Tap to book now

Bird Watching In Uganda Safaris | Birding Tours In Uganda Africa

Uganda birding safaris/Bird Watching in Uganda safaris in Africa trips are one of the most unique experiences that offer amazing birding in Uganda the Pearl of Africa – the best birding in Africa.

This amazing country has a huge bird list of fascinating bird species including endemic birds or local birds and this makes it one of the best birding destinations in East Africa for keen birders.

Uganda is an equatorial country with over 1,065 bird species including 24 Albertine Rift endemics and 46 Congo Biome Species. The total number of birds in this country is 11% of the world’s birds which makes Uganda a birding paradise.

Among all the birding destinations in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is outstanding as it has the highest number of birds making your Uganda birding tours memorable.

Keen birders on Uganda birding trips can look out for the Shoebill an incredible bird that every birder wants to see, White Bellied Robin Chat, African Finfoot, Green Breasted Pitta, Hornbills, Eagles, Sunbirds, etc.

Uganda is within the East African region and the African Great Lakes Region meaning that it has the best climatic conditions for Uganda birds and other wildlife like the African Elephant and this gives a Uganda birding safari for birders.

Bird watchers will only find one endemic bird in Uganda of the Fox’s weaver during their Uganda birding tours and others that you will see are not seen anywhere in East Africa. Migratory birds are in the country from November to April making Uganda the richest country with several bird species for Uganda birding tours.

What Are the Common Birds in Uganda?

Uganda Birding Safaris

Uganda birding tour holidays are amazing as you get to see the sought-after wild birds. Some are endemic bird species that you cannot see anywhere else in East Africa in the top bird destinations.

Below are the most sought-after birds to look out for during your Uganda birding tour;

  • Shoebill
  • African Green Broadbill
  • Black-And-White Casqued Hornbill
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Green Breasted Pitta
  • White Headed Wood Hoopoe
  • African Finfoot
  • African Wood Owl
  • Papyrus Yellow Warbler
  • White Backed Night Heron
  • Fox’s weaver
  • Karamoja Apalis
  • Great Blue Turaco
  • Secretary Bird
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Top Birding Sites in Uganda for Uganda Birding Trips (Top Birding Spots in Uganda) | Where Can I Watch Birds In Uganda | Where Can I See Birds in Uganda?

The bird life of Uganda is amazing as birders can enjoy Uganda birding tour adventures within the birding destinations. You can enjoy bird watching in gardens, bushes, forests, thickets, swamps, hills, savannahs, and woodlands.

Uganda counts over 34 Important Bird Areas (IBA) which have been well-developed to cater for Uganda birding tour trips.

All the top bird watching sites in Uganda East Africa have well-trained local guides that know these areas very well and can identify all bird species in the areas. They also know the true habitats of the birds as they take you through the areas on the well-developed trails.

Most of the top birding destinations in Uganda are national parks and game reserves, forests, and others are Ramsar sites protected especially as important areas for Uganda birding safari holidays.

Below are the top bird watching sites in Uganda to go for a Uganda birding tour;

Bird Watching Tours in Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers bird watching tours as it has over 600 Uganda bird species beating any other birding destination in East Africa in the number of species.

This amazing park is taken to be the richest African birding destination to visit during your African birding journeys. Queen Elizabeth National Park also has some Lake Victoria biome species making it a great site for Uganda birding safari vacations.

Queen Elizabeth National Park areas are mostly made of savannah vegetation, both saline and freshwater lakes, swamps, forests, woodlands, shrubs, and grasslands and these make a unique natural habitat for the birds.

Bird watchers on a Uganda birding safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park can also enjoy sightings of other wildlife like the African Elephant, Buffaloes, Antelopes, etc. It is a conducive Uganda birding destination for forest, savannah, water, woodland, and other birds offering Uganda’s birding delights.

