COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Protocols

Updated January 13, 2022

We Are Travelers

Taking precautions so we can get back on the road again. We are open and we are operating tours. With rare exceptions we are not rescheduling tours and our established terms and conditions apply.
We know that travel is not right for everyone right now, but we are thankful that our small group adventures and independent travel have been running smoothly with COVID-careful precautions. Our guest feedback tells us you are also happy to be out in the field enjoying nature again. Our goal is to lessen risk for our travelers, our guides, and those we visit. We cannot control every element of travel but we will use the best available information to minimize risk as we travel. Our policies aim to do that and to minimize possible Covid disruption to your Safari.

As conditions and regulations to cope with them can change quickly this update has general information and for our travelers registered for a specific destination, we keep in close contact the weeks of the 60-days out to departure.

Where We Go:

Travel Alerts
We closely monitor travel alerts for all areas we visit. The system of Level 1-4 ratings was designed to evaluate and express risk from varied factors such as natural disasters, war, famine, fire, flooding and disease outbreaks. The current system is stretched thin to assess risk associated with COVID-19. While we pay careful attention to the ratings, we know that they are done in hindsight, looking at data from the past 30 days rather than a forecast. So this makes it difficult to predict accurate conditions in the future. We use a combination of credible sources to evaluate trends and on the ground conditions in the often very rural places we visit on our trips. We also compare the trends and numbers to that at home in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda and evaluate travel to our destinations on a comparative risk basis to conditions we have at home.

Reliable Colleagues, Lodges and Guides
Amid challenges of the pandemic we are choosing to work with lodges and operators that we know. We are offering more tours within East Africa and we offer more tours to countries close to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda that we have a trusted ground team in to help us operate with minimal risk.

How We Go

As of February 1, 2022 an additional BOOSTER is required for travel.*

Since July 1, 2021 African Birding Nature requires that all travelers and our guides are fully vaccinated. All our local guides and drivers are vaccinated, All are tested ahead of work with our group. We do this out of concern for you and for our providers at local destinations that serve you.


Don’t miss your trip! Two-weeks ahead of your travel we recommend that you minimize your social interactions, particularly inside gatherings. When considering your schedule, ask yourself—is this worth missing my trip? Know that we cannot reschedule your travel without penalties. Use current standards for cleanliness, masking, and social distancing.


Plan ahead: We know that PCR tests are difficult to come by but they are required for a lot of international travel. Most large airports now offer rapid testing so if you cannot schedule this at your home city, as a backup, consider getting to your gateway airport (if it has test facilities) a day ahead or with a longer layover and time to test if you need to. You also have to complete a Travel or Health Pass online for travel out of the country where you are coming from. These can readily be done on a smart phone (you need to upload photos of vaccination cards and tests) – if you don’t have these skills ask for help from friends or fellow-travelers after you have your test results to load.

Upgrade your mask. Wear the highest quality mask you can find in the airport and on the plane. Purchase an N95 or KN95 or equivalent mask and keep it on.
Consider a day-pass to a lounge. If you have a longer layover, many airlines offer a lounge day-pass and this is often a less-crowded and more controlled environment to wait for your flight.

Download the airline app and know your password. Changes happen and this gives you a tool to solve your travel issues without standing in a long line.


What We’re Doing:
— We retain a small group size, typically 7-10 persons per tour.
— We file COVID-19 Risk Management plans for all our Clients.
— We follow masking and social distancing protocols and require clients to agree to these before travel.
— We stress cleanliness by keeping high standards and providing supplies to travelers.
— We carefully research dining. Expect more catered meals at our small lodges, picnics and to go options, patio dining and when inside, dining at restaurants that are smaller and not crowded. If you are uncomfortable with a dining choice on tour, you can ask for your food to go.
— We require masks inside vehicles and keep vehicle windows open to circulate fresh air.
— On our tours we offer Tourist Vehicle with enough space. We do not crowd seating in vehicles.
— We investigate local conditions ahead of arrival. We are in close communication with our lodges and activity providers to share our COVID-19 protocols and to know ahead of time what their policies and attitudes are when hosting our group.
— We keep you informed of local protocols. Many countries now have a health app or other method to track health status at entry. We will help you understand the process for each destination.
— We arrange for COVID-19 testing ahead of your return from the safari in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda. We make the appointments and provide transport, clients fill out paperwork and pay for testing at time of service.
— We continue to network with our colleagues about our collective response to COVID-19; we follow the Adventure Travel and Trade guidelines that are extensive, professional and well-researched.


