The largest part of Rwanda is situated within the Albertine Rift which explains its mountainous nature. It’s a country comprising of rolling hills covered with green vegetation. Rwanda’s parks offer unique and exclusive birding sights for birding travellers visiting Rwanda. Birding highlighted parks include; Volcanoes national park, Akagera national park, Nyungwe tropical rain forest national park, Rugezi swamp, Akanyaru, Nyabarongo, Cyamudongo , and Nyamirundi island among others. Rwanda harbors over 700 bird species which can be enjoyed by birders in Rwanda with half of the population (bird species) endemic to the Albertine Rift.
The Akagera national park is a wide home for game and with its rich water supply in the area, the park is settled by a large concentration of wildlife and bird life in large numbers. Several bird species can be watched from around the Akagera wetlands, rivers and lakes among which include the elusive Shoebill stork, Red-faced Barbet, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Papyrus Gonolek, White-headed, Black and familiar Chats, Carruther’s and Tabora Cisticolas, White-winged and Broad-tailed Warblers and Miombo Wren-Warblers.
In addition to its unique and extraordinary birding encounters, Akagera national park offers wonderful wildlife safaris and game drives as well as boat cruises viewing the large mammals like the elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, giraffes, crocodiles among others. This park is highly recommended for birders as the birding views obtained here, cannot be got anywhere else, so close views.
As mentioned earlier, Nyungwe forest national park is among Rwanda’s major birding sights. It’s one of Africa’s largest natural forests that have not yet been tampered with and it’s located in the south western part of the country. It’s a home to over 300 bird species with 26 species endemic to the forest like the Red colored Mountain Babbleer and Kungwe Apalis. Nyungwe forest offers great birding sports which can be enjoyed from its well networked and developed forest trails, via the tarmac road that cuts through the forest and even over the canopy forest walks above the ground, all these reward tourists looking for fantastic birding experiences.
Several Albertine Rift endemic bird species can be viewed from Nyungwe forest such as; the Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Archer’s Robin-chat, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Grauer’s Rush, Neumann’s and Grauer’s Warbles, Masked Mountain Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit and Strange Weaver, and a full range of Rwenzori double-collared, purple-throated, blue-headed and regal Sunbirds. Some of these bird species are said to cross over to the Congo border and back to this thick forest.
There are several other birding sights in Rwanda ; Gisakura Guest House which is well known for the sulking bird species like the Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Collared Apalis, and Shelley’s and Dusky Crimsonwing.
Rwanda offers great birding experiences to birders as the bird species viewed from here can never be exhausted as some times the night birds can be enjoyed from around the Gisakura and Uwanka birding spots viewing birds like the Rwenzori Nightjar is not uncommon, Albertine Owlet may be found, and the Congo Bay-owl. There are so many other birding sights around the country which too offer great bird watching experiences to birders.