Trip report: Uganda (June 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Crammy Wanyama. This was a set-departure tour, and did not include the Rwanda extension.

This Uganda birding and nature tour is ideal not just for the first timer but also for regular visitors to Africa. This small country is often referred to as “Africa’s birding capital”; it is nearly in the middle of the continent, and this advantageous location means it encompasses many of the continent’s prime biomes.

Our tour started from the very great Lake Victoria that harbours the highly sought-after Papyrus Gonolek and Carruther’s Cisticola, then went to the Albertine Rift, Somali Masai, and the migratory corridors that the Palaearctic migrants favour year after year.

Uganda has two wet and dry seasons, and for this reason, most resident birds breed twice in a year. Our scheduled departure usually runs in June. During this time of the year, the first rainy season is at its end, and the country is all green with an abundant food supply for adult birds to feed the young. It is at this time that some mega birds like Grauer’s Broadbill and Green-breasted Pitta that are famous for eluding birders, reach their breeding grounds. This year we were delighted to enjoy magnificent views of all these tough beauties, and a great collection of the continent’s unique bird families like the turacos, up to thirty species of raptors, among many others that summed up to 530 trip birds. Our eyes also took in 56 mammals, 10 reptiles, dramatically changing scenery, stunning green vegetation, and golden savannas during the evenings.

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