With us you get a Uganda birding safari tailor-made to your wishes. Exploring Uganda’s birding paradise together with a guide specialized in bird-watching. Learn more about birding in Uganda below or click on “safaris” in the menu above to find our bird wathing itineraries.
Bird watching in Uganda
Uganda is a prime destination for anyone with an interest in birding; it is truly a birders paradise. Due to our varied landscape with swamps, forests, lakes, mountains and savannas 1025-1065 bird species find their home in Uganda. A bird-watching safari in Uganda can get you to grip on to the pre-historical Shoebill stork, Great blue turaco, African green broadbill, the Nkulengu rail in Semuliki national park with forest and savannah birds that will fascinate and intrigue beginners to hardcore bird-watchers. If you wish birding Uganda can be mixed with trekking of Gorillas or Chimps as well as classic game-drive safari.
Birding in Kibale Forest
Top 10 birds in Uganda
Making a list of the top 10 birds in Uganda is of course subjective, but in our opinion these 10 are extraordinary.
- African Green Broadbill
- Great shoebill stork
- Green-breasted Pitta
- Great Blue Turaco
- Papyrus Gonolek
- Short-tailed warbler
- Bar-tailed Trogon
- Archer’s robin-chat
- Nkulengu rail
- Shelley’s crimsonwing
Interesting birding areas in Uganda
Since Uganda is a destination rich in birds we have many areas that are exciting with small areas that can get you to tick off 50- 85 species in 2-3 hours with basic field crafts. Starting from Entebbe airport, we already have a good birding location, the Entebbe Botanical gardens with over 4 habitats – Water, marshes, forest, cultivated gardens, transitional etc attracting master craftmen the weavers like the orange weaver, golden backed weaver, orange tufted sunbirds with other species in the family, the bat hawk, african emerald cuckoos etc. Continuing on northwards from Kampala en-route Mabira Forest for the white headed wood hoopoes, narina trogon, is worthwhile on the way towards the east with Ugandas’ only endemic the fox’s weaver ploceus spekeoides in the lake bisina swamp grasslands as we bird towards Kidepo Valley National Park. Kidepo is in the far northeast of Uganda and here habitats that identify with neighboring Tanzania and Kenya are found with resident and palearctic migrants of the dry bushlands foraging in numbers! with a fine number of raptors like Eagle hawks, fox and greater kestrels with the highlight of a trip there not to dip on the Karamoja apalis apalis karamojae and the rufous chatterer turdoides rubiginosa.. Crossing the country over to the west side to Murchison Falls National Park, eastern paradise whydah, cut-throat finch, red – winged pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera, black bellied firefinch lagonosticta rara rare LBJ’s fancied for most avian photographers to digscope.
We have Uganda’s lowest point, the Nile delta, that can be visited during a birding safari in Uganda. Here there are hopes of seeing the elusive Egyptian plover pluvianus aegyptius if the Nile banks float to some levels mainly between Feb and April, a lot of fish here attracts numbers of intra-african migrants like the African skimmers, herons, snipes and Shoebill storks. In the area we also have Budongo Forest where the famous “Royal mile” is found with the Impressive chocolate backed , Dwarf Kingfisher and chestnut – capped flycatcher, Puvels illadopsis and the birders favorites Jameson’s wattle-eye Dyaphorophyia jamesoni and hopping for the African broadbill Smithornis capensis display during the forest birding. Continuing on at the border to the Democtratic Republic of Congo Semuliki National Park is found with over 30 bird species here not found elsewhere in Uganda, it contains low land tropical rain forest and birds of the Congo basin can be spotted here during your Uganda birding safari.
To the southwest Kibale Forest National Park is found, with forest resident birds and on crater rims canopy lovers can be seen like the Crowned eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus, Green breasted pitta Pitta reichenowi. Further on to the south there is Queen Elizabeth National Park where wetland and terrestrial savanna birds have boosted the greatest density of birds with 610 resident and migrants seen with more birds than Serengeti, a seven times bigger area! Your Uganda birding safari can continue here in Queen Elizabeth National Park where we find the Ramsar site on lake George and the boat cruise on Kazinga channel that gives a great bird-watching opportunity. In the far south of Uganda we have Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with birds inhabiting heights between 1400m- 2700m and a range of Albertine rift valley endemics. Here we also find Echuya forest and the highest lake sitting on 1850m, many rare species can be spotted along the trails here making them boggy.
