There are over 180 species of birds that are protected in the Volcanoes National Park. These include 17 of the total 25 Albertine Rift endemics, three globally threatened bird species such as the Kivu ground thrush, Lagden’s bush-shrike as well as the African green broadbill.
Additionally, 13 species and 16 species are native to the Rwenzori Mountains and Virunga Massif respectively while 53 of the 74 species of the Afro-tropical highlands biome that occur in Rwanda call the Volcanoes National Park home.
Other common bird species you are likely to encounter during a birding safari in Volcanoes National Park include Rwenzori Turaco, Archer’s ground robin, strange weavers, handsome francolins, Collared Apalis, Dusky crimson-wing, Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, the Red-faced woodland warbler, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, the masked mountain Apalis, Grauer’s Rush-warbler, Rwenzori Hill babbler and many others.
Unlike other tourist activities within this Park that are mainly conducted within the dry season, Bird watching is different because it is best enjoyed during the rainy season because that’s when you will get higher chances of spotting the migratory bird species.
What to carry and Wear during Birding
Carry a birds guidebook, camera, binoculars, enough drinking water and snacks, a back pack for carrying your lunch, drinking water and gadgets, wear a hat and sunglasses, wear long sleeved shirt and long trousers because you will be traversing through the jungles with unpleasant vegetation that can injure your legs and arms, strong waterproof hiking boots, long socks, carry a walking stick, a rain jacket and a sweater due to the unpredictable weather. Don’t forget to hire a porter to help carry the backpack.
Besides gorilla trekking, birding is also another reason to visit Volcanoes National Park to sight over 180 species of birds including African green broadbill, the Kivu ground thrush and Lagden’s Bush-shrike among others.