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BIRDING SAFARIS IN UGANDAUganda is worldly known for her populations of birds which have for long formed the ground for bird watching safari tours in Uganda. In the process of commemorating these birds, the country has always organized birding events exploring various Uganda safari birding destinations including national parks and forest reserves.
The Big Birding week which commenced about 11 years ago has now become a famous event pulling a range of birders from within and outside Uganda to undertake safaris to Uganda. This year’s birding week which came to an end on 6th December with a formal event at the Uganda Museum was heavily attended and attracted a range of participants including the international famous birders such as Tim Appleton, the organizer of the world’s largest bird fair in the UK; Bill Thompson, the editor and co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, which is one of North America’s birding magazines, and Dominic Mitchell, the founder and managing editor of Bird Watch, Europe’s leading monthly magazine.
These people were astonished by Uganda’s bird populations and their beauty particularly from the famous Murchison Falls National Park which is also known for wildlife safaris in Uganda. One of them; Appleton noted that Uganda has got the potential to pull great bird watching travellers which constitute tens of thousands of northern hemisphere. This is because Uganda has great bird count in Africa alongside with the opportunities of encountering mammals and primates such as mountain gorillas well known for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Chimpanzees well known for chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda.
Uganda which equals United Kingdom in terms of geographical coverage has 1,057 species of birds which constitute 11% of the global bird population and 50% of Africa’s bird count. In addition Uganda has been considered as the best African birding destination with the African bird club ranking it as the home of two among the top ten famous birding sites on the continent of Africa namely; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is number one and Murchison National Park which is number nine. Uganda is regarded Africa’s best destination for birders, with the African Bird Club ranking Uganda as home to two of the top 10 birding sites on the continent; Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is ranked number one while Murchison falls national park is ninth.
The birding event started in 2003 by Nature Uganda and has developed gradually attracting the interest of other key players including; Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Bird Guides’ Club among others. However, one of the International Birders Appleton recognized that Uganda has to invest in infrastructure in order to pull more bird watchers to n plan safari holidays to Uganda. For example the need to have wide trails that enables birders to spot birds together.
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