Birds of Rwanda

Rwanda is a wonderful destination for birdwatchers, with an incredible 670 species recorded in an area which is smaller than Belgium and has less than half the land surface of Scotland. Prime bird-watchers destinations include Nyungwe (275 species including numerous forest rarities and 24 Albertine Rift endemics) and Akagera (savannah birds, raptors and water-birds). Almost anywhere in the country can prove rewarding to birders: an hour in the garden of the capital’s larger hotels is likely to throw up a variety of colorful robin-chats, weavers, finches, flycatchers and sunbirds.


Rwanda can be visited at any time of the year. The long dry season, June to September, is the best time for tracking gorillas and hiking in Nyungwe, since the ground should be dry underfoot and the odds of being drenched are minimal. The wettest months are March to May. An advantage of traveling during the rainy season is that the scenery is greener, and the sky less hazy (at least when it is not overcast), a factor that will of an advantage to photographers. The season is also the best period to track chimpanzees in Nyungwe, while the months of November to March will hold the greatest appeal for birders, as resident birds are supplemented by flocks of Palaearctic migrants.