Leaving the south Lake Mburo National Park is found along the way leading back to Kampala / Entebbe. This park is dominated by acacia and rock kopjes will lead us to the Ramsar site where we always promise over 70% of seeing the rare African Finfoot Podica senegalensis, Red faced barbet Lybius rubrifacies and Tabora cisticola Cisticola angusticaudus. Close to Entebbe we have the Mabamba bay swamps with chance of seeing the Pygmy Goose Nettapus auritus and the Great Shoebill stork balaeniceps rex as well as that Weyns’s Weaver ploceus weynsi are sought after here with positive ticks. With locations like these there is no problem to plan an intriguing bird watching safari in Uganda in company of our birding guides.
PLANNING A BIRDING SAFARI IN UGANDA
For birding in Uganda it is important to accommodate enough time to do birding in some of the over 30 IBA’s important birding areas, recognized by BirdLife international, Nature Uganda and IUCN. With this in mind the itinerary should not be too full to get an enjoyable bird-watching safari with our field and patch guides. If you have a shorter time it is better to focus on a few birding destinations in Uganda and with more time a full north to south of Uganda birding safari gives a chance to improve your checklist greatly. Based on your time constraints and hit-list or wish list we can help you recommend what is possible and put together an itinerary for your Uganda birding safari.
Some things to remember for your birding safari
- Bring binoculars
- For those great pictures a camera with good zoom or telephoto lens is needed
- Hiking boots are preferable for forest bird-watching
- Take along rain-gear as well as long-sleeved pants and shirt
- If you have a special interest be sure to inform us already at the planning stage so the itinerary can be made with it in mind
Our bird watching tours in Uganda
Tony Byarugaba, a trained ornithologist and Mamaland Safaris owner, is a true birder passionate about birding in Uganda. He is connected with a host of other members of the Uganda bird guides club networking in the region to update each other on behaviour of mega ticks on most of our visitors hit lists. To go on a bird watching safari with these specialized guides is a great experience. We supply you with a birding checklist so you can easily keep track of which ticks you have made.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and an itinerary tailor-made to your wishes. Take a look at the examples of birding safaris in Uganda for inspiration of the possibilities in Uganda’s birding paradise.
What our visitors say:
“Perfectly organized birding trip
We went on a 2 week birding trip in Uganda, and the experience with Mamaland Safaris was FANTASTIC ! Tony was very flexible to accomodate the tour to our wishes, he is a great organizer and he makes sure you have a pleasant time. He is extremely knowledgeable about birds: he knows the sounds, the special places, and has good contacts everywhere to maximize the chance of seeing the specials. We saw more than 450 species, including green and african broadbill, papyrus canary and papyrus yellow warbler, bat hawks, shoebill, shining-blue kingfisher, yellow-throated nicator, yellow-footed flycatcher, red-throated wryneck, red-throated alethe, kivu ground thrush, archer’s robin-chat, grauer’s rush warbler, foxy cisticola, ituri batis, chestnut-capped flycatcher, dusky babbler, papyrus gonolek, chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver, several malimbe and nightjar species, and many many more. Thanks again to Tony and his team !”
“An excellent local operator. We had a fantastic 7-day birding safari with Mamaland
Tony Byarugaba is a tireless, knowledgeable and dedicated guide. He helped us see many hard-to-find bird species in western Uganda and facilitated an amazing trek to see the Mountain Gorillas. Mamaland is efficient, friendly and make a huge effort to ensure that its clients enjoy their safari. Highly recommended.“
popular BIRDING SAFARIs IN UGANDA
Get a great taste of Uganda’s birding paradise during this short safari. Explore habitats of forest, savanna and river within just a few days to get the most out of your time.
Combine two of Uganda’s highlights; birding and gorilla trekking. Journey to top birding locations with our specialized guide as well as trek into the forest to meet the gorillas.