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 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
Birding 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
By 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!