The Uganda wildlife authority has announced a reduction in birding fees effective January 2014. This comes in the wake of the country being named a top birder’s destination by the African Bird club. Birding rates effective 2014 will be $30 from $100. This is aimed at maximizing the birding potential that Uganda boasts of on the African continent. Half of all bird species in Africa are found native in Uganda.
The country boasts of diversity of habitats that offer home and breeding grounds for various bird species. These include tropical rain forests, swamps, highlands like mountains, protected areas like national parks and forest reserves, water bodies and diverse vegetation. Uganda is also utilized by migratory birds as a stopover and feeding grounds.
The documented number of bird species currently stands at 1072 most of which are distributed in 35 prime birding sites all over the country. Bwindi impenetrable forest: a UNESCO world heritage site is believed to be home for over 300 species, Kibale national park boasts of over 300 as well. These are natural environments that encounter less disturbance hence they are able to support a diversity of life. Murchison falls national park supports the highest number of bird species with close to 600 documented species. Most of these inhabit the Budongo forest reserve in the park. Other key birding sites in Uganda include Lutembe islands, Mabira forest, Lake Mburo national park, Semliki national park, Rwenzori mountain ranges and Mabamba swamp.
The most captivating birds native to the diverse lands of Uganda include shoebill, papyrus yellow warbler, African fin foot, saddle billed stork, brown crested wattled plover, great snipe, Abyssinian ground hornbill, pygmy geese , white winged warbler, gull- billed tern, yellow backed weaver, herons, whiskered terns, northern brown throated weaver, blue headed coucal’ African dwarf kingfisher, yellow and grey long bills, crowned eagle, red tailed thrush, cassin hawk eagle, pygmy crakes, sabin’s spine tail, brown twin spot, yellow crested wood pecker, little green sun bird, grey headed sun bird, cameroon somber, forest robin, African green broadbill, Shelley’s crimson wing, warbler, graver’s warbler, banded prinia’ Black-faced Apalis, Mountain masked Apalis and the yellow-eyed black-flycatcher among other species.
There is no better place one can listen to the sound of nature than Uganda.