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Packing List for Birding in Rwanda

Rwanda offers numerous birding destinations for enthusiasts keen on observing diverse bird species. Notable spots include Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park, where you can encounter various Albertine endemic species. Akagera National Park, on the other hand, is famed for its water bird species, with the rare Shoebill Stork as its star attraction. This endangered stork species boasts fascinating features, including its resilience through evolution and a distinctive sound akin to a machine gun firing, ensuring a memorable birding experience in Rwanda. To enhance your expedition, compiling a comprehensive birding checklist is imperative.

Detailed Packing List for Birding in Rwanda


Binoculars are a must for birders. It is one of the most important things to think of acquiring when planning for a birding tour in Rwanda. The birds in Africa are relatively shy and most will fly off if you come too close or if they notice any attention from intruders. One reason for this excessive fear of humans is that they are or were often hunted for meat by human populations in many parts of Africa. The best way to spot them is to come with high quality binoculars that can be adjusted to give clearer views.

A Camera

What is the use of a binoculars if you can’t take good photos of the birds to show off to your friends or the wider birding community. A good camera is essential for a great birding experience. We recommend that you buy the best camera you can afford so that you take amazing photos of Rwanda and her beautiful birds. The photos will also help you compare notes with those in the books and see how successful your expedition turned out to be.

A Portable voice recorder

Birds make different call signs/sounds which can be very intriguing. The best way to record these sounds is with a good portable voice recorder. This will also help you identify the different birds when back in your room comparing notes.

Birding books on Rwanda

Bird identification books are important to help you identify the species you spotted. The books can be acquired/bought from the national park offices and other major birding spots. The book should have a complete collection of the birds (including their pictures) in the area you are planning to visit because it will help you know the species encountered.

Drinking water and food

 Sometimes birding expeditions go on for long hours leaving you thirsty and exhausted. What better way to relieve yourself than by taking your snacks and drinking water? Most of the birding spots are in remote areas with no restaurants or shops. It is wise to go out prepared so that you don’t get thirsty and hungry while out in the jungle.

Insect repellant

Birds thrive in areas where insects are in plenty. After all, insects are their main food apart from fruits and grain. Some of these insects have painful stings (wasps, bees, mosquitoes and Tses Tse flies). To keep them off come with a good insect repellent.

Hides and other clothing

Hides are special camouflage clothes used by birders to appear like they are part of the surrounding without attracting the attention of the birds. These special clothes can help one approach the birds without being noticed. Having a good set of hides is especially important if you are planning to spot some of the elusive species that take off as soon as sense human presence. Apart from the hides, you also need comfortable clothes that are suitable for the jungle or wetlands. A good trouser, long sleeved and light shirt will help protect you from insects and the African sun

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