Leaving out the popular mountain gorilla trekking, hiking of the Virunga volcanoes, Dian Fossey grave hike, chimpanzee trekking and Kigali city tour that are key attractions and activities in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills is much more than this. Birding is yet another interesting activity you should not miss out on your Rwanda safari. Some people have already done it as a complement to other activities but it’s surely a thrilling activity to explore different bird species in different parts of the country. Interestingly, Rwanda is a home to over 600 bird species some of which are migratory birds while others endemic to the area. Experienced guides help to spot and explain all the key features of each bird specie which increase the travelers understanding of Rwanda’s bird life. When it comes to birding in Rwanda, the small size of the country is an added advantage for the birders. Besides gorilla trekking, bird watching is an interesting activity you should not miss out on your Rwanda safari. Rwanda Development Board has recognized different birding areas to ease you birding experience in the land of a thousand hills. The popular birding sites in Rwanda include among others:
Nyungwe Forest National Parks
Situated in south western part of Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park is a home to over 300 bird species 121 of which are forest birds, 27 endemic to the albertine region and 16 endemic to the area. Bird watching is one of the most interesting activities in Nyungwe forest national; park mostly done in the morning hours during a forest walk. Expect to see white-headed wood-hoopoe, handsome francolin, white-bellied robin, white-tailed blue flycatcher, purple-breasted sunbirds, red-collared babbler, stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori batis, red-collared babbler, regal sun-birds, Dwarf honey guide, Kivu ground thrush and black faced flycatchers among others. Also, bird watching is good during canopy walk where travelers see birds. You will also enjoy the sweet sounds of birds singing up in the trees. Kamiranzovu wetland and other hiking trails are best for bird spotting.
Volcanoes national park
Besides gorilla tours, volcanoes national park shelters over 178 bird species 13 of which are endemic to the Virunga regions while 16 bird species are endemic to the Rwenzori regions. Several vegetation in volcanoes national park such as savannah grasslands, marshlands and the bamboo forests favor the habitation of different bird species which include francolins, archers’ ground robin, starnge weaver, Rwenzori batis, collared Apalis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, collared Apalis, dusky crimson-wing, red-rumped, yellow-backed weavers and great white pelican.
Akagera national park
Situated in eastern part of Rwanda, Akagera is a home to approximately 480 bird species some of which are endemic to the Albertine region. Birding in Akagera is well done in the swampy areas and along the rivers that flow in the heart of the national park. The common seen birds in Akagera include the elusive shoebill stork, papyrus gonolek, Bennett’s woodpecker, white headed Gonolok, red faced barbet, Miombo wren warblers, white winged warblers, and black chats, among others. The open savannah grasslands of Akagera national park make it easier for travelers to spot these birds. Experienced guides help in spotting each bird specie and all the unique characters that make it different from other bird species.in addition to birds, Akagera is a best spot for game viewing being shelter for elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, hippos, Giraffes, kobs, impalas and waterbucks among others.
Also, birding in Rwanda can be done in the Albertine eco region a home to some albertine rift endemics, Kigali city as well as wetlands and marshes all over Rwanda. Travelers are assured a spot of various bird species within a few seconds and experienced guides help to explain all the unique characters about each spotted bird specie.
other activities done in Rwanda include mountain gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park, game viewing in Akagera national park, golden monkey trekking, canopy walk, volcano climbing, kigali city tour to different genocide museum sites and other tourism sites all over the country to make a complete safari package.
Conclusively therefore, Rwanda is a best bird watching destination you should visit. Book a bird watching safari to Volcanoes national park, Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera national park rewarding you with a phenomenal birding experience.