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Uganda Birding Safari Destinations & Tips for this Christmas Holiday

Bird fanatics love booking Africa safaris because it is the best continent to go to for a birding watching safari. Africa is home to over 2341 bird species, 67% of which are endemic to the continent. These birds are well distributed in different African countries. Birders that have been to the African continent for birding safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe and many more have been enchanted by Africa’s amazing birdlife.

Uganda, the pearl of Africa is home to about 1061 bird species. This makes Uganda one of the best bird watching places in Africa with almost half of the continents bird species. Uganda has for long been considered as one of the best Africa birding safari destinations that any bird fanatic must not miss on his bucket list. Safari Uganda for your Uganda bird watching safari and get to witness several bird species that call Uganda home, the rich culture and wildlife diversity that has seen a rise in Uganda birding safaris tours, Cultural Safaris in Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Safaris respectively in the past years.

Interested in Forest bird species, visit….

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National park has a record of 441 bird species. The park is located in Western Uganda in the Albertine Rift Valley. It has riverine, forest and grasslands bird species which can be viewed at any time of the year. It is also home to the Guinea-Congo biome species in its lowland forest. In order to explore well the different bird species in Semuliki National Park Uganda, you require about 3-4 days

Timing: Rain falls year-round and birding is good any time although the peak breeding season is just after the Jan-Feb “dry” Season.
The time required is 3 -4 days depending on your Uganda tour itinerary.

Bird species here include the African piculet, Maxwell’s black weaver, blue-billed malimbe, yellow-throated nicator, black dwarf hornbill, Nkulengu rail, piping hornbill, blue-billed malimbe, yellow-throated cuckoo, dwarf honeyguide, great blue and Ross’s turaco, purple-breasted sunbird, orange weaver, white-crested hornbill, red-billed dwarf hornbill, African piculet and swamp palm bulbul.

Kibale National Park

Kibale National park forest is one of the 10 best bird watching places in Uganda with over 375 bird species. These include 6 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift area. 3 days will get you an enjoy the best in this excellent birding spot with varied habitat and dense vegetation. The Green-breasted pitta in Kibale National Park Forest is one of the 10 highly thought after birds in Uganda and the number one highly sought in Kibale forest. Other birds include the red-chested owlet, purple-breasted sunbird, blue-breasted kingfisher, crowned eagle, little greenbul, black bee-eater, white-naped pigeon, Scaly-breasted illadopsis, yellow-throated nicator, white-headed wood hoopoe, red-headed malimbe, yellow-spotted barbet, dusky-blue flycatcher, grey-throated flycatcher, Grey-winged robin, crested flycatcher, blue-shouldered robin chat, yellow-spotted barbet, black-billed turaco, white-naped pigeon, red-chested flufftail and tiny sunbird.

Budongo Forest

Bird watching in Budongo forest is manly done at Kaniyo Pabidi found in Murchison Falls National Park, and the Royal Mile and Busingiro areas found south of the park. It lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley, protecting the largest natural forest area in East Africa.  The forest is perfect for bird watching because it is home to more than 350 bird species, with the most sought-after birds in this area being the Cassin’s spine tail, chestnut-capped flycatcher, Ituri batis, Nahan’s francolin, Black-collared lovebird, brown twinspot, chocolate-backed, blue-breasted and African dwarf kingfishers. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary.

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is the smallest Savannah national park in Uganda, easily accessible from Kampala and Entebbe. There are numerous Uganda safari activities in this beautiful park but the core are only two, Uganda wildlife safaris and birding safaris in Uganda, which is one of the major activities. The best bird-watching spots in Lake Mburo are near the swamps at Warukiri and Rwonyo and at the lake. The park is home to 315 bird species and these include the crested francolin, emerald-spotted wood dove, brown parrot, barefaced go-away bird, red-necked spurfowl, common quails, black-billed barbet, greenwood hoopoe, blue-napped mousebird, lilac-breasted roller, African-grey hornbill, Nubian woodpecker, trilling cisticola, bee-eaters and the cheeky bronze-tailed starling and the majestic crowned crane. You also have chances of sighting the rare African finfoot, shoebill, African fish eagle, and malachite and pied kingfishers

Interested in swamp species, visit….

Mabamba Bay Wetland Swamp

Situated on Lake Victoria, the second-largest water body in the world, Mabamba bay swamp is the best Uganda birding safari destination to spot a shoebill. The swamp has been made popular by birders that cannot miss seeing the shoebill stork, bizarre-looking birds. Travellers interested in short bird watching safaris in Uganda normally don’t miss out this Uganda birding destination in their itinerary. In fact, the shoebill is one of the most sought birds in Uganda. This bird is related to the dinosaur. The swamp is easily accessible from Entebbe by road and water and from Kampala by road. There is a lodge close by for people interested in a night over.

Exploring the best of mabamba requires only one day. The period to be here is between September and March because, at this time, there is a lot to see within the wetland as migratory birds arrive from Europe. So many water birds can be found here including the swamp flycatcher, papyrus gonolek, malachite kingfisher, pied kingfisher, black-headed heron, black kite, African open-billed stork, African jacana, lesser jacana, winding cisticola, Veillot’s black weaver, grosbeak weaver, black-headed weaver, yellow-billed duck, white-faced whistling duck, and African marsh harrier.

Interested in savannah bird species, visit….

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National park in South Western Uganda is also one of the 10 best bird watching places in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National park Uganda is a paradise for a bird watcher with over 600 bird species. These birds are easily seen with your guide during game drives, the boat safari on Kazinga channel, and during the forest, nature walks. The birds include African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, grey-headed kingfisher, African skimmer, malachite and pied kingfishers, white-winged terns, Grey-capped warbler, collared pratincole, Pin-tailed whydah, martial eagle, Gabon and slender-tailed nightjars, black-headed gonolek, Verreaux’s eagle-owl, sedge warbler, papyrus canary, great white and pink-backed pelicans, African mourning dove and yellow-billed stork, etc. There are also seasonal flamingos at the salt lakes of Katwe and Bunyampaka. It is recommended to take a 2-3 days bird watching safari and on such that you can be able to spot as many as more than half of the 550 species recorded within this park.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is by far one of the best birding destinations in Uganda and Africa at large. You don’t need so many days here, you only require about 4 Days Murchison falls. Murchison Falls National park is the oldest and largest national park in Uganda. The park is named after the strong Murchison falls that you can sight during your Uganda safaris in this park. The Murchison falls are the world’s most powerful waterfalls that form as River Nile forces through a 7-meter gorge.

Murchison Falls Park has over 450 bird species some of which can be seen during game drives, boat safaris and or on guided nature walks. Bird watchers can see a variety bird species; forest species, swamp species, riverine woodland species and savannah species. You should look out for the elusive shoebill, swamp flycatcher, goliath heron, Abyssinian ground hornbill, northern red bishop, red-throated bee-eater, African quail finch, pied, malachite and giant kingfishers.

It is also possible to modify your Birding safari in Uganda or Birding tour in Uganda to feature other Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many. Congo safaris or a Congo safari offers you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a Congo gorilla trekking tour in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.

Interested in Albertine Endemic Species, visit….

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Second, on the list of the 10 best birding safari, Uganda destinations are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable has been voted as Africa’s best birding spot by the African Bird Club. Out of the 24 Albertine rift bird species, 23 of them are found in Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda. The forest is home to many rare bird species, some only found here, for instance, the African Green Broadbill.  350 bird species stay here and these include the 23 Albertine Rift endemics, 14 of which are not recorded anywhere else in Uganda.

You may not do proper birding in one day, it is however recommended you take 2-3 days on a Uganda birding tour and this will allow you spot as many birds as you want which is every birder’s dream. During this Uganda bird watching tour, look out for the Chapin’s Flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Handsome Francolin, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black Billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Purple-breasted, Blue-Headed and Regal Sunbirds among others. This is also the best destination for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari and both activities can be tailored in a single trip.

 

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest Uganda safaris park popular for Uganda gorilla tours but also a spot not to undermine for birding. It is not only home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, but it is also home to about 180 bird species some of which are the Albertine Rift endemics. Bird species here include the Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Olive Pigeon, Black-headed Waxbill, Western Green tinker bird, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Stripe-breasted tit, Brown-crowned Tchagra and Scarlet-tufted, Greater double-collared Sunbirds. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the prime bird-watching destinations in Uganda with over 177 bird species which include 19 Albertine Rift endemics. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary. Bird watching is mostly done while on hikes in the forest zones since this is the highest point and popular Uganda birding tour destination. Birds to look out for here include the Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared owl, Archers’ robin-chat, Lagden’s bush shrike, Blue-headed and Golden-winged Sunbird, White-starred robin, Slender-billed starling, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Bearded vultures, and swifts.

Popular Uganda birding safari packages

1 Day Mabamba swamp excursion
7 Days Birding safari in Uganda
8 Days Uganda Birding safari
14 Days Uganda Primate birding safari
15 Days Uganda birding safari
19 Days Uganda birding safari
21 Days Birding safari in Uganda Africa

Uganda birding safari Tips

  • Book your Uganda birding Safari with a Uganda tour operator

Planning, of course, involves prior booking especially when you are going to a new country or travelling for the first time. Uganda has different Uganda tour operators online but Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours is the leading Uganda birding safari tour operator in Uganda. Once you start your Uganda tour preparations with them, they ensure all preparations like hotels or your Uganda safari accommodation bookings, transport or 4×4 safari vehicle for hire in Uganda are booked early.

Besides hotels in Uganda and transport, Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd will give you a professional Uganda birding safari tour guide. A Uganda birding safari never gets interesting if you don’t have a knowledgeable safari guide. No matter the self-drive trend nowadays, for a birding safari in Uganda you need a guide to help you get to these Uganda birding safari destinations that reward you with several bird species.

