Bird watching

Uganda is one of the best countries in the world to watch birds. The wide range of habitats produces a bird list of over 1,000 species and, at different times, the country is home to a variety of migrant species.

Endemic

The Fox’s Weaver (Ploceus spekeoides) inhabits the papyrus-fringed lakes of eastern Uganda and nearby wooded grassland. It has previously been found nesting around Lake Opeta and has been seen around Mt Elgon by Uganda Wildlife Authority staff. Birdlife International categorises it as a Globally Near Threatened species and it is thought to be in decline.

 

 

 

 

Albertine Rift endemics

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

For more details on this Endemic Bird Area (EBA), which includes Uganda, see the Birdlife International guide to the Albertine Rift Mountains

Shoebill and other key species

The prehistoric looking Shoebill is one of Uganda’s most sought after birds and, although shy, can be found in a number of swamps around the country. 

   

Other key species include: African Finfoot, African Green Broadbill, Papyrus Gonolek, Green-breasted Pitta, Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Karamoja Apalis, Handsome Francolin, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, Archer’s Robin Chat, Dwarf Honeyguide, Purple Breasted Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dusky Crimson-wing, Regal Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird.

Locations

There are countless birding locations around Uganda including national parks (NP), Important Birding Areas (IBAs), Albertine Rift Valley, lakes and swamps, forests, savanna grassland, woodland, mountains and rivers. Some of the most popular are listed below but if you are targeting specific birds, we will be happy to offer advice.

 
  • Bwindi Impenetrable NP
  • Mgahinga Gorilla NP
  • Echuya Forest
  • Lake Mburo NP
  • Queen Elizabeth NP
  • Rwenzori Mountains NP
  • Entebbe
 
  • Kibale forest NP
  • Semuliki NP
  • Kidepo Valley NP
  • Murchison Falls NP
  • Budongo Forest
  • Mount Elgon NP
  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
 

 

Specialist bird guides

 Our safaris are fully escorted by professional bird guides and site guides who will ensure that you get the best out of your birding tour. They are happy to share their local knowledge and help you achieve your objectives while ensuring that your visit runs smoothly.
 
 
 

 

 

Seasonality

The seasons determine the distribution of birds.  Palearctic migrants arrive in October and head back in March.  Some birds arrive in April and leave in October while others arrive in August and remain until April.  These cycles are determined by the species.  Therefore, there can be some overlapping of various birds.  Intra-African migrants arrive in July and start leaving in December.

The most productive time for bird watching in Uganda is during the rainy seasons: March/April/May and October/November when birds are generally at their most active and also breeding, although road conditions may be a little worse. With so many birds in Uganda though, you can visit all year round and not be disappointed.

Map of migration routes

Affiliations

Venture Uganda Travel is proud to be a corporate sponsor of
Nature Uganda (Uganda’s Birdlife International partner).

and The African Bird Club