Rwanda goes beyond gorilla tracking in Rwanda safaris to also feature interesting birding possibilities. Despite its small size, Rwanda features over 700 bird species that quench the thirst of anyone looking for great birding safaris in Africa.
Rwanda’s 7 favorite bird watching areas are the three National Parks, – Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe National Park, Rugezi swamp, Akagera swamps, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo forest. The birds that are commonly spotted include; Grey crowned crane, papyrus Gonoleck, stripe breasted tit, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Cinnynis, white-tailed blue fly catcher, shoebill stork, tropical Boubou, regular sunrise bird, bronzy sun bird, among others which combine to make birding tours in Rwanda beyond the ordinary!
Birding at Lake Ihema, Akagera national park is also a once in a lifetime experience as the park stands as Rwanda’s most spectacular site for birders as it harbors several endemic and migratory bird species plus other unique wildlife species. It’s a home to over 520 species of birds that dominate this place, including forest, savannah, wetlands, and montane species. Most interestingly, it’s a home to the rare shoe bill stork. Other species common in Akagera national park include; the gorgeous black headed Gonolek, the grey hornbill, lilac-breasted roller, the crested barbet, Heuglin’s robin-chat and Ross’s Turaco, among others.
Rwanda’s another most fabulous bird watching site is Nyungwe forest national park and it shelters approximately 310 bird species that have been recorded. It’s famous for its forested vegetation cover that has most bird species as compared to other national parks providing excellent birding expeditions in Rwanda. Nyungwe harbors a variety of Albertine Rift endemics, including seven of the 12 species of Soricidae, one species of bat – Rousettus lanosus, 5 of 12 species of Muridae and the chameleon Chameleon johnstoni, two species of squirrels,- Funisciurus carruthersi and Heliosciurus ruwenzori. An amphibian; the caecilian Boulengerula fischeri restricted to a small area of the Albertine Rift occurs commonly in Nyungwe.
Nyabarongo River is another unique area for Rwanda birding tours, providing a safe haven for some of the globally threatened bird species namely; the Madagascar Squacco heron, papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers, Sisticola, white- winged scrub-warbler. Other Birding holidays can also be done in Cyamudongo forest, Rugezi swamp, among others.