Out of Africa
I guess when we of a “certain age” hear the name Uganda, we think of Idi Amin and the Raid on Entebbe. So when a friend and fellow birding club member asked if we wanted to go to Uganda, I was hesitant at first. This friend had missed his tour last year due to COVID, and had a travel credit, so five of us decided to go along. Our main reason was to see the shoebill — a four-foot tall bird that is extremely rare and still thinks it is a dinosaur.
We have been to Africa before, but the others in our group had not. So our friend’s Ugandan contact put together a 16-day trip for early June. It tried to balance seeing all the animals, experiencing the culture and not trying to see only birds.
The result was an amazing trip, where we saw lions in trees, leopards, giraffes, hippos, elephants, zebras, warthogs, rhinos, jackals, cape buffalo, 12 types of antelope and five types of monkeys. We trekked to see chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, and 310 species of birds — the final one, of course, being the legendary shoebill .
The featured 45-minute video of trip highlights is broken into four themed parts.
Enjoy a whirlwind tour of Uganda!
Part 1: Our visit to the northern part of the country
- Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where they are slowly replenishing the white rhinos
- Murchison Falls National Park, a treasure of game drive treats, where Murchison Falls is the emotional and titular source of the Nile River
Part 2: Primate encounters
- Our two great ape treks
- Seeing chimpanzees in the Kibale Forest — only to have to run away from charging forest elephants at the end
- Our special encounter with the mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Other primates we were lucky to encounter
Part 3: Game drives in the national parks in the west and south
- Queen Elizabeth National Park, located in a rift valley and famous for being one of two places in the world where lions climb trees
- Lake Mburo National Park, with its huge zebra population
Part 4: Lodges, birds and shoebill
- A tour of lodges and parks where we stayed, and a sampling of the incredible birds we saw in each one
- Our quest in the Mabamba swamp for the shoebill