Birds – Kibale NP

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

Kibale is a bird-watchers paradise. More than 370 species have been recorded and many are forest specials, including the sought-after African pitta. Four bird species have not been recorded in any other National park of Uganda: Cassin’s spinetail, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and Masked apalis. The best bird-watching spot is the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary – a community project where experienced guides take you on a four-hour trail. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Kibale NP
African pied wagtail
Common fiscal
Pin-tailed whydah
Slender-billed weaver
Tropical boubou

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

(E) = endemic to Uganda & (NE) = near-endemic to Uganda

  • Abyssinian ground thrush
  • Afep pigeon
  • African pitta
  • Black bee-eater
  • Black-capped apalis
  • Black-eared ground thrush
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher
  • Blue-headed bee-eater
  • Blue-headed sunbird (NE)
  • Brown illadopsis
  • Brown-chested alethe
  • Cassin's spinetail
  • Crowned eagle
  • Dusky crimsonwing (NE)
  • Green-breasted pitta
  • Grey parrot
  • Little greenbul
  • Masked apalis
  • Nahan's francolin (NE)
  • Purple-breasted sunbird (NE)
  • Red-chested owlet
  • Red-faced woodland warbler (NE)
  • Rwenzori apalis
  • Scaly-breasted illadopsis
  • Western nicator
  • White-naped pigeon
  • Yellow-rumped tinkerbird

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Kibale is good year-round, but at its best from March to May and from September to November. June to September is the main fruiting season, so food is abundant, and many birds are in breeding plumage. Migratory birds can be found here from November to April.

December to February and June to July have the least rain while March to May and September to November have the most rain. The rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails, limiting 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 Kibale NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Kibale NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr