Rwanda is home to over 700 bird species which are scattered between protected areas, swamps, and agricultural lands. Most of the birding happens in the 3 protected areas of Akagera national park, Nyungwe national park and Volcanoes national park. To enjoy bird watching in Rwanda, you need to be prepared to stay out for long hours and have some considerable hiking is certain areas. For example, while birding Nyungwe national park and Volcanoes national park, there is a considerable amount of hiking up and down the mountainous areas.
Generally bird watching in Rwanda is an enjoyable activity because of the ease to see the birds and the short distance travelled between the protected areas. More birding watching in Rwanda is along swamps by the highways and agricultural lands in the villages. A visit to Volcanoes park, Nyungwe forest and Gishwati-Mukura park will grant the best opportunities to view some of the 27 Albertine rift endemics. There are also numerous areas for birding in Kigali area – which you can add on your list when visiting for a conference in Rwanda with limited time.
Top places to visit for bird watching in Rwanda
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is one of the best places in Rwanda for bird watching. The park is home to over 500 bird species, including several species of raptors, kingfishers, and hornbills. Visitors can take game drives, boat safaris, and guided walks to see the park’s birds up close.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is not only a great destination for chimpanzee trekking but also for bird watching in Rwanda. The park is home to over 300 bird species, including several species of turacos, cuckoos, and sunbirds. Visitors can take guided walks through the forest to see the park’s birds and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Rugezi Marsh is one of the most important wetland areas in Rwanda and a great place for bird watching. The marsh is home to several species of water birds, including African jacanas, herons, and egrets. Visitors can take guided walks along the marsh to see the birds and other wildlife.
Akanyaru Wetlands is another important wetland area in Rwanda and a great place for bird watching. The wetlands are home to several species of water birds, including storks, ibises, and egrets. Visitors can take guided walks along the wetlands to see the birds and other wildlife.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is not only a great destination for gorilla trekking but also for bird watching. The park is home to over 170 bird species, including several species of sunbirds, weavers, and waxbills. Visitors can take guided walks through the forest to see the park’s birds and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
These are just a few of the top destinations to include in your Rwanda Bird Watching in Rwanda Tour. Other notable birding destinations include the Congo Nile Trail, the Butare Arboretum, and the Gishwati-Mukura National Park. At Intaresafaris, we can help you create a customized itinerary that includes the destinations that best fit your interests and travel preferences.
Code of conduct while on a birding safari in Rwanda
While on a birding safari in Rwanda, it is important to follow a code of conduct that ensures the safety and well-being of the birds and their habitats. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
1. Respect the birds and their habitats
When bird watching in Rwanda, it is important to remember that you are a guest in the birds’ natural habitat. Do not disturb the birds or their nests, and avoid making loud noises that may scare them away. Stay on designated paths and avoid trampling on vegetation.
2. Use binoculars and cameras responsibly
Binoculars and cameras are essential tools for bird watching, but it is important to use them responsibly. Do not use flash photography, as it can disturb the birds and their habitats. Use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe birds from a distance, and avoid getting too close to them.
3. Do not feed the birds
Feeding birds can alter their natural behavior and disrupt their diet. Do not offer food to the birds, and do not leave any food or litter behind.
4. Follow park regulations
When visiting national parks or protected areas, it is important to follow park regulations. This may include staying on designated paths, respecting wildlife and their habitats, and not littering.
5. Hire a licensed guide
To ensure a safe and enjoyable bird watching experience, it is recommended to hire a licensed birding guide. The guide can help you identify different bird species and provide information about their behavior and habitat. Additionally, they can help you follow the code of conduct and ensure that you have a responsible and ethical birding experience.
By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a responsible and ethical bird watching in Rwanda while preserving the natural habitats of the birds.