Uganda Birding Safari Tours, Birdwatching Guides

The information provided here gives an introduction to birds in Uganda, the top destinations for birding in Uganda, Uganda Bird Guides , Uganda Bird Checklist and any other useful information for a successful Uganda birding safari and tour.

Introduction to Birds of Uganda

Uganda is an equatorial country with astonishing contrasts. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats and this richness is reflected in its bird list of over 1000 species.

From the source of the Nile on Lake Victoria to the snow capped Rwenzori Range, the montane forests of the Virunga volcanoes to the desert plains of karamoja, bird watching is an exciting experience for the traveler.

Top Birding Spots in Uganda

Mabamba Swamp: famous spot for the Shoe bill stork. Located 30 km’s west of Kampala Opposite Mpanga Forest. Public transport is available from Kampala New Taxi Park up to Kasanji. A bodaboda will get you to the spot which is 13.5 kms away from Kisanji.

Kibale forest birding: Red winged francolin, red chested fluftail, white napped pigeon, African pita, white-naped pigeon, Joyful greenbul, grey winged pigeon, Abyssinian ground thrush, grey throated fly catcher, white bellied crested flycatcher masker ,Uganda woodland warbler ,chestnut-winged starling.335 species.

Queen Elizabeth national park: Over 550 bird species, includes 11 types of king fisher, several falcons eagles and other raptors, flamingoes,shoebill,African skimmer,white-winged warbler,papyrus Gonolek,black bee eater

Bwindi Impenetrable National park:This is one of the richest flora and fauna forests of East Africa.It has over 357 bird species.See the Albertine rift Endemics,Arhcer’s Robin chat,Kive gorund thrush,Collared apalis,yellow-eyed black flycatcher,rwenzori batis and strange weaver, Buhoma- Ruhinja Black Bee eater, African Green Broadbill.

Murchison Falls national park: 370 birds including giant shoebill, bee eater,giant kingfisher,shoebill stork and other species.

Budongo Forest: Kaniyo Pabidi-Purvels IIIdopsis, Shinning blue kingfisher, White crested Turaco.

Mabira Forest: Nahan’s Francolin and various forest birds.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary: Whitespotted crake and the black billed Turaco.

Mgahinga National Park: a few birders will be able to resist the attraction of some of Uganda’s most spectacular birds such as the Scarce Rwenzori Turaco , Lagden’s Bush Shrike and scarlet- tufted Malachite sunbird .

Rwenzori Mountains National Park: The fabled “MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON” lie in the western Uganda on the Congolese border, with snow –covered, equatorial peaks rising

Entebbe Botanical Gardens: They offer a superb introduction to Ugandan birds and are situated conveniently close to the capital and international airport.

Mpanga Forest: Mpanga Forest is a stunning patch of remnant medium- altitude evergreen and swamp forest that lies 37 km from the round about in Natete along Masaka road.

Kampala and Environs: Kampala is Uganda’s largest and modern capital city. It lies on the northern shores of Lake Victoria. It’s well- wooded outskirts supporting a wide variety of birds.

Kajansi Fish Farm :It is situated between Kampala and Entebbe. The Kajansi fish farm, with it’s several artificial ponds attracts a variety he of water birds.

Entebbe Sewage Pond: The sewage treatment pond is an excellent spot for waders and well worth a visit during the migration period.

Moroto Town and surrounding areas:

Mount Elgon National Park:

Kidepo Valley National Park:

Semliki National Park:

Uganda’s 10 most commonly sought after Birds:
Shoebillbirding uganda
African Green Broadbill
Green-breasted Pitta
Nahan’s Francolin
Brown-chested Plover
Karamoja Apalis
Black Bee-eater
Ruwenzori Turaco
Red-fronted Antpecker
Purvell’s Illadopsis

Click here for Tour Operators or guides who specialize in Birding

The Uganda Bird Checklist

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.

Uganda Birdwatching Holidays

No wonder Uganda is referred to by many as a paradise of a variety of birds. It is the most stunning country for bird watchers in Africa not because of its high recorded number of bird species but also the easy access it offers to see these birds in their natural habitat unlike other places all over the world. Out of the 1,500 bird species in East Africa, 1,000 of these are found in Uganda. Trinita Safaris Birds is an experienced and very professional bird guide that will journey you through the various destinations in the country so that you can also appreciate the richness and beauty of the country.
The twelve National Parks found in Uganda offer a superb bird watching experience for bird watching devotees particularly in western Uganda where you find the most important and renowned bird habitat. The most charming park to watch birds is the Semiliki which is located at the bottom of the Albertine Rift with close to 400 different bird species among which are the Abyssinian hornbill, marsh tchagra, leaf love, improbable pennant-winged nightjars, raptors, standard winged nightjars, red-throated bee-eater and the shoebill.

