Uganda is a fantastic destination for birding, thanks to its favorable climate, abundant water sources, and diverse vegetation. Throughout the year, a multitude of bird species, approximately 1,080, can be observed in the country. The well-planned birding safaris in Uganda offer enthusiasts a memorable experience. Here, we explore the top 10 birding spots in Uganda.
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park stands out with over 375 bird species, making it a premier bird watching destination in Uganda. Apart from the popular Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris, the dense vegetation cover supports a rich bird life. Some notable species include the Red-chested Owlet, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, Little Greenbul, Black Bee-eater, and Grey-throated Flycatcher.
Semuliki National Park
Situated in Western Uganda within the Albertine Rift Valley, Semuliki National Park boasts approximately 441 bird species in its riverine forest. Some highlights among these species are Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, Yellow-throated Nicator, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail, Piping Hornbill, and Great Blue Turaco. The park is also famous for the Sempaya Hotsprings.
Mabamba Bay Wetland
Located on the edge of Lake Victoria, Mabamba Bay Wetland is a unique spot where the rare Shoebill Stork can be found. A canoe ride through this wetland offers an exciting experience to spot various bird species, including the Shoebill Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Pied Kingfisher, Papyrus Gonolex, and Black-headed Heron.
Situated at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley in Murchison Falls National Park, Budongo Forest is home to over 350 bird species. Besides being a popular destination for Chimpanzee Tracking, bird enthusiasts can enjoy spotting species like Blue-breasted Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Cassin’s Spine Tail, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, and Nahan’s Francolin.
Murchison Falls National Park
As Uganda’s largest National Park, Murchison Falls is named after the impressive Murchison Falls, where the River Nile forces its way through a narrow gorge. With about 450 bird species, the park offers excellent bird watching opportunities during wildlife game drives and boat rides. Species include Goliath Heron, Swamp Flycatcher, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Red-throated Bee Eater, Northern Red Bishop, and Giant Kingfishers.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Known for its popularity in Gorilla Trekking Safaris, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also a haven for bird watchers, boasting around 350 bird species. Some notable species include Black-billed Turaco, African Green Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Fraser’s Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Collared Apalis, and White-bellied Robin Chat.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Found in the South Western part of Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to about 180 bird species. In addition to tracking the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family, tourists can partake in bird watching, spotting species like Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is among the most visited in Uganda, housing over 600 bird species alongside a diverse range of animals. Birding enthusiasts can encounter rare species during wildlife game drives or boat cruises along the Kazinga Channel. Notable species include Swamp Flycatcher, African Skimmer, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Black-headed Gonolek, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, and Martial Eagle.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park, home to abundant Zebras, is also a birding hotspot with around 351 species. Besides traditional game drives, the park allows for unique horseback riding safaris where bird watchers can spot Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters, Cheeky Bronze-tailed Starling, Crested Francolin, African Fish Eagle, and Red-necked Spurfowl.
In conclusion, Uganda’s diverse ecosystems, ranging from dense forests to wetlands and national parks, provide an incredible array of bird species for enthusiasts to discover and enjoy. Each of these top birding spots offers a unique experience, ensuring that bird watchers have a memorable and rewarding adventure in the heart of Africa.