Uganda birding safaris

Uganda birding safaris – Birding tours in Uganda

Best Uganda birding safaris – Birding tours in Uganda

Uganda is a celebrated “birder’s heaven” with a remarkable number of birding safari destinations and excellent bird watching spots. The bird life in Uganda is abundant as you will find birds everywhere. Bwindi forest has been identified as the top bird watching spot in the world! Below are some of our Uganda birding safaris & tour packages ranging from 3 days to 15 days including tropical birding opportunities in Uganda’s rain forests and more rich information on some of the major birding spots in Uganda.
3 Days Forest birding: safari takes you to Kibale forest national park for a memorable forest birding experience in Africa. Kibale forest offers birds like African go-shwak, grey parrots, masked apali, the majestic crowned eagle and many more. Have lunch and then bird along Bigodi Swamp to expect birds like the rare shoebill and the threatened sitatunga, papyrus canary, mosque swallow, brown headed Tchagra, and many more.
4 Days savannah birding safari: to Murchison falls national park where you will discover nature, wildlife and a lot of bird life. This 4 days safari allows you a chance to reach top of the falls where the calm nile River forces itself through a narrow cleft to fall a distance of about 150m producing a thunderous roar of white water. At the top of the falls look out for birds like Red winged grey warbler, Chest-nut sparrow weaver, Red winged grey warbler, Pel’s Fletcher and chestnut crowned owls.
7 Days Uganda Birding safari: taking you to 2 of the major birding places in Uganda; Queen Elizabeth national park with the highest bird concentration and Bwindi forest- arguably the best bird watching spot in the world! Join us on this savannah and forest birding trip.Uganda birding safaris
9 Days birding safari to Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi forest and Lake Mburo for a memorable birding safari in Uganda.
10 Days bird watching Uganda
15 Days Grand birding experience
22 Days forest birding trip

Uganda Birding Safaris – Best Birding sites in Uganda

Africa is has spectacular bird with Uganda having the most fascinating birds in the world. On average recorded species in Africa is around 2300 species, with Uganda having over 1070.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, National Park Uganda
This forest is one of the richest habitats in Uganda with bird specie of 350:

Murchison (Kabalega) Falls NP, Uganda
Murchison Falls is found in the Albert Nile corridor is Uganda’s lowest area (612m) at Delta Point. Murchison falls is home to a diversity of flora and fauna which consists of 450 bird species.  This park is the best place in the world to see the Shoebill – Some of the rare bird species which you may be seen here include the Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller, Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red Throated Bee eaters, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling duck, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwing. Other interesting birds include, Red-necked falcon, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Vinaceous Dove and Grosbeak, Weaver the Little Bittern.

Budongo forest reserve with the Murchison falls Park.
This is  the largest surviving natural forest in Uganda with a total surface area of 825sq.km. It lies in the south of Murchison falls and it protects the largest natural area and largest Mahogany forest in East Africa. It is a home to over 350 species of birds which include the African Dwarf Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, Olive Cameroptera, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher; Red tailed Thrush, Lesser-masked Weaver and Shikra. It also has the Fox’s Cisticola, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Black-billed Barbet and the Grey-headed Oliveback. Other interesting birds include Sabine’s spine tail, Cassin hawk eagle, Cassin’s spine tail (rare), Pygmy crakes, Ituri batis, White spotted fluff tail, Yellow crested woodpecker, Forest robin, Little green sunbird, Grey headed sunbird, Pulvus illadopsis, Brown twin spot, Cameroon somber, Crowned eagle

Kibale Forest National Park
The Forest is a great concentration harbor of a variety of primates; It has 339 bird specie that include  81 species of the Guinea-Congo forest biome, 32 species of the Afro tropical Highland biome, the Bar-tailed trogon, Fine-branded Woodpecker, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher and red-faced Crimson-wing; each found in only two other Important Bird Areas. The park also has five of the 24 Albertine Rift Mountains restricted- range species and five of the 12 Ugandan species of the Lake Victoria biome.

Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
The Bwamba forest as its locally referred to, lies in the Albertine rift Valley, northwest of the Rwenzori Mountains; Semuliki is an extension of the Congo-basin vegetation in Uganda offers a mosaic, tall-grass woodland, Acacia savanna grassland with extensive patches of Borassus , grassland with scattered thorn thickets and wet-lands adjacent to Lake Albert. It is a special interest to ornithologists for sighting the enigmatic, swamp-dwelling shoebill, the Congo Serpent Eagle, Black-throated Coucal, Grey-throated Rail, Nkulengu Rail, Long-tailed Hawk, Spot-breasted Ibis, Capuchin Babbler, Yellow-throated Nicator, African pygmy Goose, Red-necked Falcon, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Black-billed Barbet, Piapiac, Leaflove, Black-chinned, Quail-Finch Northern Bearded Scrub Robin, Red-chested Owlet, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird and the Quail-Finch,.

