Birding Safaris in Uganda

Birding Safaris in Uganda

Journey through Uganda introduces avian specialists to over 1061 species of birds occupying Rainforests, Afro-alpine moorland, woodlands, Rock outcrops, wetland, Agricultural lands, Lakes and Rivers, open savannah grasslands, shrubs and mashes. With Uganda, birding can even take place in your backyard. Birding Safaris in Uganda not only focus on the 10 national parks but also urban places.

Uganda’s total bird species make up 10% of the world’s total bird species and over 60% of Africa’s bird species, hence making Uganda one of the top birding destinations in the continent.

The top 10 birds of Uganda are Shelley’s Crimsonwing, shoebill storks, Green-breasted pitta, Archer’s robin-chat, Great blue Turaco, Papyrus gonolek, Nkulengu rail, Car-tailed Trogon, African green broadbill and short-tailed warblers.


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is synonymous with birding expeditions and over 350 species of birds including 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemic species calling this Park home.

Notable species here are the Kivu ground thrush, handsome francolin, Olive-breasted sunbirds, Cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, African broadbill, mountain-masked apalis, regal sunbirds, Rwenzori Apalis and Rwenzori Batis.

Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Any Birding safari in Uganda is incomplete without visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park. The habitat diversity in this Park-forest, sweeping savannah grasslands, Lakes (Rift Valley and Crater Lakes), wetlands and woodlands shelter over 600 species of birds, the highest concentration in a single destination.

Popular species are the Palm-nut vultures, collared pratincoles, shoebills storks, Pel’s fishing owls, pink-backed pelicans, flamingos, papyrus gonolek, Crab plovers, Great-white pelicans, Rufous-bellied herons and many others.

Mabamba Wetland Sanctuary.

Mabamba Wetland Sanctuary is another amazing birding destination in Uganda with over 260 species of birds although the shoebill storks are the highlight of birding trips in this area.

Other species here are the Blue-breasted bee-eaters, African marsh harrier, Papyrus gonolek, Long-toed lapwing, Yellow-billed tinkerbird, Hadada ibis, Saddle-billed storks, Pied kingfishers, Brown parrots, Yellow-rumped tinkerbird, Ross Turaco, Long-tailed cormorant, common bulbul, Speckled mousebird, Purple herons and Great white pelicans among others.

Other birding spots in Uganda are Kidepo Valley National Park, Kibale Forest National Park and the adjacent Bigodi wetland Sanctuary, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, Maramagambo Forest, Lake Mburo National Park, Mabira forest, Mount Elgon National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Murchison falls National Park and the adjacent Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest National Park, Entebbe Botanical gardens, Kalinzu Forest, Echuya Forest, Semliki National Park and the various agricultural lands across the country.


The numerous and diverse bird species in Uganda can be watched all year round but marvelous birding experiences are achieved from March to May as well as October to early December when rains are abundant and fruits plenty. With increased fruiting, bird breeding also increases. Migratory bird species are also common during the rainy months.

However, because most birding safaris in Uganda are conducted on foot, heavy rains make Park roads and birding trails muddy, slippery and sometimes impassable.


Before embarking on your birding safari in Uganda, the recommended packing list must include a Bird guidebook, good binoculars because birding without good quality optics is difficult, a good portable and lightweight camera, scope, flashlight, Appropriate clothing-long sleeves, pants, light-weight and of neutral colors, medication (cough drops, fever medication, energy booster and anti-malarial medicines), sturdy hiking boots, hat, sunglasses, Toiletries (hand sanitizer, lotion, toothpaste, Rain jacket/or poncho, face wipes, toothbrush, deodorant and many other personal items), first aid kit, gardening gloves and many others.

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