Bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park; Nyungwe forest national park is one of the oldest rainforests in Africa located in southwestern part of Rwanda close to Lake Kivu and the border with Burundi. The national park was first established as a forest reserve in 1903 and later upgraded to a national park in 2004. Nyungwe forest national park covers an area of 970 square kilometers and it’s a home of different wildlife species including 75 mammals including duikers, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, 13 primate species like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, dwarf galago, butterflies among others.
Nyungwe forest national park is one of the best bird watching destinations in Rwanda in that it’s a home of over 310 recorded bird species including 25 Albertine rift endemic species, 11 of the 23 guinea-Congo forest biome, montane birds, migratory birds among others. Bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park can either be done in the morning or in the evening and during the birding experience, you will be accompanied by an experienced bird guide and follow well-constructed birding trails such as Karambi trail, Bigugu trail, Gisakura trail, Kamiranzovu trail among others where you will be able to spot different bird species including the Great Blue Turaco, White Tailed Flycatcher, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red Collared Mountain Babbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Red Throated Alethe, Ruwenzori Batis, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Kivu Ground Thrush, Archers Robin-chat, Ruwenzori Apalis, Dusky Crimson wing, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Kungwe Apalis, Regal Sunbird, Handsome Francolin, Stripe-breasted Tit, Neumann’s Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Congo Bay Owlet, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Rockefellers Sunbird, Barred Long Tailed Cuckoo, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Strange Weaver, White Bellied Robin Chat, Grey-chested Kakamega, Doherty’s Bush Shrike, Blue Turaco among others.
Best time to go bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park
Bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park can be done all year round though the best time is during the wet season in the months on March to May and September to November because during this period there is plenty of food for the birds therefore you will be able to view variety of colorful and migratory bird species.
Where to stay in Nyungwe forest national park
There are a number of accommodations in and near Nyungwe forest national park where you can stay during your birding safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including One and Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Nziza Ecolodge, Chimpanzee Lodge Gisakura, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Kitabi Eco-Centre, Golden Monkey Hotel, Mariah Hill Resort, Rwiza Village, Gisakura Guest House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Gisakura Family Hostel, E.R.A Gisakura Visitor Guesthouse, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Rusizi Progress Hotel, Nyungwe Eco Village, Uwinka Campsite, Café Resto Bar Keza among others.
What to pack for your bird watching safari in Nyungwe forest national park
There are essential items that visitors should pack or carry when going for their bird watching adventure including a field guide book, hiking shoes, a pair of binoculars, waterproof rain jacket, camera and extra batteries, insect repellent, a wide brimmed hat, energy snack and drinking water, back pack among others.
Other activities in Nyungwe forest national park
Apart from bird watching, Nyungwe forest national park offers other adventurous activities that tourists can engage in during the safari including chimpanzee trekking where you will be able to spend one hour with the chimpanzees, nature walk/ hiking, canopy walk, tropical waterfall hike, colobus monkey trekking where you will be able to view different primates such as red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, Angola colobus monkeys, Mona monkeys, among others.
How to get to Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest national park is located in southwestern part of Rwanda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kigali through Muhanga, Kings Palace in Nyanza, Butare and then to the park headquarters which takes about 6 hours’ drive.
Nyungwe forest national park can also be accessed by air transport means whereby tourists will book charter helicopter flights with Akagera aviation from Kigali international airport to one and only Nyungwe house. Travelers can also book flights with Rwanda air from Kigali airport to Kamembe airport in Rusizi and then connect to the park headquarters by road which takes about one hour drive.
For more information about bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park, do not hesitate to contact us Achieve Global Safaris or visit our website to book a birding safari with us.