Are you looking for Rwanda Birding Safaris? There are over 750 different bird species recorded in different protected areas and swamps of Rwanda. Usually, birding is mostly done in Volcanoes national park, Akagera national park, and Nyungwe forest national park although there are some other birding places such as Akanyaru wetland, Rugezi mash, Kigali city, Gishwati-Mukura national park, Lake Kivu, and Nyabarongo wetland among others.
The following are the top destionations where you can go for birding safaris;
Volcanoes national park in northwestern Rwanda is a perfect birding site and one of the best birding destinations. The park is comprised of both bamboo trees and grassland which harbors over 187 bird species. Some of the bird species in volcanoes are endemic such as red-faced woodland warbler, archer’s ground robin, dusky crimson wing, red-faced woodland warbler, handsome francolin, red-faced woodland warbler, and Rwenzori turaco.
The bird species in volcanoes national park Archer’s ground robin, African green broadbill, black and white manikin, purple-throated, Rwenzori double-collared, francolin, dusky crimson wing, collared apalis, regal sunbirds, strange weaver, baglafecht weaver, red-backed shrike, bateleur, Rwenzori batis, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, grauer’s rush warbler, white collared silverback, lesser honeyguide, bat hawk, and nirana trogon among others.
Nyungwe forest national park is famous for chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda although it’s also a good birding destination in the country. Located in the southwestern part of the country, the park protects over 300 bird species that can be spotted while on a nature walk or chimpanzee trekking in the park.
Birds in Nyungwe forest national park include yellow-eyed black flycatcher, strange weaver, stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori turaco, regal sunbird, Rwenzori Apalis, red-throated alethe, shelley’s crimsonwing, Albertine owlet, blue-headed sunbird, archer’s robin-chat, buff-throated Apalis, dwarf honeyguide, archer’s robin-chat, Neumann’s warbler, Rockefeller’s sunbird, Kivu ground thrush, red sunbird, handsome spurfowl, Rwenzori nightjar, red-throated alethe, and mountain masked Apalis.
Situated in the eastern part of Rwanda, Akagera national park is one of the best birding destinations dominated by savannah, montane, and swamp vegetation. The park has different lakes such as Ihema and River Kagera that cross the park with the highest concentration of bird species. Akagera national park is a good birding destination with over 310 bird species that have been so far recorded at the lakes, swamps, hills, and vegetation.
Bird species spotted in Akagera national park include papyrus ganalex, grey crowned crane, woodland kingfisher, saddle-billed stork, palm-nut vulture, fork-tailed Drongo, white-browed coucal, black-headed weaver, great egret, common squacco heron, eastern grey plantain-eater, crowned lapwing, lilac-breasted roller, ross’s turaco, grey-backed fiscal, crested barbet, little bee-eater, grey-backed fiscal, lesser striped swallow, cardinal woodpecker, northern fiscal, hamerkop, African rock pigeon and much more.
Other bird species in Akagera national park include eastern grey plantain eater, blue checked bee-eater, palm nut vulture, African grey hornbill, goliath heron, grey crowned crane, saddle-billed stork, crowned lapwing, long created eagle, helmeted guinea fowl, white-faced whistling duck, African darter, marabou stork, cattle egret, fork-tailed drongo, white-browed coucal, pin tailed whydah, lilac-breasted roller, common squacco heron, black-headed weaver, white-backed vultures, long-tailed cormorant, woodland kingfisher, African jacana, red-billed fire finch, osprey, spur-winged goose, and African fish eagle among others.
There are so many birding spots in Kigali where birders can visit and spot a number of bird species. These places include wetlands, lakes, forests, gardens, and grasslands and these include Umusambi village nature reserve, Nyarutarama Lake, Black-headed Gonolek, Mount Kigali forest, and Nyabarongo wetlands. Birds species in Kigali city include Black Kite, White-browed Coucal, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Grey-capped Warbler, White-winged Warbler, Red-chested Cuckoo, Tropical Boubou, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Swamp Flycatcher, Green-backed Camaroptera, Common Bulbul, Long-toed Lapwing, Winding Cisticola, Hadada Ibis, Spur-winged Geese, and Hottentot Teal, Bronze Mannikin.
Other bird species in Kigali city include Paradise Flycatcher, African Hobby, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Yellow-billed Duck, Squacco Heron, Yellow-fronted Canary, Little Egret, Squacco Heron, Southern Black Flycatcher, African Openbill, Northern Puffback, Yellow-billed Stork, Grey Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Black-headed Heron, Red-billed Teal, African Jacana, Thick-billed Seedeater, Great Swamp Warbler, Pygmy Kingfisher, African Marsh Harrier, African Fish Eagle, Common Moorhen, Yellow Wagtail, Common Snipe, Goliath Heron, Spur-winged Geese, Little Grebe, African Paradise Flycatcher, White-faced Whistling Duck, African Spoonbill.
Lake Kivu is the biggest lake in Rwanda located on the borders of DR Congo and Rwanda. Lake Kivu is one of the best birding destinations in Rwanda with over 750 bird species that have been so far spotted on the shores of the lake. Some of the bird species seen during the boat cruise and nature walk at Lake Kivu include Holub’s Golden Weaver, lesser-stripped swallow, spot-flanked barbet, common bulbul, black saw-wing, common kestrel, tropical boubou, African pied wagtail, spotted yellow-throated greenbul, chin-spot batis, cardinal woodpecker, African pied wagtail, bronzed sunbirds, colorful southern red bishop, white-tailed blue flycatcher, hadada ibis, red chested sunbirds, and crimson-rumped waxbill.
Other notable bird species at Lake Kivu include grey-rumped swallow, Pin-tailed whydah, African fish eagles, African black swift, yellow-throated greenbul, long-tailed cormorant, sacred ibis, Holub’s golden weaver, bronzed manikin, yellow-bellied waxbill, crimson-rumped waxbill, spectacled weaver, scarlet-chested, Yellow-fronted Canary, little bee-eater, variable sunbird, bronze sunbird, long-tailed cormorant, speckled mousebirds, colorful southern red bishop, striated heron, Angola swallow, and chin-spot batis.
Gishwati-Mukura national park is the newest national park in Rwanda having been gazetted and open up for tourism activities in 2014. The national park is located near Lake Kivu in the western part of Rwanda and has over 232 bird species that have been so far recorded in the park. Birds in Gishwati-Mukura national park include white-headed wood hoopoe, marital eagle, strange weaver, old world warblers, mountain yellow warbler, Rwenzori batis, purple-breasted sunbird, red-throated alethe, grey crowned crane, dusky Crimsonwing, and many more.
To have the best birding safari in Rwanda, you need appropriate items which will help you have the best experience on your safari. You won’t enjoy birding if you don’t have the right equipment such as a pair of binoculars, good quality camera, voice recorder, birding books, drinking water, camouflage clothes, insect repellents, and packed lunch.
Tourists can encounter birds of Rwanda at any time of the year however the best time of the year to see different bird species including the migratory ones is May through September. During these months, there is plenty of food and the rainfall is a bit less. The nesting season in most of the places in Rwanda is May to June so you will still be able to see most of the bird species.
Tourists can also be done in the rainy season that happens in March to May and October to November although the rainfall is always much. During the rain time, the birds do still on trees which makes it easier to spot them and most of them bathe in rain. Rwanda Birding Safaris in the rainy season favor mostly the budget travelers since the lodges give huge discounts on accommodation. Contact us to offer tailor made safaris and trip in Rwanda for memorable experience
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