With about 1,073 confirmed bird species, Uganda is one of the prime birding destinations in Africa and in the world at large. Uganda is a unique birding safari destination that you can’t miss to see a bird in every Kilometer of your safari. These beautiful birds’ species are savanna, forest, water, intra-Afro migrant and Euro-Asian migrant (Palearctic) species forming almost 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the bird species in the world.

Are you a nature lover or bird enthusiast looking to explore some of the beautiful birds found within Uganda? Uganda is home to Three endemic bird areas (EBAs) that lie partly within the country including; the Albertine Rift mountains; the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo lowlands; and the Kenyan mountains as well as three secondary areas: dry woodlands west of Lake Victoria; north Ugandan swamps and north-east Uganda. With over 30 restricted-range species of which 24 are found only in the Albertine Rift Mountains.

For a greater Uganda birding safari experience, Uganda is home to over 30 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering about 7% of the area of the country. Four Uganda birding safari destinations are located in the south-west: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Echuya Forest Reserve, Nyamuriro Swamp and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Six Uganda birding tour destinations are situated in the west near the Democratic Republic of Congo border and these include; Rwenzori Mountains National ParkKibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake George, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Semliki National Park and Semliki Reserves.

Eight Uganda bird watching tour destinations are located within the in the Lake Victoria Basin in the south-central region of the country including Lake Mburo National Park, Sango Bay area, Nabugabo Wetland, Musambwa Islands; Lutoboka Point (Ssese Islands), Mabamba Bay, Lutembe Bay and Mabira Forest Reserve.

Five bird watching safari destinations are situated in north-west Uganda including; Budongo Forest Reserve; Murchison Falls National ParkAjai Wildlife Reserve, Mount Kei Forest Reserve and Mount Otzi Forest Reserve.

The last seven are located in the east towards the Kenyan border in Doho Rice Scheme, Lake Nakuwa, Lake Bisina, Lake Opeta, Mount Elgon National ParkMount Moroto Forest Reserve and Kidepo Valley National Park.

Most of the above Important Birding Areas in Uganda are now accessible by travellers interested in Uganda bird watching safaris with the help of the Uganda birding trip Guides from your chosen Uganda tour operator. The most frequently visited areas have site guides.

Some of these sites are close to Kampala; Uganda’s capital like the Mabamba Bay swamp characterised with an extensive marsh fringed with papyrus and is the nearest known site for Shoebill Balaeniceps rex, Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea and Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiriThe Lutembe bay is popular for its capacity to accommodate millions of migrant White-winged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus. These are one of the best sites to go for short Uganda birding safaris however; they can also be included in long Uganda birding safari itineraries.

Birding Spots in Uganda

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the smallest Uganda safaris park popular for Uganda gorilla tours but also a spot not to undermine for birding. It is not only home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, but it is also home to about 180 bird species some of which are the Albertine Rift endemics. Bird species here include the Kivu Ground Thrush, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Olive Pigeon, Black-headed Waxbill, Western Green tinker bird, Cape Robin, White-starred Robin, Brown Woodland Warbler, Stripe-breasted tit, Brown-crowned Tchagra and Scarlet-tufted, Greater double-collared Sunbirds. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary.

Echuya Forest Reserve

Echuya Forest Reserve is located western Uganda in the districts of Kisoro and Kabale. The forest range runs between Lake Bunyonyi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Echuya Forest Reserve is a montane rainforest of about 3,400ha (34square kilometres). It is roughly 7km long and 750m wide. Echuya Forest Reserve is a fantastic birding safari destination in Uganda located in south western Uganda close to the Rwandan border.  It is home to roughly 150 species of birds, 18 of which are endemic to the reserve, including the elusive Grauer’s Swamp warbler.  Echuya Forest Reserve is ranked as Uganda’s most important forest habitat. Any birder interested in a Uganda birding trip in this reserve should be sure that a Uganda safari guide or one of the local site Uganda tour guides will help them find and identify birds as they are the true experts of this environment.

