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Uganda Birding Safaris, Uganda Birding Tours: African Birdwatching Trips in Uganda

Uganda birding tours/African birdwatching trips in Uganda are among the best experiences to enjoy on a Uganda safari within East Africa.

This equatorial country is taken to be a birding paradise for keen birders since it has amazing Uganda bird species, inclusive of the endemic birds spotted nowhere else in Africa.

There are about 1,090 bird species, including 24 Albertine Rift endemics. The total number of species in Uganda makes up almost 11% of the birds in the world and this makes it one of the destinations with the highest concentration of birds per square kilometer in Africa.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is ranked among the best places for Uganda birding tours since it has the highest number of birds. On your Uganda birding trips, you can search for the shoebill, one of the world’s sought-after bird species, within the birding spots of this country.

Uganda is within the African Great Lakes Region, making it the best birding destination for spotting water-associated birds and the best place is Murchison Falls National Park.

Birders should know that Uganda has one endemic bird and that is the Fox’s weaver, and you will not find it anywhere in other countries in East Africa. On your Uganda birding safari, you will see the Big 5 birds: Grey Crowned Cranes, Shoebill, Great Blue Turaco, Long Crested Eagle, and Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill.

Those coming for Uganda birding trips should be aware that migratory birds come to the country from November to April. For a better experience, you can combine the Uganda birding vacation with a wildlife adventure and enjoy sightings of the African Elephant and the big cats.

Uganda birding tours are thrilling for keen birders, as they are guaranteed all the fun experiences as they get sightings of rare species.

What are the Common Birds in Uganda?

There are many sought after birds to look out for on your Uganda birding tour and some of these are not seen anywhere within the top destinations of East Africa.

Here are some of the sought after birds to look out for during a Uganda birding tours;

  1. Shoebill
  2. Hooded vulture
  3. Great Blue Turaco
  4. Secretary Bird
  5. Long Crested Eagle
  6. African Green Broadbill
  7. Pel’s Fishing Owl
  8. Hooded Vulture
  9. Karamoja Apalis
  10. African Finfoot
  11. Green Breasted Pitta

Top Birding Sites in Uganda for Uganda Birding Trips (Top Birding Spots in Uganda) | Where Can I Watch Birds in Uganda | Where Can I See Birds in Uganda?

There are many birding destinations you can visit on your Uganda birding tour and as of now, there are 34 Important Bird Areas worth exploring. Within these areas, there are expert local guides to help you sight the different bird species within their natural habitats.

Most of the Uganda birding destinations in Uganda are national parks, reserves, Ramsar sites, and forests for forest birding.

These are the best bird watching places for a Uganda birding tour;

Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the best birding destinations for a Uganda birding safari. There are about 600 Uganda bird species that you can spot on your bird watching tours and some of these are not seen in East Africa.

On your African birding journeys in Queen Elizabeth National Park within East Africa, you can spot Lake Victoria biome species, which are rare. On your Uganda birding safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you can search for birds within their natural habitats, which are swamps, shrubs, savannah vegetation, woodlands, and lakes.

This Uganda birding destination offers Uganda’s birding delights with great experiences, as you also get to watch amazing wildlife like the African buffalo, Lions, the African Elephant, antelope species, etc.

Some of the birds to see on a Uganda birding safari within Queen Elizabeth National Park include; African Fish Eagle, Swamp Flycatcher, White Backed Night Heron, Martial Eagle, Slender-tailed Nightjars, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, African Finfoot, Collared Pratincole, etc.

Keep in mind that there are no Albertine Rift endemics.

When Uganda birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the best way to see birds is through nature walks, game drives, and boat cruise along the Kazinga channel and you can enjoy sightings of other wildlife.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Although many tourists come here to see Mountain Gorillas in the course of mountain gorilla trekking, this doesn’t limit birders from enjoying Uganda birding within this park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has about 352 Uganda bird species and 23 Albertine Rift endemics, making it the highest number in East Africa. This home of the Mountain Gorillas is surely a bird watching destination within its montane forests.

Within the natural habitats of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, there are not only birds and Gorillas but also other wildlife like the African Elephant, Forest hogs, and other primate species.

