulture, Several Murchison (game drive), (feeding on carcase), 1 Murchison Falls.
White-backed Vulture, Several Murchison (game drive), (feeding on carcase), few QENP
Ruppell's Vulture, 2 Murchison (game drive), (feeding on carcase),
Brown Snake Eagle, 1 Mburo
Banded Snake Eagle, 1 Mburo
African Marsh Harrier, 1 Mabamba
Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Fairly common
Montagu's Harrier, 2 Murchison (game drive)
Dark Chanting Goshawk, 3 Murchison (game drive)
Shikra, 2 Murchison Falls
African Harrier-hawk, Fairly common
Lizard Buzzard, 1 en route Murchison-Kampala, 2 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Grasshopper Buzzard, 1 Murchison (game drive), 1 en route Murchison-Kampala.
Augur Buzzard, 1 (dark phase) Mburo.
Common Buzzard, 4+ Murchison Falls.
Tawny Eagle, Several at Murchison (game drive) inc 2 feeding at carcase with Vultures.
Bateleur, Several of differing ages at Murchison (game drive}
Long-crested Eagle, Very common
Grey Kestrel, 1 Murchison (game drive), 1 Murchison Falls.
Helmeted Guineafowl, Fairly common
Crested Guineafowl, 2 flocks of 13 & 8 Kibale (on track to main road) at dusk, (ssp verreauxi)
Heuglin's Francolin, 2 Murchison (game drive)
Crested Francolin, Common at Mburo. 1Murchison (game drive)
Red-necked Spurfowl, Fairly common at Mburo
Common Buttonquail, 1 QENP (game drive)
African Crake, 1 QENP (walked out in to road when we had stopped to view Elephants)
Black Crake, Common, 7 at Mabamba on canoe trip.
Purple Swamphen, 4 Mabamba.
Moorhen, 1 Mabamba.
African Jacana, Common
Grey-crowned Crane, Fairly common
Black-bellied Bustard, 3 Mburo (game drive), 2 QENP (game drive).
Black-winged Stilt, Fairly common
Avocet, 1 Lake Katwe
Water Thick-knee, 2 Mabamba, 4 QENP (Kazinga Channel).
Stone Curlew, 2 Murchison whilst 'lamping'
Rock Pratincole, 10+ Murchison Falls
Spur-winged Lapwing, Fairly common.
Long-toed Lapwing, 4 Mabamba, 2 Murchison (game drive).
Wattled Lapwing, Fairly common.
Crowned Lapwing, 7 QENP (game drive)
Senegal Lapwing, 2 QENP (game drive)
Kittlitz's Plover, Very common QENP (numerous on airstrip)
Three-banded Plover, 3 Lake Katwe.
Ringed Plover, Odd birds at QENP & Lake Katwe.
Ruff, Fairly common
Common Sandpiper, Common
Wood Sandpiper, Common
Greenshank, Fairly common
Marsh Sandpiper, Fairly common
Spotted Redshank, 1 QENP (Kazinga Channel)
Little Stint, Several at QENP & Lake Katwe.
Sanderling, 20+ Lake Katwe
Curlew Sandpiper, Few at QENP & Lake Katwe.
Black-tailed Godwit, 2 QENP (Kazinga Channel).
Grey-headed Gull, Several QENP (Kazinga Channel)
Lesser Black-backed Gull, 100+ Lake Katwe.
Gull-billed Tern, Common
African Skimmer, 200+ QENP (Kazinga Channel).
White-winged Black Tern, Common
Whiskered Tern, Fairly common.
African Green Pigeon, 1 Mabamba, 1 Entebbe.
Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Common
Namaqua Dove, 4 Murchison (game drive).
Ring-necked Dove, Common
Red-eyed Dove, 2 Fort Portal.
African Mourning Dove, 1 QENP (Mweya Lodge)
Laughing Dove, 1 QENP (Mweya Lodge)
Brown Parrot, 4 Mburo (game drive).
Grey Parrot, 1 Royal Mile, 1 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Great Blue Turaco, 1 Buhoma, 3 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Ross's Turaco, 2 Buhoma, 2 QENP.
Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Several at Mburo.
Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, 3 Murchison, (Paraa ferry crossing) 2 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
African Cuckoo, 1 Murchison game drive (I/D confirmed by singing)
Red-chested Cuckoo, 1 Buhoma (adjacent accommodation called spasmodically through the night).
Diederik Cuckoo, 2 (pr) Sambiya Lodge.
Yellowbill, 1 Royal Mile.
White-browed Coucal, Common.
Blue-headed Coucal, 1 Buhoma
Standard-winged Nightjar, 4 (males with standards) Murchison.
Little Swift, Present in large Swift/ Hirundine flock QENP
White-rumped Swift, Present in large Swift/ Hirundine flock QENP
Alpine Swift, 2 QENP (Mweya Lodge)
Common Swift, Present in large Swift/ Hirundine flock QENP
African Palm Swift, Fairly common
Sabine's Spinetail, 4 Royal Mile (at stream end)
Speckled Mousebird, Common
Blue-naped Mousebird, 1 Mburo.
Pied Kingfisher, Common
Grey-headed Kingfisher, Very common
Woodland Kingfisher, 1 Mburo
Blue-breasted Kingfisher, 1 Royal Mile
Malachite Kingfisher, Fairly common
African Dwarf Kingfisher, 1 Royal Mile
Little Bee-eater, 2 Murchison (game drive)
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, 2 Buhoma, breeding hole 3 metres from accommodation window at eye level.
Blue-breasted Bee-eater, 2 Mburo
White-throated Bee-eater, 1 QENP, 2 Lake Munyanyange, 4 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, 1 Murchison (game drive)
Black Bee-eater, 1 Bwindi (former cultivated area), 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
European Bee-eater, 2 Nyabyeya College
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, 9 (adults & juvs) Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Red-throated Bee-eater, Two breeding colonies on Nile at Murchison.
Northern Carmine Bee-eater, 4 Murchison (Nile).
Broad-billed Roller, 4 Mabamba, 2 Entebbe
Green Wood-hoopoe, 3 Murchison (game drive).
White-headed Wood-hoopoe, 2 Buhoma.
African Grey Hornbill, Fairly common.
African Pied Hornbill, 2 QENP, 2 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Crowned Hornbill, 2 Entebbe (nest hole in tree at Hotel)
Black/White Casqued Hornbill, Common (2 tapping on hotel windows with bill at Botanical Beach )
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, 2 (pr) Murchison (game drive).
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Speckled Tinkerbird, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail), 1 Royal Mile
Grey-throated Barbet, 2 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Black-billed Barbet, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Willcock's Honeyguide, 1 Bwindi waterfall trail (competing for nest site with Speckled Tinkerbird)
Elliot's Woodpecker, 2 (pr) Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Yellow-crested Woodpecker, 5 Royal Mile (in one party).
Flappet Lark, 2 Murchison (game drive), (fighting on track)
Rufous-naped Lark, QENP (several on airstrip)
Plain Martin, Present in large Swift/Hirundine flock, QENP
Sand Martin, Common
Banded Martin, 1 Murchison (game drive), 1 Murchison Falls.
Mosque Swallow, 2 QENP
Lesser Striped Swallow, Common, (max count of 52 perched on wires at Nyabyeya College).
Barn Swallow, Fairly common
Angola Swallow, Very common.
Wire-tailed Swallow, Only noted at Murchison where breeding at Paraa ferry crossing.
Black Saw-wing, 6 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
White-headed Saw-wing, 1 QENP, 2 Nyabyeya College (perched on wires).
African Pied Wagtail, Common
Yellow Wagtail, Very common.
