Bird watching is among the top travel activities and experiences that draw most travelers to Rwanda. YES, where as mots people have known Rwanda for gorilla safaris, the land of a thousand hills offers much More beyond mountain gorillas. In this article, we detail bird watching in Rwanda, the top birding areas in this country and why you should include bird watching on your Rwanda safari package. With over 720 bird species registered in Rwanda, this land of a thousand hills is undeniably a paradise for birders. 27 birds in Rwanda are endemic to the Abertine rift valley and worth watching. Bird watching in Rwanda is best done in forested and swampy areas and on the shores of Lake and river banks a cross the country. January is the best time for bird watching Rwanda especially in Nyungwe Forest National Park when birds are more vocal. Migratory birds are available in Rwanda in November and April making it the best time to see them. Africa Adventure Safaris is your ultimate guide on your Rwanda birding safari.
Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest
Located in southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is an Important Birding Area in Rwanda sheltering over 300 bird species. The rain forest park is home to 3 bird species are not found anywhere else on the eastern side of the Albertine Rift Valley. The notable birds in Nyungwe Forest National Park include Crowned Hornbill, African Paradise Flycatcher, Crowned Hornbill, Chinspot Batis, Long Crested Eagle, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Regal Sunbird, Buff Throated Apalis, Handsome Francolin, Ruwenzori Turaco, Dusky Crimson wing, Archer’s Robin Chat, Ruwenzori Night Jar, Strange Weaver, Red Collared Babbler, Stripe Breasted Tit, Kivu Ground Thrush, Neumann’s warbler and Red faced woodland warbler among others. January to June is the best time for bird watching in Nyungwe Forest National park. Besides birds, Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to the several primates which include chimpanzees, L’Hoest Monkeys, Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, Golden Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Angola Colubus, and Olive Baboons among others. The other top travel activities in Nyungwe Forest National park include Forest/Nature walks, Chimpanzee trekking, Colubus trekking and canopy walk which together make a complete safari package to meet and satisfy our interests.
Birding in Akagera National Park
Akagera National park is yet another interesting birding destination in Rwanda. The savannah park is home to over 480 bird species, 100 of which are not found anywhere else in the whole of Rwanda. Akagera National Park is ranked as the second Birding Area in Rwanda after Nyungwe Forest National Park. The birds seen in Akagera National park African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, African Harrier, Bateleur, Squacco Heron, Crested Berbet, Papyrus Gonolek, Tabora Cisticola, Sooty Falcon, Amur Falcon, Red Faced Barbet, Ring Necked francolin, Short Tailed Pipit, Cabani’s Bunting, Booted Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, White Winged Swamp Warbler, Dimorphic Egret, Denham’s Bustard, Souza’a Shrike and Blue Shouldered Robin Chat among others. Bird watching in Akagera National Park can be done all year round. June to September is best for watching Francolins, October is best for Lapwings, while September, November, March and April is good for seeing song birds. April and November is the best time for seeing migratory birds. The other things to do in Akagera National Park besides bird watching include game viewing, Nature walks, sport fishing, bat cruising and scenic viewing among others.
Bird watching in Volcanoes National park
Being home to over 180 bird species, Volcanoes National Park is yet another interesting birding area in Rwanda. 16 birds species in Akagera National are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. The notable birds to see in Akagera Park include Bateleur, Baglafecht Weaver, Cinnamon Chested Bee eater, Blue Spotted wood dove, Red backed Shrike, African Long Eared Owl, Brown Woodland Warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori Batis, Handsome Francolin, Ruwenzori Apalis, Strange Weaver, Archer’s Robin Chat, Scarlet Tufted Malachite Sunbird, and Doherty’s Bush Shrike among others. Dry season from June to August is the best time for bird watching in Akagera National park. Other top activities in Volcanoes National Park include mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, visiting the Musanze caves, hiking Mount Karisimbi,
What to Pack for your Rwanda Birding Safari
Are you ready for your Rwanda birding safari? Check on what to pack for your birding experience in Rwanda with Africa Adventure Safaris. These include
1. Binoculars for zooming small birds at a distance
2. Camera to take as many pictures as possible. Remember its only the pictures that you will take with you.
3. Field Clothing, which includes rain gear, gardening gloves and hiking boots/shoes. The shoes should be waterproof, closed and light
4. Insect repellants to protect you from dangerous insect bites
5. Extra charge, power bank and battery to avoid your phone blacking out in the middle of the experience
6. Toiletries, which include tissues, toothbrush, hand sanitizer, hair gels and sanitary wear for women.
Are there specific lodges/hotels for birding trips?
No, you can choose whichever lodge or hotel you want to stay depending on which destination you are visiting for bird watching. Also, the choice of lodge depends on the budget of a traveler. Lodges across the globe are categorized into budget, midrange and luxury! Among the top Lodges to stay in Rwanda include Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Sabyinyo Gorilla Lodge and Davinci Gorilla Lodge in Volcanoes Park. The other lodges are One and only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Hill Top View in Nyungwe Forest National park and Akagera Game Lodge plus Ruzizi Tented Camp in Akagera National Park.
Other top things to do in Rwanda
In addition to bird watching, travelers on Rwanda safaris can also take part in
• Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park
• Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes Park
• Game viewing and boat cruise in Akagera National park
• Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park
• Hiking Mt Karisimbi in Volcanoes National park
• Kigali walk tour
How to Book a Rwanda birding and wildlife safari?
Are you looking for a best birding guide to Rwanda? Africa Adventure Safaris is at your service. We offer guided birding safaris to different birding destinations in Rwanda to ensure you get the very best experience. Just contact us, inform us about your travel dates and we shall have you sorted at affordable price.