Bird Watching in Mgahinga National Park : Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covers an area of 33.7 square kilometers located in the southwest corner of Uganda. It is a home of primates especially the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys, which make it one of the best places to visit in Uganda. Largest part of this park is covered by the forest and it’s a perfect home for lots of bird species and thus a great birding destination to enjoy a birding watching safari during your visit.

The Birding Adventure trail

Within Mgahinga national park, you can find over 115 different bird species and those who love watching the birds will be glad to know that you can be able to see over a hundred of these species in a single day’s birding adventure. Birding is conducted alongside a trained guide, he will take you through the forest, there will be some little bit of hiking since the area is hilly. With the help of your guide, birding is a perfect opportunity for any birder to see the rare and very beautiful bird species that call the park home.

Mount Sabinyo hike is the best of all following the popular gorge trail and it goes half-way up the famous Mount Sabinyo. This a 3-4 hour long Gorge Trail goes through the area in between Gahinga and Sabinyo and provides really amazing scenery in addition to the amazing birds like the Dusky turtle Dove, there is the Cape Robin-chat, the olive Thrush, the Kivu-ground Thrush, the Brown-crowned Tchagra and the Bronze Sunbird as well as Regal Sunbird. Other birds include the Blue-headed Sunbird, there are also the Rwenzori Batis, a huge number of Black-headed Waxbill as well as the Streaky Seedeater, among others.

Some of the best birding areas within this forest are places around the bamboo belt, which lies at a height of about 2,500 meters high above sea level and areas occupied by the tall montane forest which lies at about 2,660m above sea level. The commonly seen birds in these zones include the Rwenzori Turaco, which are seen in big numbers in areas lying above 2,700m. And then along the border of Uganda and Congo especially around the ground level, you will find birds like the Chubb’s Cisticola, the Red-faced Woodland Warbler, there are Banded Prinias, the Doherty’s Bush-shrike which are very vocal although not easily seen in this tangled vegetation cover along the edge of the forest.

Bird Watching in Mgahinga National Park
Red-faced Woodland Warbler

Mgahinga gorilla National park is one of the best destinations that anyone can visit for an amazing birding safari. It is true that most of these birds are Albertine rift endemics. The existence of the birds is supported by the existing various vegetation covers.

What to pack as you prepare for a birding safari

  • Birding is done at any time of the year although it can be a little bit more tiresome on a wet day when the forest is wet and slippery. To prepare well for this adventure, you need to have a few items as you will definitely need them while in the jungle.
  • Every birder is interested in taking pictures of all the birds s/he may see during the forest walk. this makes the camera a must carry item when going for this kind of safari.
  • The hiking boots are a good choice of shoes because then walking is made walk a bit easier, especially on a wet day when the ground is slippery. You may also need a walking stick for additional support.
  • Apply and carry insect repellent will keep insects like mosquitoes off you, you may also need the head cap, sun screen if it is a really hot day.
  • It is important to carry raincoat just in case it rains, the weather in this part of the country changes all the time, which means, it can easily rain heavily any time and you get wet from the jungle.
  • You need to carry drinking water and packed food if you intend to go birding for a quite long period.
  • Although bird watching is the focus on such a Uganda safari, you can expect more than the birds and the primates. This park is also a home to wild animals like antelopes especially the bushbucks, there are buffalos too, elephants, among others.
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