Uganda is a paradise for birdwatchers, boasting a diverse range of habitats that support an incredible variety of bird species, including many rare and endemic ones. Here’s a detailed overview of birding in Uganda:

Key Birding Destinations in Uganda

1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bird Species: Bwindi is home to over 350 bird species, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics such as the African Green Broadbill, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Rwenzori Turaco, and many forest specialists.


  • African Green Broadbill: Known for its unique breeding behavior and vibrant green plumage.
  • Shelley’s Crimsonwing: A rare and beautiful forest bird endemic to the Albertine Rift.
  • Rwenzori Turaco: Striking blue, green, and red plumage, endemic to the Albertine Rift mountains.


  • Birdwatching Walks: Guided walks through Bwindi’s dense forest to spot elusive forest birds.
  • Gorilla Trekking: Combine birdwatching with gorilla trekking for a unique wildlife experience.

2. Queen Elizabeth National Park

Bird Species: Over 600 bird species recorded, making it one of Africa’s richest birding areas. Highlights include the African Skimmer, Shoebill, Martial Eagle, and a variety of waterbirds along the Kazinga Channel.


  • African Skimmer: Found along the Kazinga Channel, known for its distinctive feeding behavior.
  • Shoebill: Iconic and rare bird, often seen in the wetlands of Queen Elizabeth NP.
  • Martial Eagle: Africa’s largest eagle, often spotted soaring above the savannah.


  • Boat Safaris: Cruise along the Kazinga Channel to observe waterbirds, including the Shoebill.
  • Game Drives: Explore the savannahs and woodlands for a variety of bird species.
  • Birdwatching Walks: Guided walks in the park’s diverse habitats.

3. Murchison Falls National Park

Bird Species: Approximately 450 bird species, including the rare Shoebill and a variety of savannah and woodland birds.


  • Shoebill: Murchison Falls is one of the best places to spot this elusive bird in its natural habitat.
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbill: Large, striking ground hornbill found in savannah and woodland areas.
  • Goliath Heron: One of the largest herons in the world, often seen along the Nile River.


  • Boat Safari: Cruise to the base of Murchison Falls, spotting birds along the Nile River banks.
  • Game Drives: Explore the savannah plains for raptors, savannah birds, and the Shoebill.
  • Birding Walks: Guided walks in the park’s varied habitats.

4. Kibale Forest National Park

Bird Species: Over 375 bird species, with notable sightings of the Green-breasted Pitta, African Pitta, and a variety of forest birds.


  • Green-breasted Pitta: Stunningly colorful bird, a highlight for birdwatchers in Kibale.
  • African Pitta: Elusive ground-dwelling bird with vibrant plumage, sought after by birding enthusiasts.
  • Forest Birds: Diverse species including sunbirds, barbets, and cuckoos endemic to the Albertine Rift.


  • Guided Birdwatching Walks: Explore Kibale’s lush forest trails to find forest specialists.
  • Chimpanzee Tracking: Combine birding with chimpanzee tracking in the park.
  • Nocturnal Birding: Evening walks to spot nocturnal birds and forest dwellers.

5. Semuliki National Park

Bird Species: More than 440 bird species, including the rare and endemic Nkulengu Rail and White-crested Hornbill.


  • Congo Serpent Eagle: Impressive raptor found in the dense forests of Semuliki.
  • African Piculet: Small, colorful woodpecker endemic to Central Africa.
  • Central African Forest Birds: Diverse array of forest species rarely seen elsewhere.


  • Birding Along Semuliki River: Boat safaris and birding walks along the Semuliki River.
  • Forest Walks: Explore the park’s diverse habitats for forest birds and rare sightings.
  • Cultural Encounters: Interaction with the Batwa people adds cultural depth to the birding experience.

Sample Birding Itinerary in Uganda

Day 1: Entebbe – Mabamba Swamp

  • Morning arrival in Entebbe, transfer to Mabamba Swamp.
  • Boat trip to search for the Shoebill and other wetland birds.
  • Overnight in Entebbe.

Day 2-3: Murchison Falls National Park

  • Drive to Murchison Falls NP, birding en route.
  • Boat safari on the Nile River to spot the Shoebill and other waterbirds.
  • Game drives to explore savannah and woodland bird species.
  • Overnight stays in lodges overlooking the Nile.

Day 4-5: Kibale Forest National Park

  • Transfer to Kibale Forest NP, birding stops along the way.
  • Guided walks to find Green-breasted Pitta, African Pitta, and forest birds.
  • Optional chimpanzee tracking in the afternoon.
  • Overnight stays in lodges near Kibale.