Uganda is a birder’s paradise. The country has an astounding record of 1062 bird species found in the various birding spots spread throughout the different regions. The diversity of Uganda’s bird species is attributed to the country’s location – amidst the East African savanna, West African rain forest and the semi-deserts of the northern region. Uganda’s birding spots are comprised of; rich savannas, arid semi-deserts, vast wetlands, lowland and montane rain forests. Most of Uganda’s specials are Congolese and West African forest birds, which are relatively hard to spot in other countries where they are found. The rain forests in Uganda’s Western region are remarkable birding destinations, they include; Semuliki forest reserve, Kibale Forest, Budongo forest, and Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Kibale Forest and Magombe swamp are a great habitat for forest birds.
Famous Birding Spots
Uganda’s most famous birding spots include; the Entebbe peninsula – a great habitat for water and forest birds, Lake Mburo National Park – a habitat to over 350 bird species and a famous spot for water and acacia associated birds, Queen Elizabeth National Park – a habitat to over 600 bird species, Murchison Falls National Park – a habitat to over 450 bird species and the best place to see the papyrus associated shoebill stork, Kidepo Valley National Park – a home to over 470 bird species, Kaniyo – pabidi eco tourism site, Rabongo forest, Royal mile, Busingiro, Kibale National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Semuliki National Park, Kasenyi area, Mweya peninsula, Maramagambo forest, and Ishasha region, Katwe crater lakes region, Katunguru bridge area, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s Buhoma waterfall trail, Mubwindi swamp trail, Bamboo trail and Ruhija region.
The numerous bird species
Uganda’s wealth of bird species includes; the ostrich – the world’s largest bird, restricted to Kidepo Valley National Park, Pelicans – water birds commonly found in Queen Elizabeth’s Kazinga channel, African darter – a serpentine fashioned bird, goliath heron – a bird commonly seen during boat cruises in Murchison Falls National Park, hamerkop – a medium sized board found in Queen Elizabeth’s Mweya peninsula, saddle-billed stork – the largest and most handsome of several stores usually seen during game drives in Murchison Falls, Marabou stork – a macabre carrion-eating stork, African Jacana commonly spotted in most of Uganda’s wetlands, African fish eagle – a unique grey snake-eating raptor, grey-crowned crane – Uganda’s national bird, common in swamps and grasslands, African grey parrot commonly seen in any forests habitat, flamingo – an astonishing and sociable pink-white algae eater commonly seen in large concentrations in Queen Elizabeth’s Katwe crater lakes region, helmeted guinea fowl, great blue turaco – seen in forested areas especially Entebbe botanical gardens, Ross’ turaco, Eastern grey plantain eater, African emerald cuckoo, verreaux’s eagle owl – largest owl species in Uganda, commonly seen during nocturnal game drives, red-throated bee-eater – a species that breeds in tall sandbanks on lake Albert and the Nile below Murchison Falls.
Other bird species to look out for
The other bird species to see during a typical birding excursion in Uganda include; ducks, geese, waterfowls, guinea fowls, quails, pheasants, grouses, allies, flamingos, grebes, pigeons, doves, bustards, turacos, cuckoos, night jars, swifts, fluff tails, fin foots, cranes, thick-knees, plovers, stilts, avocets, oystercatchers, lapwings, painted-snipes, jacanas, sandpipers, button quails, pratincoles, coursers, gulls, terns, skimmers, storks, darters, cormorants, pelicans, shoe bills, hamerkops, bitterns, herons, egrets, ibises, spoonbills, secretary birds, ospreys, hawks, eagles, kites, owls, mouse birds, trogons, hoopoes, hornbills, kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers, African barbets, honey guides, falcons, woodpeckers, broad bills, pittas, wattle-eyes, shrikes, orioles, drongos, fly-catchers, nicators, ravens, wax bills, weavers, larks, swallows, martins, tree creepers, bulbuls, warblers, cisticolas, babblers, thrushes, starlings, ox peckers, sun birds, spider hunters, wagtails, finches, and indigo birds. The Pearl of Africa is the place to go for a sating bird watching safari experience. A safari holiday spent in Uganda is incomplete without visiting any or most of the country’s famous birding destinations.