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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 50 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 100 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.