Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth is classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen’s great variety of habitats mean it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park, . A majority of the birds found in this area are regarded as famous birds of East Africa and are a must see for birdwatchers in Africa!

The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, the biggest of any protected area in Uganda linking to the expansive forests of the DR Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.

For the best birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park, don’t miss these birding hot spots:
Kazinga Channel, Kasenyi Area, Mweya Peninsula, Maramagambo Forest, Ishasha Sector, Lake Kikorongo, Katunguru Bridge area and Katwe Area Tours can be booked through Katwe Tourism Information Center.

Kasenyi Area

This wildlife hotspot is where almost every tourist vehicle heads in the morning because of the big game viewing, but it also has many Africa bird species, making it a must-see wildlife destination. In this open, grassy area dominated by savanna, birders can see species like:

Palm-nut Vulture,Hooded VultureAfrican, White-backed Vulture,Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture,Lappet-faced Vulture,Brown Snake Eagle,Wahlberg’s Eagle,Long-created Eagle,Martial Eagle,Grey Kestrel,African Crake,Black-bellied Bustard,Temminck’s Courser,African Wattled Plover,Crowned Plover,Senegal Plover,

Rufous napped Lark,Flappet Lark,White-tailed Lark,Brown-backed Srub-Robin,Zitting Cisticola,

Grey-capped Warbler,Black-lored Babbler,Grey backed Fiscal,Black-headed Gonolek

The Mweya Peninsula

This is the site between the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward where most tourists are based in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This site is also where one is able to see bird species like:

Raptors,African Mourning Dove,Diederik Cuckoo,Squire-tailed Nightjar,Slender-tailed Nightjar,Swamp Nightjar,Blue-naped Mousebird,Grey-Headed Kingfisher,Little Bee-eater,Red-capped Lark,Red-chested Sunbird,Black-headed Gonolek,Slender-billed Weaver,Yellow-backed Weaver,Pin-tailed Whydah

Marabigambo Forest

This is a forest that covers a big part of Queen Elizabeth along the Kicwamba escarpment on the right side of the western rift valley arm. From the Mbarara-Kasese road to the forest itself, you can find species like:

Little Grebe,African Finfoot,Red-chested Cuckoo,Black Cucko,African Emerald Cuckoo,Yellowbill

Blue-breasted Kingfisher,Black Bee-eater,Blue-throated Roller,Barbets,Red-throated Wryneck,Brown-eared Woodpecker,Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike,Honeyguide Greenbul,Dark-capped Warbler

Green Crombec,Broad-tailed Warbler,Black-headed Batis,Black-and-white Shrike Flycatcher,Black Bishop,White-breasted Negrofinch

Katwe Area

In this area, there are several crater lakes and swamps. Here, Lake Munyanyange is favored by various water birds, especially a concentration of Lesser Flamingos and a few Greater Flamingos. The species that can be seen here include:

Lesser Flamingos,Greater Flamingos,Eurasian Mash Harrier,Montagu’s Harrier,Pallid Harrier

Avocet,Common Greenshank,Little Stint,Curlew Sandpiper,Lesser Black-backed Gull,Gull-billed Tern,Red-capped Lark,Broad-tailed Warbler,African Moustached Warbler,Croaking Cisticola

Southern Red Bishop

Ishasha Sector

This is another big area that offers a lot to birders in Africa, despite being best-known for its tree-climbing lions. Species that can be seen here include:

Shoebill,Palm-nut Vulture,Hooded Vulture,African White-backed Vulture,Brown Snake Eagle,Long-created Eagle,African Crowned Eagle,African Crake,Black-bellied Bustard,African Wattled Plover

African Green Pigeon,Striped Kingfisher,Broad-billed Roller,Double-toothed Barbet,White-headed Barbet

Greater Honeyguide

Lake Kikorongo

This extension of Lake George is a habitat to several waders (or call them waterbirds or waterfowl). The species likely to be seen here include:

Saddle-billed Stork,Knob-billed Duck,Black Crake,African Jacana,Yellow Wagtail,White-winged Warbler

Carruther’s Cisticola,Papyrus Gonolek

Katunguru Bridge Area

If you venture to the Katunguru Bridge, where you cross the Kazinga Channel from the Kasese district to the Rubirizi district, be sure to peek beneath the bridge as there is a papyrus swamp hosting species that include:

Pink-backed Pelican,Gull-billed Tern,White-winged Tern,Lesser Swamp Warbler,Greater Swamp Warbler

White-winged Warbler,Carruther’s Cisticola,Papyrus Gonolek

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