Does Uganda have Flamingos? – Uganda Safari News
Uganda is a great birding destination in Africa with over 1078 bird species. With many Flamingos in the East African countries, there’s a question whether Uganda has Flamingos as one of the bird species. Yes, Uganda is host to the Lesser Flamingos seen by Uganda birding safari tourists at Lake Munyanyange in the Katwe area of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Lake Munyanyange is a small seasonal shallow crater lake located to the North East of Katwe (Salt Lake area) town. The lake is an important habitat for migratory birds and has one of the largest concentrations of the lesser black-backed gulls, Larus fuscus and other waders. Lake Munyanyange attracts birds that migrate from as far as Kenya and Canada among other countries some of them being the White Browed Robbin Chats, Flamingos, Desert Cisticolas and many more. This makes not only this area but Queen Elizabeth National Park a top birding Uganda safari destination since its home to about 600 bird species.
Video by New Vision
About the Lesser Flamingo
Scientifically referred to as Phoeniconaias minor, the Lesser Flamingo is among the unique bird species explored by birders on safari in Uganda. Noted to be species of Flamingo thriving in the sub Saharan Africa and some parts of India, the Lesser Flamingos are the only species in the Phoeniconaias genus.
The Lesser Flamingos are recorded as the smallest of all the Flamingo species though by most standards, it is a large and tall bird as viewed on Uganda bird watching safaris. Its weight stretches from 1.2 to 2.7kg while the height is between 80 – 90cm. The body length from the beak to the tail is 90 – 105cm which is similar to that of the wingspan.
The plumage of the Lesser Flamingo is pinkish white. It majorly feed on algae that occur in alkaline lakes and Spirulina just like it is at the Uganda tour destination of Lake Munyanyange.
On breeding, the lesser flamingos build the mud nest stretching to 30cm to prevent flooding and ensuring cool temperature. Each bird lays a single chalk colored egg which is incubated by both parents in shifts of 24 hours for a period of twenty-eight (28) days. Following the hatching, the chick which is grey in color consumes its shell after which it is fed on a liquid soup by the parents for some few months. The chicks soon join the crèches that can even number to thousands.
Best time to see Flamingos in Uganda
These birds are Palearctic migrants arriving to Lake Munyanyange in October and departing in April. Thousands of these birds’ rest at the lake. Because it’s safe for them as at one stage of the year it turns muddy and that makes it difficult for wild animals to wade through the mud and prey on them. During this period, the birds settle in the middle of the lake.
Avid birders on Uganda tours can sight the Lesser Flamingos in the Katwe Explosion crater in Queen Elizabeth National Park west of the country. There other several attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park including the tree climbing that can popularly be seen when you safari Uganda.
The Lesser Flamingo can also be found in other sites like Kasenyi, Bagusa, Maseche, Nshenyi and Nyamunuka which are all saline crater lakes in South-Western Uganda. All these sites are located in and /or near Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area. Munyanyange in particular as the main feeding ground is located outside the protected and adjacent to Katwe Town Council.
Birding for more sighting of beautiful flamingos should be tailored for a Tanzania birding safari or even any other Tanzania safari or tour Tanzania to a destination close to areas with salt lakes. The best ever sights can be on a Kenya safari or bird watching safari in Kenya. For avid birders a Rwanda safari or Congo safari is also a good way to add on your African bird list.