What is the best time to do a birding safari in Uganda?

March 25, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

You can take a bird-watching trip to Uganda at any time of year, depending on your interests. However, be aware that there are migrant species from southern Africa that migrate vertically into Uganda. These birds include the Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, which spends most of the summer in southern Malawi and Mozambique, and the glossy, vulnerable, and globally threatened Blue Swallow, which breeds in high-altitude prairies in South Africa, Southern Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and other nations

June through September is a good time to see some of Uganda’s most sought-after birds, with July and August being the best months for birdwatching. The extremely rare Grauer’s Broadbill, which nests at this time of year in late May, is one of them. We search for this amazing bird in Mubwindi Swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Ruhija section, where it is easily visible during the nesting season. If not, we can locate this Gruer’s (African Green) Broadbills, which occasionally glean insects in mixed flocks, using our experience and knowledge of their high-pitched hissing and rhythmic call. At the same time of year, one may also consistently find the magnificent Green-breasted Pitta, whose hunt begins as early as 6:00 to get it while still making the displaying call. Although it primarily displays between 6:15 and 7:15 am, One can occasionally hear it after 10:45 am, commonly in March and April.

Even though the aforementioned months seem to be the best for birding in Uganda, December, January, and February are also generally good months because they are dry and the leaves are shading, making it easier to spot some high canopy dwelling species like the small, rare Ituri Batis and the constantly moving but calling Uganda Woodland Warbler, among others. This is also one of the best times to see the Fox’s Weaver, Uganda’s only endemic species, and it’s good to visit the Kidepo Valley National Park for the Stone Partridges, the magnificent massive Ivory-billed Black-breasted Barbet, Hartlaub’s, Buff Crested, and White-bellied Bustards, the very localised and endemic East African Karamoja Apalis, and the visiting Grasshopper Buzzard from the northern tropics.

Uganda experiences two main seasons:
The Dry Season: Runs from December to February and June to September while the Wet Season: Occurs from March to May and October to November.
During the wet season, roads and forest trails can become slippery and muddy, affecting travel and birdwatching activities but take note that it can rain for the whole day in Uganda, so there will still be some good hours wihtout rains to do birding. The dry season is generally more favourable for birding due to better road conditions and abundant food availability.

On the whole, experience cheap, custom-designed short- and long-term bird-watching safaris in Uganda and Rwanda by booking with Journeys Uganda. We provide individualised birding tours for all kinds of visitors, including solo, family, and group tours. Our birding safaris are centered around genuine, one-of-a-kind encounters that are hard to find elsewhere. With a staff of knowledgeable bird guides, our customised birdwatching trips in Uganda are ideal for senior citizens, small parties, and families. Come on one of our thoughtfully planned birdwatching tours, or ask for a custom itinerary. For free, our travel advisors can help you design the ideal African birdwatching trip of a lifetime.