Expect that masks will be required at times on our tours. You will be asked to keep masked up when with the group inside and not eating or drinking. All vehicle use will require you to wear masks. Wear a mask when entering public spaces such as bathrooms and restaurants. If you are fully vaccinated and outside, and using social distancing precautions, you do not have to wear your mask unless local regulations require it. If you are on your own photographing or walking a garden, keep a mask handy to put on when you meet others. If you need a break from your mask, walk away from the group. Since birding happens quickly and people crowd to get directions, it’s best to bring a variety of masks and find those that fit well, and are comfortable for you so you can keep them on. For inside spaces current advise is for a higher quality mask. We recommend a KN95 or better especially for times inside for extended periods such as time in airports in route to your journey.


We will avoid crowded places as much as possible. In the field we can move around to avoid them, and we ask that you give each other space – be mindful.

We will not use scopes as much as we do in more normal times, but will have them when needed, please wear a mask if you want scope use.


We are all pretty-well trained by now and we advise common sense and mindfulness as we travel. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and bring hand sanitizer. We will have supplies in the vehicles to wipe down surfaces. Our hotels and motels have cleanliness procedures that they follow and chain hotels detail their protocol. It’s has been in their interest for months to have high standards. Still, you may wish to bring a supply of disinfectant wipes, and you can request no service in your room during your stay if you prefer that. We make every effort to choose high-standard hotels, small boutique hotels where we can but in some locations near prime birding areas we may choose “best available” and we cannot guarantee other than normal standards.


We can endeavor to minimize your risk particularly within our group. But we cannot control each aspect of travel or conditions at all places we visit. We cannot lesson standards set by countries for entry such as testing or uploading documents to a health pass. We cannot move you to another tour within the time frame of the penalties of our terms and conditions – by 60 days out your funds are at your destinations. As long as planes are flying and borders are open, they are not likely to send back returns. The panic of 2022 is different that today’s situation where we have knowledge and tools to cope with conditions. Certainly if conditions become severe this will change, but currently our tours are running as normal.

For international travelers be aware that people in our countries of host are only now just getting vaccinations. We do select local guides and drivers that are vaccinated and we chose locations that can do this, but you may encounter non-vaccinated persons as we travel, inside East Africa or out. Also note that our lodges and transport companies often do not do their schedule until the week of your visit – we will not know the status of every local person we encounter. We can require masks when we wear them and we will bring a good supply of masks to share with locals involved with our group in case they lack them. In general we find mask wearing to be far more common and compliant here.

Timely Question: “What If?”…

“What if?”

– We ask that people monitor their health daily and report any potential symptoms. If someone has symptoms or suspects they may be ill we will take the following steps:
– For severe illness professional medical transport and treatment will be arranged
– For symptoms suggesting Covid infection, prompt isolation will be required until testing can be done
– Testing will be required and our ground team will coordinate how to achieve that
– If a positive test occurs for anyone in the group, others of the group will also need to be tested and group activity will cease until test results can be received.
– As long as travelers have a negative test on the arrival at the airport, they can continue with the trip
– Further testing intervals will be set using the medical advice of professionals attending to our travelers.
– Testing and medical care support will be coordinated to assist travelers that need to isolate / quarantine or change travel plans
– For the affected individual this situation is similar to having a broken bone, a stroke or heart attack on a tour. We are here to help coordinate care but guides are trained in basic first aid only and we will seek professional medical care for all situations at your expense. Illness that extends beyond the tour will require individual responsibility to request and pay for help as needed.

MY TOUR CANNOT OPERATE: This is being asked often and we understand! If we cannot operate a tour safely, we will reschedule. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a chance that your tour may not go despite our best efforts. Borders may close, or quarantines may be imposed that we cannot do within the tour schedule.

I CHANGE MY MIND. We want to reduce your risk of losing your travel investment, too. A general guideline is that your financial risk is there, particularly once you make your final trip payment at the required 60, 90, or 120 days. For some tours we have extended that payment schedule to give us time to collectively make a sound decision on whether or not that tour can run.

LOOKING FORWARD—A Note from Our Owner

We have put a strong 2022 calendar together and we continue to future options. We understand that travel still feels uncertain, but also know that many travelers want a plan and something to look forward to. We will not take any final payment or send payment on to our suppliers until we can confirm the tour is possible to run. As mentioned in our COVID precaution guidelines, we require travelers to show proof of full vaccination (and as of February 1, 2022 a booster) before travel. These recommendations are for your peace of mind as well as for the safety of others.

