Explore the breathtaking landscapes of Uganda and discover an abundance of avian species on an unforgettable birdwatching safari. 

Whether you are a seasoned birdwatcher or a beginner, birding safaris in Uganda offer an opportunity to spot over 1000 bird species in easy-to-access locations. With its diverse habitats and unique geography, the country is home to a remarkable variety of resident and migratory birds.

Visit the national parks, wetlands, and forests that serve as sanctuaries for these beautiful creatures. Use this guide to plan your birdwatching trip, embrace the adventure, and be a part of the conservation efforts to protect the rich avian heritage of this remarkable African nation.


Best Time for Birding Safaris in Uganda

The best time for birding safaris in Uganda largely depends on the bird species you wish to observe and your tolerance for weather conditions. Uganda's birdlife is vibrant year-round, but certain periods stand out for unique avian encounters. The dry seasons, from December to February and June to September, offer excellent visibility as the foliage thins out, making it easier to spot and identify birds.

Migratory Bird Seasons: Migratory birds from Europe and Asia arrive from November to April, adding to the spectacle. Witness the incredible spectacle of migratory birds that flock to Uganda during their annual journeys. 

Breeding Periods: Visit during the breeding season, typically from May to August, to see birds in their full breeding plumage and observe their courtship rituals.




If you're looking for an incredible birding safari adventure in Africa, Uganda is the perfect destination to visit. Numerous happy birdwatchers have shared their fantastic experiences in our reviews. If you need some inspiration, feel free to take a look at our birdwatching safari reviews from previous visitors.

  • star ratingExcellent experience with Encounter! - Seamless experience from start to finish. Great communication with Denis when booking. Denis gave me several options for lodges/tours and provided guidance along the way when deciding which was the... read more

    July 9, 2023

    star ratingExceptional service and an amazing experience!  - Excellent service - Was able to curate my own trip with assistance from the company. Everything was so easy and payments safe too. Easy booking, great communication, great driver/guide, really... read more

    August 12, 2023

    star ratingAmazing experience!  - My husband and I did the three day gorilla trekking tour. We had an amazing time! Our driver Martin really made the experience. When we travel we like to try... read more

    Serene S
    July 4, 2023

    star ratingWorth every penny! - We did the two-day Gorilla Trek excursion from Kigali, Rwanda to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and back.

    July 10, 2023

    star ratingWe did the 3 day Gorilla Tracking Safari and it was a truly once in a lifetime experience. Leading up to the event, Dennis was wonderful for communicating and Godwin,... read more

    August 27, 2023

    star ratinggreat agency - we had an amazing experience using Encounter Africa, very professional staff, super reactive, reliable and friendly. the hotel selection that was proposed was very good value for money and the... read more

    edouard h
    August 21, 2023
  • star ratingAn amazing lifetime experience to see the most beautiful animals. Loved it! - I can wholeheartedly recommend this tour. It was awesome! My guide and driver for the 5 days was Stephen. He was friendly and knowledgeable. It was great meeting him. The... read more

    Jonathan B
    August 3, 2023

    star ratingUganda the Beautiful - Writing for my husband as he did a solo tour in Uganda: Absolutely amazing journey and wonderful country. Encounter Africa delivered everything that they said they would, and Patrick... read more

    Kristine K
    August 14, 2023

    star ratingOUR TRIP WAS INCREDIBLE - My partner an I had the most incredible vacation! It is difficult figuring out which safari company to choose since there are so many. BOOK THIS ONE!! We travel the... read more

    July 21, 2023

    star ratingGreat Safari Tour - Wow, what an amazing tour we had. Gorillas, chimps, tree climbing lions, elephants and much more. Our guide Jason was really knowledgeable and very easy going. Thanks alot for a... read more

    Lewis B
    July 28, 2023

    star ratingThe whole experience, from start to finish, was absolutely amazing. Adams is THE MAN!! Everything ran seamlessly, from pick up to drop off. Adams was great at keeping us entertained... read more

