When we speak of Uganda safari destinations that give you the ultimate Uganda birding safari experience, usually Mountain Rwenzori National Park is skipped by many people regard Rwenzori as a destination that only good for mountain trekkers. However, I would like to change this narrative by showing you how rich Rwenzori national park is such a rich Uganda birding tour destination that you should never miss our your Uganda bird watching safari in Uganda since Rwenzori National Park is home to 217 bird species
Let me give you a preview about mountain Rwenzori National Park Uganda
Mt Rwenzori national park is located in Uganda which is found in the East African region on the African continent just slightly above the equator line on the geographical co-ordinates 00o 22’N 29o57’E. Mt. Rwenzori national park lies 398 km or 6-hour drive away from Kampala city the capital of Uganda in the southwestern district of Kasese. Mt. Rwenzori national park is boarded by Democratic Republic of Congo in west as it lies on the boundary between Uganda and D.R. Congo, Bundibugyo district in the north, Kanungu district in the south and Kabarole in the northeast, the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park and eastern escarpments of the western arm of the great East African rift valley in the east. This park covers about 996 sq. km of mountain Rwenzori. Mt Rwenzori is located in the Albertine rift valley on the border of Uganda and D.R. Congo. In Uganda, this Rwenzori mountain covers the districts of Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko spanning a distance of about 120 km long and 65 km wide. Mt Rwenzori was formed as a result of uplift due to movement of the tectonic plates in the rift valley.
This movement caused an upward thrust of the old basement rock complex from the surrounding plains hence forming a stiff rugged mountain range. Mt Rwenzori is made up of igneous rocks that were thrusted upwards during the formation phase, the igneous rocks form the steep and rugged profiles of mount baker, Stanley and portal. Mt Rwenzori experiences a variation in temperature given its variation in height. The highest peak of the Rwenzori mountain is Margherita at 5109m above sea level and it’s the third-highest on the African continent only behind to mt. Kenya and mt. Kilimanjaro. Mt Rwenzori has five distinctive overlapping vegetation zones which include savannah grassland zone below 2000m above sea level, afro montane forests zone between 1800-2800m above sea level, bamboo forest zone between 2500-3300m above sea level, the heather zone between 3000-3800m above sea level and afro-alpine moorland zone between 3500-4500m above sea level. With all these variations in temperature and vegetation, mt Rwenzori becomes a sanctuary for a variety of wildlife and this includes 217 bird species with 19 Albertine rift endemics, 70 mammal species and a variety of vegetation species.
Here are some of the bird species you will encounter on your Uganda birding tour in Rwenzori National Park.
The Rwenzori turaco has a body length of 45cm and an average bodyweight of 211-256g and has a monkey-like “chk chk chk” or “ik ik ik krowng” call sound
The blue-headed sunbird has a body length of 12-14 cm and an average weight of 10-16 grams. This species makes a relatively quiet twittering with a series of loud chips that come after every 3-4seconds
Regal sunbirds have a body length of 10-11 cm and an average weight of 5-8 grams. The adult male regal sunbird has its head and underparts coloured in iridescent golden-green dark wings and tail and also a boldly marked red and yellow breast and belly but the adult females have dull olive upperparts and yellowish, faintly streaked underparts. These birds make a sound of repetitions of rapid twittering with rising and falling notes.
Red-Throated alethe – The red-throated alethe has an average body length of 12cm with a bodyweight of 30-45grams. Male red-throated alethe have a black crown encircled by broad grey line from forehead through supercilium to nape. The red-throated alethe make a monotonous and noisy single down slurred “piiiyuu” sound
Kivu ground thrush
The Kivu ground thrush is also called the Abyssinian ground thrush. It has a body length of 19-20 cm and an average weight of 43-65grams. The male kivu ground thrush bird is pale olive-brown from cheeks to hind crown and underparts, with darker wing-coverts and double white-spotted wing bars. It makes a voice call that has a low concealed perch with a deep twilight.
