Bird species in Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo Forest Within the lush greenery of the Budongo Forest, Kaniyo Pabidi in Uganda is a birdwatching

Bird species in Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo Forest

Bird species in Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo Forest: Within the lush greenery of the Budongo Forest, Kaniyo Pabidi in Uganda is a birdwatching paradise. The forest is a treasure trove of avian wonders, boasting over 360 bird species that call it home. It is no wonder that it has become a popular ecotourism site.

The Budongo Forest, in which Kaniyo Pabidi is located, is the largest mahogany forest in East Africa, and its natural beauty alone is worth the visit. However, the opportunity to see an incredible variety of birds up close and personal is an experience that should not be missed. Visitors can also engage in other activities such as chimpanzee tracking, forest walks, habituation, and research, making Kaniyo Pabidi a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Bird species found in Kaniyo Pabidi, Budongo Forest

The lush forest of Kaniyo Pabidi is a haven for a variety of exquisite bird species that are native to West and Central African origins, including Guinea-Congo Biomes Forest bird species that call this forest home. Found in the heart of the Ugandan rainforest of Budongo, Kaniyo Pabidi is a stunning example of the beauty and diversity of this unique ecosystem.

Birdwatching in this area can be both challenging and rewarding. The dense vegetation makes it difficult to spot many of the bird species that inhabit the forest, but the sounds of chirping and singing add a delightful ambiance to the experience. In fact, hearing the calls of the birds is often easier than seeing them perched in the treetops. Despite these challenges, don’t lose hope Journeys Uganda has great birding and experienced safari guides.

With patience and persistence, there are many rewards that await. Even during the dull brown moments, there’s always the possibility of catching a glimpse of the near-endemic skulking Puvel’s Illadopsis, the only spot where we can find it in East central Africa, the intra African migrating African Pitta, Yellow and Grey Longbill, Ituri Batis, Yellow-Rumped and Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, the striking White-thighed Hornbill, a magnificent bird with a striking horn-shaped beak, Congo-pied Hornbill, Little, Spotted, Plain, Yellow-whiskered and White-throated Greenbul, the solitary Forest Robin, African Emerald and Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-breasted and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, Western Black-headed Oriole, Yellow-billed, Yellow-spotted and Hairy Breasted Barbet,  Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, the Warbler like Green-Hylia, Red-headed Malimbe, the local and uncommon Green Twinspot, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Black-billed Turaco and the beautiful Great Blue Turaco, Narina Trogon, Crested Malimbe, and the Red-headed Bluebill, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, with Vibrant Finches, Fire-crested Alethe, the shy and rare Nahan’s Partridge, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Little-green Sunbird, this is also a good place for the Western Crested Guinea Fowl, Western Olive Sunbird and Western Nicator among others.

Best time to go birding in Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo Forest

Kaniyo Pabidi, nestled within the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The most favourable time to catch a glimpse of the diverse bird species here is during the morning and evening hours. During the morning, the chirps and calls of birds fill the air as they engage in an active search for food. Their melodious sounds and songs, often used for courtship and mating, make it a delightful experience to observe them. As the day progresses, the birds tend to retreat to the canopies of trees to rest and prepare for nesting, making the evening hours a perfect time to spot them. Here, bird enthusiasts can witness the birds gather together in a peaceful environment, creating an ideal spot for birdwatching. The forest area is home to a rich variety of birds, making it a highly sought-after location for bird lovers to indulge in their passion.

Other activities in  Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo Forest

Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism Site offers a variety of exciting activities for visitors to explore the natural beauty of this stunning forest.

Chimpanzee Tracking: Kaniyo Pabidi is renowned for its chimpanzees, with 600–800 individuals forming several distinct groups. Visitors have the unique opportunity to observe these fascinating primates up close during guided chimpanzee tracking excursions. The habituation process began in 1992, ensuring that Chimpanzees are often seen. The best chances of spotting chimps are during May to August, with over a 90% chance of sightings. In other months, the chances vary, but it’s still an incredible experience.

Nature Walks and Hiking: Explore the forest on foot through a network of 115 km of trails. A guide accompanies visitors, tailoring the programme to individual preferences. Enjoy the untouched beauty of Budongo Forest, home to big-buttressed mahogany and ironwood trees. From Pabidi Hill, savour magnificent views over Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Albert, and even glimpses of the Congo mountains.

Sightseeing: Take in the breathtaking vistas from Pabidi Hill, where you can gaze across the landscape. The river Waiga runs through the site, and forest glades contain salt licks, attracting forest creatures in the early morning. The forest’s remote location occasionally brings sightings of Lions, Leopards, Forest Elephants, Bushbucks and Buffaloes.

Best season for Birding in Budongo Forest

Although it is good all year round, the best times to see the birds in Budongo Forest are in February, April, and September. The primary fruiting season is from June to September, when food is plentiful and many birds are in breeding plumage. The forest is home to migratory birds from November through April. The wettest months are November and April/May. Due to poor road conditions, the heavy rains may cause delays. Your time spent watching birds may be limited by slick hiking paths. You can plan your activities at Murchison Falls National Park and your birdwatching excursions in Budongo Forest with the assistance of Journeys Uganda.

 Location and Access to Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo Forest, Murchison Falls National Park

Kaniyo Pabidi is situated in the heart of Budongo Forest Reserve in the Southern part of Murchison Falls Conservation area, which lies northwest of the capital city Kampala on the way to Murchison Falls National Park. To reach Kaniyo Pabidi, drive from Kampala-Gulu Highway northwards to Nakasongola and wind off to Masindi town. Take Pakwarch Road towards Murchison Falls National Park and follow the signposts to Budongo Forest after crossing Kichumbanyobo Gate. The site is signposted off to the right on the main road through the park to Paraa. Unfortunately, no public transport is available directly to Kaniyo Pabidi
Alternatively, you can access Kaniyo Pabidi from Paraa after crossing the new bridge towards Budongo Forest vais the top of the Falls and Sambiya River Lodge.

Where to stay while birding Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo Forest

There is a one Budingo Eco-Lodge situated just at the beginning point of all activities at Kaniyo Pabidi. However, Masindi town with a choice of hotels is at most a 30 minutes drive and the recently renovated ancient Sambiya River Lodge is about an hours drive to the starting point.