Yellow-throated Longclaw, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Red-throated Pipit, 1 Murchison (game drive)
Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, 1 Sambiya Lodge
Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Common Bulbul, Common
Little Greenbul, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail), 1 Royal Mile
Slender-billed Bulbul, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Toro Olive Greenbul, 1 Royal Mile
Red-tailed Greenbul, 1 Royal Mile
White-throated Greenbul, 1 Royal Mile
White-browed Robin-chat, 2 QENP
African Thrush, Common
Rufous Flycatcher-thrush, 1 Royal Mile
Sooty Chat, 1 Mburo, 1 QENP
Whinchat, Few at Murchison
Northern Wheatear, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Spotted Morning Thrush, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Sedge Warbler, 1 Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Garden Warbler, 1 QENP
Willow Warbler, Fairly common
White-browed Crombec, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Lemon-bellied Crombec, 1 Royal Mile
Rufous-crowned Eremomela, 2 Royal Mile
Black-faced Rufous Warbler, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail), this skulker was in open at less than 2 metres
Zitting Cisticola, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Croaking Cisticola, 1 Murchison (game drive).
White-chinned Prinia, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Banded Prinia, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Black-throated Apalis, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Mountain Masked Apalis, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Northern Black Flycatcher, 1 QENP
Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Murchison (Paraa ferry crossing).
African Dusky Flycatcher, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Grey-throated Flycatcher, 1 Royal Mile
Swamp Flycatcher, 2 Mabamba, 2 QENP
Dusky-blue Flycatcher, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Yellow-footed Flycatcher, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail), 'flycatching' from perch directly over track.
African Shrike Flycatcher, 1 Royal Mile
African Paradise Flycatcher, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail), 1 Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
African Blue Flycatcher, 1 Fort Portal
Chin-spot Batis, 2 (pr) Sambiya Lodge
Rwenzori Batis, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Banded Wattle-eye, 1 Buhoma, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Silverbird, 1 Murchison (Paraa ferry crossing).
Brown Babbler, 2 Sambiya Lodge
Dusky Tit, 4 Bwindi (waterfall trail), 2 Royal Mile
Yellow White-eye, Fairly common
Bronze Sunbird, 1 Buhoma
Green-headed Sunbird, 1 Royal Mile, 1 Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Blue-headed Sunbird, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Olive-bellied Sunbird, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Common
Red-chested Sunbird, Fairly common
Common Fiscal, Fairly common
Grey-backed Fiscal, Common
Mackinnon's Fiscal, 5 Buhoma area
Woodchat Shrike, 1 QENP, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Isabelline Shrike, 1 Murchison (game drive).
Black-headed Gonolek, 3 QENP
Many-coloured Bush-shrike, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Fork-tailed Drongo, 2 en route Murchison-Kampala
Piapiac, 1 Murchison (game drive), 1 en route Murchison-Kampala
Pied Crow, Common
Western Black-headed Oriole, 1 Royal Mile
Yellow-billed Oxpecker, 2 Mburo, 3 Murchison (game drive)
Narrow-tailed Starling, 4 Bwindi (former cultivated area)
Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling, Very common
Splendid Starling, 16+ Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Grey-headed Sparrow, Very common
Black-headed Weaver, Common (several breeding colonies at various locations)
Baglafecht Weaver, 1 Buhoma
Slender-billed Weaver, Breeding at QENP (Mweya Lodge) and Entebbe Botanical Gardens.
Golden-backed Weaver, Breeding at Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Yellow-backed Weaver, Breeding at QENP (Mweya Lodge)
Brown-capped Weaver, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Vieillot's Black Weaver, Breeding colony at Buhoma (entrance gate).
Red-billed Quelea, Several (non-breeding plumage) at QENP (airstrip) and Murchison
Yellow-crowned Bishop, 1 displaying at Bwindi. (According to distribution maps out of range)
Southern Red Bishop, 1 QENP (airstrip)
Grey-headed Negrofinch, 3+ Royal Mile (stream end)
White-breasted Negrofinch, 1 Bwindi (waterfall trail).
Grey-headed Oliveback, 1 (adult) Murchison (Paraa ferry crossing)
Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, 2 Murchison (game drive).
Red-billed Firefinch, 2 (pr) Mabamba.
Crimson-rumped Waxbill, 6+ Murchison (Paraa ferry crossing)
Black-crowned Waxbill, 6 Fort Portal
Bronze Mannikin, Fairly common
Pin-tailed Whydah, 6+ Lake Munyanyange including breeding plumaged males.
