Best Places to See Flamingos in Uganda
Uganda is a prominent birding destination in Africa which hosts a vast number of Flamingos. Flamingos are extraordinarily beautiful colorful and recognizable tall wading birds with vibrant hot pink feathers and thick downturned bills. When looking for the best countries to see flamingos, Uganda is a must-visit since it has several spots which host approximately 2 million Lesser Flamingo species that can be viewed during a Uganda birding safari. Flamingos are calm interesting birds that are worth visiting and they are special in a few countries like Peru where they are considered sacred animals hence they have been preserved and in Egypt, they represent the god of Ra known as the god of the sun. Flamingos are also symbolic birds that symbolize beauty, love, balance, potential, and a swinging lifestyle which emerge from their striking character traits.
What are Flamingos?
Flamingos are a type of large wading bird in the Phoenicopteridae family which is the only extant in the Phoenicopteriformes family. Flamingos are outgoing tall pink wading birds with downturned bills, long slender legs, and long graceful necks. There are 6 extant recorded flamingo species including Greater flamingos, lesser flamingos, Chilean flamingos, James’s flamingos, Andean flamingos, and American flamingos however Uganda only hosts lesser flamingos.
The flamingo name was derived from the Portuguese language Flamengo meaning ‘’Flame-colored’’. They usually stand on one leg with the other tucked beneath the body which allows them to conserve more body heat since they spend much time wading in cold water, Flamingos are social birds though noisy because of their noisy vocalization ranging from grunting or growling to nasal honking.
What are Lesser Flamingos?
Lesser flamingos are tall, large-bodied birds with long S-shaped graceful necks, deep red carmine bill, and small heads. Lesser flamingos are the smallest and brightest with pink plumage which live in the largest flocks of all the flamingo species. Lesser flamingos are the shortest with a height of 2.6ft (0.8m) and weigh 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). All flamingos are filter feeders which feed on brine shrimp and blue-green Algae on the alkaline lakes during the night and early in the morning when the surface of the water is calm.
Best places to see Flamingos in Uganda
Flamingos can only be found in explosion crater lakes or lakes with Alkaline water which usually lacks vegetation and they are mostly attracted to salty water bodies because of the abundant blue-green Algae and small invertebrates like brine shrimp which they feed on. Below are the shallow crater lakes found in Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda which hosts a vast number of Flamingos.
Lake Munyanyange is a famous birding spot for flamingos in Queen Elizabeth National park in southwestern Uganda. Lake Munyanyange is a seasonal shallow crater lake found in the northeast of the Lake Katwe area which is a famous salty lake with a concentration of minerals in the hyper-saltish water. This lake is the most outstanding lake which hosts a vast number of flamingos in Uganda because it has all the food types for the birds which can be seen feeding while standing in the water hence tourists can experience flamingos at their best.
Lake Katwe is an ancient salt lake found in the southwestern part of Uganda in Queen Elizabeth National Park which covers an area of approximately 8 square kilometers. Lake Katwe is not only famously known for its substantial-high-quality salt and concentration of minerals in hyper-saltish water, but it is also a habitat for lesser flamingos.
This is also an alkaline lake with lower salt content found in Queen Elizabeth National Park situated in the Rubirizi district in the western part of Uganda at the south end of Lake George where enthusiastic birders can have a clear view of the lesser flamingos.
This crater lake is also found in Rubirizi district at the south end of Lake George bordering with Kamwenge district is a promising birding spot that hosts lesser flamingos.
Lake Nshenyi is a crater lake located in Busongora in the Kasese district and has a unique ecosystem that attracts over 1000 lesser flamingos and other notable water bird species.
This is a large inland salt lake that was branded by the Uganda Wildlife Authority as the second most beautiful lake situated in the western region of Uganda mainly in Kasese. It is one of the closest lakes near the Kabatoro gate of Queen Elizabeth National park which allows access to the Mweya Peninsula.
This lake is found Kasese district at Busongora mainly in the Kasenyi plains of Queen Elizabeth national park and it is one of the most easily accessed lakes while Queen Elizabeth national park.
The Best time to see Flamingos in Uganda
Generally, Flamingos are non-migratory however due to water level changes and climate changes in their feeding and breeding areas, they are forced to migrate to other places in search of food and better nesting grounds. The best time to see Flamingos on all Crater Lakes in Uganda, especially Lake Munyanyange is between October to April because this is when the saline lakes host a vast number of these Palearctic migratory birds, especially the lesser flamingos.