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99 Awesome Birds in Uganda To Look For

Discover Uganda birds on a trip to East Africa. Learn about 50 different Uganda birds you can see on safari with awesome photos of each. Check out the birds of East Africa and inspire your own Uganda bird safari.

Discover 50 Uganda birds that we saw and photographed on our 2 week trip to East Africa. 

Uganda gorilla trekking is the reason most people visit, but the country is also a bucket list destination for bird watching. You'll find over 1000 species of birds in Uganda. 

A trip to Uganda is simply a delight for opportunistic birdwatchers like myself. 

Read on for information about the best places to see Ugandan birds along with plenty of Uganda bird photos to inspire your own Uganda safari.

Note: We visited Uganda in December 2016 and these posts are a reflection on the trip at that time. It is now 2024 and the political situation in the region has evolved. Please check the U.S. State Department website or information provided by other governmental organizations around the world for up to date information to determine whether it is considered safe to travel to Uganda.

Uganda Birds: Uganda's National Bird: Grey Crowned Crane

Birds of Entebbe Botanical Gardens

One cool thing to do in Entebbe is to visit Entebbe Botanical Gardens which is just a short distance from Uganda's main international airport and it's possible to walk here from the majority of tourist lodges. 

It took us 30 minutes to get to the botanical gardens from Carpe Diem Guest House and we were rewarded with some unique Ugandan bird sightings including a hamerkop building a nest.

1. Marabou Stork
50 Awesome Birds You Can See in Uganda: Marabou Stork in Entebbe Botanical Gardens

2. Crowned Hornbill
50 Awesome Birds You Can See in Uganda: Crowned Hornbill in Entebbe Botanical Gardens

3. Hamerkop
50 Awesome Birds You Can See in Uganda: Hamerkop in Entebbe Botanical Gardens

Birds at Entebbe's Guest Lodges

The gardens of the various guest houses in Entebbe are oases popular with Uganda's birds. We sat outside at both Carpe Diem and Karibu Guest Houses and watched as the birds simply came to us. 

Check out the colorful and entertaining Ugandan birds that we saw and photographed below.

4. Red-Chested Sunbird
50 Awesome Uganda birds: Red-chested Sunbird in Entebbe

5. Black-Headed Gonolek
50 Awesome Ugandan Birds: Black-headed Gonolek in Entebbe

6. Eastern-Grey Plantain Eater
Awesome Ugandan birds: Eastern-gray Plantain-eater in Entebbe

7. Double-toothed Barbet
Birdwatching in Uganda: Double-toothed Barbet in Entebbe

8. Rüppell's Long Tailed Starling
Uganda Garden birds: Rüppell's Long-Tailed Starling spotted in Entebbe

9. African Thrush
Uganda Birds: African Thrush

10. Marico Sunbird
Birds in Uganda: Marico Sunbird

11. Red-eyed Dove
Birds of Uganda: Red-eyed Dove

12. Purple Starling
Ugandan Birds: Purple Starling

Uganda Birds by the Roadside

Our Matoke Tours guide, Geoffrey Katende, had an immense knowledge of the birds of Uganda and an eagle-eye for spotting them. 

Outside of the urban area around Kampala and Entebbe, the traffic in Uganda was very light. Many times on our 9-day East African safari adventure, Geoffrey would hit the brakes, pull out his binoculars, and point out fascinating birds. 

Here are some of the many Uganda birds that Geoffrey spotted along the road.

13. Weaver Birds
Weaver bird in Uganda

14. Black-Shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered kite on a trip to Uganda

15. African Open-Billed Stork
African Open-billed Stork on a trip to Uganda

16. African-Paradise Flycatcher
Uganda's African-paradise flycatcher

17. Lizard Buzzard
Birds in Uganda: Lizzard Buzzard

Birds of Uganda's Bigodi Wetlands Swamp

Kibale Forest National Park is best known for chimpanzee tracking. However, nearby community run Bigodi Swamp was a treasure-trove of bird species. 

Our guide, Rodgers, had a special knack for making the birds come to us. I like to think of him as the Bird-whisperer of Bigodi Swamp.

18. Blue Turaco
Uganda's blue turaco bird in Bigodi Wetlands

19. Yellow-Billed Barbet
Yellow-billed barbet in Uganda's Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary

20. Tinkerbird
Ugandan Birds: Tinkerbird

21. White-throated Bee-eater
Birds of Uganda: White-throated Bee-eater

22. Black-bellied Seed-Cracker
Birds in Uganda: Black-bellied Seed-Cracker

Birds of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) in Western Uganda may be most well-known for the Big Five but we were impressed by the magnificent diversity of bird species that call the park home. 

One of our absolute favorite Uganda birds that we saw in QENP was, in fact, the Uganda national bird, the crested crane. 

The Uganda's crested crane goes by several names. Some call it the Uganda flag bird. Others call it the Uganda crane bird or more specifically, a grey-crowned crane. 

