Rwanda is located in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa where is bordered by Burundi in the South and East African Countries Uganda and Tanzania in the North and East respectively. Rwanda is also bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo in the West. Rwanda is known for its gross tourism attractions and gets itself known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” because of the stunning scenery and people who are very welcoming and friendly to provide you with a worthwhile experience like no other. Rwanda is blessed with adverse wildlife which justifies the number of tourists that visit the country from different parts of the world.
Among the many activities that tourists opt for is birding. Birding entails watching of birds of different species that you could actually find nowhere else in the world. If you aren’t aware, Rwanda has been found to be one of Africa’s most alluring destination and it’s known to be a home to over 700 different bird species.
Among these many species include red-chested sunbird and bronzy sunbirds, white-collared Oliveback, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Bat Hawk, Narina Trogon, Brown-backed Honeybird, Black Cuckoo-Shrike, Grey-backed Fiscal, African Goshawk, African Swamphen, Palm Nut Vulture, Lesser Honey guide, Crested Barbet, Rüppell’s Starling and Black-headed Weaver. All these should be on each birder’s wish list. Even with these we can’t forget that some of those are resident birds which give you the actual guarantee of a real birding experience.
Where to go for birding.
When you talk about birding in Rwanda, the first destination that has to cross in is Nyungwe National Park. This is tropical montane rainforest located in the West of Rwanda which has over 300 bird spiecies but with the Red-collared Babbler being the star bird attraction. With all these bird species inclusive of the Rwenzori Turaco, the Rwenzori Nightjar, the Grauer’s Warbler, the Handsome Francolin, the Blue-headed and Purple Breasted Sunbirds among others, Nyungwe becomes a very good destination for any birder more with one who awaits a new or even a different special adventurous experience. Nyungwe is known to be the most popular when it comes to birding due to the different and rarest bird species as identified above. Talking about rarest bird species, when you vist Nyungwe there is a possibility of observing species like the Kungwe Apalis, the Willard’s Sooty Boubou, the Kivu Ground Thrush, the Congo Bay Owl or even the Albertine Owlet and the Shelley’s Crimsonwing among other species that are not to be the rarest all over the world.
Akagera National Park is also another wonderful destination for birding in Rwanda. Located in the North East of Rwanda with only 116.5 km from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda, Akagera National Park is home to over 500 bird species. With a mass of wetlands and lakes accompanies by the cool breeze from Akagera river, it provided a worthwhile adventure as your eyes can’t wait to have a catch of the Red-faced Barbet, the white-collared Oliveback, the Ruaha Chat or even the Sousa’s Shrike.
The Volcanoes National Park found in the Northern Part of Rwanda only 107.9 km from Kigali is home to over 200 bird species among which are 17 Albertine Rift Endemics. To make meaning of an adventure here, Volcanoes National Park is also known for its wonderful experience of gorilla trekking since it’s famous for Mountain Gorillas which is an addition to the alluring birding experience.
Lake Kivu is also another place for birding. Located in the western part of Rwanda is surrounded with magnificent mountains which bring about the wonderful and relaxing scenery added to the adverse birds that would grab any good sight for a bird tour. With the different hotel gardens around the lake shores, a wonderful bird experience which involves watching the likes of the white-breasted cormorants, pied kingfishers and also the Osprey which can be seen fishing by anyone camping at the gardens. In addition to that, the double-tooth barbet, the yellow-bellied waxbill, familiar chat and the Brown-throated wattle-eye are always seen around the region and could add to one’s birding experience.
Why go to Rwanda for birding.
Rwanda is one of the few countries in Africa that are home to such a number of bird species and not just Africa but rather all over the world. Among the 700 bird species that can be found in Rwanda, some of them cannot be found anywhere else in the world for example the Scarlet-Tufted Sunbird. Birding itself gives a better experience of connecting with the natural environment and a relaxation of the mind as you let your eyes catch the great sight which is added to the quite environment that is always around it. There always park rangers who direct you through the entire experience while they answer all your questions.
When to go birding.
Every activity has a peak season and the same applies to birding. With Rwanda, there’s birding throughout the year however the best experience between December and February since that’s the time Rwanda always hosts the wintering and Palearctic migrant Bird species.
What you need to go for birding.
Whenever you choose birding as worth trying, to ensure you will have an alluring experience then a binoculars is a must have. Other than that your bag need no miss the suitable footwear since it’s an actual adventure, a decent smart phone, clothing that are essential and of course food and drinks. In addition to that are bird feeders and bird food.
Other than birding, Rwanda is also famous for gorilla trekking, hiking at Mount Karisimbi and many more tourism activities that create a real life tourism adventure.