|Masaka, a birding area near Kigali|
The Nyarutarama Lake, or "Lover's Lake" bordering the Kigali Golf Course, is surrounded by a track which offers excellent nature walks and bird watch ing opportunities. The Nyabarongo Wetlands al so offer walking paths and good bird watching. This protected area covers 142.62km2 with two lakes- Lake Mirayi in the south and Lake Rumira in the north. The wetlands are fed by the Nyabarongo River, a tributary of the Nile, which empties into the Akagera River which, in turn, flows into Lake Victoria.
Volcanoes National Park
To the north lies the Volcanoes National Park, which protects the Rwandan portion of the Virunga Mountains, a Transforntier Conservation Area that includes protected areas in Uganda and the DRC. Forming a complex of mostly dormant volcanoes, it includes Rwanda's highest point, Mount Karisimbi (4 507m), and the two active ones, Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira. While more famous for its mountain gorillas and other primates, Volcanoes boasts almost 165 bird species, 17 Endemic to the Area.
Nyungwe National park
The Nyungwe National Park, a tropical mountain rainforest and one of Rwanda main protected areas, and lies on the south -western slopes of the highland region that forms the great divide between the Congo and Nile drainage systems. The park protects one of the region 's largest and oldest remaining patches of montane rainforest and is home to 310 species of bird s.
The fo rests Rwanda are increasingly being sought out for the incredible birding opportunities, particularly the numerous Albertine Rift endemics; 27 to be found in Nyungwe, the highest concentration found in any single park in Africa. Amongst them are the; Regal Sunbird, Cinnyris regius, Red -Collared Babbler, Kupeomis rufocinctus, Rwenzori Turaco, Gallirex johnstoni, Handsome Spurfowl, Pternistis nobi/is, Rwenzori Batis, Batis diops, Grauer's Swamp-Warbler, Bradypterus graueri, Blueheaded Sunbird, Cyanomitra oritis, possibly the rarest of all endemic birds would be the Albertine Owlet, Glaucidium albertinium, known from only five records in the area.
Akagera National Park
The Akagera National Park in the northeast still covers a sizeable chunk of savannah. A mix of rolling grassland interspersed with broad-leafed and acacia woodland, these lower-lying lands are dissected by the Akagera River. The sought after species here would be; Red -faced Barbet, Lybius rubrifacies, Sousa's Shrike, Lanius souzae, and White-Collared Oliveback, Nesocharis ansorgei, amongst others. The park has a mosaic of wetlands and lakes, along the cou rse of the Akagera River and the eastern boundary.
Wetlands and Marshes
Rwanda's wetlands and marshes, covering just over 10% of the country, include Rugezi, the fourth of the main protected areas, as well as two other locations, Akanyaru Wetlands and Nyabarongo Wetlands, that have been declared Important Birding Areas (IBA's) by Birdlife International. If there's still time on the schedule, the keenest of birders can still head to a number of forest reserves scattered around the country.