Safari Ideas Where to Go

Go Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Though Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is most renowned for gorilla trekking, it is one of the best place to go birding in Uganda.

Bwindi impenetrable tropical rain forest is one of the very rich biodiversity areas in Africa. Rich in both fauna and flora, the bio-diversity of this ancient forest cannot easily be found elsewhere in the world. This park is known to shelter 120 mammals, primate species such as the rare and endangered mountain gorillas, baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.

Birding Trails

The park has two prominent sites for birding. Many birders start their birding experience from the Buhoma side, an area with great opportunities to see various Albertine Rift endemics. The celebrity in this area is the Short-tailed Warbler that cannot easily be found elsewhere in Africa. Other activities within the Buhoma area include mountain biking and nature walks to waterfalls and parts of the forest.

The bamboo trail is another amazing trail to go birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A trek along this trail can trek for a 6 hour bamboo trail to Ruhija and leading to Rwamunyoni Peak. At 2,607m, the Rwamunyoni Peak is the highest point in the park and notable for good birding.

Also of interest to birders is the three-hour trail descending to Mubwindi swamp along which one could find the endemic and localized bird that include the African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s (African Green), Broadbill the beautiful regal sunbird and Archers Robin Chat. Mubwindi swamp at an elevated of 2050m/6725ft holds Dwarf Honey guide, Stripe breasted Tit, Rwenzori Apalis and African Hill Babbler sometimes treated as a separate species, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, the rare and localized Grauer’s scrub warbler and Caruthers’ Cisticola, including very difficult to see species Fraser’s eagle owl and Rwenzori double collared sunbird.

Other birds to come across on a birding tour in Bwindi Forest include the green broad bill, Grauer’s Rush warbler, Purple breasted, blue headed and Regal sun birds, Grauer’s Broadbills, Archers Robin Chat, eastern Mountain Green bul, Strange weaver, black headed waxbill, Barstuhlmanns starling, and luehders bush shrike and handsome Francolin Montane Nightjar. An insight to others travelers, birding experience to these sites is a guarantee.

Where to Go

Top 5 Best Birding Destinations in Rwanda

There’s something to be said for travelling in summer or winter to any destination around the world but for bird watching in Africa have a lot to say like the different bird species spotted in different places, cheap accommodation, comfortable food, less crowded destinations and several trip special moments. Some travelers enjoy getting away from it all while others choose to immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions of the area they visit. If you’re the latter, then you’ll be pleased to know the main birding watching destination of Rwanda which make you spot most of the bird species listed before the trip.

Being a fascinating destination for bird watching activities, Rwanda alone boasts 670 bird species in a country small as Belgium. On a safari in Rwanda, some of the highlights of your trip will include the fabulous shoebill, Great blur turaco, Purple-bleasted Sunbird, Red-faced Barbet, Little Bee Eater, Collared Apalis, and Fraser’s Eagle Owl. Rwanda’s national parks are the main birding destinations with 100s of birds ready to be spotted by park visitors.

Akagera National park

North east of Rwanda along the border of Tanzania is where you can find the Akagera national park a park named after Akagera River a breath taking place and the most desired feature of the park.The park reflects a wide variety including 44 species of raptors the grey hornbill, crested barbet, Falco naumanni, black headed gonalek, heuglin’s robin-chat, gorgeous lilac-breasted roller, Palearctic migrants and others which had been recorded. Besides bird watching is on the prominent activities of the park a famed point for many water birds in the East African region. Boat rides and Game drives are things which go hand in hand with birding and plenty of animal species including buffalo, elephants, hippos, zebra, crocodiles, bush baby and many other mammal species are viewed. Guests also take advantage of the gentle hills blending with beautiful lowland swamps and water bodies giving way to nice photo captions of the parks beauty.

Nyungwe forest national park

Nyungwe forest is not only the Chimpanzee play ground but also a birding paradise of Rwanda.Visitors to the beautiful forest get a chance to spot over 300 bird species including Albertine Rift endemics (notable targets include Red-collared Babbler, Kungwe Apalis, Shelley’s Crimsonwing and Albertine Owlet).Birding guests also view different primate species for free since they are also sighted during the bird watching session in the the forest. If time permits don’t forget to be part of the Forest Conopy walk an activity which make you appreciate nature and its surrounding. Nyungwe shouldn’t miss out on your visit & if circumstances don’t permit find time again in the near future and return back to view over 13 species of primate, 300 bird species, 1068 plant species, 85 mammal species, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species among others.

Still to come include Volcanoes national park, Rugezi Swamp, Akanyaru, Nyabarongo and Cyamudongo.Lake kivu etc.Trust me you will see many bird species in different unique remarkable birding destinations in Rwanda .This is because Rwanda is located in the Albertine Rift and is also blessed with the green dense forests. Even in the Kigali city one can spot the African Reed Warbler and Great Sedge Warbler, the Winding Cisticola as well as the Common Waxbill, Grey-backed Fiscal, Tropical Boubou, Red-rumped and Mosque Swallows, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Great White Pelican, Common Moorhens, Grosbeak Weaver, Grey Heron, Yellow-backed (Black-headed) Weavers, and the Pied Kingfisher at Lake Nyarutarama near the golf course. Therefore always start your Rwanda birding trip right from Kigali to the parks which is rewarding to birders.

Where to Go

Birding in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Bigodi Swamp is one of the areas of interest in Kibale Forest National Park. It is located in Magombe swamp occupied by several primate species like the Red Colobus monkey, baboon, black & white colobus monkey, blue monkey grey cheeked, mangabey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey and the L’Hoest monkey. Additional Mammals such as chimpanzees, Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters plus bush bucks among others. Do you want to trek primates? why not take an adventure tour into the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary? Whether you are looking for an active safari involving primates tracking, birding or nature walks, the Bigodi swamp is one of the places that you should not miss.

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a great example of a community-based approach to the natural resources management which can be of good economic benefit to the different local residents living within this area plus the tourism industry as well.

Birders are also advised to go to Bigodi is a paradise for bird watchers. Actually skilled birders can spot up to fifty new species on a bird list. Today, 138 species of bird have been recognized within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Oamong the major bird species within the sanctuary is the grand Blue Turaco.

This swamp is supports over 200 species of birds, among which is the most well-known bird – Great Blue. The swamp is administered by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (Kafred), and it actually benefits greatly from the adjacent Kibale National Park, since there are a number of primates such as the chimpanzees that occasionally visit the swamp, adding on the diversity of wild animals that tourists see within the Bigodi.

Conservation of this swamp has its real benefits, since it earns Uganda million dollars from tourists each year. A fraction of this earning was used to build Bigodi Secondary School as well as a nursery school, in addition to pay salaries of the school teachers; furthermore bridges have also been constructed over swamps plus streams within the village.

Things to do in Bigodi Swamp:

  • Primate trekking,
  • Birding,
  • Nature walks among other.