Finding the Shoebill in Uganda

On our Nature Travel Birding safaris to Uganda we often spend a morning in the Mabamba Swamp searching for one of Africa’s most sought after bird species; the Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex).

The sheer surprise when this prehistoric-looking bird (also sometimes called the whalehead, whale-headed stork, or shoe-billed stork) flies up is an experience that stays with you forever, irrespective of how many world bird species you have on your list or how well-travelled you might think you are.

With its massive, highly conspicuous, shoe-like bill, and 140 cm height this bird looks like something from the age of the dinosaurs and is utterly unmistakable. In fact the Shoebill is a bird belonging to the group known as the Pelecaniformes and is more closely related to a pelican than a stork.

We are so privileged to have shared the sighting of this wonderful bird with our clients on our last Uganda Birding tour. Believe us when we say, the moment you see the Shoebill through your camera lens it unforgettable and exhilarating.

Our next birding tour to Uganda will depart in August 2020, hope you can join us so we can share this unforgettable experience.  You can get more info on the Uganda Birding tour on our website at Uganda Birding Tour.

One thought on “Finding the Shoebill in Uganda

  • This was the target when we went to Uganda – had it on the second day – a flyover and landing, It was amazing to see, had a second sighting later in the trip. Could have sat and just watched all day. Marc our guide was just so professional and ensured we got the best views and photos. We also had the most breathtaking experiences with the Gorillas, including a 3 month old. Had chimps as well. Oh yes, also had the elusive Pitta in the forest. We now only use this company for our birding and animal trips.

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