When considering an African birding safari, Uganda is an exceptional option, with a diverse range of bird species and birding locations that no other destination in Africa can match this amazing diversity of habitats. The country’s richness is truly reflected in the ever-burgeoning bird list of over 1,010 species.
From the profoundly forested tropical Central region to the highland areas in the west, Uganda remains a haven for many of Africa’s bird species. Most of the national parks in Uganda are actually home to various species of birds that are sure to attract bird enthusiasts. Most of the Uganda birding Safaris are tailor-made and trails to these destinations are guided tours by experienced and professional bird guides. In Uganda, birding is best in the morning and late evenings. Below are some of the best Birding destinations in the country.
1. Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is a very special spot every part of it is alive with variety of birds. The Park’s best bird habitat is the extensive wetland which culminated into Lake Mburo. The bird population around this wetland includes the Green backed woodpecker, Ground hornbill, White winged warbler, the Yellow-billed oxpecker and Spot-flanked.
2. Semliki National Park
Semliki National Park in Uganda lies in a remote corner of south western Uganda at the northern base of the Rwenzori Mountains. Semliki is known for its most sought after rarities that include the Congo Serpent eagle, Black-throated coucal, Grey-throated rail, the Yellow-throated nicater, etc. Bird watchers in Semliki spend full days in the park forests with some trails more popular because of the ease of spotting the birds.
3. Budongo Forest
Located in Western Uganda, Budongo Forest covers an area of 793 sq km and offers one of the best birding destinations in the country. Most birding trails in the forest start early morning. This heavy forested region protects the most rare bird species in Uganda. Some of the rarest bird variety found here are Black billed barbet, Grey headed olive back, and the Singing cistocola. Busingiro area offers the best birding spot in the forest.
4. Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park lies in north western Uganda, spreading inland from the shore of Lake Albert. This is Uganda’s largest national park and protects a great variety of rare bird species. The Park is named after the dramatic Murchison Falls. Some of the attractive bird species here are the shy Shoebill, the Secretary bird, Sacred Ibis, the Little Bitten, Red-necked Falcon, Blue-breasted Bee, and several others.
5. Mabamba Swamp
Mabamba bay has grown into one of the most interesting and spectacular sites for birding in Uganda and is one of the wetlands of International Importance. Apart from Murchison Falls National Park, Mabamba bay is the only other place and site ( so far rated as the best in Africa and/or the whole world) where the elusive Shoebill can be spotted at any one time of the day. Recently, Mabamba has become one of the strong holds for the migrant Blue Swallow with over 100 individuals recorded every year. Mabamba has been surveyed in recent years and now boosts of over 260 species with one day’s record of 157 species.
6. Kibale Forest
7. Queen Elizabeth National Park – popular with its flamingos
8. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest