Birdwatching in Uganda's Lutembe Bay

Birdwatching in Uganda’s Lutembe Bay

March 13, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

Birdwatching in Uganda’s Lutembe Bay: Nestled between Entebbe and Kampala, Lutembe Bay is a hidden gem for birdwatchers. There is a wide variety of bird species at this Ramsar site and Important Bird Area (IBA) on Lake Victoria. Let us investigate this popular birding area. It is situated about 2 kilometres off the Kampala-Entebbe highway in Lutembe Bay in the Wakiso District. Lutembe is under the management of the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and is designated as a Ramsar site and Important Bird Area.

Why go birdwatching in Lutembe Bay?

Lutembe Bay is a crucial migration stopover for both indigenous birds and millions of Palearctic migrants, These are bird species that cross from North European countries to Africa due to changes in climatic conditions, especially during the winter season, to seek refuge in the tropics due to the conducive climatic conditions in Uganda, inclusive. The White-winged Terns and Grey-headed Gulls, enormous flocks of these birds grace the bay, making it a remarkable bird-watching site.

Bird Diversity

Lutembe Bay stretches past the papyrus-filled lakeshore, encompassing gardens, thickets, and forested grasslands. Over 200 kinds of birds can be found in this varied area. Types of the Lake Victoria Biome: Eight of the twelve species of the Lake Victoria biome known in Uganda are found in Lutembe.
The best time to go birding is between September and March, when you may see a lot of Palearctic birds such as Madagascar Squacco Heron, White-winged Terns, Slender-billed Gulls, Caspian Tern, White-backed Night Heron, Black Heron, and others.

Exploring Lutembe:

Starting Point: Begin your birding trip near the “New Lutembe Beach.” You can split off the Kampala-Entebbe route at Namulanda or explore the gravel lanes between Kajjansi and Namulanda.
Morning Magic: I love the early hours of the day. Insects flutter around as the sun rises, drawing in bird species that consume insects. Look for them among bushes, trees, marshes, and other habitats.
Lake Shore and Boat Ride: Visit the lakeshore to see wildlife such as waders and marshland plants. Take a boat ride from New Lutembe Beach for a memorable experience. Huge groups of water birds perched on mudflats can be seen when travelling along the papyrus.

Bird species found at Lutembe include:

Yellow-Throated Long Claw
Great, Yellow-billed, Cattle and Little Egrets
Senegal Lapwing
the common and wide spread Spur-winged Lapwing
Open-billed Stork
African-wattled lapwing
Grey-caped Warbler
Black Crake
Fantailed Widowbird
Hamerkop
Common Moorhen
Sedge, Lesser Swamp, Greater Swamp and Reed Warblers
Blue-headed Coucal
White browed Coucal
Papyrus Gonolek.
Grey-headed Gulls
Plain -backed Pipit
Red-eyed Dove
Village, Orange, Golden-backed, Slender-billed, Black-headed and Grosbeak Weavers
Black-Winged Stilt
Grassland and the migrating Tree Pipit
Flapped and Rufous-naped Larks
White-Browed and Brown-backed Scrubrobin
Noteworthy species recorded:
Red-chested Sunbird
White-browed Robin-chat
Snowy-headed Robin-chat
White-throated, Olive and Blue-cheecked Bee-eater
Yellow-throated Greenbul
Black-headed Gonolek
Yellow-rumped and Yellow-throated Tinkerbird

Red-headed Lovebird, Meyer’s Parrot, Diederik and Klaas’s Cuckoo, Brown Twinspot, Red-rumped, Swallow, Angola Swallow, Barn Swallow, Red-billed Firefinch, Red-cheecked Cordon-bleu, Bronze Manikin, African Paradise Flycatcher and many more

Lutembe Bay awaits your lens and curiosity. Capture the vibrant plumage and intricate behaviour of these feathered wonders in this lakeside paradise.