Bird watching in Queen Elizabeth National Park; Renowned for tree climbing lions, masses of hippos and elephants plus the stunning craters, Queen Elizabeth national park is also among the best bird watching destinations in Uganda and Africa at large. Out of approximately 1010 bird species in Uganda, QENP records 612 of them, a number more than half of the total species in the country. The park has the highest checklist of birds than any nature reserve in East Africa.

Due to the wide range of habitats in QENP, you can go for bird watching tours combined with other interesting activities at different sites. From the tropical forests to savannah plains, a Uganda bird watching safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park is perfectly conducted during game drives, boat cruise, nature walk, Explosion crater exploration and chimp tracking.

Bird species in Queen Elizabeth national park

Kazinga channel is a hotspot for aquatic birds including the Pied kingfishers, African Fish Eagle, Long tailed Cormorants, Pink and white backed Pelicans, Wattled Plovers, Water-Thick knee, Egrets, White-faced Whistling, African Jacana, Malachite king fisher, Spoon-billed stork and the Black Crake among others.

More of the birds around the nature reserve include the swamp fly-catcher, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus canary, African skimmers, Grey-headed kingfisher, Martial Eagle, Pin-tailed warbler, Ramped buttonquail, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, shoebill stork, thin-tailed Nightjars, Mourning dove, squacco heron, White winged terns, and the Speckled tinker bird among others.

Best places for bird watching in Queen Elizabeth national park

Kazinga channel

Kazinga channel is mostly recommended for bird enthusiasts looking for water birds.

Mweya Peninsula

This is a major site for all Queen Elizabeth wildlife safaris. It is strategically located for chilling out and relaxation, boat cruise, school tours, research and scenic viewing. Birds at Mweya peninsular include the black headed gonolek, pin-tailed warbler, yellow backed weaver, swamp flycatcher, doves, swifts, robin chats, swallows, Nubian pecker and the swamp nightjar among others.

Kikorongo area

The small lake Kikorongo which is an extension of Lake George hosts bird species including the sacred ibis, black crake, saddle billed stork, knob billed duck, lesser flamingo and the African jacana among others.

Kyambura gorge

You can spot savannah birds in areas near the gorge and forest birds close to and within the gorge. Birds at Kyambura include the Black rumped Buttonquail, Martial eagle, blue headed bee-eater, bar-tailed godwit, buttonquail, Chapin’s flycatcher, papyrus canary, white tailed lark, lesser and greater flamingoes, corncrake, African broadbill, to mention but a few.

 Maramagambo forest

This forest is located along the Kichwamba escarpment in the north of QENP. Notable bird species here include the black coucal, brown illadopsis, red-throated wryneck, blue-shouldered robinchat, African emerald cuckoo and African finfoot among others. The bat cave is a highlight for any visit to Maramagambo forest.

Kasenyi Plains

The vast Kasenyi plains are mostly known for game drives, but also harbor a wide range of birds including birds of prey. Some of them include the croaking cisticola, pin-tailed warbler, brown backed scrub robin, black bellied bustard, hooded vulture, ripeols griffin vulture, white-backed vulture and more.

Best time for birding in Queen Elizabeth national park

Bird watching can be done all year round in the park.

If you want to spot more bird species, November – April and January-February are the best because migratory birds are present. And travelers who are mindful about weather and probably want good weather conditions that will keep their movement smooth, the June – September and January to February are a good time for the activity.

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