Birding in Volcanoes National Park
Birding in Volcanoes National Park : Volcanoes national park is well known for being a birders haven where various tourists who enjoy the bird watching activity go. The volcanoes national park is located in the northwest of Rwanda with an area cover of 160 square kilometers and is known to be a tropical rainforest park with attractive 5 Volcano mountains. Rwanda is currently known for having over 700 species of birds where 45% is found in the Volcanoes national park and thus making it the most attractive and enjoyable activity while on a birding safari in East Africa. The birding activity is the most affordable Rwandan Safaris within the country unlike the gorilla trekking and other activities.
The national park has over 200 bird species where records of 1980 show that the park hard 180 birds and in 2004 more 15 species were recorded after a survey. With its small surface area, Volcanoes national park offers a great moment to view almost half of its bird species. Over 180 bird species recorded within the park 17 of 25 are Albertine rift endemics, 13 and 16 bird species are from the Rwenzori mountains and Virunga Mountain respectively, 3 globally threatened bird species such as African green broadbill, kivu ground thrush and lagdens bush-shrike, and 53 are afro-tropical highlands biome species that call the park its home.
Other bird species that tourists are likely to run into while on a birding safari in Rwanda include; Rwenzori batis, masked mountain apalis, grauers rush-warbler, Rwenzori hill babbler, red faced woodland warbler, dusky crimson-wing, yellow eyed black flycatcher, strange weavers, handsome francolins, collared apalis among others.
There birds that are local birds and are found in swamps such as the grauer’s rush warbler and over 16 species which are native to Albertine rift. These include handsome francolin, Rwenzori turaco, archers round robin, the red-faced woodland warbler, dusky crimson-wing, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, Rwenzori batis and the strange weaver among others. Birding activity can be linked to other activities within the park like golden monkey trekking, wildlife viewing, and Gorilla tracking among others.
Whereas other activities are majorly carried out in the dry season that’s not a case with the bird watching because it can be enjoyed in both seasons but also best in the rainy season because that’s the time when birds are breeding and also tourists are able to see the migratory bird species.
This is mostly in the months of November and April. But birding can be done throughout the whole year mostly the dry months of June, July, august and December.
While on a birding safari within the Volcanoes national park, tourists are able to view other wildlife species that inhabit within the park such as giant forest hogs, duikers, buffaloes, forest elephants, bush pigs, red tailed monkeys, spotted hyenas, baboons, bushbucks as well as primates such as the black and white colobus monkeys, endangered golden monkeys as well as the endangered mountain gorillas. Also, the five inactive volcano mountains can be hiked while on a Rwanda safari such as bisoke, sabinyo, gahinga, karisimbi and muhabura of Virunga Mountain.
Due to the national parks lavish vegetation, bamboo grassland, afro-alpine as well as bushland vegetation with montane forest that is favorable for the various bird species of the Albertine rift mountain natives. Therefore, with such beautiful vegetation and climate makes the birding safari an amazing and beautiful experience within the volcanoes national park.