Birds in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Birding in Mgahinga National Park Mgahinga Gorilla National park was gazetted in 1991, and is part of the Virunga conservation area. It is perhaps, Uganda’s most scenic national park. The entire Virunga conservation area has well over 250 bird species; Mgahinga on its own has a record of 115 bird species which makes for interesting bird watching.

Some of these species are endemic to the albertine Rift Mountains. Bird watching can be done all year round in the park; the best time however is April to Mid-May, and October to November. There are migratory birds in the park between November to April. Game viewing and Gorilla Trekking are best done in the drier season. Notable birds and birding specials include:

  • White-necked raven
  • Black kite
  • Pin-tailed whydah
  • Double-collared sunbird
  • Speckled mouse bird
  • Paradise flycatcher
  • Ibis,
  • Whydah,
  • Speckled Mouse birds,
  • Fire Finch Stonechat,
  • Grey Capped Warbler,
  • Waxbills,
  • Yellow-Vented Bulbul.Alpine chat
  • Alpine
  • Archer’s robin-chat
  • Blue-headed coucal
  • Dusky crimson wing
  • Kivu ground-thrush
  • Olive pigeon
  • Olive woodpecker
  • Ruwenzori batis
  • Ruwenzori nightjar
  • Ruwenzori turaco

Mgahinga National park is good for birding all year round. Bird watchers can have a decent birding experience at any time of the year but the best time is Apri to Mid-may and October to November. there are usually migratory birds in the park  from November to April adding to the variety of birds pecies to be seen. Apart from Mgahinga there are a number of other parks that are good for bird watching in Uganda, these include Murchison Falls national Park, Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Kidepo valley national park, and queen Elizabeth national park. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covers an area of about is 33.7 sq. km. the area mostly consists of partly forested slopes and the extinct volcanoes.

For someone approaching the park, the Virunga Mountains dominate the landscape and are quite a sight. The Virungas are home to quite a variety of wildlife , the most special of which are the mountain gorillas. Almost half of the world’s mountain gorilla population is found here. The vegetation in the park is mostly afro montane vegetation supported by cool climate. Vegetation types include bamboo which takes up about 60% of the entire vegetation cover, then there is lobelia, and haegenis, etc.

In addition to bird watching, Mgahinga provides game viewing opportunities and gorilla tracking expeditions. Some of the animals found in the park that you could possibly get to see on a Uganda safari include bushbucks, buffalo, elephant, golden monkeys, etc.