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Uganda - when? (1 Viewer)

Alf King

Well-known member
A simple question from a simple person - when is the best time to visit Uganda from a birding perspective, taking into account personal comfort and increasing age (60+ a bit)?
 

Coronatus

Well-known member
Answer from an even simpler person. I like February/March. the rains are coming and the lbj Weavers, Whydahs etc., are putting on colours and yet the palearctic migrants are still around.
Comfort wise you are on the equator so no real seasonal temp variations. Cool up in the Bwindi with some thunder type rain. If you need specifics just ask. KLM have a sale on at the moment which may suit your location. MAN-AMS-EBB.
Coronatus (Age 75 and 3/4)
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
I was there in December last year. It was hot on the plains etc, and cool in the mountains. There were a few spectacular but brief thunderstorms around Kasese, and it started raining as I exited the airport, but mostly very lovely. In 10 days we recorded over 400 species with the best day 180+.
It's a fabulous country - get it done before you leave it too late!

ps I'm 60 and a bit too!
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
A local guide who was encouraging me to book with him suggested either February or June/July. I think I would have gone for the latter as he said it would probably be dry but not so dusty as the earlier option. I would not be too bothered about missing the Palearctic migrants.

Steve
(another 60 year old)
 

Coronatus

Well-known member
No good reason not to visit Uganda at any time of year. Rains in April may disrupt travel and the odd birding day. Personally August - November not so good due to some non breeders losing their colours. However most of Ugandan specials don't have annoying/brain teasing non breeding plumage so it is really no big deal unless lbjs are your thing! Not seen a Shoebill, Rwenzori Turaco, BeeEater or Batis in moult but maybe that is why I miss them?
Go when you can but GO!
My best 'score' was 509 but my guide is a hard task master.
 

Bokmakierie99

Well-known member
509! Wow! How long were you there for?
I'm thinking about a 6-month trip in Africa, and maybe a month in the Buruni-Rwanda-Uganda area (hopefully Burundi calms down, I've heard nice stuff about birding there). Based on timing, that would probably be August/September or so.
 

Coronatus

Well-known member
<509! Wow! How long were you there for?> I usually go for three weeks at a time. Not been to Burundi but have been to Rwanda. There are only a few species on that country's list that don't occur in Uganda so it has never been a priority. It's all in Uganda if you know where to look.
 

Bokmakierie99

Well-known member
I guess Albertine Rift endemics will be the priority for me... Most of them can be found at the Bwindi Impenetrable Park, right?
Queen Elizabeth NP is the place to see Shoebill, IIRC?
 
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Jon Turner

Well-known member
Shoebill at Mabamba......

And yes Albertine Rift endemics at Bwindi, but also go to Ruhija. I was lucky with Rwenzori Turaco. We saw 15 of the endemics. Take wellies for the walks in the forest!
 
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Coronatus

Well-known member
AREs found throughout Bwindi area. Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo. Right down to Rwandan border. Some 'easy' some not so easy. Broadbill Forest Camp has five or six in the grounds! Even where the main tar to Kisoro runs through Echuya forest is worth an hour or two. Also worth a look is Semliki Forest by Bundibogyo for special Hornbills.
I have seen Shoebill at Mabamba, Lake Mburo and Murchison (from the Lodge bar.)
 
I just got back from Uganda, we were there for only a week (6th to 13th July) and focussed on ARE's along with Chimps and Gorillas.
The weather was perfect, wall-to-wall sunshine with only one 30-minute downpour on the second evening after dark. Virtually all the weavers, widows, bishops etc were in breeding plumage.
First day we went to Mabamba for Shoebill and then Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Then we did two days in Kibale for Chimps/primates and got Green-breasted Pitta there too. Then a day in Queen Elizabeth NP and two days at Ruhija for Gorillas and ARE's, We saw 16 out of a possible 24 endemics in the area including Green Broadbill, Grauer's Warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, Ruwenzori Batis and Regal Sunbird. The birding trails at Ruhija are absolutely brilliant.
Uganda is a really beautiful country and I hope to return sometime soon.

Nick
 

Alf King

Well-known member
Thanks for all of this advice - it is really useful. My main interest is in the endemics rather than WP migrants so it looks like July could be an attractive time, all things considered. (I'm already scheduled to visit Kruger in February next year.)

Once again thanks - I will return to this thread as my plans crystallise.
 

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