Nyamuriro Swamp

This swamp lies within the Ruhuhuma swamp in Kageyo valley, in which a river from Lake Bunyonyi Uganda flows. Nyamuriro swamp is an extensive natural swamp dominated by papyrus Cyperus papyrus and, in parts, herbaceous plants. This swamp is could be the best bird watching site in Uganda when looking out for to look out for a number of papyrus specialists and maybe one of the best in Africa for the conservation of Chloropeta gracilirostris (which is found only in undisturbed papyrus swamps). Other papyrus-dwellers include Acrocephalus rufescens, Cisticola carruthersi, Bradypterus carpalis and Serinus koliensis.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable has been voted as Africa’s best birding spot by the African Bird Club. Out of the 24 Albertine rift bird species, 23 of them are found in Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda. The forest is home to many rare bird species, some only found here, for instance, the African Green Broadbill.  350 bird species stay here and these include the 23 Albertine Rift endemics, 14 of which are not recorded anywhere else in Uganda.

You may not do proper birding in one day, it is however recommended you take 2-3 days on a Uganda birding tour and this will allow you spot as many birds as you want which is every birder’s dream. During this Uganda bird watching tour, look out for the Chapin’s Flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Handsome Francolin, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Black Billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Purple-breasted, Blue-Headed and Regal Sunbirds among others. This is also the best destination for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari and both activities can be tailored in a single trip.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Rwenzori Mountains National Park is one of the prime bird-watching destinations in Uganda with over 177 bird species which include 19 Albertine Rift endemics. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary. Bird watching is mostly done while on hikes in the forest zones since this is the highest point and popular Uganda birding tour destination. Birds to look out for here include the Rwenzori Turaco, Long-eared owl, Archers’ robin-chat, Lagden’s bush shrike, Blue-headed and Golden-winged Sunbird, White-starred robin, Slender-billed starling, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Bearded vultures, and swifts.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National park forest is one of the 10 best bird watching places in Uganda with over 375 bird species. These include 6 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift area. 3 days will get you an enjoy the best in this excellent birding spot with varied habitat and dense vegetation. The Green-breasted pitta in Kibale National Park Forest is one of the 10 highly thought after birds in Uganda and the number one highly sought in Kibale forest. Other birds include the red-chested owlet, purple-breasted sunbird, blue-breasted kingfisher, crowned eagle, little greenbul, black bee-eater, white-naped pigeon, Scaly-breasted illadopsis, yellow-throated nicator, white-headed wood hoopoe, red-headed malimbe, yellow-spotted barbet, dusky-blue flycatcher, grey-throated flycatcher, Grey-winged Robin, crested flycatcher, blue-shouldered robin chat, yellow-spotted barbet, black-billed turaco, white-naped pigeon, red-chested flufftail and tiny sunbird.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National park in South Western Uganda is also one of the 10 best bird watching places in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National park Uganda is a paradise for a bird watcher with over 600 bird species. These birds are easily seen with your guide during game drives, the boat safari on Kazinga channel, and during the forest, nature walks. The birds include African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, grey-headed kingfisher, African skimmer, malachite and pied kingfishers, white-winged terns, Grey-capped warbler, collared pratincole, Pin-tailed whydah, martial eagle, Gabon and slender-tailed nightjars, black-headed gonolek, Verreaux’s eagle-owl, sedge warbler, papyrus canary, great white and pink-backed pelicans, African mourning dove and yellow-billed stork, etc. There are also seasonal flamingos at the salt lakes of Katwe and Bunyampaka. It is recommended to take a 2-3 days bird watching safari and on such that you can be able to spot as many as more than half of the 550 species recorded within this park.

Kyambura Wildlife Reserve

Kyambura Wildlife Reserve lies south of Lake George; a Ramsar Site, and east of Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda where the Kazinga Channel leaves the lake, flowing towards Lake Edward. Kyambura Wildlife Reserve has similar ecosystems with Queen Elizabeth National Park however; the natural barriers formed by the Kyambura Gorge and Kazinga Channel make it possible to manage the area as a separate entity. A total of 332 bird species has been recorded in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, including seven species of global conservation concern. Both have volcanic craters with saline lakes, which are important sites for water birds. Lake George, the Kazinga Channel and the seven crater-lakes located within the reserve offer a large and varied habitat to many birds including about 110 wetland species.

Semliki National Park

Semuliki National park has a record of about 441 bird species. Semliki National Park Uganda is located in Western Uganda in the Albertine Rift Valley. It has riverine, forest and grasslands bird species which can be viewed at any time of the year during a birding tour in Uganda. It is also home to the Guinea-Congo biome species in its lowland forest. Bird species that can be spotted here include the African piculet, Maxwell’s black weaver, blue-billed malimbe, yellow-throated nicator, black dwarf hornbill, Nkulengu rail, piping hornbill, blue-billed malimbe, yellow-throated cuckoo, dwarf honeyguide, great blue and Ross’s turaco, purple-breasted sunbird, orange weaver, white-crested hornbill, red-billed dwarf hornbill, African piculet and swamp palm bulbul.