  • Purchase or carry along with you a Binoculars and Camera

9 Days Birding Safari Uganda Gorilla Trekking SafariSpotting birds on any safari needs a pair of binoculars to spot them in the air and trees. If you don’t have one, you need to purchase a pair of binoculars of your own which you will be most comfortable with. You will definitely want to capture that moment whether for a Bee-eater or a Weaver so don’t forget to carry your camera. You might think your not skilled but that’s no a reason to leave behind your camera, you need it for identification of the birds. For your camera, pack extra batteries, memory cards and any other camera accessories. To keep your camera safe, carry with you a camera strap, cleaning tools, Digiscoping adapters and any other tools that you need for your kind of camera.

  • Carry along a Field Guide Book

Either before or when you arrive in Uganda for a Uganda birding tour remember to purchase or rent a field guide book the most recommendable being the Birds of Africa Field Guide. The books have a detailed analysis of over 95% of the recorded bird species in Uganda and increase your scope of what to expect while birding in Uganda.

Carrying a field guide or bird book is essential for any birding safari. This can depend on the number of days your safari is lasting. If you choose to purchase books before you set off always choose the right guides that you are comfortable using, but at times this can become bulky. The other option of purchasing a bird guide book is by getting it in a local store. You can contact your Uganda birding safaris tour operator to check out for you if the guide is available in the local store. More appropriate also is getting help from your birding guide on where to purchase a bird guide book after you have arrived, they are knowledgeable and can be helpful.

The world is going digital and you can also go that way so to avoid carrying bulky stuff, your phone can do it all. You can download the necessary guide book then use your phone as long as your battery will always be charged such that you don’t skip to tick any of the specials you sight.

  • A Field Bag

You will need a suitcase to carry all of your birding safari essentials but then you will also need to carry a field bag. Your field bag is essential to carry your gear no matter where you may go birding.

  • Pack the right clothing

What to wear for a birding safari in UgandsAfter booking your Uganda bird watching tour, knowing what to carry on your safari is necessary. What to carry depends on where you are doing the bird watching from either in a tropical rainforest or in the wilderness. If it’s in the tropical forest either in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park or Semuliki National Park, wearing long-sleeved shirt and trousers is necessary. Wear trekking shoes since you will have to trek the mountain as you do the birding. Carry a sweater and raincoat since the temperatures in the forests are low. Birding in other national parks like Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park that are in lower altitude areas require wearing light clothes. Light shoes and a hat for protection from the scorching sun are important. Carry sunglasses and bottled drinking water too. In Kidepo Valley National ParkAfrica’s best wilderness, carry light clothes, light shoes and a hat for protection from the scorching sun rays in the wilderness. Pack enough drinking water to take during the birding process.

Above all you should always be comfortable, the clothing that you carry along should fit your trip. Uganda isn’t a very conservative dressing style country and locals may tend to mind their own business. For women, you would love to ensure that everything you buy is culturally sensitive and appropriate. Generally, it’s not culturally appropriate for women to show their thighs, therefore skirts/dresses below the knee or long pants can be your best bet. Even since most of the Uganda birding safari spots are in the forests and jungles then wearing something long also protects your body from bites and sunburns. Clothes should generally be light and with neutral safari colours whether for the ladies or gents since temperatures get high and the cool times of the day are generally mild. Don’t forget the birding hut and the boots.

Birding accessories must fit in your luggage for safety.

Other Things to include on your Birding Safari Uganda list

A birding tour in Uganda takes you to different habitats from tropical jungles to wildernesses so you wouldn’t want to go wrong. During your birding excursion don’t forget to wear appropriate insect repellent and sunscreen depending on the location and climate conditions where you are birding.

Best time for a birding safari to Semuliki National Park-Uganda safari news

Carry along a water bottle to keep you hydrated and also a few snacks. Your birding tour in Uganda tour operator will always make sure there is water in the vehicle but just in case it’s not enough you should carry some water along.

A light jacket can also be fitted in your field bag just in case the rains find you in the field.

Don’t forget the birding hut and the boots.

What to pack for Uganda birding safari trip just got listed for you so get ready and pack right for your trip. Many birding tourists tailor their safaris with Uganda gorilla trekking safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is home to 23 out of the 24 Albertine rift endemics. You can also tailor to the other parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park or even continue for a Rwanda safari.

These tips apply for all of the other birding safaris in East Africa especially Tanzania birding safari and Rwanda birding tours or birding safari Rwanda.

Best Time to go for a Uganda Birding Safari

Bird watching can be done all year round however, the best Uganda tour season for a birding safari Uganda is during the dry season in the months of January to March when the tropical forests are accessible and the not slippery for hiking. The breeding season, however, is during the month of June and this is when the birds are very colourful.

Other Popular Uganda Safari Packages

when you look at a sample of our trip advisor reviews, a good number of tourists have a lot of adventure stories to tell about their experiences during their Uganda gorilla safaris. We are also experts in tailoring combined Africa safaris, therefore, you can supplement your Africa tour with other another country tour. Have a look at the following;

Uganda safari categories Rwanda safari Categories Congo safari categories
·       Uganda Gorilla safaris

·       Long Uganda safaris

·       Short Uganda safaris

·       Uganda Wildlife safaris

·       Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris

·       Days Tours in Uganda

·       Uganda Birding safaris

·       Uganda Fishing safaris

·       Uganda Hiking safaris

·       Cultural safaris in Uganda

·       Group safaris in Uganda

·       Adventure vacation holidays

·       Scheduled group safaris

·       Uganda Agricultural safaris

·       Luxury safaris in Uganda

·       Budget safaris in Uganda

·       Rwanda Gorilla safaris

·       Rwanda Wildlife safaris

·       Rwanda birding safaris

·       Long Rwanda safaris

·       Short Rwanda safaris

·       Rwanda Self-Drive safaris

·       Adventure vacation holidays

·       Scheduled group safaris

·       Congo gorilla safaris

·       Congo Wildlife safaris

·       Congo Hiking safaris

·       Short Congo safaris

·       Long Congo safaris

Tanzania safari categories Kenya safari categories
·       Tanzania Wildlife safaris

·       Long Tanzania Wildlife safaris

·       Short Tanzania Wildlife safaris

·       Kenya Wildlife safaris

·       Short Kenya Wildlife safaris

·       Long Kenya Wildlife safaris

Other Africa Safari Destinations
·       South Africa safaris ·       Zimbabwe Safaris Tours
·       Zambia Safaris Tours ·       Madagascar Safari Tours
·       Namibia Safaris Tours ·       Ethiopia Safaris Tours
·       Namibia Safaris Tours ·       Egypt Safaris Tours
Combined East Africa Safaris
·       Uganda Rwanda safaris

·       Kenya Tanzania safaris

·       Uganda Tanzania safaris

·       Rwanda Congo safaris

·       Kenya Uganda Tanzania safaris

·       Uganda Rwanda Congo safaris

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Makanaga Bay; A Hidden Shoebill stork View Point in Uganda

Makanaga Bay is one of the swampland extensions of the shore of Lake Victoria-Africa’s largest continental lake, situated in Mpigi district. Makanaga swamp is a rewarding birding excursion spot and one of the closest points from Kampala-Uganda’s capital for spotting the shoebill stork. From Kampala, you drive along Kampala-Masaka road for about 1 ½ hours to Kamengo then on about a 20 minutes’ drive on a dirt road to Namugobo landing site. From Kamengo landing site, you take a 10 minutes boat ride to the swampland. Makanaga Bay is one of the highly recommendable Uganda birding safari spot for avid birders searching for the shoebill stork. It provides a perfect environment to see the elusive shoebill stork in a less spoilt environment. Makanaga bay on the shores of lake Victoria offers a perfect point to view not only the shoebill stork but also rewards with bird species like; the Yellow-billed Duck, Spur-winged Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Little Stilt, Black-winged Stilt, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Long-tailed Cormorants, Great Cormorants, Spur-winged Lapwing, , Common Squacco Heron, Black-winged Terns, Little egret, Great Egret, Gull-billed Terns, African Jacana, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfishers and many more.

About the Shoebill Stork

The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is a very large stork-like bird that has previously been classified with the storks in the order Ciconiiformes based on its morphology though with genetic evidence it is placed with the Pelecaniformes. This huge greywater bird, also known as a whale-headed stork, derives its name Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex), from its gigantic bill (beak), which resembles a traditional Dutch clog with a sharp nail-like hook on the end. This shoebill stork was once classified with storks in the order Ciconiiformes however, the most recent DNA studies have suggested that it belongs to the pelicans in the order Pelecaniformes. Whatever its taxonomic similarities, this elusive swamp dweller has remained one of Africa’s most sought-after ticks for birders on Uganda birding tours. The shoebill is a rare bird species found in the marshes of East Africa surviving in few numbers. The adult shoebill is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner in plumage.Where in Uganda would you spot this prehistoric bird on a Uganda birding tour? Definitely, it will be the swamps of Uganda where you will have the chance of a sighting during your birding watching safari in Uganda. Even though they can weigh up to 6kg, they can stand quite easily on floating vegetation while hunting for fish.

The Shoebill is a tall bird with a typical height ranging from 110 to 140 cm (43 to 55in) and length ranging from 100-140cm (39 to 55 in). Its wing span is 230 to 260cm. It’s flapping rate of approximately 150 flaps per minute rating it among the slowest birds. Many tourists on Uganda birding safaris have always gone for the search of these bird species in the wetland Marshes.

The big bird can actually fly when they have to though they cannot fly very far. Shoebills feed on lung fish (staple food), other bird species, baby crocodiles, frogs, terrapins., water snakes and even small mammals. Seeing a shoebill catch its early morning prey is one of the best moments for many birders birding in Uganda.

The large bill of the shoebill is used to carry large ‘gulps’ of fresh water back to the nest in order to douse eggs or chicks when the sweltering heat of the swamps drives temperatures beyond normality. The other fascinating techniques to cool down involve defecating on their legs just as storks do too. The shoebill always hatches two chicks though only one that proves to be the strongest survives and grows to an adult.

