Uganda, the best birding destination

 

Uganda is arguably the most attractive country in Africa to bird watchers ( tour), not only to because of the unusually number of species recorded within its borders, but also because it offers easy access to several bird-rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere. Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity-1,083 species recorded in an area similar to that of Great Britain can be attributed to its location at a transitional point between the East African savanna, the West African rainforest and the semi-desert of the north.

The key to Uganda’s diversity is its variety of habitats: arid semi-dessert, rich Savannah, lowland and montane rain-forests, vast wetlands, volcanoes and an Afro-alpine zone. Uganda covers an altitude from 650 to 5000m above sea level.

Analytical of Uganda’s intermediary position is the fact that only one bird is endemic to the country, the rather ordinary Fox’s weaver. However, if you take only East Africa into consideration, then approximately 150 bird species (more than 10% of the regional checklists) are found only in Uganda. This list includes seven of the 20 horn-bill species recorded in the region, five out of 14 honey guides, five out of 20 bush family as well as 13 members of the thrush family, 11 warblers, ten fly-catchers, eight sun birds, eight weavers, eight finches, four tinker birds, four pigeons, 3 kingfishers, 3 sparrow hawks, 3 cuckoos and 3 night jars.

Most of these Uganda’s specials are West African and Congolese forest birds that should be very difficult to see elsewhere for the simple reason that the other countries in which they occur are poorly developed for Tourism. The rain forests of Western Uganda must be seen as the country’s most important bird habitat, and that is the greatest interest to birdwatchers( bird watching), particularly if they are already familiar with typical East African birds. The most alluring forests in Uganda with localized species is Semliki, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest and Bwindi Forest. However, Kibale is the Uganda’s spot for forest birds and the nearby Magombe swamp. Even the relatively tame botanical gardens in Entebbe will throw up several interesting species.

 

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