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Top birding destinations in Uganda

Uganda has 34 Important birding areas (IBA)and thus a home to different bird species. Our birding safaris are well planned by experts to take you to the most popular destinations for different bird species in Uganda.
Uganda has destinations that are suitable for birding and they are due to different factors like conducive climate and abundant water sources and food.

Mabamba wetland/Swamp:

This is a famous destination for the rare and vulnerable shoebill stork
Mabamba Swamp is rich with lungfish which is the favorite food for the Shoebill stork. The best time to watch the shoebill stork is morning time when it is hunting. Shoebill stork does the hunting by standing in one place standstill for a long time.

What are the bird species at mabamba swamp?

Apart from Shoebill stork, Mabamba swamp hosts more than 300 other bird species and migratory birds that join in the months of September to March. These species of birds include: African Fish Eagle, Purple Swamphen, African Green Pigeon, African Jacana, African Marsh Harrier, African Pigmy Goose, Black Crake, Black Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Waxbill, Black-headed Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Blue Swallow, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Cattle Egret, Common Moorhen and Common Sandpiper.
You can access Mabamba wetland by boat from Nakiwongo landing site which is about 10 minutes’ drive from Entebbe international airport or by road through Nakawuka. This can take about one hour.

Queen Elizabeth National park:

Being the 6th diverse national park in the world, you expect more to offer and birding is one of the top adventurous moments to enjoy thus one of the birding destinations . This is the reason why it is Uganda’s most visited national park because of different animal and bird species.
With more than 600 bird species in there, you can even encounter rare species on your birding tour. Areas to look out to include Mweya peninsula, Katunguru bridge area, Kasenyi area, Ishasha sector and Maramagambo forest.
Some of the bird species to encounter here include: Swamp Flycatcher, White-winged Terns, Malachite, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars and Pied Kingfishers. Other bird species to expect include: Grey-headed Kingfisher, Black-headed Gonolek, Grey-capped Warbler, Collared Pratincole, African Skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Sedge Warbler, Martial Eagle, among others.

Bwindi impenetrable national park:

Bwindi does not only accommodate gorilla tracking enthusiasts but also other adventurous trips and birding is one of them. With the abundance of rare bird species, there are 350 species and thus birding comes second to gorilla tracking in this park. Some of the bird species in Bwindi include; Chapin’s Flycatcher, African Green Broadbill, Collared Apalis, Fraser’s Eagle, Handsome Francolin, White-bellied Robin Chat and Black-billed Turaco among others.
The major spots and birding destinations in Bwindi include; Buhoma waterfalls, Mubwindi swamp trails and the Bamboo zone.

Murchison falls national park:

Birding is one of the top activities to have in Murchison falls national park apart from the famous hiking and boat cruise experiences. 450 bird species have been recorded in Murchison falls national park and some of them are rare species. They can be seen during game drives or boat cruise to the Nile delta or upwards to the bottom of the falls.
Shoebill stork is one of the common species to expect and there are other species like Abyssinian Ground Horn Bill, Goliath Heron, Swamp Flycatcher, Northern Red Bishop, African Quail Finch, Giant Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee Eater, and more others. These and more species make birding as a great highlight for a safari in this destination.

Mgahinga gorilla national park:

The highlight of this park is Gold meeting silver due to the presence of the rare golden monkeys and gorillas. Birding is another activity to do in this Part of the Virunga volcanic mountains. There are 180 different species recorded in Mgahinga including Albertine region’s endemic birds. Best viewing spots are community and farm trail, the bamboo trail and the gorge trail.
Some of the species you can spot on a birding trip in Mgainga includeStripe-breasted Tit, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Rwenzori Turaco, Brown Woodland Warbler and Kivu Ground-thrush among others.

Kibale forest national park:

Apart from Chimpanzee trekking safaris, Kibale is not only the primate capital of the world but also home to more than 350 bird species. Bigodi wetland and entire Kanyanchu area is the major hot spot for birding enthusiasts and Magombe swamp is another spot for birding.
The main bird species you may spot in Kibale Forest include; White-collared Oliveback, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Crowned Eagle, and Yellow-billed Barbet.

Lake Mburo national park:

The park has many lakes and Lake Mburo is the largest and thus the name for the national park.

Semuliki national park:

This park is just adjacent to Ituri forest in Congo and therefore an extension of Congo basin forest and known as one of the best birding destinations. The park famous for Sempaya hot spring but  also 400 bird species recorded in the area.

Lake Bunyonyi:

As the name suggests, Bunyonyi means little birds therefore you expect birds at this second deepest lake in Africa.
There are other several birding spots in Uganda such as Mabira forest, Entebbe botanical gardens and anywhere along the shores of Lake Victoria and even along river Nile among other places. Bird watching  also  done in any national park or game reserve and many other conservation areas and  done anytime of the year.