01 Sep Bird Watching in Uganda
Bird watching in Uganda is an incredible experience. Why? Because Uganda is one of the best countries in the world to go birding. The wide range of habitats produces a bird list of well over 1,000 species and, at different times, the country is also home to a variety of migrant species.
In fact, a recent report has pointed to the discovery of at least 10 new bird species in the past four years – meaning that if you’re looking for a completely unique birdwatching experience, Uganda needs to be high on your list.
Fox’s Weaver and the Shoebill
The Fox’s Weaver (Ploceus spekeoides) is endemic to Uganda and inhabits the papyrus-fringed lakes of the east of the country and nearby wooded grassland. It has previously been found nesting around Lake Opeta and has been seen around Mount Elgon. Birdlife International categorises it as a Globally Near Threatened species and it is thought to be in decline.
Meanwhile, 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.
Albertine Rift Endemics
An Endemic Bird Area (EBA) is an area occupied by restricted range birds. The Albertine Rift, which includes parts of Uganda, is defined as an EBA and home to an astonishing variety of birds, including:
- Handsome Francolin
- Rwenzori Turaco
- Rwenzori Nightjar
- Dwarf 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.
Locations for birdwatching in Uganda
There are countless birding locations around Uganda including national parks, the Albertine Rift Valley, lakes and swamps, forests, savanna grassland, woodland, mountains and rivers.
If you are targeting specific birds, we are happy to offer advice and arrange all aspects of your birding itinerary for you – including travel and accommodation.
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.
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.
Venture Uganda Travel is proud to be a corporate sponsor of Nature Uganda (Uganda’s Birdlife International partner) and The African Bird Club.