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Uganda: Shoebill & Albertine Rift Endemics - Birding Tour

Tour Overview:

Despite being small and having no ocean coastline, Uganda supports more than 1000 species, which has earned this country its deserved reputation as a “birder’s Eden”. One of the astounding things about Uganda is how drastically the habitats and landscape change over a short distance, and these numbers reflect that huge variety of habitats. This tour explores papyrus swamps around Lake Victoria, the cloud forest draped mountains of the Albertine Rift, the lower-elevation Congolese rainforests, and a range of woodland and stereotypical “African” savanna, including thorn savanna, grassland savanna, Guinea savanna and even palm savanna. We’ll look for one of the most epic of all African birds, the incredible Shoebill. This gray statuesque leviathan haunts papyrus swamps searching for lethargic lungfish. Many types of wildlife experiences are billed as “something that will change your life”; trekking and hanging out with Gorillas for an hour or so is one of those experiences that lives up to all the hype, and then some. It is common for people to be talking about how expensive the permits are the night before the trek, but end up raving about how it was money very well spent, and how they want to do it again. We also have chances of finding two of Africa’s most elusive and sought-after birds: the African Green or Grauer’s Broadbill in Bwindi National Park and the Green-breasted Pitta in Kibale National Park. These marquee species have a strong supporting cast of lowland rainforest species which are shared with Congo, a rich assemblage of Albertine Rift endemic birds, and a set of specialties that is mainly confined to the Lake Victoria drainage. Few countries can offer as much in such a small package as does Uganda, leading some birders to describe it as the “Ecuador of Africa”.