If you are interested in the African Green Broadbill on your birdwatching trip, then Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the right place to be in East Africa. Other birds you can spot on your Uganda birding tour in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are the Handsome Francolin, White Bellied Robin Chat, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Rwenzori Turaco, White Headed Wood Hoopoe, Shelley’s Crimson Wing, etc.

You can enjoy Uganda birding trips in Bwindi along with Mountain Gorilla tracking though you can also see Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes Park of Rwanda, and Virunga National Park of Congo.

Semilki National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Semilki National Park is a birding paradise since it has a huge bird list you can enjoy spotting. This park has about 441 bird species, though most of them are forest species, offering the best forest birding.

Semilki has some Albertine Rift endemic species rarely spotted in other destinations of the Eastern African region. Some of the birds to spot on your Uganda birding tour in Semilki include the Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Congo Serpent-eagle, African Thrush, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, etc.

It is the best place in Uganda for spotting the Guinea-Congo biome species on African birding journeys along the Kirumia trail within the montane forests and you can also get sightings of other wildlife like the African Elephant if lucky along this trail.

Murchison Falls National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Murchison Falls National Park is a good Uganda birding destination, despite having Murchison Falls as the most selling point. This park has about 556 bird species and it is the best place for locating the Shoebill within East Africa.

This bird is found in the marshy areas of the Victoria Nile Albert Delta which is formed by the River Nile. Since this river flows from Lake Victoria, this means that there are many Lake Victoria biome species and a boat cruise is the best way to see these birds along the River Nile.

A Uganda birding safari trip within Murchison Falls National Park is thrilling, especially during game drives as you can also see other wildlife like the African Elephant and big cats.

Some of the birds to see on a bird Uganda safaris in Murchison Falls National Park include the African Finfoot, Shoebill, Giant Kingfishers, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, African Fish Eagle, White Backed Night Heron, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, White Bellied Robin Chat, Abyssinian Ground Horn Bill, White Browed Robin Chat, African Wood Owl, etc.

Mabamba Swamp Birding Safaris

Mabamba Swamp is located on Lake Victoria in the African Great Lakes region, just offshore of Lake Victoria. This is an important birding area and the second-best area for seeing the Shoebill just after Murchison Falls Park.

Mabamba Swamp is a good place for spotting other water-associated Uganda birds. Mabamba has 300 bird species, of which some are globally threatened, and some are Lake Victoria biome bird species.

Bird watchers can access Mabamba swamp by canoe along Lake Victoria and some of the bird species to see within Mabamba swamp on your Uganda birding tour are the Malachite Kingfisher, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Shoebill, White Backed Night Heron, African Marsh Harrier, African Finfoot, Papyrus Gonolek, etc.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is made of montane forests bordering Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda, offering one of the best Uganda birding trips. Most people know Mgahinga National Park as a place of Mountain Gorillas which you can enjoy during Mountain Gorilla trekking.

This park has over 180 bird species including Albertine endemics, and during your incredible bird watching trip, you follow the bamboo trail, gorge trail, and community trail with views of the extinct volcanoes.

Those on a Uganda birding tour within Mgahinga National Park can see the Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White Bellied Robin Chat, Cape Robin, etc. You can combine birdwatching trips in Mgahinga with Gorilla tracking adventures.

Lake Mburo National Park Uganda Birding Tour

You can’t miss Lake Mburo National Park when on Uganda birding tours as it has several habitats like forest and acacia for many forest birds, particularly Rubanga forest.

Lake Mburo National Park has 310 Uganda bird species, and this small savannah park also gets migratory birds from November to April. Birders also go bird watching in this park and observe a few Lake Victoria biome species.

Other birds to see in Lake Mburo Park include the Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Crested Francolin, Trilling Cisticola, White Bellied Robin Chat, African Fish Eagle, White Backed Night Heron, Lizard Buzzard, African Finfoot, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, etc.

This park also has other wildlife that you can see on top of Uganda birding like Uganda kobs, Impalas, and many other antelope species though it has not African Elephant species.

Kibale National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Kibale Forest Park is not only a Chimpanzee trekking destination, but also a good place for a Uganda birding safari. Bird lovers will love this African birding destination as it has over 375 bird species inclusive of a few Albertine Rift endemics and other local birds.