Our clients’ and colleagues’ health and safety are our main concern. Our office staff members are all working from home, so email is the best way to reach us. We do monitor phones and will get back to you.

At African Birding Nature ABN, we retain a strong network of experienced suppliers in the field and we lean on our very good relations with them as we look for solutions. For almost all of our cancelled tours, we requested new bookings, which was a real help to them and strengthened our professional bonds. For all our destinations, we monitor daily news updates, use professional consultants, and watch Ministry of Health and other  government guidelines that affect travel.

We appreciate the enduring and strong support of our travelers, urging us to hang in there and be strong. We are a small, specialized, “boutique” company in the true sense, so our solutions may not mirror the giants of our industry. We treasure more than ever, our personal (and for the most part patient!) client base as we try to keep up with needs on both sides of the tour equation. We recognize that if we don’t support our providers, our travel options will be fewer in the future in the very special places we visit. We understand we may not make everyone happy but we trust that all recognize the complexity of the situation.

Are we optimistic? Yes, we are travelers. Whatever the new “normal” is, we will find a way to do what we love to do best. For us, travel is one of the greatest joys of life. We know that our joy brings vibrancy to local communities that in turn secure a healthy and protected place on the planet for wildlife. We feel that we can reduce risk and venture out, if we do so respectfully and carefully.

— Kenneth Tumusiime, and the team at African Birding Nature ABN

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Get luxury lodges for the price of budget accommodation

Shake off the 2022 blues with a sunshine-filled birding private trip of a lifetime in Kenya! African Birding Nature ABN is offering its extremely popular 14 Day Birding Bliss Photography Tour on a very special one-off price for January, February and March 2022!

Experience some of the very best birding locations in the world on this exceptional world-class birding tour, with the bonus of getting to stay in luxury lodges for the price of budget accommodation! This is a one-time special offer to celebrate the beginning of 2022, which let’s face it, has not been kind to most of us.

We all need something to look forward to after this difficult year and what better than a fortnight of beautiful days and nights in the world’s most stunning locations filled with the world’s finest birdlife and big game.

Your safety is our priority more than ever. Here you can read all about our COVID-19 protocols to give you an idea of our social distancing and mask-wearing measures. We also recognise that flexibility is key – so all deposits are exchangeable in case of unforeseen circumstances.





  • $4,338, £3,340 or €3,687


  • $6,926, £5,333, €5,887
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Where to go Birding in Uganda

Uganda is just one of more than 20 countries that are part of the African continent. It occupies a land area of 235,000 square kilometers which has more than 1008 species of birds. This figure represents more than half of the type of bird species found in Africa making it the best place to be should you desire to go on a bird watching vacation. There are a lot of places to go bird watching in Uganda. You can take your pick from over 700 forest reserves.

One example is the Albertine Rift Endemic Area that boasts to have 38 species of birds. The birds here can also be seen in Burundi, Congo and Rwanda. Because the government wants to protect these animals, they have setup 24 similar areas that are located in the forests of Mgahinga and Bwindi National Park in the southwest.

Apart from the forests, there are also the wetlands. Uganda has 30,000 square kilometers of wetlands and not less than 210 bird species are present at all times. You might to see the Shoebill, the African Skimmer, the Papyrus Gonolek, White Winged Warbler or the White Winged Black Tern.

Best National Parks Where to Go Birding in Uganda
Of the many national parks in Uganda, the most famous are Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Bwindi Impenetrable, Semuliki Forest and Kibale Forest.

The Queen Elizabeth National park has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. Aside from the 606 bird species that roam this are, the park is also home to over 100 mammal species.
Murchison Fall National Park is situated by the Murchison Waterfalls nearby. The wildlife in this area has drastically improved from the poaching done during the 1980’s so you are sure to see several species of birds, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and antelopes.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to 90 mammal species which includes 11 primates. There are about 23 bird species which still ranks among the highest in Uganda.
Semuliki National Park is one of the newest in Uganda. It lies on the border with Congo. Because of the changes that happened during the Pleistocene era, it is very ideal for both flora and fauna to grow.
Kibale National Park is considered to be the most accessible in Uganda. You will get to see various species of birds here and along the way you might get the chance to take pictures of one out of 13 primate species that inhabit this region.
Featured Places to Visit

