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Thursday, 7 July 2016

Uganda - 16th June to 7th July 2016

Now back from a 20-day trip to this stunning country with Jake Everitt and Ian Barnard. Uganda is sandwiched between the DR Congo to the west, and Kenya to the east, with Rwanda to the south where the majority of the Albertine Rift Endemics occur, mainly in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Over the course of the 20 days, a total of 477 species of bird were seen, including 21 of the 25 Albertine Rift Endemics also being seen. We managed all the targets that this country is so famous for, but it isn't just the birds, Uganda is primate central and the obvious highlights here was tracking both Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorilla. Photos of all these (including the 3 top birds) can be found below.

Our guide was Paul Tamwenya from African Birding Safaris. We visited all the main sites including Mabamba Swamp, Southern Murchison Falls, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, Semliki Forest, Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga NP and Lake Mburo.

During the course of the next few days I'll be compiling daily accounts and these eventually will be visible on here, though there are a few thousand photos to go through.

 Shoebill - awesome!!
 Green-breasted Pitta - incredibly lucky to see this bird. Our guide and a local guide had failed to find it after three hours of searching the forest where one was heard a few days ago. I decided to head into the forest and search myself. I found a White-tailed Ant Thrush, but whilst tracking this, a very slight movement on the ground to my left caught my attention, but all I could see was the rear end of the creamy supercilium, but I knew it was the Pitta. I saw it once more briefly as it hopped over a log leaving me in no doubt. I called the others over who were on the path, but somehow my nerve-wrecked voice made its way through, and we enjoyed great views of this stunning bird.
 African Green Broadbill - incredibly fortunate that a nest had been found, and even more so the chicks had hatched meaning the adults were more active. This is said to be one of the most sought after species in Africa.
 Mountain Gorilla - an unforgettable experience was tracking a family of Gorillas
 Chimpanzees - however tracking the Chimps was just incredible. We were with them for around 2 hours and they performed for us in so many ways.

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