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Why Travel With Africa Birding Expeditions?

Africa Birding Expedition is a small business that was started by William an enthusiastic graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Travel management from Makerere University.

After leading trips as a tourist birding and driver guide for eight (8) years with several companies/businesses, I realized that many tourists/clients and the guides/workers are over-exploited. As a professional realistic and reliable young man, I decided to come up with an idea of a small business that offers professional, affordable, and realistic services to its customers with a high level of integrity and works with others favorably.

As a young man who attained most of my education from my village, as remote as an African back-clothe, I had a lot of hardship. I attended classes without a book or pencil and could only write on the ground and after a teacher marking, I would rub my work. This still rings in my brain and very heavy on my heart. I therefore decided to support and help my brother’s idea of helping the children who are orphans due to mainly HIV/AIDS and the vulnerable ones. Whenever I lead a trip, my heart is with them, so I always decide to put a little out of what I earn and help buy the scholastic materials. Starting Africa Birding Expeditions is an idea to increase my help in the Birds Of a Feather orphanage and vulnerable children organization. Therefore, signing a trip means helping educate the vulnerable children of my village and the country at large.

Uganda Birding Tours and Birding Safaris in East Africa

We offer outstanding Uganda Birding Tours and Birding safaris in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and the entire East Africa. With a professional and passionate team in organizing Birding safaris in Uganda, our birding tours and Africa birding expeditions are top rated in the region. Our tours give travelers unique insights into the over 1300 bird species in East Africa. This includes the Uganda's Endemic Fox's Weaver, bizarre Shoebill Stork, sought after Green-breasted Pitta and many Albertine Rift Endemics like; Grauer's Broadbill and Swamp Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis and Turaco, Archer's Robin-Chat, Stripe-breasted Tit, Regal, Blue-headed and Purple-breasted Sunbirds. 

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intermediate egret

Birding Safaris

East Africa is endowed with a variety of vegetation types and water bodies which make up the major part of the great lakes region, turning it into a favorable habitat to most of the world’s famed bird species. On a safari to any East African destination, it’s easy to spot birds soaring above the skies and settling within the localities. It is also very common and likely that most of the birds here migrate from Europe during the European winter season.

It is estimated to over 1,400 bird species in East Africa making it a go-to area for birders and a birding hotspot for many avid travelers.

Three countries in East Africa are well known for the Albertine rift endemic bird species (birds that only inhabit within the rift valley escarpments) stretching from Lake Albert to the north of Lake Tanganyika. These include Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Albertine rift endemic species are confined within the rift valley, dormant volcanic mountains, lakes, rivers, swamps and the montane forests.

East Africa presents some of the best birding spots like the Albertine Rift birding trails. These include the avian destination in Kenya’s Turkana region and Lake Nakuru, Nyungwe Forest in southwestern Rwanda, Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania as well as the Virunga region endemics of Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo.

Featured Birding Safaris

Birding Safaris in Uganda

Uganda is one of the countries with a variety of bird species totaling to over 1000. It is mainly favored by tropical rainforests and savannah grasslands that are good habitats for these birds. Birding in Uganda is quite easy as birds are concentrated in a small area roughly 90,041 square miles making bird spotting easy for tourists. Uganda is well known for its numerous eco-system zones making it viable habitat for several bird species including those migrating from Europe and other parts of the world.

Most bird species in Uganda are of endemic occurrence. These include Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Collared and Mountain Masked Apalises, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Dwarf Honey Guide, Grauer’s Warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Strange Weaver, and Chapin’s Flycatcher among others. These are mainly situated in the Albertine Rift Valley areas.

The other bird species not to miss when birding in Uganda include Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Darter, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Fish Eagle, African Green Pigeon, African Grey Parrot, African Jacana, African Paradise Flycatcher, African Skimmer, African Spoonbill, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-winged Bishop, Broad-billed Roller, Black, Intermediate, Greater, Cattle and Little Egrets, Common Moorhen, Common Ostrich, Senegal, Black-headed, Spur-winged, Long-toed and Crowned Lapwings, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, Egyptian Goose, Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted, Grey-headed, Malachite, Woodland, African Pygmy and Dwarf, Shinning-blue and Giant kingfishers, Goliath Heron, Great blue Turaco, Great white pelican, Grey Crowned Crane, Hamerkop, Helmeted and Crested Guineafowls, Eurasian, Green Wood White-headed and Forest Hoopoes, Lappet faced, White-headed and Backed, Palm-nut, Hooded and Ruppell's Griffon Vultures, Lilac-breasted Roller, Long Crested Eagle, Marabou Stork, Northern Carmine, Black, Red-throated, Cinnamon-chested, Swallow-tailed, Little and Blue-breasted Bee-eaters, Pink backed Pelican, Red-billed Oxpecker, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Great Blue, Black-billed, White-crested and Ross’s turacos, Saddle-billed Stork, Scarlet and Red-chested, Green, Little Green, Mariqua, Superb, Variable, Copper, Purple-banded, Beautiful, Olive-bellied, Bronze, Green-headed, Blue-throated Brown, Blue-headed and Olive Sunbirds, Secretary Bird and many more.

Some of the most coveted species include the; Shoebill, Green Breasted Pitta, Rwenzori Turaco, Grauer's Broadbill, Brown-chested Lapwing, Jameson’s Antpecker, Nahan’s Francolin, Black Bee-eater, Karamoja Apalis, and Puvel’s Illadopsis.

When to Go Birding in Uganda?

Birding in Uganda can be done throughout the year. Distribution is influenced by the seasons. The rainy seasons offer higher chances to see variety of birds as they become active, nesting with full plumages and vocal because of abundancy of food.

