Johnnie Kamugisha on How Uganda's Birds are Adding New Dimensions to Ecotourism

Johnnie Kamugisha, proprietor of and tour leader at Birding in Paradise Safaris Ltd., gave a talk at Log Lunch about the lesser known animals of Uganda: birds. According to Johnnie, the large mammals tourists traditionally associate with Africa can’t compare to the rare and bountiful species of birds to be found in his beloved home country.

What most people don’t know is that Uganda is home to half the birds in Africa, and a tenth of the world’s population of birds.”Our clients were coming back unhappy because they didn’t get to see the large mammals they expected to see on the tour. So the eight of us guides said, if they’re looking out for birds, the clients will come back happy.”

The crested crane, Uganda’s national bird, which is featured on the Ugandan flag!

For Johnnie Kamugisha, birding is more than a job. He loves spreading the joy of spotting rare and beautiful birds and learning their calls. He believes that an understanding of the natural world will lead people to respect the land and its creatures.

Johnnie Kamugisha (left), wearing a scarf with the Ugandan flag

He is the president of the Uganda Bird Guides Club and a committee member of the Uganda Safari Guides Association. He helped start the Uganda Young Birders Club and the Uganda Women Birders Club.

Johnnie says that by educating people, especially youth, on the treasures of their country, “the world will go back to what it was.”

—Jane Tekin, ’19