Top Birding Site in Uganda – Uganda Birdwatching Safari Destinations

Top Birding Site in Uganda : There are about 1073 recorded bird species that ranks Uganda to be one of the prime birding destination in Africa and the world at large. Uganda is a beautiful birding safari destination where you can’t miss to see a bird in very traveling meter of your safari. However, there are unique and notable bird species of savanna, forest, water, intra-Afro migrant and Euro Asian migrant species forming almost 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the bird species in the world.

Brown-crowned Tchagra

Are you bird enthusiast looking to explore some of the rare birds found within Uganda? Uganda is a recommended birding destination to encounter all the bird species even you never expected to see on your Uganda safari.

Uganda has got several excellent birding site with different location which are inhabits of the forests, farmlands, open savannah, wetlands, protected areas, and urban places many more.

Below are the key highlights where you can enjoy birdwatching in Uganda -birding site;

Mabira Forest Reserve

Mabira Forest is one of the significant forest reserve where one can stop on Uganda bird watching safari destination, a forest home to over 315 birds with 74 of the 144 species of Guinea-Congo forest biome that dwells in Uganda. Mabira forest has got stunning trails during your birding Safari in Uganda and these include Turaco and the Buttress trails.

List of birds to see in Mabira Forest include; Grey parrot, Dusky Long tailed cuckoo ,Yellow throated tinker bird ,Yellow billed barbet ,Green-breasted pitta ,African shrike –flycatcher ,Buff-spotted bird ,Cassin’s spine ,Yellow –throated tinker bird ,Black and white casqued Hornbill ,White-spotted flutt tail .Afep pigeon ,Grey parrot ,Sooty Boubou ,Grey green bush shrike ,Honeyguide Greenbul ,Chestnut wattle eyes ,Forest Robin ,Red –tailed Bristle bill ,Little Green bull Blue-throated Roller among others.

Top Birding Site in Uganda
Mabira Forest Reserve birding safaris

Mabamba Swamp

Mabamba swamp is among the top birding safari Uganda, good for 1 Day birding safari -tours in Uganda. This wetland is located on the shores of Lake Victoria and   is the best birding site one can watch variety of birds in Uganda in a single a day. It is popular home to encounter shoe bill stork and other bird life to see include papyrus gonolek, Black kite, kingfishers, swamp flycatcher, black –headed heron, African marsh harrier many more.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the top birding site that was classified by Birding International and the great variety of Queen habitats are over 600species.The park’s savannah and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo   allows visitors to view East and Central African species.  In Queen the places to view numerous bird species is in the woodland as well as forests dwellers in the Maramangambo forest with over 54 raptors and variety of migratory species. Most spotted bird species  on safari  here include; African skimmer ,Chapin’s Flycatcher .Martial Eagle ,Black rumped Buttonquail ,  White winged warbler , Bar-tailed Godwit ,Papyrus Canary ,Corncrake ,Lesser and Greater Flamingo ,Shoebill ,Bar-tailed Godwit , African Broadbill ,Verreaux’s Eagle Owl ,Pink-backed pelican ,Black Bee-eater  ,palm-nut vulture ,papyrus gonolek ,Caspian plover ,Black rumped buttonquail ,Common sand martin ,Great blue turaco ,Heuglin’s gull ,Yellow throated  cuckoo ,white-winged tern ,shoe bill stork ,Rufous-bellied heron , pink-backed pelican  ,spotted redshank ,western banded snake eagle  ,yellow-bellied wattle –eye ,western banded   snake eagle ,red chested African hobby ,African skimmer  among others.

On birding Uganda Safari – Queen Elizabeth national park never miss to reach these birding key spots such as; Kasenyi Peninsula, Kazinga Channel, Maramangambo forest, Ishasha sector, Lake Kikorongo, katunguru Bridge and Katwe Area Tours can be booked through Katwe Tourism Information centre.

Queen Elizabeth national park is located in southwestern region of Uganda, estimating 5 to 6 hours from Kampala capital or you can use domestic flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Mweya Airstrip in less than 1:00 hour.

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park – Uganda Safari

Murchison Falls is both the game drives and the launch trips that offers great opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife such as savannah forest birds, water birds as well as Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s main birding species is the shoe bill stork which is best sighted in the dry season from January to March.

Birding in Murchison Falls can be done in savannah forest birds, water bird and Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s main birding attraction is the shoebill and best spotted in the dry season from January to March. Murchison’s commonest spotted bird species include; Ground Hornbill, Black –bellied Bustard, Secretary birds, Open-billed Storks and widow bird among others. There are numerous bird species  which can be seen around riverbanks , thickets and woodlands and such birds include ;Geese ,stilts ,Crombecs ,Francolin ,Hornbills ,swallow-tailed and Red throated Bee eaters ,Hamerkop ,Fly catchers ,Cuckoo ,woodpeckers ,Silver bird ,palm nut vulture ,Eastern grey plantain eater , Black headed coucal ,Black headed lapwing ,Black headed ganok ,Speckle –fronted weaver ,Re throated bee-eater ,Malachite kingfisher ,Goliath heron ,Giant heron , Giant king fish  Denham’s bustard among others .Though the main birding attraction is the Shoebill  which is best sighted in the dry season from January –March.

Top Birding Site in Uganda
Shoe Bill Stork

Murchison Falls national park is Uganda’s largest national park that sits at 3,893 square kilometers, located in northwestern region of Uganda approximately 4 to 5 hours’ drive or you can opt to fly from Entebbe Airport of Kajjansi Airstrip by Aerolink domestic flight ‘’1hour’’ to Pakuba airstrip inside in the park.