On your Uganda birding tour, you can spot the Green Breasted Pitta within Kibale which is one of the sought-after birds in Uganda. Other birds to lookout for include; White Bellied Robin Chat, Green Breasted Pitta, Great-blue Turacos, Little Greenbul, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, etc.

The African Elephant and other primates are also present in the park, and you can see them during Uganda birding tours and most rare birds are within Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda Birding Tour

This park is a good Uganda birding tour situated far in north-eastern Uganda offering bird watchers with great experiences. Kidepo Valley National Park has over 470 bird species, of which 60 have been seen anywhere in East Africa.

It is one of the few top birding destinations with the Common Ostrich and those on bird watching trips can spot other birds like the Karamoja Apalis, Fox Kestrel, Abyssinian Roller, White Bellied Robin Chat, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, White Browed Robin Chat, etc.

There are no Lake Victoria biome species since the park is not within the African Great Lakes region. On your Uganda birding tour, you can also spot the African Elephant, Lions, Buffaloes, Hyenas, antelope species, Zebras, etc.

Bird watchers should keep in mind that migratory birds are present in the park from November to April.

Mount Elgon National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Uganda birding tours to Mount Elgon National Park offer bird watchers sightings of rare species. You can see the endangered Lammergeyer, White Bellied Robin Chat, Jackson’s Francolin, etc.

If lucky on your Uganda birding trip, you can also see the African Elephant, antelopes, and other wildlife.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is near Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda and has 217 species with 19 Albertine Rift endemics.

On your Uganda birding tour within Rwenzori Mountains Park in the montane forests, you can spot birds like the Rwenzori Turaco, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, Lag den’s Bush Shrike, Golden-winged Sunbird, etc.

Albertine Rift Endemic Bird Species in Uganda

Most birding destinations in Uganda have 24 Albertine Rift endemics and they are within the African Great Lakes region, and some can be spotted along the Victoria Nile.

Within the different areas of the Uganda birding tour, you can see the different Albertine Rift endemics and below are the best places to see these species.

  • 23 Albertine Rift endemics are within the montane forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • 19 Albertine Rift endemics are in Rwenzori Mountains
  • 18 Albertine Rift endemics are in Echuya Forest Reserve
  • 12 Albertine Rift endemics are within Mgahinga Park in the montane forests.
  • 6 Albertine Rift endemics are within Kibale Forest
  • There are few Albertine Rift endemic species within Semliki

Best Time to Go Birding in Uganda

Those going on birding tours in Uganda should know that bird watching is good at any time of the year, though the dry season offers remarkable experiences. The trails and tracks are dry during the dry season and the experiences are great on a Uganda birding safari.

This is usually from June to July and December to February. Bird watchers can also enjoy Uganda birding journeys in the wet months as there is abundant food for birds meaning that they can be seen in big numbers. However, be aware that the trails can be wet and slippery at most times as there is rainfall.

November to April is when migratory birds are within the country of this East African region offering outstanding Uganda birding tours.

What Time of Day Are Birds Most Active?

They are active in the morning and evening. During the morning hours, birds can be whispering, leaving their nests to look for food and within the evening, birds will be coming back to the nests, giving you good bird-watching experiences.

Best Time for Birding | What Time of Day Is Best for Bird Watching?

Bird watching is best in the morning as birds be coming out of their nests and during the evening hours, when they are coming back. Be aware that on your Uganda birding tour, afternoons are not rewarding as birds are in shades resting since the weather can be hot.

However, if you are a keen birder on a Uganda birding tour, you can enjoy bird watching at any time of the day within this richest country.

Best Birding Books In Uganda | What Is the Best Bird Watching Book

If you are coming for a Uganda birding tour, you need to have a guidebook. The guidebooks have all the information that you require about the different bird species on your Uganda birding tour within this richest country.

Here are some of the guidebooks to use when on a Uganda birding tour;

  1. Where to Watch Birds in Uganda: By Russouw and Sacchi
  2. Field Guide to Birds of East Africa: By Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe

Uganda Birding Tips | Birding Tips for Birdwatching in Uganda

There are tips you need to be aware of on your Uganda birding tour. The tips will make you comfortable with great experiences when your Uganda birding tour.