Mabamba Wetlands
Mabamba wetland in the Mpigi swamps is an easily accessible birding hotspot on the shores of Lake Victoria. It offers the best opportunity to see the rare and globally threatened Shoebill Stork. The wetlands also support many other species of birds. The Papyrus Yellow Warbler and the Blue Swallow are also found here. Other species are Gull-billed Terns, White-winged Black Tern, Whiskered Terns, Grey-headed Gulls, Goliath Heron, Pygmy Geese, Swamp Flycatcher, Slender-billed Weaver, Lesser Jacana, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Afep Pigeon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Papyrus Gonolek, and White-winged Warbler. The Sitatunga a very hard to see antelope has also been sighted in these swamps.

Murchison Falls National Park
This park is another popular birding destination in East Africa. It contains the famous Murchison falls which is a favorite attraction to tourists. The park is also dominated by rolling savanna and tall grassland, thick bush, and patches of forest in the higher and wetter areas. With 451 different species of birds have been recorded here and they include, Shoebill, Pallid Harrier, Black-winged Pratincole, African Skimmer, Great Snipe, Bat Hawk, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Long-toed, Black-headed, Wattled Lapwings, Denhams Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-Billed Barbet and Teminck’s Courser. On a game drive animals like the Lion, Leopards, Giraffes, Oribis, Hartebeests, Elephants are easily located, a boat ride to the base of the falls often offers wonderful view of Hippos Crocodiles and the magnificent cascading water at a close range.

Budongo Forest Reserve
This forest reserve is found in the north-western part of Uganda. Its diverse tropical high forests medium altitude semi-deciduous Cynometra and swamp forest provides a rich habitat for wildlife. The birdlife is amazing, two species of birds, Yellow-footed Flycatcher and Puvell’s Illadopsis are only found here. More interesting species includes Piping Hornbill, Red-sided Broadbill, Spotted Greenbul, Cassin’s Spinetail, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Ituri Batis,and Red-fronted Antpecker, More common species found here are Blue-throated Roller, White-thighed Hornbill, Little Grey and Icterine Greenbuls, Forest Robin, Brown-chested and Fire-crested Alethes, Red-tailed and White-tailed Ant-thrush, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Grey and Yellow Longbills, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Black-capped Apalis, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Brown Illadopsis, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Western Black-headed Oriole, Grey-headed and White-breasted Negrofinches, Ituri Batis, White-spotted Greenbull, Forest Robin, and Narina Trogon.

Kibale National Park
Located in the south western region of Uganda, this forest is classified as medium altitude moist evergreen forest in the north, and medium altitude deciduous forest at lower altitude in the south. It also has large tracks of open grassland and in certain areas the natural forest is reclaiming the grassland forming secondary forest growth. In this diverse environment the following species of birds have been recorded, White-naped Pigeon, Blue-throated Roller, White-thighed Hornbill, Little Grey and Icterine Greenbuls, Forest Robin, Brown-chested and Fire-crested Alethes, Red-tailed and White-tailed Ant-thrush, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Grey and Yellow Longbills, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Black-capped Apalis, African Shrike Flycatcher and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Brown Illadopsis, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Western Black-headed Oriole, Grey-headed and White-breasted Negrofinches, Ituri Batis, White-spotted Greenbull, Forest Robin, and Narina Trogon. The park also supports good populations of Leopards, Chimpanzees, Red Colobus Monkey and L’hoest’s Monkey.

Semliki National Park
Situated in the extreme corner of south western Uganda, Semliki is a very dense forest and part of the great Ituri forest that stretches into the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the only park in Uganda composed primarily of tropical lowland forest. It also one of the only forest were you can easily hike anwhere. The land is quite flat, creating a startling contrast to the rugged Ruwenzori Mountains nearby. More than thirty Western African bird species have been recorded in this forest and they include Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, White-crested Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail, Black-wattled Hornbill, and Lyre-tailed Honey-guide. You can also find the commoner species like Piapiac Black Chinned Quail Finch Leaflove Wattled, White-crested Red-billed and Black Dwarf Hornbills, Hartlaub’s Duck, Spot- breasted Ibis, Black Collared Lovebird and many others. The Semliki River attracts many animals. The park is home to eight species of primates, 400 species of birds and about 300 species of butterflies. Elephant, Buffalo, Civet, Leopard, Bush baby, and flying squirrels are found here as well.

Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular game park and certainly one of its most scenic. It stretches from the crater-dotted foot hills of the Rwenzoris in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the South, incorporating a wide variety of habitats that range from savannah and wetlands to the gallery and lowland forests. This remarkable diversity is reflected in its bird list of over 500 species, the largest of any protected area in Africa. They include the Grey Crowned Crane, Martial Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Rupell’s Griffon Vulture, Sooty Chat, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Marsh Tchagra Broad-tailed Warbler, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-headed Gonolek, and Black-lored Babbler. The park also supports a large population mammals like Hippos, Elephants, the elusive Giant Forest Hog and Uganda Kob.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers the best montane forest birding in Africa. It is considered a key destination by birders with Uganda on their itinerary. Amongst the numerous possibilities are no less than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift Endemics, including spectacular, globally threatened species such as Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and African Green Broadbill. Other species that draw bird watchers to Bwindi include Short-tailed Warbler, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red-throated Alethe, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Blue-headed Sunbird, Handsome Francolin,Rufous-chested Fluff tail, Bar-tailed Trogon, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Tullberg’s and Elliot’s Woodpeckers, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Shelley’s and Red-tailed Greenbuls, Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-throated Apalis, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Northern Double-collared Sunbird and Stuhlmann’s, Waller’s and Narrow-tailed Starlings. The park also has good populations of gorilla and a trek to see these primates can be incoprated into a birding itinerary.

Lake Mburo National Park
This is a relatively small and new park gazetted in 1982. Situated between the towns of Masaka and Mbarara, the park is composed primarily of grassland, wetland, and Acacia woodland. Lake Mburo has markedly different flora and fauna to other national parks and reservations. The swampy area offers one of the best places to locate the papyrus specialists such as White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Papyrus Canary and the Papyrus Gonolek. In the acacia dotted landscape, one can easily locate Rofous-bellied Heron, black-throated Barbet, Green-capped Eremomela, Southern Red Bishop and Long-tailed Cisiticola. It is a good place in the country to see gigantic eland, impala, zebra, topi, rock hyrax, warthog, hyena, and crocodile.

Mabira Forest Reserve
Mabira Forest Reserve is located on the main Kampala-Jinja Highway in Mukono District. It is 54km from the City Centre of Kampala and 26km from Jinja Town making it a popular birding area for tourists and locals alike. Most of the species found here are forest dependents and can only be found in a few other forests in Uganda. The good network of footpaths within the reserve helps immeasurably to locate some of the more secretive species such as Forest and Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Sabine Spinetail, African Dwarf-Kingfisher, Speckled and Yellow- throated Tinkerbird, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Sooty Boubou, Blue-headed Crested–flycatcher, Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher, Dusky Tit, Olive-Green Camaroptera, Plain Greenbul, Rofous Flycatcher Thrush, Red-headed Malimbe and many others.

Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park has 28 species from the Somali-Masai and Sudan–Guinea Savanna biomes. The species are endemic to this area in the country and with a record of 480 species in total, the park has the second-highest bird record of any Ugandan protected areas, after Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is also the only IBA located entirely within the Somali– Masai biome. It supports some of the rarest species in Uganda, such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apalis.
Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your birding experience. Widespread species such as the Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, the Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu. A small permanent water hole at the edge of the camp attracts swallows and a variety of seedeaters including the Yellow-rumped Seedeater and is visited at night by the Four-banded Sandgrouse, Elephants, Buffaloes, and occasionally Lions. Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and the Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill is also seen in the rank grass along the normally dry stream beds.

The Common Ostrich, Secretary Bird, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-crested Turaco, White-bellied Go-away bird, White-faced Scoops Owl, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, the Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Singing Bush lark, Red-winged Lark, Ethiopian Swallow, the Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’s Wheaters, African Grey Flycatcher, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, Karamoja Apalis, White-bellied Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Superb Starling, Red billed Oxpecker, Eastern Violet backed, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, White-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted Weavers, the Green-winged, Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, Black-bellied and Black-faded Waxbills, Steel-blue and Strawtailed Whydahs, and the Brown-rumped Bunting, are just a few of the 480 bird species the Park boosts of. You should not afford missing taking a look at these beautiful birds.

Lake Opeta
The wetland of Lake Opeta has been considered to be of great importance for the conservation of birds, and there have been calls at the international level to afford this area a higher level of protection. It is the only permanent wetland in the Karamoja area.