Village Indigobird, 2 (pr) Fort Portal
Brimstone Canary, 1 QENP (Mweya Lodge)
Yellow-fronted Canary, 1 Murchison (Paraa ferry crossing)
Thick-billed Seedeater, 1 Buhoma
Due to a lack of 'genning up' several species must have been overlooked e.g. African Firefinch, after seeing Red-billed Firefinch, assumed further sightings as this species, White-thighed Hornbill, birds seen in the distribution area for this species were noted as 'just Black & White Casqued Hornbills' et al, but not being an avid 'world lister' this didn't prove a disaster. The only 'tape luring' used was for Chocolate-backed Kingfisher (which was unsuccessful) at the Royal Mile, requested by a very enthusiastic Dane, who really wanted to see this species. No 'taping' was employed at Bwindi, although our guide had the tapes and player, but the birds were still plentiful even if 'neck-aching', as the majority were high in the canopy and the 'scope wasn't much good with small fast moving species, despite this excellent views of Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Blue-headed Sunbird, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, Black Bee-eater etc; were obtained.
Classification as per The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.
Gorilla Gorilla gorilla Silverback & 2 blackbacks in group of 20 at Bwindi.
Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes Silverback (tracked on ground through forest), adult & juvenile at Kibale. Heard at Bwindi
Olive Baboon Papio anubis Common, seen frequently at roadside whilst travelling.
Grey-cheeked Mangabey Lophocebus albigena Present in mixed primate feeding group, Kibale
Guereza Colobus Colobus guereza Small numbers at Mburo, Bwindi, QENP & Entebbe.
Blue Monkey Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni Recorded at Bwindi, Kibale, Budongo & Entebbe.
Red-tailed Monkey Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti Recorded at Bwindi, Kibale & Budongo.
L'hoest's Monkey Cercopithecus l'hoesti 5 feeding low in forest foliage, 2 at a distance of 2 metres, Bwindi.
Savannah Monkey Cercopithecus aethiops tantalus/pygerythrus Common, especially near habitation.
African Elephant Loxodonta africana Common at QENP & Murchison with maximum herd size of 11.
African Buffalo Syncerus caffer caffer Common at Mburo, QENP & Murchison
African Lion Panthera leo Pride consisting 2 males (brothers), female & 5 cubs, QENP
Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi/hybrid 9, north of the Nile at Murchison
Giant Hog Hylochoerus meinertzhageni 3 sightings of 12 in total at QENP
Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus Common at Mburo, QENP & Murchison.
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius Common at Mburo, QENP and on the Nile. (Observed grazing on land at all three places).
Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo Common and tame at QENP.
Striped Ground Squirrel Euxerus erythropus 1 at Entebbe
Common Zebra Equus quagga boehmi Only recorded at Mburo where fairly common
Eland Taurotragus oryx 20+ at Mburo
Hartebeeste Alcelaphus buselaphus Small numbers north of the Nile at Murchison.
Impala Aepyceros melampus Common at Mburo
Bohor Reedbuck Redunca redunca Small numbers at Mburo.
Bush Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia 1 at Mburo
Oribi Ourebia ourebi Small numbers at Mburo.
Topi Damaliscus lunatus Fairly common at Mburo.
Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus Fairly common recorded at Mburo, QENP & Murchison.
Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa Common at Mburo, QENP & Murchison.
Uganda Kob Korbus kob thomasi Common at QENP & Murchison.
3 other species of squirrel were seen which the guides identified as Bohm's, Mountain & Sun. A 'rabbit' observed whilst 'lamping' at Murchison was almost certainly Ugandan Grass Hare, whilst a small fox was also seen but not identified.
Numerous crocodiles at QENP & Murchison including the reputed largest on the Nile which we were informed was over 5 metres in length and 70 years old.
Monitors up to 1.5 metres in length. Several other species of lizard (including a royal blue & orange one) and geckos. Rock Python 1, over 5 metres long at QENP was very susceptible to noise. Giant Frog, 1 in water filled ditch, Entebbe. Giant Millipede.
An array of various colourful butterflies and several different dragonflies. Safari (big & black) and fire ants.