BIRDWATCHING IN RWANDA
Birdwatching in Rwanda Experience
Birding in Rwanda
Birdwatching in Rwanda is one of the best experience one can have during his/her trip in Rwanda especially having more than 1 day in Rwanda. The country hosts over 750 species! Being a small country with an area cover of just 26,338 square kilometers, Rwanda contains the highest concentration of birds per square kilometer in Africa.
Birdlife in Rwanda is excellent, giving visitors the chance to see some of the Albertine Rift endemic bird species. Perhaps the key area for bird watching in Rwanda is the vast Afromontane forest of Nyungwe National Park, which is recognised as an IBA (‘Important Bird Area’) by Birdlife International. Look here for some of Rwanda’s Albertine Rift endemics, including the Albertine owlet, collared apalis, red-collared mountain-babbler and Grauer’s and Neumann’s warblers.
Birdwaching in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwest of Rwanda along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is contiguous with Mgahinga Gorillas National Park as well as Virunga National Park. It was gazetted in 1925 as a small area surrounded by Mikeno Karisimbi, and Bisoke, the intention was to protect mountain gorillas from the poachers. The park boasts of about 165 bird species, 17 endemic to the area. It is must visit for birding to catch the rare species and also enjoy the breathtaking Virunga scenery and a chance to encounter the Gorillas.
Birdwatching in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Park is situated in southwest of Rwanda between the border of Rwanda and Lake Kivu. Nyungwe is also divided north-south by mountains which reach 2,600- 2,900m which forms part of the Congo- Nile watershed. The park protects the region’s largest montane rainforest and is home to 310 species of bird. some of them are as follows: Regal Sunbird, Red-collared Babbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Spurfowl, Rwenzori Batis, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Albertine Owlet.
Birdwatching in Akagera National Park
The Akagera National Park lies in the north east of the Rwanda, outside the high rising Albertine belt. The park has a mosaic of wetlands and lakes, along the course of the Akagera River and the eastern boundary. Some of the sought after species in the wetland areas are: Carruther’s Cisticola, Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek and the Shoebill.
More than 525 species of birds are found in the park, some of the most sought after birds of Akagera are: Red-faced Barbet, Sousa’s Shrike, White-collared Oliveback.
Birdwatching in Cyamudongo Forest
The forest also has four species of the Guinea Congo forests biome, it also includes 8 of the 24 species of the albertine Rift Mountains and 33 of the 74 species of the Afro tropical highlands biome which occur in Rwanda. The other wildlife species found here include; chimpanzees, as well as butterflies.
Birdwatching Safaris in Rwanda
Go2Rwanda has made it easy for you to find the perfect lodge in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda during your gorilla Trek tour or safari. Next are the accommodations we picked for you; from Luxury to budget.
The luxury accommodation is Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge because it is high up on hill, has great views, cozy rooms with fireplaces and amazing service. We also recommend Virunga Lodge which is a beautiful eco-lodge but an hour’s drive from the trek starting point. When you already have to be up and ready at 6am adding an hour drive to that is not insignificant. For a medium budget the best choice is Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. It does not claim to be more than it is but it is very convenient and the rooms are quite spacious. For the more modest budget Le Bamboo Gorilla Lodge was perfectly comfortable.
Accommodations in Volcanoes National Park
Where to Go Trek the Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys?
Volcanoes National park is a home for golden monkeys, a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects among other creatures which together make a complete Rwanda safari package. and that’s where the gorilla and golden monkey trek happens.
Volcanoes national park is a stop center for all Rwanda gorilla safaris sheltering the highest number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area. The strategic location is roughly 2 hours drive from Kigali international airport make it the most accessible gorilla national park in the world.
Getting Visa to Rwanda
Visit the Rwanda Directorate general of Immigration and Emigration : https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=28 which takes you to a visa application form which picks your personal information.
Depending on your travel plans, choose the best visa choice available;
– Single entry visa – allows entry in Rwanda alone for 30 days – 50 USD
– Transit Visa for 3 days – only you in the country for only 3 days – 50USD
– East African Tourists Visa – Allows you to cross to all East African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda – 100 USD
The supporting document to attach is your tour Itinerary if traveling to visit rwanda, Invitation letter, other document with respect to your travel intentions or your flight details in PDF format. You MUST ATTACH documentation at this stage or the visa request will not be processed.
Gorilla Trekking Permit
Price of a Rwanda Gorilla Permit
– $1500 – Non Residents, East African Residents, East African Citizens, Rwandan Residents, Rwandan Citizens
– 30% Discount (US$ 1,050) on gorilla permits if visiting other Rwanda national parks (Akagera national park, Nyungwe national park) for 3 days and more during the low season of November – May
– 15% discount (US$ 1,275) on conference guests who stay pre & post MICE events to see gorillas
– $15,000 for Private gorilla trekking of an entire group with an exclusive personalized tour guide service
– US$ 30,000 for a minimum of 3 visitors for 3 consecutive days (Behind the scenes)
What To Wear!
- Have a small backpack as it is useful to carry your water, packed lunch, camera and binoculars.
- You need light weight hiking boots for this activity/strong waterproof walking boots due to nature and altitude of the forest. So get shoes that have good ankle support (the ones that come above the ankle bone).
- Take a light jumper and lightweight breathable waterproof jacket/trousers as temperature is variable and weather conditions can change
- Lightweight long wool socks which are comfortable for a mountain tropical forest
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Rented a car for a couple days, and the service was excellent! I would definitely use their services again.
February 3, 2021
We rented a Toyota Rav4 for a self drive in Akagera national park. It was the best price we could find in Kigali and the whole experience was smooth and... read more
June 9, 2021