Some of the birds to spot in Queen Elizabeth National Park on a Uganda birding safari include;

  • White Bellied Robin Chat
  • African Fish Eagle
  • African Finfoot
  • Grey Crowned Crane
  • Black and white Casqued Hornbill

Bird watchers on a Uganda birding tour should that Queen Elizabeth National Park has no Albertine Rift endemics.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda Birding Tour


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is mostly known for having Mountain Gorillas that holidaymakers can enjoy meeting during Mountain Gorilla trekking.

However, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is also good for Uganda birding tours as it has over 352 Uganda bird species including 23 Albert Rift endemics with the highest among the countries of East Africa.

This alone makes this home of Mountain Gorillas a top bird watching area during Uganda safaris, especially for those who want to see forest birds within the montane forests.

The montane forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park make natural habitats for species of birds within this richest country for birds and other wildlife like the Forest African Elephant. Bwindi Impenetrable National is the best place in East Africa for sighting the African Green Broadbill during bird watching encounters.

Forest birding in this park is amazing as you can enjoy it during Mountain Gorilla tracking adventures. Remember that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has almost half of the last surviving Mountain Gorillas others being in Rwanda’s volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga, and Virunga National Park.

Some of the Uganda bird species to see in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on a Uganda birding tour include;

  • Neumann’s Warbler
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Handsome Francolin
  • Shelley’s Crimson wing
  • Blue-Headed Sunbird and,
  • Black Bee-eaters
  • Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher
  • White Bellied Robin Chat

Semilki National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Semilki National Park is a popular birding destination in the East African region especially for forest birding. The diverse bird species within this park are remarkable as they are unusual.

Within the montane forests of Semilki, there are over 435 bird species including 35 Guinea-Congo biome species for forest birding, a few Albertine rift endemics, and other species that have a little distribution in the East African region.

Some of the birds to spot on your Uganda birding tour in Semliki include; the Congo Serpent-eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, White Bellied Robin Chat, Yellow-throated Nicator, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, etc.

African birding journeys in Semliki lead you to spot other wildlife like the African Elephant. Uganda birding safari tours in Semliki are done on a 13km Kirumia trail which goes around the montane forests.

Murchison Falls National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best places for spotting the Shoebill in East Africa within the marshy areas of the Victoria Nile Lake Albert Delta. This park gets its name from the Murchison Falls that are formed by River Nile which starts flowing from Lake Victoria and protects many Lake Victoria biome species.

Murchison Falls National Park boasts over 556 Uganda bird species. Uganda birding safari trips in this are ideal during boat cruises on the Victoria Nile as you get to spot amazing water birds and also during game drives where you can spot other wildlife like the African Buffalo, African Elephant, and also big cats.

Murchison Falls National Park is an ideal site to spot most of the Uganda birds in the Lake Victoria biome and African Great Lakes Region.

On your Uganda birding tour in Murchison Falls National Park, you can spot birds like

  • African Finfoot
  • Goliath Heron
  • Papyrus Yellow Warbler
  • White Backed Night Heron
  • White Bellied Robin Chat
  • Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher
  • White Browed Robin Chat
  • Abyssinian Ground Horn Bill
  • Eastern Grey Plantain Eater
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Giant Kingfishers

Mabamba Swamp Birding Safaris

Mabamba swamp is found on Lake Victoria within the African Great Lakes region and it is one of the best areas where you can see the Shoebill just like Murchison Falls Park.

There are over 300 bird species within Mabamba swamp some of which are globally threatened and 7 of the 12 Lake Victoria biome bird species. Also, the Mabamba swamp hosts numerous flocks of Palearctic migrants usually from November to April.

