Uganda is one of the best bird-watching destinations in Africa (if not the world), with more than 1000bird species recorded in a country the size of Britain. The Albertine Rift Valley supports a remarkable 1061 bird species which represents half of Africa’s total and includes 41endemic species and 25 threatened species.
Uganda is a home to 1008 species! Uganda thus presents the fantastic opportunity of assuredly finding numerous and diverse birds in a relatively compact area. By way of illustration, when Tanzanian’s Serengeti is compared to Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth national park, the former contains 520 bird species within its 14,000 km2 expanse while Queen Elizabeth not only contains more species -612 but is a seventh of the size of Serengeti at slightly less than 2000km2.
Most of Uganda’s national parks have a diversity of birds; however, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Bwindi Impenetrable and Semiliki National Parks are the most famous for birding. If you are a bird lover, Uganda is the ideal destination that will make your dream come true. Our excellent guides will add flavour to your own experience on birds. Be our honoured guest.
Where to go for birdwatching and field trips
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Murchison Falls National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Semiliki National Park
Kibale National park
Birds in Uganda
Uganda has a great variety of habitats, packed into a fairly small area, and has a bird list nearly at par with neighbouring Kenya. It is dotted with state of the art game reserves, including Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth, and many less visited ones, such as Kidepo Valley and Semiliki, which offer a good variety of more widespread African bird species, as well as a good variety of large mammals.
Uganda’s main attractions are in its forests and swamps, where species with restricted range can be found. While it only has one ubiquitous species, the Fox weaver, which occurs in swamps north of Kampala, it has several species which are denizens of specific habitat areas, shared with other countries.
One such area is the Albertine Rift, an area of lakes, Mountains ad Forests, which stretches from Northern Uganda along its borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Several species endemic to this area are found in Bwindi Impenetrable forest, Semiliki National park, Rwenzori Mountains and Mgahinga. These include; Green Broadbill, Graver’s swamp and Nkumann warblers, Shelley’s and Dusky Crimson wings, yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Strange Weaver, Rwenzori Double-collared, Regal purple-breasted and Blue-throated sunbirds, Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Striper breasted Tit Inter-alia.
In the papyrus swamps around Lake Victoria and other Lakes, the enigmatic shoebill can be found, as swell as specialities including papyrus yellow and white-winged warblers, Caruthers’s Cisticola, papyrus Gonolek, wswamp Flycatcher and orange weaver. There are also several highland and lowland forests spread across the country, which offer species that are generally West African. Great Blue and Black-billed Turacos, African Grey parrot, Green-breasted Pitta, several woodpeckers, Barbets and Green bulls, and Scarcities such as Weyn’s weaver, Nahan’s and Forest Francolin, all occur. In addition to the birdlife, a great attraction is the opportunity of trekking for Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga, as well as chimpanzees in Kibale.
Even if you are only passing through Uganda, a good range of species can be seen within a few hours of Kampala, in Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Mabamba swamp and Mabira Forest, including several of the sought-after species like the aforementioned.
Uganda has 30,000 sq. km of wetland.
210 species from the shoebill and African skimmer to the endemic fox’s weaver.
Four papyrus endemics; papyrus Gonolek, papyrus canary, white-winged warbler and papyrus yellow warbler.
A white-winged Black Tern roost of 2-3 million birds in the Entebbe area.
Savannahs vary from the remote, semi-desert, dry thorn-scrub region of Karamoja in the Northeast, to the richer fertile savannahs of the Western Rift Valley. Queen Elizabeth National Park has a bird list of 604 species, the highest for any protected area in Africa.
Some of the dry thorn-scrub birds include
Kori, White-bellied and Harttaub’s Bustard.
Lichtenstein’s and Four-banded sand grouse.
White-bellied Go-away bird.
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill.
Kampala and Entebbe birds
Over 550 species for the region.
A suburban garden list of 206 species.
One of the largest urban breeding colony of Marabou storks.
212 species listed in 12 hours by 3 people.
Great Blue and Ross’s Turacos are common city birds.
Within the Kampala, region are two major Forest Reserves, less than an hour’s drive from the city, which hond a variety of very special birds including;
§ Emerald, Red-chested and Black cuckoos.
Grey-rumped and Blue Swallows.
Uganda’s 10 most commonly sought after birds
Red-fronted Ant peckers.
The African Jacana.
African Green Broadbill.
Some Common Urban birds
African Grey and Brown parrots.
White-faced scops Owl.
Black and white Casqued, Crowned and pied Hornbills.
African Grey and Brown parrots.