What do these birds feed on?

Shoebills are specialist predators of lungfish hence their distribution through tropical East Africa seems to correspond with the availability of these fish. A shoebill often benefits from living alongside hippos. These huge amphibious mammals bulldoze channels through papyrus swamps, allowing shoebills access to otherwise inaccessible feeding areas. They also force fish to the surface, making them easier for the bird to capture.

They feed on other things like frogs, snails, water snakes, turtles, water birds and baby crocodiles.

Reproduction of a shoebill

The papyrus and reed beds are their preferred nesting habitat. A shoebill may hatch two or more chicks but seldom raise more than one. Stronger chicks will bully their weaker siblings, depriving them of food and sometimes killing them outright. This brutal practice also occurs among eagles. The younger chicks are a form of insurance: back-ups in case the eldest fails to survive.

Best birding time for Makanaga shoebill excursion

The swamp is open all year round and can be visited during the times of your Uganda birding tour especially during the months of May to September. However, if you are visiting Makanaga swamp as part of a tailored trip to south western Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in search of the Albertine rift endemics, May to June is the nesting season. Though, from mid-April to mid-May the rains might still be too heavy. Uganda is a never disappointing birding destination therefore, opt to tailor in all of the best birding spots in your itinerary.

Shoebill watching Spots in Uganda

Uganda is one of the leading destinations with numerous bird species in Africa that count up to about 1061 making it a one-stop destination for travellers interested in a birding watching safari Uganda. There are several Uganda birding safari tour spots in Uganda where shoebill storks can be sighted. While organizing your Africa birding safari itinerary, take note of these popular spots where you can sight a shoebill stork. These include Murchison Falls National Park along the banks of the Nile River, especially in the delta area. You may choose to take an early morning and late evening private boat ride to the delta offering you high chances of spotting the bird. It is not easy to spot however; it is very hard to complete your Uganda birding tour without sighting this bird.

Besides Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, Mabamba swamp is another hot spot and quite close to Kampala, Uganda’s capital. This spot is famous for 1 Day birding safaris in Uganda since it’s a spot where you can tick off a good number of birds on your list. Are you short of time and you would want to see this bird, book a birding safari to Uganda to Mabamba swamp with our professional Uganda birding safaris guide for about 7-hours? This 7 hours Mabamba 1 Day birding excursion Uganda gives you a chance to spot over 26o bird species with the possibility of spotting this legendary bird species; the shoebill storks.

During your Uganda wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the shoebill stork is known to thrive in the southern end of Lake Edward. Lake Edward is found in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda, the second biggest and second famous Uganda wildlife tour park after Murchison Falls National Park Uganda. While here, you can sight over 600 bird species during your Uganda birding safaris tour. Besides your bird watching safari Uganda, you can also enjoy Uganda wildlife safaris by enjoying game drive around the park giving you the chance to sport the big four wild game including its famous tree-climbing lions.

Other spots in Uganda include the Rugogo swamp in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Mburo National Park, and Semuliki National Park close to Lake Albert. Besides the shoebill stork, Uganda is home to approximately 1061 bird species that constitute 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the world’s bird species count, making it a great destination for birders and the epitome of birding tours in Africa.

In all those destinations you may visit in search of the shoebill stork you have chances of seeing other rare species like the papyrus Gonolek for the case of mabamba bay. Therefore shoebill hunt is so rewarding is worth taking on while birding watching tour Uganda.

It is also wise you supplement your birding safari tour in Uganda on your Africa tour with a Uganda wildlife tour, a Uganda gorilla tour or short Uganda gorilla safari, a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee safaris, mountain hiking safaris Uganda, Uganda Rwanda cycling safaris, a Jinja city tour or 1 Day Jinja city tour, a Kampala city tour or Kampala day excursions, a Uganda cycling safari depending on your choice of safari in Uganda.

It is also possible to modify your Birding safari in Uganda or Birding tour in Uganda to feature other Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many. Congo safaris or a Congo safari offers you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a Congo gorilla safaris tours in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.

Rwanda has lots of Rwanda safari activities to offer travellers interested in Rwanda tours like Rwanda birding safaris, Rwanda gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda,a Rwanda Chimpanzee safari in Nyungwe Forest National Park, a canopy walk in Nyungwe, a Kigali city tour or a Rwanda wildlife safari in Akagera National Park.

Tanzania safaris offer one of the best Africa wildlife safaris including Tanzania birding safaris. A Tanzania wildlife safari offers you the chance to visit Africas’ most famous Serengeti National Park while Kenya safaris offer Kenya birding safaris and Kenya wildlife safaris that bid you the chance to visit Masaai Mara National Park.

Book your Uganda birding safaris tour, birding tour in Uganda or Bird watching safaris Uganda with us for the best ultimate Africa safari tour memories.

Uganda birding safari packages

1 Day Mabamba swamp excursion

7 Days Birding safari in Uganda

8 Days Uganda Birding safari

14 Days Uganda Primate birding safari

15 Days Uganda birding safari

19 Days Uganda birding safari

21 Days Birding safari in Uganda Africa

Uganda wildlife safari packages

3 days Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda

3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari to Bwindi

1 day Jinja tour excursion

1 Day Tour Ngamba Island Chimps

1 Day Kampala City Tour

3 Days Queen Elizabeth Park Safari Uganda

2 Days Wildlife safari in Uganda Queen Elizabeth

4 Days Wildlife Safari in Uganda to Queen Elizabeth National Park

3 Days Murchison Falls Safari Uganda

2 Days Murchison Falls safari Uganda

7 Days Uganda Budget Wildlife Safari Tour to Murchison Falls

3 Days Uganda Gorilla tour to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

2 Days Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park

3 Days Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park

2 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Safari

5 days Wildlife and Chimpanzee Safari in Uganda

3 Days Chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale Uganda

4 Days Wildlife Chimpanzee Safari

5 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda

Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour

10 Days Uganda Gorillas Chimps Safari

4 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking and Wildlife Safari

Uganda Gorilla Safari

6 days Uganda Gorilla Tracking safari

13 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari

8 Days Uganda safari tours

9 Days Uganda Safari

3 days Uganda Safari to Kidepo National Park

 

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10 Newly Discovered Bird Species in Uganda You Must Know

Referred to as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda has vast captivating landscapes that wow a tourist driving by the countryside during their Uganda tour, water bodies including the second largest freshwater lake; Victoria and the world’s longest river; Nile, and forests like the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mabira Forest and many more. All these once visited on your tour Uganda, you will indeed witness why it is called the Pearl of Africa. Uganda has an equatorial climate and has the Albertine Rift Valley in the Western part of the country which is host to several bird species.

Besides being the Pearl of Africa, Uganda prides in over 1,070 species of birds according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Uganda has about 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the world’s a characteristic that has made Uganda birding safaris top the bucket list of many avid birders. The varied number of bird species means many birds in every kilometre compared to other countries in Africa. Uganda has for long been considered as one of the best Africa birding safari destinations that any bird fanatic must not miss on his bucket list. Safari Uganda for your bird watching safari in Uganda and get to witness several bird species that call Uganda home, the rich culture and wildlife diversity that has seen a rise in Uganda birding tours, Cultural Safaris in Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Safaris respectively in the past years.

All of the bird species in the country are definitely beautiful with a lot of endemics but there are must-see birds for avid birders on a Uganda birding safaris tour. Uganda has one endemic bird known as the Fox’s Weaver and 24 Albertine rift endemics. When birders come for a bird watching tour in Uganda, they actually search for several bird species but here is a list of 10 Must-see birds on a Uganda birding safari tour.

Newly discovered Bird Species

Achilles Byaruhanga, the Executive Director of Nature Uganda, reported that they have over 11 new bird species sighted or discovered with in the last 4 years. Speaking to him, Byaruhanga said the ardent birdwatchers also known as birders, keep encountering birds they have not seen before, almost every year during their bird-watching safaris Uganda in the different  bird watching destinations in Uganda visited. All these newly discovered birds have been updated on the birding lists they use in Uganda he added.

Byaruhanga said the scientists’ reports on the new species were reviewed by their peers and the committee of eminent ornithologists based in East Africa. Pro. Derrick Pomeroy of Makerere University, who has trained most orthinologists, is one of the eminent persons sitting on the East African committee that confirmed the new bird species. Speaking ahead of the big birding day to be held at the Uganda Museum today, he listed new sightings as follows

Lake Mburo National Park

  • Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus Vaillanti) 2012 and the Black-collared Barbet (Lybius torquatus) 2018

Murchison Falls National Park

  • Red-fronted parrot (Poicephalus guliemi) and the Tiny cistocola in 2016

Queen Elizabeth National ParkUganda

  • Steppe Gull (Larus Barabensi) a migrant bird from Russia

In Karamoja

  • Purple Grenadier(Uragaethus ianthinogaster) and the Blue capped cordon bleu (Uragaethus cynocepharus)

Kabwoya wildlife reserve in Hoima

  • Blue Cuckoo shrike (Coracina azurea), Blue headed bee eater (Meros Muelleri) and Eurasian Sparrow Hawk (Accipiter nusus)

Because Uganda shares vegetation types with some of its neighbouring countries, bits of the species found in neighbouring countries are also found in Uganda. This is a big advantage when it comes to tourism in Uganda because you can cause can see many of the species from the neighbouring countries without going there. For instance, the Miombo woodland of northern Tanzania extends into Uganda and covers parts of Lake Mburo in western Uganda. The western arm of the rift valley is a species-rich belt that is shared by Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Then the Sudan-Guinea vegetation zone covering parts of West Nile, northern Uganda and South Sudan.The western Kenya highlands also extend into Uganda, covering the eastern parts and Mt. Elgon, Byaruhanga said.

