Birding in Uganda

Uganda has a bird check list of over 1060 species and is ranked among the richest countries in the world in terms of bird species. The country’s check list is more than half the total species recorded in Africa and has more birds per square kilometer than any African country

Why the country has a unique biological diversity

a) Location

Uganda lies within Tropical Africa and is crossed by the equator. South of the country is Africa’s largest fresh water lake (Victoria) which has fringing habitats of wetlands, forest and papyrus swamps which are important bird habitats. To the western border, Uganda lies within the Albertine rift valley which is an Endemic Bird Area. Uganda has over 25 Albertine endemic species some of which are globally threatened.

b) Habitat diversity

Uganda has a wide range and diversity of habitats thus giving the Country’s unique biological diversity. The habitats range from snow capped mountains in the West to semi-arid areas in the North East, rain forests in the centre to the open water of the fresh lakes. These habitats are important for bird feeding, breeding, roosting and water bird congregation.

Important Bird Areas of Uganda

Uganda’s Birding sites and areas are either national parks, forest reserves and wetlands (officially protected areas or unprotected).

Murchison Falls National Park (450 species)

Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the largest among the Uganda’s ten National parks (3800sqkm). The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from the Karuma to the Delta and boasts an extensive avifauna with a check list between 450-460 species. Due to its large size and range of habitats it supports congregations of African skimmers […]

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Budongo Forest (350 species)

Budongo Forest lies to the South of Murchison Falls National Park, between the town of Masindi and Lake Albert. The lush tropical forests are known as the “Central Refugium” The forest (435sq Km) offers a unique habitat that is home to many endemic birds. It is one of Uganda’s most beautiful forests. Budongo bird species […]

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Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary (over 200 species)

The home of the great blue Turaco is located at the western edge of Kibale National Park and is situated around the Magombe swamp. The sanctuary is 3 km2 and has well developed loop trails of 4 km with board walks and tree house pavilions for bird watching. It shelters 8 species of primates namely […]

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Kibale National Park (370 species)

Upgraded to a status of national park in 1994, the park is famous for chimpanzee tracking, Chimpanzee habituation experience and has the highest number of primates (13 out of the country’s total is found in this forest) and is well known for having more Red colubus monkeys than any other forest in Africa. The forest […]

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Semliki National park (441 species)

In 1932 Semliki was first gazetted as a forest reserve and later in 1993 was up-graded to the status of National park (220km2). The park lies in the Albertine Rift Valley, North West of the Rwenzoris and borders the DRC. The forest park is an extension of the Ituri forest of the North-Eastern DRC and […]

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (336 species)

Handsome Francolin

The park is in the South-West of the country and covers 330 km2. It encompasses one of the last remaining habitats in African and is home to half of the Mountain Gorillas in the world. Bwindi Park holds the richest faunal community in East Africa including over 214 species of forest birds (336 species in […]

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Queen Elizabeth National Park (600 bird species)

This is the second biggest park in Uganda at 1978sq kilometre (exclusive two reserves). The Park is a world biosphere reserve (UNESCO 1979), is classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International and includes a RAMSAR wetland site. Queen Elizabeth Park has 568 of Uganda’s 1060 species of birds (over a quarter of […]

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Lake Mburo National Park (310 bird species).

The smallest among Uganda savannah parks, covering an area of 370 sq km. It has a diverse bird fauna which includes some that have not been recorded in other parks in Uganda like the long tailed cisticola, rufous bellied heron and green capped eremomela. The park also has species like Carruthers’s cisticola and white winged […]

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Mabamba Bay Wetland

Mabamba Bay wetland (16,500ha) is located 36 km south west of Kampala on the shores of Lake Victoria in the Wakiso district. It has the best marshy areas on the northern shores of Lake Victoria which stretch through a narrow and long bay fringed with papyrus towards the main body of Lake Victoria. It is […]

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Other Important Bird Areas in Uganda

  • Mabira Forest
  • Echuya Forest
  • Nyamiriro Swamp
  • Mgahinga National Park
  • Rwenzori Mountains
  • Kyambura Reserve
  • Semliki Reserve
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