Birding trails in Nyungwe forest national park
Birding trails in Nyungwe forest national park are those routes that tourists who visit the park use to encounter a number of bird species. Nyungwe forest national park is one of the best birding areas in Rwanda so birders on a safari to this country shouldn’t miss out on this area. The park is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda covering over 970 sq. km. Nyungwe forest national park hosts over 310 bird species of which 29 are endemic to the Albertine region.
Isumo waterfall trail
Isumo waterfall trail happens to be one of the most difficult trails in Nyungwe forest national park. Finishing the trail takes 4 hours and it gets tourists to the biggest waterfall in the national park which is called Isumo waterfall. On your way to the waterfall trail, you will pass through Gisakura and from here you will have a distant view of the beautiful tea plantation and also Lake Kivu. Using Gisakura national park enables birders to see birds like Common stonechat, stripped pipit, blue-headed coucal, tropical boubou, Rwenzori turaco, and many others.
Karamba trail is located in the western part of Nyungwe forest national park and is one of the easily hiked trails in Nyungwe. Kabamba trail is fat and is open not like other trails in the park. Some of the bird species likely to be spotted in this trail include yellow ramped tinker bird, neumann’s warbler, Rwenzori turaco among others.
Bigugu trail is one of the best birding trails in Nyungwe forest national park and completing it takes 6 hours. The trail is 7 km long and it stops at an elevation of 2950m making it a difficult trail because it is steep especially in the rainy season. Using the Bigugu trail, you are likely to see birds such as red collared mountain babbler, Rwenzori turaco, chestnut owlet, and white-bellied robin among others.
Kamiranzovu trail is one of its kind in Nyungwe forest national park. The trail has both plants and animals and completing it takes 3 hours. The trail is 6km long and while on this trail, tourists get to spot birds such as grauer’s swamp warbler, blue turaco, Kivu ground thrush, short-tailed warbler among others. The fact that the trail is located at high altitudes and full of swamps, there is a high concentration of birds on this trail.
Inganji trail is one of the newest birding trails in Nyungwe forest national park and its name is derived from a beautiful bird species called turaco. The bird-watching trail is located on the side of Gisakura reception. Some of the bird species you are likely to spot using Inganji trail include blackfaced rufous warbler, short-tailed warbler, Albertine owlet, and handsome spurfowl among others.
Bird species in Nyungwe forest national park
There are over 310 bird species in Nyungwe forest national park and some of them are handsome spurfowl, grauer’s swamp warbler, including dusky Crimsonwing, regal sunbird, archer’s robin cat, buff-throated apalis, blue-headed sunbird, Albertine owlet, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, dwarf honeyguide, red-throated alethe, red-faced woodland warbler, handsome francolin, mountain masked apalis, Kivu ground thrush, purple-breasted sunbird, red collared babbler, Rwenzori apalis, neumann’s warbler, Rwenzori batis, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, strange weaver, Rwenzori turaco, strip-breasted tit, and shelley’s crimsonwing among others.
How much is a birding permit in Nyungwe forest national park?
A single birding permit in Nyungwe forest national park costs $50 per person per day. Tourists that are intending to do birding for more than 3 days in Nyungwe forest national park do pay $256. The birding permits are sold at the park headquarter Uwinka.
What is the best time to encounter birds in Nyungwe national park?
The period between December to February and June to September are considered to be the best months for birding in Nyungwe forest national park. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall, the birding trails are dry, the vegetation is short giving clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable. During the above months, there are a lot of birds in the park including the migratory ones due to plenty of food in the park.
What to pack for birding?
While coming for a birding safari in Nyungwe forest national park, we advise tourists to pack items such as long-sleeved clothes, a camera, a pair of binoculars, waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, a hat, gloves, a birding book, waterproof day pack, water bottle, energy-giving snacks, toiletries, facemask, and sanitizer.
Accommodation on a birding safari in Nyungwe forest national park
Visitors on a birding safari to Nyungwe forest national park have several accommodation facilities that are constructed outside the park, Where to stay while in Nyungwe depends on your budget because hotels are categorized in form of budget, mid-range, and luxury options and they do include One & Only Nyungwe House, Gisakura Guest House, Gisakura Family Hostel, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, E.R.A Gisakura Visitor Guesthouse, Peace Guesthouse, Hotel du Lac, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Rusizi Progress Hotel, Comoran Lodge, Golden Monkey Hotels, and Delta Resort Hotel among others.