BIRDWATCHING SAFARI AND TOUR TIPS
This article gives you a hint and some birdwatching tips for a perfect African birdwatching safari or tour. Although birdlife in Uganda and the East African region is prolific, as a number of birds can be viewed even at close range in the vicinity of birdwatching sites, many are not easily and readily seen in this context. It is for this reason therefore, we give some simple advice, recommendations and traveller’s tips for birdwatching Uganda tours and safaris or any African birdwatching holidays.
Before your birding safari, hook yourself up with some best birdwatching tips by reading different guide books or browsing various articles, below are some of our tips for you;
What to carry or prepare for your African birdwatching safari or tour
- Carry a pair of Binoculars for keen and successful birding. Recommended are 7×35 or 8×40 which are relatively small in size and reasonably light in weight and would be appealing to budding beginners. The 10×40 or 10×50 combination would be appealing for keen and specialized birders or Professional birders would even prefer to use a Telescope especially for identifying smaller and distant birds while on any birdwatching safari.
- A camera [DSLR or SLR] is recommended for photography especially when it comes to taking notes, spotting endemic, rare and endangered species. Photographing is highly recommended for post/after field checks and analysis. This is because, usually there is limited time while in the field to look through your bird checklist to identify the species. You can check online for the best wildlife and birdwatching photography (Telephoto) lenses, and cameras.
- On any birdwatching tour for example during your birdwatching Uganda tours and safaris, always remember to carry with you a notepad or/and a bird checklist and a pencil. While in the field, you take down some notes regarding the features of the birds especially once you come across birds you are unfamiliar with, and later check in a bird guide list since time for looking through the lists while in the field may not be available. Best advice would be to take pictures.
For a successful birdwatching tour, specialized birding guides with clear knowledge of the destinations and species are readily available to lead you through like on any of our birdwatching Uganda tour.
Things to consider for a birdwatching Safari in Uganda.
- Always be keen, try to be as silent as possible, avoid uncoordinated and sudden movements as well as finger pointing while on any birdwatching activity/ session. Birders are advised to wear dull-colored clothes i.e. those that rather do not reflect light. Remember to carry or put on proper breathing-walking shoes, light jackets and pants, hat and simple carry-on bags for keeping your notepads, pencils etc. during your birdwatching Uganda tour.
- Though birdlife is prolific and can be done at any time of the day, for a successful birdwatching Uganda tour, and premier opportunities to spot a variety of birds, it is usually recommended to do birdwatching early in the morning to midmorning hours and in the evening hours. Recommended times [0630/0700-1100hours or 1600-1800/1900hours].
The mornings present good times to see the birds before they leave their nests while the evening birdwatching safari sessions are good for watching the birds as they return to their nests. The best tip or advice while in the field; make sure the sun is at your back, It is not always possible, but moving around such that the sun is behind you makes it easier to see and identify birds. When the bird is between you and the sun, color disappears, and the bird you are trying to identify may be just a gloomy silhouette.
- The best birding times/periods are usually the wetter months or seasons due to the fact that bird movements are not so wide spread as food is usually in plenty and readily available though this may make nature walks quite challenging. However, need not to worry about your birdwatching Uganda tour as birdwatching in East Africa and particularly Uganda can be done throughout the year. The region is home to 3 of the top 4 African countries whose bird list hits the 1000 mark of bird species, with Uganda being the smallest.
- Another important birdwatching tip is; always be patient, birdwatching is often about being patient and waiting for the birds to show themselves, your safari guide will always know the best spots but it doesn’t necessarily mean the birds, especially some species will be readily available.
Sample Birdwatching Uganda Safaris