The elegant experience! Uganda is a bird haven and a true birders paradise. Those who make it to East Africa would definitely tell you birdwatching Uganda tours are absolutely exceptionaldue to the abundance of birding sites. The country is a perfect destination for both birding professionals and semi or non-professionals.
Uganda is home to a number of famous and remote birdwatching sites. Transitional to the West African rainforests and East African savannah, the country is Africa’s most complete birdwatching safari destination. The combination of Uganda's birding sites, tours and safaris spoil you for choice, with a count of more than 1,060 bird species, a total that accounts to 73% of East Africa’s population, nearly half of Africa’s population and 11% of the Global bird population.
The country’s prolific birdlife is attributed to its richness in biodiversity and vast landscape composed of rich eco-system making it one of Africa’s preferred birdwatching safari destination.
African birding tours and safaris in Uganda are incomparable, the country is the smallest of the four African countries whose bird-list hits the 1000 mark and therefore a higher number of species per unit area can be observed. The astonishing birdlife sprawls across a range of habitats that are natural, semi natural and/or agro-ecosystems. These include; forests, swamps, agricultural fields, rolling savanna plains, water bodies and mountain range/ highland areas.
Uganda’s bird list includes; threatened/ endangered species, restricted range endemics, common species and migratory species from Europe all of which you may encounter during your birdwatching Uganda tours or safaris.
Uganda’s melting spots/ sites for birdwatching which have over the years attracted the attention of birders and Ornithologists include; National Parks, Forest Reserves and wetlands. Specialist birdwatching Uganda safaris through the western tourism circuit routinely notch up an incredible tally of about 400+ species within 14 days, while budding beginners to semi-professionals might reasonably hope to aim for a 200 tally within the same time on a single birding tour in the Pearl of Africa.
Key Birding Uganda safari sites
Birdlife is abundant throughout the country, but certain key sites would definitely not miss out on any African birding holiday| safari to Uganda.
Through the western tourism circuit, sites like; Queen Elizabeth National Park has an unrivaled checklist of more than 600 species- more than that of any other protected area in Africa and it’s classified as an Important Birding Area [IBA] by Birding International. Semliki National Park which is part of the Guinea-Congo biome has over 435 species including the Albertine Rift Endemics like Dwarf Honey Guide and Purple-breasted Sunbird as well as limited range species like White-tailed Hornbill, Capuchin Babbler, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher and Orange Weaver. Bwindi Impenetrable- a UNESCO site and accolade winning Park in 2012 (number 1 among Africa’s top birdwatching sites by the African Bird Club) is a perfect site for birdwatching safaris in Uganda.
For a remarkable African birdwatching tour or safari to Uganda, other sites below shouldn’t miss-out on any itinerary;
Murchison Falls National Park with a count of 451bird species including savanna specials like- Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Denham’s Bustard, Red-throated Bee-eater and the Shoebill Stork at the Nile Delta, Kibale Forest National Park hosting more than 300 species, Bigodi wetland a wildlife corridor to Kibale with over 200 species including the Great Blue Turaco, and Kidepo Valley National Park; a wilderness park in the northeast which vaunts over 475 species including the Kori Bustard, Ostrich, Secretary bird and Egyptian Vultures...
Mabamba wetland near Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria is another premier Uganda bird watching site known for its prehistoric looking bird- the Shoebill Stork which is sought after by Uganda birdwatching enthusiasts. Lake Bisina in Eastern Uganda- which is a stronghold for the endemic Fox’s Weaver and swamp dwellers like the Shoebill and Papyrus Gonolek, Lugogo Swamp in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary among other sites are great sites to explore on a birdwatching Uganda tour.
Forest Reserves like; Budongo, Mpanga, Tooro-Semliki wildlife reserve, Kyambura known for the Lesser and Greater Flamingos, Mabira forest and Maramagambo, reward birders variety of forest specials and are key sites to add on a Uganda birdwatching safari.
Bird watching Uganda tours can be done almost everywhere in a country proclaimed as the Pearl of Africa during your Uganda Safaris, though some sites and areas present golden opportunities for specialist birders, and are prime spots for specific species; like, Lake Victoria and its surrounding wetlands is known for hosting variety of Migratory (wintering) Birds from Europe.
Bird specials to lookout for on a birding Uganda tour
Each of Uganda's major or even a remote birding site has an interesting species to encounter. It is a gem of notable bird species that you may come across while on your African birdwatching tour like; the Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Shoebill Stork, Grey Crowned Crane- Uganda’s National bird, Green-Breasted Pitta, African Green Broadbill, African Fish Eagle, Doherty’s Bush Shrike, Great Blue Turaco, Yellow-billed Stork, African Fish Eagle, Short-tailed Warbler, African Jacana and Pied Kingfishers among others.
The African Geographic in October 2013, listed the country's top 10 Impressive birds to lookout for while on a birding Uganda safari and these include; the Shoebill, Green-breasted Pitta, African Green Broadbill, Great Blue Turaco, Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Standard-winged Nightjar, Short-tailed Warbler, Doherty’s Bush Shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon and Black-breasted Barbet.
On its list of threatened species include; Great Crested Grabe, Lammergeyer, Egyptian Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, White-headed Vulture, Pallid Harrier, Black-crowned Crane, Denham’s Bustard, Shoebill Stork, Hooded Vulture, Common Ostrich, African Black Duck, Black Stork, Madagascar Pond-Heron, Madagascar Squacco Heron and White-backed Night-Heron among others.
For an impeccable tailored or pre-planned African birdwatching holiday| safari in Uganda, Avens Travel World is your companion
Sample African Birdwatching Tours to Uganda
3 Days Bird watching in Mabamba Wetland & Lake Mburo
9 Days Birding safari, Primate tracking and Game Viewing
11 Days Uganda Bird Watching Safari