Birding in Uganda
Uganda is a landlocked country and lies west of Kenya, east of DR Congo, north of Rwanda and Tanzania, and south of South Sudan.
Uganda got its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country, including the capital Kampala.
The populace of Uganda was hunter-gatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations moved to the southern parts of the country
Uganda has a population of almost 42 million, ranking it as the 35th largest country in the world in terms of population.
With an area of over 93,000 square miles, it is the 81st largest country in the world by area.
The capital city of Uganda is Kampala, and it is also the largest city
There are an estimated 52 tribes existing in Uganda. All these tribes have their own customs that are still practiced to this day.
Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas in the world, falling second only to India. The country produces an estimated 11 million tons annually
Even though Uganda is a landlocked country, it has many large lakes. The south of the coun
try is heavily influenced by one of the world's biggest lakes, Lake Victoria, which contains many islands.
Uganda's main cities are located in the south, near this lake, including the capital city of Kampala.
Besides Lake Victoria there is Lake Albert, Lake Edward, and the smaller Lake George. Lake Kyoga is in the center of the country and is surrounded by extensive marshy areas.
Uganda also has 60 protected areas, which includes ten national parks, two of which – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Ruwenzori Mountains National Park – are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
These places are home to many endangered species, such as birds, plants, insects, mountain gorillas, and different kind of monkeys
In the west there are series of mountains associated with the Albertine Rift, the Western Great Rift Valley, the Albertine Rift region spans the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania, and extends over a distance of 1,000 km
Albertine Rift is an area of extraordinary endemism, and contains many species threatened with global extinction, chiefly within the mountain forest habitats
Over 50% of birds, 39% of mammals, 19% of amphibians, and 14% of reptiles and plants found in mainland Africa occur in the Albertine Rift
With a rich diversity of bird species,friendly people, pleasant climate,attractive,green landscapes
Plus well- established birding sites,add to this a good number of Albertine Rift bird endemics and the opportunity to see Gorillas and Chimpanzees.
The key to Uganda’s diversity is its variety of habitats: arid semi-desert, rich savannahs, lowland and montane rainforests, vast wetlands, volcanoes and an Afro-alpine zone.
Uganda covers an altitude from 650 to 5000m. Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity-1,008 species attributed to its location at a transitional point between the East African savanna, the West African rainforest and the semi-desert of the north.
Most of these Uganda’s specials are West African and Congolese forest birds
Uganda Birding Tour
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe Airport. Morning birding at the Botanical Gardens Species: Orange Weaver, Orange tufted &Red chested sunbirds, Black and white casqued Hornbill
Dinner/overnight Sunset Hotel
Day 2: Birding in the morning at Mabira Forest searching for; Little, Olive, Superb, Brown & Blue throated Sunbirds, Black bellied Seedcracker, and Illadopsis
Dinner/overnight Sunset Hotel
Day 3: Mabamba Swamp looking for the Jurassic Shoebill, White winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp flycatcher, Papyrus Canary, Blue breasted Bee-eater
Dinner/overnight Sunset Hotel
Day 4: Whole day birding in Lake Mburo National Park, look for highly sought Red faced Barbet
Dinner/overnight Rwaboko Rock Hotel
Day 5-9:Travel for 5 night stay in Bwi
ndi impenetrable national park,131km2 located about 25km North of the Virunga Volcanoes in South western Uganda, its one of the largest forest in East Africa containing both Montane and lowland forest in continuum, which supports 24-26 Albertine Rift Endemics occurring in Uganda.
Starts at Bahoma area for species like; Red throated Alethe, Red faced woodland Warbler, Montane masked Apalis,Rwenzori Batis,Rwenzori hill Babbler,Grauer’s Warbler, Shelly’s Crimsonwing,Dusky Crimsonwing,Archer’s Robin Chat, Regal Sunbird,Blue headed Sunbird, Dwarf Honeyguide,African green Broadbill, Forest ground Thrush, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon,Lagden’s Bush Shrike,
Strange Weaver, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, White bellied crested Flycatcher,
One day reserved for Gorilla tracking.
Dinner/Overnight Volcanoes Bwindi Camp;
Day 1 &2: stay two full days at Ruhizha (2300m) Camping/Guest house managed by Institute of Tropical forest conservation
Bird watch one day along the main dirt road moving south-east(towards Kabale town) for about 6 km and into bamboo zone (2525m).
The walking is easy and the birds are plentiful.
The next day take the trail just south-east of the Guest house through the forest down hill to Mubwindi Swamp (2150).
A 4 km walk interesting species awaits you.
Day 3 :Drive slowly from Ruhizha along the main dirt road to the Kitahurira /Ihihizo River (1550m) as you enter the forest make regular stop over to bird watch while enjoying the scenery, search bird on the road to Kitahurira.
From there drive another 2 km to Buhoma (1550m) the site of the Gorilla sightings.
Day 4&5 : Spend one day watching birds around the camp and along the 7 km roads that runs southwards through the forest, which is relatively level bird watching is productive.
Bird species differs from Ruhizha/Mubwindi swamp, next day walk along the several trails that run through the North (Kayonza) of the forest and down to Ishasha River which is the lowest part(1160m)
Overnight Bahoma Community Bandas
Day 10/11: Kibale National Park- evergreen Forest,checklist;Green breasted Pitta, White naped Pigeon, White collared Oliveback, Leaf love, Chimpanzee tracking & spotlighting organised.
Dinner/overnight Ndali Lodge/Chimpanzee Guest House
Day 12/13: Birding at the famous Royal Mile search for Nahan’s Francolin, Cassin’s Spine tail, Chestnut capped Flycatcher ,Spotted, Xavier’s &Crowned Eremomela, Lemon bellied Crombec,and Grey Long bill.
Dinner/overnight Masindi Hotel
Day 14: Birding at Kaniyo padidi: Puvel’s Akalat,Fire crested Alethe, Jameson’s &Chestnut Wattle Eyes,
Dinner/overnight Sarova Paraa Lodge
Day 15/18:Murchison falls supports large population of Lions, Buffalos, Elephants ,Uganda Kob,Rothschild Giraffe and Pattas Monkeys, the Waterfall is spectacular ,Heuglin’s Francolin, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill ,White crested Turaco, Double toothed Barbet, Red throated Bee eater, White rumped Seedeater, Shoebill
Dinner/overnight Sarova paraa Lodge
Day 19: Travel to Entebbe, then transfer to the Airport
Boats Rides in Uganda Birding
- Mabamba Swamp
- Murchison falls National Park
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Lake Mburo National Park
- Ferry crossing at Murchison falls National Park
- Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest