Birding in Rwanda

enter image description here Ruwenzori turaco | Credit: Rwanda Tourism

Rwanda is one of Africa’s most alluring birding destinations, with in excess of 700 species recorded in an area half the size of Scotland. Birdwatching is rewarding everywhere in the country, and a well-planned two-week itinerary is likely to result in a trip list of 300-plus species.

A notable feature of its diverse avifauna is the presence of 27 of the 37 forest and swamp-associated species regarded to be endemic to the the eastern and western escarpments of the Albertine Rift, Many of these species can only otherwise be seen in logistically inaccessible parts if the DR Congo and one or two sites in Uganda. Outside of the Congo, Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park supports the world’s greatest diversity of Albertine Rift Endemics, a list that includes such stunners as handsome francolin, Ruwenzori turaco, red-faced woodland warbler, collared apalis, mountain masked apalis, regal sunbird, blue-headed sunbird, purple-breasted sunbird, dusky crimsonwing and strange weaver. With around 310 species recorded, Nyungwe is also strong when it comes to more widespread forest species (there’s no better place, for instance, to see the astonishing great blue turaco) and it is well serviced by birding trails and knowledgeable local guides.

enter image description here Double-toothed barbet

The ideal complement to Nyungwe is Akagera National Park, whose checklist of 480 species includes most aquatic, savanna and grassland species that occur with Rwanda, along with a good variety of raptors. Boat trips on Akagera’s Lake Ihema often throw up the likes of African fish eagle, African darter, open-bill stork, African jacana, papyrus gonolek and rufous-bellied heron. Conspicuous savannah and woodland birds include Ross’s turaco, double-toothed barbet, lilac-breasted roller and red-faced barbet. Akagera’s Lake Birengero is also quite a reliable site for the enigmatic and eagerly sought shoebill.

Popular Rwanda Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

The Uganda Hills | The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

 | Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined

Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

Chimpanzee | Meet the Primates of Uganda and Rwanda (12 days)

Meet the Primates of Uganda and Rwanda (12 days)

See mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys and tree-climbing lions, take a boat cruise and visit Rwanda's genocide memorial ...

You might also like

Have some ideas?
Contact us and get a customised no-obligation itinerary

+27 (0)21 422 3498
    Mon - Fri: 8AM - 9PM GMT+2