Birding in Akagera National Park

Birding in Akagera National Park

December 30, 2021
Safari Tips

Are you looking for birding safaris in Akagera national park in Rwanda? Yes, Akagera is one of the best birdwatching destination with over 480 species; the savannah birds, raptors and many endemic species can be spotted in this wonderful national park.

A boat cruise safari at lake Ihema in Akagera national park gives you endless opportunity to see several water birds including the marabou stork, cormorants, the African fish eagle, the open billed stork, herons, and egrets.

Like we said before, Akagera is a perfect birding destination with over 480 birds; 100 bird species cannot be found in any other protected area in Rwanda. Akagera national park is the best important birding area in Rwanda after Nyungwe forest, and the two protected areas complement to offer the very best birdwatching trip in Africa to see birds like white-backed and Ruppell’s griffon vultures, bateleur, and brown snake-eagle.

Apart from being an Important Bird Area (IBA), Akagera National park is a home to the big 5 animals that is to say rhinos, buffalo, elephant, leopard and the lions.

Bird species in Akagera National Park

The following is a list of birds in Akagera National park Rwanda; Amur falcon, Beaudouin’s snake eagle, Blue-shouldered robin-chat, Yellow-bellied eremomela, Booted eagle, Brown-chested lapwing, Cabanis’s bunting, Short-tailed pipit, Carruthers’s cisticola, Crested barbet, Denham’s bustard, Squacco heron,Dimorphic egret, Grasshopper buzzard, Western reef heron, Northern brown-throated weaver, Papyrus gonolek, Red-faced barbet, Red-winged francolin, Ring-necked francolin, Shelley’s francolin, Shoebill, African jacana, Crowned Lapwing, African Darter, Gray Heron, Osprey, Marsh Owl, Green Woodhoopoe, Giant Kingfisher, White-throated Bee-eater, Rufous-crowned Roller, Greater Honeyguide, Eurasian Hobby, Northern Puffback, Hooded Vulture, Augur Buzzard, Pallid Harrier, Long-toed Lapwing, Kittlitz’s Plover, Greater Painted-Snipe, Common Greenshank, Small Buttonquail, Temminck’s Courser, Gull-billed Tern, Bateleur, Slate-coloured boubou, Sooty falcon, Souza’s shrike, Striped pipit, Tabora cisticola, White-winged swamp warbler, African fish eagle, African harrier hawk, Eleonora’s falcon among others.

Best Time for Birding in Akagera national park Rwanda

Birdwatching in Akagera national park is done all year round through each season offers a different array of bird species. During the dry season which runs from June to September, birders spot so many francolins, wetland birds, nightjars and owls while in the wet season of October, travelers see lots of lapwings and many open grassland birds. The Songbirds are most active from September to November and again in March and April. The Colonial breeding waterbirds like herons, cormorants, darters, storks and ibises do breed from February to July. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Getting to Akagera National Park for a birdwatching trip.

Visitors can get to Akagera national park by either road or air transport.

By Air: Birders can charter flights from Kigali international airport to Akagera national park using Akagera Aviation in Rwanda.

By Road: Travelers can get to Akagera national park by road, with an opportunity of exploring the splendid beauty of Rwanda’s evergreen; the rolling hills and valleys while on a road trip to the park.

The park is located in the northeastern part of Rwanda, approximately 110 km from Kigali City and about 2½ hours’ drive. About 28 km of the road to the park is comprised of dirt roads; therefore, we advise birders to use 4×4wheel drive safari vehicles when traveling to Akagera. This will also help you easily navigate the murram roads and thick vegetation of the park.

Where to stay on birding safari to Akagera national park

Akagera national park has different accommodation that ranges from budget, midrange and luxury accommodation options as well as a camping option for those who wish to be closer to nature. Below is a list of accommodation to book in Akagera;

Akagera Game Lodge

Karenge Bush Camp

Rusizi Tented lodge

Magashi Tented camp

Nyagasambu Realm Beach Hotel

Vintage cottage

Akagera Resort and Country Club

What to pack for a birding tour in Akagera national park?

Are you ready for your birding safari in Akagera national park Rwanda? Check on what to pack for your birdwatching experience in Rwanda with Africa Adventure Vacations. These include the following;

  1. Binoculars for zooming small birds from a distance
  2. Good camera to enable you take as many photos as possible
  3. Field Clothes such the rain gear, gardening gloves, hiking boots/shoes among others. We strongly encourage birders to pack light, closed and waterproof shoes.
  4. Several toiletries like tissues, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, hair gels and sanitary wear for the case of women.
  5. Pack insect repellants to protect you from dangerous insect bites
  6. Extra batteries and power bank to avoid your gadgets from blacking out in the middle of the experience
  7. Several toiletries like tissues, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, hair gels and sanitary wear for the case of women.

Other top things to do in Akagera national park Rwanda

Besides bird watching safari in Akagera national Rwanda, travelers can do the following activities;

Game Drives in Akagera National Park

Boat Trips in Akagera national park

Fishing activities in Akagera national park

Hiking and Guided Nature Walks

Community Cultural Experiences in Akagera National Park

Behind the Scenes in Akagera national park

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