Uganda is also gifted with unique wetlands that make it a big sanctuary for indigenous and migrant birds. Over one million birds, especially the white-winged black terns, escape the chilly conditions in Europe in October and return in March in April.

Besides birds, Uganda is also home to several Uganda wildlife safari attractions that amaze travellers during their safari in Uganda. These include the most sought mountain gorillas that you can only enjoy if you book a Uganda gorilla tour, chimpanzees that can be seen during a chimpanzee trek safari Uganda, during a chimpanzee close up in the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre or you can enjoy seeing them if you booked a 1 Day Ngamba Chimpanzee Island day trip. It is also home to the big five games; Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Lion and the Leopard.

While preparing for your birding in Uganda, it is wise you blend it with Uganda wildlife safaris to make it more interesting as well as kill two birds with one stone or. Besides combining it with wildlife safari tour in Uganda, we can also tailor your Uganda safari tour itinerary to feature primate tracking tours like Uganda Gorilla Safaris, a chimpanzee tour in Uganda, or a golden monkey trekking safari. If not interested in any wildlife, you can engage in any Uganda day tours like a Jinja city tour or  Jinja day excursion, a Kampala day trip or a 1 Day Kampala city tour,  a 1 Day Ngamba Island tour, a 1 Day Sipi Falls Trip among the many.

Travellers not interested in combining their bird-watching safaris Uganda with any of the above mentioned Uganda tours can decide to make the whole Uganda trip a Uganda birding safari tour, visiting some of the top parks and spots where you can encounter various species. Some of these include Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda, and Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda among others.

Besides Uganda, you ought to know that Rwanda also goes beyond Rwanda wildlife safaris & gorilla trek safaris Rwanda to also feature interesting birding possibilities. Despite its size, Rwanda is home to over 700 bird species, a number that quenches the thirst of anyone bird enthusiast looking for a good birding safaris in Africa. These bird species are located in different Rwanda tour destinations including swamps, forests, national parks among others. During your safari Rwanda, you can pay a visit to Rwanda’s 7 favourite bird-watching areas including, – Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rugezi swamp, Akagera swamps, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo forest. As part of your bird watching safari Rwanda adventure, the birds that are commonly spotted on this safari in Rwanda include; Grey crowned crane, papyrus Gonolek, stripe breasted tit, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Cinnynis, white-tailed blue flycatcher, shoebill stork, tropical Boubou, regular sunrise bird, bronzy sunbird, among others which combine to make Rwanda birding safaris beyond the ordinary!

  • Lake Ihema & Akagera National Park Rwanda stand the best spectacular sites for birders as they harbour several endemic and migratory bird species plus other unique wildlife species. Akagera National Park is home to over 520 species of birds that dominate this place, including forest, savannah, wetlands, and montane species. Most interestingly, it’s home to the rare shoebill stork. Other species common in Akagera national park include; the gorgeous Black-headed Gonolek, the grey hornbill, lilac-breasted roller, the crested barbet, Heuglin’s robin-chat and Ross’s Turaco, among others.
  • Rwanda’s other most fabulous bird watching site in Nyungwe forest national park and it shelters approximately 310 bird species that have been recorded. It’s famous for its forested vegetation cover that has most bird species as compared to other national parks providing excellent birding safaris in Rwanda.
  • Nyungwe harbours a variety of Albertine Rift endemics, including seven of the 12 species of Soricidae, one species of bat – Rousettus lanosus, 5 of 12 species of Muridae and the chameleon Chameleon Johnston, two species of squirrels,- Funisciurus carruthersi and Heliosciurus Ruwenzori. An amphibian; the caecilian Boulengerula fischeri restricted to a small area of the Albertine Rift occurs commonly in Nyungwe.
  • Nyabarongo River is another unique area for Rwanda birding tours, providing a safe haven for some of the globally threatened bird species namely; the Madagascar Squacco heron, papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers, Cisticola, white-winged scrub-warbler. Other Birding holidays can also be done in Cyamudongo forest, Rugezi swamp, among others.

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How Many Days Do You Need at a Particular Destination? – An Incredible Uganda Birding Safari Guide

Referred to as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda has vast captivating landscapes that wow a tourist driving by the countryside during their Uganda tour, water bodies including the second largest freshwater lake; Victoria and the world’s longest river; Nile, and forests like the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mabira Forest and many more. All these once visited on your tour Uganda, you will indeed witness why it is called the Pearl of Africa. Uganda has an equatorial climate and has the Albertine Rift Valley in the Western part of the country which is host to several bird species.

Uganda, the pearl of Africa is home to about 1061 bird species. This makes Uganda one of the best bird watching places in Africa with almost half of the continents bird species. Uganda has for long been considered as one of the best Africa birding safari destinations that any bird fanatic must not miss on his bucket list. Safari Uganda for your bird watching safari Uganda and get to witness several bird species that call Uganda home, the rich culture and wildlife diversity that has seen a rise in Uganda birding safaris, Cultural Safaris in Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Safaris respectively in the past years.

Where best can I see Forest bird species?

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National park has a record of 441 bird species. The park is located in Western Uganda in the Albertine Rift Valley. It has riverine, forest and grasslands bird species which can be viewed at any time of the year. It is also home to the Guinea-Congo biome species in its lowland forest. In order to explore well the different bird species in Semuliki National Park Uganda, you require about 3-4 days

Timing: Rain falls year-round and birding is good any time although the peak breeding season is just after the Jan-Feb “dry” Season.
The time required is 3 -4 days depending on your Uganda tour itinerary.

Bird species here include the African piculet, Maxwell’s black weaver, blue-billed malimbe, yellow-throated nicator, black dwarf hornbill, Nkulengu rail, piping hornbill, blue-billed malimbe, yellow-throated cuckoo, dwarf honeyguide, great blue and Ross’s turaco, purple-breasted sunbird, orange weaver, white-crested hornbill, red-billed dwarf hornbill, African piculet and swamp palm bulbul.

Kibale National Park

Kibale National park forest is one of the 10 best bird watching places in Uganda with over 375 bird species. These include 6 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift area. 3 days will get you an enjoy the best in this excellent birding spot with varied habitat and dense vegetation. The Green-breasted pitta in Kibale National Park Forest is one of the 10 highly thought after birds in Uganda and the number one highly sought in Kibale forest. Other birds include the red-chested owlet, purple-breasted sunbird, blue-breasted kingfisher, crowned eagle, little greenbul, black bee-eater, white-naped pigeon, Scaly-breasted illadopsis, yellow-throated nicator, white-headed wood hoopoe, red-headed malimbe, yellow-spotted barbet, dusky-blue flycatcher, grey-throated flycatcher, Grey-winged robin, crested flycatcher, blue-shouldered robin chat, yellow-spotted barbet, black-billed turaco, white-naped pigeon, red-chested flufftail and tiny sunbird.

Budongo Forest

Bird watching in Budongo forest is manly done at Kaniyo Pabidi found in Murchison Falls National Park, and the Royal Mile and Busingiro areas found south of the park. It lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley, protecting the largest natural forest area in East Africa.  The forest is perfect for bird watching because it is home to more than 350 bird species, with the most sought-after birds in this area being the Cassin’s spine tail, chestnut-capped flycatcher, Ituri batis, Nahan’s francolin, Black-collared lovebird, brown twinspot, chocolate-backed, blue-breasted and African dwarf kingfishers. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary.

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is the smallest Savannah national park in Uganda, easily accessible from Kampala and Entebbe. There are numerous Uganda safari activities in this beautiful park but the core are only two, Uganda wildlife safaris and birding in Uganda, which is one of the major activities. The best bird-watching spots in Lake Mburo are near the swamps at Warukiri and Rwonyo and at the lake. The park is home to 315 bird species and these include the crested francolin, emerald-spotted wood dove, brown parrot, barefaced go-away bird, red-necked spurfowl, common quails, black-billed barbet, greenwood hoopoe, blue-napped mousebird, lilac-breasted roller, African-grey hornbill, Nubian woodpecker, trilling cisticola, bee-eaters and the cheeky bronze-tailed starling and the majestic crowned crane. You also have chances of sighting the rare African finfoot, shoebill, African fish eagle, and malachite and pied kingfishers

Where best can I see swamp species?

Mabamba Bay Wetland Swamp

Situated on Lake Victoria, the second-largest water body in the world, Mabamba bay swamp is the best birding watching safari destination in Uganda to spot a shoebill. The swamp has been made popular by birders that cannot miss seeing the shoebill stork, bizarre-looking birds. Travellers interested in a short bird watching safari in Uganda normally don’t miss out this Uganda birding destination in their itinerary. In fact, the shoebill is one of the most sought birds in Uganda. This bird is related to the dinosaur. The swamp is easily accessible from Entebbe by road and water and from Kampala by road. There is a lodge close by for people interested in a night over.

Exploring the best of mabamba requires only one day. The period to be here is between September and March because, at this time, there is a lot to see within the wetland as migratory birds arrive from Europe. So many water birds can be found here including the swamp flycatcher, papyrus gonolek, malachite kingfisher, pied kingfisher, black-headed heron, black kite, African open-billed stork, African jacana, lesser jacana, winding cisticola, Veillot’s black weaver, grosbeak weaver, black-headed weaver, yellow-billed duck, white-faced whistling duck, and African marsh harrier.

Where best can I see savannah bird species?