No detailed inventories have been conducted in this swamp, but from visits by Nature Uganda staff it has been identified as important for the conservation of birds. Ploceus spekeoides has been recorded as breeding, but its overall status and distribution in Uganda remain poorly not known. Species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome that are expected, but have not been recorded yet, include Bradypterus carpalis, Chloropeta gracilirostris, Cisticola carruthersi and Serinus koliensis.

Lake Opeta and its surrounding swamp fall in four Districts; it is the only significant wetland in the Karamoja area, and one of the few remaining intact marshes in Uganda. The IBA covers Lake Opeta itself and the surrounding marsh from Lake Bisina in the west, bordering East Teso Controlled Hunting Area in the north, Paid-Upe Wildlife Reserve in the east, and covering the seasonal grassland indicated as Lake Okolitorom on maps.

The IBA is predominantly an extensive swamp of Miscanthus to the east and south, merging into dry Hyparrhenia grass savannas. Lake Opeta is a small lake in the middle of the swamp, covered by water-lilies Nymphaea with a thin fringe of papyrus Cyperus papyrus on the eastern side. There is a wooded island in the middle of the swamp called the Tisai, where a few people live. The area is mainly used by the Karimajong and Pokot people for grazing their cattle in the dry season.

Where to Stay
You can camp out in each of these places or stay in a small hotel or camp ground so you can head out looking for birds early in the morning and get back before it gets dark.
Budget Accommodations that we do book for our Budget clients in Uganda
. Rwonyo Guest House
. Rushaga Gorilla Haven Lodge
. Engiri Game Lodge
. Rweetera safari park
. Heritage Safari Lodge
. Apoka Bandas
. Karatunga-Karamoja

Mid-range Accommodations that we do book for our clients in Uganda

. Lake Heights Hotel Entebbe
. Rwakoobo Rock Lodge
. Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge
. Ishasha Jungle Lodge
. Buffalo Safari Lodge
. Fort Motel
. Chimpanzee Guest House
. Nyati Game Lodge
. Pakuba Safari Lodge
. Kidepo Savannah Lodge
. Hotel Africana Moroto
. Source of the Nile Hotel

Luxury Accommodation for our clients in Uganda

. Lake Height Hotel Entebbe
. Hotel No.5 Entebbe
. Nyaika Hotel
. Mihingo Lodge
. Kigambira Safari Lodge
. Igongo Country Hotel
. Havens Lodge Buhoma
. Clouds Lodge
. Mweya Safari Lodge
. Elephant Plains
. Kasenyi Safari camp
. Primate Lodge Kibale
. Paraa Safari Lodge
. Chobe Safari Lodge
. Apoka Safari Lodge

Travel Planning
When to Visit Uganda
The parks are open all year round. All you have to do is book a flight and accommodations, pack your gear and then arrive at Uganda. Don’t forget to bring your camera and download the list of bird species found here so you can easily identify what you see when you get close to them.

Don’t Forget
Be prepared for warm to hot, dry and sunny weather on most days. Overcast conditions will occur, Uganda being surrounded by tropical rain forests and fresh water bodies it can rain any time of the day and year. It will be warm to cool at higher elevations. It is recommended to take a light rain-jacket, although we will try to avoid birding in any rain worse than a light drizzle, and good, sturdy, waterproof footwear.
Walking conditions will be relatively easy but trails anywhere may be muddy depending on how recently it has rained.
Though birding is exciting, sometimes it’s a challenge to find hotspots for birding while traveling. That’s why you may wish to hire a bird watching guide. A birding guide familiar with an area will concurrently increase your enjoyment of birding while helping you increase your life list.
Planning for a bird watching safari in Uganda? For more tips, ideas and guidance about birding simply check out our travel tips and blog

Uganda is known as Africa’s premier birding destination with the list of birds found in the country topping 1000, most of these birds live only in these tropical forests with the are sightings being described as mythical while it’s believed that some of the birds living in the remote forests of Uganda may not even be classified as of yet. These birds have greatly attracted many people to come for safaris to Uganda.

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Game Safaris

Go game viewing in the savannah parks of Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania with African Birding Journeys. Enjoy the company of different wild animals grazing, browsing, and hunting in the wilderness of Africa on our morning, day, and night game viewing experiences. Enjoy our guided game drives in the savannah plains of Murchison Falls, Kdepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth, Lak Mburo, Masai Mara, Serengeti, Tarangire, Akagera, and Amboseli National Parks across Africa.

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About Us

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