I present to you birding as one of the top safari activities one shouldn’t miss out on your Uganda safari. Uganda is one of the popular heavens of birders worldwide with over half of Africa’s’ bird species having birds that are complicated to find in the parts (countries) of Africa.

Uganda’s rain forests are the perfect crib of over 1000 recorded bird species and these birds can be seen at mabamba island, lake mburo national park, Murchison falls national park, semuliki national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, queen Elizabeth national park, sese island to mention but a few.

The birdlife checklist of Uganda includes the following;

  • Abyssinian ground hornbill
  • African darter
  • African emerald cuckoo
  • African fish eagle
  • African green pigeon
  • African grey parrot
  • African jacana
  • African paradise flycatcher
  • African skimmer
  • African spoonbill
  • Black and white casqued hornbill
  • Black headed gonolek
  • Black winged red bishop
  • Broad billed roller
  • Cattle egret
  • Common moorhen
  • Common ostrich
  • Crowned lapwing
  • Eastern grey plantain eater
  • Egyptian goose
  • Giant kingfisher
  • Goliath heron
  • Great blue turaco
  • Great white pelican
  • Grey crowned crane
  • Hamerkop
  • Helmeted guineafowl
  • Hoopoe
  • Lappet faced vulture
  • Lesser flamingoes
  • Lilac breasted roller
  • Long crested eagle
  • Malachite kingfisher
  • Marabou stork
  • Northern carmire bee-eater
  • Palmnut vulture
  • Pied kingfisher
  • Pink backed pelican
  • Red billed oxpecker
  • Red cheeked cordon bleu
  • Red throated bee-eater
  • Ross’s turaco
  • Saddle billed stork
  • Scarlet chested sunbird
  • Secretary bird
  • Shoebill stork
  • Silvery cheeked hornbill
  • Speckled mousebird
  • Spur winged lapwing
  • Water thick knee
  • Woodland kingfisher

Uganda has also got a number of Albertine rift endemic species and these are as follows;

  • Fox’s Weaver
  • Blue-headed Sunbird
  • Short-tailed Warbler
  • Ruwenzori Nightjar
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Red-throated Alethe
  • African Green Broadbill
  • Red-faced Woodland Warbler
  • Handsome Francolin
  • Collared Apalis
  • Mountain Masked Apalis
  • Archer’s Robin-Chat
  • Dwarf Honeyguide
  • Grauer’s Warbler
  • Dusky Crimson wing
  • Rwenzori Batis
  • Purple-breasted Sunbird
  • Regal Sunbird
  • Shelley’s Crimson-wing
  • Stripe-breasted Tit
  • Grauer’s Rush Warbler
  • Kivu Ground Thrush
  • Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
  • Strange Weaver
  • Chapin’s Flycatcher

The top 10 bird species to enjoy on your birding safari in Uganda.

Shoebill (balaeniceps rex)

This is also known as the whale headed stork having the adults colored grey and the young ones appear browner. It’s a large bird which classified with the herons and the pelicans under pelecaniformes. Shoebills are aquatic preys and this makes them easily found in wetlands and swamp areas. the shoebill is large with sharp beak making it have a few potential predators a part from the crocodiles and the humans.

The standard winged nightjar (carprimulgus longipennis)

this is a nocturnal bird specie among the nightjar family and its mostly found in the dry savannahs with scrubs. The bird is variegated grey with a browner collar. The standard winged nightjar feeds on insects in flight and its mostly seen with the flying foxes.

The short-tailed warbler (urosphena neumanni)

The bird is mostly known as the neumann’s warbler and its found in tropical rain forests. This is a short tailed small bird with grey brown, dull greenish and white colored.

The Shelley’s crimson wing (cryptospiza shelleyi)

This bird is found at lower levels and its brightly colored and its about 13 centimeters long. The shelley’s crimson wing can be spotted near water, moist forests and in bamboo thickets.

The great blue turaco (corythaeola cristata)

This is the largest bird under the turaco species with a predominantly grey – blue plumage and an upright blue-black crest. This bird is mostly found in the African tropical rain forests.

The African green broadbill (pseudocalyptomena graueri)

This bird is also known as the grauer’s broadbill commemorating the German zoologist Rudolf grauer. The African green broadbill feeds on the fruits, flowers, seeds, flower buds and some a few invertebrates. Its mostly found in the moist rain forests though its endemic to the Albertine rift mountains.

The Doherty’s bush shrike (telophorus dohertyi)

This a skulking but colorful bird mostly found in the forest habitats. It’s mostly heard with its loud whistling territorial call than its seen as it moves quietly in the thick undergrowth as it feeds on arthropods mostly the grasshoppers and the beetles.

The green breasted pitta (pitta reichenowi)

Its found in the deep tropical forests and its one of the two pitta bird species found in Africa.

The black breasted barbet (lybius rolleti)

These feed on insects, fruits, and the tiny reptiles. This is a bird species from the lybiidae family having its female laying 2 – 4 eggs and they are incubated for aperiod of 13 – 15 days by both the female and the male.

The bar tailed trogon (apaloderma vittatum)

This birds primarily feeds on insects and fruits. This bird falls under the trogonidae family and it lives in forests.

The top hotspots of birding in Uganda

Bwindi impenetrable national park

With its bamboo areas, water falls at buhoma trail and the mubwindi swamp trail in ruhija hosting over 347 bird species including 76 of the 144 guinea congo forest biome species, 24 of the 25 albertine rift valley species, 4 of the 12 Lake Victoria biome species plus 68 of the 86-afro tropical highland biome bird species found in Uganda.

Murchison falls national park

This park has got the shoebill as the main bird attraction and a number of savannah forest birds, water birds and the Albertine rift valley bird species. Murchison falls national park is a sweet home of over 451 bird species.

Semuliki national park

The park is located western region of Uganda and it has got ntandi, sempaya and river kirumia areas as the best birding sections. Semuliki national park has got about 9 hornbill species among its present 400 bird species.

Kibale national park

Kibale national park is found in the southwestern part of Uganda with over 350 bird species in its areas of magombe swamp and bigodi wetlands.

Lake mburo national park

The park has got 300 and more bird species and they easily seen in the areas of rwoyo camp, salt lick area at miriti, in the forests of warukiri and rubanga plus the landing stage waysides.

The other birders destinations include queen Elizabeth national park with over 500 bird species,  mgahinga gorilla national park with over 180 bird species, Rwenzori mountains national park with almost 217 bird species, nile river birding in jinja  were you expect over 60 bird species,  echuya forest reserve  with its 150 and more bird species, the royal mile at budongo forest  holding over 250 bird species, zziwa rhino sanctuary  having the shoebill and many more bird species, mabamba island to mention but a few.