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National park in South Western Uganda is also one of the 10 best bird watching places in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National park Uganda is a paradise for a bird watcher with over 600 bird species. These birds are easily seen with your guide during game drives, the boat safari on Kazinga channel, and during the forest, nature walks. The birds include African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, grey-headed kingfisher, African skimmer, malachite and pied kingfishers, white-winged terns, Grey-capped warbler, collared pratincole, Pin-tailed whydah, martial eagle, Gabon and slender-tailed nightjars, black-headed gonolek, Verreaux’s eagle-owl, sedge warbler, papyrus canary, great white and pink-backed pelicans, African mourning dove and yellow-billed stork, etc. There are also seasonal flamingos at the salt lakes of Katwe and Bunyampaka. It is recommended to take a 2-3 days bird watching safari and on such that you can be able to spot as many as more than half of the 550 species recorded within this park.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is by far one of the best birding destinations in Uganda and Africa at large. You don’t need so many days here, you only require about 4 Days Murchison falls. Murchison Falls National park is the oldest and largest national park in Uganda. The park is named after the strong Murchison falls that you can sight during your Uganda safaris in this park. The Murchison falls are the world’s most powerful waterfalls that form as River Nile forces through a 7-meter gorge.

Murchison Falls Park has over 450 bird species some of which can be seen during game drives, boat safaris and or on guided nature walks. Bird watchers can see a variety bird species; forest species, swamp species, riverine woodland species and savannah species. You should look out for the elusive shoebill, swamp flycatcher, goliath heron, Abyssinian ground hornbill, northern red bishop, red-throated bee-eater, African quail finch, pied, malachite and giant kingfishers.

It is also possible to modify your Birding safari in Uganda or Birding tour in Uganda to feature other Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many. Congo safaris or a Congo safari offers you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a gorilla trek safari in Congo in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.

Where best can I see Albertine Endemic Species

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Second, on the list of the 10 best Uganda birding safari  destinations are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable has been voted as Africa’s best birding spot by the African Bird Club. Out of the 24 Albertine rift bird species, 23 of them are found in Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda. The forest is home to many rare bird species, some only found here, for instance, the African Green Broadbill.  350 bird species stay here and these include the 23 Albertine Rift endemics, 14 of which are not recorded anywhere else in Uganda.

You may not do proper birding in one day, it is however recommended you take 2-3 days on a Uganda birding tour and this will allow you spot as many birds as you want which is every birder’s dream. During this Uganda bird watching tour, look out for the Chapin’s Flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Handsome Francolin, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black Billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Purple-breasted, Blue-Headed and Regal Sunbirds among others. This is also the best destination for a Uganda gorilla safari and both activities can be tailored in a single trip.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the prime bird-watching destinations in Uganda with over 177 bird species which include 19 Albertine Rift endemics. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary. Bird watching is mostly done while on hikes in the forest zones since this is the highest point and popular Uganda birding tour destination. Birds to look out for here include the Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared owl, Archers’ robin-chat, Lagden’s bush shrike, Blue-headed and Golden-winged Sunbird, White-starred robin, Slender-billed starling, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Bearded vultures, and swifts.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest Uganda safaris park popular for Uganda gorilla tours but also a spot not to undermine for birding. It is not only home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, but it is also home to about 180 bird species some of which are the Albertine Rift endemics. Bird species here include the Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Olive Pigeon, Black-headed Waxbill, Western Green tinker bird, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Stripe-breasted tit, Brown-crowned Tchagra and Scarlet-tufted, Greater double-collared Sunbirds. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary.

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How to Plan an Affordable Uganda Bird Watching Safari Tour; Best Tips Inclusive

The Rewarding Makanaga Bay Swamp; Shoebill Stork birding spot-Uganda Safari NewsUganda is popularly known for not only Uganda gorilla safaris and Uganda wildlife safaris but also for bird-watching safaris Uganda. About 1069 bird species are known to be within the boundaries of Uganda. Uganda birding safaris  have been so popular of recent because of the beautiful birds easily seen on Uganda tours. Is Uganda your next Africa safari destination? Planning for your Uganda safari tour is one of the first things you must do before you travel. Planning for a short or Long Uganda birding safari requires prior preparations from choosing a Uganda tour operator, what to wear, what to pack, where to go and when to go. Packing for a safari means taking along your trip the essentials that you will need throughout your trip. Before going for a birding watching safari in Uganda, familiarize yourself with the bird species in this area by buying a bird guide book and reading through to know which birds you will actually find and probably list those that you are interested in. Learn how to differentiate them by sound or colour. This doesn’t mean that you will have to spot the birds yourself because your Uganda safari guide will do that for you but having prior knowledge makes the trip lively.

How to Plan the best Uganda birding safari trip in Uganda

  • Book your Uganda birding Safari with a Uganda tour operator

Planning, of course, involves prior booking especially when you are going to a new country or travelling for the first time. Uganda has different Uganda tour operators online but Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours is the leading Uganda birding safari tour operator in Uganda. Once you start your Uganda tour preparations with them, they ensure all preparations like hotels or your Uganda safari accommodation bookings, transport or 4×4 safari vehicle for hire in Uganda are booked early.

Besides hotels in Uganda and transport, Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd will give you a professional Uganda birding safari tour guide. A Uganda birding safari never gets interesting if you don’t have a knowledgeable safari guide. No matter the self-drive trend nowadays, for Africa birding safaris you need a guide to help you get to these bird watching safari destinations in Uganda that reward you with several bird species.

  • Purchase or carry along with you a Binoculars and Camera

9 Days Birding Safari Uganda Gorilla Trekking SafariSpotting birds on any safari needs a pair of binoculars to spot them in the air and trees. If you don’t have one, you need to purchase a pair of binoculars of your own which you will be most comfortable with. You will definitely want to capture that moment whether for a Bee-eater or a Weaver so don’t forget to carry your camera. You might think your not skilled but that’s no a reason to leave behind your camera, you need it for identification of the birds. For your camera, pack extra batteries, memory cards and any other camera accessories. To keep your camera safe, carry with you a camera strap, cleaning tools, Digiscoping adapters and any other tools that you need for your kind of camera.

  • Carry along a Field Guide Book

Either before or when you arrive in Uganda for a Uganda birding tour remember to purchase or rent a field guide book the most recommendable being the Birds of Africa Field Guide. The books have a detailed analysis of over 95% of the recorded bird species in Uganda and increase your scope of what to expect while birding in Uganda.

Carrying a field guide or bird book is essential for any birding safari. This can depend on the number of days your safari is lasting. If you choose to purchase books before you set off always choose the right guides that you are comfortable using, but at times this can become bulky. The other option of purchasing a bird guide book is by getting it in a local store. You can contact your Uganda birding safaris tour operator to check out for you if the guide is available in the local store. More appropriate also is getting help from your birding guide on where to purchase a bird guide book after you have arrived, they are knowledgeable and can be helpful.

The world is going digital and you can also go that way so to avoid carrying bulky stuff, your phone can do it all. You can download the necessary guide book then use your phone as long as your battery will always be charged such that you don’t skip to tick any of the specials you sight.

  • A Field Bag

You will need a suitcase to carry all of your birding safari essentials but then you will also need to carry a field bag. Your field bag is essential to carry your gear no matter where you may go birding.

  • Pack the right clothing

What to wear for a birding safari in UgandsAfter booking your Uganda birding tours, knowing what to carry on your safari is necessary. What to carry depends on where you are doing the bird watching from either in a tropical rainforest or in the wilderness. If it’s in the tropical forest either in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park or Semuliki National Park, wearing long-sleeved shirt and trousers is necessary. Wear trekking shoes since you will have to trek the mountain as you do the birding. Carry a sweater and raincoat since the temperatures in the forests are low. Birding in other national parks like Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park that are in lower altitude areas require wearing light clothes. Light shoes and a hat for protection from the scorching sun are important. Carry sunglasses and bottled drinking water too. In Kidepo Valley National ParkAfrica’s best wilderness, carry light clothes, light shoes and a hat for protection from the scorching sun rays in the wilderness. Pack enough drinking water to take during the birding process.

Above all you should always be comfortable, the clothing that you carry along should fit your trip. Uganda isn’t a very conservative dressing style country and locals may tend to mind their own business. For women, you would love to ensure that everything you buy is culturally sensitive and appropriate. Generally, it’s not culturally appropriate for women to show their thighs, therefore skirts/dresses below the knee or long pants can be your best bet. Even since most of the Uganda birding safari spots are in the forests and jungles then wearing something long also protects your body from bites and sunburns. Clothes should generally be light and with neutral safari colours whether for the ladies or gents since temperatures get high and the cool times of the day are generally mild. Don’t forget the birding hut and the boots.

Birding accessories must fit in your luggage for safety.

Other Things to Carry for your Birding Safari Uganda

A birding watching safari Uganda takes you to different habitats from tropical jungles to wildernesses so you wouldn’t want to go wrong. During your birding excursion don’t forget to wear appropriate insect repellent and sunscreen depending on the location and climate conditions where you are birding.

Best time for a birding safari to Semuliki National Park-Uganda safari news

Carry along a water bottle to keep you hydrated and also a few snacks. Your birding tour in Uganda tour operator will always make sure there is water in the vehicle but just in case it’s not enough you should carry some water along.

A light jacket can also be fitted in your field bag just in case the rains find you in the field.

Don’t forget the birding hut and the boots.

What to pack for your Africa birding safari just got listed for you so get ready and pack right for your trip. Many birding tourists tailor their safaris with Uganda gorilla safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is home to 23 out of the 24 Albertine rift endemics. You can also tailor to the other parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park or even continue for a Rwanda safari.

These tips apply for all of the other birding safaris in East Africa especially Tanzania birding safari and Rwanda birding tours or bird watching safaris Rwanda.

Best Time for a Uganda Birding Safari

Bird watching can be done all year round however, the best Uganda tour season for a birding safari Uganda is during the dry season in the months of January to March when the tropical forests are accessible and the not slippery for hiking. The breeding season, however, is during the month of June and this is when the birds are very colourful.

