Birding safaris in Uganda are trips across the various destinations in the country where different bird species can be seen. Uganda is home to many bird species which can be seen during the year and there are over 1090 avian species around the country with the endemic bird species being the Fox’s weaver.

Where to do birding safaris in Uganda

There are different spots for bird watching found in Uganda and they include the following;

  • Mabamba wetland

The Mabamba swamps are one of the popular locations for bird watching found in Uganda and the Shoebill Stork can be seen at the destination.

These wetlands are located on Lake Victoria and tourists use canoes to get to the Mabamba wetlands where many other bird species can be seen. Some of the birds found around Mabamba include Papyrus Gonolek, Malachite Kingfisher, Swamp Flycatcher, African Marsh Harrier, Black-headed Heron, African Finfoot, Black Kite, White backed Night Heron and many others.

Over 300 bird species can be seen around the Mabamba wetland during birding safaris in Uganda including various water birds.

  • Lutembe bay

Lutembe bay is another location where birding safaris in Uganda can be done and some of the birds found around this area include Scaly Francolin, African Green Pigeon, Little Ringed Plover, Black-Headed Gonolek, Purple Starling among others.

  • Mabira forest

There are over 315 bird species which can be seen during bird watching tours around the Mabira forest located along the Kampala-Jinja highway.

Some of the bird species found in Mabira forest include Blue Throated Roller, Yellow-Throated Tinkerbird, African Pied Kingfisher, Hairy-Breasted Barbet, Honey guide Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Forest Woodhoopoe, Yellow Billed Barbet and many others.

  • Budongo forest

Budongo forest is another location for bird watching during tours in Uganda and there are over 360 bird species.

Some of the bird species which can be seen around the Budongo forest include Ituri Batis, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Yellow-footed Flycatcher among others.

  • National parks

Bird watching is among the activities that are carried out around different national parks in Uganda such as Kibale forest national park, Semuliki national park, Bwindi national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, Mgahinga national park, Lake Mburo national park and many others.

Kibale forest national park

Kibale forest national park is among the best destinations for birding safaris in Uganda and there are over 375 bird species found around the forest which is also home to 13 different primate species and it is famous for chimpanzee tracking tours around the country.

Tine rift endemics are among the birds to look out for when visiting Kibale forest national park.  Some of the bird species in Kibale forest include the Green Breasted Pitta, Rwenzori Turaco, Purple, Breasted Sunbird, Black bee-eater, Dusky Blue Flycatcher, Great Blue Turaco, Little Greenbul among others.

Semuliki national park

Semuliki national park is another birding destination in Uganda which has numerous bird species which can be seen during safaris.

Birds found around Semuliki national park are over 440 in number and they include Yellow-throated Nicator, Piping Hornbill, Black dwarf Hornbill, Long-tailed Hawk and many others. The national park is also famous for the Sempaya hot springs.

Bwindi national park

Bwindi national park is home to over 350 bird species and is also famous for being the destination where mountain gorillas in Uganda can be seen.

Bird species which can be seen during birding safaris in Bwindi national park and they include the White-bellied Robin chat, Handsome Francolin, African Green Broadbill, African Thrush, Black Billed Turaco and many others.

Birding safaris in Uganda
African Green Broadbill

When visiting Bwindi National Park, bird safaris can be done in different sectors of the destination including Buhoma sector, Rushaga sector, Ruhija sector and Nkuringo sector.

Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park is home to numerous wildlife species and also over 600 species of birds that can be seen in different parts of the destination.

Bird species found in Queen Elizabeth national park can be seen in areas such as around the Kazinga channel, Kyambura gorge, Kalinzu forest, Maramagambo forest, the open savannah plains, Mweya peninsula among others.

During birding safaris in Queen Elizabeth national park, tourists can see bird species such as Malachite Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Pied Kingfisher, African Finfoot, Swamp Flycatcher, Martial Eagles among others.

Murchison falls national park

Another destination for bird watching in Uganda is Murchison Falls National Park which is also home to various wildlife species.

Bird species found in Murchison falls national park include African Finfoot, Papyrus Gonolek, Goliath Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Fish Eagle, Grey Crowned Crane, Northern Red Bishop, White Backed Night Heron and many others.

Kidepo valley national park

Kidepo valley national park is another location where various bird species can be seen during safaris and it is home to over 470 bird species.

Some of the birds found in Kidepo national park include Common Ostrich, Karamoja Apalis, Fox Kestrel, Kori Bustard, Secretary birds among others. There are also different wildlife species found in the national park such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, lions, cheetahs, warthogs, antelopes among others.

Lake Mburo national park

Lake Mburo national park is home to various bird species which are about 351 in number and can be seen in different parts of the park.

Some of the bird species which can be seen around Lake Mburo national park include White Backed Night Heron, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Giant Kingfisher, African Finfoot, Black collared Barbet, African Wattled Plover among others.

Other locations for birding safaris in Uganda include Kalinzu forest, Maramagambo forest, Lake Bisina, Lake Victoria, Nyamuriro swamp, Pian Upe wildlife reserve among others. Some of the habitats for birds include savannah plains, papyrus swamps and wetlands, woodlands and forests.

Best time for birding safaris in Uganda

The dry season of the year is a good time to visit birding destinations in Uganda because it is easy to visit them during these months which take place around June to October and also around December, January and February.

The best time to see migratory bird species around Uganda is during the wet months of March, April and May and also in November.

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