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  2. Bird Watching in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Bird Watching in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe, recognized as an IBA (Important Bird Area) by Birdlife International, is a great birding destination with over 300 species recorded. Forest birding is never easy, but the wide road running through the park offers a great vantage point into the canopy. Of specific interest are the many Albertine Rift endemics (birds restricted to the Albertine Rift). From a total of 37 birds restricted to the range – all of which are recorded in the difficult-to-access DRC – 27 can be spotted in Nyungwe. Of these 27 species, three are unrecorded elsewhere on the eastern side of the Albertine Rift, namely the Albertine owlet, red-collared babbler and Rockefeller’s sunbird.

Best Time for Bird Watching

There is good birding to be had in Nyungwe throughout the year, with a few caveats. Breeding activity peaks at the end of the rainy season. During May and June, and from July to September, many birds are feeding their fledglings and keep quiet – only becoming vocally active again in January or February. Since so much of forest birding depends on calls, the best time in this regard is from January to June. April is the wettest month and the logistics of birding might become a challenge, as trails get very slippery. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

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