Uganda crested cranes can generally be spotted in pairs and they mate for life.  Read on to discover the crested crane and other favorite Ugandan bird sightings in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

23. Verreaux's Eagle
Verreaux's Eagle in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda

24. Red-necked Spurfowl
Uganda's Red-necked spurfowl

25. Pallid Harrier
Pallid Harrier in QENP Uganda

26. White-Browed Coucal
White-browed Coucal in Uganda
27. A Pair of Uganda Crested Cranes
Uganda bird photos: Uganda's National bird, the Uganda crested crane

28. Southern Red Bishop
Awesome Uganda Bird Photos: Southern Red Bishop bird in Uganda

29. Martial Eagle

A Marshall Eagle in Western Uganda

30. Pin-Tailed Whydah
Pin-tailed Whydah in Uganda

31. Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Birds of Uganda: Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

32. Rufous-naped Lark
Uganda Birds: Rufous-naped Lark

33. Hen Harrier
Birds in Uganda: Hen Harrier

34. White-Tailed Kite
Uganda Birds: White-Tailed Kite

35. Laughing Dove
Birds in Uganda: Laughing Dove

36. Slate-Colored Boubou
Ugandan Birds: Slate-Colored Boubou

37. African Pipit
Uganda Birds: African Pipit

38. Kittlitz Plover
Uganda Birds Photos: Kittlitz Plover

39. African Pied Wagtail
Uganda Birds: African Pied Wagtail

40. Egyptian Geese
Birds in Uganda: Egyptian Geese on a hippo

41. Beaudoin's Snake Eagle
Ugandan Birds: Beaudoin's Snake Eagle

42. Palm-nut Vulture
Uganda Birds: Palm-nut Vulture

43. Snowy-crowned Robin-chat
Ugandan Birds: Snowy-crowned Robin-chat

Birds of the Kazinga Channel

During our trip to Uganda, we took a 2 hour Kazinga Channel boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park. While the Kazinga Channel is known for a great concentration of hippos, we were pleased to see a wide variety of the birds of Uganda as well. 

Flocks of Ugandan birds followed in the wake of our boat and we saw some extraordinary bird species both on the water and near the shore.

44. Pied Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher spotted on a boat cruise on Uganda's Kazinga Channel

45. Yellow-Billed Oxpecker
Yellow-billed Oxpecker on the Kazinga Channel in QENP Uganda

46. African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle on Uganda's Kazinga Channel

47. Albino Malachite Kingfisher
Albino Malachite Kingfisher on the Kazinga Channel in Uganda

48. Yellow-billed Stork
Uganda Bird Photos: Yellow-billed Stork

49. Eurasian Stone-curlew
Uganda Birds: Eurasian Stone-curlew

50. Greater Adjutant
Ugandan Birds: Greater Adjutant

Birds Near Western Uganda's Lake Mutanda 

The area in and around Lake Mutanda is the staging area for tracking Uganda's famous mountain gorillas. 

Lake Mutanda also sits near the crossroads of three nations: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

We saw an amazing array of Uganda birds on our trip to the region.

51. Black Crake
Black Crake near Lake Mutanda in Uganda

52. Souza's Shrike
Souza's Shrike in Western Uganda

53. White-Browed Robin-Chat
50 Awesome Birds You Can See in Uganda: White-browed Robin-chat in Western Uganda

54. Pied Crow
Uganda Birds: Pied Crow

55. Hadada Ibis
Ugandan Birds: Hadada Ibis

56. Cape Wagtail
Birds of Uganda Photos: Cape Wagtail

57. Swamp Flycatcher
Uganda Birds: Swamp Flycatcher

58. Streaky Seed-Eater
Birds in Uganda: Streaky Seed-Eater

59. Black-Headed Weaver
Ugandan Birds: Black-headed Weaver

60. Yellow-Billed Kite
Birds in Uganda: Yellow-Billed Kite

61. African Sacred Ibis
Birds of Uganda: African Sacred Ibis

62. Baglafecht Weaver
Birds of Uganda: Baglafecht Weaver

63. Mangrove Black Hawk
Uganda Bird Photos: Mangrove Black Hawk

Ugandan Birds Near Lake Bunyonyi

It's worth traveling to Uganda's Lake Bunyonyi to build a little respite into an otherwise hectic African safari. 

We took a boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi and stopped on an island where the local lodge hosted a "bird restaurant". I was most impressed by the abundance of Speckled Mousebirds that we saw on the trip.

64. Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Mousebird on Uganda's Lake Bunyonyi

65. Common Bulbul
Uganda Birds: Common Bulbul

66. Welcome Swallow
Birds of Uganda: Welcome Swallow

67. Red-billed Firefinch
Ugandan Birds: Red-billed Firefinch

68. Ring-Necked Doves
Birds in Uganda: Ring-necked doves

69. Brown Babblers
Birds of Uganda Lake Bunyonyi: Brown Babblers

70. Holub's Golden Weaver
Ugandan Birds: Holub's Golden Weaver

Birds of Mburo National Park

Mburo National Park is Uganda's smallest savanna park but features a wide range of birds flitting about in the acacia trees. 

Check out the abundance of Uganda birds that we spied on our game drives in the park.

71. Woodland Kingfisher
Woodland Kingfisher in Uganda's Mburo National Park

72. Long Crested Eagle
long-crested eagle in Mburo National Park in Uganda

73. African Wattled Lapwing
African Wattled Lapwing in Uganda

74. Little Bee-Eater
Little Bee-eater in Uganda

75. Little Green Bee-Eater
Little Green Bee-eater in Uganda's Mburo National Park

76. Grey-Backed Fiscal

Grey-backed Fiscal in Uganda

77. Broad-Billed Roller

78. Lilac-Breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller in Mburo National Park in Uganda

79. Common Cuckoo
Common Cuckoo in Uganda

80. Collared Sunbird
Collared sunbird on a flower in Uganda

81. Crested Guineafowl
Uganda Birds: Crested Guineafowl

82. Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
Birds in Uganda: Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird

83. Striped Kingfisher
Ugandan Birds: Striped Kingfisher

84. Bare-Faced Go-Away Bird
Uganda Birds: Bare-Faced Go-Away Bird

85. Arnot's Chat
Ugandan Birds: Arnot's Chat

86. Yellow-Throated Longclaw
Uganda Birds Photos: Yellow-throated Longclaw

Birds on Uganda's Lake Victoria

Back in Entebbe, we took a sunset 'cruise' on Lake Victoria. Paddling along in a wooden canoe equipped with an outboard motor, we explored the channels through the papyrus swamp at lake's edge and saw more of the incredible birds in Uganda.

87. Malachite Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher on Lake Victoria in Uganda

88. Purple Heron
Purple Heron on Lake Victoria in Uganda

89. Long-Toed Lapwing
Long-toed Lapwing in Uganda

 90. Black-Winged Stilt
Uganda Birds: Black-winged Stilt

91. Spur-Winged Lapwing
Birds of Uganda: Spur-winged Lapwing

92. Coppery-tailed Coucal
Uganda Birds: Coppery-Tailed Coucal on Lake Victoria

Birds of Mabamba Swamp

Sure, a trip to Uganda's Mabamba Swamp offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see large shoe-billed storks but this wetlands area about an hour away from Entebbe Airport offers so much more for birdwatchers who take time to arrange a guide and get out on the water. 

93. African Jacana
African Jacana in Mabamba Swamp, Uganda

94. Common Squacco Heron
Common Squacco Heron in Uganda

95. Saddle-Billed Stork
Saddle-billed Stork in Uganda

96. Yellow-Billed Ducks
Yellow-billed Ducks spotted on a trip to Mabamba Swamp near Entebbe

97. Red-Necked Stint
Birds in Uganda: Red-necked Stint

98. African White-Backed Ducks
Birds in Uganda: African White-Backed Ducks

The Star Birding Attraction: A Uganda Shoebill Stork

Yes, I wanted to see mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and more on our Uganda safari. The one wildlife opportunity that tipped the balance for us toward Uganda versus other safari destinations in East Africa was the Uganda Shoebill. 

Your chances of seeing Shoe-billed Storks in Uganda's Mabamba Swamp are higher than probably anywhere else in the world and the wetlands is just an hour from Entebbe so the journey is very accessible. 

I was so excited to see this pinnacle of the Ugandan bird hierarchy sitting among the reeds.

99. Shoe-Billed Stork
Shoebill in Uganda

As you can see, the birds in Uganda are some of the most impressive and diverse in the world. 

Everyplace we visited, the air was filled with birdsong and we spotted an incredible variety of Ugandan bird species on our journey. 

I've shared 99 Uganda birds with you today, but this only includes those birds that were nice enough to stay still long enough for me to get a picture. 

In reality, we probably caught a glimpse of more than 150 out of Uganda's 1000+ bird species. What an amazing adventure!

For help identifying the birds of Uganda before, during, and after your safari, I recommend picking up a copy of The Birds of East Africa. It is the go-to birds of Uganda book.
All of the photographs of birds in Uganda included in this post were taken with a Canon Powershot SX60 bridge camera with a 65x optical zoom lens.

Identifying the Birds of Uganda with Google Lens

Did you know that Google Lens is integrated into Google Photos on mobile devices? 

Google Lens is super-helpful for amateur birdwatchers to identify different Uganda bird species (not to mention birds from around the world). 

Open Google Photos on your Android device and then follow the steps in the image below to identify the bird in the picture.

How to use Google Lens to identify Uganda Birds photos

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for other trip ideas focused on fantastic birds? I highly recommend both the birds of Costa Rica and the birds of Patagonia. Of course, don't overlook places in your own backyard. The San Francisco Bay Area is great for birdwatching if you live in the U.S. Did you know that you can find pelicans in St. James Park just a short walk from Buckingham Palace in London?

Did you enjoy this post about the birds of Uganda? I hope you find the names and pictures to be helpful as a Uganda birdwatching checklist. Sharing is caring...

Create a Checklist of the Birds of Uganda Create a Checklist of the Birds in Uganda

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 99 Awesome Birds in Uganda To Look For
99 Awesome Birds in Uganda To Look For
Discover Uganda birds on a trip to East Africa. Learn about 50 different Uganda birds you can see on safari with awesome photos of each. Check out the birds of East Africa and inspire your own Uganda bird safari.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog