Kibale Birding Uganda

Kibale national park is found in south western Uganda. It protects an ever green forest- the Kibale forest. The Kibale forest is one of the loveliest and most varied tropical forests in Uganda. The northern part of the park is mostly covered with tropical forest interspersed with swamp and grassland while the central part is elevated plateau. It adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180km-long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park. Kibale national park has an elevation of 920 -1590m above sea level, and covers a general area of about 560 sq. km.

As a habitat to various bird species, 77% of the park is covered by forest and is comprised of medium altitude moist ever green forest in the North, and medium altitude semi-deciduous forest at lower altitude in the south. The other 23% of the park is made up of grassland, swamps and plantations with some exotic plant species. The lush tropical forest gives it a certain magical beauty making it one of the most stunning tropical forests in Uganda.
Kibale national park is home to several species of wildlife and birds. It has about 70 mammals, 13 of which a primates species, the most notable being the chimpanzee. The park has a 375 bird species recorded, 4 fellids and over 300 tree species as well. It is said to have the largest number of the endangered chimpanzees and the red colobus monkey.

Other primates in the park include: the Uganda managabey, the L’Hoest’s monkey, black and white colobus monkey, and the blue monkey. Wildlife in Kibale also include elephants, red and blue duikers, bush bucks, sitatungas, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, warthogs, and buffalo. There are some carnivores such as leopards, African golden cats, servals, different mongooses , two specie of otter and the occasional lion.

Birding in Kibale National Parks
Kibale National Park is a special and beautiful birding site. It boasts of about 375 bird species including some endangered bird species such as Nahans francolin.
The park is documented to have 82 species of Guinea Congo forest biome, 32 species of the Afro-tropical highland biome and some very uncommon species found within the highland ares. It also has 5 of the 32 constrained range species found in Uganda and 5 of 12 Lake Victoria biome species found in Uganda.
Bird found in Kibale national park include: the African pitta, Green breasted pitta, Black bee-eater,, Yellow spotted nicator,Yellow rumped tinker bird, Little greenbul, Black-eared ground thrush, Brown-chested Alethe, Blue-breasted kingfisher, Abyssinian ground-thrush, Crowned eagle, Black-capped apalis, Blue-headed sun bird, Collared apalis, Dusky crimson-wing, Purple-breasted sun bird, Red-faced woodland warbler African, Green breasted pitta, Yellow billed barbet, Scaly throated honey guide, Western nictor, Red winged warbler, White napped pigeon, Yellow- ramped Tinker bird, Bar-tailed Trogon plus the Fine-banded woodpecker, Red-faced Crimson-wing and the White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, White-thighed horn bill, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Black-billed Turacco, Purple-headed Starling, Red-chested Fluff tail, Joyful Greenbul, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, Scarlet-tufted, Green-throated, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Masked Apalis, Tiny Sunbird, White-collared Olive-back and many other birds.
Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary
Bigodi wetlands sanctuary is a very rich birding spot in the Kibale National Park area. It is perhaps the best birding spot in Kibale. It has a record of about 138 bird species that can be seen on guided walks through the sanctuary and from the viewing platforms. Some of the bird species found in Bigodi wetlands include: the White-spotted Fluff-tail, White-breasted Negro finch, Black Bishop, he Black-crowned Waxbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Yellow-billed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Black & white Shrike-flycatcher, White-tailed Ant-thrush Western Nicator, Superb Sunbird, Grey-winged Robin-chat, Brown-throated Wattle-eye and many others.

Other activities
Kibale National Park is not only about birding, you can enjoy game drives to see some wildlife, go on natures walks through the forest and also enjoy a chimpanzee tracking adventure. A birding safari to Kibale NP is truly an experience worth having.

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