Best Places for Bird Watching in Uganda


Going hen watching in Uganda is like stepping right into a residing, respiratory aviary. But it’s vital to know the place to go to see the perfect birds.

Mabamba Swamp, situated on Lake Victoria’s shores in Entebbe, is famend for its elusive shoebill stork and over 300 hen species. Beyond Mabamba, Uganda’s nationwide parks, together with Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Semuliki, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Mgahinga, supply birdwatching experiences as numerous because the nation’s landscapes.

Each park hosts a novel set of species, from savannah birds in Murchison Falls to forest endemics in Kibale and Albertine Rift endemics in Bwindi and Mgahinga.

Related learn: Tips for Planning a Safari in Uganda

Here’s a breakdown of the perfect locations to go bird-watching in Uganda.

Top Places for Bird Watching in Uganda

Uganda stands out as a prime birdwatching vacation spot, showcasing a variety of habitats and species.

Related: How Much Does a Uganda Safari Cost?

Mabamba Swamp

Mabamba swamp is situated on the shorelines of Lake Victoria in Entebbe. Entebbe is the place to begin of most safaris in Uganda, and birds all the time go to the Mabamba swamp present in Entebbe. Mabamba is legendary for the Shoebill Stork, which is Uganda’s most wanted hen by hen watchers within the nation. 

More than 300 hen species have been recorded in Mabamba swamp to this point. Bird-watching journeys, that are accomplished on motorized wood boats by means of trails by means of the thick marshes, give birders alternatives to see a number of the hen species recorded there. The finest time to see the birds in Mabamba is within the morning, particularly the shoebill stork.

Apart from the Shoebill, birders can see Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-billed Duck, African Fish Eagle, Water Thick-knee, Grey Heron, Orange Weaver, Lesser Jacana, Goliath Heron, Black Crake, Woodland Kingfisher, Grey-crowned Crane, Hadada Ibis, Black Egret, Malachite Kingfisher, and Black-faced Rufous Warbler, amongst others.

Check out our information on issues to do on a safari in Uganda.

Shoebill in Mabamba Swamp, birdwatching in Uganda
Shoebill in Mabamba Swamp

Murchison Falls National Park

Over 541 hen species have been recorded to this point in Murchison Falls National Park, making it one of many locations you must add to your birding areas on a Uganda safari. Bird watching in Murchison Falls National Park is carried out in locations like Kaniyo Pabidi, the northern sector of the park, alongside the River Nile, and Royal Mile.

  • Northern Banks: In the northern sector of Murchison Falls National Park, the predominant hen species are Savannah birds, corresponding to Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Rufous-crowned Roller, Superb Starling, African Darter, Long-toed Plover, Grey-crowned Crane, Hadada Ibis, African Open-billed Stork, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, and Little Egret, amongst others.
  • Kaniyo Pabidi: Bird watching in Kaniyo Pabidi, a part of Budongo Forest, gives birders the prospect to see forest birds corresponding to Puvel’s Illadopsis and Yellow-footed Flycatcher, that are endemic to Budongo Forest. Other birds embody Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-thighed Hornbill, Ituri Batis, Crested Guineafowl, and Little Greenbul, to say however a number of.
  • Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is one other fascinating birding vacation spot in Murchison Falls National Park, identified for forest birds. Bird species discovered there embody Puvel’s Illadopsis, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Fire-crested Alethe, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-spotted Greenbul, Red-headed Malimbe, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Western Oriole, and White-thighed Hornbill.
  • River Nile: Aquatic birds in Murchison Falls National Park could be noticed alongside the River Nile. Birders can take a ship to the Nile Delta or to the underside of the falls for an opportunity to see species just like the Shoebill Stork, Papyrus Gonolek, Giant Kingfisher, African Darter, Giant Heron, Red-throated Bee-eater, and Veracious Dove, amongst others.
Taking a boat in Murchison Falls National Park
Taking a ship in Murchison Falls National Park

Kibale Forest National Park

Another well-known birding vacation spot in Uganda is the house to the best inhabitants of chimpanzees on this planet. The nationwide park has over 370 hen species, which could be seen throughout guided forest walks and in areas like Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. 

Kibale Forest National Park is house to 4 hen species not recorded elsewhere within the nation: Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spinetail, Masked Apalis, and Blue-headed Bee-eater. It is the premier location for sighting the extremely sought-after African Pitta.

The birds of Kibale Forest National Park embody the Green-breasted Pitta, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Narina Trogon, Red-chested Owlet, Dusky Crimsonwing, African Shrike Flycatcher, Zebra Waxbill, Papyrus Canary, Black Bee-eater, African Emerald Cuckoo, Little Greenbul, Great Blue Turaco, Black-capped Waxbill, Great-throated Barbet, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Afep Pigeon, and Little Sparrowhawk, amongst others.

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park hosts roughly 441 hen species, together with 23 Albertine Rift endemics. It stands out as one of many premier birdwatching locations on a Uganda safari, providing distinctive alternatives corresponding to recognizing the uncommon Shoebill Stork throughout boat rides on Lake Albert.

