Important Birding Areas in Uganda (IBAs) 21 Days Itinerary
21 Days Birding in Uganda: Top Birdwatching Spots and Bird Species
One of the best things to do on vacation in Uganda is watch birds. Uganda is famous for being a great place to watch birds. It is home to more than half of Africa’s bird types. Uganda is a birders’ paradise for more than just the huge number of bird species that have been recorded there. In many countries, it is easy to get to bird-rich areas that are hard to get to in other countries.
There are over 1000 kinds of birds known to live in Uganda’s oldest forest. This is because the forest has a lot of different habitats.
Most of these bird species came from the Albertine Rift and the shores of Lake Victoria, which is where the Nile starts. These kinds of birds can be seen from:
The Queen Elizabeth National Park, The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Semuliki National Park Mabamba swamps, among others.
These are some of the species that can only be found in Uganda’s Albertine Rift;
Fox’s Weaver, Blue-headed Sunbird, Short-tailed Warbler, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-throated Alethe, African Green Broadbill, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Dwarf Honeyguide, Grauer’s Warbler, Dusky Crimson wing, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Strange Weaver, Chapin’s Flycatcher.
It’s also easy to see the Common Bulbul, the African Emerald Cuckoo, the African Blue Flycatcher, and the African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatcher.
Top Important Birding Areas in Uganda
Bwindi Forest National Park
“Great Apes” – Amazing Gorillas and Birds in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
With 347 different bird species, Bwindi is a natural wonderland for birdwatchers. The Albertine Rift is home to 24 out of the 25 endemic bird species in the world. In addition, 76 out of the 144 bird species found in Uganda’s Guinea-Congo Forest biome call Bwindi their home. Additionally, 68 out of 86 bird species found in the Afro-tropical-highland biome are located in this region. Four out of the twelve species call the Lake Victoria ecosystem home.
Birds abound and are simple to see; throughout the day, you can see different kinds of birds interacting in mixed feeding congregations. The primary birding paths in Buhoma, Ruhija, and Mubwindi Swamp are the Bamboo Zone and Waterfall routes, respectively, where birdwatchers have the best chance of seeing these amazing species.
Among the many bird species are the following: Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Western Green Tinkerbird, African Wood Owl, and many more.
Mgahinga National Park
More than 180 bird species, including those unique to the Albertine Rift region, call Mgahinga National Park home. The park is also home to golden monkeys and mountain gorillas. Trails leading to the town or farm, the Gorge, or the Bamboo all provide excellent vantage spots.
Some species that can be seen here are brown Rwenzori Turaco, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Stripe-breasted Tit, Kivu Ground-thrush, and Woodland Warbler are among the many species
Murchison Falls National Park
At Murchison Falls National Park, you can see more than 451 different kinds of birds. Waterbirds, Savannah Forest Birds, and Albertine Rift Endemics are just a few of the varied species. The shoebill is the most popular bird that people visit to see.
Among the many other species are the following: Rock Pratincole, Hugli’s Francolin, White-faced Whistling Duck, Martial Eagle, and Dark Chanting-Goshawk.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are a wide variety of species here, including those that live in forests and woodlands, as well as water birds, raptors, and migratory species. This park is divided into sections, and each section is home to a unique variety of birds. Here are the parts:
Area of Kasenyi with more than sixty species.
More than seventy species are found on the Mweya peninsula.
Locations such as Katunguru Bridge, Lake Kikorongo, the Ishasha sector, the Katwe area, and Maramagambo Forest.
African wattled plovers, black-bellied bustards, white-tailed larks, martial eagles, greyestrels, and more than 600 species of birds call the area home.
Semuliki National Park
Of the more than 400 bird species found in this park, nine of them are hornbills. Its vantage positions around the Ntandi, Sempaya, and River Kirumia areas are second to none.
The following species are included: Xavier’s Greenbul, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Piping Hornbill, Great blue, Ross’s Turacos, and Yellow-throated Nicator.