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National park is the smallest Savannah national park in Uganda, easily accessible from Kampala and Entebbe. There are numerous Uganda safari activities in this beautiful park but the core are only two, Uganda wildlife safaris and birding safaris in Uganda, which is one of the major activities. The best bird-watching spots in Lake Mburo are near the swamps at Warukiri and Rwonyo and at the lake. The park is home to 315 bird species and these include the crested francolin, emerald-spotted wood dove, brown parrot, barefaced go-away bird, red-necked spurfowl, common quails, black-billed barbet, greenwood hoopoe, blue-napped mousebird, lilac-breasted roller, African-grey hornbill, Nubian woodpecker, trilling cisticola, bee-eaters and the cheeky bronze-tailed starling and the majestic crowned crane. You also have chances of sighting the rare African finfoot, shoebill, African fish eagle, and malachite and pied kingfishers.

Mabira Forest Reserve

Mabira Forest is the most significant forest reserve closest to the city centre. It is a good one-stop Uganda bird watching safari destination that boasts over 315 birds with 74 of the 144 species of Guinea-Congo Forests biome that occurs in Uganda. Mabira forest has well-established trails to ease your movement in the forest during your birding trip in Uganda and these include the Red-tailed Monkey, Turaco and the Buttress trails. During your Uganda birding excursion, you have chances of spotting the Nahan’s Francolin one of the birds on the IUCN Red List’ of endangered species, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, White-spotted Flufftail, Afep Pigeon, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Blue-throated Roller, African Dwarf-kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Forest Woodhoopoe, African Pied Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Green-breasted Pitta, African Shrike-flycatcher, Yellow-crested, Brown-eared, Grey and the Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Jameson’s and Chestnut Wattle-eyes, the Forest Robin, Fire-crested Alethe, Red-capped Robin-Chat, the Speckle-breasted, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Little Greenbul, Honeyguide Greenbul, Sooty Boubou, Grey-green Bush-shrike, and many others.

Sango Bay Area

The Sango Bay area is located in the north side of the Tanzania border. This bay adjoins the Lake Nabugabo area to the north. The main road between Masaka and Mutukula at the Tanzanian border marks its western limit; its eastern limit is the Lake Victoria shoreline. This bay area consists of wetlands, grasslands and forests. There are five Forest Reserves named; Kaiso, Tero East and West, Namalala and Malabigambo. This site supports a big population of aquatic species of birds and according to recent statistics; there are approximately 16.5% of the World’s population of grey-headed Gulls (Larus cirrocephalus) that call the place home. Other bird species at the area include the grey crowned crowns, pelicans, the papyrus gonolek, the papyrus yellow warbler and kingfishers among others.

Musambwa Islands

Musambwa, an island on Lake Victoria in Uganda, harbours the largest breeding colony of the Grey-headed Gull in Africa. This Musambwa island is also a famous home of snakes and reptiles that count to over 2000 of all sizes as well as enormous bird species. It is a breeding site for the Grey-headed Gulls, Long-tailed Cormorant, Greater Cormorant and Little Egret, all of which breed in internationally significant numbers. It, therefore, offers opportunities to watch the Grey-Headed Gull breeding as well as a chance to watch several other species of birds.

Lutoboka Point

Lutoboka point is found on the eastern side of Lugala Island, the largest of the 84 islands in the Ssese island archipelago. Lutoboka point is set juts into Lutoboka Channel in Lake Victoria at the edge of Lutoboka Forest Reserve. It is characterized by a medium-altitude moist evergreen forest dominated by species of Piptadeniastrum and Uapaca. The most important area for breeding birds is the narrow strip of tall trees at the edge of the forest which is mainly within the Forest Reserve, but with small excursions into Kalangala town, the biggest urban centre on the islands. A general checklist of birds for this site has yet to be compiled. Two small areas were identified as important for breeding Phalacrocorax carbo: 5,000 pairs (nests) were counted in trees at Lutoboka and 500 recorded on the Banga rocks at the southern tip of the island.

