Rwanda Birding Safaris To Be Part of this August

Rwanda popularly is an incredible destination for birding safaris thanks to its wildlife diversity. Over the years the country has slowly emerged as a leading birding and wildlife destination in East Africa as adventure lovers Visit Rwanda to fulfil their bucket list desires.

Birding safaris are a niche in overall wildlife adventures giving one an opportunity to explore the various avian species. Rwanda is a diverse ecosystem ranging from open savanna’s, swamps and tropical rain forests that are all homes to various bird species.

Lets us look at the leading Rwanda birding safaris one must not miss while in Rwanda this August.

Great Blue Turaco Nyungwe National Park. Rwanda Birding safaris
Great Blue Turaco Nyungwe NP Rwanda. Photo by Eric Manzi

Nyungwe Forest Birding Safaris

Nyungwe forest is the regions oldest and best preserved rain forests comprising of a tropical rain forest, swamps, bogs and bamboo. At a land area of 1019 square kilometres, the forest is home to over 300 bird species and 13 primate species.

Forested national park has a number of bird species endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley and is recognised by Birdlife International as an Important Birding Area. It is Rwanda’s leading destination for birding safaris that can be complemented by primate treks in the park.

Notable birds in Nyungwe forest include the Rwenzori Turaco, Kivu ground thrush, Regal sunbird, great blue turaco, crowned hornbills, long crested eagles among others. Being a forested park birding safaris can be enjoyed on guided nature walks along the different trails in the forest.

August is among the best months to visit Rwanda as being in the middle of the dry season, hiking through the forest is easy. With this you have more chances of exploring the forests bird life and other wildlife species. The wet season from October to May is also a great time for birding safari species as the migratory birds set in.

While visiting Nyungwe for chimpanzee or other primate treks entree to add a birding safari as it is worth the adventure.

Akagera Birding Safaris

Akagera national park is the only savanna national park in Rwanda. The park is the regions largest protected wetland with over 480 bird species making it an ultimate destination for birding safaris. About 100 of the bird species are endemic to the park and can not be seen in any other place in Rwanda.

The park is located in the eastern part of the country just about a 3 hours drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital city. Akagera national park ranks second after Nyungwe in Rwanda’s leading birding destinations. Birding safaris in Akagera are doable year out with the dry season a good time to see wetland bad as there is minimal rainfall disturbances and the wetlands can be easily accessed.

Notable birds in Akagera include grey crowned cranes, papyrus gonolek, Amur falcon, shoebill storks, African fish eagle, African Jacana, crested barbets among others. Those interested in migratory birds can visit the park from November to May.

As we enter the month of August, visit Rwanda and add birding safaris to Akagera on your bucket list.

Gishwati Mukura Birding Safaris

Giswhati Mukura is among the newest protected national parks in Rwanda. The forested park covers a land area of 34 square kilometres and comprises of two main forests Giswati and Mukura.

The forested park has over 200 bird species including the Albertine Rift Valley endemics. The park is past of an extension of the Virunga massif and had been greatly affected by deforestation. Over the years however there has been a lot of conservation efforts and the park has been fully restored open to nature enthusiast including birders.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes national park Rwanda is also a good place for birding in Rwanda. The park has over 180 bird species however many of these occur in Nyungwe forest as well. Some bird species can be seen while gorilla trekking or hiking in the park. Just like in Nyungwe forest, some Albertine endemic bird species can be seen in Volcanoes national park. Notable birds here include the Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori apalis, Rwenzori night jar, African long-earled owl among others. Volcanoes national park is most famous for the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. It among the few places on the planet where you can have a great primate experience.

Overall Destination Rwanda is an incredible place for an African safari. In Akagera national park you will be able to enjoy the big five mammals and classic African safaris. The park can be explored on game drives and boat cruises that are still great opportunities to see some of the birds in the park. On foot rhino tracking has been recently introduced in the park enabling one to track one of the big five mammals. Akagera has both Black and White rhinos that were reintroduced in the park as a move to restore the park’s wildlife species.

Nyungwe forest national park is most famous for chimpanzee trekking and other primates. There are also a number of guided nature walks to the waterfalls and other leading trails for birding and other primate treks.

Visa Policy

For Visas, Rwanda has some of the friendliest visa policy where many can get the visa on arrival at the airport. The Rwanda single entry visa costs $30 per person the most affordable one in the region. In case you want to visit Uganda and Kenya then you can opt for the East African tourist visa that is multiple entry and can give you access to the three countries. There is a provision for online visa application but in case you fail to get the link you can still get the Visa upon arrival at the airport.

Accommodation

There are a number of accommodation facilities in the different wildlife and birding destinations in Rwanda. These range from budget to high end luxury options. The best time to visit Rwanda for either birding or general wildlife safari is in the dry season from June to October and from December to March. The dry season doubles as the peak tourist season and it is very important to book your accommodation and tour in advance as parks get fully booked sometimes.