Nyabarongo River Wetlands

Lesser Grey Shrike

The Nyabarongo River Wetlands is a protected area in Rwanda, covering 142.62 km². It is located in the south-east of the country, south-east of Kigali, and includes swamps and marshes in part of the flood-plain of the Nyabarongo river, the longest river in Rwanda.

The wetlands are hydrated by the Nyabarongo River, a tributary of the Nile, which empties into the Akagera River which, in turn, flows into Lake Victoria. Nyabarongo River is believed to be the source of the mighty River Nile according to some sources.

The vegetation is composed of Cladium and Typha, Cyperus latifolius, Cyperus papyrus and Echninochloa pyramidalis. Average annual rainfall is estimated to be 950–1,100 mm

Bird Watching Importance

Nyabarongo River Wetlands birding strength lies in the availability of some globally threatened species among which include; Madagascar Squacco Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Carruthers's Cisticola, White-winged Scrub-warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Sharpe's Pied-babbler, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, White-collared Oliveback, and Papyrus Canary.

In addition, eight of the eleven species of the Lake Victoria biome, three species of the Afrotropical Highlands biome that occur in Rwanda are known to occur at this site.

Among other wildlife know to this site include the Sitatunga an elusive swamp antelope.

Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus)

Kingdom: Amimalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Order: Coraciiformes, Family: Meropidae, Genus: Merops

The Blue-breasted Bee-eater is endemic to Africa and just as the name suggests, predominantly eats flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera.