Our birders from Madrid picking out a hunting Bat Hawk.
popular BIRDING SAFARIs IN UGANDA
Get a great taste of Uganda’s birding paradise during this short safari. The Royal mile, Woodlands, Savannah and The river Nile banks can be productive beyond 200 species…
Combine two of Uganda’s highlights; Birding and Great Apes. Whereas Gorilla tracking is not to be missed, this trips focuses on ticking of the best birds in the southwest including the Albertine rift Endemics yet in the shortest of time.
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 (location noted in yellow).
- African Green Broadbill – Ruhija, Mubwindi Swamp.
- Great shoebill stork- Mabamba Ramsar site, Murchison falls.
- Green-breasted Pitta- Kibale Forest, Primate city.
- Great Blue Turaco- Several forest Patches.
- Papyrus Gonolek- Papyrus swamps, dense papyrus resident.
- Short-tailed warbler- Bwindi Forest Buhoma waterfalls zones.
- Bar-tailed Trogon – Buhoma & Ruhija sector.
- Archer’s robin-chat- Ruhija & Mgahinga volcanoe slopes.
- Nkulengu rail- Semliki National park trails and campsite.
- Shelley’s Crimsonwing- Mgahinga volcanoe slopes.
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 !”
“Birding in Uganda? Use Mamaland Safaris!!
I want to thank all of you at Mamaland Safaris for a fantastic trip. We were three people from Denmark, who went with Mamaland Safaris on their 12 days birding trip. We all agreed that the guides were excellent. Tony and Alex did a fantastic job finding birds. We have travelled all over the world finding birds and have had many very good guides. Tony and Alex belong to the very best we have had. And besides this they were very good company for us. So please, tell them. Another good thing about Mamaland Safaris is the communication with Hamza that we had planning the trip. Hamza was always very fast in answering different questions that we had. So we will recommend Mamaland Safaris to whoever is planning a birding trip to Uganda.“
HOw to PLAN A BIRDING SAFARI journey IN UGANDA
Birding in Uganda is the most rewarding experience for avid avian lovers, 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 tour leaders 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 from 1 day- 30 days we can help you recommend what is possible and put together an itinerary for your Uganda birding safari which punctuates with a lot of wildlife animals as a bonus.
things to remember for your birding safari
- 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.
- Share the wish list before hand.
- You can share the birding level and help us dictate the pace of the day today safari.
- Bring binoculars 8×32, 10×42 etc, not heavy and great magnification.
- Telescopes are great for birding but can be bulky in forests.
- For those great pictures a camera with good zoom or telephoto lens is needed
- Hiking boots are preferable for rain forest bird-watching.
- Take along rain-gear as well as long-sleeved pants and shirt.
- If you prefer Birding at ease for great pictures we also address that.
IMPORTANT birding areas in Uganda
Uganda is an amazing destination, representing 13% of the global total.. whereas 46% of the Continents total! With more birds species seen per square kilometer than anywhere else, our beskope approach to plan your birding tour, we capture zones that you back to tick off 20- 85 species in 2-3 hours with basic field crafts depending wheather Open grasslands or interiors of Dense forests covered with canopy. Starting from Entebbe airport, we already have birding locations that can fill the day with yet impressive checklist for even the versatile e-birders. the Entebbe Botanical gardens with over 6 habitats – Water, marshes, forest, grasslands, cultivated gardens, transitioning in this peninsular. Here birders get to tick the weavers like the Nomadic solitary Orange weavers, Golden backed weaver, Orange tufted sunbirds with other species in the family, the crepuscular large Falcon-like raptor the Bat hawk, African emerald cuckoos, Across in the Ramsar site, mabamba Swamp- The Great Shoe bill stork, Lesser Jacana and the Blue Swallow an Afromontane Breeder from Southern Africa could be wintering just across etc. Continuing on northwards from Kampala en-route Mabira Forest for the Forest Wood-hoopoe, White-spotted Flufftail, Cassins Spinetail, is worthwhile on the way towards the east with Ugandas’ only endemic the Fox’s Weaver ploceus spekeoides in the Lake bisina swamp grasslands or Pian-upe woods as we bird towards Kidepo Valley National Park Via the Bokora, Matheniko wilderness reserves. Kidepo is in the far northeast of Uganda and here habitats that identify with neighboring Kenya, Tanzania, Sudanic and Ethiopian biomes identify very well for birds in this area, hence palearctic migrants of the dry bushlands forage here in big numbers! With a fine number of raptors like Hawk Eagles, Fox and Greater kestrels with the highlight of a trip there not to dip on the Karamoja apalis apalis karamojae , Black-breasted barbet Lybius rolleti and the Rufous Chatterer turdoides rubiginosa.. As you loop towards Murchison Falls National Park, Eastern Paradise-Whydah, Cut-throat finch, Red–winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera, Black-bellied Firefinch lagonosticta rara and more rare diminutive small birds attracting 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 Big five birds, Chocolate backed , Ituri Batis, The Phylloscopus member attracting avid birders, the Uganda Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus budongoensis, Rufous crowned Eremomela, African Dwarf Kingfisher and Chestnut – capped Flycatcher, Puvels illadopsis and the birders favourites Jameson’s wattle-eye Dyaphorophyia jamesoni and hopping for the African broadbill Smithornis capensis display during the forest birding. The Congo biome represented by the Congo valley – Semliki 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. The Congo Serpent eagle, Grey throated Rail, Gabon woodpecker, Yellow footed flycatcher, Long tailed Hawk, Urotriorchis macrourus,
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.
Our bird watching tours in Uganda
Tony . W. Byarugaba, is a trained field 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, attended courses of bird guiding, Id courses, involved in several bird counts with nature Uganda, travelled on ornithologic workshops and interactions in Sweden Uppsala, Gotland, Leksand field, Spain in Madrid, Barcelona region Delta Ebro for the seasonal Palearctic eco zone, migrants networking in the region Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. With very many trips as a Tour leader interaction with global birders has managed to update himself with the demanding needs of keen birders with his confidence and signature humour infectious to most of our birders at all levels. To go on a bird watching safari with these specialized pool of guides is a great experience. We supply you with a birding checklist so you can easily keep track of which ticks you have made. and also keep a post safari connection to our past visitors.
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.