Kabale National park is a superb destination to watch birds with close to 360 recognized bird species and 4 not found in any other location through the whole of Uganda. These four rare species are: cassin’s spine tail, maked apalis, Nahan’s francolin and the blue headed bee eater and of late, the green breasted pitta is occasionally seen. Among the other varieties are the grassland species and the aquatic birds.

Murchison Falls National Park; this is the largest of all parks in Uganda and is an excellent bird watching destination with a recorded population of about 470 bird species including the shoebill stork and other aquatic birds and raptors  found along the banks of the river Nile.
Queen Elizabeth not only prides in having a the richest biodiversity, it is factually a true Paradise of Bird, with a total recorded population of over 610 birds, this being the largest ever recorded number in the whole of Africa and the world at large. The park has 54 raptors that include woodland birds, aquatic birds and forest birds.

In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a total population of 355 birds have been recognized and recorded. 23 species of these are prevalent in the Albertine Rift, while 14 species are found nowhere else other than this park and among them are the African green broad bill, brown necked parrot, frazer’s eagle owl, tailed blue flycatcher and the white bellied robin chat.


Kibale is an extensive national park protecting a large block of rain forests that offers some excellent forest birding safari. It harbours the greatest variety and concentration of primates found anywhere in East Africa. Superb birds and primates combined with easy access a good infrastructure and a variety of interesting activities make this forest a worthwhile destinations. Many of the facilities are community –based , thus providing the local community with the necessary revenue to keep their interest focused on the long-term protection of the area.

District : Kabarole

Size : 560km2

Elevation : 1110 -1590m

Habitat : The forested section ( 77%) of the park is covered by medium altitude moist semi-deciduous forest at lower altitudes in the south .The remaining 23% consists of grassland , swamps and some plantations with exotic conifers.

Status : National park since 1993
Birds recorded : 335 species
Timing : March-May; September –November
Time required : 2 days

Key species : Red-winged Francolin , red-chested Fluftail , white –naped pigeon , Green-breasted Pitta , Joy Greenbul, Grey-winged Ribon, Abyssinian Ground Thrush, Grey throated flycatcher, white –bellied crested flycatcher, Masked and Black capped Apalises , Uganda woodland warbler , Chestnut- winged starling, Orange-tufted and tiny sunbirds, Grey-headed olive-back .

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.


Taking a Birding tour in Kampala Uganda

Kampala is Uganda’s largest and modern capital city. It lies on the northern shores of Lake Victoria. It’s well- wooded outskirts supporting a wide variety of birds. In fact the city of Kampala may provide your best chance of seeing certain birds. The city of Kampala may provide you the best chance of seeing certain species such as a bat hawk and African hobby. Both breed regularly in tall trees in the urban areas and are commonly observed overhead at dusk in the city center. For example around Makerere University and the Sheraton hotel.

Another good spot for these spectacular birds is near the Back packer’s Hostel. African hobby has nested in the campsite and Bat hawk is regularly seen in nearby Sekabuku Tintu Road. Take the second left after the turnoff to the backpackers’ hostel on the road to Natete and walk down the road to the last big house at the end. A bat hawk often perches in the massive tree here at dusk.

If you have some time to spend in Kampala we recommend a visit to the suburb of Makindye. To get there take the road to Entebbe and turn –off at the Entebbe round about in Kampala. Alternatively you can take a matatu from the Old taxi a park and get off near the American club. Walk up the hill and at the junction take the right fork onto the dirt road, continuing uphill for about two kilometres.

From the top of the hill you have a view onto Lake Victoria. Turn right where the road splits into four and follow it downhill for about 200 metres. Turn left onto a small steep foot path and proceed to the interesting birds that can be observed in the cultivation, scrub and gardens are bat hawk, African hobby, White- faced robin, Sulphur – breasted Bush-shrike, and Green –headed, Green throated and sun birds.

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.


Semliki National Park Birding

The remote and beautiful Semliki Wild life reserve lies on the southern shores of Lake Albert and offers a mosaic of different habitats with some excellent birding opportunities.
Whereas much of the habitat in Lake Mburo NP is similar to the extensive Acacia Savanna of Eastern and southern Africa and is sometimes considered an extension of the Serengeti system, The savanna at Semlik WR is subtly different and shows affinities with the Northern Savanna woodland here include Red- necked Falcon, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Black billed Barbet and the diminutive Black-chinned Quail-finch whilst gallery forest is home to the noisy leaf love. No visitor to the reserve should miss a boat trip on Lake Albert for no where else in Uganda do you stand a better chance of seeing the mighty shoebill.