Nabugabo Wetland

Nabugabo Wetland is an Important Birding Area that consists of Lake Nabugabo, a shallow freshwater lake in Uganda, and extensive swamps and small forests to the north, east and south, where Sango Bay adjoins. The wetland and related floodplains span across parts of Masaka, Kalungu, Mpigi, Butambala and Gomba Districts. A complete species list for the birds of Nabugabo is not available yet, but over 180 species have been recorded. The scarce Serinus koliensis is among the species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome that are present.

Mabamba Bay

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 flycatcher, black-headed heron, African marsh harrier among others.

Lutembe Bay

Lutembe bay is located in Sissa and Katabi sub-counties, Wakiso district, Uganda and is among the critical wetland systems in the Lake Victoria basin. It was designated as a Ramsar site in 2006 based on its importance as a habitat for migratory birds and seven globally threatened bird species including Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris, Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri, Shoebill Balaeniceps rex, African Skimmer Rhynchops flavirostris, Pallid Harrier Circus macrouros, Great Snipe Gallinago media and Madagascar Squacco Heron Ardeola idea. It is also a rich breeding ground for fish and source of water for the surrounding communities.

Budongo Forest Reserve

Bird watching in Budongo forest is manly done at Kaniyo Pabidi found in Murchison Falls National Park, and the Royal Mile and Busingiro areas found south of the park. It lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift valley, protecting the largest natural forest area in East Africa.  The forest is perfect for bird watching because it is home to more than 350 bird species, with the most sought-after birds in this area being the Cassin’s spine tail, chestnut-capped flycatcher, Ituri batis, Nahan’s francolin, Black-collared lovebird, brown twinspot, chocolate-backed, blue-breasted and African dwarf kingfishers. The best time you can spend here is about 2-3 days depending on your itinerary.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is by far one of the best birding destinations in Uganda and Africa at large. You don’t need so many days here, you only require about 4 Days Murchison falls. Murchison Falls National park is the oldest and largest national park in Uganda. The park is named after the strong Murchison falls that you can sight during your Uganda safaris in this park. The Murchison falls are the world’s most powerful waterfalls that form as River Nile forces through a 7-meter gorge.

Murchison Falls Park has over 450 bird species some of which can be seen during game drives, boat safaris and or on guided nature walks. Bird watchers can see a variety bird species; forest species, swamp species, riverine woodland species and savannah species. You should look out for the elusive shoebill, swamp flycatcher, goliath heron, Abyssinian ground hornbill, northern red bishop, red-throated bee-eater, African quail finch, pied, malachite and giant kingfishers.

It is also possible to modify your Birding safari in Uganda or Birding tour in Uganda to feature other Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many. Congo safaris or a Congo safari offers you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a Congo gorilla trekking tour in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.

Ajai Wildlife Reserve

Ajai Wildlife Reserve is found in north-eastern Uganda in Arua District along the western banks of the Nile. The reserve gained world attention when Theodore Roosevelt, a former American president visited in 1910 on a hunting expedition. Though small, Ajai Wildlife reserve is located in an area with higher elevation characterized by a prominent island that is surrounded by Savannah and swamps. This seasonal swamp is fed by the river Acha and Ala. Ajai Game reserve is a great birding destination in Uganda. The swamps and woodlands combine to provide a perfect habitat for countless bird species including Marabou Stocks, weaver birds, African Fish Eagles and Grey Crowned cranes.

Mount Kei Forest Reserve

Mount Kei Forest Reserve (formerly Mount Kei Rhino Sanctuary) is in the extreme north-west of Uganda. The northern boundaries are the Kaya River and the international border with Sudan; the Kechi River is to the east. A total of 175 species call this place home. The reserve contains several species known in Uganda only from this area, including Accipiter brevipes, Buteo auguralis, Merops orientalis, Euschistospiza dybowskii and Nectarinia osea.

Mount Otzi Forest Reserve

Mount Otzi Forest Reserve is located on an escarpment overlooking the confluence of the Achwa River with the White Nile as it flows into Sudan. It is bounded to the north by the international border with Sudan. So far, 168 species of birds have been recorded. Among species restricted to the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome, Falco alopex has only been recorded at only one other site in Uganda, Kidepo Valley. Mount Otzi Forest Reserve is considered one of the richer areas in northern Uganda in terms of avifauna, with mainly open-habitat and savanna woodland species.

