Virunga national park in DR Congo is an amazingly undiscovered bird watching destination in Africa. Over 706 species can be spotted in the park including a total of 24 endemic species.
Looking at the general composition of bird species in DR Congo as a country, over 1185 bird species have been recorded and 32 species are globally threatened. This country has the largest avian biodiversity in African and avid birders shouldn’t miss the chance to visit one of the best birding sites- Virunga National Park in DR Congo to spot several species of birds. Birders are woken up by beautiful sounds and voices of the enormous bird species which arise from the trees as early as 5:00 am. This kind of experience is very rare can only be executed if you visit the mighty Virunga National Park.
Virunga has become a very popular bird watching national park in recent years and tourism is being actively encouraged due to improved infrastructure, security and professional service providers at different lodges and ranger guides.
Therefore, if you are planning to go bird watching in Virunga national park Democratic republic of Congo, expect to spot the following bird species;
Rwenzori Turaco, Francolinus nobilis, Musaphaga, skimmers, shoebills storks, egrets, grey herons, ibises, grey-throated barbet, Grauer’s swamp warbler, alpine swift, African olive pigeon, white-headed woophoopoes, Angolan swallow, Rwenzori batis, tropical boubou, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Spot-flanked Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, White-fronted Bee-eater, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-throated Bee-eater, Olive Bee-eater, Croaking Cisticola, Short-winged Cisticola, Zitting Cisticola, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Banded Prinia, Little Rush Warbler, Eastern Rush Warbler, Bracken Warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Cassin’s Flycatcher, African Dusky Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Bronzy Sunbird, Malachite Sunbird, Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Ruwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Woolly-necked Stork, European White Stork, Saddle-bill Stork, Great White Pelican, Pink-backed Pelican, Regal Sunbird, Little Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, European Roller, Broad-billed Roller, African Pygmy Kingfisher, African Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Lesser Kestrel, Tambourine Dove, Namaqua Dove, Swamp Nightjar, Mozambique Nightjar, Standard-winged Nightjar, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Mottled Spinetailed Swift, papyrus yellow warbler, rockeffeller’s sunbird and Nectarinia Rockefeller found in the bamboo and much more will be sighted on your birding safari to this destination.
Best Time for Bird Watching in Virunga National Park
Birding in Virunga national park can be done throughout the year. The park is always wet and often shrouded in mist. Therefore, bird watching is best and easiest during the dry season, from June to August, and to a lesser extent in December and January when it rains slightly less. This is also perfect time for mountain gorilla trekking experiences. Migratory bird species are present from November to April every year.
What to Wear and Carry for Birding within Virunga National Park
Just like most activities in the jungles of Virunga National Park, travelers interested in bird watching activity in this park should know what to pack ad carry during their safari. These items include; long sleeved shirt given the fact that you will searching for birds from the jungle hence need to protect your arms from grass scratches and tree branches, wear long trousers to protect your legs from being scratched, carry a camera and pair of binoculars to capture every bird species, put on strong hiking shoes, carry a rainproof jacket to be ready just in case it rains, pack enough drinking water, carry a guidebook, Get your backpack ready to carry your camera, binoculars and drinking water. Other items may include; Flashlight, iPad/tablet, Chargers & cables, Universal adaptor, Cold & flu/hayfever medication, Tonic/energy booster, Cough drops/lozenges, Buff or bandana among others.