Gishwati forest is among Rwanda’s famous birding spots; home to over 100 bird species. It is located in the Northwest of Rwanda in the Albertine Rift region. Rwanda being a small country is gifted with a lot to see including birds and of which these are over 650 species recorded in the country. Most birds are Albertine Rift endemics and others migrate from DR Congo.
Gishwati forest can be accessed on the road between Karongi and Rubavu and it is a fully protected reserve, it has great sceneries of tees, tea estates among others hence an outstanding forest for bird watching, just come ready with all you need to watch birds. This forest not only harbors birds but also over 58 species of tree which are used as homes to some birds.
While in the forest during bird watching one can be in line to also have an amazing time seeing other wildlife species like chimpanzees, golden monkeys, baboons and blue monkeys that found Gishwati as a home.
As earlier said over 100 bird species can be found here for example; Red-throated Alethe, Ruwenzori Turaco, Strange Weaver, Ruwenzori Batis, Regal Sunbird, Purple-breasted Sunbird, the Grey Crowned Crane, Stripe-breasted Tit and Martial Eagle among others.
The best time to do birding would be during the dry season, since many birds are in the forest and also the forest trails are not muddy or slippery to make it difficult for birders to move through the forest. Also birders need binoculars, pointers, sturdy shoes, birder’s book, enough drinking water among others as they go birding, visitors will be guided by skilled bird guides.
Rwanda is an amazing country famously known as the “land of a thousand hills”, so it hosts a number of animals and birds. The bird sanctuaries apart from Gishwati forest reserve include; Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Cyamudongo forest, and Nyungwe forest.