Bird Watching in Uganda, Birding Safaris at Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda
Other than Mountain Climbing at Mountain Elgon National park, travelers can also enjoy bird watching encounters as they watch numerous species of birds fly from one place to another in their natural forest vegetation around the Park. Various species of birds can be watched around the Kapkwai Forest Exploration Center, Loop Trail and these include;
The African Goshawk, Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned Prinia, African Blue Flycatcher, Chinspot Batis, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Dohertys and Luhders Bush-shrikes, Baglafecht Weaver, Cinnamon Bee Eater, Moustached Tinkerbird, Hartloub`s Turaco, Tacazze Sunbird, Olive- and Bronze-naped pigeons, Black Kite and Black-collared Apalis
Other Birding sites in Uganda
Kidepo Valley National Park
Details of the Park
- Size; 1442 km2
- Located along border with South Sudan
- Height of 900-1200m
- Has various types of vegetation i.e Semi-desert scrub, open thorn scrub, open thorn bush, long and short-grass open tree savanna, riparian woodland including Borassus and Kigelia woodland, thick “miombo-like” woodland, montane forest and granite outcrops
- Known to have about 480 different bird species
Birds of Kidepo Valley National Park
The park is known to be the second birding destination in Uganda with unique birds like the Eastern Specials that are not seen in any other National Park in the country. i.e the Black Breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apalis. Other birds found here include; the Golden Pipit, Ring-necked Spurfowl, Taita Fiscal, Rufous Chatterer, Fox’s Cisticola, Yellow and red spotted Barbet, Fox’s Weaver, Lesser Kestrel, Pallid Harrier, Black-winged Pranticole, White-crested, Hartlaub’s Turaccos, Dusky-turtle Dove, White-bellied Go-Away bird, Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Jackson’s and African-pied Hornbills, Yellow-billed Shrike, Emin’s Shrike, Piapiac, Red-winged Lark, Black-rumped Waxbill. Other species include; 23 Somali-Masai biome species, 21 Afro-tropical highland species as well as 16 Sudan and Guinea Savanna and 4 Guinea Congo forest Biome species.
- Size; 30600ha, 78% Forest, 18% Savannah, 2% Artificial
- Has 300 bird species
- Has an Altitude 1070 – 1340m ASL
- It’s a forest Reserve with moist semi deciduous forest
- Offers Eco tourism Encounters to all
- Located 13 kms from the vast Lake Victoria
- It is a famous birding safari destination
- It is a recreational Center
- Offers picnics and nature walks
- Offers butterfly viewing and hike biking
Birds of Mabira Forest
The birds that inhabit the forest include species of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome like the Nahan’s Francolin, Black shouldered Nightjar, Capuchin Babbler, Yellow and Grey Long-bills, Yellow-mantled weaver as well as the Sudan-Guinea Savanna biome and four of the Afrotropical Highlands biome.
Mabamba Bay Wetland
- Size; 16500ha,
- Elevation; 1130m ASL
- 260 species of Birds
- It consists of extensive Marsh through an elongated narrow bay inclusive of papyrus
- Situated close to Kampala
Birds at Mabamba Bay Wetland
Mabamba bay Wetland has numerous species of birds with the most sought after Shoebill stork being the most prominent bird watched here. However, there are other 260 species that can be spotted as well and these include; the Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, the Blue Swallow, Gull-billed Terns, White-winged Black Terns, Whiskered Terns, Grey-headed Gulls, Goliath Herons, Spur-winged and Pygmy Geese, Malachite kingfisher, Papyrus Canary, Northern Brown-throated weaver, Carruther’s Cisticola etc.
Lake Mburo National Park
- Size; 370 km2
- Height; 1220-1828m ASL
- Has 317 bird species
- Vegetation; Moist Acacia Savannah, taller mixed wood land, aquatic habitat including lakes and papyrus swamps, grassland, rocky ridges
- It’s a great birder’s paradise.
Birds at Lake Mburo
The numerous species of birds spotted around the park at the Rwonyo Camp include; the Crested Francolin, Red-necked Spurfowl, Arrow marked Babler, Emerald spotted wood Dove, Brown Parrot, Barefaced Go-away -bird.
Blue-napped and Speckled Mousebird, Lilac-breasted and Broad-billed Roller, Green Wood-hoopoe, usual scimitarbill, African Grey Hornbill, Spot-flanked Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Trilling Cisticola, African Darter, Water Thicknee, Hamerkop, African Water Rail, Spur-winged Plover, Giant, Pied and Malachite kingfishers, and Yellow-throated Leaf love the latter in dense, waterside thickets, Yellow-Breasted Apalis, Northern Black Flycatcher, Chin-spot Batis, Greater Blue-eared starling and Marico sunbird.
