Birding Uganda – A birders paradise!

With us you get a birding safari in Uganda tailor-made to your wishes, exploring Uganda’s birding paradise together with a guide specialized in bird-watching. 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 can be mixed with trekking of Gorillas or Chimps as well as classic game-drive safari.

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 behavior 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. 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.

 
birding uganda
Birding in Kibale Forest

Top 10 birds in Uganda

  1. African Green Broadbill
  2. Great shoebill stork
  3. Green-breasted Pitta
  4. Great Blue Turaco
  5. Papyrus Gonolek
  6. Short-tailed warbler
  7. Bar-tailed Trogon
  8. Archer’s robin-chat
  9. Nkulengu rail
  10. Shelley’s crimsonwing
Finding the shoebill stork
Finding the Shoebill Stork


Go with us for a birding safari in Uganda


Birding & Gorillas safari – 7 days

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.

Birding Murchison Falls NP – 4 days

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.

Uganda’s birding paradise – 15 days

Explore Uganda’s diferent birding habitats as well as have time for classic safari and optional gorilla trekking. Discover the amazing birds Uganda has to offer.


Birding Uganda
Tony meeting Tim Appleton while exhibiting at Delta Birding Festival, Spain

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.

– JMcN2016, UK – TripAdvisor.com

shoebill stork Uganda

What to think about for birding in Uganda

  • Bring binoculars
  • Telescopes
  • 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

 

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 areas 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 wishlist we can help you recommend what is possible and put together an itinerary.

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. 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. Shoebills,  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.

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! Here 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, Tabora cisticola Cisticola angusticaudus  and swinging by the Mabamba bay swamps, chance of seeing the Pygmy Goose Nettapus auritus and the Great Shoe bill stork balaeniceps rex, Weyns’s Weaver ploceus weynsi are sought after here with positive ticks. With locations like these there is no problem to plan an intriguing birding safari to Uganda in company of our birding guides.

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