The Elusive – Ancient Appearing Shoebill Stork of Uganda

Posted by on May 25, 2016

The Prehistoric looking Shoebill Stork of Uganda

Best Places where to spot the elusive Shoebill Stork in Uganda and where you can see them on your safari with us.

Uganda is the Best East African Country where you can see the Shoebill Stork while on a Safari.  Paces such as Mabamba Swamp along Lake Victoria, Lugogo Swamp in Ziwa Rhino Reserve, the lower Nile in Murchison Falls Park and Lake Mburo are all places and parks where you can spot the most sought after bird in East Africa – the Shoebill Stork.

Uganda is known for its Mountain Gorillas – Chimpanzees – Scenery and Wildlife and it is also home to one of the most sought after bird in Africa– the elusiveThe Elusive - Ancient Appearing Shoebill Stork of Uganda Shoebill Stork. A most amazing bird with prehistoric looks – its height of up to 150 centimeters (5 feet) and weighs up to 14 pounds – a most amazing  bird found in the pearl of Africa – Uganda.

The Arabs used to call the Shoebill Stork –“Abu Maruk” meaning father of the shoe – one could call the Shoebill Stork a flying shoe because of his unique bill.

Amazingly this prehistoric looking bird can live for 50 some years – the shoebill storks are solitary creatures that form monogamous relationships during mating season which is between April and June.  They make a nest on the ground and usually lay two eggs and the both parents share incubation duties for a month before the chicks are hatched and have to be fed for several months before they can forage for food on their own.

The Shoebill Stork of Uganda, a swamp specialist, survives on a diet of mainly of lungfish supplemented by frogs, puddle fish, even baby crocodiles and water snakes all because of the sharp edges on their wide bill. They tend to be nocturnal and do not have webbed feet which gives them a stealth like ability as they are on the hunt for lungfish.

mabamba-swamp-shoebillWhen in flight they have a wide wing span, their heads and necks retracted, they seem sluggish on the ground, but are graceful in the air and when attacking heir prey they pull back their wings and approach their prey in a way demonstrating their strength.  Simply an amazing bird.

You can find the shoebill stork even close to Kampala and Entebbe in the Mabamba Swamp, Nabajuzi Swamp in Masaka, In the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth Park along the Lake Edward Flats, in Murchison Falls Park – down the Nile where it merges with Lake Albert, Lake Mburo National Park, Ziwa Rhino Reserve, Lake Kyoga and Semliki Wildlife reserve.  There are about 1000 Shoebill Storks left in Uganda today and their greatest danger is development, sometimes they are hunted by fishermen as they are seen as a bad omen if seen before going out on the lake. Tourism once again can play a great role in their preservation as it is the case with mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.

Uganda is ta birding paradise, it was Sir Fredrick Jackson, a former Governor of the Uganda protectorate and keen ornithologist who once described Uganda as a “hidden Eden….and a wonderland for birds”. The Pearl of Africa is the country that is best to see the Elusive – Ancient Appearing Shoebill Stork of Uganda.

There is no other area in all of Africa that can match a variety of bird species that Uganda has to offer including the flying shoe, the Shoebill Stork – one of the most sought after birds in the world. Uganda known for gorillas, chimpanzees, tree climbing lions is also home to one of most fascinating birds, the elusive shoebill stork…

If you like to add a Shoebill Stork outing to your Safari – Let us Know


Enquire where to spot the Elusive – Ancient Appearing Shoebill Stork of Uganda