At the Open grassland North of the camp you will spot birds like the Coqui Francolin, Red-necked Spur fowl, Black-bellied Bustard, Temminck’s Courser, African Wattled Plover, Rufous-Naped, lapped Larks, Rufous-chested Swallow, Yellow-throated Longclaw and Southern Red Bishop, Brown-chested Plover is regularly observed. At night, you will spot birds like the African Scops Owl, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Fiery-necked, White-tailed and Pennant-winged Nightjars.
Murchison Falls National Park
- Size; 3840 kms2
- Height 619-1292m ASL
- Has 460 bird species
- Vegetation type; Iron wood forest, riverine forest, dry and moist woodlands with grassy under-storey, Borassus palm savanna grassland with termitaria, papyrus lakes and rivers
Birds at Murchison Falls National Park
The park inhabits numerous bird species like the shoe bill stork that can be spotted along the Nile specifically at the Delta as well as the 2 islands in the River.
There are other 14 different species and these include 4 of 12 Lake Victoria species, 11 of 44 Guinea-Congo forest species, 6 of 86 Afro tropical Highland species and 3 of 32 Somali-Masai Biome species. You will spot the African Skimmers get together when the Nile reduces its speed.
Mountain Rwenzori National Park
- Size; 996 kms2
- Height; 1700m-5190m
- Vegetation; Montane forest with bamboo (Arundinaria) on the lower slopes, heath and Afro-alpine moorland on higher slopes
- 217 Bird species
Birds at Mountain Rwenzori National Park
There are 217 different species of birds that inhabit the vegetation around the park. 18 of them are restricted to the Albertine Rift, 60 of 86 afro tropical highland biome species and these include; the rare Rwenzori Turaco, Bamboo Warbler, Golden-winged Sunbird, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird and Stuhlmann’s Double-collared Olive-back. There are 17 species of the Guinea-Congo forest Biome as well.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
- Size; 321 kms2
- Height; 1190 – 2607m ASL
- 357 Bird Species
- It also offers butterfly viewing
- It inhabits the rare species of Mt. Gorillas
Birds of Bwindi Forest National Park
The park inhabits numerous species of birds and these include; the African Green Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Shelley’s Crimson-wing, 76 of 144 Guinea -Congo forest biome species, Francolin, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Western Green Tinkerbird, Mountain and yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Mountain masked and chestnut-throated Apalises, Red-faced woodland Warbler, Rwenzori batis, white-tailed crested Flycatcher etc.
Kibale Forest National Park
- Size; 560 kms2
- Height; 920-1590m ASL
- 340 species can be found in the park
Birds of Kibale Forest
Many different bird species and these include; the Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-spotted Nictor, Yellow- ramped Tinker bird, Speckled Tinker bird, Little Greenbul, Superb Sunbird, the African Pitta, White-thighed hornbill, Grey-winged Robin, Blue shouldered Robin Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turacco, White-naped Pigeon, Green-breasted Pitta, Purple-headed Starling, Red-chested Flufftail, Greenbul, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, Scarlet-tufted, Green-throated, Purple-Breasted sunbirds,White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Tiny Sunbird, White-collared Olive-back and the Black bee-eater etc.
Budongo Forest Reserve
- Size; 79300ha, 74% forest, 9% terrestrial, 2% Savanna
- Has an Altitude of 700-1270m ASL
- Inhabits 360 bird species
- 290 Butterflies
- 130 species of Moths
- 465 species of trees
- 24 species of Mammals
- Consists of 2 Eco Tourism Sites i.e Busingiro and Kaniyo Pabidi
Birds at Budongo Forest
The Forest inhabits numerous species of birds and these include; the Guinea-Congo forest Biome, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Sabine’s spine tail, Cassin’s Spine-tail(rare), Pygmy Crakes, Kingfishers( Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted, Dwarf), White-spotted Fluff tail, Ituri Batis, Puvell’s Illadopsis, Brown Twin-spot, Cameroon Somber Greenbul, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Crowned Eagle, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Forest Robin, Little Green Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Olive Green Camaroptera, Blue-throated Roller, African pied , Piping, Black and White Casqued Hornbills, Speckled Tinker-bird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Cassin’s Honeyguide, African shrike Flycatcher, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Carmaroptera etc.
Semliki National Park
- Size; 220 kms2
- Height; 670 to 760 ms ASL
- Inhabits 435 bird species
- Vegetation; Moist semi deciduous forest, most iron wood-dominant with patches of swamp forest and aquatic habitat represented by forest streams and ox bow lakes with adjacent swamps.
Birds at Semliki National Park
The park has numerous bird species that inhabit the vegetation around the park and these include; the Guinea-Congo biome species, 31 Guinea Congo Biome species, the White-tailed/Piping Hornbill (also recorded in Budongo forest reserve), Capuchin Babbler and Blue-headed, Crested flycatcher are now known from Mabira forest reserve, the Orange weaver is along the northern shores of Lake Victoria and the Red-billed Malimbe, Papyrus Gonolek and Caruthers’s Cisticola, 6 Afro tropical highlands biome species, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Nkulengu Rail, Black-wattled Hornbill and Lyre-tailed Honey guide.