Rwanda Celebrates its Birdlife at Britain’s National Birdfair
Visitors to this year’s British Birdfair in Rutland will discover the wonders of Rwanda’s birds, from the Great Blue Turaco to the most sought after Shoebill stork. The Rwanda Development Board/Tourism and Conservation will be showcasing the country named “Land of a Thousand Hills”, from the 21-23 August 2009.
A landlocked central African country, smaller than Belgium, Rwanda is a verdant country of fertile and hilly terrain, home to over 670 species of birds. Though famed for its big game and primates, Rwanda boasts fascinating wildlife that will appeal to all nature-loving tourists. In particular, its unique avian wildlife makes this an ideal destination for bird lovers. It is projected that by 2012, Rwanda will generate 11,000,000 USD from birding.
Described as the birdwatcher’s Glastonbury, Birdfair encompasses the whole spectrum of the birdwatching industry whilst at the same time supporting global bird conservation. With hundreds of stands selling the latest products for wildlife enthusiasts, as well as lectures, quizzes and book-launches, this is the event of the year for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The various hot spots for birdwatching in Rwanda include Nyungwe, Akagera and Volcanoes National Parks, Cyamudongo Forest, Buhanga Eco-park, Rugezi Swamp, Nyabarongo Wetlands, Akanyaru Wetlands and Lake Kivu Islands. Some of the highlights of Rwanda’s birdlife to be found in the country’s rolling hills, rugged mountains, swamps and lakes include:
- The elusive Shoebill stork, which has made a home for itself in the wetlands of Akagera National Park in the eastern part of the country – one of the densest concentrations of waterbirds on the continent.
- The outlandish Great Blue Turaco, a popular highlight of western part of the country.
- The rare Ring-necked Francolin, that have also made their home in Akagera
- The not-to-be-missed fish eagles, asserting their status as the avian monarchs of Africa’s waterways
- African Bird Club describes Nyungwe National Park as the only place in Africa where the Red-collared Mountain Babbler can be seen in safety.
- If the amazing avian wildlife were not enough, there are also 13 primate species including man’s closest living relative; the chimpanzee.
To raise awareness of the importance of birds, a Birding Association has been set-up, bringing together all bird lovers from both the Government and private sector, working closely with the Tourism Board.
Emmanuel Werabe from the Rwanda Development Board/ Tourism and Conservation commented, “We’re excited to be travelling to the UK to showcase our country’s unique birdlife. Whether you’re a seasoned bird-watcher, an intrepid mountaineer or a curious culture-seeker, there really is something for everyone in Rwanda. This weekend we’re looking forward to meeting birdwatchers that are keen to expand their horizons.”
The Rwanda Development Board/ Tourism and Conservation will be at Stand 20 in Marquee 3 from Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd August.