Bird Watching in Rwanda and Uganda

Bird watching in Rwanda and Uganda

For bird lovers, Uganda and Rwanda have got you covered. Almost in every national park in Uganda or Rwanda, you are rest-assured to enjoy bird watching at any time of your visit, thanks to the swampy areas and wetlands in these countries. To enjoy bird watching in Rwanda and Uganda, it requires you to prepare very well knowing that you will have to stay out for long hours and have some considerable hiking skills as you go your way to meet the bird species. Considerable hiking skills are required to enjoy bird watching spots in the Rwenzori Mountains, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Nyungwe national park, and Volcanoes national park due to the mountainous areas in these regions.

Bird Watching Spots in Rwanda

When it comes to bird watching, Rwanda is among the top African exciting destinations for birding tours with over 701 bird species of which 27 are Albertine Rift endemics. Notable highlights of bird species to see include the Red-Faced Barbet, Shoebill Stork, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Papyrus Gonolek, and the Miombo Wren-Warblers. In Rwanda, bird watching safaris can be experienced in the Important Birding Areas (IBAs) including the three National Parks of Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Nyungwe Forest National Park. The other birding spots in Rwanda are; Rugezi Swamp, Akanyaru, Nyabarongo, and Cyamudongo. Bird watching in Rwanda can be enjoyed throughout the year, with the migrant bird season being from December through to February.

Bird Watching Spots in Uganda

Uganda the Pearl of Africa, is home to over 1050 bird species which undescribably makes it a top destination for bird watching tours in Africa. The vast number of Uganda’s bird species make up 10% of all of the worlds bird species with an extended 24 of the Albertine rift endemics with the rest found in DR Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. The maintained large number of bird species in Uganda is inspired by the continued protection of the birds as the birds were always preserved as cultural norms and totems by the locals who often believed that birds often were being used to communicate messages from the gods and seasons.

Uganda spans Central Africa and East Africa making it home to species from both areas. Birding happens both in protected areas and in private areas, with habitats for birds being wetlands and papyrus swamps, forests, Savannah, agricultural lands, woodlands, rocky ridges and Afro-pine moorland. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was voted Africa’s number one birding spot with 23 of the 24 Albertine endemics found in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park was also voted number nine best locations for birding in Africa. A birding trip to Uganda is sure to leave one with a memorable experience.

Bird Watching in Rwanda and Uganda

Some of the major birdwatching spots in Uganda include; Bwindi impenetrable national park, Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Semuliki national park, Mt Elgon national park, Rwenzori mountains national park and Kibale national park. More birding sites include Maramagambo forest, Mabira forest, Budongo forest, Kalinzu forest, Katonga game reserve, Mabamba Swamp, Nyamuriro swamp, and several agricultural lands.

When to go for bird watching in Rwanda or Uganda 

Bird watching in Rwanda and Uganda is an all year round activity! However, the period from December to February is the migrant bird season during which Rwanda hosts lots of Wintering and Palearctic migrants. Birding infrastructure such as trails, accommodation, and roads leading to the birding spots have been developed. Professional bird guides have been trained and are available to lead birding tours in Rwanda. In fact, many of the prominent birding spots in Rwanda have knowledgeable site guides.