Where to see shoebill in uganda

Where to see shoebill in Uganda, Uganda harbors a diverse array of avian species, both within Africa and globally. While animals, gorillas, chimpanzees, culture, and mountains are the main attractions in Uganda, birding is also a highly recommended activity that may be combined with other activities to ensure you don’t miss anything. The presence of the shoebill stork enhances the appeal of Uganda for ornithologists journeying throughout Africa. Uganda’s diverse landscape, including swamps, forests, grasslands, and shores of several water bodies, provides a habitat for over 250 bird species. Explore our curated selection of birding excursions and wildlife safaris.

The shoebill, a species considered rare, may be observed in over 10 locations in Uganda. This fact is quite remarkable. Where to see shoebill in Uganda: If you go on a shoebill tailored safari, your chances of observing the birds in Uganda are higher. Uganda is home to a diverse range of stork species. The stork species found in the area include the Yellow-billed stork, Shoebill stork, Marabou stork, Saddle Billed Stork, and open billed stork. All of these can also be observed in Uganda. The Shoebill stork can be observed in several prime locations in Uganda.

The best places to see shoebills in Uganda

Makanaga Swamp bay.

Where to see shoebill in uganda: Makanaga Swamp Bay is renowned as one of Uganda’s premier locations for observing Shoebills. Situated on Lake Victoria, the swamp may be reached from Kampala or Entebbe via a canoe boat. A visit to the area offers a splendid opportunity to witness the magnificent Shoebill stork and other avian species. 

The excursion to Makanaga commences in the morning with a canoe voyage accompanied by a knowledgeable Swamp/Local guide. During the journey, the guide will provide historical information and assist in identifying various avian species and other water organisms inhabiting the swamp.

The swamp is accessible to birdwatchers and visitors year-round due to its abundant offerings. Encounter Africa safaris arranges birdwatching expeditions in Uganda, and you can explore various packages. Additionally, we can customize your trip to include a gorilla safari in Makanaga. Reach out to us to book a shoebill excursion and expect a response within a span of five minutes or less.

Where to see shoebill in uganda

Semuliki National Park

Semuliki National Park in Uganda is renowned as a prime location for birdwatching, boasting a variety of over 400 bird species. This represents a significant 66% of the country’s forest bird species. A visit to this park offers many opportunities to observe and identify various bird species. The park is situated in the southwestern region of Uganda, spanning across Bundibugyo and Notoroko districts. It can be reached from the Fort Portal Hub, providing an opportunity to explore other nearby parks such as Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mountain Rwenzori National Park, and the Rwenzori escarpments.

The Host springs in Semuliki National Park are a prominent attraction that should not be overlooked. The park features the meandering River Semuliki, which is adorned with oxbow lakes and a variety of exquisite bird species. The shoebill stork is a prominent attraction for birding safaris in Semuliki due to its pristine environment. Most visitors have the opportunity to observe this species, although luck also plays a role in spotting it.

shoebill in uganda

Our experienced Birding guides will ensure that your shoebill experience is really entertaining and provide you with comprehensive knowledge about the storks and other avian species. The park is home to approximately 5 indigenous Albertine species, including notable species such as the Black Dwarf Hornbill, red-billed dwarf hornbill, Swamp Palm Bulbul, white-crested hornbills, blue and Ross’s Turacos, Blue-billed Malimbe, Great Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill, and the Piping Hornbill. The following bird species are also present: White-throated Blue Swallow, African Piculet, Leaf-love, Afep Pigeon, White-tailed Robin-Chat, Red-thighed Sparrow hawk, Bates’s Nightjar, Sabine’s Spinetail, Yellow-throated Nicator, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Double-toothed Barbet, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black Saw-wing, Crested Malimbe, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Red-bellied Malimbe, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Spotted Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Mountain Greenbul, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, and Chestnut-breasted Negro finch. Additionally, several avian species will be observed when partaking in game drives and nature walks within the park. Please contact us via email to inquire about shoebill stork excursions in Uganda.

Lugogo Swamp at Nakasongola

The Lugogo Swamp, located within the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, offers exceptional opportunities to observe the shoebill stork, making it one of Uganda’s premier destinations for sighting this remarkable bird. The Lugogo swamp boasts a diverse array of over 300 avian species, providing many opportunities for seeing the stunning beauty of these birds. Embark on an early morning canoe excursion with local guides to commence your shoebill expedition in the swamp. This activity may be completed in around four hours or less, during which you will have the opportunity to ride on the marsh, observe several bird species, and experience other aspects of nature.

