Menu Close

Birding Uganda Safaris

Few countries on African continent offer birding opportunities quite as magical as the feast served by Uganda.  Birding Uganda safaris offer you the chance to rack up fantastic sightings. 

Over 1090 bird species have been recorded in Uganda, which accounts for around 50% of all Africa’s bird species and 11% of all bird species in the world. 

This incredible diversity of birds to see is a result of its astonishing variety of habitats. Uganda’s variety habitats covers high and low altitude ranges, from tropical afro-montane rainforest and wooded landscapes to grassland savannah, marshes, papyrus swamps, fallow agricultural lands, lakes and arid areas.

A Sample of Our Uganda Birding Tour Packages

Our birding Uganda safaris packages appeals to all those who dream of seeing the prehistoric-looking Shoebill stork, over 20 exciting endemic birds of the “Albertine Rift”, African iconic savannah animals, chimpanzees, monkeys, and, of course, the magnificent mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

We customize and tailor short and long bird-watching tours in Uganda at affordable rates. We tailor our Uganda birding trips for all types of travelers; group tours, solo, and family birders. Our tailor-made birding Uganda safaris are also perfect for seniors, private groups, and families. They guided by a team of trained Uganda bird guides. Join us on our birding Uganda safaris that have been carefully crafted or request a customized birding tour of your own.

Bird species in Uganda

Uganda is indeed one of the most attractive countries in Africa to birdwatchers. It is not only because of the unusually high number of species recorded within its borders, but also because it offers easy access to several bird rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere.

Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity – over 1090 species – recorded in an area similar to that of Great Britain – can be attributed to its location. The country is located at transition point between the east African savannah, the west African rainforest and the semi-desert of the north.

Indicative of Uganda’s transition location is the fact that only bird is endemic to the country, the Fox’s weaver. However, if you take only East Africa into consideration, then roughly 150 bird species (more than 10% of the region checklist) are found only in Uganda.

Most of these “Uganda specials”are west African and Congolese forest birds that would be very difficult to see elsewhere, for the simple reason that the other countries in which they occur are poorly developed for tourism. The rainforest of western Uganda must be seen as the country’s most important bird habitat. That said, just about any forest in Uganda will be rewarding; even the relatively tame Entebbe Botanical Gardens will throw up several interesting species.

Top bird watching destinations in Uganda

1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

As home to many rare and endemic bird species, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the heart and soul of birding Uganda tours. More than 350 species, including 23 Albertine Rift Endemic, can be found within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

2. Mabira Forest Reserve

This is the largest natural forest in the central region of Uganda, and boasts about 315 bird species. Although conditions for photography can be tricky (as with all forest birding), a trip to Mabira Forest guarantees excelling sightings.

3. Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

This is the largest wildlife reserve in Uganda, home to over 242 species of birds, including savannah birds, migratory birds, and endemics.

4. Kidepo Valley National Park

This remote Kidepo National Park stretches the Karamoja Region of northeastern Uganda and is home to almost 500 species of birds. Vast tracts of grassland savannah are dotted with rock clusters and hills, traversed by the forest-flanked Lorupei River.

5. Lake Victoria And Mabamba Swamp

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa with a surface area of just under 70,000 km². The lake is home to more than 300 bird species. From Entebbe, Kampala, and Lake Victoria, travellers can easily access Mabamba Swamp and its papyrus-lined marshes – for excellent sighting of shoebills.

6. Kibale National Park

Six Albertine Rift endemics occur in Kibale Forest National Park, and about 375 bird species can be seen across the area’s wetlands, tropical rainforest, woodland and savannah.

7. Queen Elizabeth National Park

More than 600 species of birds have been recorded in the 1978 km2 Queen Elizabeth National Park across various habitats – from savannah grassland, tropical rainforest, freshwater lakes, saline crater lakes and wetlands.

8. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest savannah park with an area of about 260km2. The park offers epic bird watching at its lake swamps of Warukiri and Rwonyo. Other habitats include dry hillsides, rock outcrops and dense savannah. More than 350 species of birds are found in this 260 Km2 Park, including the papyrus Gonolek, African fish eagles, and shoebills.

9. Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park is known for offering remarkable forest birding tours in Uganda. Over 435 species of birds have been recorded here, 216 of these (66% of Uganda’s total bird species) are true forest birds. Semuliki also provides a habitat for 131 of the 144 Guinea –Congo forest Biome bird species, including nearly 50 species that cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa!

10. Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s oldest and largest national park. The park is home to over 450 bird species. Habitat types include forests, swamps, riverine woodland, palm savannah, and acacia dotted plains. Murchison falls is one of the best places to see the shoebills.

11. Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo forest reserve lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley protecting the most extensive natural forest area in East Africa. Budongo is home to over 360 bird species. It is one of the best forest birding spots in Uganda.

Read More: Best Birding Spots In Uganda

Endemic & Near Endemic Birds of uganda

Uganda has only endemic bird (the bird which lives only in Uganda) and that’s is the Fox’s Weaver. However the country boasts so many near endemic birds (birds that also live in the neighbouring countries. These include:

  • Archer’s robin-chat
  • Black-lored babbler
  • Blue-headed sunbird
  • Chapin’s flycatcher
  • Dusky crimsoning
  • Dwarf honeyguide
  • Golden-winged sunbird
  • Grant’s bluebill
  • Grauer’s broadbill
  • Grauer’s cuckoo-shrike
  • Grauer’s swamp warbler
  • Handsome francolin
  • Hartlaub’s turaco
  • Jackson’s francolin
  • Karamoja apalis
  • Nahan’s francolin
  • Neumann’s warbler
  • Oberlaender’s ground thrush
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Red-faced barbet
  • Red-faced woodland warbler
  • Red-throated alethe
  • Regal sunbird
  • Ruwenzori apalis
  • Ruwenzori batis
  • Ruwenzori double-collared sunbird
  • Ruwenzori nightjar
  • Ruwenzori turaco
  • Shelley’s crimsonwing
  • Strange weaver
  • Stripe-breasted tit
  • Turner’s eremomela
  • Uganda woodland warbler
  • Yellow-eyed black flycatcher

Other Uganda Birding Species

There are several birding specials/treats for avid birders.

  • Shoebill
  • Ansorge’s greenbul
  • Black bee-eater
  • Bar-tailed trogon
  • Blue-throated roller
  • Equatorial akalat
  • Great blue turaco
  • Ituri batis
  • Jameson’s antpecker
  • Lühder’s bush-shrike
  • Magpie mannikin
  • Masked apalis
  • Olive long-tailed cuckoo
  • Papyrus gonolek
  • Pennant-winged nightjar
  • Red-chested owlet
  • Red-tailed ant thrush
  • Rufous flycatcher-thrush
  • White-bellied crested flycatcher
  • White-bellied robin-chat
  • White-naped pigeon
  • Yellowbill

Best Time For Bird Watching In Uganda

Uganda is a good year-round birding destination since the main birding interest lies in the resident birds. The climate is the main factor to take into consideration when planning your Uganda birding tour. During the Wet season months of March to May and September to November, roads and forest trails might be in poor condition and rains could interfere with birding time.

In general, the best time for bird watching is from late May to late September, when there is less rain and food is abundant. The main bird nesting season in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks (key sites for the Albertine Rift endemics; the birds which are restricted to the Albertine Rift Valley region) is May and June.

February and early March is the only time Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve is relatively dry, but it is uncomfortably hot in the north, including in Murchison Falls National Park. December and January are also good months since the north is not yet too hot and there is less rain in the south. The best time for gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, and wildlife viewing in the savannah game parts is also in the Dry season months of June to August and December to February.

× Get In Touch On Whatsapp 24/7