Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the recognized Important Birding Areas by the Birding International and if you are looking for a place to enjoy numerous avian species, just add this Park to your bucket list and you will never regret it.

This National Park is located within western Uganda, stretches for approximately 1978 square kilometers across a number of districts that include Kasese, Bushenyi, Fortportal, Rukungiri and Kanungu, thus making it the second largest Park in the country and its confluence of forest and savannah link to the extensive forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo thus allowing tourists to sight numerous East and Central African bird species.

There are over 600 species of birds (more than half the country’s bird species) inform of forest, aquatic, woodland and various migratory species with different interesting birding spots such as the Kazinga Channel, Mweya Peninsula, Kyambura gorge, Ishasha sector, Maramagambo forest, Kasenyi Plains, the Explosion Crater Lakes and the Mweya Peninsula among others.

The Park sits at an elevation of 800 meters around Lake Edward until 1845 meters at the Peak of the western Rift Valley’s eastern Escarpment and characterized by different vegetation types and habitats including moist thickets, open grasslands, moist semi-deciduous forests, riverine bushland, permanent swamps, open woodlands and riparian forest that also offer haven to the birds species.

Therefore, the key species you are likely to spot while on Uganda tour to Queen Elizabeth National Park include the Pink backed Pelican, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Wattled Plovers, Shoebill, White-tailed Lark, Wood Sandpiper, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red-chested sunbirds, Papyrus Gonolek, Martial Eagle, Egyptian Geese, Common Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Water Thick-knee, Water-Thick knee, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Red-capped Larks, Temminck’s courser, Papyrus Canary, African Fish Eagle, Goliath Heron, Knob-billed Ducks, Grey-headed kingfisher, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Crake, Corncrake, African Skimmer, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmers, Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, open-billed Stork, Papyrus Canary, African Skimmer, Saddle billed Stork, White-winged Warbler, Pin-tailed Whydah, Long tailed Cormorants, the African Broadbill, Collared Pranticole, Madagascar Bee-eaters, African Mourning Doves, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Blue Breasted Bee-eaters, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, Pink-backed Pelicans, Black Bee-eater, Spur-winged Plovers, Malachite Kingfisher, Greater and Lesser Flamingos Blue breasted Bee eater, Common Squacco Heron, African Spoonbill, Hammerkop, black-ramped buttonquail, African Jacana, papyrus gonolek, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Black- rumped Buttonquail, Pied Kingfishers, Marabou Storks, White-winged Terns, Great white Pelicans, Great White Egrets, Black headed Gonolek, Eagle Owls, Yellow backed Weavers, Pied kingfishers, White-winged Warbler, thin-tailed Nightjars,

Hiking down into the lush Kyambura gorge offers opportunity of spotting diversity of forest bird species including the speckled Tinker bird, Green Hylia, Broad-tailed Warbler, Grey Wood pecker, purple-headed starling, Hairy breasted Barbet as well as black and African Emeralds Cuckoos that can also be spotted within the Maramagambo Forest within the Park. Please note, Kyambura gorge is also famous for primates tracking with species like Chimpanzees, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Olive baboons, Black and white colobus monkeys among others.

When to go Birding in Queen Elizabeth National park?

The perfect time for bird watching within Queen Elizabeth National Park is the wet season (March to May and October to November) because it offers high chances of seeing the migrant bird species within the Explosion Crater Lakes such as within Lake Nyamunuka.

What to Carry?

This activity requires birder’s to carry pair of binoculars, camera, backpack, drinking water, long sleeved shirt and long trousers because it involves walking through different habitats and vegetation types.

Where to Stay?

  • Mweya Safari lodge
  • Katara Lodge
  • Mazike safari lodge
  • Kyambura Game Lodge
  • Ihamba safari lodge
  • Simba safari camp
  • Twin Lake Safari Lodge
  • Enganzi Lodge
  • Bush Lodge
  • Park View Safari Lodge