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Day 1 (Tuesday, 24th February)

     Mabamba Swamp


Mabamba Swamp

Canoe in Mabamba

Waking up early for a quickdeparture for the ferry across Lake Victoria was made all the easier by the vocal presence of a White-crowned Robin-Chat in the lodge gardens even before full light. Following a not so quick breakfast,  we made the short journey through an already bustling Entebbe market area to the ferry,  which was to take us across the neck of the lake to the West bank. Angola Swallows and Ruppells Starlings saw us off, with a hitchhiking pair of African Pied Wagtails stowed on board. Palmnut Vultures overhead and a line of marsh Terns hastened our crossing,  where the arrival dock found hordes of Pied Kingfishers, as well as Hamerkop, Splendid Glossy Starling, and various waders.

Shoebill

A trio of separate Great Blue Touracos hastened our journey to the Mabamba Swamp, where the main target was a bird wanted for almost 4 decades, since poring over bird books as a lad. This is one of the most reliable places for Shoebill, and requires a sedate lift in a dugout canoe for the search. A noisy colony of Village & Viellot's Black Weavers saw us off, with an usher in the form of Swamp Flycatcher over the boat mooring. Malachite Kingfisher were almost constant along then channels, with African Marsh Harrier and singing Winding Cisticola over and amongst the papyrus. It wasn't long wasn't long before we spotted a couple of parked canoes up one of the channels, with the ridiculous sight of a monstrous Shoebill just beyond, well out in the open. We could approach to a significant distance from the static bird, drinking in its ridiculous proportions. Northern Brown-throated Weaver and Purple Herons kept up the backing groups, and we departed the scene after half an hour or so.

The journey continued in the opposite direction,  through a more open area of lower swamp. A Blue-headed Coucal preceded a courting couple of Long-toed Lapwings, and a perching pair of Blue-breasted Bee-eaters. Possible prize in this section were three separate Lesser Jacanas, which unlike the much more common and obvious African Jacana is a harder bird entirely to pin down.

African Jacana Blue-breasted Bee-eater Blue-headed Coucal
African Jacana Blue-breasted Bee-eater Blue-headed Coucal
Long-toed Lapwing Malachite Kingfisher Purple Heron
Long-toed Lapwing Malachite Kingfisher Purple Heron
Shoebill Village Weaver Viellot's Black Weaver
Shoebill Village Weaver Viellot's Black Weaver

     Journey to Lake Mburo National Park

After a 3 hour journey across the equator,  we came to Lake Mburo reserve. There is a lake here, but we wouldn't see it until the following day. What did impress us through the 20km drive from the main road along dirt tracks to Mihingo Lodge was the mammalian presence. Our guide had asked us what we expected to see first on arrival, but we were stumped when a mother and calf Waterbuck crossed the track in front of us not long after the start of the journey. We made our way through various densities of bush, with common sightings of Impala, Warthog,  Zebra, Olive Baboon and Vervet Monkey, and occasional sightings of the glamorous Topi. Best surprise however was a group of 8 or so Banded Mongoose busying themselves not far from us. The omens bode well for our impending game walk the next morning, and were heightened by the antics of a pair of regular Greater Galagos after dark at dark at the lodge.

Lilac-breasted Roller Marabou Stork
Lilac-breasted Roller Marabou Stork
Vervet Monkey Banded Mongoose Warthog
Vervet Monkey Banded Mongoose Warthog
Topi Greater Galago
Topi Greater Galago

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

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Contact

Site map

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

Species list

Text only