Nyungwe Forest National Park is situated within the Albertine Rift Valley eco-region and is very popular for its dense vegetation cover in addition to being a haven to numerous bird species as compared to other National Parks within Rwanda. One of the interesting facts that set Nyungwe Forest National Park is that it is the only place where tourists can participate in the canopy walk-view the bird species from the clouds.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the largest expanse of Tropical montane Forest remaining in Central Africa. This vast Forest National Park is located in the South-west corners of Rwanda, was gazetted in 2004, and covers an area of 1020 square kilometers/394 square miles.
Go Birding in Nyungwe Forest
There are over 310 bird species including 25 species endemic to the Albertine Rift mountains, over 11 of the 23 species of the Guinea Congo Biome and about 71 of the total 74 species of the Afro-tropical highland biome that call the Tropical montane Forest of Nyungwe home. However, due to the thickness of the Forest, it sometimes becomes difficult to sight some of the bird species since majority of them thrive more on the canopies than inside the Forest, but with the Canopy walk you can be able to spot numerous bird species.
While on birding safari, the experienced tour guide will help in spotting some of the different bird species that you encounter during the nature walk within the forest and also along some of the renowned bird viewing spots that these guides will lead you to. Some of the fascinating birding spots within Nyungwe forest include Bigugu Mountain where tourists can participate in the canopy walk and have a totally breathtaking view of the canopy and also get the opportunity to sight numerous bird species at the top of the trees. Other wonderful birding sites within this forest include Kamiranzovu swamp where you can spot some of the aquatic bird species such as the Papyrus Gonolek, Karamba area close to Gisakura and the Gisakura tea estate among others. For Nyungwe Forest National Park, birding can take place from both inside the Forest and within Butare-Cyangugu path that crosses the Forest. However, it is more challenging for birding in Nyungwe Forest because of the thick canopies that make it hard to spot the high flying bird species.
Some of the notable bird species to look out for within Nyungwe Forest National Park include Pin-tailed Whydah, Great-blue Turaco, the Ruwenzori batis, chapin’s flycatcher. Slender-billed Starling, Papyrus Gonolek, the handsome francolin, the Blue-headed sunbird, the Red-faced woodland warbler, the exceptional Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Ruwenzori batis, Kungwe apalis, the Strip-breasted tit, Archer’s ground robin, the Red-collared babbler, the Kivu ground thrush, the Red-collared Mountain Babbler, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Pockefellers’s sun bird, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, the Red throated Alethe, the Grauer’s warbler, the Ruwenzori Turaco and the strange weaver among others.
While for birding within this destination, expect to have the most memorable time seeing forest bird species as well as mammal species such as L’Hoest’s Monkey, Two-spotted Palm Civet, Mona Monkey, Chimpanzees, Owl-faced Monkey, Grey cheeked Mangabey, Yellow-backed Duiker, Large-spotted Genet, Black and White Colobus monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Eastern Needle-Clawed Galago, Tree Hyrax, Side-striped Jackal, Slender Mongoose, tree species, butterfly species and other interesting attractions found within the National Park.
In conclusion, if you are a bird watcher interested in seeing the Forest Bird species, you can visit Nyungwe Forest National park a home to over 310 bird species including 25 of the Albertine Rift Bird species, 11 of the 23 bird species of the Guinea-Congo Forests Biome and over 71 of the total 74 species of the Afro-montane Highlands. This makes Nyungwe Forest National Park a bird watcher’s paradise.