Bird Watching is one of the popular activities done in Uganda; Uganda is ranked to be among the top destinations in Africa with a wide range of bird species recorded sightable. Over a thousand species of birds are sightable in Uganda which include Flamingoes, African Jacanas, Warblers, Storks, Cormorants, Darters, Pelicans, rare Shoebill, Hamerkop, Herons, Egrets, Ibises, Spoonbills, Secretary bird, Osprey, Hawks, Kites, Eagles, Rails, Gallinules and Coots, Flufftails, Finfoot, Bitterns, Cranes, Thick knees, Egyptian plover, Stilts and Avocets, Oystercatchers, Plovers and Lapwings, painted snipes, Jacanas, Sand pipers and allies, Buttonquails, Pratincoles and Coursers, Sandgrouse, Gulls, terns and Skimmers, Pigeons and doves, Turacos, African barbets, Cuckoos, Barn-owls, Typical owls, Nightjars, Swifts, Mousebirds, Trogons, Hoopoes, Woodhoopoes, Ground hornbills, Hornbills, Bee-eaters, Rollers, Honeyguides, Woodpeckers and Allies, Falcons, Old World parrots, African and New World parrots, African and green broadbills, Asian and Grauer’s broadbills, Kingfishers, Pittas, Wattle-eyes, Vangas helmet shrikes, Bush shrikes and allies, Cuckoo shrikes, Shrikes, Old World orioles, Drongos, Monarch fly catchers, Crows, jays, ravens and magpies, Nicators, Larks, Swallows and martins, Fairy flycatchers, Tits, Penduline-tits, Treecreepers, Bulbuls, African Warblers, Bush Warblers, Leaf Warblers, Reed Warblers, Grassbirds and allies, Cisticolas, Sylviid Warblers, White-eyes, Ground babblers, laughingthrushes, Dapple-throat and allies, Hyliotas, Old World flycatchers, Thrushes, Starlings, Oxpeckers, Sunbirds and Spiderhunters, Wagtails and pipits, Old World buntings, Indigobirds, Finches, euphonias and allies, Sparrows, Weavers, and Waxbills. Highlighted below are some of the best places to go for bird watching safaris while in Uganda for your vacation.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
This Park is located in the South western part of Uganda nearing Kibale Forest National Park in the North- Kyambura gorge side, the best way of reaching this Park is by use of Kampala- Masaka- Mbarara highway with en-route stop over at the Equator for some briefing about the equator, Photographs and Snacks then continue with the Journey up to Queen using a stable 4×4 wheel drive Safari Jeep.
Queen is characterized with thick tropical rain forests, montane forests, Savannah grasslands and Woodlands plus some parts being covered with Swamps. When you talk about Queen Elizabeth National Park most travelers know it because of its famous tree climbing lions which are found in the Ishasha sector but also, it’s a good site for bird watching in Uganda with over 600 bird species which are recorded sightable.
The best way of sighting these bird species in Queen is by doing game drives and Launch cruise along the Kazinga Channel for water birds and other different aquatic species.
Murchison Falls National Park
Not only known for the great Murchison falls but is also a good site for bird watching in Uganda with over 451 bird species recorded sightable while in the Jungles of Murchison Falls National Park.
Some of these bird species include African Jacana, Warblers, Yellow billed stork, King fishers, weavers and more, the best way of sighting most of these bird species is by doing game drives around the park, launch cruise on the waters of Murchison falls for water birds and different aquatic species which include Hippopotamus, Crocodiles and more. Murchison Falls National Park is located in the North western part of Uganda.
The best way of reaching this park while on your birding tours in Uganda is by use of Kampala – Masindi – Gulu highway with en-route stopover in Nakasongola for the Rhinoceros in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, then after continue with the Journey up to the gate of Murchison Falls National Park or you can travel luxuriously by use of air transport means, always private charters are arranged from either Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport up to Pakuba airstrip in Murchison Falls National Park but when you go by airstrip there is no option of visiting the Rhinoceros.
Other attractions in Murchison include wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards, Lions, Giraffe, primates like Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Vervets; Chimpanzees in Budongo forest, Baboons, Red tailed Monkeys and more.
Kidepo Valley National Park
This is the most isolated national park in Uganda far located in the North Eastern part of Uganda, it is popularly known for its wide range of different bird species with over 475 bird species recorded sightable while in this park.
You can reach this park by two routes where by you either use the Kampala- Masindi- Gulu highway or Kampala- Jinja- Mbale highway and when you compare the two options (Kampala- Masindi – Gulu highway) is shorter than (Kampala – Jinja – Mbale highway), if not road transport means you can travel luxuriously by use of air transport means, always private charters are arranged from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe airport up to Apoka airstrip in Kidepo Valley National Park.
This park is characterized with tropical rain forests, Savannah grasslands and Woodlands, Shrubs and other parts covered with fertile Swamps.
This is the only park in Uganda where you can do several game drives without returning to where you started from and this is the only way of sighting most of these bird species. Other Species in this Park include Wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards, Lions, Antelopes, Kobs, Impala, Elands, Primates like Chimpanzees but rarely seen, Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Vervets, Baboons, Red tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys and more.
Lake Mburo National Park
This is also located in the South western part of Uganda nearing Mbarara town, it’s about 253 kms from Kampala up to Lake Mburo National Park and you can easily reach it by use of Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway with en-route stop over at the equator for some briefing, photographs and snacks, reaching this park you will be welcomed by its ever-green vegetation, this park is characterized with tropical rain forests, Savannah grasslands and Swampy areas.
It is recorded with over 350 different bird species and that’s why it’s ranked to be among the best bird watching sites in Uganda. Other animal species in this park include Zebras, impala, Eland, Buffalo, Oribi, Defassa, Water buck, Leopards, Hippopotamus, Hyena, topi and reed buck.
Mabamba Bay Wetland
This is a popular swampy area located within the suburbs of Entebbe, it is popularly known for bird watching where by most birders go there with interest of seeing the rare shoe bill species and when it comes to Uganda these shoe bill species are mostly found in this swamp.
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