Where to do birding in Rwanda: Rwanda boasts deep woods and mountains, making it a one-of-a-kind and spectacular destination for eco-adventure. In comparison to other nations, Rwanda boasts over 703 bird species and other Albertine Rift endemics over its 250km east-west and 150km north-south terrain. Rwanda has seven birding areas (IBAs) found in its three national parks of Volcanoes, Akagera, and Nyungwe, as well as Akanyaru, Nyabarongo, Cyamudongo, and Rugezi Swamp. Rwanda has many more birds to find among its thousand hills, ranging from common to uncommon, but all are interesting to see.
Where to do birding in Rwanda?
Rwanda has some of the greatest African montane birding in the world. Combine that with an excellent road network, safety and security and a diverse range of ecosystems, and you have one of Africa’s top eco-tourism locations. Because of the country’s small character, multiple birding locations may be visited in a very short journey, providing access to some of Africa’s most sought species.
Birding in Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park in Rwanda is a savannah park that includes undulating hills, lakes, wetlands, and woods. It provides a more conventional African Big 5 safari experience, but because of the diversity of ecosystems, it also boasts outstanding birding. To present, 490 bird species have been recorded in Akagera National Park. The park provides a comparable experience to others in the region, but its compact size allows you to quickly reach the various ecosystems and collect a decent bird list.
The park is home to a variety of birding species, including the elusive Shoebill stork, Papyrus Gonolek, Carruther’s and Tabora Cisticolas, Black and familiar Chats, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Shoebill, White-winged and Broad-tailed Warblers, Red-faced Barbet, White-headed, and Miombo Wren-Warblers, and Red-faced Barbet Akagera is a wonderful park with a diversity of bird species as well as huge creatures like as hippos, elephants, and giraffes. There are several camping areas in the region where visitors may stay while exploring the park.
A boat cruise on Lake Ihema should provide excellent views of numerous water bird species, including African Finfoot, which may also be viewed from the deck of the Ruzizi Tented Lodge. A night drive allows you to see various nocturnal bird species, including Verreaux’s Eagle Owl and several Nightjar species.
Birding in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Nyungwe Forest National Park, on the other hand, is located in the southwest of Rwanda and has the world’s biggest natural forest. These unknown woodlands are home to around 300 distinct birds and animal species. Despite the fact that Nyungwe has high steep hills with deep valleys, the location has a fantastic zigzag tarmac road that cuts through the forest and up to the top of the mountains.
This road allows visitors to look straight downhill through the rainforest canopy and see a good number of Albertine Rift endemics, particularly birds such as the Masked Mountain Apalis, Strange Weaver, Grauer’s Rush, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Mountain Sooty Boubou, and the purple-throated carib among others.
The Kungwe Apalis and Red-collared Mountain Babbler are easily accessible in this field, as is the Rockefeller’s Sunbird, indicating that there is still much to be discovered, such as the Congo Peacock, which is only found in the isolated deep forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As you travel through the forest and nearby accommodations, you will notice that there are good forest tracks for birding that were built to provide a good view of some of the extra skulking species such as Shelley’s and Dusky Crimson wing, Collared Apalis, Archer’s Robin-chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, and Red-throated Alethe.
White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-bellied robin-chat, Albertine Owlet, Doherty’s and Lagden’s bush-shrikes, White-bellied crested flycatcher, Great Blue Turaco, and Rwenzori Nightjar and Congo Bay-owl may also be spotted here.
Birding in Kigali
The Common Waxbill, Great Sedge Warbler, Grey-backed Fiscal, African Reed Warbler, Tropical Boubou, Winding Cisticola, and uncommon species such as the Great White Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Yellow-backed (Black-headed) Weavers, Grosbeak Weaver, Common Moorhens, Red-rumped, Pied Kingfisher, Grey Heron, and African Spoonbill can be seen in Kigali at the Golf Course near Nyarutarama Lake.
Birding in Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park, claimed to be Africa’s first national park, is located in north-western Rwanda and is well renowned for Mountain Gorillas due to Dian Fossey’s significant research on gorillas in 1985. The park is bordered by Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park.
The Parc National des Volcans is rich in bamboo, grassland, Afro-alpine, and bush land vegetation, as well as montane forest, which supports the survival of various Albertine Rift Mountains Endemic Birds such as the African Green Broadbill, Lagden’s Bush-shrike, and Kivu Ground Thrush, as well as animals such as the African Elephant and Golden Cercopithecus mitis kandti, Hippo, and Giraffe.
A birding Rwanda Safari and Uganda will undoubtedly be an excellent choice experience, providing you with the greatest African bird encounters. Rwanda alone boasts approximately 650 bird species and various bird watching locations located around the nation, such as the Gishwati Forest site in Akagera National Park. Despite the fact that Rwanda is a tiny and landlocked country, it has consistently promoted tourism throughout the country by assuring adequate roads, security, clean and high-quality housing, and other amenities.