    Sarah B
    July 28, 2023

    star ratingAmazing trip to Uganda - I booked my trip with Encounter Africa Safaris. It was a five das trip As a solo traveller. Dennis, the organiser, was extremely helpful and caring during the whole... read more

    July 25, 2023

Top Birding Safari Destinations in Uganda

Uganda's diverse landscapes provide an impressive list of habitats for its feathered residents and migratory guests. Here are some of the top birding safari destinations in Uganda to explore:

Mabamba Swamps

Mabamba Swamps, located on the shores of Lake Victoria, is renowned for its exceptional birdlife and, most notably, the elusive Shoebill Stork. A boat ride through the swamps offers a chance to witness this prehistoric-looking bird in its natural habitat, among many other avian delights.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a mystical realm where dense vegetation conceals some of Uganda's most sought-after bird species. Here, you can find the iconic African Green Broadbill, a bird with emerald plumage that seems to shimmer in the dappled sunlight. Bwindi is also famous for its gorilla trekking experiences, making it a unique opportunity to combine primate encounters with birdwatching.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, the avian diversity is nothing short of breathtaking. Keep your eyes peeled for the magnificent Shoebill stork, a prehistoric-looking bird that captures the imagination of birdwatchers. This park boasts a range of landscapes, from savannas to crater lakes, making it a haven for birdlife.

Murchison Falls National Park

For a thrilling birding experience near the powerful Murchison Falls and along the Nile River, head to Murchison Falls National Park. Here, you can spot the elusive Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, a vibrant and charismatic bird that adds color to the landscape.

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park, situated in the western part of Uganda, is a treasure trove for birdwatchers. It's particularly known for its diverse range of bird species, including the African Grey Parrot and the elusive Green-breasted Pitta. Explore the forests and grasslands of Semuliki for an unforgettable birding experience.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The park, renowned for its mountain gorillas, also harbors a diverse array of bird species, making it a top birding destination. The varied altitudes within the park, ranging from around 2,227 meters (7,306 feet) to over 4,157 meters (13,540 feet) at the peak of Mount Muhabura, create a range of habitats that support a rich avian population. Here, birdwatchers can spot the spectacular Rwenzori Turaco, Dusky Turtle Dove, Olive Woodpecker, and many other fascinating bird species against the stunning backdrop of volcanic peaks and lush forests. 

List of Must-See Bird Species in Uganda

Here are 30 must-see bird species you might encounter during your birding safari in Uganda:

  • Shoebill Stork
  • African Grey Parrot
  • African Green Broadbill
  • Grey Crowned Crane
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Martial Eagle
  • Great Blue Turaco
  • Yellow-billed Stork
  • Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill
  • Eastern Grey Plantain-eater
  • Rwenzori Turaco
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Green-breasted Pitta
  • Red-throated Bee-eater
  • African Finfoot
  • Ross's Turaco
  • Bar-tailed Trogon
  • African Pygmy Kingfisher
  • African Harrier Hawk
  • African Skimmer
  • Black-billed Turaco
  • Great Blue Turaco
  • Ross's Turaco
  • Narina Trogon
  • Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
  • African Blue Flycatcher
  • African White-backed Vulture
  • Black Bee-eater
  • Great Blue Turaco

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Birding Safaris in Uganda

We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you plan a successful birding safari in Uganda.

Q1: What makes Uganda a prime destination for birding safaris?

Q2: When is the best time to visit Uganda for a birding safari?

Q3: Which are the top birding destinations in Uganda?

Q4: Are guided birding safaris available in Uganda, and are they recommended?

Q5: What bird species are unique to Uganda and can be spotted during a birding safari?

Q6: How do I prepare for a birding safari in Uganda?

Q7: What is the duration of a typical birding safari in Uganda?

Q8: How can I contribute to bird conservation efforts during my birding safari?

Q9: Are there any health precautions or vaccinations required before a birding safari in Uganda?

Q10: What is the etiquette for birdwatching in Uganda?