Akagera National Park Birding Checklist 2023: With over 525 species lured by its diverse flora and wildlife, Rwanda’s Akagera national park is great for bird viewing. Savannah birds and raptors are frequent, and numerous indigenous species, such as the red-faced barbet, can be seen. Short boat trips are also available on the lakes of Akagera, allowing you to get up close and personal with water birds such the marabou stork, African fish eagle, open-billed stork, herons, cormorants, and egrets.

Following the recent reintroductions of lion and black rhino, Rwanda’s only savannah reserve, Akagera National Park, is once again a Big Five destination. Other animals include elephants, buffalo, giraffes, and hippopotamuses. Akagera falls short of the more well-known parks in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania in terms of pure animal watching. The park, on the other hand, is quite gorgeous, and the birding is extremely rewarding.

If you’re lucky, you might spot a shoebill stork. This location is also a great spot for bird watching herds, with over 525 species and a large number of migratory birds. This area is also an excellent location for seeing the rare and gorgeous papyrus Ganolex.

This is a birder’s paradise, and birding tours are quite popular among tourists to this region. The sheer quantity and variety of species will surprise you. There is never a dull moment in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, with almost 500 bird species reported, from the vast concentration of waterfowl to the multiplicity of savannah birds.

If you like birds, this is a great place to see many indigenous species as well as rare treasures like the papyrus Gonolek, which can only be found in papyrus wetlands. The black-headed ganalex, lilac-breasted roller, heuglin’s roin chit, Ross’s Turaco, created barbet, swamp flycatcher, and red-faced barbet are among the other species.

Birding Tours in Akagera national park.

Birdwatchers can see a range of savanna-related bird species along Akagera National Park’s game paths in the morning and evening. This park is well-known across East Africa for its quantity of water birds, and it is also one of the few places in the world where papyrus endemics may be seen. One of the most common species you will see on your safari is the lovely lilac-breasted roller.

Akagera National Park Birding Checklist.

If you are a bird enthusiast on a birding  Rwanda Tour in  Akagera Park, here are some bird species to add to your list:

  • Yellow-bellied Eremomela
  • White-winged swamp warbler
  • Western reef heron
  • Tabora cisticola
  • Striped pipit
  • Souza’s shrike
  • Sooty falcon
  • Slate-coloured boubou
  • Short-tailed pipit
  • Shoebill
  • Shelley’s francolin
  • Ring-necked francolin
  • Red-winged francolin
  • Red-faced barbet
  • Papyrus Gonolek
  • Northern brown-throated weaver
  • Grasshopper buzzard
  • Eleonora’s falcon
  • Dimorphic egret
  • Denham’s bustard
  • Crested barbet
  • Carruthers’s cisticola
  • Cabanis’s bunting
  • Brown-chested lapwing
  • Booted eagle
  • Blue-shouldered robin-chat
  • Beaudouin’s snake eagle
  • Amur falcon

What is the best time to do birding in Akagera National Park?

The birds of Akagera National Park are plentiful throughout the year. Every season delivers a fresh group of animals. The dry season, which lasts from June to September, is perfect for francolins, numerous marsh species, nightjars, and owls. During the early wet season, which begins around October, lapwings and other open grassland species thrive, Akagera National Park Birding Checklist 2023.

The peak season for songbirds is September through November, with a small break in March and April. Water birds that breed in colonies, such as cormorants, darters, herons, storks, and ibises, often breed between February and July. Migratory birds visit the national park from November to April.

How much is birding in Akagera National Park.

Birding in Rwanda’s Akagera park costs $50 per person per day and is best paired with a guided game drive or boat ride on Lake Ihema or Shakani.

Akagera National Park Birding Checklist 2023
Grasshopper buzzard

What to pack for your birding tour in Akagera National Park?

Pack essential items such as your bird checklist, binoculars, a hat/cap, long trousers/shirts, sunscreen and insect repellent cream, snacks, water bottle, a good pair of hiking boots, a light raincoat/jacket (in case it rains), and a camera when planning your bird watching safaris in Akagera National Park.

Akagera National Park includes 1085 square kilometers of low altitude meadows and woodlands and is located off the beaten road, near Rwanda’s border with Tanzania. It is littered with several marshes and lakes that follow the meandering route of the River Akagera and the surrounding mountain ranges.

Akagera National Park is a wonderfully beautiful park with a diverse range of ecosystems that supports over 12 antelope species, including the tiny oribis, the handsome chestnut-coated impala, topi (also known as tsessebe in Southern Africa), and the world’s largest antelope, and the Cape eland among others.

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