Uganda’s Best Selling Uganda Birding Safari Packages

Uganda has for long been considered as one of the best Africa birding safari destinations that any bird fanatic must not miss on his bucket list. Safari Uganda for your Uganda bird watching tour and get to witness several bird species that call Uganda home, the rich culture and wildlife diversity that has seen a rise in Uganda birding safaris tours, Cultural Safaris in Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Safaris respectively in the past years. Referred to as the Pearl of Africa, you will enjoy sightseeing of the vast captivating landscapes that wow a tourist driving by the countryside during their Uganda tour, water bodies including the second largest freshwater lake; Victoria and the world’s longest river; Nile, and forests like the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mabira Forest and many more. All these once visited on your tour Uganda, you will indeed witness why it is called the Pearl of Africa. Uganda has an equatorial climate and has the Albertine Rift Valley in the western part of the country which is host to several bird species. Book with us and have the best Africa safari tour memories.

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Such a great destination to visit, Uganda offers several safaris and these popular tours are the best to choose from when planning to visit Uganda.

 

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Uganda’s Best Birding Safari Destination To Spot a Shoebill

Are you on an adventure holiday in Uganda? Or you’re just resting at your hotel in Uganda Kampala or Entebbe?  Don’t be bored out there, here is short Uganda birding safari that will definitely keep you in motion and excited. This Uganda birding safari takes us to Mabamba swamp for a thrilling encounter with the birds in the wild. Mabamba swamp can be accessed by both road and boat across Lake Victoria. Mabamba swamp is a famous Uganda tour birding destination.

Mabamba is an extensive swampland that stretches through a long narrow bay, covered with papyrus towards the western main body of Lake Victoria in Mpigi District. This swamp is vulnerable yet it habits several bird categories, globally threatened species and Lake Victoria Basin biome species. It is, in fact, one of the most sought Uganda birding safari destinations in Uganda.  It is one of the best marshy areas along the Northern shores of Lake Victoria best for bird enthusiasts interested in bird watching safaris in Uganda.

Unlike the past year when people didn’t know much about this swamp, today Mabamba bay has grown into one of the most interesting and spectacular sites for birding safaris in Uganda and is one of the wetlands of International Importance in Africa. The Shoebill feeds primarily on Lungfish (Protopterus aethipicus), which is also cherished by the local community too. Shoebills are regularly recorded in pairs or in threes in this wetland at Nakowogo, about 2 km North-East of Mabamba Bay.

Apart from Murchison Falls National Park, Mabamba swamp is one of the Uganda birding tour destinations where a tourist on a Uganda safari/ Uganda tour can sight the elusive Shoebill stork. Mabamba is rated the best in Africa and or the whole world where the shoebill stork can be spotted at any one time of the day in its natural habitat.

Mabamba is also one of the strongholds for the migrant Blue Swallow with over 100 individuals recorded there every year. Mabamba has boosts of over 260 species with one day’s record of about 157 species. Mabamba also hosts four globally threatened species and other species of regional significance, including the Papyrus Gonolek, White-Winged Warbler Pallid Harrier, and the Blue Swallow.

During the time of bird migration, it is also confirmed that mabamba hosts flocks of other species especially migrants such as White-Winged Black Terns Gull-Billed Terns, and Whiskered Terns. Other interesting species found in the marshland include good numbers of Spur-Winged, Goliath Herons, Pygmy Geese, Malachite Kingfisher, Papyrus Canary, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Carruther’s Cisticola and a number of other birds. Five Lake Biome species have also been recorded here.

1 Day Bird watching tour to Mabamba swamp

This is a whole day birding experience starting and ending in Kampala/Entebbe. A 1-day bird watching tour to Mabamba takes one for a whole day at the shores of Lake Victoria sighting the rare bird species in the wetland marshes. It is the best way of doing a Uganda bird watching tour just a few kilometres outside Kampala city.

Mabamba bay is an expanse wetland marsh at the edge of Lake Victoria that stretches through along narrow bay fringed with papyrus. The swamp is dominated by Cyperus papyrus and Miscanthus species though there is a narrow channel of open water and a patch of Nymphea caerulea water lily.

Birding in Mabamba swamp is rewarding since it is as an Important Bird Area and the closest spot to sight a shoebill in Kampala. The area covered by the wetland is a habitat to over 300 bird species including elusive, migratory and water birds.

Bird species in Mabamba swamp

On a 1-day bird watching tour in Mabamba, there all chances for a Uganda birding safari tourist to sight birds like; Swamp Flycatcher, African Water Rail, African Purple Swamp-hen, Common Moorhen, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling-duck, Rufous-bellied and Purple Heron, Winding Cisticola, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Goliath Heron, Black Crake, African Marsh Harrier, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Yellow-billed Duck, Common Waxbill, Blue-headed Cuckoo, Intermediate Egret, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Long-toed Lapwing, Osprey, Red-billed Fire-finch and African Pied Wagtail.

Migrant bird species that can be sighted include the Blue Swallow, Gull-billed Tern and White-winged Tern. The Papyrus Gonolek and Papyrus Yellow Warbler are the papyrus restricted species that can be seen.

Detailed Itinerary of the 1-day bird watching tour to Mabamba swamp

The professional driver-guide picks you up from your place of residence in Kampala after an early breakfast.

The drive to Mabamba swamp is 58.1km west of Kampala covering a drive time of 1h 39min via Masaka road. Along the road, you will sight different bird species. When you reach Mabamba, you take a canoe with an experienced paddler and your guide through the narrow channels in search of the beautifully feathered birds. The shoebill is best seen in the morning when it’s trying to find its prey (mudfish).

The day ends by 6:00 pm as you drive back to Kampala.

What to carry for a 1-day bird watching tour to Mabamba swamp

  • Packed lunch
  • A pair of binoculars
  • Good quality bird watching cameras
  • Bird guide book

The best way to have a memorable bird watching tour in Mabamba swamp is by planning to have a trip with other passionate birders planned by a trusted Uganda bird watching tour operator. Spend just a single day and you will learn to appreciate what nature holds especially the beautiful feathered species.

Uganda birding safari packages

1 Day Mabamba swamp excursion
7 Days Birding safari in Uganda
8 Days Uganda Birding safari
14 Days Uganda gorilla trek & birding safari
15 Days Uganda birding tour
19 Days Uganda birding watching safari 
21 Days Birding safari in Uganda Africa

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Birding Tours in Rwanda – Bird Watching Safaris in Uganda

Besides Uganda gorilla safaris and Congo gorilla tours, Rwanda to is famous for mountain gorilla safari tours Rwanda. Gorilla tours Rwanda are one of the popular Rwanda safari activities that are often booked by travellers alongside Rwanda wildlife safaris. However, Rwanda you ought to know that Rwanda tours go beyond wildlife safaris Rwanda & Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris to also feature interesting birding possibilities. Despite its size, Rwanda is home to over 700 bird species, a number that quenches the thirst of anyone bird enthusiast looking for a good birding safaris in Africa.

These bird species are located in different Rwanda tour destinations including swamps, forests, national parks among others. During your safari Rwanda, you can pay a visit to Rwanda’s 7 favourite bird-watching areas including, – Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rugezi swamp, Akagera swamps, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo forest. As part of your Rwanda bird watching safari adventure, the birds that are commonly spotted on this safari in Rwanda include; Grey crowned crane, papyrus Gonoleck, stripe breasted tit, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Cinnynis, white-tailed blue fly catcher, shoebill stork, tropical Boubou, regular sunrise bird, bronzy sun bird, among others which combine to make birding tours in Rwanda beyond the ordinary!

Lake Ihema & Akagera National Park Rwanda stand the best spectacular sites for birders as they harbour several endemic and migratory bird species plus other unique wildlife species. Akagera National Park is home to over 520 species of birds that dominate this place, including forest, savannah, wetlands, and montane species. Most interestingly, it’s home to the rare shoe bill stork. Other species common in Akagera national park include; the gorgeous black-headed Gonolek, the grey hornbill, lilac-breasted roller, the crested barbet, Heuglin’s robin-chat and Ross’s Turaco, among others.

Rwanda’s other most fabulous bird watching site is Nyungwe forest national park and it shelters approximately 310 bird species that have been recorded. It’s famous for its forested vegetation cover that has most bird species as compared to other national parks providing excellent birding safaris in Rwanda.

Nyungwe harbours a variety of Albertine Rift endemics, including seven of the 12 species of Soricidae, one species of bat – Rousettus lanosus, 5 of 12 species of Muridae and the chameleon Chameleon johnstoni, two species of squirrels,- Funisciurus carruthersi and Heliosciurus Ruwenzori. An amphibian; the caecilian Boulengerula fischeri restricted to a small area of the Albertine Rift occurs commonly in Nyungwe.

Nyabarongo River is another unique area for Rwanda birding tours, providing a safe haven for some of the globally threatened bird species namely; the Madagascar Squacco heron, papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers, Sisticola, white-winged scrub-warbler. Other Birding holidays can also be done in Cyamudongo forest, Rugezi swamp, among others.

Similarly Uganda has for long been considered as one of the best Africa birding safari destinations that any bird fanatic must not miss on his bucket list. Safari Uganda for your Uganda bird watching safari and get to witness several bird species that call Uganda home, the rich culture and wildlife diversity that has seen a rise in Uganda birding safaris tours, Cultural Safaris in Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Safaris respectively in the past years.

Birds in Uganda are divided into two categories; Passerines and Non passerines with popular birds including the shoebill, Ostriches, King fishers, cormorants, pelicans Egrets, Marabou stork, weaver birds, Geese, African fish eagle, Grey Crowned Crane commonly known as the Crested crane among others. The Grey crown crane is Uganda’s National Emblem for it found in the center of the Uganda flag.

Uganda’s Top Birding Safari Spots

Mabamba Wetland

Mabamba is the best bird watching safari Uganda spot to go for a 1 Day birding tour in Uganda. This wetland situated on the shores of Lake Victoria is the best place to watch a good number of birds in Uganda in just a day. It is also home to the reputable giant shoebill stork. Other birds in Mabamba swamp include papyrus gonolek, Kingfishers, Black kite, swamp fly catcher, black-headed heron, African marsh harrier among others.

Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park Birding SpotBirding in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible treat to do on your Africa safari or Africa wildlife safari holiday in Uganda. A Uganda birding safari gives you the chance to explore bird species in Uganda’s most popular and most scenic National Park that contains a variety of habitats that range from savanna to wetlands to lowland forests. The park’s diversity is reflected in the list of over 600 bird species, making it the biggest of any protected area in Uganda.

A majority of the bird species found in this area are regarded as famous birds of East Africa and are a must-see for birdwatchers in Africa! Take a Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda for an amazing Africa birding safari.

Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda

The only place to find the Ostrich in Uganda-Uganda Safari NewsBy just hearing of the re-known Kidepo Valley, tourists think of the elephants, lions, kobs and much more wildlife, but then birding is one of the great activities in Kidepo Valley National park. CNN described the park as Africa’s hidden gem because of its scenic landscape that gave it a ranking as one of Africa’s best wilderness, the profusion of wildlife and unique communities around. The haven, however, isn’t just home to the giants, bird species are sighted here too. It is in fact rated the second-best birding park in Uganda for it is home to over 450 bird species.

When you opt to make the perfect choice to go birding in Kidepo Valley National Park, then here is what you should expect. To have a great birding experience, choosing where to stay in Kidepo Valley National Park and here Apoka Rest Camp comes in play as the best lodging facility to start your birding adventure as you watch birds migrate in the morning at a panoramic view. At the edge of the camp is a small permanent water hole that attracts swallows and a variety of seedeaters including the Yellow-rumped Seedeater and is visited at night by the Four-banded Sandgrouse. Birding can also be done on the fringes of the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys. The silver bird and small bands of yellow-billed birds are frequent on the thorn trees of the open savannah.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi forest, home to the Bwindi Forest National Park, Home to the mountain gorillas, commonly known for Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda was once voted as Africa’s best birding destination by Africa Bird Club. Bwindi forest is one place that a visitor can’t afford miss out on your birding safari tour Uganda itinerary. Home to a record 350 bird species that include 23 Albertine rift endemics, popular birds to spot include African green broadbill, Black-billed turaco, handsome francolin, Fraser’s eagle Chapins fly catcher, regal sun birds among others.

Murchison falls National park Uganda – Uganda’s oldest and most visited park is another good destination for birding Safaris in Uganda home to up to 450 bird species and of course the mighty falls to add to that. A game drive and boat cruise plus nature walks are the best ways to watch birds in Murchison falls. Expect to encounter a variety of birds including the might African fish eagle, owls, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Red-throated Bee eater, Egyptian geese, great cormorants, Egrets, Kingfishers to mention but a few.

Semuliki National Park Uganda

Dubbed the true birder’s haven, Semuliki National Park is home to several bird species counting to about 441 (about 34% of Uganda’s total) and about 60% of the country’s forest bird species. The park is unique in a way that it harbours a large number of largely Central African bird species that cannot be sighted anywhere else in East Africa. These endemics include some of the African continent’s most spectacular and sought-after birds such as; the Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Black-wattled Hornbill, the Nkulengu Rail and many more. This makes the park a prime birding safari in Uganda spot.

Within the park, to catch a perfect glimpse on your Uganda bird watching safari, Ntandi, around the Sempaya hot springs, River Kirumia and Mungilo waterfall are the best places. Taking a boat cruise along Semuliki River delta and Lake Albert is rewarding with a chance to where there are other bird species to see like the endangered Shoe bill stork.

What to carry for a birding safari in Uganda

Tourists need binoculars, cameras, birding clothes, bottled drinking water, comfortable walking shoes, note book and others. Don’t miss writing a bird list like this on your adventurous Uganda birding safari!

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How To Enjoy This Unbelievable Short Uganda Bird Watching Tour

This 1-day Mabira forest bird watching safari Uganda is one of the affordable short Uganda safaris that bird fanatics interested in Uganda birding safaris usually take on during their Uganda safaris. Our 1 Day Mabira Uganda birding tour is tailored to permit bird enthusiasts with limited time for long Uganda safaris to have a chance to sight up to 315 bird species in the forest out of Uganda’s 1069.  Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd has professional Uganda birding safari guides that will take you through this short Uganda birding safari tour.

short Uganda watching birding safariWith over 300km2 size, Mabira forest is Uganda’s largest tropical rainforest situated in Buikwe district just a few kilometres from Kampala along Kampala-Jinja highway. Buikwe district is located between Lugazi and Jinja. Mabira has been a protected Forest Reserve since 1932.

Mabira Forest Reserve is one of the nearest birding watching safari destinations in Uganda or Uganda safari birding spots where tourists can be pleased with a 1-day birding excursion filled with montane forest bird species. Using the Kampala-Jinja highway, Mabira forest is 58.8km from Kampala taking a drive time of about 1h 49min in your 4×4 land cruiser car hire Uganda or any 4×4 car hire Uganda Kampala depending on the number of people. The 1-day bird watching safari Uganda to Mabira forest starts and ends in Kampala Uganda.

In order to avoid traffic jam, your Uganda tour during your visit Uganda will start at around 6:00 am in the morning after breakfast from your hotel in Uganda Kampala. Your Uganda safari tour driver guide (professional birding guide) will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Mabira forest in Buikwe district for this wonderful short Africa birding safari excursion.

short Uganda watching birding safariAs soon as you start your drive in Mabira forest, you will sight several birds singing around in the forest trees even before you set a foot out of the vehicle. This short Uganda watching birding safari starts at the Mabira Eco tourism centre situated at about 300m into the forest off Najjembe fast food sale point.

You will get a small briefing and after you will start your birding walk into the forest. Be ready to tick off over 315 birds off your list. As part of your Uganda adventure safari, you will see different flora as well as Uganda’s endemic; the Uganda mangabey (Lophocebus ugandae). This whole day birding tour in Uganda’s Mabira forest gives an opportunity to sight a range of tropical bird species like;

  • African Pied Hornbill
  • Forest Wood-Hoopoe
  • Tit Hylia
  • Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike
  • Black-Billed Turaco
  • Ruffaous Flycatcher Thrush
  • White-bellied
  • Blue-breasted
  • Shining-blue and Dwarf Kingfishers
  • Slender Billed
  • Yellow Whiskered
  • Toro Olive and Little Grey Greenbul
  • Green-tailed and Red-Tailed Bristlebill
  • Forest Robin
  • Fire-crested Alethe
  • Snowy-crowned and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
  • Yellow Spotted
  • Grey Throated and Yellow-billed Barbet
  • White-spotted Flufftail
  • Jameson’s Wattle-eye
  • Little Green
  • Green Throated and Olive Bellied Sunbird
  • Hairy-breasted Barbet
  • Green Crombec
  • Black-throated Apalis
  • African Paradise Flycatcher
  • Black-and-white Shrike
  • African Flycatcher
  • Blue-throated Brown Sunbird
  • Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo
  • Blue Throated Roller
  • Open-billed stork
  • Long-crested Eagle
  • Marabou stork
  • Cattle Egret
  • Pied Crow
  • Black Kite
  • Yellow-white eye
  • African Harrier Hawk
  • Chestnut Wattle-eye
  • African Grey Parrot

short Uganda watching birding safariAfter your 1-day bird watching safari in Mabira forest, you retreat back to Kampala and rest. For more Uganda birding tours in Uganda, you can enjoy another 1 day Uganda birding tour in Mabamba swamp or 1 Day Uganda birding safari in Entebbe botanical gardens.  

Still, in Mabira forest, you can cut your birding tour in Uganda short for Ziplining. Ziplining is one of the prominent activities adored by travellers on tours in Uganda. After all your activities, this will mark the end of your 1-day cheap tour Uganda.

When Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd; a Uganda safari tour operator plans your safari in Uganda, the Uganda tour package will be inclusive of;

The tour package excludes

  • Visas
  • Extra drinks
  • Tips to local guides
  • Personal purchase along the way

Credit should be given where it’s due; Uganda is a true birders haven for it is home to 50% of Africa’s bird species that are well distributed in every single kilometre of the country. Plan your short Uganda tour/ short Uganda birding safari tour today to any Uganda birding spots so you carry only beautiful memories.

 Other Popular Uganda birding safari packages

1 Day Mabamba swamp excursion
7 Days Birding safari in Uganda
8 Days Uganda Birding safari
14 Days Uganda gorilla trek & birding safari
15 Days Uganda birding tour
19 Days Uganda birding watching safari 
21 Days Birding safari in Uganda Africa

 

 

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Things That Make Lake Bunyonyi A Top Notch Uganda Birding Destination?

Until recently, Lake Bunyonyi seemed like a well-kept secret among the people of Kabale in southwestern Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is, therefore, a hidden African Jewel situated in Uganda characterized with beauty seen in over 29 islands it holds, pleasant climate and a perfect spot to relax and chill on a Uganda safari tour. This lake is enclosed with lavish green-terraced hills that range between 2,200-2,478m above sea level that creates a spectacular background.

Lake Bunyonyi extends northwards from the Rwanda border over a distance of 25kms through the contours of the steep hills that separate Kabale and Kisoro districts. Lake Bunyonyi covers a distance of about 60 square kilometres. The lake is also the deepest lake in Uganda with over 900 meters. Active travellers on Uganda safaris/ Uganda tours are catered for with different activities like canoeing, boat cruise, nature walks, biking and bird watching for those interested in Uganda birding safaris/ Uganda birding safari tours.

Tourists that have visited Lake Bunyonyi Uganda during their safaris Uganda/ tours Uganda have rated it as one of the country’s top natural treasures that should be considered one of the natural wonders of the world and ranked the most treasured travel destinations. Bunyonyi means a place of many little birds but its imposing beauty can easily make you forget that you are in a prime birding spot for those on a Uganda birding safari/ Uganda birding tour. Travellers interested in birding safaris Uganda cannot miss adding Lake Bunyonyi in their itinerary in addition to other birding destinations in Uganda.

