Budongo Forest Reserve

Birding sites Uganda

Size: 79300ha, 74% Forest, 9% Terrestrial, 2% Savanna, 13% Unknown

Altitude: 700 to 1270m above Sea Level

Coordinates: 01°43′27″N 31°32′45″E

Records: There are over 360 bird species, 290 species of butterflies, 130 species of Moths, 465 species of trees, 24 species of mammals – 9 of which are primates.

Budongo Forest Reserve, one of the most important birding areas in Uganda, lies on then escarpment North-East of Lake Albert. It consists of a medium-altitude moist semi-deciduous forest (covering 42,800ha), with areas of Savanna and Woodland. The reserve occupies gently undulating terrain, with a general slope North-North-West towards the rift valley. The forest is drained by four small rivers (Sonso, Waisoke, Wake and Bubwa) which flow into Lake Albert. Budongo has five main forest types: colonizing, mixed, Cynometra, Cynometra-mixed and swamp-forest. The majority of the reserve is covered by tropical high forest communities. Medium-altitude semi-deciduouos Cynometra-celtis forest covers about half of the site and Combretum savanna is wide spread in the drier areas. There are Eco-tourism sites at Busingiro and Kanio Pabide.

Two species of birds found in Budongo forest are not found elsewhere in East Africa. The forest is the second most Important Birding Area in Uganda (after Semliki National Park) for species of the Guinea-Congo forest Biome. Yellow-footed Flycatcher, only known from Budongo in Uganda, used to be common in mature forest, but is now extremely hard to find.

Other bird species in Budongo include; Sabine’s Spinetail, Cassin’s Spinetail (rare), Pygmy Crakes, Kingfishers( Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted, Dwarf), White-spotted Flufftail, Ituri Batis, Puvell’s Illadopsis, Brown Twinspot, Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Crowned Eagle, Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Forest Robin, Little Green Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Olive Green Camaroptera, Blue-throated Roller, African Pied , Piping, Black and White Casqued Hornbills, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Cassin’s Honeyguide, African Shrike Flycatcher, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Carmaroptera and many others.
Bird watching in the forest is well facilitated with an extensive well maintained 115km trail system.

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