Uganda is prides herself as a home to 1080 species of birds making it a birding paradise in Africa and the world at large. Birding safaris in Uganda are exciting and remarkably, birders have opportunity to identify variety of avifaunal species including migratory birds.
Home to over 1080 bird species
Uganda is a birding paradise the fact that it hosts over 1080 bird species, 60% of which make up all the bird species in Africa and 10% of the world’s bird species. Given its diverse bird species, birding tours in Uganda offer birders a chance to identify several birds both endemic and common birds. Bird watching safaris in Uganda involves identifying different bird species including the African green broadbill, African harrier hawk, cinnamon chested bee-eaters, goliath heron, crowned hornbill, Nahans francolins, red fronted anti pecker, brown chested lapwing, grey kestrel, hooded vulture, palm nut vulture, papyrus gonoleks, Chapin’s flycatcher, brown snake eagle, African white backed vultures, African skimmer, African wattled plover, , white crested hornbill, Ruwenzori Nightjar, blue headed sunbird, great blue turacos, mountain greenbul, Shelley’s crimsonwing, African darters, western green tinkerbirds, yellow billed stork, secretary birds, green pigeon, martial eagle, banded prinia, grey green bush shrike, brown chested alethe, white starred robin, yellow streaked green bull, brown chested pullover, shoebill stork, green breasted pitta, Purcell’s illadopsis, Fox’s weavers, the Rwenzori turacos, yellow eyed black flycatcher, yellow throated nicator.
Diverse birding sites
Uganda boasts of its diverse birding sites that make it a birding paradise. Over 34 birding areas are distributed in Uganda making it an ideal birding destination. They range from rainforests, national parks to water bodies and they include among others national parks such as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Budongo Forest Reserve, Mabira Forest, Lutembe Bay, Echuya Forest Reserve, Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Mabamba wetland, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Mpanga Forest Reserve. A birding tour in anyone of these sites lets birders to spot out variety of bird species.
Diversity of habitats
There are many birding habitats in Uganda one reason it is stands out as a premier birding destination. They include great lakes or rivers, tropical rain-forests, East African rift valley, hills, mountains and semi-arid areas, each of which inhabit distinct bird species and they serve as gathering, feeding, breeding of both common/resident and migratory birds.
High density of bird species per square kilometer
High density of avifaunal species per square kilometer is one reason that makes Uganda a birding paradise. Uganda’s high density of bird species per sq.km can be attributed to its strategic location along the Equator, the Albertine Rift Valley and tropics. Most places close to the Equator in Uganda are endowed with fresh water bodies including rivers, lakes, swamps as well as tropical rain forests which are ideal ground for birds to breed and feed. The other factor is Uganda’s diverse habitats.
When to visit Uganda for bird watching
Bird watching in Uganda is regarded as an all year-round activity and this can be attributed its favorable climatic and weather conditions. The best time to visit Uganda for birding is usually around late May through September when low rainfall is received. However, for migratory birds, March, April and October are the ideal months to visit Uganda. The amazing part about bird watching in Uganda is that birders can incorporate it with other activities including mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, nature guided walks, game viewing, white water rafting, golden monkey tracking, primate walks and boat cruise to mention but a few.
Things to pack for bird watching in Uganda
Any successful birding experience in Uganda requires birders to pack appropriately and for this case, consider essential items first. Your packing list should therefore include items like a pair of binoculars plus additional in case of any emergencies, a good camera, field guide book, hat, field clothing, field bag.
In summary, Uganda is truly a birding paradise. For any birder on Uganda safari, bird watching should be considered a must-do experience and amazingly, you won’t be left in regrets.