Rwanda the Land of a thousand hills is not only known for mountain gorilla trekking but other interesting activities with birding inclusive. Rwanda is an amazing destination to those looking for birding in Africa. The country protects more than 730 bird species including some Albertine endemics. This country has several thick forests and mountains that form exceptional and astonishing sites for eco-adventurous activities such as bird watching. Through Rwanda’s 250 kilometers/155 miles East-west and 150 kilometers/ 93 miles north-south land, this country has over 700 outstanding bird species including most Albertine Rift Endemic species compared to other countries. Imagine such a small country with such beauty and exceptionality; you really do not need to miss visiting the Land of a thousand hills.
There are 7 renowned Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Rwanda and mostly include its three popular National Parks that include Volcanoes National park, Nyungwe National Park and Akagera National Park. Other Important Bird Areas within Rwanda include Rugezi Swamp, Nyabarongo, Cyamudongo and Akanyaru. I can assure you that when you visit any of these areas, you will be totally satisfied and the experience will exceed your experience. Rwanda provides numerous bird species to explore over its a thousand hills and these vary from the familiar/usual ones to the exceptional ones, yet all are spellbinding to watch.
When you visit Rwanda for any kind of safari, do not forget to indulge yourself in one of these remarkable birding spots/birding areas that include;
Top Destinations for Birding in Rwanda
- Nyungwe Forest National Park
- Akagera National Park
- Mukura Forest
- Gishwati Forest
- Important Bird Areas including the Wetlands including Akanyaru and Nyabarongo on the southern border with Burundi, Rugezi in the north near the Ugandan border and Mugesera-Rugwero in the south-east and Kagera along the eastern border with Tanzania.
When to Go Birding in Rwanda
Bird watching can be done throughout the year though its best timing is around June as it is at this time that they(birds) can be seen everywhere, though at times can be affected (blocked) by the thick canopy vegetation nearing to the sky( sprawling between you and the sky) that it tends to overlap the birds. This can make the birding activity quite hectic as some birds can hide in the thick vegetation and therefore hard to view, though binoculars should be carried along.
Birding in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park-also known as “Parc National des Volcans”, situated in North-western Rwanda was created in 1925 making it the oldest National Park in Africa and is popular for the critically endangered Mountain gorillas due to the comprehensive research conducted by Dian Fossey for over 18 years until she was murdered in 1985. This magnificent National Park shares borders with Virunga National Park of the Democratic republic of Congo and Mgahinga National Park of Uganda. Volcanoes National Park is abundant with Bamboo forest, grasslands, bush lands and Afro-Alpine vegetation with lowland montane forest which support the survival of several bird species especially those endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains such as Handsome francolins, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori batis, Lagden’s Bush-shrike, Kivu ground-thrush and African green broadbill among others.
Birding in Nyungwe Forest National Park