A Travel Guide For Birding In Akagera National Park Rwanda
A travel guide for birding in Akagera national parks will give tourists that are planning to visit the park for bird watching safaris know about the different information and what it takes to do birding in Akagera national park. Akagera national park is located in the northeastern part of Rwanda covering a total area of 1,122km and it’s among the best birding areas in Rwanda.
Akagera national park is home to over 400 bird species that have been so far recorded in the park of which some are endemic to this area. The bird species of Akagera national park can be seen during the nature walks, the boat cruises, and the game drives. Birds are not the only attractions in this park but also the vegetation, the lakes, the cultural people, and the animals such as lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, and much more.
What people are involved in the birding activity?
The guide: A guide is a person who is well informed about the different bird species living within the park. Akagera national park has over 400 bird species and so the guide must know almost each and every bird within this park. The guide should be able to spot each and every bird in the area and should be able to know its name and also describe it to show the birders how it differs from each other.
The ranger: Each and every activity in Akagera national park involves a well-trained ranger. The role of the ranger is to protect the tourists from dangerous animals and any other problem while you are doing the activity. Akagera national park has so many dangerous wild animals such as the bug five – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes which may try to act you while carrying out your birding activity.
The role of the armed ranger in the birding activity is to protect you from any of the dangerous animals in the park which can try to attack you while carrying out the birding activity. The armed rangers do move with firearms to scare the animals that might try to act you while doing the birding activity. The other role of the park guides is to lead the guides through different birding spots where most of the birds concentrate. This doesn’t however mean that the animals in Akagera national park are dangerous its just done just in case.
To be part of birding activities in Akagera national park, you will have to pay the park entrance fee in case you are going purposely for birding and then get the birding permit from the park headquarters or you can use any of the local tour operators to help you book the permit before arriving in the country. The birding permit is what you present to the guides or wardens to enable you to be part of the birding activity.
During the birding activity in Akagera national park, you will spot a number of bird species of which some are permanent residents while others are migratory birds. You can move with your birding book, a pair of binoculars to see distant objects and also a camera to take photos. Most of the birders carry out birding on foot but you can still spot birds of Akagera on a boat cruise where you will spot water birds like the papyrus gonolek, grey crowned crane, shoebill stork, open billed stork, African jacana, and even during the game drives.
The bird species in Akagera national park include African jacana, blue-shouldered robin-chat, white-winged swamp warbler, helmeted guinea fowl, beaudouin’s snake eagle, papyrus gonolek, souza’s shrike, African grey hornbill, booted eagle, tabora cisticola, red-winged francolin, cardinal woodpecker, browned-chested lapwing, grasshopper buzzard, dimorphic egret, grey crowned crane, cabanis’s bunting, carruther’s cisticola, and long-tailed cormorant.
Other birds of Akagera national park include ring-necked francolin, woodland kingfisher, ring-winged francolin, palm-nut vulture, black-headed weaver, white-browed coucal, great egret, short-tailed pipit, shoebill stork, white-browed coucal, African rock pigeon, pin tailed whydah, saddle-billed stork, crested barbet, African darter, woodland kingfisher, shelley’s francolin, long created eagle, and saddle-billed stork to mention but a few.
What to pack for birding in Akagera national park?
After confirming your birding safari in Akagera national park, what follows next in your mind is what to pack so that you have a perfect safari. Some of the items we think are helpful in the birding activity include a birding book which contains different birds, a camera to take photos, a pair of binoculars to spot distant birds, a hat to protect you from direct sunshine, insect repellents, waterproof hiking books, pen, reusable drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, facemask, and sanitizer.
Rules and regulations of birding in Akagera national park
- You are advised to follow the guide and don’t move far away from him in order not to get lost in the forest.
- Unnecessary movements are not allowed during the birding activity because you can scare away the birds and you might not be able to see most of them.
- You are advised to keep the voices low in order not to scare the birds away
- If you need to ask any question, you can ask the guide instead of the birders who might not give you answers correctly.
- Taking pictures using a flashless camera is not allowed as this might scare away some of the birds