Murchison falls is among Uganda’s best birding spots with over 451 bird species which include; Albertine rift endemic birds, water birds, and savannah birds. Birding in Murchison Falls in a scenic landscape and amazing wildlife is among the most interesting experiences while on a Ugandan safari.
Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The Murchison falls national park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.
The commonest species found in the plains include the Marabou Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary Birds, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks and Widow Bird.
Closer to the river where there are more thickets and woodlands, the commonest bird varieties include the Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters – particularly in the Nyamusika Cliffs; Woodland, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers; Francolin; Hornbills, Grey heron; Hamerkop; Shrikes; Flycatchers; Cuckoos; Woodpeckers; Crombecs and Warblers. The riverbanks are also home to ducks, geese, stilts and plovers.
Birders can watch birds all year round though best time is during the dry season in months especially from January-March, this time is a low tourist season in Uganda but birding is still plentiful. From December-February the rains begin and birding can still be done.
From April-May and from August-October there are heavy rains, which makes it difficult for bird watching since the hiking trails become slippery and roads in the park become impassable.
The shoebill is the park’s most outstanding attraction though rare but can be spotted from January to March during the dry season. Migratory birds can be seen between months November and April.
Birders are expected to have a birder’s guide book, a pointer, a pair of binoculars, Sun glasses, hats, sturdy shoes(during hikes), and enough water