Uganda Nature

Birding Uganda

At only half the size of Kenya, Uganda’s staggering bird diversity—1078 species—exemplifies the notion that “good things come in small packages.” This huge bird count results from three coalescing circumstances: the meeting of East and West African avifauna; regional endemism; and concentrated habitat diversity. Geographically, Uganda is part of East Africa, but the Semliki Forest contains many birds typical of West and Central African lowland forests, such as Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Long-tailed Hawk and a plethora of others. Regional endemism really shines on Uganda's portion of the Albertine Rift, with 20 very localized bird species that straddle four national borders. These include the boldly “painted” Ruwenzori Turaco and the incredibly sought-after African Green Broadbill. As a major bonus, the Albertine Rift endemics share the local forests with Mountain Gorillas and Forest Elephants. Uganda’s amazing habitat diversity begins with the lowland and mountain forests described above, and it continues to some very arid habitats, where classic dry country East African birds can be found, including the Karamoja Apalis. These arid regions also host Africa’s epic mammalian megafauna. Uganda’s diversity continues at Africa’s largest lake (the world’s third largest), Lake Victoria, with its vast papyrus swamps. These wetlands support Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, and Papyrus Yellow Warbler, plus the strange, monstrous Shoebill. Elsewhere, Kibale National Park. is Africa’s richest region for primates, featuring the charismatic Chimpanzee. Rare Ugandan specialties also include the nationally endemic and enigmatic Fox’s Weaver and the Green-breasted Pitta. From its snow-capped mountains to the source of the Nile on the humid shores of Lake Victoria, Uganda is Africa’s place to be for bird diversity. Contributed by: Chris Lotz/Birding Ecotours.

What to See in Uganda

Notable Birds in Uganda (click species name to see related articles)

Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife

  • Mountain Gorilla trekking is a must! (photo by Chris Lotz)
  • Chimpanzees
  • Forest Elephants

Gorilla (Silverback)

Other Attractions

  • The famous Gorilla trekking of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Ssese Islands- this archipelago consists of 84 islands in northwest Lake Victoria, while many remain uninhabitated, some are complete with guest houses, hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Take a ferry and check out all the activities the islands have to offer.
  • Uganda Museum- learn the history and experience the culture!
  • Mandela National Stadium
  • Rubaga Cathedral

Where and When to Go

Nature & Birding Hotspots in Uganda

Uganda has more than 30 Important Bird Areas (IBAs), some of which include:

  • Papyrus swamps of Lake Victoria
  • Murchison Falls National Park
  • Kidepo Valley National Park
  • Rwenzoni National Park
  • Matheniko Game Reserve
  • Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
  • Kibale Forest National Park
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda Birding and Nature Tours

Uganda Ecolodges/Accommodations

  • Budongo Eco Lodge located within the Budongo Forest Reserve, of Murchison Falls National Park, observe 9 different species of primates, 360 species of birds, over 290 different types of butterflies during your stay!
  • Paraa Safari Lodge - Murchison Falls National Park
  • Kibale Guest House - Kibale National Park
  • Mweya Safari Lodge - Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Ruhija Gorilla Lodge - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Ruhija
  • Malakai Eco-Lodge
  • Apoka Safari Lodge
  • Kampala Serena hotel
  • Gorilla Forest Camp
  • The Rain forest lodge in Mabira


Best Time to Go

While Uganda is a good bird watching country all-year-round, wet seasons receive heavy rainfall and may make bird watching conditions unfavorable. From late May to September rain is at a minimum and food abundance is at peak.

December and January are also good months as temperatures are not too hot in the North and rain fall is low in the South.

Visit Uganda

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