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Ethiopia: Premier Birding Guides Biographical Sketch

Johnnie Kamugisha

Johnnie Kamugisha has been a bird guide in east Africa for over twenty years. He is recognized by many as the top birding guide in east Africa.


In the mid-1990s, Johnnie finished his education in Uganda and in the United Kingdom, where he studied journalism, tourism and business management. He started his professional career as a tour guide for wildlife tour companies, spending time showing clients the variety of east African wildlife. While working as a wildlife guide, Johnnie wanted to satisfy his own curiosity and that of his clients about all living things, so he began learning more about birds, plants and insects.

  • During this time in the 1990’s, he fell in love with birdwatching.

  • Over the last twenty years, he has been leading a full schedule of tours for birders coming to east Africa.


Recognized by many as one of the top birding guides in Africa by many of our clients, we are sure you will appreciate Johnnie’s bird finding expertise (and unique ability to call birds in).

  • For several years, one of our trip clients (one of the top world listers) had been exploring additional birding possibilities in east Africa. He had spoken to many birders, asking about the best local guides. Johnnie was highly recommended by everyone who birded with him.

  • Besides our clients, others have commented on Johnnie’s excellence as a bird guide. Johnnie was featured in Birder's World Magazine as one of two top guides in Uganda, essential to a birder’s visit to this east African nation. A recent on-line article by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology also featured a tour where Johnnie was the guide. In this article, he was described as having a “tireless attention to detail, a sense of humor that lightened each day”.

  • Not only does Johnnie know the bird songs and calls that he hears, he can call back to the birds without the use of recordings. You will be astounded by Johnnie’s ability to replicate bird sounds using his vocal and other sound-making abilities.


Johnnie demonstrates his expertise with birds and nature throughout the trip, and you will be very satisfied with his ability to lead tours and meet customer needs. We believe his hospitality and trip leadership will make your trip enjoyable, safe and comfortable.


Johnnie has spent most of his career training other guides and staff for birding tours. In Ethiopia, Johnnie works with a staff well-versed in birding tours and where to go to find the key Ethiopian endemics. You will find the trip driver offers additional expertise on Ethiopian birding sites and bird finding, and you will find the local national park guides and reserve guides helpful for finding some of the more difficult species.

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