Bird Watching

If there is a destination in Africa that is endowed beyond imagination, then it is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is situated in South western Uganda at the Edge of the Western Rift Valley, near Democratic Republic of Congo Border and covers an area of 331 square kilometers This Ancient Forest takes pride in it wide range of biological diversity. No word is enough to describe the experience someone attains after visiting this magnificent site.

With over 375 species of birds that entertain tourists with their sweet sounds and melodies in this Ancient Forest including 23 Albertine Rift Endemics (95% of Uganda’s Albertine Rift Endemics), Bwindi National park is a bird watcher’s Paradise and Uganda’s number one birding spot, no wonder it was listed by CNN under top 5 National parks to be visited in 2017. There is more to this Park than meets the eye and it is until you visit it that you will agree that this Park is real Paradise.

Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National park is mostly conducted along the Main Trail, along Kashasha River Trail, along Buhooma Waterfall Trail, along the Bamboo Zone, Ivy River trail and Mubwindi Swamp Trail in Ruhija.

Some of the Albertine Rift Endemics include Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Grauer’s Warbler, Red-throated Alethe, Purple -breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dusky Crimson-wing, Kivu Ground Thrush, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Strange Weaver, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Turaco, Neumann’s Warbler, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Regal Sunbird, Handsome Francolin, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Yellow-crested Helmet Shrike, Lagden’s Bush-shrike, Black-throated Apalis, Montane Masked Apalis and Grauer’s Rush Warbler.

Other popular bird species you are likely to encounter in Bwindi Impenetrable National park include African Pitta, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Cardinal Woodpecker, Greater Blue-eared Starling,   Chestnut-throated Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, African emerald Cuckoo, Brown Woodland Warbler, Cassin’s Honeybird, Compact Weaver, Green-backed Camaroptera, Montane Oriole, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Honeyguide Greenbul, Dark-backed Weaver, White-browed Crombec, Collared Sunbird,  Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, Tiny Sunbird, Grey-headed Sparrow, Grey-throated Barbet, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Buff-throated Apalis, Fan-tailed Widowbird, throated Sunbird, Mountain Masked Apalis, Brown-capped Weaver, Coppery Sunbird, Grey-headed Negrofinch, White-breasted Negrofinch, Green-headed Sunbird, Black billed Turaco, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Emerald Cuckoo, Turner’s Eremomela, Red-headed Blue-Bill,  Common Bul-bul, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Tit Hylia, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Green Crombec, Dusky Twinspot, Regal Sunbird, Klass’ Cuckoo, Bar-tailed blue Trogon, Green- Grey Apalis, western Green Tinker, Green Hylia, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Crowned Hornbill, Wood Warbler, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, Red-headed Malimbe, Great Blue Turaco, Evergreen Warbler, Dusky Tit, Cabanis’s Greenbul, Blue-headed Sunbird, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue Flycatchers,  and Chestnut Wattle-eye among others.

Best Time for Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is accessible throughout the year, but the season of visiting depends on the individual because for birding in Bwindi, any season is ideal. However the wet months of March to May and September to November are the perfect because they are the breeding season for birds and also there are more migratory species you are likely to see during this season. The recommended bird watching time is normally the early morning hours where you are likely to see the Rwenzori Batis, Cinnamon chested bee-eater, Western green Tinker and the Francolin white-tailed crested.

Tools/Equipments Needed for Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Some of the must have equipment for unforgettable birding safari in Uganda include A pair of Binoculars (is a must have), cameras and wear waterproof hiking boots, long sleeved shirts, long trousers, carry enough drinking water.

Bwindi Impenetrable national park is about 6-10 hours drive from Kampala, and can be accessed by either air or road transport. With Air transport, tourists land at Kisoro, Kayonza or Kihihi airstrips, then proceed to the Park using road transport. For road transport, the commonly used route is Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi to Buhoma Sector of Bwindi. Other routes include

  • Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Kabale – Ruhija sector or
  • Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Kabale – Kisoro – Rushaga or Nkuringo