|Great Blue Toraco,|
Rwanda has one of the highest bird counts on the continent despite being one of the smallest countries in Africa, it's size 26 338sqkms. Include the high number of birding 'specials' to be seen, and the primate experiences as a bonus, and it's no wonder that most pundits rank it within the top five destinations for those seeking a rewarding birding experience.
Rwanda has at least 692 resident, visitors and occassional visiting bird species. An additional 5 locally extinct and another 5 are to be confirmed. This brings the total to a maximum of 702 species. (Vande weghe, J.P. & G. Vande weghe- 2011 in press- Birds in Rwanda, ROB). And of these, there are at least 27 birds known as Albertine Rift Endemics, a total higher than any country in Africa, other than the DRC.
Landlocked and lying just south of the Equator, Rwanda has a diverse topography that has been shaped by the dynamics of one of Africa's primary geological features, the Great Rift Valley. Tumultuous subterranean forces have over the last 50 million years contorted, ruptured and seared the crust, giving rise to a hugely impressive array of volcanoes, lakes, mountain ranges and forests that define the landscapes of today. Collectively, they make up the narrower and shorter Western Branch of the rift valley, or, because Lake Albert is its first discernable feature, The Albertine Rift or Albertine Eco-region.