For travelers interested in Birding, Bwindi impenetrable National Park is very safe for Birding. Encounter Africa safaris has conducted Uganda Birding and gorilla trips and we highly recommend birding in Bwindi in Uganda. Uganda is a birding paradise having more than 1073 recorded bird species making up 50% of Africa’s bird species and 11% of the world species, hence having one of the highest concentration of birds per square kilometers in Africa. Birding in Uganda rewards with easy spotting of many birds by covering just a small area or birding for a short period of time. Safety of birders is top priority as armed rangers and guides will escort you to the forest for Birding activity.
Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda and it is located in the south western Uganda sharing boarder with Congo, it is home to more than half of the only remaining Mountain Gorillas in the wild making it famous and best place to trek the Mountain Gorillas. The park is one of the oldest forests in Africa and was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Birding in Bwindi Forest National park is can be done in the four sectors namely Rushaga, Buhoma, and Ruhija and Nkuringo sector.
There are about 348 bird species have been recorded at Bwindi impenetrable National Park. They include 25 restricted-range species, of which 23 are confined to the Albertine Rift and four are globally threatened: African Green Broadbill -Pseudocalyptomena graueri-Vulnerable, Grauer’s Rush Warbler -Bradypterus graueri; Endangered, Chapin’s Flycatcher -Muscicapa lendu; Vulnerable and Shelley’s Crimson-wing -Cryptospiza Shelley- Vulnerable and many others. Bwindi is a very good destination for Birding as chances of spotting Birds are high as it has variety.
Most birding in Bwindi is done at Ruhija region at the Mubwindi swamp where some rare Albertine endemics and lifers can be observed in their national habitats as well as in Buhoma Region. Bwindi has three bird species that are the only surviving representatives of their respective genera: African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Warbler (Graueria vittata) and Short-tailed Warbler (Hemitesia Neumann). Indeed, both the broadbill and Short-tailed Warbler are thought to be more closely related to Asian- than to African species
The bird list of Bwindi include, Jameson’s Antpecker, Pink-footed Puff back, Waller’s Starling, Crested Guinea fowl, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Grey Crowned Crane, White-headed Saw-wing, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, African Olive-pigeon, Buff-spotted Wood, pecker,Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Ruwenzori Batis, Ansorge’s Greenbul, Klaas’s Cuckoo, White-throated Greenbul, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, African Paradise flycatcher, Cape Wagtail, Mountain Wagtail, Yellow-fronted Canary, Archer’s Robin-chat, Dusky Twin spot, Brown-capped Weaver, Vieillot’s Black Weaver, Lühder’s Bush-shrike, Mackinnon’s Shrike, Blue Spotted wood dove, Tambourine dove, Handsome francolin, Helmeted guinea fowl, African Goshawk, Sooty Falcon, Great Blue Turaco, African Wood-owl, African Pygmy-kingfisher, Double-toothed Barbet, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Yellow-whiskered, African Flycatcher-chat, African Dusky Flycatcher, Ross’s Turaco, Black Bee-eater, Grey-cheeked Hornbill, Angolan Swallow, African Broadbill, White-eyed Slaty-flycatcher, African Hill-babbler, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, African Citril.
Birding activity in Bwindi costs USD30 per person per day, with Park entrance fees of USD40 per person per day, the fees are paid to Uganda wildlife Authority which is in charge of all National Parks and activities in Uganda. Birding is very interesting and you should carry a pair of Binoculars, raincoat, birding books and camera for a greater experience. Our professional Birding guides will join you in identifying the birds, giving you all relevant birding information for an amazing birding experience in Africa.
The best time to do Birding in Bwindi forest is during the drier months of January, February, June, July, August and early September, these months experience less rainfall though the climate changes every day. Any time of the year, you can do birding in Bwindi. Sometimes, the rainy season is considered better to see do birding as there is a lot of food growing because of rain and birds can clearly be spotted. We recommend you book your birding trip to Bwindi impenetrable national Park in advance, most times lodges/Camps have no availability during high season. Contact us for your birding trip to Bwindi.
You can start your trip from Entebbe/Kampala to south western Uganda for your Birding safari. You can opt for Road trip which is about 9-10 hours to Bwindi, this gives you an opportunity to stop for road side birding along the many swamps on the way. You will also stop at the Equator for Photography and en-route Lunch in Mbarara.
You can as well fly to Kisoro or Kihihi Airstrips that serve Bwindi impenetrable national park from Entebbe international Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip. You can also fly into Kigali international Airport, drive to south western Uganda through Cyanika or Katuna Boarder which take only 4-5 hours with the time spent at immigrations at the border. We always advise our visitors to acquire the East African Visa which allows multiple entry of both Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The East African Visa fee costs USD100 which can be gotten at the Airport upon arrival or online and it is cost effective instead of buying single entry Visas. But you can as well opt to secure single Visas as well, the Rwandan Visa costs USD30 and Uganda Visa cost USD 50. Bwindi impenetrable National Park is safe for birding and very accessible.
Bwindi impenetrable national park has many lodges/Hotels/camps where you can stay on your birding safari. These range from budget to high end hotels and Encounter Africa safaris can help you book the hotel of your choice and budget.
In Bwindi, we recommend staying in the sector where you doing birding from for easy accessibility of the park headquarters. In Rushaga, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, in Nkuringo you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge. In Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany springs Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, and Gorilla forest camp. In Ruhija sector you can stay at Trekkers tavern Lodge, Bakiga lodge or even at Lake Bunyonyi or lodges in Kabale town. The lodges are very many in Bwindi but they require to be booked in advance as they can be fully booked during high season. We always ensure standard service safety of clients on their stay.
Encounter Africa safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Encounter Africa safaris is run and owned by Ugandans. We have been in operation for more than 15 years and we specialize in life changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your birding safari and all services. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris to plan your birding safari to Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park.