Mabamba Swamp is only accessed by boat or canoe on Lake Victoria. Some of the species of birds to spot in Mabamba swamp areas on your Uganda birding tour include;

  • The Shoebill
  • Papyrus Gonolek
  • Papyrus Yellow Warbler
  • Blue Swallow
  • Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher
  • African Finfoot
  • African Fish Eagle
  • White-Winged Warbler
  • Hamerkop
  • White Backed Night Heron
  • Water Thickness
  • Swamp Flycatcher and,
  • Squacco Heron, etc.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda Birding Tour

The Montane forests of Mgahinga National Park are one of Uganda birding destinations offering the best Uganda birding tour adventures. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also known as Mountain Gorillas that tourists can see within the montane forests during Mountain Gorilla tracking.

It has over 180 birds including a few Albertine Rift endemics. It inhabits the birds within the montane forests of the 3 extinct volcanoes offering forest bird watching along the Gorge Trail, Bamboo Trail, and the Community Trail.

Birders on a Uganda birding tour in Mgahinga National Park can look out for the Cape Robin, White Bellied Robin Chat, Brown Woodland Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, etc.

You can watch these birds while you are on your way to meet the Gorillas during Gorilla tracking experiences.

Lake Mburo National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Lake Mburo National Park is also amazing when it comes to Uganda birding tours. It has habitats for birds like acacia and forest and you can find many forest-related birds, especially in Rubanga Forest.

This small savannah park has over 310 Uganda bird species and also Lake Mburo National Park holds migratory birds from November to April making it one of the best birding areas.

Some of the birds to see when bird watching in Lake Mburo Park include; the African Finfoot, White Bellied Robin Chat, the White Backed Night Heron, the Lizard Buzzard, and some Lake Victoria biome species. It is also unmissable when it comes to other Uganda trips.

Kibale National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Bird Watching Safaris in Uganda

Kibale National Park is a birding paradise for bird watchers especially those interested in forest birding safaris.

This park holds over 370 birds and it is one of the richest African birding destination for seeing the Green Breasted Pitta in Africa and a few Albertine Rift endemics.

Birders on a Uganda birding tour in Kibale Forest can also see the Double-toothed Barbets, Great-blue Turacos, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Western Nicators, Blue-breasted Kingfishers, and White Bellied Robin Chat.

If lucky, when bird-watching, you can also see other wildlife like the African Elephant and many primates.

Uganda birding tours don’t only end in Kibale Forest, but you can also visit the nearby Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary an amazing Uganda birding tour experience.

Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Kidepo Valley National Park is another Uganda birding tour area bordering South Sudan with the best Uganda birding experiences for bird watchers on Uganda tours.

This park has over 470 bird species including 60 birds that have not been spotted anywhere else in East Africa competing with Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is the best area for spotting the Common Ostrich during your bird watching trips.

Other birds to spot here on your birding tour include; the Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Chestnut Weaver, African Thrush, Fox Kestrel, etc.

Kidepo Park has no species of birds found in the African Great Lakes region and those in the Lake Victoria biome.

Some of the birds cross from South Sudan and a Uganda birding tour can be combined with wildlife tours to give you sightings of other wildlife like the African Elephant, Buffaloes, Zebras, Kobs, etc.

Mount Elgon National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Mount Elgon National Park is situated in eastern Uganda and it also offers amazing Uganda birding tours. Birders get sightings of the endangered Lammergeyer, Jackson’s Francolin, and the White Bellied Robin Chat.

The montane forests of this park offer the best Uganda birding trips and if lucky, you can also see other wildlife like the African Elephant, Buffaloes, antelopes, etc.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda Birding Tour

Rwenzori Mountains National Park offers remarkable birding tours in Uganda with sightings of the Albertine Rift endemics.

When bird-watching within the montane forests of this park, you can spot the Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Turaco, White Bellied Robin Chat, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, and other endemic species. You cannot miss a Uganda birding tour in Rwenzori as it has colorful birds.

Albertine Rift Endemic Bird Species in Uganda

There are 24 Albertine Rift endemics within the birding destinations of Uganda. These birds flourish within this African Great Lakes region and they can also be found along the Victoria Nile.

