Fairend Safaris

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park is a captivating experience and one of the most engaging activities in the park. The park is actually renowned for its diverse avian species, making it a haven for birdwatchers, and boasts over 450 bird species. These include both resident and migratory birds, making it an excellent destination for birding enthusiasts throughout the year.

There are different ecosystems in the park such as savannah grasslands, rainforests, and riverine vegetation among others where birding can be done. The most renowned bird species in Murchison Falls National Park is the shoebill stork, a prehistoric bird with only about 10,000 left in the wild.

How birding in Murchison Falls National Park is done

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park can be done in several ways, each offering unique opportunities to observe the diverse birdlife within the park. Some of the ways to do birding include;

Birding during game drives

Game drives are one of the primary ways to explore the park and observe birds. Visitors get to explore the park with a safari vehicle and a knowledgeable guide to venture into the savannah and woodland habitats. Travelers can always look out for birds perched on trees, foraging on the ground, or soaring in the sky. Some of the bird species to look out for include open-billed storks, black-bellied bustards, marabou storks, weaver birds, and secretary birds among others.

Birding during boat cruises

Boat cruises along the Victoria Nile offer a unique perspective for birdwatching. These guided excursions take visitors along the river, providing opportunities to observe waterbirds. Some of the birds seen include kingfishers, herons, egrets, and African skimmers. The boat ride also offers a chance to spot the elusive Shoebill Stork, which inhabits the marshy areas along the riverbanks.

Birding during hiking and nature walks

Some areas of Murchison Falls National Park are accessible by foot through guided nature walks and hiking trails. These walks allow travelers to explore different habitats, such as riverine forests and grasslands while observing birds at close range. Walking safaris are particularly rewarding for spotting smaller bird species, including colorful sunbirds and bushshrikes.

When to go for birding in Murchison Falls National Park

The best time to go for birding in Murchison Falls National Park is during the dry season from January to March when birding trails are dry and passable. However, birding can be done throughout the year and the month of June is the breeding season therefore there are many birds to see. Other months of the year are wet season meaning the park receives heavy rainfalls making it difficult to access most parts of the park.

List of bird species found in Murchison Falls National Park

  • Gray-crowned
  • crested crane           
  • Sandpipers
  • Pied Kingfishers
  • Standard-winged Nightjar
  • Malachite Kingfishers
  • Blue-headed Coucal
  • Denham’s Bustard
  • Birding Swamp Flycatcher
  • Giant Heron
  • African Jacana
  • Secretary Bird
  • Read-throated Bee-eater
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Senegal Thick-Knee
  • Red-winged Grey Warbler
  • Shoebill Stork
  • Murchison African Darter
  • Giant Kingfisher
  • Osprey
  • Long-toed Plover
  • Grey-headed Kingfisher
  • Veracious Dove
  • Black-headed Lapwing
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
  • Rock Pratincole
  • Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
  • Black-billed Barbet
  • Long-tailed Nightjar bird
  • Weaver Birds
  • Yellow-billed Stork