Birding in Rwanda

Most travelers who travel to Rwanda focus mainly on gorilla tracking within the Volcanoes National Park. However Rwanda is one of the best destinations to go birding in Africa. Any enthusiastic ornithologists visiting Rwanda, should not forget traveling with high-quality cameras and binoculars given the amazing potential of seeing some of the rare and exotic bird species that you will not easily find elsewhere in the world. If you are looking to take a birding safari in Rwanda, then don’t forget to be accompanied by one of the professional Birding Guides available to take you around the best places to see birds.

If you are planning on visiting Rwanda for your next birding vacation or even if you are not. You should consider going on a Rwanda safari and explore the amazing sites and sounds on Rwanda, also a known home to the rare and endangered mountain gorillas. A safari in Rwanda offers you the unique opportunity to see Rwanda in ways that you may have never considered before. Enjoy birding in various habitats that include tropical rain forests, wetlands, swamps, grasslands and more.

On a birding safari in Rwanda you will be able to still see the normal tourist attractions that you might have already wanted to see but it will also give you the chance to see the Rwanda wildlife. Have you ever visited one of the cities in Rwanda before? Kigali the capital is one of the amazing places to visit – visit local museums, Genocide Memorial sites, local markets and as well go shopping. But Rwanda has a lot more to offer you than that. Rwanda is full of a vast amount of wildlife and plants as well as scenery and natural wonders. It has so much to offer that you can’t possibly see it all by looking at it in pictures or staying in the cities. What you need to do in order to experience everything that Rwanda has to offer is go on one of the many Rwanda Safaris available.

Birds to See in Rwanda

One of the most common birds to see in Rwanda include Spot-flanked Barbet, Yellow-billed Duck, Bat Hawk, African Hobby, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-chested Cuckoo, Red-backed Shrike, Little Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Squacco Heron, Sunbirds, Weavers, Cisticolas, Hammerkop, Ruppel’s Long-tailed Starling, Pin-tailed Wydah (males and females), Palm-nut Vulture (adult and juvenile), a female Common Stonechat and Arrow-marked Babbler and more.

Other Things to Do in Rwanda

You will have the chance to do things such as forest walks through the jungle to see monkeys and gorillas. You will also go driving through the vast Rwanda savanna to see animals and wildlife that you have only seen before in pictures and in zoos. This is an opportunity that you are not going to want to miss. Don’t wait any longer to see Rwanda like you have never seen it before. Save yourself a spot today. These safaris are beyond awesome because of the sheer amount of wildlife that comes as a result. Generally, the best thing you can do when going on a vacation is to pick something that you would really enjoy. If you love wildlife, then the choice should be easy – a great safari. There are generally a lot of concerns with visiting the wildlife of this region because of the fact that it is hosted in an undeveloped nation, but let me assure you, I have gone around the world many times and I have never felt so safe.

Rwanda is of the resulting thrill of finding some of the very sought after out bird species.

Places to Go Birding in Rwanda

Rwanda has several habitats that attract birds. From swamps and wetlands to tropical rainforests, there are several habitats for birding in Rwanda. amongst the notable destinations are the 3 national parks of Rwanda are the habitat to some of such uncommonness as well as some of the Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

Akagera National Park

This is the only savanna national park in Rwanda. It lies at a low altitude comprises of savannah grasslands, several lakes, wooden-bushy savannah, marshlands, swamps and River Akagera. The great diversity of wildlife habitats within the park, nowonder it is home to over 525 bird species. The habitats include marshland, savannah, and wetland bird species that are often seen within the park.

Birds to see within Akagera National Park include the Yellow-backed Weavers, Malabou Storks, Brown-backed Weavers, Pellicans, Fish Eagles, Sacred Ibis, swamp Flycatchers, Starlings, African Jacana, Sunbirds, Blue-breasted Bee-eaters, Pied Kingfishers, Kites, Crested Cranes, and the Swallows.

Some of the most sought after bird species in the park are the Pypyrus Genolek plus the rare Shoebill stork.
If you go birding within this park, you should focus on areas such as Lake shores of Lakes Hago, Ihema, Birengero and Shakani.

When to Visit

The park can be visited all year round.

Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe Forest is one of the best places to see forest bitrds. Though most renowned for chimpanzee tracking, the park is an amazing destination for bird watching in Rwanda. Located on a high altitude,this vast mountain forest extends over an expanse of 1030 sq km, ranging between 1600 – 2950 meters.

Located in the south western part of Rwanda, the park’s location lies at the epic -center of the River Congo and the River Nile. Both rivers’ drainage system affect the climate and vegetation zones of the area thus attracting a good number of birds.The park is home to over 300 recorded species of bird for the bird watchers, of which 25 are endemic to this very area. It is the best place to see chimpanzees in Rwanda and it is home to 13 primate species.

This park us also the only place in East Africa where you can take a canopy walk which offers an amazing opportunity to see birds over a long distance. Don’t forget you jungle boots, binoculars and clothes that can keep you warm if you are to hike through this forest. .

The most seen bird species in the park include the Rwenzori Nightjar, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, the Handsome Francolin, Dwarf Honeyguide, montane Double Collared Sun and the Red- Throated Alethe,
The Rwenzori Blue Turaco is one of the most sought after birds within the forest.

The Congo Nile Trail has also been developed to take you birding around the park as well as its neighbouring regions particularly between the boundaries of the park, and the Tea plantations at Gisakura, Uwinka etc.

Volcanoes National Park

This is another amazing destination to go birding in Rwanda. Though most renowned for gorilla safaris that lead tourists interested in meeting the endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, the park is one of the seven gazetted Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Rwanda.

Other Areas to See Birds in Rwanda include

  • Rugezi Swamp,
  • Akanyaru,
  • Nyabarongo
  • Cyamudongo Forest

For more information about birding in Rwanda visit http://www.rdb.rw/tourism-and-conservation/what-to-do/birding.html.