Kibale National Park
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, home to more than 350 bird species, is adjacent to Kibale National Park. With its expansive walking pathways, the Bigodi wetland refuge in the Magombe marsh and Kanyanchu offers birdwatchers the chance to see more than 138 different bird species.
Papyrus canaries, white-winged warblers, papyrus gonoleks, white-collared olivebacks, crown-eagles, and yellow-billed barbets are among the dominant species found here.
Lake Mburo National Park
Birding Uganda – Rwakobo Rock and Lake Mburo National Park
Some of the best places to go birding in this area include the marshy areas near the salt lick in Miriti, the forests of Rubanga and Warukiri, the pathways leading up to the landing stage, and Camp Rwonyo. A few examples of the species found here are the Grey-crowned Crane, Common Scimitarbill, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Green Wood-hoopoe, and the rare Red-faced Barbet.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
No less than 217 different species call the mountains home. Of these, nineteen are native only to the Albertine Rift Valley Area. This area is a good bet for seeing a wide variety of birds, including the following: Rwenzori Turaco, Slender-billed Starling, Archer’s Robin-chat, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Laden’s Bush-shrike, Bearded Vultures, Black Eagles, and Long-eared Owl.
Nile River Birding in Jinja
One way to see birds along the Nile is to take a boat ride. Along the Nile, you can see more than sixty different kinds of birds. Among the species found here are the Great Blue Turaco, Rock Pratincol, African Open-billed Stork, Giant Kingfisher, and Green-backed Heron.
Echuya Forest Reserve
More than 150 bird species call this forest reserve home, including 18 that are unique to this area. Among the significant species found here are the following: Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Dwarf Honeyguide, Collared Apalis, and Strip-breasted Tit.
The Royal Mile- Budongo Forest
More than 250 different bird species call the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest, close to Murchison Falls National Park, home. Birds such as the white-thighed hornbill, rufous-crowned elemomela, blue-throated roller, spotted greenbul, and chocolate-backed kingfisher are among the most common.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Shoebill storks, an endangered species, call Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary their home. African Fish Eagle, Black-crowned Waxbill, African Grey Hornbill, African Golden Oriole, African Darter, and African Broad Bill are among the other specimens.
Migrant and indigenous birds of every kind call Lutembe Bay in the Lake Victoria Basin home. More than 200 different bird species call it home. There are 26 of these that migrate. This group has a wide range of birds, including the African Pygmy Kingfisher, Holub’s Golden Weaver, African Green Pigeon, Lead-colored Flycatcher, Sooty Chat, Tropical Boubou, and Brown-backed Scrub robins.
Birding Uganda – Shoebill in Mabamba Swamp
Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, this marshy region is about an hour’s drive from the heart of the city. A three-person canoe is utilized for a birdwatching excursion. Birds such as the Shoebill Stork, Pied Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Pygmy Goose, Lesser Jacana, and African Jacana are likely to be spotted.
Bring everything you’ll need for your birding safari, including binoculars, a map of the area, long-sleeved clothing, plenty of water, and more.
The weather may prevent some birdwatchers from going out at certain times of the year, even though bird watching is possible at any time. The months of January through February and June through August constitute the dry season in the majority of parks, making them ideal periods for bird watching. The paths are not wet and not slick, so hiking may not be too difficult. There will be ample time for you to go birdwatching as well. Still, there are many who believe that the months of May through September are the best, due to the plenty of food and the relative lack of rainfall. Migratory birds frequent the parks between the months of November and April. Many bird species are more easily spotted first thing in the morning, making that time of day ideal for birding. From June through September, the parks get a large influx of visitors, so expect to see them packed.
Travelers to Uganda can enjoy a wide variety of exciting activities, such as birdwatching, mountain climbing, white water rafting, bungee jumping, cultural exploration, mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, cycling, and many more.