To begin with, bird watching means the identification and observation of wild birds in their habitats. Furthermore, bird watching and birding differ slightly. Bird watching means watching birds while travelling. On the other hand, birding is when someone travels to see birds.
More to that, this provides a connection between people and the wild plus the natural environment. Most people have gone ahead to give in donations for;
- the conservation of certain bird species
- supporting local communities
- conserving and enhancing protection of the wild life
For the tourists who want to specialize in the birding programs or seek a more general cultural and wild life safari, birding in Africa will provide you with the best experience.
East Africa-a fantastic birding destination
East Africa at large is fantastic for a bird watching holiday. It has a wide range of birds. More to that, birding safaris are for tourists with an interest of watching different birds. There are remarkable birding destinations in East Africa. Interestingly, East Africa continues to attract a number of tourists with an interest of watching different kinds of birds.
An extensive birding safari intends to cover a wide range of Uganda’s precious habitants. There are over 1066 different bird species that you can view as per May 2020. Africa at large has a more conducive environment. Furthermore, it has dense vegetation, plenty of water sources, lowland forests, wetlands, savannahs, deserts and coastlines making it one of the best destinations and habitants for birds. These can be viewed in parks, national parks and various banks of water bodies like rivers and lakes. Bird watchers normally take part in censuses of bird populations and migratory patterns which are sometimes specific to individual species. This gives the birding enthusiasts a memorable bird watching experience in Africa.
The bird watching experience
This kind of activity can help to identify the environmental threats to the well-being of the birds, the bird numbers and the would be perishing species of birds and on the other hand identifying the initiatives to ensure the survival of birds at risk. These birding opportunities have been provided for both the beginners and the professional birders and under guidance of professionals. Note that these safaris can cost from 1745USD up to 9250USD depending on the king of birding experience you desire like in Uganda, birding and wildlife safari costs 6750USD. There are different kinds of bird species, that is to say:
- Accidental species: species that rarely occur in a certain country. They are sometimes called vagrant
- Introduced species: species introduced indirectly or by accident or by a consequence of human actions.
- Endemic species: species that belong to a particular country. Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda contain a high percentage of endemic species that exist in Africa.
- Hypothetical species: those are species that are possibly existing but have not been documented.
A birding trip in Uganda involves exploration of Bwindi impenetrable forest, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls national park. These parks give you many species of birds that are over 1000 species like shoebill, pigeon, pitta, African green broadbill, blue headed sun bird and many others.
The bird life in Rwanda is excellent and gives the tourists a chance to view over 650 bird species which is amazing given that it is such a small country. Bird species like collared apalis, babbler, graver’s and Neumann’s warblers, handsome francolin can be seen in the vast forest of Nyungwe national park, and Akagera national park
Over 1100species have been recorded in Tanzania giving the birders a great opportunity to explore vast bird species with a number of specialties like in Serengeti national park where you stand a chance of viewing the different predatory cats too in the north of Tanzania.
Kenya, with 11% of the world’s bird species has got over 1089 species making it one of the best the whole world. The country has got remarkable birding sightings where the birders have even managed to record over 500 different bird species on a short trip. The bird migrants make up to 10% of Kenya’s bird life such as Guinea fowl, cisticola, Sharpe’s longclaw which you can see in the Kakamega forest.
Some of the different bird species include;
- Weavers and allies
- Waxbills and allies
- Old world sparrows
- Wagtails and pipits
- Finches, euphonias and allies
- Tree creepers
- Old world flycatchers
- Sunbirds and Spiderhunters
- Leaf warblers
- Bush warblers
- White-eyes, yuhinas
- Ground babblers
Bird watching may seem expensive but it is so beneficial for those who have invested in it, a lot of people who get to bird watch have got the following as a benefit;
- A great cardiovascular health where a tourist gets to work out at his own pace at interest since many get to track hills in order to get to certain points.
- Getting closer to nature
- Helps with depression according to a paper in bio science where viewing a lot of different birds helps with depression
- Mental well-being through the acquisition of high patience skills
There are some of the most useful tools and equipment that every birder should have and they include the following:
- Journal and pen
- Field guide
- Spotting scope
The main focus in such birding tours is photography, natural history and cultural tours therefore for those interested in booking such birding extravaganzas can contact Pamoja tours and travel company for the best birding trips and tours around East Africa.