Doho Rice Scheme

Most of the Doho Rice Scheme in eastern Uganda was formerly a seasonal wetland on the River Manafwa flood-plain. Doho Rice Scheme is an area of intensive irrigated rice cultivation with adjacent areas of a natural wetland, mainly in the south. The transformation has created conditions favourable for some species, particularly waders, whilst destroying the habitats of others. This wetland forms part of the Lake Kyoga basin and more research, especially in the remaining intact swamps, could reveal other species of interest at the site, especially papyrus endemics. The area is also important for breeding Balearica regulorum, and other species such as Ardea melanocephala, Threskiornis aethiopicus and Platalea alba breed in Busolwe, a nearby trading centre. Recently, over 800 nests of Bubulcus ibis were recorded at the heronry. The rice scheme is an important site for some migratory species and big congregations are occasionally recorded. Species such as Himantopus himantopus, Limosa limosa and Tringa erythropus are sometimes numerous.

Lake Nakuwa

The Nakuwa wetland system is situated in the eastern part of Uganda within Kaliro district. This is a permanent wetland and it is associated with quite a number of different satellite lakes as well as swamp system. This site, the Nakuwa area, is in the south-eastern part of the Kyoga system, which is an important natural water reservoir for the Nile. It includes Lakes Nawampasa, Budipa, Nkodokodo and Murlu, as well as swamps in the east, and the northern swamps of Lakes Nakuwa and Kyebiseke. The swamps are predominantly dense papyrus Cyperus papyrus, broken in parts by pools of water forming sudds (clumps of floating papyrus). There is no list of birds in the Kyoga system, but records have been made in different parts of the swamp.

Lake Bisina

Situated around 15kms from Kumi District along Kumi-Soroti road, Lake Bisina assumed recognition as Ramsar World Heritage Site on 15th September 2006. The wetland system of lakes Bisina and Opeta is crucial to the eco-system of the Eastern Uganda belt because it lies between two predominantly drylands. This supports a diversity of flora and fauna and a permanent source of freshwater to the resident population.

Lake Bisina is a birding Paradise for some rare species thus a hot-spot for bird lovers. Species like the Shoe-billed Stork, Karamoja Apalis , White-backed Duck, Cormorants and Green-backed Heron among other bird species, breed, nest and have survived for ages on the lake. The general Teso language reference to Weaverbirds is “Aisolet”, indeed species like the elusive endemic Fox’s Weaver are naturally isolated calling for an intensive exploration of the scanty/marshy vegetation north of the lake. Other wildlife residents are Nile Crocodiles and Hippos although they are rarely seen.

Lake Opeta

Lake Opeta and its surrounding swamp falls in four Districts; it is the only significant wetland in the Karamoja area, and one of the few remaining intact marshes in Uganda. It covers Lake Opeta itself and the surrounding marsh from Lake Bisina in the west, bordering East Teso Controlled Hunting Area in the north, Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve in the east, and covering the seasonal grassland indicated as Lake Okolitorom on maps.

Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park is home to 300 bird species including 40 restricted-range species. Being a great Birding tours in Uganda destination, 56 of the 87 Afro tropical highland biome species live here, notably the Moorland Francolin, Moustached Green Tinkerbird and Alpine Chat. Birding in Mount Elgon National Park is one of the great activities in Mount Elgon National Park especially for avid birders who would love to tailor bird watching and hiking.

Birds whose Ugandan range is limited to Mount Elgon include the Jackson’s Francolin and Black-collared Apalis seen only on a birding safari in Uganda to the park. Among those limited to just a few mountains in eastern Uganda are the Black-shouldered Kite and Tacazze Sunbird. Mount Elgon is one of the few places in Uganda where the endangered Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture can be seen, soaring above the caldera and Suam Gorge.

Mount Moroto Forest Reserve

Mount Moroto Forest Reserve is perched on top of the escarpment of the Eastern Rift Valley, east of Moroto town; its eastern boundaries are also those of the Ugandan border with Kenya. The upper parts of Mount Moroto are forested, but the reserve extends a considerable distance into savannas of various types, including Combretum woodlands, as well as bushland and tree/shrub-steppe. The reserve is relatively rich in savanna birds, with a total of 220 species recorded, although the list is certainly not complete. Birds here include; Stone Partridge, Black-headed Plover, White-bellied Go-away Bird, Jackson’s Hornbill, Hemp Rich’s Hornbill, handsome Silver bird, Grey-headed and Pygmy Batises, Bristle-crowned and Superb Starlings, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, White-headed Buffalo Weaver, Purple Grenadier and Straw-tailed Whydah, African Grey-Fly-catcher.

Kidepo Valley National Park

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.

