Uganda’s Best Time for Birding

March 18, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

Uganda’s Best Time for Birding: When is the best time of year to go birdwatching in Uganda? Before deciding to travel to the Pearl of Africa in pursuit of outstanding prospects for bird photography, most birdwatchers ask themselves this question. To quench your thirst for the above question, let us look at the best time to go birdwatching in this vibrant African birding nation.

Uganda offers fantastic birdwatching experiences for those who enjoy wildlife. With over 1,000 species, including rare endemics and migratory birds, Uganda is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Uganda is an incredible destination for birdwatchers, with over a thousand different species of birds to be observed in its savannahs, wetlands, tropical rainforests, and private farmlands. Of the approximately 150 bird species that are exclusive to Uganda alone, only one endemic species are found there that are exclusive to East Africa. From November through April, migrating birds can be seen here as well.

Top bird species in Uganda

Explore Uganda’s breathtaking birds and different landscapes now! Once you know when to travel for birding activities, these are the top birds you may view in Uganda:

Grauer’s Cuckooshrike, Neumann’s Warbler, Karamoja Apalis, Nahan’s Patridge (Francolin), Handsome Partridge (Francolin), Oberlaender’s Ground Thrush, Red-faced Barbet, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Red-throated Alethe, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Ruwenzori Double-Collared Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, and Ruwenzori Apalis Babbler with Black Lore, the Nightjar and Ruwenzori Turaco, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Unusual Stripe-breasted Tit, Ugandan Woodland Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Blue-Headed Sunbird, Archer’s Grown Robin, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Fox’s Weaver the only endemic bird to Uganda mostly seen in the eatsern part of the country in dry savannahs, Dusky Crimsonwing, Grauer’s (African) Broadbill, Sunbird with golden wings, the Grant’s Bluebill Elgon and Jackson’s Spurfowl (Francolin), Hartlaub’s Turacoall these 3 seen in the high mountains on the Uganda-Kenya birder, Dwarf Honeyguide, Brown-chested Lapwing, Black Bee-eater, Red-fronted Antpecker, among the few on the burgioning Uganda bird checklist.

Other species on many bird watchers wishlists include the Ansorge’s Greenbul, Equatorial Akalat, magnificent Great Blue Turaco,  Ituri Batis, the Jameson Antpecker, the Lühders Bushshrike, Mannikin Magpie, Low land Masked Apalis, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, the Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Kibale and Semliki’s Pigeon with White Nape, Yellowbill, Papyrus Gonolek, Standard-winged and Pennant-winged Nightjars mostly while in the breeding plumage, the Red-chested Owlet, Fraser’s Flycatcher Thrush, Shoebill Stork which is the highly sought after bird species in Uganda, are the Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Blue-throated Roller, and White-bellied Robin-Chat.

Neumann’s Warbler, Red-faced Barbet, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Regal Sunbird, Black-Lored Babbler, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Ruwenzori Turaco, Strange Weaver, Blue-Headed Sunbird, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Grauer’s Broadbill, Golden-Winged Sunbird, Grant’s Bluebill, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Jackson’s Francolin, Dwarf Honeyguide, Great Blue Turaco, Jameson’s Antpecker, Lühder’s Bush-Shrike, Magpie Mannikin, White-Bellied Crested Flycatcher, Olive Long-Tailed Cuckoo, White-naped Pigeon, Yellowbill, Pennant-Winged Nightjar, Red-Chested Owlet, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Shoebill Stork, White-Bellied Robin-Chat, Blue-Throated Roller, among others.

Uganda’s Birding Seasons

The Ideal Time to See Birds in Uganda. Are you trying to find the ideal season to go birdwatching in Uganda?

The majority of bird species in Uganda are resident and breeding, making birdwatching a year-round pleasure.

The distribution of birds is determined by the seasons. Migration from the Afro-Palearctic region begins in September and ends in Early May. While some birds come in August and stay until April, Most Intra-African migrants arrive in April and depart in October. The species determines these cycles. Consequently, some bird overlaps are possible. Arriving in July, intra-African migrants which are horizontal begin to depart in September.

Although August is very nice, you can visit Uganda year-round and not be disappointed because there are over 1,000 species to see. The greatest times to go bird watching are during the two dry seasons, which are December through February and June to September which will also depend on your wishlist.

The weather is a crucial consideration when organising any birdwatching excursion. The two seasons that Uganda encounters are the dry season and the wet season. The roads leading to various birdwatching locations and hiking forest trails are frequently muddy and slick during the rainy season, which sometimes interferes with traveller movements and disrupts birdwatching opportunities.

It is unbearably hot in Murchison Falls National Park in February and early March, but relatively dry in Toro-Semliki. In Uganda, December and January are also excellent months to do a safari that includes animal tours and birdwatching. There is less rain in the nation during this time. but the country being at the meeting point of different climatic variations in time and space, the country ‘s regions can be visited at different friendly times of the year. The most key species which are the Green-breasted Pitta is always displaying and nesting from late June to early August and once in the forest and the right time which is always between 6:00 am and 7: am, the bird can display almost throughout the year while the Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill is nesting from late may to Late August which are the best times to see it, In January, there are some chances as there are known feeding ranges by our expert guides together with the company of our own trained site guides who keep monitoring the progress of the Broadbill and on the other hand, most of the Guinea-Congo biome endemics like the Ituri Batis, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Rufous-crowned Eremomela and Chestnut-caped Flycatcher are easy to see in the dry times of December through March when the tall trees have shed leaves due to rate of evapotranspiration.

The dry season, which runs from June to August and December to February, is ideal for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park and gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park. During this time, you may also enjoy fantastic wildlife viewing in all of Uganda’s savannah national parks, including Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, Kidepo Valley, and Murchison Falls.

Recall that Uganda offers a rich tapestry of avian marvels in its birding hotspots. Uganda has an abundance of beautiful birds and a broad range of settings for birdwatchers of all skill levels that await your exploration with the young, energetic and passionate birding team at Journeys Uganda.