Lutembe Bay Wetland Uganda
Lutembe bay wetland Uganda : is a Ramsar site and Important Bird Area (IBA) on Lake Victoria located about 4 km off the Kampala – Entebbe highway from Namulanda. Lutumbe Bay is one of Uganda’s 33 Important Bird Areas and since 2006 a Ramsar-listed wetland of international importance. The bay is notable for its population of as many as 1.5m white-winged tern. Lutembe bay being a wetland on Lake Victoria is home to lots of water and wetland associated birds, however the site extends beyond the papyrus filled lake shore to cover more wooded grasslands, thickets and gardens which contribute to a high diversity and volume of birds in Lutembe area. Lutembe area has more than 200 species of birds. The wetland is home to 8 of the 12 Lake Victoria biome species in Uganda.
It has a record of eight of the twelve species of the Lake Victoria Basin biome that occur in Uganda. Occasional records of the Tawny Pipit, and the Madagascar Squacco Heron, Purple Starling, House Sparrow, Brown Twinspot, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Black-necked Weaver, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Africa-Pygmy Kingfisher, Scaly Francolin, Black Kite, Grey-backed Fiscal, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-crowned Waxbill, Barn Swallow, Helmeted Guineafowl, Wire-tailed Swallow, Brimstone and the Yellow-fronted Canaries, Little Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincole, Splendid Sterling, Blue-spotted Wood-dove, Pin-tailed Whydah, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Common Waxbill, Marico Sunbird, Tree Pipit, Grosbeak Weaver, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Cape Wagtail, Africa Wattled Lapwing, Senegal Lapwing, Yellow-throated Longclaw, White-headed Saw-wing, Broad-billed Roller, White-browed and the Brown-backed Scrub-robins, Whiskered Tern, Lead-coloured Flycatcher, African Green Pigeon, Sooty Chat, Plain-backed Pipit, Tropical Boubou, just to mention but a few have been recorded here. The early morning is the best time to get to Lutembe as there is a lot of bird activity, as before the rising sun intensifies there are lots of insects flying around in the bushes and grasslands attracting lots of insect eating birds and make easy to spot as they feast on the insects.
Attractions at Lutembe bay
Lutembe bay just like a number of other bays does support quite a big population of about 200 different bird species and 26 of these are migrants. This group of birds includes the endangered species like the Holub’s golden weaver, the African pygmy kingfisher, among so many others. Other birds include the road-billed Roller, the Brown-backed Scrub-robins, there are the Whiskered Tern, Lead-coloured Flycatcher, the tropical Boubou, the African Green Pigeon and the Sooty Chat, among others. The existence of these so many birds for instance the 52% population of the White-winged Black Terns birds makes it a great birding spot in the country. The migratory species come from as far as Liberia and cross over into East Africa landing at the shores of Lake Victoria in Entebbe. There are those that migrate from countries like Russia, the Scandinavian countries and also from the Main land of Europe. Once they land, they usually stay for about 6-9 months after which they and fly back to wherever they came from to breed. Most of these birds usually start arriving in the bay around September or October and then they depart in the middle of February or March. They always fly back when the weather is favorable for them to breed and the cycle repeats itself the following year.
The wetland is also home to a great number of butterfly species and it is recorded that over 100 butterfly species exists including 3 rare species that are not recorded in any other IBA of Uganda. These species include Acraea Pharsalus, Belenois solilucis and Cacyreus virilis. Thus these makes it a perfect safari destination for Butterfly lovers in Uganda.