Shoebill stork safaris in Uganda

Shoebill stork safaris in Uganda: An encounter with the rare shoebill stork while on a Birding safari is one of the most fascinating experiences that every birder dreams of before embarking on the adventure. Shoebill stork in Uganda is usually seen along the Mabamba swamp in Entebbe, in Bigodi wetland in kibale forest national park as well as in Murchison falls national park. Uganda is one of the few countries in African continent where one is able to spot the endangered shoebill stork which is one of the rare 10 and thought after bird species found in Uganda the pearl of Africa. A shoebill stork obtained its name from the shape of its mouth which is shoe like and while on a Uganda safari, Achieve Global Safaris will organize for you a birding adventure to Mabamba swamp in Entebbe, Bigodi wetland as well as in Murchison falls national park to enjoy a shoebill stork safari.

Shoebill stork safari in Mabamba swamp

Taking a shoebill stork safari to Mabamba swamp enables one to spot this bird especially early in the morning as it is targeting its next meal. Most of its prey are the mad fish, frogs and many other small aquatic wildlife. Morning hours are the best time to watch the shoebill stork though it can as well be seen any time of the day as long as the water levels in the mabamba swamp is minimal. The best way to get to mabamba swamp is either by road or by water. Other bird species spotted in mabamba include; African Jacana, Bee eater, African marsh harrier, Yellow billed duck, cormorant, Blue breasted bee-eater, African fish eagle, Black headed heron, cattle egret, Little egret, Swamp fly catcher, Papyrus Gonolek, Black heron, Purple heron, Malachite kingfisher, Grey headed kingfisher, Squacco heron, Pied kingfisher, Long toed lapwing, Fan-tailed widowbird, brown throated, yellow backed and Black headed weaver bird among others.

Shoebill stork safari in Bigodi wetland – Kibale forest national park 

Bigodi wetland is a sanctuary within Magombe swamp inside Kibale forest national park and is yet a best destination to visit for Shoebill stork safari in Uganda. To enjoy this adventure, birders need to take on a guided swamp walk to the habitat of the shoebill where many other bird species are spotted. Bigodi wetland is as well a home to primate species including monkeys, a lot of plant species with some pointed out as medicinal plants, beautiful butterflies and many other attraction that seen while on a search for the rare shoebill stork.

Shoebill stork safari in Murchison falls national park 

With more than 451 species of birds, Murchison falls National Park is not only the best destination for birding safari but also one of the destinations in Uganda for shoebill stork safari. The park harbors both water birds, Endemic species to rift valley, as well as savanna forest bird species. Shoebill stork is the major bird species to look out for in Murchison falls national park and is easily spotted during the dry months of January, February and March when the water levels are minimal. The months of April, May and November are best for birders who wish to spot migratory birds from Europe. Enjoy your views of the rare shoebill stork in Murchison falls national park, one has to take on a boat cruise downstream along the Nile delta. Other bird species in Murchison falls national park include The giant kingfisher, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Marabou stork, Giant heron, Gray crowned crane, blue napped mouse bird, night jar, Goliath herons, secretary bird,  black bellied and open bellied bustard birds,  grey herons, cuckoos, Malachite kingfisher, red throated bee-eater, pied giant kingfisher, geese, warblers, long toed plover, veracious dove,  black billed barbet, martial eagle,  blue headed coucal, and many more that are easily seen both during the game drives, boat cruise as well as during the guided walking safaris but to spot the shoebill stork in Murchison falls national park, one has to do a delta boat cruise downstream the Albert delta where the shoebill is spotted along the swamp on a hunt for the next meal. 

Getting to Murchison falls national park is mostly by road drive which takes about 5-6 hours’ drive from Kampala the capital city of Uganda though one can as well opt for a flight from Either Entebbe international airport or from Kajansi airfield to the park.

Other things to do in Murchison falls national park: Murchison falls national park being the largest and the oldest park in uganda the pearl of Africa offers several tourist activities not only shoebill stork safari. Some of the other things that one can do in Murchison falls national park include Game drives both morning and night game drives, boat cruise up stream to the bottom of the waterfalls, guided forest walks, chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest and many more.

Packing list for birding safari in Uganda

Every birder should at all the time remember to pack the following while embarking on a birding adventure;

  • A birder’s guide book
  • A pair of binoculars
  • Appropriate hiking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • A cap 
  • Enough drinking water etc.