Birding in Volcanoes National Park

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Birding in Volcanoes

Rwanda offers arguably the best African Montane Birding destinations in Africa this is made more exceptional by the great road network, safety, and security, a diversity of habitats makes it one of the best eco-tourism destinations in Africa. The compact nature of the country means that several birding sites can be visited on a relatively short trip, giving access to some of the most desirable species in East Africa.

Over 700 bird species are known to exist in Rwanda as of November 2018 and surprises are always possible with several species added to the country list since 2010. Among the resident species are 29 Albertine Rift Endemics and several Lake Victoria Basin Endemics, which should be on any birder’s wish list.

Most birders will want to focus their attention on the Nyungwe Forest National Park in the west of Rwanda, Volcanoes national park North West of the capital, and Akagera National Park located in the east. However, good birding can be found across the country and even close to Kigali, so no matter how long you are staying there is rewarding birding on offer all year round

About birding in Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes national park is home to over 200 bird species with a number of Albertine rift endemics for bird watching enthusiasts to enjoy. Birding is the next best thing to do in this park after Gorilla tracking and golden monkey trekking. Some of the species to look out for include,

  • Grauer’s rush warbler
  • Rwenzori Batis,
  • Rwenzori turaco,
  • Rwenzori double
  • Collared Sunbird,
  • Handsome francolin
  • Strange weaver,
  • Dusky crimson-wing
  • Collared Apalis.
  • red-faced woodland warbler
  • Archer’s round-robin.
  • Archer’s Robin.
  • Brown woodland warbler.
  • Brown-necked parrot.
  • Doherty’s bush-shrike.
  • Dusky crimsoning.
  • Dusky turtle dove.
  • Grauer’s swamp warbler.
  • Handsome francolin.
  • Lagden’s bush-shrike.
  • Red-faced wood warbler.
  • Rwenzori Apalis.
  • Rwenzori Batis.
  • Rwenzori double-colored sunbird.
  • Rwenzori nightjar.
  • Rwenzori turaco.
  • Scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird.
  • Strange weave.

Important information for booking a birding trip to Volcanoes National Park

However, due to the steepness of the birding habitat travelers are advised to hire specialist birding in order to have the best of their birding safari in the park’s dense rain forest and a level of fitness is required during the birding excursion for more information contact Wilderness Explorers Africa for detailed and Tailor-made birding safaris to Rwanda.

What you need to pack for birding in Volcanoes National Park?

  • Good pair of binoculars at 10×42 birding quality.
  • Long camera lens
  • eBird book for bird’s o East Africa with bird calls and a good speaker.
  • Rain gear.
  • Waterproof bag packs.
  • Pen
  • Good hiking boots.
  • Portable first aid kit.

Extras on the day of birding

  • Enough drinking water.
  • Packed lunch.
Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Volcanoes National Park is good year-round, but the volcanoes are especially wet and often shrouded in mist. This means that birding in this area is easiest during the Dry season, from June to August, and to a lesser extent December and January when it rains slightly less. This is also the best time for gorilla trekking. Migratory birds are present from November to April.



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