Bird watching in Rwanda
Rwanda is rich in almost 703 species of birds,29 species in the Albertine Rift Endemics. it is the best montane birding country in Africa
Rwanda offers the best African Montane Birding in Africa . Because of the great road network, safety and security, a diversity of habitats and has one of the best eco-tourism destinations in Africa. The nature of the country means that several birding sites can be visited in a relatively short trip, giving access to some of the most desirable species in Africa.
In total 703 bird species are known from Rwanda (November 2018) and surprises are always possible with several species added to the country list since 2010. Among the resident species are 29 Albertine Rift Endemics and several Lake Victoria Basin Endemics, which should be on any birder’s wish list.
Most birders will want to focus their attention on Nyungwe National Park in the west of Rwanda and Akagera National Park located in the east. However, good birding can be found across the country and even close to Kigali, so no matter how long you are staying there is rewarding birding on offer.
Nyungwe National Park is a tropical montane rain forest that is home to 322 bird species as well as 13 species of primate and numerous endemic plant species. So far 29 are bird species have been found here. The star attraction is undoubtedly the Red-collared Babbler and Rwanda is the only safe place to see this stunning bird. Other specialities include Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Grauer’s Warbler, Regal, Blue-headed and Purple Breasted Sunbirds, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler and Neumann’s Warbler. All of these and more can be seen easily from a well-maintained network of trails with the help of the park’s expert bird guides.
With more time and a bit of luck it is also possible to observe Kungwe Apalis, Kivu Ground Thrush and Willard’s Sooty Boubou. Possibly the rarest of Nyungwe’s birds would be the Congo Bay Owl, Albertine Owlet and Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Rockefeller’s Sunbird which have been reported, but are seldom seen. Night-walks will be available soon and these offer the potential to track down the park’s elusive nocturnal species.