They make the bird Uganda safaris unique as they are colorful. On a Uganda birding tour, these endemic species can be sighted in the following areas;

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 23 Albertine Rift endemics
  2. Rwenzori Mountains has 19 Albertine Rift endemics
  3. Mgahinga Park has 12 Albertine Rift endemics
  4. Echuya Forest Reserve has 18 Albertine Rift endemics
  5. Kibale Forest has 6 Albertine Rift endemics
  6. Semuliki has a few Albertine Rift endemics

Best Time to Go Birding in Uganda

Uganda Bird Watching Safaris

Birders on Uganda birding tours find bird watching good all year round though the best time is the dry season. This is when all the trails are dry and easily accessible.

Nothing can limit you during your Uganda birding safari as you get to see them in the morning and evenings. The dry season is from December to February and from June to July.

Uganda birding tours are also possible in the wet months since the food for birds is abundant but the trails may be slippery and heavy rains may delay you to reach some destinations. You are guaranteed sightings of amazing endemic species in Uganda in the East African region while on your birding journeys.

For outstanding Uganda birding tours, you should that migratory birds are in the country from November to April.

What Time of Day Are Birds Most Active?

Birds are most active during morning and evening hours. In the morning they are setting out of their nests looking for food and in the evening they be coming back to the nests whispering with the amazing sounds making it the best time for birding safaris.

Best Time for Birding | What Time of Day Is Best For Bird Watching?

Bird watching on a Uganda birding tour is best done in the morning like from 7 am to 11 am as the birds are leaving their nests. The other rewarding time would be in the evening as the birds be coming back to their nests.

Afternoons are not rewarding for bird-watching as the birds be resting in shades as it can be hot, however, for a fruitful Uganda birding tour, you can set out at any time of the day.

Best Birding Books In Uganda | What Is the Best Bird Watching Book

Birders who want to enjoy a Uganda birding tour should at least have a guidebook before they depart for their Uganda birding tour. These books are full of knowledge concerning the different species of birds and where to sight them.

Below are the best recommended bird watching books to use on your Uganda birding tour;

  1. Field Guide to Birds of East Africa: By Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe
  2. Where to Watch Birds in Uganda: By Russouw and Sacchi

Uganda Birding Tips | Birding Tips for Birdwatching in Uganda

The Uganda birding tour requires some expert guidance before or during the safari activity. This is to make your Uganda birding tour journey and experiences better and more comfortable.

  1. When birding, ensure maximum silence as you are in the wild
  2. When on your Uganda birding tour in the wild, never leave the trails as you can get lost
  3. For better experiences when birding, avoid large groups as they limit bird sightings than when you are in a small group
  4. When going for a long bird-watching day trip, move out with your packed lunch
  5. When you spot birds during your Uganda birding tour, do not stone them as you can injure them
  6. Carry water with you at all times to stay hydrated during birding safaris
  7. Ensure that you go for a Uganda birding tour in the mornings and evenings as this is when birds are most active
  8. When moving for bird watching, ensure that you have a pair of binoculars

Packing List for A Birding Trip in Uganda | What Do You Need For Bird Watching in Uganda?

Uganda Birding Safari Packing lists

There are essential items that you need to carry when coming for your Uganda birding tour so that you get the best experience. However, never forget to travel light.

Below is what you can carry for your Uganda birding tour;

  1. a)    A Uganda birding tour guidebook: this will help you to easily identify birds as you watch them during your Uganda birding safari.
  2. b)    Pair of binoculars: give you sightings of birds that are at far during your Uganda birding safari.
  3. c)     Camera: captures amazing memories of your favorite birds during the Uganda birding tour
  4. d)    Sunscreen lotion: protects your skin from the strong sunlight during the walking tours during Uganda birding tour trips
  5. e)     Insect repellant; keeps away bugs that can bite you when enjoying your Uganda birding tour.
  6. f)      A waterproof backpack; that helps you move all your belongings with always on a Uganda birding tour.
  7. g)    Rain jacket or Poncho; the Ugandan weather is unpredictable and that’s why the poncho is required as it will keep you dry in case it rains on the Uganda birding tour
  8. h)    Bottled water; keeps you hydrated during your Uganda birding tour

What to Wear During Your Uganda Birding Tour?