Queen Elizabeth National Park
Here, there are various habitats ranging from the grassland, woodland, moist tropical forest and wetlands, including both fresh water lakes and saline crater lakes. These habitats are a home of 610 specie; Other bird specie include Great White Pelicans (maximum 1800 birds at Kasenyi crater), Gull-billed Terns (maximum 1200 on Kazinga Channel and 780 at Lake Munyanyange), African Skimmer (maximum 650 at Kazinga channel), Caspian Plovers Charadrius asiaticus on Lake George at Shoebill swamp. Munyanyange crater is an important site for a wide range of migrant waders including the highest national record for Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta (100) and significant numbers of Black-backed Gull and five species of ducks. Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, White-tailed Lark, Papyrus Gonolek and Papyrus Canary, The common bird species in the park include the Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, and African Skimmer.

Mgahinga Gorilla National park
This is the smallest however the most scenic National park, situated at the extreme south-western corner. The vegetation in this park consists of the bamboo forest zone, montane forest belt and top most alpine moorland vegetation which is a home to over 115 bird species. Four globally threatened and 39 Afro tropical Highland biome species are known. Three of the threatened species, and others such as Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, can be spotted in the park. The wetland close to the DRC is an area, where ibis, speckled mouse bird and fire flinch are found. The park has 14 of 24 Albertine Rift restricted range species. Other interesting species such as Handsome Francolin, Archer’s Robin Chat, Rwenzori Batis and Stripe-Breasted Tit are found in only a few other places. Other scarce highland species include the Rwenzori Turaco, Red faced Woodland and Mountain Yellow Warblers, Mountain Masked Apalis, Northern Double-collared Sunbird and the Alpine Chat.

Mabamba Wetland Sanctuary
Mabamba wetland sanctuary is the only place and site rated as the best place in Africa and/or the whole world for the elusive Shoebill can be seen any time of the day. Recently, a lot of migrant birds have swarmed here that include; Blue Swallow with over 100 individuals recorded every year. It has been surveyed in recent years that it now boosts over 260 species with only a one day’s record of 157 species. Its located in Mpigi district, just closed to Kampala city, Mabamba is dominated by Miscanthus and Cyperus specie with small patches of Nympea caerulea in a narrow open water channel. Most of the vegetation here is basically  papyrus, which certainly is favorable for  the elusive Shoebill, the migrant Blue Swallow, the Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, Gonolek Grey- headed Gulls, Goliath Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese and flocks of migratory species like Gull-billed Terns, White-winged Black Terns and Whisked Terns.

Lutembe Bay
Located on the northern shores of Lake Victoria; Lutembe bay  is graced with a mosaic of papyrus vegetation and merges, Lutembe has been gazetted as Conventional Wetland of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat supporting over 100 species of birds which include the Papyrus Yellow Warbler, the Papyrus Gonolek, the Greater Cormorant, Gull billed Tern. During winter hers like birds include the Grey-headed gull, Slender-billed gull and White-winged black terns migrate from Europe in their thousands.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Established in 1998, the Botanical Gardens are situated on the northern shores of Lake Victoria virtually on the equator. The gardens house a collection of species of plants of the tropical, sub-tropical and temperate zones, besides several shrubs and other plants regenerated naturally over the years. The habitat has attracted a diverse array of birds, 309 birds of which 199 are indigenous species namely the Palm Nut Vulture and African Grey Parrot are resident, whilst Bat Hawk is often seen over the gardens at sunset, the Ruff, Wood, Common, Marsh Sandpipers, Common Green Shank, Long-tailed and Great Cormorants, Madagascar Bee-eater, Green Crombec, Orange weaver, Golden and Yellow backed weavers, Superb sunbird, Bare faced go-away-bird, Ross’s and Great blue Turacos, Grey and Brown Parrots, Palm Swift, Little Swift.

Zika Forest
Small central forest reserve with mature trees such as the ficus, macaranga and muvule, this forest is a breeding ground of Grey Parrots, butterflies and a noisy troop of red-tailed and colobus monkeys inhabit in Uganda.

