Bird Watching - Not only for Twitches!
East Africa is probably one of the best birdwatching destinations of the world. The bird list is so impressive and a birder can easily identify more than 500 different species during his/her visit.  Uganda is considered by some specialists to be the richest country for birds in Africa.  Print activity
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Nigel Wheatley, for instance, in "Where to Watch Birds in Africa" (1995) said: "In terms of its size, Uganda is the richest country for birds in Africa." And this immense volume and diversity occurs miraculously in a space which keen birders can cover in a relatively short visit."

Uganda's exceptional avian diversity can be attributed to the diversity of its habitats, which includes semi-desert, savannah, tropical rain forest, swamps and an Afro-alpine zone. The Easternmost section of the great Congo Basin rain forest extends into western Uganda, so a variety of west and central African species occur in Uganda, but not elsewhere in East Africa.

Bwindi Impenetrable NP and Semliki Valley have about 23 species endemic to the Albertine Rift. Savanna species are best sought at Lake Mburo NP and Queen Elizabeth NP while Kidepo Valley NP and Murchison Falls NP for the semi-arid species and Mt Elgon for the high altitude birds. The shoebill stork is a hot spot for birders and frequently seen in Uganda wetlands!

It is only in the recent years that this enormous potential for bird watching has been developed by the Ugandan Authorities. Special programs have been set up to improve bird watching by identifying the Important Bird Area (IBA) and selecting the nesting sites and by establishing special guide programs and forest trails.

IBA's:

South-western region: Mgahinga NP, Echuya FR, Nyamuriro swamp, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Rwenzori NP, Queen Elizabeth NP, Lake George, Kyambura WR, Semliki NP, Semliki WR.

Lake Victoria Basin: Lake Mburo NP, Mabira FR, Sango Bay area, Musambwa Islands, Lutoboka Islands, Nabugabo Wetland, Mabamba bay, Lutembe bay.

North-western region: Budongo FR, Murchison Falls NP, Ajai WR, Mt Kei FR, Mt Otzi FR.

Kyoga region: Doho Rice scheme, Lake Nakuwa, Lake Bisina, Lake Opeta, Mt Elgon region.

Karamoja region: Mt Moroto FR, Kidepo Valley NP

Rwanda has a bird list of 670 species, Akagera NP and Nyungwe Forest NP will offer extraordinary birding with many Albertine Rift endimics and Congo basin species at Nyungwe Forest NP.

  • Magic Safaris has 2 birding specialists availble for your private birding safari.
  • We organize Birding safaris as well.
  • We organize the Mabamba Wetlands day excursion.


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