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Uganda's bird side

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th August 2013 12:25 PM

A low breeze rustles the defiant trees. The old forest springs to life with jungle activities. Unconscious of its audience, a pair of blue turaco birds fly away from the branches of an old ficus tree, bursting into a priceless melody.

Uganda's bird side

A low breeze rustles the defiant trees. The old forest springs to life with jungle activities. Unconscious of its audience, a pair of blue turaco birds fly away from the branches of an old ficus tree, bursting into a priceless melody.

By Matthias Mugisha

A low breeze rustles the defiant trees. The old forest springs to life with jungle activities. Unconscious of its audience, a pair of blue turaco birds fly away from the branches of an old ficus tree, bursting into a priceless melody.

From dawn to dusk, the birds pour out the purest of rare music. So tender and serene is the harmony of nature in the old woods of Serenada Eco Resort, that monkeys, both red-tailed and colobus join in the jungle tango dance.

The place has both forest and water birds. Steven Lajongo, a private tour operator and guide, has so far counted over 130 bird species. Located just 35 minutes by boat from KK Beach in Ggaba, Serenada is a nature’s paradise in the city. The distance by road is 65km via Mukono.

Though this is a small place, only measuring 18 acres, it hosts a considerable number of birds, butterflies, reptiles, primates and dragonflies. Uganda was recently declared the preferred bird-watching destination (2013/2014), a development which upholds the country as a birder’s paradise. A network of canals has been constructed in the surrounding wetlands to enable bird viewing in the marshes while travelling by canoe.


The Egyptian goose



In the marsh, the biggest heron in the world, the goliath, patiently scans the shallow waters for dinner in form of fish. Forest birds can be seen while enjoying nature walks in the forest.

Ambassador Ibrahim Mukiibi, the owner of Serenada, says he has painstakingly conserved this private forest for about 30 years.

The fire finch


Bird-rich Uganda

About half of all bird species in Africa can be found in Uganda. The country supports more than 1,000 bird species, representing about 50% of the bird species in Africa and 11% of the global population of birds. Records from Nature Uganda show that Uganda earns over $6m (about sh156b) from birding tourism, doubling earnings from gorilla tracking. Birding is a high-end tourism product where birders stay long, thus leaving more money in the country.

Here, one can get an all-day bird watching package that takes visitors to Kidubudu wetland in Kisale, Mukono district by boat. Kidubudu is a little known wetland bird sanctuary rivalling Lutembe. Measuring about two square kilometres, the swamp is a delightful sight of many water birds with drifting water lilies, acting as bridges on the water surface for scavenging African jacanas.

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Lajongo, a private toour operator, counting bird species at Serenada. Birders can find half of Africa’s bird species in Uganda



Among the many bird species at Kidubudu is the spur-winged goose, which is the biggest duck in the world; the palm nut vulture, terns, gulls, yellow-beaked dusks, the African eagle, greater spotted eagle and the blue-breasted fly catcher, among others.

The Kidubudu birding circuit also takes visitors to Paradise Island, which is rich in big congregations of heavier birds like the pink-billed pelicans, sacred ibis and the black headed herons.

Though the trip from Serenada to Kidubudu would normally take an hour, it is a whole day adventure as there is a lot to see in terms of birds and other aquatic creatures.

Uganda’s bird side

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