Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park : With over 1,000 bird species, Uganda is one of the best birding destinations in Africa with numerous places that offer extremely high satisfaction for the experience. Among these birds is a big number of species that are rarely seen in other countries. Uganda is gifted with diverse breath-taking wildlife including gorillas, chimps, tree climbing lions and more and these are featured by the range of bird species which will be spotted from many places but with some species that are common in specific destinations.
In Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park is an exceptional destination for bird watching. It has over 600 bird species found in different habitats including savannah, forests, wetlands and bushes and thickets. The park hosts the largest number of birds more than any other park in east Africa and therefore a good destination for birders. one of the areas where lots of birds are spotted is along Kazinga channel while cruising on the boat. Common bird sightings at this site include Pied kingfishers, African fish eagle, Water-thick knee, Spoon-billed stork, Hammerkop, African Jacana, Great egrets, Little egret, Egyptian geese, Pink and White backed pelicans, Malachite kingfisher and more. There are many other areas in Queen Elizabeth national park where birders will always make great memories of the birding experiences. They include;
Mweya Penisula – this area is mainly covered with bushes and thickets and the common bird species at the peninsula are the Little Bee-eater, Red-capped Lark, Red-chested sunbird, Swallows, Grey-headed kingfisher, Martins, Blue-napped mouse bird, Swamp Nightjar, Diederik Cuckoo, Pygmy kingfisher, Grey-caped warbler, Slender-billed weaver, Pin-tailed Whydah, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Nubian woodpecker, Black headed Gonolek among others.
Not only is this a game viewing spot but also a perfect place for bird watching. A lot of birds welcome you as you drive to Kasenyi and more including birds of prey are seen when driving through the tracks in the plains. Some of these bird species include; the African White-backed Vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Bateleurs, Senegal Plover, African Wattled Plover, Rufous napped Lark, White-tailed Lark, Martial eagle, Grey Kestrel, African Crake, Lappet-faced Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Hooded Vulture, Temmick’s courser, Kittlitz’s Plover, Crowned Plover, Long-created Eagle, Black-headed gonolek, Black-crowned Tchagra and much more.
This place is popular for tree climbing lions but also has a variety of bird species. Some of them are the shoebill, Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Brown Snake eagle, Martial Eagle, Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture, Wahlberg’s eagle, Bateleur, Stipped kingfisher, Ross’s Turaco, Double toothed barbet, Green crombec, Yellow-billed oxpeckers, African green pigeon and Helmeted Guinea fowl among others.
Maramagambo forest is mainly famous for the bat cave which also attracts snakes and has beautiful butterflies. This forest is also a habitat for a range of bird species some of which fly to Mweya every morning and go back to the forest in the evening. Common bird sightings in this forest are Black cuckoo, African Finfoot, Little grebe, Black coucal, Red-chested cuckoo, Red-throated Wryneck, African Emerald cuckoo, Marsh Tchagra, Black Bishop, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike and Barbets among others.
Other areas around Queen Elizabeth national park where lots of bird species are spotted are Katwe, Kyambura, around Katunguru Bridge and around Kikorongo. Uganda recognizes its birds on the popular “Big Birding Day” in wildlife every year and Queen Elizabeth national park has merged the top birding destination several times with the highest number of bird sightings. Arriving in the best time for birding in Queen Elizabeth national park is from May to September to be able to also spot various migratory birds. All you need not to forget behind are your binoculars, birding book