Some of these tips in this richest country include;

  1. Always make sure that you are quiet when birding in the wild
  2. Make sure that you stay on the trails when in the wild on your Uganda birding tour
  3. Be in a small group to enjoy the best birding and you may miss out on epic sightings when in a big group.
  4. Move out with packed lunch if you intend to go for long birding journeys
  5. Don’t shoot the birds with stones if you want to see them clearly on your Uganda birding tour as you may injure them.
  6. You need to stay hydrated on the birding safaris by moving with bottled water.
  7. Uganda birding tour trips are thrilling in the morning and in evening.
  8. Always carry a pair of binoculars and a good camera with good lenses

Packing List for A Birding Trip in Uganda | What Do You Need for Bird Watching in Uganda?

For a rewarding Uganda birding safari, there are essential items you need to pack for the trip and these include;

  1. Pair of binoculars gives you clear sightings of distant birds when on a Uganda birding safari.
  2. A Uganda birding tour guidebook gives you relevant information concerning different birds on a Uganda birding tour.
  3. A good camera with good lenses is used for taking pictures when on Uganda birding tour trips.
  4. Sunscreen lotion: On your Uganda birding tour, you will be walking under the strong sun and that’s why you need this lotion to protect your skin.
  5. Insect repellant: will keep away insects from biting you during the Uganda birding tour.
  6. A waterproof backpack: On your Uganda birding tour, you will have some small items and you can put them in this backpack.
  7. Bottled water: is to keep you hydrated when on long Uganda birding tour trips.
  8. Poncho or rain jacket: can keep you dry when it is raining on a Uganda birding tour.

What to Wear During Your Uganda Birding Tour?

Here is what you can do when on a Uganda birding tour.

Long-sleeved shirts and trousers; will protect you from bugs and can keep you warm in cold weather.

Comfortable hiking shoes: keep you stable on slippery trails during a Uganda birding tour and also protect your feet and ankles.

A cap or hat; protects your head from the sunlight, especially in areas of Kidepo near South Sudan

Sunglasses; keep your eyes safe from the strong sunlight during birding safaris.

Why Go for Bird Watching in Uganda

  1. This African country has about 1,090 Uganda bird species including rare species.
  2. It is the best destination for seeing the rare Shoebill.
  3. The birding destinations within Uganda are easily accessible.
  4. There are 24 Albertine Rift endemics within this country, though Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has the highest number of species.
  5. You can also spot the African Green Broadbill, a rare bird in Uganda.
  6. Birding tours can easily be combined with Gorilla tracking to see Mountain Gorillas within the montane forests and you can also visit savannah parks and get sightings of the African elephant on your Uganda tours.

Top Safari Lodges for Your Birding Tours

There are many safari lodges where you can stay during your amazing Uganda birding tour. These facilities are categorized into luxury, midrange, and budget. Your budget will determine the type of accommodation where you will stay.

Luxury lodges include Apoka safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Mihingo Lodge, Chameleon Hill Forest Lodge, etc.

Midrange Lodges include Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Pakuba safari Lodge, Haven Lodge Buhoma, Katara Lodge, etc.

Budget Lodges include Red Chili Rest Camp, Apoka Rest Camp, Simba safari Camp, etc.

The Cost of a Bird Watching Tour in Uganda

A bird watching trip can cost from $130 to $1600 per person per day and this price is inclusive of accommodation, activities, meals, and transport. The price of the Uganda birding tour is exclusive of visa fees, drinks, tips, and additional activities.

Top Tour Operators for Your Birding Adventures in Uganda

If you want to enjoy the best Uganda birding tour vacations, you need to use the best Uganda birding tour companies that know about the different destinations for bird watching.

The best tour companies include;

  1. Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd
  2. Safari Uganda Safaris
  3. Wild Gorilla Safaris

Bird Watching Packages in Uganda

There are many Uganda birding safari packages that you can choose from for the best Uganda birding tour adventures. Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks are among the destinations to include within the packages.

