Uganda is another excellent country to do bird watching and spot other interesting wildlife.Uganda is crossed by the equator and is bordered by Kenya, DR Congo, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.Uganda lies within the Nile Basin and share Lake Victoria with Kenya and Tanzania.
The country hosts 1050 species of birds found across its different habitats: forests, swamps, agricultural lands, lakes and savannahs.There are 330 species of mammals in Uganda although not found as in high numbers as in Kenya.Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees are some of its most iconic species,that can be found in the wild in Bwindi and Kibale Forest respectively.
Queen Elisabeth, Murchison Falls, Semuliki, Ruwenzori Mountains, Kidepo Valley, Kibale and Bwindi Impenetrable Park are some of the most important national parks in Uganda.Queen Elisabeth NP is the most visited national park in Uganda due to its diverse habitats that harbour 95 species of mammals and more than 600 species of birds.
To get to Uganda i went from Saiwa NP to Malaba border checkpoint.Once there, I got a visa on arrival paying 100 dollars.I still don’t get why many African countries charge so much for getting a tourist visa.Once there i got into a van that took me to Jinja.
Jinja is a medium-sized town that lies on the shores of Lake Victoria, near the source of the White Nile.The town doesn’t have any charm but it’s a popular destination for its white-water rafting and visiting the source of the Nile.
I wanted to visit the source of the Nile next morning.I got into a motorbike that dropped me there.I paid a small entrance fee and descend downstairs to the bank of the Nile River.You can explore this area in depth by hiring a boat although i didn’t take it.
I was surprised to see some interesting birds.Pied Kingfisher was a common sight here and I saw a Long-tailed Cormorant sitting on a piece of metal next to the river.See picture below and on top of the post.This small Cormorant has a conspicuous red eye, short yellow beak and long tail that differentiate them from other Cormorants.
African Darter was perched on the top of the branches of a tree, with some individuals of Great Cormorant, see picture below.That is one of the largest Cormorants in the world.Notice the yellow patch beside its pale greyish beak in the following photo.
I spotted an African Openbill Stork on the shore of the river.You can appreciate its distinctive curved beak and dark plumage.In the picture you can see it beside a Long-tailed Cormorant.
Near the stork I got excellent views of an Hadada Ibis.I could approach close enough to take a nice shot of this magnificent bird.Notice the red coloration in the upper part of the beak and the white stripe under the cheeks that allows to distinguish it from other similar ibis.
In the middle of the river, there was a small island with some birds.I checked the island carefully with my binoculars,and i was stunned to see a Great Kingfisher perched on a branch and hunting fish on the river.This big Kingfisher is a bird quite difficult to observe and i was very happy to see it in such an unexpected place.I could take a picture of him, but my 300 mm didn’t allowed me to take a close shot.I heavily cropped the picture you see below.It’s not a high quality picture but it’s all i’ve got.
Black Kite and African Fish Eagle were beautiful raptors seen soaring the skies of the Nile.
I was delighted by the views of these birds during the morning !!!
Next stop, Entebbe, with more picture of amazing birds taken in its gardens, Mabamba swamp and the surroundings of the Zoo !!
See you soon my friends !!