Birding in Uganda
Uganda is Africa’s most complete bird watching destination; with more than 1,000 species recorded within an area comparable to that of Great Britain. Specialist birding safaris through western Uganda routinely notch up an incredible tally of 400 species within two weeks; while enthusiastic amateurs might reasonably hope to aim for 300 species within the same time. The many bird species greatly contribute to high safari revenues to the country.
Uganda’s prime attraction is the presence of more than 100 West African forest species at the most easterly and most accessible extent of their range. This alluring list of forest specialists includes; the psychedelic great blue Turaco and the raucous black broad and the white Casqued Hornbill; as well as the gem like Green Broadbill and 23 other species endemic to the Albertine Rift. Uganda is also the best place to see what many rate as the most sought after African bird: the Shoebill, massive prehistoric looking swamp dweller notable for its heavy clog shaped bill. These have attracted many safari visits to Uganda.
The bird life is prolific throughout Uganda. But certain key sites should be included in any ornithological itinerary. In the west, these also include; Bwindi impenetrable National park for Albertine Rift endemics; Queen Elizabeth national park for the a peerless checklist of 600 species; Semuliki National park for Congo Basin endemics; Mbamba swamp near Entebbe for Shoebill; wetland near Kibale Forest for Great Blue Turaco and other colorful forest birds. These have also attracted many tourists to come for safari tours.
In the Murchison falls national park for Savannah specialists such as; Abyssianian ground Hornbill, Red throated bee eater and the Denham’s Bustard. The key birding location in eastern Fox’s weaver as well as papyrus dwellers such as the Shoebill and the papyrus Gonolex. There are also many other safari birds which are found around the water bodies in the country.