6th - 8th December 2023


Kampala - Uganda


Sheraton Kampala


5 Professional Speakers

About the conference

From 6th -8th December 2023, International Conference for Women Birders (IC4WB) will be held in Uganda. The conference will be hosted in the Ugandan Capital City – Kampala. Bird watching is currently one of the biggest and fastest growing outdoor activities globally worth billions of dollars, a great deal for conservation of threatened birds and realistic tool for women and youth livelihood improvement and job creation.

This conference is organized to provide an international opportunity for women birders, conservation researchers, wildlife management practitioners and other interested actors in line bird watching, conservation and women empowerment.

Uganda Women Birders


All participants attending the conference personally have to register


  • 1 day attendance – $50 (+Lunch)

  • 2 days attendance – $100 (+Lunch)

  • 3 days attendance – $150 (+Lunch)

  • Additional ticket for final dinner – $50

Travel Information

Uganda is an East African country that shares borders with Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The capital city of Kampala has a population of over 1.5 million people. Uganda’s diverse landscape includes mountains, forests, and lakes, with Lake Victoria being the largest tropical lake in the world. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to almost half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Despite facing challenges such as poverty and political instability, Uganda has made significant progress in areas like education and healthcare. With over 50 indigenous languages spoken, Uganda has a rich cultural heritage. The country is also a leading destination for birdwatching enthusiasts, thanks to its extensive network of site guides. Uganda is a must-visit location for those interested in wildlife, culture, and natural beauty.

The conference will take place at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala. The hotel is offering special rates for accommodation, which can be reserved through Diana Kobusingye at

Conference Tours

Pre and post-conference tours are available ranging from one day to 14 days or more. These tours include experiences such as Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking, birding the Albertine rift endemics, Shoebill excursion, and cultural tours. Some of the tour packages are featured on the first pages of the website. To reserve a tour or excursion, please contact one of the following: or


For international travelers, Uganda can be accessed through Entebbe International airport, which is serviced by several airlines including Emirates, Rwanda Air, KLM, Qatar Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and Egypt air.

On Arrival in Uganda

Upon arrival, proceed to immigrations and be prepared to show your COVID certificate and Yellow Fever certificate. You are expected to have applied for the visa online at Visas in Uganda

After immigrations, collect your luggage and proceed to a bag screening machine. Drop your bag and the machine will clear it before proceeding to the arrival area. If you have not arranged transportation, there are airport taxis available. Proceed to their office and hire one. The Sheraton Hotel Kampala is located about 40km north of Entebbe, and can take up to 30 minutes via express road. The cost may range from $40 to $100 depending on the time of arrival.

IC4WB Speakers

Andrea Molina

“Wings of Empowerment: My Journey as a Female Birder in Ecuador”

In this presentation, Molina Andrea can share her personal journey, experiences, and the evolution of her passion for birding. She can discuss how she discovered her love for birds, the challenges she faced as a female birder in Ecuador, and the empowerment she gained through her connection with the avian world. This presentation can inspire and encourage other women to pursue their interests in birding, highlighting the transformative power of nature.

Peg Abbott

“Weaving the tapestry of a guiding life”

A passion for birds can be in entwined in the tapestry of life in many ways, for Peg Abbott it became the very fabric that defined her as a Guide, and as a 25+ year owner of a worldwide birding company running over 160 trips a year Peg will discuss the varied threads of her work journey, some colorful, some smmoth, some rough, and some broken. It is a personal story involving conservation efforts, research and personal commitment – all threads that have made this life possible. Peg shares tips for other women starting their own companies and careers and also personal stories from her own travels. Learn to be vibrant, resilient, soft and strong!

Dr. Gladys Kalema

Distinguished speaker at the International Conference for Women Birders, brings forth a profound discourse on “Promoting Gorilla Conservation Through Responsible Tourism.” The crux of her presentation revolves around the principles of ecotourism, a concept encapsulated by “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the wellbeing of local people and involves interpretation and education” (International Ecotourism Society, 2015). Dr. Kalema’s insights delve into the pivotal role that responsible tourism plays in fostering the preservation of gorilla habitats.

Drawing on her extensive expertise, Dr. Kalema elucidates how responsible tourism practices can be instrumental in striking a delicate balance between the burgeoning industry’s economic pursuits and the imperative to safeguard the natural world. With a focus on gorilla conservation, she navigates through the intricate web of challenges and opportunities that lie at the intersection of tourism and environmental stewardship.

Furthermore, Dr. Kalema expands her discourse to encompass the crucial aspect of community engagement in conservation efforts. Recognizing that local communities are integral stakeholders in the sustainable development of ecotourism, she explores strategies for fostering partnerships that ensure the wellbeing of both the natural environment and the people inhabiting these regions. By intertwining the narratives of responsible tourism, gorilla conservation, and community engagement, Dr. Gladys Kalema crafts a holistic narrative that underscores the interconnectedness of these elements.

