Uganda “The pearl of Africa” is composed of many different bird species to sight most recommended for birders in different or top destinations to visit.
When it comes to birding in Uganda the two National parks named Queen Elizabeth and Semliki National Park are considered Vulnerable. These two National Parks are ranked to be with the highest population of different bird species in Uganda.
Bird Watching in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a protected area located in the South Western part of Uganda, spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi, and Rukungiri. The park is approximately 400 kilometers by road south-west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.
The town of Kasese is just outside the northeastern edge of the park while the town of Rubirizi is just outside the park’s southeastern boundaries.
It includes the Maramagambo Forest and borders the Kigezi Game Reserve, the Kyambura Game Reserve, and the Kibale National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Queen Elizabeth National Park covers an estimated 1978km2 of Area and extends from Lake George in the north-east to Lake Edward in the south-west and includes the Kazinga Channel connecting the two lakes. It was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park.
It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. It is a home to over 500 species of Birds which makes a charming destination to visit for visitors interested in bird watching.
Not only bird species but Queen Elizabeth National Park has a wide range of wildlife primates including Cape buffaloes, hippopotami, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, lions, and chimpanzees. It is also famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes, such as the Katwe craters, from which salt is extracted.
Some of the bird species to sight in Queen’s diversity include the malachite, black-ramped buttonquail, Collard Pranticles, papyrus canary, verreauv’s eagle-owl, black bee-eater, squacco heron, African fish eagle, swamp fly-catcher, long-tailed cormorants, Martial Eagle, Black- rumped Buttonquail African Skimmer, White winged terns, White-winged Warbler, shoebill, African skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Grey-headed kingfisher, papyrus gonolek, Papyrus Canary, and the thin-tailed Nightjars plus several aquatic bird species such as the White-faced Whistling, Spur-winged Plovers, Squacco Heron, Fish Eagle, Pink and white backed Pelicans, Long tailed Cormorants, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, open-billed Stork, Water-Thick knee, Pied kingfishers, Wattled Plovers, the Black Crake and the Knob-billed Ducks which are sighted along the Kazinga Channel usually on a morning or evening launch cruise.
Other places to sight different bird species include the Ishasha sector where you will have a chance of colliding your eyes with the tree climbing Lions; Kyambura Gorge is another site for bird watching but mostly known for chimps plus the Maramagambo Forest.
For birding tours in Uganda you will be required to pay for park entrance which goes for $40 USD per person per 24 hours and its recommended for birders to go for birding either in the morning or evening as it’s the best time to sight wide range of bird species.
Bird Watching in Semliki National Park
Semliki National Park is also located in the Western part of Uganda. It was created in 1993 and covers about 194km2 of Area. It lies on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it borders Rwenzori Mountain in the South East and Lake Albert in the North, it lies in the Albertine Rift Valley.
The park experiences an average rainfall of 1,250 mm, with peaks in rainfall from March to May and from September to December. Many areas of the park experience flooding during the wet season. The temperature at the park varies from 18 to 30 °C (64 to 86 °F), with relatively small daily variations.
This park has more than 400 bird species. 216 of these species “66 percent of the country’s total bird species” are true forest birds, including the rare Forest Ground Thrush (Turdus oberlaenderi) and Sassi’s Olive Greenbul (Phyllastrephus lorenzi).
Nine species of hornbills have been recorded in the park and this makes it an ideal destination to visit for Ultimate bird watching Safaris in Uganda.
For your magical Birding Safaris in Semliki National Park you will be required only to pay for park entrance which goes for $35 USD per person per 24 hours.