Birding in Budongo forest
Birding in Budongo forest is one of the top activities done in Murchison Falls National Park as travelers get a chance to see rare bird species of many kinds. Budongo forest also known as Central Forest Reserve was established in 1932 and is the biggest forest filled with Mahogany tree species in the entire region of East African situated along Lake Albert towards Murchison falls park near Masindi district covering around 825km2 creating a good environment for birders in Uganda harboring about 360 bird species over the 1060 bird species recorded in Uganda. One can never mention birding tours in Uganda and forget to talk about the largest the nature forest in Uganda
Budongo forest being a tropical high forest is characterized by evergreen savanna grassland and woodland receiving the rainfall of 1200m to 2200m throughout the year and receives the temperature of 19°C to 32°C throughout the year located in the northern western part of Uganda next to Murchison falls national park implying that a birding tour in Budongo forest can be joined with an entire visit to Murchison falls park for other activities like boat cruise on a Uganda’s powerful waterfall, and a game drive among others
Budongo forest is one of the best destinations in Uganda when it comes birding tours due to existence of some of two unique bird species alongside the commonly seen species that is Guinea-Congo forest biome species and Yellow-footed Flycatcher that are endemic to Budongo forest and are usually seen in only Budongo forest and Semliki forest reserve since they used to inhabit the forested areas. There is also a rare bird species known as iIladopsis puveli which is never seen in any other place in Uganda or even in east Africa but found in Budongo forest
Here are other bird species seen in Budongo forest that ranks it amongst the best birding destinations in east Africa; African pied wagtail, Puvel’s iIladopsis, Neafrapus Cassini, Pitta reichenowi, Parmoptila woodhouse, Fork-tailed drongo, Zoothers camaronensis, Sylvietta denti, Ixonotus guttatus, crested guinea fowl, Black kite, and Olive-breasted Greenbuls. These are rare forest birds
However there are other bird species present in Budongo forest which include Brown twin spot, Chocolate-backed kingfisher, Black-eared ground thrush, Cassin’s hawk-eagle, Grey-headed sunbird, Crowned eagle, Olive-breasted Greenbuls, White-spotted fluff tail, Sabine’s spine tail, Plain Greenbuls, White-thighed hornbill, Yellow-footed flycatcher, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Puvel’s iIladopsis, Little green sunbird, Cassin’s spine tail, African dwarf kingfisher, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Pygmy Crakes, African Emerald Cuckoo, Ituri Batis, Lemon-throated Greenbuls, Cameroon Sombre Greenbuls, Forest Robin, Piping, Black and White Casqued Hornbills, Holub’s golden weavers, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Black-winged Red Bishop, Yellow-spotted Barbet, to mention but a few and these can be easily spotted from different birding destinations.
The best birding sites in Budongo forest include Kaniyo Pabidi, sonso and Royal mile at Busingiro which offers an 115 km birding trail.
The best Birding season in Budongo forest
Visiting Uganda’s national park for any activity is always best achieved in the dry months when the parks are easy to trail through and the vegetation is easy to penetrate. However, there is no limitation to any visitor willing to tour Uganda in the wet seasons since different people have got different tastes and preferences thus Uganda can be visited time after time at any given period of time. The same applies to birding in Budongo forest since the forest can be done at any given time since the forest lies in dry parts of Uganda thus whether rain or sunshine can never stop a visitor from birding in Budongo forest.
However, there are some best seasons that are much better than the others when it comes to birding. Keeping in mind that birds prefer nesting in the forested areas and eating the fruits brings in a conclusion that the months of June, July, and august are the best birding months in Budongo forest when the forest has plenty of fruits that attract a lot of birds as they invade the forest in search of food and it’s in this period that also there is a lot of breeding making it the best season for birding.
On the other hand, migratory birds normally are normally seen in Budongo forest during the months of November to march meaning that Budongo forest offers two best birding seasons throughout the yeah that is from June to September and another one from November to march offering the maximum birding experience in Budongo forest
What else can one see during birding in Budongo Forest?
Budongo forest is the best Ecotourism site in Uganda due to the nature of the forest-covered by over 460 tree species harbor different wildlife species thus enhancing several tourist activities such as chimpanzee trekking, game drive, forest walks among others alongside Birding
- During birding in Budongo forest, keep an eye open in the forest for possibilities of sighting several mammals since the forest harbors about 24 mammal species like lions, buffalos, elephants, and leopards which are seen in rare cases as they visit the forest
- Budongo forest also is home to 9 different primate species including chimpanzees are seen in the forest since the forest harbors almost 800 chimpanzees. Other primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and olive baboons are also seen in the forest during birding in Budongo forest.
- There are also about 250 species of beautiful butterfly species that are spotted during birding in Budongo forest as they fly from one plant to another within Budongo forest.
How best can Budongo forest be accessed?
Most visitors on a birding tour in Budongo forest can easily access it using road transport which is roughly 3-4 hours’ drive from Uganda’s capital city Kampala along the way to Murchison falls park
However, visitors who don’t wish to reach to Budongo forest very first can book a flight which takes about one hour flying direct from Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi airfield to pakuba airfield in Murchison falls national park then use the road to Budongo forest at Kaniyo Pabidi
There are also some charter flights and domestic flights that operate to different national parks in Uganda and these can easily be organized by the tour operators for their clients such as fly Uganda, Aero link and Eagle Air to offer different flights from one park to another.
There are several accommodation facilities with in close vicinity to Budongo forest such as Budongo Eco lodge and more lodges with in Murchison falls park such as Paraa lodge, pakuba lodge, Red chill, and more with in Masindi town all offering best amenities for the tourists while on a birding tour in Budongo forest
Book your birding tour with achieve global safaris now and have a glimpse of the rare bird species that exist in Budongo forest alongside viewing other mammals, primates, butterflies among others for a melodious experience in the jungle.