Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park : Birding is among the activities which are done during tours around Queen Elizabeth national park in south western Uganda. There are over 600 bird species which can be seen during birding tours around Queen Elizabeth national park. Different spots around the national park are for bird watching and various wildlife species can also be seen around the destination.

Some of the birding spots found in Queen Elizabeth national park include around the Kazinga channel, the Mweya peninsula, Maramagambo forest, around the Kasenyi plains, around Ishasha sector, Katwe salt lake area among other locations.

  • Birding around the Kazinga channel

The bird watching experience in Queen Elizabeth national park can be done around the Kazinga channel which is a waterway formed where Lake Edward and Lake George meet.

There are different bird species which can be spotted around the Kazinga channel which is good spot for birding during tours in Queen Elizabeth national park.  Some of the bird species which can be seen around Kazinga include African Fish eagles, African Skimmer, Blue Headed Bee eater, White tailed larks, Martial Eagles, Yellow Billed Storks, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Raptors, Pygmy Kingfishers, Nubian woodpeckers, Red-capped Lark, Swallows, Swifts, Grey-capped Warbler, Red-chested Sunbird, Yellow-backed weavers among others.

Wildlife species like elephants, hippos, buffalos and also Nile crocodiles can also be seen around the Kazinga channel during the boat rides.

  • Birding around the Mweya peninsular

The Mweya peninsular is among the attractions found in Queen Elizabeth national park and it is located on the northern banks of the Kazinga channel and it is found in the rift valley.

Bird species which can be seen around the Mweya peninsular include Malachite Kingfishers, Hammerkops, Swamp flycatcher, Slender-billed weaver, Little Bee eaters, Chestnut Wattle eye among others. These birds can be seen during boat rides on the Kazinga channel and also during game drives.

Other activities which are carried out around the Mweya peninsular include game drives, mongoose tracking, community tours and also boat rides on the Kazinga channel.

  • Birding around the Kasenyi plains

The Kasenyi plains are located in the northern part of Queen Elizabeth national park where different wildlife species and bird species can be seen during safaris.

Some of the bird species which can be seen during tours around Kasenyi plains include Red throated Spurfowls, Grey backed fiscal, African crake, Martial eagles among others.

Game drives in the Kasenyi plains  involves driving around the savannah plains where wildlife species such as Uganda kobs, lions, elephants, buffalos, hippos and many other species of antelopes can be seen during safaris around Queen Elizabeth national park.

  • Birding around the Maramagambo forest

The Maramagambo forest is found in Bushenyi district and is considered one of the largest forests in Queen Elizabeth national park.

It is a tropical rainforest which is also bordered by lakes such as Lake Kyasanduka and Lake Nyamasingiri.

Many bird species can be seen when taking part in bird watching around the Maramagambo forest and they include the Rwenzori Turaco, Ross Turaco, African Green Pigeon, Sulphur breasted Bush shrike, White napped Pigeon, Dark caped Yellow Warbler, Red tailed Bristle Bill among others.

Apart from the bird species, Maramagambo forest is also home to chimpanzees, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and many other wildlife species.

  • Birding around the Ishasha sector

The Ishasha sector is located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park and is home to the tree climbing lions as well as a variety of bird species.

Some of the bird species found in the Ishasha sector include Grey woodpecker, Long-crested eagle, Martial eagles, Broad billed roller, Striped Kingfisher, White headed Barbet, African wattled plovers, Black Coucal among others.

Activities which can be done around the Ishasha sector include game drives and bird watching.

  • Birding around the Katwe salt lake

The Katwe salt lakes are found in the Albertine rift valley on the north eastern shores of Lake Edward which is part of the Kazinga channel.

Lake Katwe is known for its high concentration of salt and activities which are carried out around the lake include salt mining and also bird watching.

Some of the birds which can be seen around Lake Katwe include lesser and greater flamingos, Red capped Lark, Broad tailed warbler, African moustached warbler, Southern Red Bishop, Common Greenshank, Gull-Billed Tern among others.

Apart from bird watching, many other activities can be done in Queen Elizabeth national park and they include game drives, boat rides, lion tracking and also chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura gorge.

Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park
Gull-Billed Tern

Best time for birding in Queen Elizabeth national park

Birding in Queen Elizabeth national park is best done during the dry season and it is done during the months around June to October when it is easier to see the birds around the thin vegetation making the birds more visible. The dry season is also the best time to enjoy wildlife viewing and other activities like nature walks, hiking and boat rides on Kazinga channel during tours around Queen Elizabeth national park.

However the rainy season is also considered a good time to engage in bird watching in Queen Elizabeth national park due to the presence of migratory birds at the destination during that time of the year which occurs in the months of March to May and in November which is also part of the rainy season.

The migratory birds fly from their breeding grounds to Queen Elizabeth National Park to escape the unfavorable conditions like weather making them easier to see during the rainy season in Uganda.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park

To get to Queen Elizabeth national park for bird watching among other activities, tourists can drive or fly to the national park.

The drive to Queen Elizabeth national park can be done via the Kampala-Mbarara-Kasese route which takes about 6 hours and another route used it the Kampala-Fort Portal-Kasese route which is shorter.

Flights to Queen Elizabeth national park can be got from Entebbe international airport to Mweya airstrip and also Kasese airstrip.

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