Nabajjuzi Wetland

Nabajjuzi wetland lies south West of central Uganda in Masaka District (Lwabenge, Kyamulibwa, Kalungu, Mukungwe, Nyendo, Kimanya, Katwe, Kingo, Kibinge, Butenga and Bigasa sub-counties), Sembabule District (Mijwala sub-county) and Mpigi District (Kabulasoke sub-county).

Nabajjuzi Wetland is important regionally and globally for the conservation of vulnerable and threatened species of birds and other animals. The Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) (Near-threatened) has been recorded in Nabajjuzi. Two papyrus endemic species have also been recorded in the wetland system, the Papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri) (near-threatened) and the Papyrus Yellow Warbler (Chloropeta gracilirostris) (Vulnerable). The Papyrus Yellow Warbler is a Lake Victoria Biome species. The wetland also supports the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) (CITES App. II) whose conservation status in Uganda is at stake because of the pressure on its breeding ground, the seasonal wetlands.

Kashoya – Kitomi Forest Reserve

Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve is one of the most spectacular forest reserves in Uganda worth visiting for extraordinary Forest species. This Forest Reserve is situated at 35 kilometres from Bushenyi Town, South of Lake George and the Kazinga Channel covering a geographical area of over 433 square kilometres.

There are more than 308 bird species within this spectacular Forest Reserve including some of the species endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains and some of the common bird species include the Coland grey parrot, the white-collared olive-back, the Afep pigeon, the Black bee-eater, the Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, the Blue-throated Sunbird, the White-napped pigeon, Blue-headed Sunbird, the Cinnamon-breasted bee-eater and the Blue-throated roller among others. With all these exceptional bird species, Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve is a true bird watcher’s Paradise and place to be. Several reptile species and butterfly species among others call this Reserve home.

Bugoma Forest Reserve

Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is situated on top of escarpment east of and overlooking Lake Albert on the edge of the Western Rift valley between 10071 and 10251N, 300481 and 310071E. It lies to the west of and midway along the main Kyenjojo – Hoima highway, approximately 10km South West of Hoima and 10 Km east of Lake Albert. The forest lies in Buhaguzi and Bugahya counties in the administrative district of Hoima. Most of the forested portion lies in the sub-counties of Kabwoya and Kyangwali. To the South is Nkusi River forming the boundary of the reserve and the adjacent Kibale district. To the North, Eastern are Bajawe and Wababya central forest reserves whose patches are continuous with Kinyara sugar plantation that reaches Budongo Forest Reserve. To the West, is Kanyangwali Refugee Camp that meets the low land of the rift valley. It occupies about 40, 100 ha and has an altitudinal range of 990-1300m above sea level.

Bugoma Central Forest Reserves has a range of forest-dependent and biome-restricted species and with two globally threatened species. Nahan’s Francolin and Grey Parrot are so far the only two globally threatened species found here. The surveys done in the major sites for Nahan’s Francolins in Uganda suggest that Bugoma Forest Reserve contains the highest density of the species. There are also several Guinea-Congo biome-restricted species.

Kibimba Rice Scheme

The Kibimba Rice Scheme is located either side of the main Jinja to Tororo highway near the town of Bugiri in eastern Uganda. The area receives no formal protection, being neither an IBA nor a Ramsar site; it is entirely at the mercy of the Tilda Rice Company which owns the site. Waterbird counts have been conducted on a regular basis in Kibimba Rice Scheme since 1991, since that time an immense amount of data has been collated and hopefully, this will elevate the site to an IBA recognition status. During the winter counts large numbers of Palearctic wading birds are present including many Wood Tringa glareola and Marsh Sandpipers T. stagnatilis, Little Stint Calidris minuta, Ruff Philomachus pugnax and Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, while large numbers of Storks, and Egret’s are present, with numbers of Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia being particularly noteworthy. Grey-Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum numbers fluctuate but usually up to 30 are present, while in 2009 a Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus joined them, this a first for Uganda and it spent about three months here. The July count has lower numbers of birds present but usually contains good numbers of Ducks and Geese, while resident species such as African Jacana Actophilornis Africanus are more visible.

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Best Time to go for a Uganda Birding Safari

Bird watching can be done all year round however, the best Uganda tour season for a birding safari in Uganda is during the dry season in the months of January to March when the tropical forests are accessible and the not slippery for hiking. The breeding season, however, is during the month of June and this is when the birds are very colourful.

Other Popular Uganda Safari Packages