Mabira Birding Forest
Another one of the surviving natural Forest of Uganda, with an area of 306 sq km; the Forest is a Natural Habitat of 312 species of trees including the endangered Cordia Millenii, Mililia Exclesa.the Warbhugia Ugandanesis which has medicinal properties and is known to cure over forty ailments, animals and supports over 300 bird species most of which are endemic to only Mabira, The flowering trees in the clearing attract a variety of sun birds and rare birds like the Grey and Yellow Longbill, Purple Throated Cuckoo-Shrike, Tit Hylia, Fire Crested Alethe, Olive Green Cameroptera, Blue Shouldered Robinchat. Other interesting birds include the Yellow whiskered Greenbul, Leaf love, Toro Olive  Greenbul, Buff spotted and Yellow Crested Woodpecker, White spotted Fluff tail, Red headed Blue Bill, Yellow spotted Barbet, Grey throated Barbet, Forest Robin, Yellow Rumped Tinker bird, Yellow Throated Tinker bird, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, African Pygmy, Shining blue, Woodland Kingfishers, Jameson’s Wattle Eye, Red tailed Ant Thrush, Chin spot Batis, Chestnut Wattle Eye, Yellow mantled, Black Billed, Weyn’s Weavers, Violet backed Starling, Red headed Malimbe, Purple headed Starling, and many more attractive species. The European Honey Buzzard is a good winter visitor to this area.

Nabugabo wetland sanctuary
Lake Nbugabo is a shallow freshwater lake of about 8 by 5 km, and extensive swamps and small forests to the north, east and south, where the Sango Bay adjoins. There is a belt of depleted tropical forest along much of the western shore and sandy shores along the windward, northwestern shoreline. Similar forests exist along the eastern sandbank some of which are gazetted Forest Reserves. Nabugabo Island contains Blue sallow, Shoebill,and a refugium to endemic fishes of Lake Victoria.

Sango Bay-Kagera Wetland System (SAMUKA).
Located on shores of Lake Victoria Masaka, Rakai District , Sango Bay has  a   mosaic of wetland types with the biggest tract of swamp forest, papyrus swamps, herbaceous swamps interspersed with palms and seasonally flooded grasslands, sandy, rocky and forest shores, and three rocky islets about 3 km offshore in Uganda.

Lake Bisina wetland system
Lake Bisina is a shallow fresh water lake, which covers an area of about 192 sq km, and is 32 km long by 6 km wide, with a thin strip of fringing papyrus swamp. Location in Katakwi, Soroti, Kumi district.  It is an important Bird Area that supports the Fox’s weaver the only endemic bird for Uganda and other threatened species such as Shoebills, also important as a refuge for fish species that have gone extinct in the main Ugandan lakes such as Lakes Victoria and Kyoga. The lake is very important for the surrounding communities in terms of fishing, transport, and supply of water for domestic use and livestock. It is especially critical during times of famine, for example, a rhizome of the Nymphea genus is used as food during droughts.

Lake Opeta wetland system.
This is found in Nakapiripirit, Sironko, Katakwi, Kumi coering total 68,912 ha..
The wetland is of great importance for the conservation of birds, and Fox’s weaver and other threatened bird species of Uganda’s only endemic bird. The site is also important as a refuge for fish species that have gone extinct in the main lakes, including Lakes Victoria and Kyogan and arefugium for Uganda endemic fishes and refuge of the normadic Karamajongo people and their herds of cattle during the dry seasons. It serves as a source of fish protein at both subsistence and commercial level, and cultivation (maize, millet and plantain) is carried out in the catchment. Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve has potential for big game viewing and birdwatching, but because of the insecurity, tourism development has been minimal and the reserve does not generate any revenue.

Kidepo National Game Park
There are a variety of 77 animal species which can not be found in any part of Uganda. The park is also home to 475 bird specie; some of East Africa’s rarest and most sought-after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apalis, the Yellow-billed Shrike and the attractive Silverbird, Nubian woodpecker, Mosque swallow, Vinaceous Dove, Ruppell’s and superb sterling, Hoopoe, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-cheeked Cordon bleu, and Yellow-rumped seedeater. Around the airstrip one can spot Singing Bushlark, black-bellied Bustard, Harlequin Quail, Common Buttonquail, Black-headed Plover, Flappet Larks and Croaking Cisticola and the ostrich and the Kori bustard which are principally associated with arid regions.