Exploring Uganda as a top birdwatching safaris destination.

Uganda is truly a birder's paradise, a top destination for birdwatching safaris and ranks among the richest countries in the world in terms of bird species. With over 1,027 species recorded, Uganda has almost half of the total bird species recorded in Africa. This impressive number is mainly due to the country's rich biodiversity and diverse habitats, which range from natural ecosystems to semi-natural and agroecosystems.

The different ecosystems, including rainforests, savannahs, woodlands, highlands, mountainous water bodies, and cultivated areas, support a unique and diverse birdlife. These habitats provide a home to many endangered, threatened, and endemic bird species, making Uganda a top destination for bird enthusiasts and conservationists.

Some of the top birding sites in Uganda include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semiliki National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Entebbe, Budongo Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, and Mabamba Swamp. These sites offer a unique birding experience with diverse bird species to spot, including some of the rarest and most sought-after birds in the world.

The shoebill: A large stork-like prehistoric bird is one of the most sought-after bird species in Uganda. It's a massive bird, standing at around 4-5 feet tall and with a wingspan of up to 8 feet. Its most distinguishing feature is its massive, shoe-like bill, which is around 9-10 inches in length. The bird's eyes are also striking, with a bright yellow iris that contrasts sharply with its dark feathers. Almost all Uganda birdwatching safari will begin in Entebbe to spot this giant bird in the swamps around Lake Vistoria shores.

Birds in Uganda You Must See

Brown-throated Wattle-eye Birdwatching in Bwindi Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, in particular, is famous for its population of over 350 bird species, including 23 endemic to the Albertine Rift. The park is also home to half of the world's mountain gorillas, making it an ideal destination for those looking to combine bird watching with gorilla tracking.

African fish eagle at Kazinga Channel boat cruise for bird watching

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park, on the other hand, boasts a variety of habitats that support over 600 bird species, including the rare shoebill stork. Visitors can take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel, where they can spot hippos, crocodiles, and a wide variety of waterbirds.

murchison Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is another must-visit destination for birdwatching safaris in Uganda, with over 450 bird species recorded within its boundaries. Visitors can take a game drive through the park's savannah grasslands and woodland, where they can spot Uganda's national bird, the crested crane, as well as other species such as the Abyssinian ground hornbill and the elegant grey-crowned crane.

birdwatching in Kibale - African Blue Flycatcher

Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is renowned for its primate population, including chimpanzees and colobus monkeys, but it is also home to over 370 bird species, including the African pitta and the green-breasted pitta. Birders can take a guided birding walk through the forest, where they can spot a variety of bird species and learn about the park's unique ecosystem.

Other places for bird watching.

Uganda's birding experiences are not limited to national parks, however. The country's numerous wetlands, including the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and Lake Mburo National Park, provide ideal habitats for a wide variety of birdlife.

Whether you're a seasoned birder or a novice, Uganda offers unique and unforgettable birdwatching safaris. With its diverse habitats, rare and endemic species, and knowledgeable local guides, Uganda is truly a birding paradise that should not be missed.


Best Time For Bird Watching in Uganda

Uganda is a great birding destination year-round, particularly for observing the resident bird species. However, you should consider the climate as Uganda is a very wet country, and during the Wet season, road and forest trail conditions could be poor, and rain may interfere with birding.

For the best birdwatching safaris, late May through September is ideal, as there is less rain and abundant food.

The main nesting season for Albertine Rift endemics in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks is in May and June, but the rains may still be too heavy from mid-April to mid-May. Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve is relatively dry in February and early March, but it can be uncomfortably hot in the north, including Murchison Falls National Park. December and January are also great months to visit as the north is not too hot yet, and there is less rain in the south.

For Gorilla tracking and wildlife viewing safaris in the savannah reserves, the best time is during the Dry Season, which runs from June to August and December to February. In summary, Uganda offers excellent birding tours year-round, but the best time to visit depends on the specific birding interests and preferred weather conditions.

Uganda Birdwatching Safari Packages