Below is what you can wear on your Uganda birding tour;

Long-sleeved shirts and trousers; give you the freedom to enjoy easy movements and also protect you from bugs that may bite you. Khaki and brown are highly recommended.

Comfortable hiking shoes; keep you firm on slippery trails and protect your feet from piercings during your Uganda birding tour. Ensure that you wear light and ankle covering so that you don’t get injuries

A hat or cap; protects your head from the strong sunlight which may cause headaches

Sunglasses; protect your eyes from direct sunlight rays, especially in Kidepo which is near South Sudan.

Why Go For Bird Watching In Uganda

  1. Uganda has more than 1,065 species of birds making it a good place for a Uganda birding tour making it 50% of the birds on the African continent.
  2. This country is the best destination for seeing the elusive Shoebill
  3. Uganda is the best destination for spotting the African Green Broadbill
  4. This country has amazing birding areas which are easily accessed
  5. On your Uganda birding tour, you can get sightings of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest having the highest number
  6. On your birding tours in Uganda, you can enjoy Gorilla tracking in the montane forests and spend some time with the Mountain Gorillas and also see other animals like the African Elephant and also combine them with other Uganda tours

Top Safari Lodges for Your Birding Tours

Best Safari Lodges

There are various places where to stay in Uganda during your Uganda birding trips and they range from luxury, midrange, and budget facilities

Luxury hotels include; Mweya safari lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Primate Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, etc.

Midrange Lodges include; Enganzi Game Lodge, Haven Lodge, Chimps Nest Lodge, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, etc.

Among budget lodges, you may use Pumba Safari Cottages and Red Chili Rest.

Top Tour Operators for Your Birding Adventures in Uganda

These Uganda birding tour companies will organize for you the best Uganda birding tour adventures.

  1. Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd
  2. Wild Gorilla Safaris
  3. Safari Uganda Safaris

Bird Watching Packages in Uganda

For an amazing Uganda birding tour, you can opt for one of our best tailor-made Uganda birding safari packages within the best destinations like Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.

20 Day Uganda Birding Nature Tour Birding Tour

9 Days Rwanda Birding and Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour

19 Days Kenya Birding and Wildlife Photography Safari

17 Days Rwanda and Uganda Birding and Wildlife Tour

14 Days Kidepo Valley National Park Birding Trip (Fox’s Weaver, and Karamoja Apalis)

23 Days Uganda Birding Tour (The Remarkable West)

The Cost of a Bird Watching Tour in Uganda

Expect to spend around $125 to $1500 per person per day on a bird watching tour. This however depends on the safari factors like type of accommodation, transport modes, other activities, and number of days to spend on the Uganda birding tour.

FAQs about Uganda Birding

What Is Birding? | What Is Bird Watching?

This is a safari activity of observing or studying birds in their natural habitat. Tourists can come for Uganda birding trips for an experience.

What Is the Difference Between Birding and Bird Watching?

Uganda birding tour involves tracking birds in their natural habitat while bird-watching involves looking at birds in their natural habitat.

Where Can You See Birds of Prey in Uganda?

On your Uganda birding tour, you can see many birds of prey like Eagles, Vultures, and Buzzards. The birds of prey are mostly spotted within Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley Park in northeastern Uganda bordering South Sudan, Lake Mburo, and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Are There Hummingbirds in Uganda?

No, there are no hummingbirds in Uganda, they are native to America. These are the smallest birds on the planet though Uganda has sunbirds that look just like hummingbirds.

Does Uganda Have Parrots?

Yes, Uganda has parrots and you can see them when on your Uganda birding tour. Parrots are mostly common in forest birding destinations like Semliki and Kibale Forest National Parks.

