Africa Safari – Birding in Murchison Falls

Enjoying Bird watching at Murchison national Park in Uganda

Uganda the peal of Africa is birding destination and is the only single country in Africa where bird lovers can enjoy the views and the nice melodies of the world’s rare bird species. The high counts of birds in the country which can be watched easily in the various national parks have attracted various bird lovers to undertake birding tours in Uganda.

birding-murchison-fallsMurchison falls national park is Uganda’s largest and oldest located in the north western part of the country and for long the park is well known for its endowments of the different wildlife species and the most remarkable being some of the Big five animals namely; the lion, Leopard, Elephants, Buffaloes and even the White Rhinos which can be tracked in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. These exceptional wildlife have attracted various tourists from all over the world to Uganda with the intention of having memorable experience with the big five animals and few tourists know about the potential of the park to offer best memorable birding experience.

The varied natural habitats of Murchison falls National Park in Uganda make it to be the favorite home of different bird species. The Park boasts of an estimated record of 451 bird species which can be easily enjoyed by bird lovers.

The remarkable list of birds which can be enjoyed in the park includes Uganda ‘s national bird the Grey Crowned Crane as well as the endangered world species of the rare Shoebill Stork and also the largest heron in the whole world, that is to say, Goliath Heron. The particular species which can be seen along the banks of the world’s longest River Nile include the Blue-headed Coucal, Piapiac, Swamp Flycatcher, Silver bird, Squacco Heron, Red-throated Bee-eater ,White-browed Sparrow Weaver, African Jacana, African Quail-Finch, as well as the Sandpipers, Black-headed Gonolek, Denham’s Bustard, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater and Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill among other exceptional bird species.

Bird watching in the Murchison falls national park can be best enjoyed in the Nile-Lake Albert Delta which is a wide, quiet stretch of water, where the placid Victoria Nile pours its water into Lake Albert. This particular area is key birding area in the park and its papyrus-lined banks are blessed with numerous birdlife and the remarkable bird species here include the Goliath Herons as well as the Great Egrets, plus African Fish Eagles. Above all is the mostly wanted to watch bird species of the rare shoe bill well known as the world’s endangered bird species.

Uganda safari destination of Murchison falls national park also provides a launch cruise which starts from the Paraa area and takes the visitors 3 hours ride in the wonderful waters of the Victoria Nile which bisects the park into two parts. During this activity visitors can enjoy the views of different bird which will be feeding and moving in the river banks.


Outstanding Birding Hotspots in Uganda – Africa

Are you a bird lover planning a safari in Africa to see birds? Look no farther, Uganda boosts a wide variety of bird species some of which can not be found any where in Africa. There are about 1012 bird species recorded, found in different national parks and Important bird areas some of which are descirbed below. Over 200 tour operators and travel agencies in Kampala organize fantastic private birding trips in Uganda. If you are on tight budget, these companies also offer car hire in Uganda without driver to enable you do a self drive birding safari and explore all destinations of your interest.

Nyamuriro swamp

Nyamuriro is a widespread natural swamp in Kageyo valley dominated by papyrus and herbaceous plants in which a river from Lake Bunyonyi flows and the drainage connects to Lakes Mutanda and Murehe in Kisoro District. Remarkable birds found here include Papyrus Gonolek, Sharpe’s Pied-babbler, Carruthers’s Cisticola, White-winged Scrub-warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Red-chested Sunbird, Papyrus Canary, White-collared Olive back and Northern Brown-throated Weaver.

Mabira Forest Reserve

The list for Mabira Forest Reserve contains almost 300 species. Many species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome are not well-represented in other protected areas in Uganda. Mabira Forest was heavily encroached in the 1970s and 1980s, which may have had adverse effects on the forest birds, particularly on the habitat specialists. Three species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome are known, but further surveys in the valley papyrus swamps could reveal more. The site also holds one species of the Sudan–Guinea Savanna biome and four of the Afro tropical Highlands biome.

Populations of Important Bird Area Trigger Species include; Birds include Nahan’s Partridge, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow White-eye, African Dusky Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-billed Kite, Grey-green Bush-shrike, Hooded Vulture, Red-capped Robin Chat, African Shrike Flycatcher, Red-billed Paradise Flycatcher, Great Blue Turaco, Black-and-white Mannkin, Wheyn’s Weaver and Palm Swift.

Semuliki National Park

Semliki Forest represents the only significant example of Congo-Basin vegetation in Uganda. A large number of species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome reach their eastern limits here, in one of the richest localities for forest birds in Africa. The site contains half as many species of bird as the entire Congo and nearly two-thirds as many as in the 181,000 km² of the whole Upper Guinea Forests. No less than 70 species are only known within Uganda from Semliki Forest, including 31 of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome. Semliki forest is close to the Mount Rwenzori ranges, and the River Semliki meanders along the western border down to Lake Albert and is surrounded by swamp, where four species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome occur. The site also has, surprisingly, six species of the Afro tropical Highlands biome, all widespread elsewhere in the country.

Populations of Important Bird Area Trigger Species include; Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Nahan’s Partridge, Forest Francolin, Spot-breasted Ibis, Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk, White-spotted Flufftail, Great Snipe, White-naped Pigeon, Black-collared Lovebird, Red-chested Owlet, Bates’s Nightjar, Black Bee-eater, Forest Scimitarbill, Dwarf Hornbill, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Green-breasted Pitta, Papyrus Gonolek, Chestnut-bellied Helmet-shrike, Red-eyed Puffback, White-throated Blue Swallow, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Yellow-throated Nicator, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Brown Illadopsis, Capuchin Babbler, Forest Scrub-robin, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch and Grant’s Bluebill.

Kibale Forest National Park

So far, 339 species of birds have been recorded, but more species are likely to be added. Among the scarcer species are Papyrus Gonolek, Forest Ground-thrush and Brown-cheeked Hornbill each found in only two other highland Important Bird Areas. The forest of this park lies close to the site of a postulated Pleistocene forest refugium in the Albertine Rift area. This has resulted in a diverse community of forest species, which also includes many Congo-Basin species at the eastern limits of their ranges.

Populations of Important Bird Area Trigger Species include; Speckled Tinkerbird, Western Green Tinkerbird, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Nahan’s Partridge, White-spotted Flufftail, White-naped Pigeon, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Red-chested Owlet, Bar-tailed Trogon, Blue-throated Roller, Brown-cheeked Hornbill, green-breasted Pitta, African Shrike-flycatcher, Papyrus Gonolek, Grey-green Bush-shrike, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Western Black-headed Oriole, Black-tailed Oriole Black-headed Paradise-flycatcher, Chubb’s Cisticola, Collared Apalis, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, White-throated Greenbul, Yellow-spotted Nicator, White-winged Scrub-warbler, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, African Hill Babbler, Purple-headed Glossy-starling and Yellow-browed Citril.