Consider incorporating the Lugogo swamp shoebill excursion into your Murchison game safari, along with Rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. It is necessary for you to bring binoculars and a camera with you to document your experience. Alternatively, you can inform us beforehand so that we can arrange to provide you with binoculars to enhance your view.


The Lake Albert Delta is located inside the boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park.

The shoebill stork can be observed in the Albert Delta within Murchison Falls National Park. This is a primary attraction, particularly for bird enthusiasts visiting the park. However, the bird is uncommon there and the likelihood of better observation is higher around January to March, which is considered the dry season. Murchison Falls National Park boasts a diverse array of avian species, which can be observed while partaking in activities such as game drives, boat cruises along the delta and bottom of the falls, and nature walks. Reach out to Encounter Africa Safaris to arrange a game safari and shoebill stork excursion to Murchison Falls National Park.

Mabamba Swamp

Mabamba Marsh, located in Uganda, is renowned as a prime location for observing shoebill storks. It is one of the largest wetlands situated on Lake Victoria. Accessing it from Entebbe is convenient, as one can easily use a motorized boat or a canoe to get across the marsh. The Shoebill stork, along with various other avian species, can be observed at this location. You have the option to partake in this event either in the morning or in the evening. You have the option to visit Mabamba Swamp either at the beginning or at the conclusion of your journey.

The Ishasha Sector is a part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The shoebill stork is observable in the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, specifically in the marsh area along the banks of Lake Edward. Include a shoebill tour on a safari that features tree climbing lions in the Ishasha Sector. Encounter Africa Safaris will customize your trip to Ishasha to include both the wildlife drive and the shoebill tour. The Ishasha sector is situated in the southern region of Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda. It is renowned as one of the largest parks in Uganda, offering exceptional opportunities for wildlife observation and cultural immersion, in addition to the unique shoebill experience.

Lake Mburo National Park

The shoebill stork can be observed on the shores of Lake Mburo during a boat trip. The guides will assist in identifying the birds on the coasts, and with some luck, you may have the opportunity to spot the shoebill stork. Lake Mburo National Park is a prime destination for birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts.

The Lwera Swamp and Kyabakuza Swamp

The Shoebill stork can sometimes be observed in the marshes of Lwera and Kyabakuza, which are situated along the route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori National Park, and Maghinga National Park. During your journey, the driving guide will consistently make stops in order to help you locate the shoebill stork. If you are fortunate, you will have the opportunity to see it without any difficulty. When customizing your schedule, we will ensure that you have the opportunity to fully enjoy everything.


The Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe is a zoo.

The Zoo in Uganda is renowned for its exceptional opportunity to observe the shoebill stork, which may be spotted at any time of the day, all year round. The Zoo is situated in Entebbe, extending towards Lake Victoria, providing an opportunity to observe a wide range of species. This is particularly convenient for individuals who are attending a conference or have work-related appointments.

The zoo is in close proximity to Entebbe International Airport, with a just 10-minute drive. This allows visitors the opportunity to see the Zoo and then conveniently travel to the Airport for departure or continue on to explore the splendid sights of Uganda. You have the option to dine at the Zoo, and we can make arrangements for you to eat lunch on the beach there. Encounter Africa safaris offers an Entebbe excursion to the zoo just for observing the shoebill stork, providing a guaranteed opportunity to see the species in Uganda.

Uganda currently boasts the largest population of Shoebill storks in the region, estimated to be approximately 1000. These majestic birds are predominantly found around swamps, lake shores, and rivers, as they primarily feed on water organisms. The shoebill storks are aesthetically captivating and distinctive avian species that captivate the curiosity of many travelers. Encounter Africa safaris eagerly anticipate providing you with the opportunity to embark on a remarkable excursion to observe these remarkable birds. Reach out to us to inquire about customized packages that include a shoebill stork tour, gorilla tour, chimpanzee tour, game safari, or any other tours that pique your interest.

Our recommended 1 day shoebill tour packages

1 days shoebill tour in Mabamba swamp

Join our exclusive 1 days  shoebill tour in Mabamba swamp to encounter the highly coveted shoebill stork, a truly charismatic avian species. The shoebill stork is a large terrestrial bird that is solitary in nature and possesses a distinctively attractive bill shaped like a shoe.

1 day Entebbe tour (shoebill watch tour)

Enjoy your breakfast at your accommodation and then proceed to Mabamba bay wetland, a significant bird habitat, to observe the magnificent shoebill bird and the Papyrus Yellow Warbler while navigating through the swamp in a dugout canoe. 

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