Rwanda Birding safaris will take you to Nyungwe Forest National Park, a high dense rainforest in southern Rwanda on the border with Burundi. Bird Watching in Nyungwe National Park is one of the main activities that avid and seasoned birders choose to undertake.
This is because of the impressive and unique bird checklist and affordability. The park is one of the seven important birding areas found in Rwanda that have been considered so by Bird Life International.
The impressive terrain and dense forest is truly amazing and offers an amazing experience as forest birds tend to shy and hide in the forest offering such a challenging yet memorable birding experience in Rwanda. In Nyungwe, it is also possible to spot new species that you might not see anywhere else in the country.
Nyungwe forest is unique and rich in terms of biodiversity with different flowering plants and marsh areas which provide food and shelter for the birds. For an amazing Birding experience, there are several set birding trails in the forest and these have different bird species that you can spot.
Some of these trails include the Bigugu trail where you can spot the Red-collared mountain warbler, Karamba trail rich in bird species like Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher and the Gisakura trails with possible sightings of birds like the Kivu ground Thrush, short-tailed Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis and Regal Sunbird.
The Kamiranzovu trail offers the chance of seeing the Grauer’s swamp warbler, short-tailed Warbler, and Grey-crested Kakamega.
To be able to go bird watching in Nyungwe National Park, you need to purchase a permit and this should be done prior to the tour.
There are over 310 bird species recorded in Nyungwe National Park, which reflects the wide habitat diversity and altitudinal range. Among the 310 species, these include the 29 species of the Albertine Rift mountains endemic birds.
The Chapin’s Flycatcher and Rockefeller’s Sunbird are some of the bird species found in Nyungwe and both are globally threatened, restricted-range and biome-restricted.
Within Nyungwe, 11 of the 23 species of the Guinea-Congo forests biome can be seen. 71 of the 74 species of the biome of Afrotropical Highlands that occur in Rwanda have also been recorded in Nyungwe.
What do most birders search for in Rwanda? Here are the top 10 bird species searched in Rwanda, the Regal Sunbird, Kivu ground Thrush, Congo bay Owlet, Rwenzori Nightjar, Red-faced woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-collared Mountain Babbler, Rwenzori Batis, Dohert bush shrike and Grauer’s swamp Warbler.
The commonly spotted birds in the park include the African paradise flycatcher, Chinspot batis, Crowned hornbill, Eastern mountain greenbul, and Long-crested eagle.
Treats for avid birders include the Albertine owlet, Archer’s robin-chat, Blue-headed sunbird, Buff-throated apalis, Dusky crimsonwing, Dwarf honeyguide, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Handsome francolin, Mountain masked apalis, Neumann’s warbler, purple-breasted sunbird, Red-collared babbler, Red-faced woodland warbler, Regal sunbird, strange weaver, and many others.
The best time to visit Rwanda for birding as a whole is between July and late March. During this time, there is quite a jam of birds in all parts of the country due to migration, inbreeding, passage, and searching for food.
Generally, Nyungwe National Park is undoubtedly the most important forest for the conservation of montane birds in the region, making it a good bird-watching spot for Rwanda and East Africa at large. Best time for bird watching in Nyungwe National Park is between July and late March.
While in Nyungwe, you can also engage in different safari activities on top of your birding experience. Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walks are among the additional activities available on your visit to Nyungwe. Both activities are fantastic and unique to Nyungwe in Rwanda, thus it is worthwhile to participate in them.