Sighting Birds in The Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is not only a destination for mountain gorillas, but also one of the unique destinations for sightings of different bird species in the Pearl of Africa (Uganda). It was voted Africa’s number one birding site in 2011 and is therefore ideal for a variety of bird species. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in western Uganda and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including over 120 species of mammals, 17 species of snakes, 27 species of reptiles, 200 species of trees, 06 species of chameleons, 200 colorful and beautiful butterflies, and 4 species of lizards, geckos, and skinks. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, 360 bird species were recorded, of which 14 of them are not recorded elsewhere in Uganda. Therefore, you hardly travel far to see the birds, unlike other wildlife species and the primates.
The national park is 512 km from the capital city, Kampala, and covers an area of 321sq km (or 128 square miles). It lies at the edge of the great Western Rift valley in the districts of Kanungu, Rubanda, and Kisoro. It can be accessible through different routes, which include; Queen Elizabeth National Park through Ishasha, 160km from Mweya; from Kampala via Ntungamo, Rukungiri, and Kihihi, about 512km; via Kabale, and Kanungu, 534 km. You could use a chattered plane or private plane from Kampala to Kayonza air strip or to KIsoro air field in southwest Uganda.
Uganda is endowed with more than 1000 bird species, which makes it a well-known destination in Africa for birding. For a very successfull birding safari in Uganda, it is recommended to spend more days on a safari so as to archieve every birder’s dream (to encounter as many birds as possible) despite the fact that birds can be seen everywhere in Uganda.
In Bwindi National park, birding is carried out at Buhoma waterfall trail, Bamboo Zone, Mubwindi Swamp Trail in Ruhija sector.
Among the many birds that can be easily identified are:
- Fly catchers.
- crowned hornbill.
- A giant kingfisher
- White tailed blue.
- African blue.
- The African harrier hawk.
- common in Bulbul.
- The cinnamon-chested bee eater.
- The African green pigeon.
- The Kiev ground thrush
- The African Emerald Cuckoo.
Recommended time for birding safaris in Uganda
- May-June; it’s the period of high food supply and the nesting period.
- It is believed that during this period, migratory birds are always available, thus easing the birding schedule.
- December to February: this also seems to be the best time for birding because there is less rain in this period.
All you need for bird watching in the forest park of Bwindi.
- Warm-proof bags to protect the gadgets in case of rain.
- Comfortable hiking boots.
- warm clothing.
- Hiking books
Besides Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda is blessed with plenty of birding sites which team up to make Uganda one of the top destinations for bird watching in Africa. These birding spots include; Kibale National Park has a variety of forest birds, i.e. African Pita, Red-chested Fluftail, etc.; Murchison Falls National Park hosts about 370 bird species, for example; giant kingfisher, bee eaters, shoe bill stock, among others; Queen Elizabeth National Park has over 550 bird species; and Mabamba Swamp is well known for its rare shoebill-stork, among others.