As earlier highlighted, the ecosystem zones play a major role in attracting several bird species including migrants to Uganda.


Some of the Best Birding Spots in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Over 347 bird species inhabit BINP. These include 76 of the Guinea Congo Forest biome species, 25 Albertine Rift Valley species, 4 Lake Victoria biome species and 68 Afro tropical Forest/Highland biome species. The bamboo forest cover together with the Buhoma Trail Waterfalls and the Mubwindi Swamp Trail in Ruhija are the main habitats for these bird species.

Murchison Falls National Park – This Park is mainly characterized by savannah grassland with an extension of the lowland rain forest. It is a habitat mainly to the savannah birds, water birds and the Albertine Rift Valley endemics with lowland forest specials. It is home to over 500 bird species including the prized Shoebill Stork.

Semuliki National Park – The park has a population of 400 birds with 9 of those being the special Hornbill species. The rivers Ntandi, Sempaya and Kirumya are the areas for catching the amazing views of these birds in this park.

Kibale National Park – It is home to over 350 bird species including the sought after Green-breasted Pitta. These are found on the many trails of the park, the Magombe Swamp and Bigodi Wetlands.

Lake Mburo National Park – The park is made up five Lakes. It is a habitat to several bird species that come to prey on the lake inhabitants most especially the African Finfoot. Many others can be spotted in areas of Rwonyo Camp, Salt Lake area at Miriti, Warukiri and Ruhanga forests and the Landing Stage Waysides. It is a habitat to over 300 bird species.

Other key birding places in Uganda include Mountain Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. It is home to over 180 bird species. Queen Elizabeth National Park has over 500 bird species. Mountain Rwenzori National Park has over 217 bird species.Kidepo Valley National Park has over 300 bird species. Other areas include, the River Nile shores in Jinja, Echuya Forest Reserve, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Mabamba Swamp, Budongo Forest, Entebbe Peninsula, Lutembe Bay Wetland and Makanaga Wetland. 

Uganda Birding Safaris

Birding Tours in Rwanda

Rwanda is another known destination for birding in East Africa and Africa at large. Birding sites in Rwanda are mainly located in the Albertine rift valley which contains dense forests in the west, grassland plains, swamps, lakes, rivers, and mountains which are all good habitats for birds.

Rwanda harbors an approximate of 700 bird species and it being a small country covering an area of around 26,338 square kilometers, bird watching is quite an easy and simple activity as the birds are always in the vicinity for tourists to spot. It is believed to have the highest concentration of birds per square kilometer in Africa which is a stunning attribute for bird watchers.

Out of over 700 bird species, 29 are Albertine rift endemics and these can be seen from ecosystems in the Albertine rift in western and north western Rwanda

Where to do Rwanda birding safaris from?

Birding in Rwanda can be carried out in the different national parks and other birding spots as listed below.

Nyungwe Forest National Park.

This is one of the must go places for bird lovers when they visit Rwanda. This national park has got the largest unspoiled natural forest reserve in Africa making it a suitable habitat for over 300 bird species of which 27 are Albertine rift endemics like the Rockefellers’ Sunbird, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Strange Weaver, Red-throated Alethe, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, among others.

There are also a variety of other bird species like the Guinea Congo Forest biome species, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos, Coqui Francolin, Tong-tailed and Bubbling cisticolas, among others, and a specialty specie of the Red-collared Mountain Babbler which has its only accessible site there.

The park is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda and has got numerous birding trails like the Igishigishi trail where there is a canopy walkway, and several birds are seen lining up on the metal rods of the walkway.

Volcanoes National Park.

This park is popularly known for gorilla trekking safaris, but tourists can equally carry out birding expeditions alongside gorilla trekking adventure. The park is surrounded by dormant volcanos, most of them lushly vegetated which makes this place a perfect habitat for birds.

Bird population in this park total up to 200 species of which 17 of them are Albertine rift endemics. Bird species here can also be found in Nyungwe National Park, although Volcanoes National Park is the only place where to find the Scarlet-tufted Sunbird in Rwanda.

Akagera National Park.

Located in Eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park is composed of savannah grasslands and lush wetlands, rivers and lakes that are habitats to water birds and other bird species like elusive Shoebill Stork, Papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers’ and Tabora Cisticolas, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Red-faced Barbet, Black-bee Eaters, Cinnamon-breasted Banting, Black Cuckoo and and many more.

Lake Kivu.

This is one of the biggest and deepest lakes in Rwanda, offering tourists a view of the water birds that gather around its shores. Some of the bird species found around this lake include the Fish Eagles, Pelicans, Cormorants, Pin-tailed Whydah and many more.

These can be spotted during boat cruises or just a mere nature walk along the shores of this verdant lake which is surrounded by vast beaches, cliffs and cloves, this is a whole different experience as well.


Some of the wetlands that are well known for birding tours in Rwanda include Rugezi, Akanyaru and Nyabarongo. Rugezi Marsh is well known for the Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Grey-crowned Cranes, Papyrus Canary, and Papyrus Yellow Warbler bird species. The wetlands have a papyrus cover that is best habitat for water birds and other bird species.

Other than these birding spots, bird watchers can also visit Kigali city as it has maintained the green cover in the city which act s as a home for the birds, Giswati-Mukura National Park west of Rwanda, just north of Lake Kivu among other places to enjoy unmatched views and take spectacular photography of bird species.

East Africa as a region is one of the top birding destinations for tourists mainly supported by its eco-system and favorable climate. Any bird lover should not skip checking out some of the top birding spots East Africa has to offer.

Rwanda Birding Safaris