Birds – Queen Elizabeth 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

Queen Elizabeth NP has the largest checklist of any protected area in East Africa with over 600 bird species recorded. This is mostly due to the wide variety of habitats: from savannah to forest to wetland. Many of the birds in the park are regarded as specials within East Africa, which makes it a prime destination for birders. The swamp areas in the Ishasha sector are a good place to look for the elusive shoebill stork. The park is great for raptors as well. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Notable Birds in Queen Elizabeth NP
Collared pratincole
Palm-nut vulture
Pel's fishing-owl
Swamp flycatcher

Birding Rating

Birding Specials Treats for Avid Birders

  • African finfoot
  • African hobby
  • African skimmer
  • Ayres’s hawk eagle
  • Black bee-eater
  • Black-rumped buttonquail
  • Broad-billed roller
  • Caspian plover
  • Collared pratincole
  • Common sand martin
  • Crab-plover
  • Great blue turaco
  • Great white pelican
  • Grey-winged robin-chat
  • Heuglin's gull
  • Palm-nut vulture
  • Papyrus gonolek
  • Pel’s fishing-owl
  • Pink-backed pelican
  • Red-chested sunbird
  • Rufous-bellied heron
  • Shoebill
  • Spotted redshank
  • Western banded snake eagle
  • White-backed night heron
  • White-winged tern
  • Yellow-bellied wattle-eye
  • Yellow-throated cuckoo

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Queen Elizabeth NP is good year-round, but at its best from late May to September, when the rain is less and food is abundant. June to July has the least rain, while April to May and September to November have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails. These may limit your bird-watching time. From November to April, migratory birds can be found in the park.

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 Queen Elizabeth NP?

Birding Rating

Facts & Figures

Birds in Queen Elizabeth NP
Bird Species
Migratory Birds
Nov to Apr