your cursor on the photo to see the species name.)
copyright Ross Warner
copyright Nick Lowton
copyright Paul and Helen Harris
Photo copyright Brad
Photo copyright Minnattallah
Photo copyright John
in Africa - especially Rwanda & Uganda. I have just returned
a 5-week trip to Uganda and Rwanda, having driven up from South Africa.
The issue I want to raise is not about the "normal" problems experienced
in Europe & America where the high tourist numbers are causing degradation
of the environment - but rather the opposite: if more tourists do not arrive
soon, the environment will be destroyed. Tourism in Rwanda and Uganda has
reached levels so low that the preservation of the environment is no longer
economically viable. Unless tourist numbers increase NOW, the forests
will be destroyed. If the current trend is not reversed, Africa's best
forests will soon be destroyed - not through vandalism, but because the
"western world" has told the locals that they don't value the forests,
so they might as well chop them down to feed themselves.
in Uganda - There can be few destinations on Earth where
can expect to find almost 550 avian species in one park alone - Uganda's
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one. 350 species have been recorded in
the Bwindi Impenetrable forest. These two parks alone are among the richest
protected areas to be found anywhere on Earth. Accolades for Uganda's birding
delights are rarely understated. Nigel Wheatley, for instance, in Where
to Watch Birds in Africa (1995) said: "In terms of its size, Uganda is
the richest country for birds in Africa. " And this immense volume and
diversity occurs miraculously in a space which keen birders can cover in
a relatively short visit. Noted author Philip Briggs writes: "Uganda
is arguably the best country in Africa for birds, with about 1000 species
recorded in an area the size of great Britain. "
and Flowers of Uganda - Uganda is an ornithologist's paradise
as well as a natural habit
for innumerable plants, from the luxuriant growths of the rain forest to
tiny alpine flowers on the mountains. Although a comparatively small country,
Uganda has over a thousand different species of birds from great eagles
and rare shoebill storks to tiny iridescent sunbirds.
- Directory of Wetlands of International Importance -
includes information on
all Uganda's Ramsar designated sites, including:
in Uganda - Uganda has more bird species per square
than any other country in Africa. Uganda, roughly the same size as the
UK, can boast a national list of 1008 species! This figure represents more
than half the bird species that can be found in the whole of Africa. The
key to Uganda’s diversity is its variety of habitats: arid semi-dessert,
rich savannahs, lowland and montane rainforests, vast wetlands, volcanoes
and an Afro-alpine zone.
National Parks - This commercial site also provides
information on the parks,
with some limited information on the birds found in each of them. Uganda's
national parks reflect the extraordinary diversity of the country's natural
resources: fresh water lakes, swamps, mountains, forests, woodland, rolling
plains and grassland. Includes information on:
Murchison Falls National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bwindi National Park
Kidepo National Park
Mt. Rwenzori National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Impenetrable National Park - Bwindi is believed to hold the
richest faunal community
in East Africa, including over 214 species of forest bird (336 species
in total), 120 species of mammals (including 7 species of diurnal primate),
and 202 species of butterfly (84% of the country's total). Highly significant
is the presence of over one third of the world's population of mountain
at Lake Mburo Swamp - The northern, western and southern
are fringed with dense stands of the giant sedge cyperus papyrus. This
seemingly monotonous habitat in fact harbours an amazing number of bird
species, and there are in fact six birds here that live only in such swamps
- the so-called "papyrus endemics". The papyrus gonolek is one such bird.
It has a yellow nape and crown, black wings and red breast, and long toes
to allow it to grip the thick papyrus stalks. However, you are more
likely to hear its mellow plaintive calls than to see it.
Mountains National Park - Overall, the mountains
contain at least 89 species
of forest bird (27% of the country's total).
Report: Uganda - 16 April - 15 May 1996, by Michiel de Boer.
report about a birding trip by means of public transport (6 sites and 2
maps). Uganda is a small country with a surprisingly high number of birdspecies:
around 1000 species have been recorded in the country (see the checklist
page 12). The density of species exceeds that of Kenya (one of the worlds
top-birding countries). The reason for this high density of species is
without doubt the magnificent rainforests of the south-west of which some
are still in very good shape (The impenetrable forest (Bwindi NP.)). There
are many East African rainforest species which are difficult or impossible
to see in Kenya. Besides this in the west of Uganda there are a number
of West African birds to be seen.
birding trip, 25 July to 13 August, 1996 - by Alan Wilkinson.
This trip report includes
a detailed itinerary, including places to stay.
Report: Kenya & Uganda, July 19 - August 11, 1997.
Report: Uganda - 17 - 13 July, 2002, by Don Roberson
Rita Carratello. This is a report of a bird & mammal watching trip
to Uganda, now a safe and splendid destination for tourists.
Factoids taken from Where
to Watch Birds in Africa - by Nigel Wheatley.