Its beauty is so imposing that it even appears on the 5000 Uganda shilling banknote. Dotted with 29 islands you may think the creator was in the mood to be extravagant with the beauty. The terrain around the lake is similar to what most of Rwanda (the land of a thousand hills) looks like. It has very steep hills and beautiful terraces that add organized beauty to this destination. The weather of the lake changes right from morning till late. In the early morning, Lake Bunyonyi’s Islands are always covered with cotton candy-like mist and in the afternoon, they’re immersed with the warm glow of the sun. Later, they’re outlined against a dim sky as evening approaches. Sometimes the islands vanish from sight completely, hidden under a blanket of clouds, and later you see them emerge once as the sun brightens.  

Each of these Islands holds a different historical story to be told. Lake Bunyonyi is surrounded by steep terraced hillsides that give it a gorgeous look. This magical place, especially with a morning, you will see the mist rising off its placid waters. It has succeeded the Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria as the most frequently visited island by travellers on Uganda safaris,  honeymoon safaris in Uganda, Uganda birding safaris, family vacations, as well as a relaxing place for people from Uganda wildlife safaris/Uganda wildlife tours and Uganda gorilla safaris/ Uganda gorilla trek safaris. While there, you will enjoy the natural musical sounds from the birds around the lake. Best of all, unlike many lakes in Africa, Lake Bunyonyi is bilharzia, crocodile and hippo free. It also has crystal-clear waters that are all yours to swim in.

What makes Lake Bunyonyi a wonderful birding destination?

Lake Bunyonyi, also known as the “Switzerland of Africa” by the locals, is a wonderful birding destination for bird lovers. “Bunyonyi in the local language means “many small birds”. The main reason as to why this lake was given this name is because it’s home to a very wide range of bird species. As you explore the historic lake dotted with little Islands on your Uganda safari or Uganda birding safari, expect to see several bird species since the lake habits over 200 bird species including flycatchers, sunbirds, Cardinal Woodpecker, weavers, White-tailed blue monard, African Harrier Hawk, Pied kingfisher, Malachite kingfisher, grey crowned cranes, Herons, egrets, the cardinal woodpecker, the levillant cuckoo, slender-billed baglafetch, weavers, levillant cuckoo, Cinnamon-chested Bee eater, Bronzy sunbird, Pied wagtail, Grey shrike, Hadada ibis, Swamp flycatcher, Black heron, Great cormorant, Fan-tailed widow bird, Streaky seed eater, Speckled mousebird, Pin-tailed wider, Bronze manikin, Black-headed Weaver and Golden-backed weaver and many more.

Comparing the different Uganda birding safari destinations, in the country, Lake Bunyonyi is the most convenient place for the travelers interested in birding safaris in Uganda/Bird watching safaris Uganda since one does not hustle while sighting birds but rather sit and relax on the lake shores as they view the bird species in the sky, on trees around. This easy Uganda birding safari tour makes Lake Bunyonyi undoubtedly the loveliest magical lake in Uganda.

The best birding experience along a Lake Bunyonyi

Travelers are usually taken for nature walks along the lake and also driven in dug out canoes or boats to the different islands along the lake because all can be accessed by boat. Some of the island on the lake include; -Akampene ,Bushara, Bwama and Njuyeera, Bacuranuka and many more. Some tourists enjoy transferring from one island to another on boat as they search for different bird species. As they sail on the waters of Bunyonyi, they get a chance of encountering some birds especially the water birds as they play and roam about the water surface.

Apart from viewing these rare bird species, there are other tourists activities in Lake Bunyonyi that tourists can do including, boat rides, swimming, sport fishing, cultural and nature walks around the lake.

Getting there!

Before it became a famous tourist attraction, people who wanted to visit this magical lake on their Uganda safari had to first ask for directions to this wonder of nature. Because it is a famous tourist attraction now, there are more than enough road signs giving directions to the second deepest in Africa.

If you are driving from Entebbe or Uganda’s capital; Kampala, you will have to endure a long ride of about 7 hours before getting to Kabale town. If you are coming from another capital like Kigali in Rwanda, you will only spend about 2 hours on the road before you get to Lake Bunyonyi Uganda.

Uganda birding safari packages

1 Day Mabamba swamp excursion
7 Days Birding safari in Uganda
8 Days Uganda Birding safari
14 Days Uganda Primate birding safari
15 Days Uganda birding safari
19 Days Uganda birding safari
21 Days Birding safari in Uganda Africa

 

 

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Interesting Facts About The African Fish Eagle in Uganda

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird species easily seen on a Uganda birding safari/birding safari in Uganda. It may resemble the bald eagle in appearance; though related, each species occurs on different continents. African Fish-Eagle is a large bird of prey. Dark body and wings contrast with the white head and tail. Belly and upper coverts are chestnuts. Wings and back are black.

When in flight, the underwings appear chestnut, and it has black flight feathers. It has short and squared whitetail. The head is white too. Eyes are chestnut to pale brown. Bill is black and yellow. Legs and feet are yellow. The immature has duller upperparts, spotted with brown. The underparts are rather whitish with broad blackish spots on the belly and streaked chest. The tail is white, heavily spotted with black.

They reach their adult plumage at about five years old. Chicks are covered with white down. Bill is horn and pale yellow. Legs are pink. The African Fish Eagle is a large bird, the female, at 3.2–3.6 kg and is larger than the male, at 2.0–2.5 kg. This is typical sexual dimorphism in birds of prey. Males usually have wingspans around 2m while females have wingspans of 2.4m. The body length is 63–75 cm. African Fish-Eagle is sedentary.

They live in pairs close to the streams. Very active and agile, it is quite able to perform bold aerial displays. The female lays two white eggs. Incubation lasts about 42 to 45 days, shared by both parents. Chicks remain at nest for about 65 days.

They can fly at about 70 to 75 days of age, but they are still raised by a female (male feeds only the chicks). They depend from their parents for two months more after their first flight.

How the African Fish Eagle Calls

African Fish-Eagle’s call is very well known where it is living, and it is often known as the “Africa’s voice”. It has a typical call, a loud barking carrying far, “whii-oh-hyo-hyo-hyo”, frequently uttered, and almost similar to gull’s calls. It often calls while flying, and it is noisier at dawn. Close to the nest, it utters a soft “quock”. Female is noiseless than male.

What does the African Fish Eagle prey on?

African Fish-Eagle feeds mainly on fish, but it also consumes carrion, eggs and chicks of shorebirds, some aquatic birds (larger than flamingos), more rarely monkeys, lizards, frogs, sea-turtles or insects. It dives entirely into the water to hunt prey. It hunts starting from a perch, generally a large tree close to the water, from where it can watch over the place. It performs an approach in soft descent, and kicks out its talons ahead, almost stopping its flight to catch its prey, at about fifteen centimetres under the surface. It can capture fish of up to 1kg, and sometimes of up to 3kg. But beyond 2,5 kg, it cannot take it in flight. Then, it glides above the water to the shore, pulling its prey it swoops down upon from a perch in a tree, snatching the prey from the water with its large, clawed talons. The eagle then flies back to its perch to eat its catch. It may steal prey from other birds, and attack Shorebirds’ clutches, taking eggs and chicks.

How the African Fish Eagle Nests

African Fish-Eagle’s nest is huge and made with sticks. It may reach 120 to 180 cm in diameter, and 30 to 60 cm in-depth, sometimes 120 cm when the nest is reused several times. It is lined with grasses, green leaves and roots. It is located between 4 and 22metres above the ground, in a fork in a tree, near water. It is rarely found on cliffs or in bushes in steep slopes.

Where to see the African Fish Eagle in Uganda

Wondering where to sight the African Fish Eagle on a Uganda safari/Uganda tour or safari to Uganda, here are the top spots to see it. The African Fish Eagle can easily be seen in Murchison Falls National Park during the Nile boat cruise, Queen Elizabeth National Park during a Uganda safari boat cruise along the Kazinga channel. It can also be seen in Lake Mburo National Park and on Lake Victoria.

The African Fish Eagle is just one of the bird species that can be seen on Uganda safaris out of the over 1072 bird species confirmed in the country. For more bird watching tours, Rwanda safaris, Tanzania birding safaris, a Kenya safari or Congo tour offers much more to tick on your bird list. All of these can be tailored in a single East African trip.

During your Uganda birding safaris tour, Uganda birding tour or birding tour Uganda, you have chances of spotting up to 1072 bird species along your Uganda birding safaris trails including the historic shoebill stork.  It is also wise you supplement your birding safari Uganda on your Africa tour with a Uganda wildlife tour, a Uganda gorilla tour or short Uganda gorilla safari, a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Uganda hiking safaris, Uganda Rwanda cycling safaris, a Jinja city tour or 1 Day Jinja city tour, a Kampala city tour or a 1-day Kampala city excursion, a Uganda cycling safari depending on your choice of safari in Uganda.

It is also possible to modify your Birding safari in Uganda or Birding tour in Uganda to feature other Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many. Congo safaris or a Congo safari offers you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a Congo gorilla trekking tour in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.

Rwanda too has lots of Rwanda safari activities to offer travellers interested in Rwanda tours like Rwanda birding safaris, Rwanda gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park, a canopy walk in Nyungwe, a Kigali city tour or a Rwanda wildlife safari in Akagera National Park.
Tanzania safaris offer one of the best Africa wildlife safaris including Tanzania birding safaris. A Tanzania wildlife safari offers you the chance to visit Africas’ most famous Serengeti National Park while Kenya safaris offer Kenya birding safaris and Kenya wildlife safaris that bid you the chance to visit Masaai Mara National Park.
Book your Uganda birding safaris tour, birding safari Uganda or Bird watching safaris Uganda with us for the best ultimate Africa safari tour memories.

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