Bird Species in Entebbe Botanical Gardens

March 20, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

Bird Species in Entebbe Botanical Gardens: Birding at Entebbe Botanical Gardens is a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts and is home to a diverse range of birdlife, including water, open country, and woodland species. The only national botanical garden in Uganda. It was formalised or gazetted in the early 1900s and is situated on the serene shores of Lake Victoria. The gardens are a haven of treasure, filled with fresh air from the lush green environment. They house a variety of tropical and subtropical plants, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching. In 1998, the gardens underwent rehabilitation, during which a species count was conducted. Approximately 199 species of plants indigenous to Uganda were recorded, totaling 309 plant species in total. Keep an eye out for Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, a rare bird species often spotted at the entrance of the gardens.

Bird Species to see in Entebbe Botanical Gardens:

The Botanical Gardens, located on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, are a haven for birdwatchers. Here’s a glimpse of some of the fascinating bird species you can encounter in this lush and serene environment:

Orange Weavers: These vibrant birds weave intricate nests and add a splash of colour to the gardens. Vieillot’s-Black Weavers: Their glossy plumage and distinctive markings make them stand out with a very beautiful yellow creamy eye colour. Red-Chested Sunbirds: These tiny sunbirds flit among the flowers, sipping nectar. Marabou Storks: With their imposing size and bald heads, Marabou Storks are hard to miss and this is the bird with the largest wing span in the entire world. Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls: Rare and majestic, these owls often grace the entrance of the gardens. Black-headed Herons are elegant Waders that frequent the water’s edge. Hamerkop are known for their unique nest-building skills, whereby they create extremely large, domed nests.

African Open-Billed Storks: Their distinctive bills allow them to feed on molluscs and snails. Long-Tailed Cormorants: These aquatic birds dive for fish and dry their wings in the sun. Pied Kingfishers: Watch them hover over the water before plunging in to catch fish. Giant Kingfishers: Their impressive size and striking plumage make them a treat to observe. Yellow-billed Ducks: These dabbling ducks paddle gracefully in the ponds. Swamp Flycatchers: are agile insect hunters that flit through the foliage. Grey-headed Gulls: These gulls are often seen near water bodies. Common Squaccos: small Herons with distinctive yellow legs. Black-headed Gonoleks: Their melodious calls resonate through the gardens.

Other notable birds you might encounter include:

African and Red-billed Firefinch

Black-and-White-Casqued Hornbill

White-browed Coucal

Little Stint

Little Weaver

Striated Heron

Ruff

Gull-billed Tern

Rüppell’s Long-tailed Starling

Grey-headed Sparrow

Spur-winged Lapwing

White-winged Tern

Klaas’s African Emerald, Red-chested, Levaillant’s and Diederik Cuckoos

Northern Crombec

Tambourine and Blue-spotted Wood-dove

Little Greenbul

Pink-backed Pelican

Yellow-billed Stork

Eastern Grey Plantain-eater

Northern Yellow White-Eye

Purple-banded, Red-chested, Marico, Olive-bellied, Gren-throated, Superb, Eastern Olive and Scarlet-chested Sunbird

African Jacana

Hadada and Glossy Ibis

African Open-billed Stork

Malachite Kingfisher

Blue-checked Bee-eater

Common Sandpiper

Wood Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

Black Crake

Congo CAfrican) Pied and Crowned Hornbill

Woodland Kingfisher, Pied and African Pygmy Kingfisher

Water Thick-knee

Madagascar Bee-eater

Egyptian Goose

Black-headed Weaver, Slender-billed, Black-necked, Grosbeak, Golden-backed and Orange  Weaver

Broad-billed Roller, African Grey and Meyer’s Parrot, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Yellow-billed Kite, Great Blue and Ross’s Turaco, Yellow-rumped and Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, African Wood-Owl, White-browed and Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, Bat Hawk, African Palm Swift, Grey Woodpecker, Winding Cisticola, Sedge Warbler, Black and White Shrike Flycatcher and more.

Other activities in Entebbe Botanical Gardens:

Apart from birdwatching, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens are perfect for relaxation, picnics, and educational trips. You’ll also encounter over 100 medicinal plant species, each believed by locals to cure specific ailments. Remember, while exploring the gardens, to take in the beauty of nature and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Remember, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens are not only a birdwatcher’s paradise but also a place of relaxation, picnics, and scientific research. Explore the tropical plants, enjoy the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the beauty of both flora and fauna!

Plant and Tree Diversity:

The gardens house an impressive collection of species from tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate zones. As of 1998, the collection included 309 species: 199 indigenous to Uganda, 122 with known medicinal value, and 110 exotic species. You’ll encounter a rich variety of ornamentals, some of which are available for sale: Coconut palm, oil palm, Indian lilac, Horse Cassia, Cannonball Tree, Loquat, Bermuda Cedar, Mediterranean Cypress, Birdwatcher’s Paradise: Entebbe Botanical Gardens are a birding hotspot. The Palm Nut Vulture and African Grey Parrot are residents. Bat Hawk often graces the skies during sunset, best observed from the Botanical Beach Hotel patio bar and many others.

Treasure and Discovery:

Visitors experience restfulness and peace amidst the natural beauty. The sounds of birds break the stillness of the moment. It’s a lovely place for a leisurely visit—bring along a picnic lunch and make it an all-day adventure. Hidden treasure: While not always on typical itineraries, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens are a hidden gem. Whether you’re a birder or simply seeking beauty, these gardens offer a feast for the eyes.

Cost of Birding at Entebbe Botanical Gardens:

There are a few different criteria that determine how much birdwatching at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens costs. Foreigners pay UGX 25000 per person, whereas Ugandans pay UGX 15000. However, depending on the category, the exact pricing information for this given site may vary. Recall that the price may change depending on your status as a student, resident, or international visitor.

Location and setting of Entebbe Botanical Gardens:

To reach the Entebbe Botanical Gardens from Kampala city centre, follow these directions:

By Road: If you’re at Entebbe International Airport, it’s just a short 5-minute drive to the gardens. From Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, you’ll need to drive approximately 34 kilometers (about 40 minutes) to reach the gardens. Google Maps: You can use Google Maps to navigate from your current location to the gardens. Simply enable JavaScript and search for “Entebbe Botanical Gardens.” The gardens are located at Berkely Road, Entebbe, Wakiso district.

The Entebbe Botanical Gardens are situated on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, virtually on the equator. With an annual rainfall of 1623 mm and an altitude of 1134 metres, these gardens cover an expansive 40.7 hectares. The entrance is conveniently close to the Botanical Beach Hotel. Colobus monkeys are a common sight, adding to the enchanting atmosphere.

Accommodation Options:

·        Kidepo Guest House

·        UWEC Leisure Accommodation

·        Lake Heights Hotel

·        Sienna Beach Hotel

The Gardens provide a perfect introduction to the Pearl of Africa, Uganda, with all its magical splendour. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a birdlover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens offer a delightful experience with their lush greenery, diverse flora, and captivating birdlife. Enjoy your visit!