10 best birding spots in Uganda

Uganda’s year round conducive climate, abundant water sources and diverse vegetation cover make it one of the best birding destinations in Africa. Vast species of birds fly in from around the world throughout the year and about 1,080 bird species have been recorded. Bird watching can be done in Uganda’s many National Parks and forests as well as during boat rides where birds can be seen by the banks of various water bodies in the country. Our birding safaris in Uganda are well planned to give birding enthusiasts a memorable bird watching experience in Uganda. Here are our 10 best birding spots in Uganda.

  1. Mabamba Bay Wetland.

Located on the edge of Lake Victoria, Mabamba Bay Wetland is one of few places where the rare Shoebill Stork can be found. Sighting the Shoebill Stork at Mabamba Bay Wetland will make your Uganda birding safari all the more exciting. Mabamba’s proximity to Lake Victoria provides the perfect conditions for birds especially those that like to live near water. A canoe rode through Mabamba Bay Wetland is a great way to explore the abundant bird species which include; the Shoebill Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, Pied Kingfisher, Papyrus Gonolex, Black-headed Heron, African Open-billed Stork, Black Kite, African Marsh Harrier among many others.

Shoebill Stork at Mabamba Bay Wetland
Shoebill Stork spotted at Mabamba Bay Wetland
  1. Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest National Park and is named after the mighty Murchison Falls where large volumes of River Nile water are forced through a narrow gorge of 7 meters width before plunging about 45 meters downstream, creating one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. About 450 bird species have been recorded in Murchison Falls National Park and these can best be seen during a wildlife game drive through the park or when on a boat ride to the bottom of Murchison Falls. Bird species in Murchison Falls National Park include; Goliath Heron, Swamp Flycatcher, Abyssinian Ground Horn Bill, Red-throated Bee Eater, Northern Red Bishop, African Quail Finch, Giant Kingfishers among many others.

10 best birding spots in Uganda
Grey Crowned Cranes spotted in Murchison Falls National Park.
  1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Although Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris are more popular in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, bird watching comes at a close second due to the abundance of rare species of birds. About 350 species of birds can be found in Bwindi and these include; Black-billed Turaco, African Green Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Fraser’s Eagle, Handsome Francolin, Collared Apalis, White-bellied Robin Chat among many others.

  1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Located in the South Western part of Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National park is home to about 180 bird species. In addition to tracking the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family in Mgahinga, tourists can take part in bird watching. The bird species in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park include; Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Greater Double-collared Sunbirds, Archer’s Robin Chat among many others.

  1. Kibale Forest National Park.

With over 375 species of birds, Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best bird watching destinations in Uganda. In addition to Chimpanzee Tracking Safaris, bird watching is also popular due to the dense vegetation cover that favours bird life. Bird species found in Kibale Forest National Park include; Red-chested Owlet, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, Little Greenbul, Black Bee-eater, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Grey-throated Flycatcher, White-naped Pigeonamong many others.

  1. Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one Uganda’s most visited National Parks and is home vast animal and bird species. With over 600 bird species, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the best spots where birding enthusiasts can encounter even the most rare bird species. Most of these bird species can be encountered while on a wildlife game drive through the park or while on a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. Bird species in Queen Elizabeth National Park include;  Swamp Flycatcher, African Skimmer, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Black-headed Gonolek, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Sedge Warbler, White-winged Terns, Grey-capped Warbler, Collared Pratincole, Martial Eagle, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars among others.

  1. Lake Mburo National Park

In addition to being home to plenty of Zebras, Lake Mburo National Park is also home to about 351 bird species, making it one of the 10 best birding spots in Uganda. The park is the only one where horseback riding safaris in Uganda can be done and some the bird species can be spotted during horseback riding. Bird species in Lake Mburo National Park include; Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, Bee-eaters, Cheeky Bronze-tailed Starling, Crested Francolin, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Brown Parrot, African Fish Eagle, Red-necked Spurfowl among others.

  1. Semuliki National Park

Located in Western Uganda in the albertine Rift Valley, Semuliki National park is one of the 10 best birding spots in Uganda. There are about 441 bird species in Semuliki’s riverine forest and these include; Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Blue-billed Malimbe, Yellow-throated Nicator, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Nkulengu Rail, Piping Hornbill, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Dwarf Honeyguide, Great Blue Turaco, Purple-breasted Sunbird among others. The famous Sempaya Hotsprings are found in Semuliki National Park.

  1. Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley in Murchison Falls National Park and is home to more than 350 bird species. The forest is also a popular destination for Chimpanzee Tracking. Bird species in Budongo Forest include; Blue-breasted Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Cassin’s Spine Tail, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Ituri Batis, Nahan’s Francolin among others.

Uganda bird watching safaris

  1. Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Located in Western Uganda, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is home to over 177 bird species, most of which can be spotted while hiking Rwenzori Mountains. Bird species in Rwenzori Mountains National Park include; Rwenzori Turaco, Blue-headed Sunbird, Golden-winged Sunbird, White-starred Robin, Long-eared Owl, Archers’ Robin-chat, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Slender-billed Starling among others.

10 Best Birding Spots in Uganda.

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