Dusky and Shelly’s crimsonwing
The dusky crimson wing birds have an average length of 11cm and average weight of 14 grams. The males have their heads in red nape grey with dark crimson red upperparts but the upper wings and tail blackish grey with the side of the neck to chin, throat and underparts being dark grey. This species makes a call voice of a soft “tzeek” or “tsit” sound and also a soft trilling “geegeegeegee” sound
The Rwenzori nightjar has a cholate brown drapled plumage and it has a male nightjar body length of 22-24cm or 9ich with bodyweight 43-55g while the female nightjar weighs between 41-57g. the male Rwenzori nightjar white spots on its four primaries and also its tail edge is white. The female nightjar is buff coloured spots on its four primaries. The Rwenzori nightjar makes an “ank ank ank” sound call that is followed by a high pitch whistle of “peeeee, pee-uuu”
This is a small, active black and white flycatcher like bird with dark bluish-black underparts, a white stripe along the wing and black thighs, the Rwenzori batis has also glossy bluish-black breast band in its underparts. Both the male and female Rwenzori batis look-alike although the males have red eyes while the females sometimes have orangey-red eyes. The young ones are also similar to adults except that their plumage has a more rufous cast. This species has a length of 11-12 cm and an average weight of 8-15.5 grams. This bird habituates in the afro montane forests at an altitude between 1340-3300 m.
This bird species has a dark reddish-brown plumage, grey head, red legs and bills with a rufous grey under part and brown iris. The younger handsome francolin has a duller plumage but in adulthood, both male and female birds look the same with a wing spans of up to 35 cm long.
The dwarf honeyguide has an average body length of 12cm with the male weighing in between 11-15g and female weighs between 12-13.5g the dwarf honeyguide has a stubby bill. Both the male and female dwarf honeyguide have olive, green and grey and grey color with a white mark on loral area. The dwarf honey guide makes a “tuutwi” sound call.
With all these birds, you can’t doubt that Rwenzori is equally a birding destination that you should never miss out when it comes to birding however even with these many birds, there are still many more other Uganda safari attractions in Rwenzori National Park you will encounter when you make a Uganda safari tour to Rwenzori National Park and these over 70 mammal species, over 100 plant species and the Bakonzo. Uganda safari activities in Mountain Rwenzori National Park include mountain hiking, birding, cultural safaris as well as nature walks. Getting to Mountain Rwenzori National Park can be done by both air and road transport. Anyone who intends to fly to Mountain Rwenzori National Park Uganda will fly from Entebbe international airport and land at Kasese airstrip while a road cruise to Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda takes you on a 6-hour journey or covering about 400km using the Kampala- Fort portal – Kasese road. On your safari to Mountain Rwenzori National Park, spend an overnight stay in any of the accommodations in Mountain Rwenzori National Park such as Equator Snow Lodge, Mihunga Safari Lodge, Sandton Hotel Kasese, Springs International Hotel Kasese, Ruboni Community Camp, Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite, Tours Holiday Inn, Uhura 50 Hotel and Snow View Hotel
Feel free to check out our website which ultimately gives you a preview of some of our safaris in Uganda packages that have been designed to lead you on an adventure to various parts of the country giving you unlimited access to the best of Africa safari attractions in Uganda. Our Uganda gorilla safaris packages that have been feature here are designed to give you an encounter with the magical gorillas as the major attraction while Uganda wildlife safari packages cater for those that are interested in epic Uganda savanna wildlife as well as our fascinating and quite interesting culture birds and gorillas if you need them to be included.
Regardless of your intended length of stay in Uganda for a Uganda wildlife tour or Uganda gorilla tour experience, we’ve got you covered with our wide range of packages which include short Uganda wildlife safaris, these run from as low 2 days Uganda safari to Lake Mburo or 2 days Uganda wildlife tour to Queen Elizabeth. our Long Uganda wildlife safaris, start from 7 days to and run to as long as 18 days even more depending on your choice of number of days you intend to spend while traversing this pristine Pearl of Africa.
For those on a Uganda gorilla trekking safari adventure, we have short Uganda gorilla tours these run from a 3 days Uganda gorilla safari to Bwindi or a 4 days Bwindi gorilla safari and wildlife to Queen Elizabeth to long gorilla trekking Uganda tours that go to start from 6 days to 18 days for example 6 Days Uganda gorilla safari with chimpanzees. You can also try out our other signature Africa safaris that run through other Africa destinations such as Rwanda, Congo, Kenya and Tanzania and these include Rwanda gorilla safaris and these feature short Rwanda gorilla safaris as well as Long Rwanda gorilla safaris. Kenya wildlife safaris also feature both short Kenya wildlife safaris and Long Kenya wildlife safaris. Tanzania wildlife safaris and Congo gorilla and wildlife safaris have also been featured on this website.
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