East African Birding Destinations to Visit this June

The East African region stands out in the many birding destinations world wide. The region has over 1500 recorded bird species including endemics that can not be found In any other places. East Africa’s diverse wildlife also Makes birding journeys in the region more memorable as you get to see a number of wildlife species including the big five mammals. As we kick start the peak tourist season, lets look at some of the birding destinations you should not miss visiting this June.

Shoebill Stork at Mabamba Swamp. Birding destinations
Shoebill Stork at Mabamba Swamp Uganda. Photo by Newman Dixon

Mabamba Swamp Uganda

Covering an area of 2424 hectares, Mabamba swamp is among Uganda’s best birding destinations. Its situated on the Northern shores of lake Victoria and comprises of marshes of papyrus, water Lillies among other swamp vegetation species. The swamp is home to over 300 bird species including the rare shoebill stork. Other notable birds here include the grey crowned cranes, Hammerkops, Egrets, African Jacana, Palm-nut Vulture, swamp flycatcher among others.

The beauty about birding in Mabamba is its done by motorized canoe riding through a maze of the thick swamp vegetation an adventurous activity in itself. Birders here are often interested in finding the shoebill stork as the wetland is the best place to see the shoebill stork in Uganda. The best time of birding is very early morning as the shoebill prefer hunting its favorite meal (Lung fish) around that time. Evenings are also great times for birding as you get to also enjoy the African sunset.

While in Uganda ensure to visit Mabamba for your ultimate birding excursion. Birding here is doable all year round. Incase you want general birding safaris in Uganda the best time to Visit is from November to April when migratory birds set in giving one a wide range of opportunities to watch.

Akagera national park is Rwanda’s only Savanna national park and an important birding Area in the country after Nyungwe forest. There are over 480 recorded bird species here with 100 endemics and can therefore not be found in any other national park. The parks diverse ecosystems of wetland, grasslands and woodlands gives it an advantage making it an excellent area for a birding safari.

Notable birds to see in Akagera include the African fish eagle, Africa Jacana, shoebill stork, booted eagle, crested barbet, grey crowned cranes, western reef heron among others. Birding journeys here are very much complemented by safari game drives featuring the big five mammals. The park now has both the White and black rhinos that were reintroduced in the park after they had gone extinct.

Birding safaris in Akagera can be done throughout the year with the dry season offering opportunities to see wetland birds among others. The wet season especially in November Is a great time to see migratory birds with these spanning upto April.

This wanderlust ecosystem is not only famous for its wildebeest migrations, big cats but also a birders haven. The park is located in northern Tanzania and together with Kenya’s Masai Mara form the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Here the renown annual mass wildebeest migration takes place as wildebeest, Thompson gazelles, zebras, and many others move over the endless plains of the Serengeti.

There are over 500 bird species recorded in Serengeti alone with about 5 Endemic bird species found in no other place. Notable birds here include Fischer’s Lovebird, Kori Bustard, Secretary bird, silver bird, grey backed fiscal, among others. The best time for a birding safari adventure in Serengeti is from November to April when resident birds are nesting and in full plumage. The migratory birds also set in coming from as far as Europe and north Africa.

You can still enjoy a birding safari in the dry season when savanna game drives are very much enjoyable with less disturbances from the rains. Birding safari journeys in Serengeti are very enjoyable as you get to see more the park has to offer including East Africa’s most sought for wildlife species.

Lake Nakuru is strategically located on the floor of the great Rift Valley and is surrounded by wooded and bushy grasslands. The park covers a land area of 188 square kilometers and is among Kenya‘s Best wildlife and birding destinations. Its a soda lake previously famous for its thousands of flamingos that were driven away to other lakes by harsh climate conditions. They however still occur though in few numbers if compared to the past.

Pelicans however occur in large numbers as well other birds. Other Notable birds here include the greater blue-eared starling, Batuleur, crab-plover, grey crowned Cranes, Maccoa duck, great snipe among others. The best time for birding adventures around lake Nakuru is during the breeding season from November to April when birds are in full plumage. This is the time when migratory birds also set in giving one a variety of species to see.

The park is also home to other wildlife species including Rhinos, waterbucks, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras among others. While on a visit east Africa expedition you can check out the above featured birding destinations for your memorable wildlife expedition.

Other notable must visit birding ares include Nyungwe forest, Bwindi impenetrable national park, the Ngorongoro crater among others.

Birding Safari Destinations Not to Miss in East Africa in 2021

East Africa is not only a famous general wildlife but also a special birding safari destination. The region is home to countless bird species many of which are endemics to the region.

Birding safari enthusiasts have been flocking East Africa to be part of exclusive birding trips in the different birding destinations. When you look at the safari destinations map of East Africa its hard to outline few birding safari destinations as many of them are outstanding.

Birding in East Africa can be done anytime of the year but the best time is usually from September to April when migratory birds especially from Europe come in. Lets explore some of the must visit Birding safari destinations in the region for exclusive birding experiences.

Lake Nakuru is one of the rift valley lakes in East Africa and its among Kenya’s ultimate birding safari destination. The lake is most famous for flamingos often seen in millions along the lake shores feeding.

Over the years, the flamingo population along lake Nakuru has declined due to some unfavorable conditions. The lake however has over 500 recorded bird species so you get to enjoy a variety of these.

Notable birds here include great white pelicans, long crested eagles, grey crowned cranes, great snipes, maccao ducks and others. Birding here can be best done from November to April a breeding season and a time when birds are in full plumage.

White Pelicans. Birding Safari
White Pelicans in Lake Nakuru. Photo by Yash Mahadik

This swamp is located at the edge of Lake Victoria in Entebbe Uganda. The swamp is a prime birding safari destination with over 300 bird species including the rare shoe-bill stork. Mabamba swamp covers several hectares of wetland vegetation with water lilies and papyrus that act as homes of the many birds here.

Other notable birds here include papyrus webblers, blue swallow, papyrus gonolek , brown snake-eagle, grosbeak weavers and many others. Birding at Mabamba is very classic and its done in motorized wooden boat through the different trails in the swamp.

Shoebill Stork, Mabamba Swamp Uganda. Birding Safari
Shoe-bill stork at Mabamba Swamp. Photo by Daniel Rosengren
Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe forest is located in southwestern Rwanda and its one of Africa’s old rain-forests. Its a home to various wildlife species including birds some of which are endemic to the Albertine rift valley.

The forest was gazetted a national park to protect the major wildlife it has and many tourists visit the area for wildlife safaris. For those interested in birding, Nyungwe forest national park is a place to be as you will encounter countless bird species here.

There are over 300 bird species recorded here and notable birds include blue-headed sunbirds, Kivu ground thrush, and regal sunbirds. Birds endemic to the Rwenzori area often seen here include the Ruwenzori Apalis, Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori night jar and others.

Great Blue Turaco Nyungwe National Park. Rwanda Birding safaris
Great Blue Turaco Nyungwe NP Rwanda. Photo by Eric Manzi

This crater is located in northern Tanzania and one pf Africa’s natural wonders. The crater is worlds largest unfilled crater and a haven for different wildlife species including birds.

There are over 500 recorded bird species here and birds often seen include black Kite, lesser flamingos, black winged lapwings and others. Some birds live in the grassland on the crater floor like ostriches, crowned cranes, secretary birds among others.

Birding in Ngorongoro can be done anytime of the year but for best experiences visit from June to October. November to May is also a unique time for birding where you get to see migratory birds from Europe.

Lilac Breasted Roller. Birding Safari
Lilac Breasted Roller in Ngorongoro Crater. Photo by Murali Nature