Below are some of best bird watching packages to choose from;

  • 9 Days Rwanda Birding and Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour
  • 14 Days Kidepo Valley National Park Birding Trip (Fox’s Weaver, and Karamoja Apalis)
  • 17 Days Rwanda and Uganda Birding and Wildlife Tour
  • 19 Days Kenya Birding and Wildlife Photography Safari
  • 20 Day Uganda Birding Nature Tour Birding Tour
  • 23 Days Uganda Birding Tour (The Remarkable West)


What is Birding? | What is Bird Watching?

Birding is the act of searching, seeing, or studying about birds within their natural habitat and tourist enjoy Uganda birding tours when they come for Uganda safaris.

What is the Difference Between Birding and Bird Watching?

Birding involves searching for birds in their natural habitat whereas bird watching is the act of looking at birds within their habitats.

Where Can You See Birds of Prey in Uganda?

Birds of prey can be spotted in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park at the border of South Sudan, Murchison Falls Park, and Lake Mburo. The most sought-after birds of prey are Eagles, Buzzards, and Vultures.

Are There Hummingbirds in Uganda?

Birders should know that there are no hummingbirds in Uganda as they are only endemic to America.

Does Uganda Have Parrots?

Yes, there are parrots in Uganda, and you can see them on your Uganda birding tour. They are mostly within Kibale Forest and Semliki National Parks as these are forest birding destinations where parrots thrive mostly.

Some of the parrot species to see on your Uganda birding tours are the Brown-necked Parrot, Meyer’s Parrot, and the African Grey Parrot. You are only allowed to take their pictures but not capturing them.

Which Bird is Endemic to Uganda? | Which Birds are Only Found in Uganda?

The only endemic bird to Uganda is the Fox’s Weaver and those on a Uganda birding tour can spot it in Eastern Uganda, particularly around Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta.

What is the Largest Bird in Uganda? | What is the Name of the Biggest Bird in Uganda?

This is the Common Ostrich found within Kidepo National Park in northeastern Uganda bordering South Sudan. Those on a Uganda birding trip can also spot the Common Ostrich within Pian Upe Game Reserve and Matheniko Game Reserve.

What is the Rarest Bird in Uganda?

The Shelley’s Crimsonwing is the rarest bird within Uganda and the East African region. This bird is an Albertine Rift endemic, and you can spot it best within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

There is also the Green Breasted Pitta rarely seen though you can spot it within Kibale Forest.

Which Bird is the Pearl of Africa?

The Crested Crane or Grey Crane is the national bird of this country, and it is found on the Ugandan flag and coat of arms. Those on a Uganda birding tour and find crested cranes in wetlands or marshy areas.

Which Country in Africa Has the Best Birding? | Which Country is Best for Birding in Africa?

Uganda is the richest African birding destination. This equatorial country has 1,090 species of birds which is 50% of the birds in Africa and 11% of the birds in the world.

On your Uganda birding tour, you can spot some of the rare birds like the Shoebill, the African Green Broadbill, and the Green Breasted Pitta.

How to Do Birding in Uganda?

Birding in Uganda is enjoyed through nature walks, game drives, and boat cruises.

Which Continent is Best Known for Bird Watching?

Africa is the best continent for incredible bird watching as there are colorful species worth spotting. There are tropical bids, water-associated birds particularly on Lake Victoria, and the rare Albertine Rift endemics.

Where is the Best Bird Watching in the World? | Where is the Best Birding in the World?

The best birding is in Africa as it is every birder’s dream to visit this amazing African continent. Uganda is the richest African birding destination among all birding destinations in Africa as you can see amazing birds which are not anywhere else on the African continent.

What is the Birding Capital of the World?

Uganda is the birding capital of the world having 11% of the world’s birds and it has the most iconic bird which is the Shoebill. There are tropical birds, water birds, acacia birds, and many migratory birds.

Which Country Has the Best Birding in the World?

The best birding safaris in the world is in Uganda since this country has colorful bird species flourishing within the habitats. The bird life of this country is enticing as there are about 1,090 species of birds that you can enjoy seeing.

In summary, African birdwatching trips in Uganda offer enticing trips to see birds in their natural habitat within the top Uganda birding destinations. You can spot the sought-after birds and also easily combine the Uganda birding tours with other Uganda safari trips for a great adventure.

You can enjoy wildlife adventures within the savannah parks or go for Gorilla tracking within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Uganda birding tours will offer you guaranteed lifetime experiences.

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