Top Bird watching safaris in Rwanda

Top Bird watching safaris in Rwanda :  Rwanda not only comprise of gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking but also bird watching. Rwanda is a paradise of over 700 bird species alone which are scattered between the countries dispersed areas, swamps, lakes, rivers and vegetation cover. Most of the birding safaris happens in a 3 protected areas of Akagera national park, volcanoes national park, Nyungwe forest national park. To enjoy the bird watching safaris in Rwanda, you need to prepares to stay out for long hours and have some considerable hiking in certain Ares such as bird watching at Nyungwe National Park and Volcanoes national park, there are some considerable amount of hiking up and down the mountainous areas but over 20 species of birds that are endemic to the Albertine rift valley.

Bird watching destinations in Rwanda

Bird Watching Safaris in Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park preserves Rwanda’s Virunga mountain range, which comprises five volcanoes: Muhavura, Gahinga, Sabinyo, Bisoke, and Karisimbi. The Volcanoes National Park is well-known for its Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys, and it is usually frequented for treks to see these endangered and unique primates, as well as excursions to the volcanoes. Birding in volcanoes national park gives you an opportunity to see some of the 20  of which are indigenous to the Albertine Rift Valley Region which cannot be seen in the savannah parks across the region. The park is a haven of over 200 bird species making it a worthy addition to your birding safari in Rwanda. Such birds that can be spotted includes Rwenzori apalis, Dusky Crimson-wing, Red-faced woodland, Rwenzori batis, Dusky turtle dove, Rwenzori double collared sunbirds, African long-earned owl among others. . It is a must-see for birders looking for uncommon species as well as those interested in the spectacular Virunga scenery and the possibility to see mountain gorillas

During your Rwanda safari adventure , you can combine your bird watching safaris in Rwanda with Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park  or golden monkey trekking, a guided nature walk, hike to Dian Fossey Gravesite or climb Mount Bisoke or Mount Karisimbi. You can also combine your bird watching safari in Volcanoes national park with a cultural tour to Iby’iwacu Village that is situated just outside the park.

Bird Watching Safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park

 Bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park, a montane forest home with 322 bird species will offer you with some fantastic views of this amazing birds.  So far 29 bird species have been discovered here. The Red-collared Babbler is unquestionably the major attraction, and Rwanda is the only safe destination to spot this magnificent bird. Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Grauer’s Warbler, Regal, Blue-headed, and Purple Breasted Sunbirds, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, and Neumann’s Warbler, kivu ground thrush among others. All of this and more may be spotted easily from the park’s well-maintained network of trails, with the assistance of skilled bird guides.

On your lucky and patience birding, you may also get a chance to see Kivu Ground Thrush, and Willard’s Sooty Boubou Kungwe apalis. The Congo Bay Owl, Albertine Owlet, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and Rockefeller’s Sunbird are possibly the uncommon bird species to spot Nyungwe’s forest

Bird Watching in Akagera National Park Rwanda

Akagera National Park is the only savannah national park in Rwanda and it is well known for its undulating hills, lakes, wetlands, and woods which is a home to about 500 bird species. During birding safari in the park, you will have a great opportunity to spot some of the African big 5 animals. The park is an excellent birding destination site with a variety of habitants, you will be amazed with different bird species such as Brown-throated Weaver, Papyrus Gonolek, White-Winged Swamp Warbler, Carruthers’ Cisticola, White-collared Oliveback, Bare face-Go-Away bird, and African fish Eagle, Black-headed Gonolek, Fork-tailed Drano and Grey-crowned Cranes are among the other range-restricted species and highlights. Another desired species that may be seen in the area on a regular basis is the Shoebill. The park also has healthy raptor populations and a huge number of water birds.

Top Bird watching safaris in Rwanda
White-Winged Swamp Warbler

Lake Ihema is haven to many of the water birds which can be spotted while on a boat cruise such as Pied kingfisher, African jacana, African darter, Little agret, Malachite kingfisher, Black craker, African Fin foot, Goliath heron, Common Moorhen Spur winged Lapwing among others

Bird Watching in Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Gishwati-Mukura National Park is a new Rwandan’s national par and the smallest located in western region of Rwanda, above Lake Kivu, in the highlands. This is Rwanda’s newest national park, and it is now undergoing substantial repair. Gishwati has 232 species of birds, while Mukura has 163 species, including numerous Albertine Rift Endemics and forest specialists. The birds found here includes Grauer’s swamp warbler, purple-breasted sunbirds, Rwenzori Turaco, Abyssinian ground-thrush, handsome Francolin, Strange weaver among others.

Birding in Umusambi Village in Kigali

Umusambi Village, a new birding spot  and  a home to over 100 bird species of native and migratory birds, so far Umusambi village natures reserve is the best  sport for bird watching in Kigali and offers excellent place to begin your birding safari in Rwanda, the place is gifted with the excellent trail network to birders can access the grasslands, swamps, bush and woodlands area of the reserve spotting an array of birds, with a full day birding trail, while on your safari adventure to Umusambi village , you will encounter with a variety of majestic  birds such as  Purple-crested Turaco, Lesser Honey guide, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Green-winged Ptyalin, African Fire finch, Olive Woodpecker, and Yellow-breasted Apalis are among the other species to look forward to.

Bird Watching Safaris in Rwanda’s Wetlands

Rugezi Marsh and Akanyaru wetlands in Rwanda are recognized as important Bird Areas by Birdlife International and thus they also come up on our list for the 5 best bird watching spots in Rwanda. The Rugezi Marsh which is located in the north west of Rwanda after volcanoes national park is also marked as a RAMSAR site, bird watchers visiting Rugezi Marsh wetland have a great chance to watch the Grauer’s swamp warbler, Papyrus canary, grey crowned cranes, Papyrus yellow warbler, and water birds amongst many other species. Visiting Akanyaru wetland as well as the Nyabarongo wetland which is also under the list of important bird areas (IBAS) in Rwanda will greatly reward you with magical moments of spotting stunning bird species.

Best Time for Bird Watching Safaris in Rwanda

Throughout the year, however, the migratory bird season, which lasts from December to February, attracts a large number of wintering and Palearctic migrants to Rwanda. Birding infrastructure, such as paths, lodging, and roads leading to birding locations, has been constructed. Professional bird guides have been trained and are already leading birding trips in Rwanda. In reality, many of Rwanda’s popular birding areas employ expert site guides.

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