Lake Mburo National Park – Birding

Lake Mburo is a small national park with key birding spots like swamp valley and viewing platform close the salt lick and the forest. Some of these species to be encountered along here include; Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned crane, Black bellien Bustard and Brown-chested Lapwing few mentioned.

The birding spots in Lake Mburo national park are swampy valley of Waruliri and Miriti, also along roadside between Rwonyo camp and the jetty. Birding in Lake Mburo can also be sighted on the platforms at the salt lick and Rubanga Forest. Some of bird species to sight see include; the Brown-chested Lapwing, Long tailed Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Nubian Woodpecker, Red-shouldered Cuckoo shrike, Long tailed Cisticola, White headed Barbet, Bare faced Go away bird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Red headed Lovebird, Ross’s Turaco, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Coqui Francolins, White winged Tit and Finfoot man others.

Rubanga forest is located within the park and can be visited while using vehicle or on foot. This is a great location that draw birders near to variety of beautiful birds and any arrangement should be made with the warden. The rare Red-faced Barbet is only seen in Lake Mburo National park, the rare Red –faced Barbet is famously known as one of the forest’s featured species.

Lake Mburo National park is one of Uganda’s smallest game park and lies few kilometers away from Uganda’s capital city ‘Kampala’ where you can visit any time of the day, located in Kiruhura districts of the western Region of Uganda about 30 kilometers, east of Mbarara and about 240 kilometers by road west of Kampala.

Birding in Mount Elgon National Park

 Mount Elgon national park is also an excellent birding site on Uganda safari, that gives opportunies to birders with rewardable sights around Kapkwai Forest Exploration centre, thick shrub along the loop trail to Cheptui Falls where you can be able to sight see African Goshawk, Chubb’s cisticola, White-chinned prinia and African Blue Flycatcher many more.

Birdlife to encounter around the excellent spotting areas within the park include; Black Kite and Black collared Apalis, Tacazze Sunbird. Olive and Bronzee-naped pigeons, Baglafecht Weaver, Cinnamon Bee Eater, Moustache Tinker bird, Doherty’s and Luhders Busk-shrikes, African Blue Fly catcher few mentioned.

Mount Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in Eastern Africa with the second highest peak in Uganda, located in Eastern Uganda region estimating 6 to 7 hours drives from Kampala capital to main visiting destination. The park is home of over 300 birds including 40 restricted range species out of the 87 Afrotropical highland biome species that live here.

Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park famously know as a great location of encountering the gentle giants, yet also is good to view a lot of notable bird life. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home with over 350 species of birds recorded ,23 are endemics and 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics like Short tailed warbler and Blue-headed sunbird and seven IUCN red data listed species. Most spotted species by the birders here include African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, African Blue and white tailed Blue Flycatchers and Red-headed Bluebill among others.

Top Birding Site in Uganda
Red-headed Bluebill


Bird watching Safari in Bwindi takes places in several stunning areas along the main trail, the Buhoma waterfall and along the bamboo zone and Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija providing grateful sights beautiful birds.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park a popular location to see mountain gorillas and bird life, located in the southwestern region of Uganda, approximately 9 to 10 hours’ drive to access the main destination.

Birding in Semuliki National Park

To any bird lovers never visit Uganda Birding Safari and miss to reach out of this place, Semuliki where you can be rewarded with some of Africa’s best forest birding. The best birding area here are the Sempaya and Ntandi provide classic viewing of the birds such as Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Yellow throated Nicator, White Crested Hornbill, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos, Piping Hornbill among others. Kirumia River is another top birding spot with the park. The rare shoe bill stork is regularly seen at near quarter on Lake Albert and forest walks are excellent   for tracking water birds.

Semuliki National Park is located in western side of the Rwenzori, a journey that takes 5 to6 hour drive from west of Kampala to main destination. The park sounds as one of African best birding experience with total of 450 bird’s species respectively.

Birding in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  Mgahinga is one of the excellent birding site in Uganda which can be seen in its beautiful scenery that is Gorge between mount Gahinga and Sabinyo through the bamboo forest as well as montane forest where you likely to view beautiful Rwenzori Turaco.

The spotting area in Mgahinga provides great sights of bird species like Dusky Turtle Dove, Cape Robin chat, Kivu ground Thrush, Olive Thrush, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bronze, sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue headed sunbird, Black-headed Waxbill and Streaky seedeater, Rwenzori Batis, Banded prinia, Doherty’s shrike, Red-faced woodland warbler among others.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the southwestern region of Uganda and lies between the altitude of 2227 meters and 4127 meter. The park was gazette as a national park in 1991 and it was established to protect the endangered mountain gorillas in their nature habitats. It can be accessed within 9 to 10 hours’ drive and 1:15 hours by air from Entebbe Airport to Kisoro Airstrip.

Birding in Kibale Forest National Park

In Kibale birding tour starts early in the morning at Kanyanchu to hike to Bigodi wetland sanctuary which is located just outside the park, a home to 138 bird species to be seen during guided walks along the boardwalk trail and viewing platforms.

Some of the rare species of birds to see in Kibale tours include Papyrus Gonolek, white winged warbler ,white collared Olive and papyrus canary .Birds to see along the Bigodi walk board trail include Grey winged Robin-chat ,White tailed Ant thrush ,Brown baked Scrub-robin ,Brown-crowned Tchagra ,Black bishop ,white breasted Negro finch ,black crowned Waxbill ,Bo cage’s Bush shrike ,Black bishop ,Western Nicator ,Yellow billed barbet ,Hairy-breasted barbet ,White spotted Fluff tail among others.

book a safari