Most tourists normally focus on birds on their safari to Uganda, However, a Ugandan birding tour rewards you with lots of other interesting wildlife along the way. We share some of the major birding locations in Uganda to help you easily determine which area to visit.

Mabira Forest

Mabira forest boasts of over 315 species of birds including the rare ones like the Nahan’s francolin, Purple-throated cuckoo shrikes, Tit Hylia, Yellow and grey long bills, yellow mantled weaver, Capuchin Babbler Illadopsises, Jameson’s wattle eyes. A large percentage of Uganda’s forest birds can easily be seen in this forest than any other place in Uganda. Mabira is found between Lugazi and Jinja in Buikwe District.

Kidepo National park

This is one of Uganda’s most beautiful parks found in northern Uganda in the Karamoja region at Uganda’s border with Kenya and Sudan, this park provides a magnificent savannah and scenic landscapes on the mountain that ends in a rough horizon. It is in second to Bwindi in bird species. Bird species found in kidepo include; Lesser Kestrel, Rufous Chatterer, and Pallid Harrier Dark chanting goshawk, Kori bustard, Little bee-eater, Ostrich, and Red-and-yellow barbet among others.

Mabamba

The bay has developed into one of the most spectacular sites for birding in Uganda. It is the best place continent for the elusive Shoebill where it can be viewed at any time of the day. This bay has over 260 species of birds like Papyrus Gonolek, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese, Malachite kingfisher, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Papyrus Canary, Blue Swallow, Goliath Herons, Caruthers’s Cisticola, and many more.

Murchison Falls National Park

This has a variety of uncommon habitats and very many superb birds worth every birder’s time and penny. The experience here is immensely influenced by the abundant wildlife and scenic landscape. Like in some other parks, the Shoebill stork is the most sought-after bird in Murchison Falls along the shores of Lake Albert and it is among the few parks where one is almost sure of seeing these birds.

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo Park is surfaced by tall grass savanna with a variety of Acacia and Euphorbia trees. This park contains a large swampy area and is home to many species of mammals and a great bird population. Bird species to look out for as you drive through include the Nubian Woodpecker, Crested Francolin and Broad-billed Roller among others.

Semuliki National Park

Situated in a remote corner of southwestern Uganda, Semuliki is one of the top birding destinations in Uganda boasting over 441 bird species representing about 40% of the total number of bird species living in Uganda and also represents 66% of the country’s forest bird species. There are 46 Guinea-Congo biome species that can’t be found anywhere else in East Africa and 35 of these are only found in two to three other parts of Uganda. There are also five Albertine Rift endemic species. The park has some of the most spectacular and sought-after birds of the continent such as long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Nkulengu Rail, and Black wattled Hornbill.

Kibale National Park

This is a renowned national park for protecting an extensive block of rainforest that gives excellent growth of flora and fauna. Birders lookout for the endangered Nahan’s Francolin species, Great Blue Turaco, Blue shouldered Robin-Chat, White-naped Pigeon, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turacco, Red-chested Flufftail, Purple-headed Starling, Joyful Greenbul, Green-breasted Pitta, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, and Cabanis Greenbul among others.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest

Bwindi is located in the Kigezi highlands in Kabale district South Western Uganda. Bwindi is a bird watchers’ haven with a record of over 347 species of both endemic and migratory birds. Bird species to look out for include; Pink-footed Puff back, Waller’s Starling, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Grey Crowned Crane, White-headed Saw-wing, African Olive-pigeon, Cassin’s Flycatcher, African Paradise flycatcher, Cape Wagtail, Mountain Wagtail, Brown-capped Weaver, African Goshawk, and Helmeted guinea fowl among others.

Rwenzori National Park

Rwenzori is found in western Uganda on the border of Congo covered by snow all year. Rwenzori is a rewarding birding destination with over 217 species in total that have been recorded and it contains 18 restricted-range species. This mountain is popularly known for its muddy and slippery trails, steep and frequent terrain. Look out for bird species like the Turaco, Long-eared Owl, Swifts and Black Eagles, and Bearded Vultures.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is located in Magombe swamp with 200 species of birds among which is the most well-known bird – Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola Cristata). Recognized for an extensive array of biodiversity among which are several primates species, and other mammals such as chimpanzees, Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters plus bushbucks, also visit this wetland as you come from the near Kibale National Park. This wetland sanctuary has over 200 bird species, many reptiles plus varieties of trees. Here the favorite time for this tour is 7:30 up to 9 am or at 3 pm. Visitors tour these wetlands under the instructions of a trained sanctuary guide.

CONCLUSION

Uganda is arguably one of the most attractive countries in Africa to most bird-watching tours, this is not only to because of the rare number of species recorded within its borders but also because of the easy access to several bird habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere.

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