Other notable birds in Semuliki embody the Spot-breasted Ibis, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Hartlaub’s Duck, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Papyrus Gonolek, Long-tailed Hawk, Piping Hornbill, Black-throated Coucal, Nkulengu Rail, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp Palm Bulbul, and Northern Bearded Scrub Robin, amongst others.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts the best variety of hen species amongst all nationwide parks within the nation. With over 600 hen species, the Park gives birders quite a lot of areas to identify them.

Birding spots embody the Kasenyi space, Ishasha sector, Maramagambo Forest, Kazinga Channel, Katwe, Katunguru, Mweya Peninsula, and Lake Kikorongo space.

  • Kazinga Channel: Birding on the Kazinga Channel is carried out on a ship cruise, permitting vacationers to watch quite a few aquatic hen species. Birds within the Kazinga Channel embody the African Jacana, Martial Eagle, Shoebill Stork, Saddle-billed Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Lesser Flamingo, Great Blue Turaco, Long-crested Eagle, and Grey-crowned Crane, amongst others.
  • Ishasha Sector: Birding within the Ishasha sector introduces birders to species such because the African Cuckoo, Black Bee-eater, African Wattled Plover, Brown Snake Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture, African Green Pigeon, Grey-backed Fiscal, Black Coucal, Martial Eagle, African White-backed Vulture, Ross’s Turaco, and Senegal Plover, to call a number of.
  • Maramagambo Forest: Maramagambo Forest, situated inside Queen Elizabeth National Park, gives birdwatching alternatives. Over 190 hen species could be noticed. Examples embody the African Green Pigeon, Verreaux’s Eagle, Purple-headed Starling, Rwenzori Turaco, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, and Little Grebe.
A Kingfisher perches in the reeds alongside the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A Kingfisher perches within the reeds alongside the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is house to over 350 hen species, 23 of that are Albertine Rift endemics. Bwindi is a primary vacation spot for birdwatching in Uganda.

The finest birding areas throughout the park embody the Ruhija sector, Buhoma sector, and the Bwindi Neck.

  • Buhoma Sector: Using birding trails such because the Munyaga River Trail, Muzabajiro Loop, and Habinyanja Trail, birders within the Buhoma Sector can observe species just like the African Broadbill, Equatorial Akalat, Black-billed Turaco, African Green Broadbill, Great Blue Turaco, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Masked Apalis, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Western Nicator, and White-headed Barbet, amongst others.
  • Ruhija Sector: In the Ruhija Sector, visiting areas like Mubwindi Swamp, Bamboo Trail, and Ruhija Hill will allow you to identify a number of hen species, together with the Regal Sunbird, Rwenzori Apalis, Grauer’s Broadbill, Speckled Mousebird, Red-faced Barbet, Black Bee-eater, Zebra Waxbill, Kivu Ground Thrush, Black-billed Turaco, Montane Oriole, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and Doherty’s Bushshrike, amongst others.

Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga National Park is house to 180 hen species, 14 of that are endemic to the Albertine Rift area.

Notable hen species in Mgahinga embody the Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Turaco, Olive Pigeon, Double-collared Sunbird, Black Kite, Pin-tailed Whydah, Yellow-crowned Canary, Western Tinkerbird, Malachite Sunbird, Cape Robin-Chat, Yellow-billed Kite, and Hadada Ibis, amongst others.

When to do Birding in Uganda?

The optimum interval for birdwatching in Uganda is in the course of the dry seasons, spanning June to August and December to February. During these months, decrease water ranges create ideally suited feeding grounds, and shorter grass makes it simpler to identify elusive species just like the Shoebill with out disturbance. However, the moist season, encompassing March, April, May, October, and November, attracts migratory birds as a result of abundance of meals.

While birding is a year-round exercise in Uganda, it’s vital to contemplate that some prime birding areas, corresponding to Kibale Forest National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, are located in tropical rainforests the place rain could be anticipated at any time. Visitors ought to come ready with mountaineering boots, raincoats, lengthy clothes, hand gloves, and different necessities for a snug expertise.

Get in contact with Africa Adventure Vacations to ebook your birdwatching safari in Uganda. They will advise on the perfect time to go to and plan your whole safari for you!

Get your Binoculars Ready

Uganda’s wealthy tapestry of ecosystems, from the watery expanses of Mabamba Swamp to the various habitats of its nationwide parks, positions it as a birdwatcher’s paradise. Each location gives a novel glimpse into the nation’s considerable birdlife, together with uncommon finds just like the shoebill stork and quite a few endemic species.

Whether you’re navigating the marshes of Mabamba or exploring the plush forests and savannahs of Uganda’s parks, the nation guarantees an unforgettable birdwatching expertise, cementing its standing as a must-visit vacation spot for hen fanatics across the globe.

  • Africa Adventure Vacations

    Africa Adventure Vacations is a one-stop heart for the perfect and most memorable African safaris. We are a famend safari operator primarily based in Uganda, providing distinctive excursions all through the East African area, starting from wildlife adventures, tradition, birding, luxurious gorilla safaris to Kilimanjaro trekking excursions. All our excursions could be custom-made to finest fit your journey wants, price range and time.


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