Rwanda is another East African country that offers excellent birding opportunities. Despite its small size, Rwanda is home to a variety of habitats and a diverse range of bird species and Birding Safaris in Rwanda offer you the stunning sights and sounds. Here are some destinations and areas you might consider for a birding safari in Rwanda.
This savannah park on the border with Tanzania is home to a mix of savannah and wetland birds, including the African fish eagle, shoebill stork, and various waterfowl.
Here are some of the bird species you might encounter in Akagera National Park:
These are just a few examples of the bird species you might encounter in Akagera National Park. While the park is primarily known for its larger mammals like elephants, lions, and giraffes, it still offers a rewarding birdwatching experience for those interested in avian diversity. Birdwatching can be especially enjoyable along the park’s lakeshores and wetlands, where many bird species congregate to feed and nest.
Top of Form
2. Nyungwe Forest National Park:
A pristine rainforest with a high concentration of endemic and rare bird species, including the Rwenzori turaco, great blue turaco, and many Albertine Rift endemics.
Here are some of the bird species you might encounter in Nyungwe Forest National Park:
3. Volcanoes National Park:
While famous for its mountain gorillas, this park also offers birding opportunities, with species like the Rwenzori double-collared sunbird and dusky crimsoning.
Some of the bird species you might encounter in Volcano National Park include:
4. Lake Kivu:
The lakeshore and wetland areas around Lake Kivu provide habitats for a variety of water birds, including cormorants, kingfishers, and herons.
Birdwatchers visiting the Lake Kivu area can expect to encounter a variety of bird species, especially around the lake’s shores, marshes, and the surrounding forests. Some of the bird species you might encounter in this region include:
When planning a birding safari in Rwanda, consider the following tips:
Guide and Operator: Choose a reputable tour operator that offers birding-focused tours with experienced guides who know the local bird species and their habitats.
Timing: Similar to Uganda, the dry seasons from December to February and June to August are generally the best times for birding in Rwanda.
Accommodation: Opt for lodges and accommodations that cater to birders, offering bird-friendly gardens and guides knowledgeable about the local avifauna.
Equipment: Bring quality binoculars, a bird field guide specific to the region, a notebook, and a camera with a telephoto lens to capture bird sightings.
Ethical Birding: Practice responsible birdwatching by respecting the birds and their habitats. Avoid disturbing them for extended periods and follow ethical guidelines.
Health and Safety: Check for any required vaccinations or health precautions before your trip. Also, be aware of safety guidelines when encountering wildlife in their natural habitat.
When is the best time to do birding in Rwanda?
The best time for birding in Rwanda generally aligns with the country’s dry seasons, which provide better visibility of birds due to less dense vegetation and increased bird activity. The two main dry seasons are:
December to February: This is the short dry season, which offers pleasant weather for birding. During this time, many migratory bird species are also present in Rwanda. It’s a great time to visit Nyungwe Forest and other forested areas, as the weather is relatively dry and the bird species are active.
June to August: This is the long dry season and another excellent time for birding in Rwanda. The weather is relatively dry and cool, making it comfortable for outdoor activities. This period is also favorable for birdwatching due to clear skies and easier bird spotting.
During these dry seasons, bird species are more likely to come out into the open to search for food and engage in various activities. The vegetation is also less dense, making it easier to spot and identify birds.
It’s worth noting that Rwanda’s birding opportunities are available year-round, and even during the wetter months (March to May and September to November), you can still enjoy birdwatching. However, the wetter seasons might present challenges like muddy trails and reduced visibility due to rain and foliage.
Additionally, if you’re interested in witnessing the arrival of migratory species, the months of November to April are the prime time for these bird sightings.