Bird species in Kidepo Valley National Park

Bird species in Kidepo Valley National Park

December 30, 2021
Safari Tips

Kidepo valley national park is very impressive birding destination in Uganda with over 470 bird species. Birding safaris start right from the Apoka rest camp as you continue towards the fringes of the Narus and Namamukweny valleys. The Kidepo is one the savanna national parks in Uganda hence bird sightings are always easy and excellent.

Kidepo Valley national park is a best birdwatching destination in Uganda to spot raptors, with 56 species being recorded. Migratory birds from Europe and North Africa are usually present from November to April.

Kidepo has limited accommodation facilities and birders looking at a safari to the park are recommended to book their accommodation at either Apoka Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, Kidepo Savannah Lodge or Adere Safari Lodge.

The following is a list of notable bird species found in Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda;

Dark chanting goshawk

The scientific name for Dark chanting goshawk is Melierax metabates. The Dark chanting goshawk is tall, long-tailed, slaty-gray hawk with pink-orange legs and bill base. The flight feathers of the bird and wing tips are dark on both the upper and under wings to create a uniformly dark wing pattern during flight.

Pairs inhabit broadleaved woodland and well-wooded savannas of Kidepo valley national park and are normally spotted by birders during game drives.

The chanting goshawk gives a strong, gull-like “kleeeu” call, hence their name. Dark Chanting-Goshawks have a gray-barred rump, while other chanting goshawks are paler, prefer drier habitats, and have unbarred white rumps.

Kori bustard

Kori bustard is a massive, terrestrial bustard, long-legged with a black-and-white checkered pattern on the wing bend. This bird is noticeable and seen regularly in semi-arid shrubland and savanna grasslands ok Kidepo valley national park in Uganda.

Singles and pairs march slowly and purposefully to feed on plants, large insects, and small vertebrates.

The Kori bustard flies low, flapping with slow shallow wing beats.

The male Kori bustard displays in loose leks by puffing out their throat plumes and cocking their tails.

Little bee-eater

The Little bee-eater is among the common bird species in Kidepo Valley National Park. Its scientific name is Merops pusillus.

Little bee-eater is small, especially the grass-green bee-eater with a canary-yellow throat separated from buff underparts by a black line across the throat. Singles and pairs of Little bee-eater are normally found in the grassy savannas of Kidepo valley national park.

The Little bee-eater regularly perches lower than 1.5 m above the ground, and dart around hunting flying insects, then returning to the same small twig.

Calls include a sibilant “s-lip” and other high-pitched notes.


An ostrich is a massive, conspicuous, flightless bird with long neck and robust legs found in Kidepo national park in the north eastern Uganda and can weigh about 180kgs. A mature male ostrich has black-and-white plumage, with pinkish skin, flushed in breeding plumage while female and immature ostriches are duller gray-brown.

Small groups of ostriches roam openly in the savanna grasslands of the park; and can run for about 70 km per hour if threatened.

The stubby wings are used for spectacular breeding displays and dust-bathing.

Deep booming calls can be heard from long distances.

An adult ostrich has a height of about 2.5 meters tall.

Similar Somali Ostriches have slaty-colored skins and pale eyes, unlike the pink-skinned common ostriches.

Red-and-yellow barbet

A red-and-yellow barbet is a big, conspicuous, colorful barbet and among the common bird species found in Kidepo valley national park in Uganda.

The male red-and-yellow barbet has a black throat and crown while female has a pale throat and a crown that is speckled with black.

From the geographical variation and point of view; the belly of a red-and-yellow barbet can be yellow or white, and the breast orange or yellow.

This bird can easily be spotted in areas of Kidepo valley national park with dry savanna and termite mounds and normally move in pairs and small groups.

The call of red-and-yellow barbet is a long series of the same rollicking musical phrase repeated over and over, often given as a duet.

Other bird species in Kidepo Valley National Park include; Abyssinian scimitarbill, Chestnut weaver, D’Arnaud’s barbet, Fox kestrel, Rufous chatterer, Golden pipit, Greater kestrel, Red-throated bee-eater, Jackson’s hornbill, Karamoja apalis, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, Singing Bush lark, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, White-bellied Tit, Black-bellied and Black-faded Waxbills, Abyssinian roller, Northern carmine bee-eater, Black-breasted barbet, Purple grenadier, Pygmy falcon, Rose-ringed parakeet, White-bellied go-away bird among others.

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