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UGANDA BIRDING SAFARIS

Uganda is located at the interface of the meet of the West Africa and East Africa biomes and enjoys assorted habitats such as lowland tropical rain forests, Afromontane forests, thick & open savanna, swamps & riverine forests, and open waters of lakes, rivers and streams. The country also is diversified in terms of landforms that includes volcano, explosion craters, escarpments & rift valleys,  plateaus and these ultimately have great influence on climate, weather, habitat types and species diversity including birdlife.

No other areas in Africa can match Uganda’s amazing diversity of habitats and this richness is reflected in the ever growing bird list of over 1050 species, including over 35 species of Albertan endemics in the western rift valley which include the rare shoe bill stork,  and others not found anywhere else. The huge bird list is so remarkable given the small size of the country over 235,000km2 approximately the size of United Kingdom; making Uganda without question, the richest African birding and “must visit” destination.

As one of the richest avifauna sites on the continent with over 1000 birdlife species, at least 7 are national endemics and 35 species of Albertan endemics in the western rift. Over 150 species of Uganda birds are parliarctic migrants (11 species of them with a local breeding populations too) and sites such as Nabugabo and Lake George are international Ramsar sites. Parliarctic migrant species are mainly from Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and regional; and species that are involved include abdmin’s stork and lesser & greater flamingos from lakes Nakuru and Eyasi in the East Africa Rift valley.

Some 335 species are found in forest; 230 species are entirely forest dependent and 115 species are forest specialists that require intact undisturbed habitat and forestry species of global conservation and occur in Uganda.

 

Why birding with Gofan Safaris and Travel Africa limited?

Gofan Safaris, recognize the importance of the avifauna Uganda offers and to that effect arrange and organize birding safaris for Bird watching is a leisurely and relaxing hobby which fulfils our natural curiosity and desire to learn as well as meeting the need to challenge oneself.

Gofan safaris ltd. bird watching holidays take birding to its very basics: observing birds, in their usual natural habitats in a relaxed way; travelling in our specialized spacious pop-up roof safari cars for your safari comfort. Competent birding guides, good selection of habitats for a variety of birds of Uganda, easy walk so that you are not cooped up in a safari car through-out your birding tour and flawless ground logistics are the hallmarks of our birding safaris.

Top Birding Spots in Uganda

Mabamba Swamp: Located 30 km’s west of Kampala, just opposite Mpanga Forest, this swamp is famous spot for the Shoe bill stork; however other species also do exist.  Public transport is available from Kampala New Taxi Park up to Kasanji. A local cyclist will get you to the spot which is 13.5 km away from Kasanji village.

Kibale Forest National Park; is yet another fascinating birding destination, with 335 species. Red winged francolin, red chested fluff-tail, white napped pigeon, African pita, white-napped pigeon, Joyful greenbul, grey winged pigeon, Abyssinian ground thrush, grey throated fly catcher, white bellied crested flycatcher masker ,Uganda woodland warbler ,chestnut-winged starling.

Queen Elizabeth National Park: Over 550 bird species, includes several types of king fisher, several falcons eagles and other raptors, lesser and greater flamingoes, shoebill stork, African skimmers, white-winged warbler, gulls, papyrus Gonolek, black bee eater and variety of king fishers. The place also is Ramsar Site of international importance for residents and parliarctic migrant species. Other Albertan species are available.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: everything on Bwindi is very special, being both the home to mountain gorilla and variety of birdlife. Bwindi is one of the richest flora and fauna forests of East Africa. It has over 357 bird species. See the Albertine rift Endemics, Archer’s Robin chat, Kive ground thrush, Collared Apalis, yellow-eyed black flycatcher,rwenzori batis and strange weaver, Buhoma- Ruhija Black Bee eater, African Green Broadbill and snow-headed robin chat. You will also sight the mountain gorilla.

Murchison Falls National Park: this is Uganda’s most visited park, with 370 birds including the rare shoebill stork, red-throated  bee eater, the Northern Carmine bee-eater, Abyssinian  ground hornbill, black-bellied & Kori bustards, giant kingfisher, and bush shrike and gonolek, hammer-kop and many other species make the park very productive birding area.

Budongo Forest: this is the largest standing mid altitude rainforest on the edge of the Albertan rift valley: among forest based areas where you might sight, shinning blue kingfisher, White crested and great blue Turaco. You will definitely sight many more including the casqued horn-bill, a noisy bird!

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

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary: is very productive and is home to the great blue Turaco, chegra, African grey bulbul, White-spotted crake and the black billed Turaco. You will definitely sight more other species, living side by side with the primates in this primate thronged wetland.

Mgahinga National Park: The Sabinyo gorge and canyon is productive site and 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. This are also make be in two countries at the same time, i.e. between DR Congo and Uganda. You will find it highly rewarding.

Lake Mburo National Park: Its one of the most productive birding sites hosting 315 species, both grassland and shoreline birds, including the rare shoebill stork, papyrus yellow warbler, African fin foot, saddle billed stork, brown chested wattled plover, Caruthers’ sisticola, Tabora sisticola,  great snipe, butler’s snake eagle. The inventory is a lot much more!

Rwenzori Mountains National Park: The fabled “MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON” lies in the western Uganda on the Congolese border, with snow –capped, 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 surrounding areas: the area is famous for the karamoja species’ such as the red-breasted sterling, the lilac roller, Abyssinian roller, ground hornbill, the secretary bird, ostrich and lots more.

Mount Elgon National Park: this is extinct volcano between Uganda and Kenya and is productive birding area with 296 species including 40 restricted range species such as Jackson’s francolin, mustached green tinker bird and black-collard Apalis, the bronze-napped pigeon, hartlaubs’s Turaco and tacazze sunbird.

Kidepo Valley National Park: this is the most scenic parks in the country and has variety savanna species that include the ostrich, the Abyssinian ground hornbill, African jacana, common bulbul, secretary bird, the rare lammergeyer eagle, Egyptian vulture, Kori bustard,  Stanley’s bustard, black-bellied bustard, harrier hawk, Abyssinian roller, lilac roller,

Semliki National Park: this park has a number of the Albertan endemics: the savanna warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, snake eagle, the rare shoebill stork etc.

Birding Itineraries

Uganda is our backyard and our team of guides is some of the country’s most experienced birders, and we have specially designed several different tours to maximize various aspects of our magnificent country. Some of these are detailed below:

  1. GS/B001: 7 day/6 nights Murchison Falls and Kibale NP birding vacation
  2. GS/B002: 10 day/9 nights birding excursion Real Uganda
  3. GS/B003: 15 day/14 nights birding Uganda Express
  4. GS/B004: 22 day/21 nights birding Uganda Pearl

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