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Birding In Murchison Falls National Park

Birding In Murchison Falls National Park

Birding In Murchison Falls National Park – Murchison Falls is renowned as one of Uganda’s premier birding destinations, boasting a rich diversity of over 451 bird species. Among these are Albertine Rift endemic birds, water birds, and savannah species. Bird watching amidst the park’s scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife offers an enthralling experience for visitors on a Ugandan safari. Situated approximately 305 kilometers from Kampala in the northwestern part of the country, Murchison Falls is easily accessible, with a drive of around four hours by road.

The park hosts a plethora of bird species, ranging from rare finds to common sightings and occasional gems. Notable avian residents include the majestic Gray Crowned Crane, Uganda’s national bird, as well as the impressive Giant Kingfisher, Giant Heron, and iconic Shoebill Stork. Other avian highlights encompass Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, Nightjars, Marabou Stork, Black-headed Lapwing, and Black-bellied Bustard, contributing to the park’s reputation as a birder’s paradise.

Birdwatching in Murchison Falls National Park is best experienced through game drives, nature walks across the savannah grasslands, and boat cruises along the Nile and Lake Albert Delta. Near Paraa and Red Chili, amidst the dry thorn-shrubs, sightings of birds like the blue-napped mousebirds, silverbirds, and weavers are common. Nocturnal species like nightjars can be observed along the Paraa road and during Nile boat trips. Moreover, while on the boat, a plethora of avian species including the iconic shoebill, Gray Crowned Cranes, Goliath Herons, and Black-headed Lapwings can be easily spotted, adding to the enchanting birdwatching experience in Murchison Falls.

What Is The Best Time For Birding In Murchison Falls?

Birdwatching in Murchison Falls National Park is a year-round activity, with the dry season, particularly from January to March, being the prime time for sightings. Despite being a low tourist season in Uganda, birding opportunities abound during this period. Even during the onset of rains from December to February, birdwatching remains feasible.

Birding In Murchison Falls National Park – However, heavy rains from April to May and August to October pose challenges, as hiking trails become slippery and park roads may be impassable, limiting birding excursions. The elusive shoebill, a standout attraction, is best spotted during the dry season, particularly from January to March. Additionally, migratory birds grace the park’s skies between November and April, enriching the bird watching experience in Murchison Falls National Park.

Which Bird Species Are In Murchison Falls National Park?

  • Shoe bill
  • African Darter
  • Giant Kingfisher
  • Osprey
  • Long-toed Plover
  • Grey-headed Kingfisher
  • Veracious Dove
  • Black-headed Lapwing
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
  • Rock Pratincole
  • Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
  • Black-billed Barbet
  • Long-tailed Nightjar
  • Weaver Birds
  • Yellow-billed Stork
  • Martial Eagle
  • Silver bird
  • Gray crowned crested crane
  • Sandpipers
  • Pied Kingfishers
  • Standard-winged Nightjar
  • Malachite Kingfishers
  • Blue-headed Coucal
  • Denham’s Bustard
  • Swamp Flycatcher
  • Giant Heron
  • African Jacana
  • Secretary Bird
  • Read-throated Bee eater
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Senegal Thick-Knee
  • Red winged Grey Warbler

 

What Should I Carry On A Birding Safari In Uganda?

When embarking on a birding safari in Uganda, it’s essential to pack the right gear to ensure a comfortable and successful experience. Here’s a list of items to consider bringing:

  1. Binoculars: Opt for high-quality binoculars with good magnification and clarity to observe birds from a distance.
  2. Field guide: Bring a bird identification book or app specific to the region to help identify different bird species.
  3. Camera: Capture memorable moments and bird sightings with a camera equipped with a telephoto lens for close-up shots.
  4. Hat and sunscreen: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays with a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  5. Insect repellent: Ward off mosquitoes and other insects with a reliable insect repellent to avoid bites and discomfort.
  6. Lightweight clothing: Dress in lightweight, breathable clothing in earth tones for comfort and to blend in with the environment.
  7. Comfortable footwear: Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or boots suitable for uneven terrain and long walks.
  8. Water and snacks: Stay hydrated and energized with plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day.
  9. Notebook and pen: Take notes on bird sightings, behaviors, and other observations to enhance your birding experience.
  10. Backpack: Carry your essentials in a lightweight backpack for easy access during birding excursions.

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