Birding in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe forest national park is the best birding spot in Rwanda due to its manageable walking terrain compared to the volcanoes national park. Out of the total bird population in Nyungwe forest, 121 are forest birds while 27 are endemic to the Albertine rift valley. The most spotted birds in Nyungwe forest national park include Rockefeller’s sunbird, Chapin’s flycatcher, Great blue Turaco, red collared mountain babbler, Rear Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, white-tailed flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Rwenzori nigh jar, Rwenzori hill babbler, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Congo bay owlet, Mountain Sooty Boubou, and the Neumann’s warbler among others. Experienced guides help in spotting these birds as well as explaining the unique characters of each spotted bird in the forest.
Over 300 species have been recorded in Nyungwe Forest National Park, reflecting the wide habitat diversity and altitudinal range. These include all the 25 species of the Albertine Rift mountains Endemic Bird Area that occur in Rwanda, Chapin’s Flycatcher, and Rockefellers’ Sunbird (both globally threatened, restricted-range, and biome-restricted). Also, 11 of the 23 species of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome and 71 of the 74 species of this biome of Afrotropical Highlands that occur in Rwanda have been recorded in Nyungwe forest National Park. Generally, Nyungwe is undoubtedly the most important forest for the conservation of montane birds in the region.
Best Time for Bird Watching in Nyungwe National Park
Breeding activity peaks at the end of the rainy season. During May and June, and from July to September, many birds are feeding their fledglings and keep quiet – only becoming vocally active again in January or February. Since so much forest birding depends on calls, the best time in this regard is from January to June. April is the wettest month and the logistics of birding might become a challenge, as trails get very slippery. Migratory birds are present from November to April.