Uganda, Where to Spot Africa’s Rare Bird Species

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January 10, 2017
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Uganda, Where to Spot Africa’s Rare Bird Species

african Jacana - Uganda Rare Birds - Where to Spot Africa’s Rare Bird Species

Uganda, Where to Spot Africa’s Rare Bird Species

Much is known about endangered African mammals like the black rhino, addax (white antelope), and cheetah, but what about rare bird species? There are more than 115 species of African birds that are endangered, so don’t delay planning a trip to the continent to see them at these following locations, in their natural habitat!

Birding in Uganda

Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity (over 1000 species within an area similar in size to that of Great Britain) can be attributed to its location between the East African savannah, West African rainforests and semi-desert of the north. Uganda offers easy access to bird-rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere. The country has only two endemics, but if you only take East Africa into consideration, there are 150 species to be found only in Uganda. Migrant birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds Include:

  • Shoebill – Rare & localized
  • Red-throated alethe – Rare & near-endemic
  • Black-headed lapwing – Common
  • Yellow-throated longclaw – Common
  • Orange weaver- Locally common
  • African jacana – Common

Best parks for birding – including birding rating

Murchison Falls is excellent for seeing a wide array of common birds and specials, including the sought-after Shoebill. Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga national parks are the most accessible sites for Albertine Rift Endemics and Semuliki is the only place in East Africa to see many Guinea Congo regional species.


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Great Blue Turaco

Located in southwestern Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of most biodiverse forests in East Africa. Home to hundreds of species of mammals, reptiles, butterflies, and birds (including the Grauer’s Swamp-Warbler, Black Fronted Duiker, Forest Ground-thrush, and the African Green Broadbill) the forest is a true birders delight.

Uganda Safari: Birding Safaris in Uganda

The Mabamba Wetland, located along the shores of Lake Victoria, also contains many elusive species such as the Shoebill Stork and Lesser Jacana.

The Murchinson Falls National Park in northwestern Uganda is a well-kept secret among birders, especially the area around Lake Albert, where sharp-eyed visitors can spot more than 450 species of birds, including the Martial Eagle, Lesser Flamingo, and Papyrus Gonolek. Paraa Safari Lodge, conveniently located in the park, is a great choice for visitors wanting to stay over.

Best time for bird watching

From a birdlife perspective, Uganda is good all-year round, especially since the main birding interest lies in the resident birds. The climate is the main factor to take into consideration. Uganda is a very wet country. During the wet seasons, roads and forest trails might be in poor condition and rains could interfere with birding time.

In general, the best time for bird watching is from late May through September, when the rain is less and food is abundant. The main nesting season in Bwindi and Mgahinga (key sites for the Albertine Rift endemics) is May and June, but from mid-April to mid-May the rains might still be too heavy. February and early March is the only time Toro-Semliki is relatively dry, but it is uncomfortably hot in the north, including Murchison Falls NP. December and January are also good months, since the north is not yet too hot and there is less rain in the south. The best time for primate tracking and wildlife viewing in the savannah reserves is also in the Dry seasons, from June to August and December to February.

Consider Africa Sceneries to take you on an unforgettable Uganda Birding Safari. Contact Us Today or write us an email at and let’s get your trip planned.

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