Travel to Uganda – A Kingdom Of Birds

Uganda is an equatorial country with an amazing diversity of Habitats. Truly a Kingdom of Birds, Uganda hosts over 1000 bird species, both Albertine Rift endemics as well as rarities with half of the species known on the African continent, and over 10% of those on record throughout the entire world. For a birding safari, Uganda is a perfect destination.The country located in the Albertine region also lies on the Northern shores of Lake Victoria-the source of the White Nile, and the country is extremely fertile with parks, wildlife, lakes and rivers, Mountain ranges, parks and a cool attractive countryside.

Uganda enjoys a tropical climate with rainy seasons stretching from April-May and October-November, which is a favorable condition for bird existence since birds breed during the wet season. The wide variety of birds is found in both urban and rural areas of Uganda and the most popular birds are the Shoebill, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-fronted Antpecker, Green-breasted pitta, Black bee-eater, Purvell’s illadopsis, Karamoja Apalis, Nahans Francolin, African Green Broadbill and the Brown-chested plover. City and suburb species mainly include the African Hobby, the Bat Hawk, cooper sunbirds, white faced scops owl, freckled Nightjar and so many more species.

Other bird species include the orange weaver, Verreaux’s Eagle owls, pied kingfishers, Grey headed gull, black headed herons, Yellow bill Duck, swamp flycatcher, Vieillot’s black weavers, Hamerkop, Great blue Turaco and the Ross’s Turaco woodland kingfisher. Broad-billed roller, splendid starling, African fish eagle, Hadada ibis, shikra, Angola swallow, Grey-capped warbler, long crested eagle, palmnut and hooded vultures, Grey kestrel and so many more unmentioned species.

Uganda’s equatorial location, Transitional to the East African savannah and the western rainforests is combined with the altitude and great variety of terrain types provide an overwhelming array of opportunities for keen birders, making it Africa’s most complete bird watching destination.

The top birding spots in Uganda include: Bwindi impenetrable forest for Albertine rift endemics like the black bee-eater and African Green Broadbill, Murchison falls National Park for savannah specialists like the Shoebill, Abyssinian ground hornbill, and Red throated bee-eater, Kibale forest for the green breasted pitta, great blue Turaco. Queen Elizabeth National Park habits about 600 species like the African Mourning Dove, Temminck’s Courser. Mabamba Swamp for the Shoebill stork, Budongo forest for the white crested Turaco, shinning Blue Kingfisher, and Semliki National Park for white crested sunbird species. Rwenzori Mountains with various bird species, Lake Mburo for papyrus Gonelek and Bigodi wetland sanctuary for the Black billed Turaco, white spotted crake and many more colorful bird species.

A variety of unique habitats and lots of superb Birds make a visit to Uganda a must for every birder. This birding hotspot boosts of a bird list of over 1000 bird species, with some being EastAfrica’s rarest and most sought after birds, and the spectacular globally threatened species. Uganda harbours the greatest variety and concentration of Birds, Primates like chimpanzees and wildlife, lakes and rivers, snow-covered Mountain ranges, parks and landscape. A good infrastructure and a variety of interesting activities like Gorilla tracking, sport fishing and white water rafting make Uganda a worthwhile destination and enhance the birding experience.

Mary J. Gibson

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