Attendees of the conference can anticipate an enlightening session that not only highlights the pressing need for responsible tourism in gorilla conservation but also empowers them with actionable insights to contribute meaningfully to the intersection of environmental preservation and community prosperity. Dr. Kalema’s presentation promises to be a beacon, guiding the way towards a harmonious coexistence between tourism and the delicate ecosystems it encounters.

Dr Tonia Cochran

Distinguished speaker at the upcoming International Conference for Women Birders, will share insights into the remarkable journey of Inala Nature Tours, a tour company she has built and nurtured over the past three decades. As a seasoned researcher, Dr Cochran has not only contributed significantly to the field of ornithology but has also emerged as a leading female tour operator in Australia.

In her presentation, Dr Cochran will delve into the rich history of Inala Nature Tours, providing a comprehensive overview of its growth and development. Her unique perspective will illuminate the challenges and triumphs faced while establishing the company as a prominent player in the ecotourism industry. Beyond her role as a researcher and tour operator, Dr Cochran stands out as a trailblazer in fostering gender inclusivity within the sector.

Inala Nature Tours, under Dr Cochran’s leadership, stands as a testament to her commitment to gender equality, being a leading employer of female guides and office staff. Furthermore, her influence extends beyond Australia, as Inala Nature Tours boasts international tour leaders operating on all continents. Dr Tonia Cochran’s presentation promises to be an enlightening exploration of the intersection between her passion for ornithology, dedication to environmental conservation, and her role in empowering women in the field of ecotourism.

Maggie Kigozi

Professor Maggie Kigozi

Distinguished speaker at the International Conference for Women Birders, will deliver a compelling presentation on “Investment Opportunities in Birding in East Africa.” Drawing on her extensive expertise in economics and development, Prof. Kigozi will explore the untapped potential for economic growth within the burgeoning birding industry in East Africa.

In her talk, Prof. Kigozi will provide a comprehensive analysis of the current state of birding in the region, highlighting the diverse avian ecosystems that make East Africa a hotspot for birdwatching enthusiasts. Through her keen insights, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the economic value that birding tourism can bring to local communities, emphasizing its potential as a sustainable and inclusive form of development.

Professor Kigozi will delve into specific investment opportunities within the birding sector, shedding light on key areas such as infrastructure development, eco-friendly accommodations, and community-based initiatives. Her presentation aims to inspire not only birding enthusiasts but also potential investors to contribute to the economic prosperity of East Africa while fostering environmental conservation.

Attendees can expect to leave Professor Maggie Kigozi’s talk with a heightened awareness of the economic potential embedded in East Africa’s vibrant birding landscape and a clearer vision of how strategic investments can propel both local economies and the conservation efforts in the region.

Jamie Cunningham

Jamie Cunningham

Jamie’s lifelong fascination with nature and wildlife, particularly birds, evolved into a passionate commitment during a visit to Magee Marsh in NW Ohio during the Biggest Week in American Birding festival. This experience propelled Jamie into the world of birding and bird photography. Currently employed as a birding and photography guide for Sabrewing Nature Tours, Jamie travels globally to capture stunning avian images and lead tours. Her award-winning photographs have gained recognition in various publications and her personal gallery. Actively involved in her community, Jamie played a key role in establishing a Nature Photography club and serves on the board of directors for the Tri-Moraine Audubon Society. She dedicates herself to local conservation initiatives and serves as an advisor for the Ohio Young Birder’s Club, passionately educating youth about birds and conservation. In her talk, “Intro to Nature Photography,” Jamie shares her journey, insights, and aims to inspire others to contribute to bird conservation efforts.

Civy Tumusiime

Prominent figure at the apex of the private sector as the Chairperson of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, is set to deliver an inspiring talk at the upcoming international conference for women birders. Her presentation will focus on her multifaceted role as a leader, entrepreneur, mother, and proprietor of a tour company and lodge. Tumusiime’s address aims to shed light on the challenges, opportunities, and triumphs she has encountered throughout her journey, providing a comprehensive perspective on the intricacies of managing diverse roles within the tourism industry.

As a trailblazer in her field, Tumusiime is uniquely positioned to offer valuable insights to her audience, particularly young women professionals and entrepreneurs. Her narrative will serve as a motivational beacon, encouraging aspiring women to navigate the complexities of their professional and personal lives with resilience and determination. By sharing her experiences, Tumusiime seeks to foster a supportive environment for women in the tourism sector, promoting their participation and leadership.

The abstract captures the essence of Tumusiime’s upcoming talk, offering a glimpse into the dynamic life of a leader who has successfully balanced multiple roles. It highlights the significance of her story in inspiring the next generation of women professionals and entrepreneurs, particularly in the context of the international conference for women birders.

