The Royal Mile – Budongo Forest

The Royal Mile is found in the 793 km2 Budongo Forest Reserve, within Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom that lies at the edge of the Albertine Rift and is attached to Kabalega (renamed Murchison) Falls National Park in the south.  Known for its popularity as a traditional leisure stop-over for Uganda’s royalty, the Royal Mile is a superb birding spot with many west and central African species, as well as a variety of sought-after key species. 

The Royal Mile gets its name from Omukama of Bunyoro, Kabalega. It is a spectacular one-mile-long forest road that was made by Omukama Kabalega as military training ground for his Abarusura Army. It is reported that it is this very road that he used to escape from the colonialists, before he was arrested in Dokolo and exiled in the Seychelles Islands.

The road opens with a simple gate before sloping gently towards River Sonso in the middle of an expansive, natural symphony of hardwood trees rising high above the ground in what comes off like competition for the skies. This is what makes the Royal Mile one of the most ideal places in Uganda to have a guided birding tour.

The terrain is flat, allowing for good on-foot travelling conditions for tourists.


Key bird species that can be found here include:
  • African Crowned Eagle
  • Nahan’s Francolin
  • White-spotted Flufftail
  • Sabine’s Spinetail
  • Cassin’s Spinetail
  • Blue-breasted Kingfisher
  • Chocolate-backed Kingfisher
  • Dwarf Kingfisher
  • Blue-throated Roller
  • Piping Hornbill
  • White-thighed Hornbill
  • Hairy-breasted Barbet
  • Yellow-spotted Barbet
  • Yellow-billed Barbet
  • Brown-eared Woodpecker
  • Yellow-crested Woodpecker
  • Spotted Greenbul
  • Fire-crested Alethe
  • Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
  • Red-capped Robin-Chat
  • Lemon-bellied Crombec
  • Rufous-crowned Elemomela
  • Yellow-browed Camaroptera
  • Black-capped Apalis
  • Ituri Batis
  • Chestnut-caped Flycatcher
  • Grey-headed Sunbird
  • Western-black Headed Oriole