Bird Watching In Kibale Forest National Park : Kibale national park is found in the western part of Uganda in kabarole district. The national park is a home to over 370 recorded bird species including endemic birds, forest birds and migratory birds which makes it a birders haven. Kibale national park is also called the primate capital because it’s a home to 13 primate species such as l’hoest monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and red tailed monkeys. The national park has over 1000 chimpanzees and it’s the best place for carrying out the chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Bird watching within kibale national park is best done on a guided forest walk which offers tourists a chance to spot a number of them. Within the park there are well developed walking/hiking trails which makes it easy while looking out for birds. The best bird watching spot is the Bigodi wetland sanctuary which is a community project where experienced local guides take birders on a four hour walking trail in search of various bird species.
Birding safaris within kibale national park begin as early as 7am in the morning at Kanyanchu visitors centre in the guidance of an experienced bird guide. With a bird guide, travelers are guaranteed of spotting a number of bird species since the guides are knowledgeable of the best trails to take.
The key species of birds within kibale national park include; brown-chested alethe, yellow spotted nicator, blue-breasted kingfisher, blue-shouldered robin-chat, blue-throated roller, zebra waxbill, African pied wagtail, papyrus gonolek, white collared olive, Cameroon somber greenbul, African dusky flycatcher, black billed weaver, collared appalis, dusky crimsoning, crowned eagle, black bee-eater, African pitta, green-breasted pitta, Abyssinian ground thrush, little greenbul, African wood owl, ash flycatcher, brown-eared woodpecker, African black-headed oriole, African emerald cuckoo, black caped waxbill, black-crowned tchagra among others.
There are 4 bird species recorded in kibale national park and have not been spotted anywhere else in Uganda national parks and these include the masked appalis, blue-headed bee-eater, Nahan’s francolin and the Cassin’s spinetail. The migratory birds are as well recorded within the national park which usually come between November and April.
BEST TIME FOR BIRD WATCHING EXPERIENCE
Bird watching in Kibale forest national park can be done all throughout the year though the best time is during the wet season in the months of May to March, September to November and June to September. During this period there is plenty of food and many bird species be breeding plumage therefore one will be able to view colorful and migratory bird species.
However bird watching in kibale forest national park can also be done in the dry season during the months of December to February and June to July because there is less rainfall or no rainfall in the national park. Therefore bird watching trails are dry and passable which makes it very easy and the photography is clear.
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Kibale national park has other amazing Uganda safari activities that tourists can engage in besides bird watching such as chimpanzee trekking where tourists can spend an hour with the chimpanzees, guided day and nocturnal nature walks where tourists can explore the forest, chimpanzee habituation experience where tourists spend 4 hours with the chimpanzees and community walks where you will interact with the local people among others.