Districts: Bundibugyo and Kabarole

Size : 568km2

Elevation: 620-750m

Habitat : Tall-grass woodland, Acacia savanna, grassland with extensive patches of Borassus palms, gallery forest, swamps and wet-lands adjacent to Lake Albert and its tributaries.

Status : Wildlife Reserve

Birds Recorded: ca.350 species

Timing: good birding all year round

Time Required: 2-3 days

Key species :Shoebill , African Pygmy goose ,red –necked falcon , Abyssinian Ground Horn bill ,Blue-breasted , Bee-eater, Black-billed barbet , Piapiac , Leaf love , Black-chinned quail- Finch .

birdwatching holidays

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.



A variety of unique habitats and alots of superb birds make a visit to Murchison falls National Park a must for every birder. The birding experience here is greatly enhanced by the abundant wildlife and scenic landscape, not least the spectacular falls for which the park is named. Once famous for its immense herds of big game, Uganda’s largest national park suffered greatly at the hands of poachers and hungry soldiers during the late 1970s and 1980s and is still in the process of recovery. However, the vegetation has benefited greatly from reduced grazing pressure and populations of small mammals and birds are healthier than ever.
The park headquarters are situated at Paraa on the southern bank of the Victoria Nile. A strol through the dry thorn scrub between the Paraa rest camp and the ferry crossing should produce Blue-naped Mousebird , Spotted morning thrush , silver bird , buff-bellied Warbler , Black headed batis , Black-headed Gonolek , Chestnut-crowned sparrow-weaver , Vitelline masked weaver and green-winged Pytilia . This is probably the most reliable site in Uganda for the localized white –rumped seedeater Arrange permission from the park to spotlight along the main road south of Paraa. Spot lighting along the main road may produce the amazing standard-winged Nightjar. The rare Egyptian –plover favours the sandy delta of the Nyamsika River and occasionally observed on the launch trip up to the Murchison falls. The red throated Bee-eater breed in large colonies along the Nile. Pairs of rock Pratincoles are commonly encountered on the rocks below the falls.

Districts: Masindi and Gulu

Size : 3840km2

Elevation: 619 -1292m

Habitat : Ironwood forest, Riverine Forest, dry and moist woodland with grassy understorey, Borassus Palm Savanna, grassland with termitaria, papyrus swamps, lakes and rivers.

Status: National Park since 1952

Birds Recorded: 450 species

Timing : January- March (low tourist season and plenty of bird activities)

Recommended Bird Guide: Ismail Onim –Gui

Key Species : Shoebill secretary bird , bat hawk , Red-necked Falcon , Denham’s Bustard , Senegal Thick-knee, Egyptian Plover , African Skimmer , Four-banded Sand grouse , Bruce’s Green Pigeon , Vinaceaous Dove , White-crested Turaco , Pel’s Fishing Owl , Long Tailed , Pennant _winged and standard-winged Nightjars Red-throated , Swallow-tailed and Carmine Bee-eaters , Abyssinian Ground Hornbill , Black- Billed Barbet , Brown-backed woodpecker , Spotted Morning thrush
White- fronted Black Chat , Silver bird , singing , Foxy and Black-backed Cisticolas , Ring-winged Grey warbler , Green-backed Cisticolas , Red –winged Grey warbler , Green –Backed Eremomela , Yellow- Billed and Emin’s Shrikes, White –Breasted Cuckoo-shrike , Lesser blue-eared and Bronze –tailed Starlings, Beautiful Sunbird , Chestnut-crowned sparrow-waever , Northern red Bishop , Grey-Headed Olive back , Red-winged Pytilia , brown Twin spot , Bar-breasted and Black-Bellied Firefinches , Black-Runped waxbill, Paradise Whydah, White Rumped seed eater and brown –rumped cabanis’s Buntings among others .

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.

