Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to a plethora of bird life due to its rich variety of habitats, from the dense tropical forest of Kyambura Gorge to the wetland habitats of Lakes Edward and George.

Over 600 bird species have been recorded in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the most comprehensive checklist of any protected region in East Africa.

Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Notable species

Lake George is a birder’s utopia, and its wetlands are home to over 150 bird species, including the African jacana and the rare saddle-billed stork.

In March 1988, Lake George’s wetlands were designated as Uganda’s first Ramsar site due to their rich biodiversity. The lesser flamingo has been spotted several times at Lake Edward.

Many other aquatic bird species are found around the Kazinga Channel, including the African Fish Eagle, the African skimmer, and the yellow-billed stork.

Kyambura Gorge is home to the African finfoot, the blue-headed bee-eater, the martial eagle, and the white-tailed lark.

Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Shoebill stork

The ‘Lake Edward Flats’ in the Ishasha sector are a swampy habitat that contains the elusive Shoebill stork. This giant stork-like bird is unmissable for birdwatchers, and is the 'crown jewel' on many birding lists. 

The Shoebill is a tall bird which can grow up to 1.52m. Its wingspan ranges from 7 ft 7 in to 8 ft 6 in. The Shoebill is known for its slow movements, so lucky birdwatchers may get to experience an extended encounter with one.

Shoebill enthusiasts should also visit Mabamba Swamp on the northern shore of Lake Victoria.

Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park

When to go birding at Queen Elizabeth National Park?

Birdwatching is possible all year round at Queen Elizabeth National Park.

For travellers who want to maximise their chances of getting good weather conditions, we recommend that you go bird watching during June to September. These months have low rainfall, and there are plenty of food sources for the birds.

Migratory birds visit Queen Elizabeth National Park from November to April, and the drier months of January to February are a good time to see them.

Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Sunrise at QENP, safaris start early for the best sightings.

Discover More Wildlife at Queens

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