Birds – Budongo

Ariadne van Zandbergen
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert and frequently visits Uganda. She and her husband are a travel photography/writing team with many Africa guidebooks under their belt, including the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda

Budongo forest is of great interest to birders. It has a checklist of over 360 birds of which 60 are considered west or central African birds. The forest is the second most important in Uganda (after Semuliki National Park) for species of the Guinea-Congo forest region. Two species of birds found in Budongo forest are found nowhere else in East Africa: Yellow-footed flycatcher and Puvel's illadopsis. The best location for bird watching is on 'The Royal Mile' at Busingiro, a wide forested-track once visited by King Kabalega of Bunyoro. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Budongo
African pied wagtail
Black kite
Crested guineafowl
Fork-tailed drongo
Olive-breasted greenbul

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African dwarf kingfisher
  • Black-eared ground thrush
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher
  • Brown twinspot
  • Cassin's hawk eagle
  • Cassin's spinetail
  • Chestnut-capped flycatcher
  • Chocolate-backed kingfisher
  • Crested guineafowl
  • Crowned eagle
  • Grey-headed sunbird
  • Ituri batis
  • Lemon-bellied crombec
  • Little green sunbird
  • Olive-breasted greenbul
  • Plain greenbul
  • Puvel's illadopsis
  • Sabine’s spinetail
  • White-spotted flufftail
  • White-thighed hornbill
  • Yellow-crested woodpecker
  • Yellow-footed flycatcher

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Budongo Forest is good year-round, but at its best from February to April and in September. June to September is the main fruiting season, so food is abundant, and many birds are in breeding plumage. Migratory birds are in the forest from November to April.

December to February has the least rain while April to May and September to October have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads. Slippery hiking trails can limit your bird-watching time.

Best Parks for Birding Including Birding Rating

Murchison Falls is excellent for seeing a wide array of common birds and specials, including the sought-after shoebill. Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Park are the most accessible sites for Albertine Rift endemics, and Semuliki is the only place in East Africa to see many Guinea-Congo regional species.

Want to Visit Budongo?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Budongo
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr