Birding to bring more tourists and income to Rwanda

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The Rwanda Development Board – Tourism & Conservation has set its sights on the vigorous promotion of the country as a bird-watching destination, which is boasting – depending on the sources – between 650 and 735 species, both resident as well as migratory.

Tour companies are beginning to cash in on this resource, and more and more birders are coming to Rwanda to visit the Akagera and Nyungwe national parks to seek out birds.

The bird guide association in Rwanda is also set to introduce 20 newly-trained members, while offering refresher and advanced courses for existing guides to improve their knowledge and skills. Most notably, new guides are due to be drawn wherever possible from local communities around the major bird-watching spots to have financial benefits go to where they are most needed and have the neighbors turn into friends of conservation rather than oppose it, as is often the case when the money is not fairly spread out.