Day 12 of 25 Days Exploring the Pearl of Africa – Lake Albert, Semliki Wildlife Reserve

The day for the Shoebill on Lake Albert in western Uganda. There are about 4 main sites with high chances of sighting the Shoebill in Uganda. These are Mabamba wetland on Lake Victoria – this is the closest to Kampala and can be visited by some one on a day trip from Kampala or Entebbe. The second is Makananga wetland still on lake Victoria which can also be accessed easily from Kampala or Entebbe. The third sight is Lake Albert fringes in western Uganda in Semliki wildlife reserve and the last is the Delta area on River Nile, Murchison falls national park. There might be many other areas but these are the most common and have better chances of sightings.

IMG_2722We left the lodge at 7.00 am for the Lake Albert in Ntoroko, I think the entire reserve is in Ntoroko. The biggest business other than fishing which is obvious is trade between Uganda and DR Congo. You will find loads of tracks packed to capacity with cargo to DR Congo and the same to Uganda. We had minimum stopping for birding enroute because we needed to get there before the Shoebill left its fishing spot. Shoebills will normally stay in one place for even up to 2 hours finding food unless overly provoked. After about half an hour on the water towards the papyrus we sighted the Shoebill from a far.

We then moved towards the papyrus reeds to where the Shoebill was and we enjoyed several minutes photographing it from all the different angles. It was hunting for an breakfast and this kept us glued to the camera for perfect shots. Eventually everyone agreed that they had gotten enough pictures and watching the Shoebill and we started on our back. The boat was briefly stopped at different intervals for African Jacanas, Pelicans and Long-tailed Comorants. We spent a total of about 2 hours on the lake before starting our journey to the lodge for a more relaxed afternoon.


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