Birding in Akagera National Park

Birding in Akagera National Park Rwanda

Birding in Akagera National Park is a top tourist activity in the park whereby travelers get a chance to spot different bird species in the vicinity of the park. Akagera National park is known for being the only place where you can find the big 5 animals in Rwanda which include the rhinos in akagera National Park, the elephant, buffalo, leopard and the lions. The park has a number of attractions and the different activities for tourists on their Rwanda tour can participate in to ensure that they have an amazing time while they visit Akagera National Park. 

The park has a number of water bodies like Lake Shakani and Lake Ihema, Akagera River where you can see a number of amphibians and the reptile species like the Nile crocodile, chameleon, monitor lizard among other species. Although the park is a home to different mammal species and a number of different activities, birding in the park is the most rewarding activity that tourists in the park can participate in to ensure that they have amazing experiences this is because the park is home to 408 bird species.

Bird species in akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is one of the best places to go birding in Rwanda because the park is home to 408 bird species in Rwanda of which 100 of the recorded bird species in Akagera National Park are not recorded elsewhere in Rwanda. While visiting akagera national park, you should get ready to have the birding adventure of your entire lifetime because you will not only see the different bird species but also see a number of exceptional views and attractions.

Some of the notable bird species that can be seen while you visit Akagera National Park to participate in birding include; Amur falcon, booted eagle, red-faced barbet, sooty falcon, Cabanis; bunting, crested barbet, slate-colored boubou, Souza’s Shrike, striped pip[it Denham’s bustard, Eleonora’s falcon, tabora cisticola, brown crested lapwing, shoe bill stork, western reef heron, yellow-bellied eremomela blue shouldered robin-chat, grasshopper buzzard, northern brown-throated weaver, papyrus gonolek, dimorphic egret among other bid species in akagera national park.

Best time to go birding

Birding in akagera national park can be carried out all year throughout because you will see a number of bird species regardless of the weather seasons. It should be noted that Rwanda is characterised of two wet and two dry seasons where the wet season is from the month of Mid February-mid May and September –December and the dry season during the months of June-mid September and from December- February. During the different seasons, you will have a chance to get surprises from the different bird species. 

During the dry season, you will have a chance to see many wetland birds like the Francolins, nightjars, owls, African king fisher’s and many others in the wet season, you will have the opportunity of seeing a number of grassland birds like the songbirds, blue turaco, Ross’s turaco, coqui Francolin, long-tailed cisticola, bubbling cisticola, Miombo wren warbler and so on. Waterbirds can be seen during the boat cruise in Akagera National Park where you will see the different bird species like the cormorants, darters, herons, storks, and migratory birds are usually seen in November to April during the combination of short rains and dry months.

Where to see the bird species

Every spot in Akagera National Park is ideal for bird watching because it is the absolute perfect habitat for the different bird species in Rwanda, in the savannah grassland of the park you will see a number of bird species like the grasshopper sparrow, hens low’s sparrow, sedge wren, Spiza, Mc Cown’s longspur, Bachman’s sparrow among other bird species these can be seen during the game drives around the park.

Near the different swamps of the park, you will see a number of wetland birds like the endangered shoe bill stork, spoonbills, great crested grebe, papyrus gonolek the halcyon among other bird species. Waterbirds can be seen during the boat cruise where you will see a number of different water birds like; the African kingfisher, African sacred ibis, pied crow, bee-eater, sea eagle, circinae, pipits, cattle egret, yellow billed stork, weavers, long claw among other bird species.

Requirements for bird watching

  • Binoculars are a necessity during birding that you should not avoid missing on your packing list for your birding adventure in Akagera National Park.
  • Birding checklist, in order to have an amazing activity, you should have a checklist to identify the bird species you have seen in the park which will be an interesting activity.
  • A hat should also be included to protect you from the scorching sunshine during your birding safaris in Akagera national park
  • The guide is also vital during the birding adventure because he will help you to identify the different bird species that you are unable to identify and give you a brief history of them.
  • A camera although it is optional, will enable you to capture the beautiful moments within the park.
Birding in Akagera National Park
Birding in Akagera National Park

After your birding safaris in Akagera National Park, you can participate in other activities in Akagera national park to have an amazing adventure within the park like Cultural tours around akagera national park where you will have the opportunity to visit the Humure refugee village where you will be taught different activities like banana beer making, local butter making, pottery among other interesting activities. 

You can also participate in the boat cruise in Akagera National Park where you will get the opportunity to see a number of attractions like the crocodiles’ sun basking, the different water birds, herbivores like the zebras, impalas quenching their thirst while in the park.

Game drives in akagera national park can also be rewarding because you will be able to see a number of animal species, for instance, the morning game drives you will see early risers like the herbivorous animals, for example, the zebras, topis, buffalos, zebras, bushbucks, giraffes among other animal species that can be seen grazing in the plains of the park. During the nocturnal game drives, you will see a number of carnivores in the park like the leopards, hyenas, lions trying to catch Rey for dinner which is a fun experience.

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