Birds Given the small size of the country, which is approximately 235,000 square kilometers, Uganda boasts a national bird list of over 1008 species. This represents more than half the bird species that can be found in the whole of Africa.

Uganda has an area contiguous with the Great Guinea / Congo Basin rain forest on its western boarder. Subsequently there are a number of west and central African bird species occurring in Uganda that are not found elsewhere in East Africa.

There are more than 700 forest reserves in Uganda.

One particular region is the Albertine Rift Endemic area (ARE), which has 38 species of birds confined to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. Of these ARE’s Uganda has 25, mostly confined to the forests of Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks in the southwest.

Wetlands
Uganda has 30,000 square kilometers of wetlands. Not less than 210 species, ranging from the Shoebill and African Skimmer to the endemic Fox’s Weaver, are found in these wetlands. More to the above are four Papyrus endemics; the Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Yellow warbler. And a White winged Black Tern roost of 2-3 million birds in the Entebbe area (Lutembe bay).

Uganda boasts a number of wetlands that have been listed as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar convention. All these sites are recognized by BirdLife International as Important Bird Areas as well as providing a vital habitat for other threatened plants and animals.

Two of these wetlands are found within Uganda’s national parks:

Lake Mburo-Nakivali Wetland System, Lake Mburo National Park

This unique habitat lies at the convergence of two biological zones, giving it very high biodiversity. It supports globally threatened species of birds such as the Papyrus Yellow Warbler and Shoebill, and two of the endangered cichlid fish species which have become extinct in the main lakes. It is the only area in Uganda in which the impala is found.

Murchison Falls-Albert Delta Wetland System, Murchison Falls National Park

The site stretches from the top of Murchison Falls to the delta at its confluence with Lake Albert. The delta forms a shallow area that is important for water birds, especially the shoebill, pelicans, darters and various heron species. It is also an important spawning and breeding ground for Lake Albert fisheries, containing indigenous fish species, and it forms a feeding and watering refuge for wildlife during dry seasons.

Other Ramsar sites

Eastern/Northeastern Uganda:

  • Lake Bisina Wetland System
  • Lake Nakuwa Wetland System
  • Lake Opeta Wetland System

Lake Victoria Region:

  • Sango Bay-Musambwa Island-Kagera Wetland System (SAMUKA)
  • Nabajjuzi Wetland System
  • Lutembe Bay Wetland System
  • Mabamba Bay Wetland System

Savannahs
In Uganda savannahs vary from the remote, semi-dessert, dry thorn-scrub region of Karamoja in the northeast, to the richer fertile savannahs of the western rift valley. Queen Elizabeth National Park has a bird list of 604 species, the highest for any protected area in Africa.
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Mountains Though many have known Uganda for gorilla safaris, the experience goes beyond to mountain climbing in different corners of the country.

Regardless of your fitness, Uganda has both short and long hiking spots to meet you expectations. Interestingly, Uganda’s popular volcanoes/ mountains are situated in national parks such as Rwenzori national park, Mt Elgon national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. This is an added advantage for travelers to encounter various wild animals such as Gorilla in Mgahinga among others in other national parks. The summit of each mountain/ Volcano reward travelers with spectacular views of nearby communities, wildlife and other attractions in the neighborhood. Uganda’s popular mountaineering spots include Mt. Rwenzori, Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga National park and Mt. Elgon National parks.

You may be familiar with the Alps, the Caucus, the Himalayas or even the Rockies, however if you haven’t yet explored the Rwenzoris you still have something wonderful to see. Of the three East African mountains, the Rwenzori languish in a kind of half consciousness, aloof from the main stream trekking routes and rarely visited in comparison to its famous cousins Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya.

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Lakes and Rivers Uganda is located in the Great Lakes basin and this area is around the Tropical Equatorial region of Africa

and crossed by the Great Rift Valley escarpment. Because of these Geographical and Natural features, Uganda has a number of water resources…lakes, rivers, swamps and water falls in this diverse ecology.

Other countries in Great Lakes region of East Africa include Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi which share most of the water resources with Uganda. Some of the rivers drain in to Uganda’s lakes. There are many lakes in Uganda offering the best sights for bird viewing, boating riding, Nature walks, Adventures, and safaris to Uganda.

Lake Victoria, also called Victoria Nyanza, largest lake in Africa and chief reservoir of the Nile, lying mainly in Tanzania and Uganda but bordering on Kenya. Its area is 26,828 square miles (69,484 square km). Among the freshwater lakes of the world, it is exceeded in size only by Lake Superior in North America.

One-fifth of the total area is covered by open water bodies as well as swampland which also support the survival of some wildlife and bird species. Visiting Uganda, will allow you discover four of East Africa’s prominent Lakes including Lake Victoria-third largest in the world, Lake Edward and Lake Albert plus even the salty Lake Kyoga that strategically positioned within Uganda’s boundaries with its neighbouring countries.

The South Eastern part of Uganda is mainly covered by magnificent Lake Victoria– the third largest water body in the world. The common aspect about the Ugandan lakes is that the popular lakes in the whole of East African region. The popular lakes are mainly fed by famous rivers that are spread in different areas of Uganda.

Exploring the Natural open water bodies of central Uganda during your visit, will offer you a chance to enjoy adventurous activities like fishing, boat cruising as well as having close account of different water birds drinking in the banks of the rivers and lakes. The unique lakes like Lake Kyoga which stretches its fingers to include other small lakes like Lake Bugondo, Lake Kwania, Lake Opeta, surrounded by swamplands deserve a tour by each and every traveller in Uganda.

During your tour on River Nile you will explore the Source of the Nile, which starts its fascinating journey from Uganda in Jinja. River Nile Qis joined by one of the Ugandan river tributaries- River Kafu from the Western part really deserves to be explored.

A visit to other amazing Uganda’s rivers including the River Katonga which directly flows westward from Lake Victoria to Lake George is highly recommended for any visitor touring Uganda. From the North, one can explore the famous Semliki River which is frequented by various wildlife species protected in Semliki National Park.

Touring Uganda lakes and rivers will connect you to splendid waterfalls at Murchison Falls National Park bisected by the prominent Victoria Nile River. This is home of adventure because while exploring the Victoria Nile, through Launch Cruise, one is rewarded with wonderful views of wildlife drinking in the banks of the river.

Uganda is also endowed with different crater lakes and these are mainly located in western part of Uganda. Exploring these crater lakes enables you to enjoy other tourist attractions located in the western part of Uganda.
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