Kidepo Birding Safaris

Lying in the rugged Semi arid valleys of the Karamoja province on the far northern Boarder with the Sudan, Kidepo valley is Uganda’s most remote national park. Few undertake the pilgrimage to the park but the spectacular beauty of this pristine wilderness impresses all that make it.
For the visiting birder, Kidepo Valley NP boasts a bird list of over 475 species, a total second only to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amongst the host of dry , eastern “specials “ not found in any other Ugandan national park are some of east Africa’s rarest and most sought- after birds such as Black –breasted and Karamoja Apalis . The Apoka rest camp and park Head quarters overlooking the shallow, southern Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your Kidepo Birding. The attractive silver bird and small band of yellow billed Shrike frequent the thorn trees around camp , as do a number of other wild spread species such as Vinaceous Dove , Hoopoe , Nubian Woodpecker , Mosque swallow , Ruppell’s and superb starlings Scarlet-chested Sunbird , Little weaver and Red checked Cordon-bleu . A small permanent water hole at the edge of camp attracts swallows and a variety of seedeaters including yellow –rumped seedeater and is visited at night by four- banded Sand grouse, Elephant, Buffalo and occasionally lion .The delightful White faced scops Owl is likely to be a highlight of a night game drive at Kidepo valley National park.

Province: Karamoja

Size : 1442km2

Elevation: 914m on Kidepo Valley floor to 2749m atop Mount Morungole

Status : National park since 1954

Habitat : Semi –desert scrub , open throned scrub , open thron –bush , long and short grass open tree savannas , riparian woodland including Borassus and kigelia woodland , thick “miombo-like” woodland , montane forest and granite crops.

Timing : March –April for all the specials and many transit migrants although the good year –round.
Time required: 4-7 days

Birds recorded: 475 species

Key species:
Ostrich , African swallow-tailed kite , eastern pale chanting Goshawk , pygmy falcon , Fox kestrel , Stone Partridge , Clapperton’s Heuglin’s Francolins, Yellow-necked spurfowl , Kori,White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards , Violet-tipped courser , Black –headed Plover , Four –banded Sand grouse , Bruce’s Green pigeon , Rose ringed Parakeet , White crested Turaco , White bellied Go-away-bird , White faced scops Owl , Long-Tailed and Standard winged Nightjars, Little green Bee-eater , Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers , Abyssinian scimitar bill , Abyssinian ground , Eastern Yellow and Jackson ‘s Hornbills , Red fronted and Black breasted Barbet , Brown –backed Woodpecker , Singing Bushlark , Red-wiged Lark , Ethiopian Swallow , Pied , Isabelline and Hueglin’s Wheatears , African Grey Flycatcher , Foxy and RedPate cisticolas , Karamoja Apalis , White Bellied Tit , Mouse –coloured Penduline Tit , Northern white crowned and Yellow –billed shrikes , Slate coloured Boubou , Fan tailed Raven , Superb Starling , Red Billed Oxpecker , Eastern Violet-backed , Pygmy and beautiful sunbirds Rufous and chestnut sparrows , Yellow spotted Petronia , White headed and white -billed Buffalo-weavers, Grey capped Social and Speckle-fronted weavers , Green-winged, orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias , Black-bellied and Black faced Fire finches , Blacked-faced waxbill , Steal-blue and straw tailed Whydahs , Brown-rumped Bunting .

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an othinology book for better indentification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.

A directory to Bird Guides and Tour Operators in Uganda

Credit Uganda Tours
P.O Box 30788
2nd Floor, Room 8, Sunset Arcade,
Wilson Road, Kampala, Uganda,
Tel: +256 772 663066
+256772 562825 +256 312 281547

Acacia Uganda Safaris
4 Kimathi Avenue
Tel: 041 253597, 0712 800004

Churchill Safaris and Travel
Kisozi House, Plot 6/8,
Tel: +256 41 341815
Fax: +256 41 253976
24 hrs: +256 772 671 285

Churchill Tailored Safaris – Home

More infomation about Birding safari in Uganda
Uganda Bird Guides.


The site selection in this web site is strongly biased toward national parks. The reason for this is that we concentrated on areas with existing infrastructure in the form of accommodation, food and most important access roads.

However, the sites selected exemplify all of all of Uganda’s major habitat types, thus offering the entire spectrum of birding opportunities. The amount of bird information available for each site varies exceedingly for they range from recognized hot sports to areas that have received very little coverage by birders in recent times. One of our aims was to help to redress this imbalance, but the information reflected in the following WebPages is merely a foundation on which to establish a more comprehensive understanding of Uganda’s birding sites. The fact that so much still remains to be discovered is part of the challenge and thrill of birding this exciting country.

The sites are arranged geographically and by broad habitat type. They commence with the swamps and woodland of the Victoria basin, then loop westwards through the montane forests of the Albertine Rift valley and the intermediate- altitude forests of western Uganda, move across the country through increasingly arid savanna areas, ending with eastern forests.

pelicans in uganda

Please note that on your birding trip, you may need birding binoculars, an orthinology book for better identification of Uganda birds. We also encourage you to participate in efforts that encourage avian conservation of Uganda tourism.