BIRDING IN UGANDA

BIRDING IN UGANDA

Uganda’s year-round conducive climate, abundant water sources and diverse vegetation cover make it one of the best birding destinations in Africa. Vast species of birds fly in from around the world throughout the year and about 1,080 bird species have been recorded. Bird watching can be done in Uganda’s many National parks and forests as well as during boat rides where birds can be seen by the banks of various water bodies in the country. Our birding safaris in Uganda are well planned to give you a memorable bird watching experience in Uganda.

Uganda is home to approximately 1100 bird species that constitutes 50% of the Africa’s bird species and 11% of the world’s bird species count. A significant percentage of the bird species are endemic. Western Uganda, in Murchison falls in particular, is excellent as you can often identify 400 species of birds.

Uganda has many different bird destinations as indicated below;

Mabamba Bay Wetland.

Mabamba Bay wetland is located on the edge of Lake Victoria and is the one of the few places where you can spot a rare shoebill stork can be found. You will have a great experience of spotting a shoe bill stork at Mabamba Bay Wetland which will also make your safari all the more exciting. Mabamba proximity to Lake Victoria provides the perfect conditions for birds especially those that like to live near water. A canoe rode through Mabamba Bay wetland is a great way to explore the different bird species which include shoebill stork, swamp Flycatcher, pied kingfisher, papyrus Gonoleks’, Malachite kingfisher, black kite, African open-billed stork, black-headed Heron, African Marsh Harrier and many others. Mabamba Bay Wetland is one of the best birding spots in Uganda.

Murchison Falls national park.

This is the largest national park and named after the mighty Murchison falls where large volumes of river Nile water are forced through a narrow gorge of 7 metres width before plunging about 45 metres downstream, creating one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. About 450 bird species have been recorded in Murchison Falls national park and these can be the best seen during a wildlife game drive through the park or during boat ride to the bottom of the Murchison falls. Bird species in Murchison falls national park are; swamp flycatcher, Abyssinian ground horn bill, Red-throated Bee eater, Goliath Heron, Northern Red Bishop, African quail Finch, Giant kingfishers among many others. Bird watching in Murchison falls national park is a great highlight of a wildlife safari in Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable national park

Although Bwindi Impenetrable national park is known for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris are more popular there is also bird watching comes at a close second due to the abundance of rare species of birds. About 350 species of birds can be found in Bwindi which includes; Black-billed Turaco, African Green Broadbill, white-billed Robin chat, handsome Francolin, collared Apalis, fraser’s Eagle, chapin’s flycatcher and among many others.

Mgahinga national park

Mgahinga national park is located in south western part of Uganda and is a home 180 bird species. in addition to tracking the Nyakagezi Gorilla family in Mgahinga, tourists can take part in birdwatching. The bird species in mgahinga gorilla national park include white-starred Robin, Brown woodland warbler, cape Robin, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Greater Double- collared sunbirds, and many more others.

Kibale forest national park

Kibale national park is a home of over 375 species of birds which makes it one of the best bird watching destinations in Uganda. In addition to chimpanzee Tracking safaris, bird watching is also popular due to the dense vegetation cover that favors bird life. The following are bird species found in Kibale national park; Red-chested Owlet, blue-breasted kingfisher, crowned eagle, little greenbul, black bee- eater, purple-breasted sunbird, black bee-eater, Dusky- blue flycatcher, grey throated flycatcher, white-nabed pigeon and many others. Kibale forest national park is not only home to primates but also a birding spots in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the Uganda’s most visited national parks in Uganda and is a home vast animal and bird species. With over 600 bird species. This is one of the best spots where you can encounter even the most rare bird species. Most of these birds’ species can be encountered while on a wildlife game drive through the park and on boat cruise along the Kazinga channel where you can spot different bird species such as African skimmer, Swamp Flycatcher, Malachite and pied kingfishers, Grey-headed kingfisher, Black-headed Gonolek, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Sedge warbler, White-winged Terns, Grey-capped warbler, Collared pratincole, Martial Eagle, Gabon and Slender-tailed night jars among others.

Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo national park is one of the best birding spots in Uganda with 351 bird species in addition of being home of plenty of Zebras and other wildlife. This is the only park where horseback riding safaris in Uganda can be done and some bird species can be spotted during horseback riding. Bird species in lake Mburo national park include; trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters, cheeky Bronze-tailed Starling, crested Francolin, Brown Parrot, Nubian Woodpecker, Emerald-spotted wood Dove, African Fish Eagle, Red-necked spurfowl and among others.

Semuliki national park

This located in western Uganda in the Albertine Rift valley and it has about 441 bird species in Semliki riverine forest and these include; Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, yellow-throated Cuckoo, Dwarf Honeyguide, Great Blue Turaco, Purple-breasted sunbird and among others. The famous Sempaya Hot springs are found in semuliki national park.

Budongo forest

Budongo forest lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley in Murchison falls National Park and is home of more than 350 bird species. The forest is also a popular destination for chimpanzee Tracking. Bird species in Budongo forest include; Blue-breasted kingfisher, African Dwarf kingfisher, Cassin’s Spine Tail, Chestnut-caped Flycatcher, ituri Batis, Nahan’s Francolin and many more others.

Rwenzori mountains National Park

This is located in western Uganda and is a home of over 177 bird species, most of which can be spotted while hiking Rwenzori Mountains. Bird species in Rwenzori mountains national park include; Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed sunbird, Golden-winged sunbird, White-starred Robin long-eared owl, slender-billed starling and many more others.

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