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Akagera National Park is not only a wildlife viewing destination but also a real Bird watcher’s Paradise. With over 750 species of birds that call Rwanda home, Akagera national Park is undeniable one of the country’s Important Bird Areas. Most of this Park’s land is sprawled within the Mubari-Migongo sub-region found in the North-eastern part of the country, at the border with Tanzania and Uganda borders.

Akagera National Park’s landscape is covered by rolling hills as well as narrow valleys to its west. The eastern side of the park are dominated by flood-plains and swamps while the South of Buganza and Gisaka sub-region are wetter than the other places and on the Northern side of Akagera National Park is the Mutara sub-region where the Vegetation is characterized by open grasslands dominated by Cymbopogon, Themeda and Hyparrhenia while the tall grasses-characteristics of traditional pastoralism and repeated fires are part of the Akagera National Park.

The heterogeneous vegetation zones and ecosystems of Akagera National Park comprising of mainly three types of grasses i.e. Hyparrhenia filipendula, Themeda triandra and Cymbopogon afronardus. Nonetheless, acacia and combretum also dominate in some parts of the National Park. There are more than 250 species of trees within Akagera National Park. Towards the Lakeshores to the East of the Park, the savannah becomes more heavily wooded with some forests appearing along the Lake edges. Some of the Gallery forest species within the Park include Acacia polyacantha, Albizia species and some Ficus species. Not only that, the floodplains and marshlands are found within the River valleys dominated by mainly Cladium, Cyperus and Miscanthidium among others.

With such varied vegetation zones, the Park offers shelter to a number of wildlife species. Not only that, this Park takes prides in over 520 exceptional species of birds that include species of global concern such as the elusive shoebill stork, the papyrus Gonolek and then Papyrus yellow warbler, over 44 species of raptors, several Palearctic migrant species such as the Great snipe and lesser kestrel  among others. There are also a number of Zambian Biome species such as the Long-tailed Cisticola, the Arnott’s Chat and the Sauza’s Shrike, 9 of the 11 species of the Lake Victoria Basin Biome species and one specie of the Guinea-Congo Forest Biomes among others.

The other notable bird species to look out for in Akagera National Park include the Glossy Ibis, the African Openbills, the Pink-backed Pelicans, the white browned coucal, the Emerald-spotted wood dove, the African fish eagles, the Black-headed Gonolek, the Hammerkops, African pied wagtail, the Red-necked spurfowl, the Ross’ Turaco, Lilac-breasted rollers, the wattled lapwing, the Grey-backed fiscal, The African jacana, the Bare-faced go-away, the grey hornbill, the African wattled lapwing, the Brown-snake eagle, the Heuglin’s robin-chat, the Crested barbet, Grey-crowned cranes, the woodland Kingfishers, the Fork-tailed Drongo, the grey-backed fiscal, Marabous storks, the Pied Kingfishers, the Spur-winged lapwing and the Ring-necked Dove among others.

What to Carry for birding in Akagera National Park

In order to enjoy your Birding safari in Akagera National Park, you have to carry a camera to capture all the bird species, a pair of binoculars, sunscreen, convertible pants, a Hat, bird guidebook, strong waterproof hiking boots, a backpack, a small rain jacket, garden gloves, enough drinking water and packed lunch among others.

Best Time for Birding within Akagera National Park

Unlike other tourist activities, the best time for this activity is the rainy season from late February to May and October to November because it’s when you get the encounter numerous migratory bird species.

Besides bird watching, Akagera National Park can be visited for other activities such as boat rides within Lake Ihema, game viewing to encounter Big five animals (Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes, Rhinos and Elephants), Antelopes, the Rothschild giraffes, Burchell’s zebras and nature walks among others.