Trip report: Uganda and Rwanda: Shoebill experience, Nyungwe’s Albertine Rift and Great Apes (July-August 2010) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Keith Barnes.

This was the first leg of our second Megafari of 2010 – a true trip of a lifetime for most of the participants. The main aims of the Uganda and Rwanda leg was to see a Shoebill stalking in deep Papyrus swamps, attempt to see the most unlikely scarce Central African denizen, Green-breasted Pitta, score a gamut of rainforest birds in both the lowlands of Kibale NP and then also the impressive montane forests of the incredible Nyungwe NP, and to see primates, and of course, the irrepressible great apes, Chimpanzee and Mountain Gorilla. Fortunately, we achieved all these aims, netting 346 bird species on this 12-day leg of the trip, of which only 9 were spent birding, as well as accumulating an incredible 652 bird species and 60 mammals in just over four-weeks of the Megafari. The Megafari was a boon for spectacular birds and we saw 32 species of bird of prey, 8 species of turaco, 7 species of kingfisher, 8 species of bee-eater, 9 species of hornbill, and 28 species of sunbird. We also saw the famous Big-5 mammals and had incredible encounters with Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees amongst 12 species of primates. For the extremely successful Kenya portion of the tour, read that trip report.

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