During your Uganda birding tours, you can see parrots like the African Grey Parrot, Meyer’s Parrot, and the Brown-necked Parrot. On your Uganda birding tour holidays, you can take their pictures though capturing them is prohibited and can lead to punishments.

Which Birds Are Only Found in Uganda? | Which Bird Is Endemic To Uganda?

The Fox’s Weaver is the only endemic bird of Uganda that you can see on your Uganda birding tour. This incredible bird is only found in Eastern Uganda especially around the areas of Lake Opeta and Lake Bisina.

What Is the Largest Bird in Uganda? | What Is the Name of the Biggest Bird In Uganda?

Uganda Bird Watching Safaris

The largest bird in Uganda is the Common Ostrich which is found in Kidepo National Park just near South Sudan. This bird is heavy as it weighs up to 150kg and it cannot fly though it can run to a speed of about 70 km/hr.

On your birding holidays, you can also find it in Pian Upe Game Reserve which is an animal’s migration collider to Kidepo.

What Is The Rarest Bird In Uganda?

Shelley’s Crimsonwing is the rarest bird in Uganda found in the East African region. It is an Albertine Rift Endemic bird and there is a better chance of spotting it in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The Green Breasted Pitta which is fair to spot at Kibale Forest is also another rare bird.

Which Bird Is The Pearl Of Africa?

The Grey Crane or the Crested Crane is the national bird of Uganda and it features on the Ugandan flag and coat of arms. On a Uganda birding tour, you can see this bird in marshy areas or wetlands only.

Which Country In Africa Has The Best Birding? | Which Country Is Best For Birding In Africa?

Uganda has the best birding in Africa as it has the birding destinations for the best Uganda birding tour. This amazing equatorial country has over 1,065 birds which are 50% of the birds in Africa and 11% of the world’s birds.

It is the best destination for spotting the Shoebill, Green Breasted Pitta, and the rare African Green Broadbill.

How to Do Birding in Uganda?

On your birding journeys in Uganda, you can do birding through nature walks, boat cruises, game drives, hiking, or trekking.

Which Continent Is Best Known For Bird Watching?

The African continent is known for bird-watching as it has more species than any other continent. Uganda alone holds 11% of the birds in the world with many amazing water birds on Lake Victoria and several Albertine Rift endemics.

Where Is The Best Birding In The World? | Where Is The Best Bird Watching In The World?

Africa offers the best birding tours on the planet competing with South America. Every birder would love to visit Africa as it has vibrant colored birds.

Among the African birding destinations, Uganda is the best birding destination and a must-visit. It is the best place for spotting the Shoebill, Grauer’s Broadbill, Green breasted Pitta, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, etc.

What Is the Birding Capital of the World?

Quito in Ecuador is said to be the birding capital of the world ideal for all birders. This country on the South American continent boasts over 1,660 bird species.

This richest country has colorful bird species and among these are Mountain birds, forests, humid grasslands, water birds, etc.

Which Country Has the Best Birding in the World?

Uganda is the best birding country in the world with amazing bird species offering remarkable bird trips. This richest country has birds that are hard to spot in other destinations.

It has birds ranging from forest, mountain, grasslands, and water birds.

In conclusion, Uganda birding tours give an exciting experience and you can discover the 1,065 species of birds in the country when you visit the various Uganda birding destinations.

On your Uganda birding tour, you get up close views of these colorful birds in their natural habitat and you get to explore some of the sought-after birds like the Shoebill, Grauer’s Broadbill, Green breasted Pitta, Shelly’s Crimsonwing, etc.

Uganda birding tours can be combined with other Uganda safari tours like wildlife adventures to give full excitement of the safari like Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Make your own Uganda birding tour stories that you retell over and over when you visit Uganda.

Contact Us for the Best Uganda Birding Tours

Want to visit Kibale Forest?

Want to visit Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda's best chimpanzee trekking destination?