Kibale National Park and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary are two prime African birding destinations located in the western part of the country.

Created in 1993, Kibale National Park is home to about 350 species of birds, six of which are endemic to the region.  The rare and beautiful bird species of the park can best be spotted on the guided forest walks offered by the park’s experienced and friendly staff or by one of the many tour operators in the region.  Aside from birding, visitors to Kibale National Park can enjoy unrivaled sightings of chimpanzees and various species of other primates, as the park has the highest density of primates in East Africa!

Key species found in Kibale National Park and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary include:

  • Green-breasted pitta
  • African pitta
  • Abyssinian groundthrush
  • Crowned eagle
  • Dusky crimsonwing
  • Black-capped apalis
  • Collared apalis
  • Purple-breasted sunbird
  • Black bee-eater
  • Yellow spotted nicator
  • Little greenbul
  • Black-eared groundthrush
  • Brown-chested alethe
  • Yellow-rumped tinker bird
  • Blue-breasted kingfisher

Most of the birding starts at 7am at Kanyanchu and the most natable species include the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler, White-collared Oliveback and Papyrus Canary.

Another area of interest outside the main forest is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a superb community development enterprise located on the fringe of Kibale National Park in Magombe Swamp.  The Sanctuary itself has 138 species of birds that can be easily seen on any of the guided tours along the boardwalk trail or from the many viewing platforms situated throughout the Sanctuary.

These could include the White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Superb Sunbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Black Bishop, White-breasted Negrofinch and Black-crowned Waxbill among others.