Rwanda wildlife safaris

Rwanda wildlife safaris- wildlife safaris/tours in Rwanda

Wildlife Safaris/tours in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills!!

Rwanda wildlife safaris/tours have continuously attracted the attention of prospective travelers interested in exploring this incredible gem. Wildlife in Rwanda is majorly divided into Fauna and Flora.

Rwanda is a country gifted by mother nature; dubbed a country of a thousand hills, it contains a great percentage of both fauna and flora in Africa and the world at large and a stunning landscape with uncountable hills making it an extremely unique destination in East Africa.

Rwanda wildlife safaris have been enhanced by the lush flora. These include forests like Nyungwe forest, Gishwati, and many other plantation forests. A Rwanda wildlife safari to one of these tropical forests will reward you with various adventurous and eco-tourism activities such as Chimpanzee trekking, Birding, Butterfly watching, nature walks, watching other primate species like baboons, white and black colobus monkeys, golden monkeys and the Gorillas.

Tree climbing lion
Tree climbing lion

Rwanda wildlife safaris is so peculiar in that it combines the green, lush forests with wild Savannah. Besides its world-renowned mountain Gorilla population, Rwanda is home to over 96 other mammal species along with 665 birds, 31 amphibians, 206 reptiles and 2,288 species of plants.

You can enjoy some of the lovely conventional game viewing within the undulating landscapes of the Akagera plains in Akagera national park. Watch out for leopard, giraffe, elephant and hippo in Lake Ihema, the second largest lake in Rwanda. While the Volcanoes national park at the boarder with Uganda presents a life time experience, encountering the majestic Mountain Gorillas that inhabit this region.

Rwanda wildlife safaris – Birding safaris / tours in Rwanda

Birds in Rwanda – birding tours in Akagera national park

One of the prime birding destinations in Rwanda is Akagera national park. The wetlands and lakes of Akagera National Park shelter the elusive Shoebill stork, providing one of the easiest sites in the region where it can be seen.

In addition, Akagera supports a mixture of acacia and papyrus species, including Red-faced Barbet, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Papyrus Gonolek, White-headed, Black and familiar Chats, Caruthers and Tabora Cisticolas, White-winged and Broad-tailed Warblers and Miombo Wren-Warblers.

With this diverse population of bird species, birding safaris in this park are popular all year round amongst regular visitors. And the immense variety and abundance of species has never failed to impress. From the vast concentrations of waterfowl to the myriad of savanna species. There is never a dull moment, with more than 500 species recorded in Akagera. Serious birders can seek out several endemic species as well as rare gems such as the near threatened papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri), which is restricted to papyrus swamps, the localized red-faced barbet (Lybius bidentatus) and the sought after swamp flycatcher (Muscicapa boehmi).

Rwanda birding Safaris / tours in Gishwati national forest

Elsewhere, birding safaris in Rwanda can be undertaken in the lush forest of Gishwati, located in the heart of this beautiful country. The Gishwati Forest used to be one piece in a complex system of rainforests through the middle of Africa. It used to extend west beyond Lake Kivu connecting with the rainforests of the Congo, and south connecting with Nyungwe Forest.

These forest systems have become fragmented due to population increase and deforestation. The Rwandan Genocide put strain on the site as refugees fled. The population increased as people were displaced from their homes.

This soft spoken forest reserve habours over 84 species of birds. These include Woodhoopoes, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Old World Warblers, and Mountain Yellow Warbler.

This is a haven for serious birders where birds are viewed much more easily, just above your head without much stress.

There are also good forest tracks for birding based around the Gisakura Guesthouse. And the RDB (Rwanda Development Board) Tourism & Conservation Campsite at Uwinka. Here some of the more skulking species can be sighted. These include; the Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Collared Apalis, and Shelley’s and Dusky Crimsonwing.

Other special birds here include White-bellied robin-chat, Doherty’s and Lagden’s bush-shrikes. White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Great Blue Turaco. Barred long-tailed cuckoo and White-bellied crested flycatcher. At night, Rwenzori Nightjar is not uncommon. Albertine Owlet may be found as well. There might be a possibility to see the Congo Bay-owl.

Rwanda birding safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Birds in Nyungwe Forest national park

This national park is famously known for its incredible number of primates which makes it an outstanding haven for chimpanzee tracking safaris for any traveller undertaking a safari in Rwanda.

Nyungwe forest national park is home to over 275 bird species. 13 primate species (25% of Africa’s total) can also be found here. Additionally, there are 275 bird species, 85 mammals, 1068 plant species, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species.

Birds in Nyungwe forest national park include majority of Albertine Rift endemics. These include Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Batis. Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Archer’s Robin-chat, Rwenzori Hill Babbler. Grauer’s Rush, Neumann’s and Grauer’s Warbles, Masked Mountain Apalis, Stripe-breasted. Tit and Strange Weaver, and a full range of Rwenzori double-collared, purple-throated, blue-headed and regal Sunbirds. The elusive of all is the Red-collared Mountain Babbler, which has its only accessible site here, as does Kungwe Apalis.