Wendi Haugh

Wendi Haugh

Professor Wendi Haugh is set to captivate participants at the International Conference for Women Birders with her presentation, “Sharing the Spark: An Anthropologist Among Bird Guides.” As a seasoned birder and cultural anthropologist, Professor Haugh offers a unique perspective on the intersection of bird guiding and cultural dynamics.

Drawing on her own experiences, she delves into the social dimensions of bird guiding, emphasizing the importance of learning, interaction, and community-building within this profession. Focusing on East Africa, Professor Haugh places contemporary bird guiding in the broader context of human engagement with birds on the continent, shedding light on the historical context of this practice.

Of particular significance is her exploration of the experiences of women in a field traditionally dominated by men. Through her presentation, Professor Wendi aims to inspire and empower women bird guides, highlighting their distinctive contributions and encouraging them to pursue their passion in a profession that has only recently embraced gender diversity. The talk promises to uncover the shared passion for birds that transcends cultural boundaries, fostering a sense of community and mutual encouragement among women in the field

Jeff Bouton

Jeff Bouton

An esteemed figure in the world of birding, will be a featured speaker at the International Conference for Women Birders, presenting on the topic “Digiscoping, capture the image. Simplistic tips to utilize your optics as a telephoto lens!” With a lifelong passion for birds and a career spanning from field research biologist to optics representative, Bouton brings a wealth of experience to his role as Kowa Sporting Optics’ representative to the birding and nature communities.

In this engaging workshop, Bouton shares his extensive knowledge gained over two decades as an active digiscoper. Focused on providing practical tips and insights, he will guide participants through simplistic techniques to optimize their optics as effective telephoto lenses. Drawing from his experiences, including successes and failures, Bouton aims to empower attendees with the skills needed to capture stunning images through spotting scopes and binoculars.

This session promises to be a valuable opportunity for women birders to enhance their digiscoping abilities and glean insights from an expert who has dedicated his career to both appreciating and working with birds.

Janet Chamia

Janet Chamia is a passionate and renowned entrepreneur in the city of Mombasa Kenya, having started 3 companies more than 10 years ago, namely Jacyjoka Apartments (3*), Netherken Safaris & Tours and Janyra Organic Exporters which have provided employment opportunities to many families.

“Renowned for both her groundbreaking entrepreneurial achievements and steadfast commitment to sustainability, Madam Chamia has not only excelled in business but has also become a beacon for ethical and environmentally conscious practices. Beyond the boardroom, she has demonstrated a passion for mentorship, generously sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience to nurture the next generation of leaders.

Her enduring legacy is not only marked by financial success but also by a dedication to fostering a sustainable and responsible business ethos, coupled with a profound impact on aspiring entrepreneurs through mentorship, making her a truly influential figure in the business world.

Being an African woman birder

Conference Tours and Excursions

Conference FAQS

The conference is scheduled to take place on the 6th-8th of December 2023. Visitors are encouraged to be in Uganda by the night of the 5th Dec. For those who will partake in Pre-conference tours will arrive on dates communicated to you by our team, depending on the number of days of your tour, but also will be expected to be in Kampala by the night of the 5th Dec.
The conference will be held in Kampala, Uganda at the Sheraton Kampala, a 5-star hotel. Click here to view details of the hotel. Delegates will be encouraged to book rooms at the hotel. However, for those who prefer other hotels, we will offer partner options where you can choose to stay according to your budget. Options range from 3-star to 5-star.
To travel to Uganda, you will require a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity. You can apply for a visa online here or get one at the airport as you enter the country. The cost of a single-entry visa is USD 50.
  1. Fully vaccinated delegates will be required to show proof of vaccination.
  2. If you are not vaccinated, you will need to have a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before entering the country.
  3. The hotels we are partnering with have put all safety measures to prevent the already low risk of Covid -19 in accordance with the protocols of the Ministry of Health.
  4. All staff have been fully vaccinated.
Yes, we have arranged an array of pre-conference and post-conference tours that visitors can partake in. Uganda has been described as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ and was regarded as the most beautiful and potentially the richest country in East Africa. From the source of the White Nile on the huge papyrus-fringed Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Rwenzori Range, the luxuriant montane forests of the Virunga volcanoes, harboring some of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas, to the extensive Savannah around the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, Uganda is an equatorial country of substantial contrasts and variety. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats and this richness is reflected in its incredible bird list of over 1085 species. Amongst these are many highly sought-after birds, such as the unique Shoebill and numerous spectacular endemics of the Albertine Rift Valley, that are currently impossible to find anywhere else. This huge list of birds and wildlife, is all the more remarkable given the small size of the country (approximately equal to Great Britain or the state of Oregon), making it probably the richest African birding destination. Click here to view the tours.

Conference Partners


Suite 27, 2nd  Floor, Capital Shopper Nakawa +256 777 912 938