Uganda for the birder

If you have a passion for birding, Uganda might be a good destination for you. The country boasts of a recorded 1062 bird species, or 12% of the world’s bird species and half of Africa’s bird population.

This diversity of birds is attributed to existence of large expanses of wetlands (13% of total land area) that are catalogued as lake edges, Nile shore swamps and valley swamps. Because of different types of topography, habitats change quickly inside a short distance and ultimately the number of species you can watch in a particular area can be huge. Since 1988 a total of eleven Ramsar sites have been designated and these are Important Birding Areas (IBAs). There are only two species that are endemic to Uganda (Fox’s weaver and Stuhlmann's double-collared sunbird) but overall, there are over 150 bird species in Uganda that cannot be found in any of the other four East African countries. Some of the unique and spectacular bird species include the Shoebill, the Albertine Rift endemics and the Green-breasted Pitta.

The country is also home to lots of migrant birds which usually arrive from November to April every year. Everywhere you stay in Uganda, there are birds and you will wake up to their beautiful songs every morning. Yet, while birds offer spectacular sights and sounds, Uganda also offers you mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, the source of the Nile, Murchison falls and opportunities for white water rafting. All of this happens in the background of wonderful scenery and very friendly people.