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|Birdwatching in Uganda
The birding opportunities in Uganda are impressive.
With over 1,000 species recorded, Uganda has almost half of the species known on the African continent and over 10% of those on record throughout the entire world.
Uganda’s equatorial location, combined with the altitude and great variety of terrain types provide an overwhelming array of opportunities for keen birders. The Queen Elizabeth National Park alone has 550 avian species.
For dedicated ornithologists, Uganda’s prime attraction is the presence
of more than 100 West African forest species at the most easterly
– and most accessible – extent of their range. This alluring list of forest specialists includes the psychedelic Great Blue Turaco and the raucous Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, as well as the gem-like Green Broadbill and 23 other species endemic to the Albertine Rift. Uganda is the best place to see what many rate as the most sought after African bird:
the Shoebill, a massive prehistoric-looking swamp-dweller notable for
its heavy clog-shaped bill.
Birdlife is prolific throughout Uganda, but certain key sites should be included in any ornithological itinerary. In the west, these include Bwindi National Park for Albertine Rift endemics, Queen Elizabeth National Park for a peerless checklist of 600 species, Semuliki National Park
for Congo Basin endemics, Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe for Shoebill, the community-run guided trail through Bigodi Wetland near Kibale Forest for Great Blue Turaco and other colourful forest birds, and Murchison Falls National Park for savannah specialists such as Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Red-Throated Bee-Eater and Denham’s Bustard. A key birding location in eastern Uganda is Lake Bisina, a stronghold for the endemic Fox’s Weaver as well as papyrus-dwellers such as Shoebill and Papyrus Gonolek.
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