Birds of Volcanoes National Park : With about 200 bird species, Volcanoes National Park is one of the best birdwatching destinations in Rwanda. Although the park is renowned for mountain gorillas with gorilla trekking being its highlight activity, it also has interesting avifauna to keep bird lovers excited. The highest percentage of this park’s species are forest birds and most of them are found in Nyungwe National Park.

Of the total bird species in Volcanoes National Park, 17 of them are endemic to the Albertine rift and 16 of them are endemic to the Virunga Mountains.

Common bird species in Volcanoes National Park

While on a birding tour in Volcanoes National Park, there are high chances of seeing the Black-crowned waxbill, common stonechat, Baglafecht weaver, Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Double-collared sunbirds, Collared Apalis, Archer’s Ground robin, Dusky Crimsongwing and Red-Faced woodland warbler among others.

Special birds in the park include the scarlet-tufted sunbird and the Grauer’s swamp warbler.

Birdwatching in Volcanoes National Park is done in the morning and evening and it starts with a briefing at the park offices.

Best time for bird watching in Volcanoes National Park

Birders can visit the park any time of the year although the best time is during the dry season. This is because the wet season gets the park shrouded in mist hence limiting clear views of the birds. The dry season from June to early September and January to February is friendly for bird watching because the park trails are dry and the clear sky gives good lighting for more sightings. Note that this is also the best time for gorilla trekking.

For those interested in seeing migratory birds, the wet season (between April and November) is the best.

Other things to do in Volcanoes National Park

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Golden monkey tracking
  • Dian Fossey Tomb hike
  • Iby’Iwachu Cultural tour
  • Volcano climbing

Packing list for bird watching in Volcanoes National Park

To have the best of your experience, the right packing list should be a priority for your birding tour. Ensure to pack this equipment;

  • A pair of binoculars
  • A camera with a good lens
  • A notebook and pen
  • A guide book
  • Bird journal

Clothing and other apparel required for the activity include long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, a hat, a light rain jacket, closed shoes, stockings, and a backpack. During bird watching, you will also need to carry drinking water (you can pack a reusable water bottle) and energy-giving snacks. A first aid kit is essential on any African safari and it should not be missed on these birding tours too.

How much is bird watching in Volcanoes National Park

A birding permit in Volcanoes National Park costs $55 per person per day. The same amount is charged per person in a group. The fee comes with a professional birder/guide assigned by the park. It excludes meals, drinks and tips.

Where to stay while on a birding tour in Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is a major safari destination with many options for accommodation. Groups, couples, and solo travelers should simply give us a range of their budget and we shall recommend a suitable lodge from these below and others.

  • One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
  • Singita Kwitonda Lodge
  • Volcanoes Virunga Lodge
  • Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
  • Amakoro Songa Lodge
  • Eagle View Lodge
  • Urugano Virunga Palace
  • La Plame Hotel
  • Villa Gorilla Da Vinci Gorilla Logde

Looking for an African safari expert to organize your birding tour in Rwanda? Send an email to or Feel free to make any other inquiries regarding East African Safaris.

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