16 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari
During this 16 days birding and wildlife safari in Rwanda you shall explore the beautiful landscapes of Rwanda and cover a variety of habitats that will provide many bird species and plenty of wildlife including several primates and big game. From the vibrant wetlands of Kigali to the dense rainforests of Nyungwe and the vast savannahs of Akagera National Park, each day brings new discoveries and thrilling adventures.
Enjoy exhilarating birding safaris, awe-inspiring encounters with endangered gorillas, and breathtaking hikes through lush forests. This immersive journey promises to leave you with cherished memories, a deeper appreciation for Rwanda’s natural treasures, and a newfound love for its remarkable avian inhabitants.
Highlights of the 16 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari
- Day 1: Arrival date in Rwanda and birding in Kigali
- Day 2: Full day birding within the Nyabarongo wetlands and woodland in Bugesera District
- Day 3: Trip to Akagera National Park for birding and wildlife safari
- Day 4: Full day birding safari within the Akagera National Park
- Day 5: Another day birding and safari in Akagera National Park
- Day 6: Birding in Akagera and transfer to Kigali
- Day 7: Transfer to Musanze within the north of Rwanda and birding in Buhanga Forest
- Day 8: birding in rugezi overwhelm (IBA)
- Day 9: Volcano trekking and birding in volcanoes in Volcanoes National park (IBA)
- Day 10: Gorilla monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park, lake kivu Transfer.
- Day 11: Transfer to Gishwati – Mukura National park and full day birding in Gishwati forest
- Day 12: Transfer to Nyungwe National park and canopy walk tour
- Day 13: Birding in Nyungwe, Gisakura – Karamba – Kamiranzovu Marsh
- Day 14: Birding in Nyungwe: Mt. Bigugu trail Day
- 15: Discretionary chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park Day
- 16: Transfer to Kigali for your flight
Detailed 16 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari
Day 1: Arrival in Rwanda and Birding in Kigali
Upon your arrival at the airport in Rwanda, you will be warmly greeted by your knowledgeable guide, who will provide you with a brief introduction to the country and the upcoming adventure. After settling into your accommodations, embark on an afternoon birding excursion in the vibrant city of Kigali. Explore various birding hotspots within the city, including urban parks, gardens, and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of species, such as the Madagascar Squacco Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Caruthers’s Cisticola, and many more.
Day 2: Full Day Birding in Nyabarongo Wetlands and Woodland in Bugesera District
Today, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Nyabarongo Wetlands and surrounding woodlands in the Bugesera District. These habitats are known for their remarkable bird diversity, offering a unique opportunity to spot a wide range of species. With the guidance of your expert birding guide, explore the wetlands, open grasslands, and patches of woodland, where you may encounter species such as African Fish Eagle, Grey-crowned Crane, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, and numerous waterfowl.
Day 3: Trip to Akagera National Park for Birding and Wildlife Safari
Leave Kigali behind and embark on a scenic drive to Akagera National Park, a true gem of Rwanda’s wildlife and birding experiences. As you enter the park, the landscapes transform into open savannahs, rolling hills, and scenic lakeshores. Begin your birding adventure, keeping an eye out for African Marsh Harriers, Long-crested Eagles, Red-faced Barbet, and other savannah species. Along the way, you may also encounter a variety of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes.
Day 4: Full Day Birding Safari within Akagera National Park
Today is dedicated to fully exploring the birding wonders of Akagera National Park. Embark on game drives and birding excursions, exploring different habitats within the park. Venture along the riverine forests, grassy plains, and acacia woodlands, where a multitude of bird species can be found. Look out for the strikingly beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller, African Openbill Stork, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, and other captivating species that call Akagera home.
Day 5: Another Day Birding and Safari in Akagera National Park
Continue your birding and wildlife safari in Akagera National Park, as you traverse different regions of the park in search of avian treasures. With your expert guide, venture deeper into the park’s diverse habitats, including the papyrus swamps, lakeshores, and thickets. Be rewarded with sightings of Malachite Kingfisher, African Jacana, Black-headed Gonolek, and other endemic and migratory birds. Marvel at the harmony of nature as you witness the coexistence of wildlife and birdlife in this remarkable ecosystem.
Day 6: Birding in Akagera and Transfer to Kigali
Spend the morning engaged in birding activities within Akagera National Park, taking advantage of the final opportunities to spot any missed species. After a fulfilling morning, bid farewell to the park as you embark on the return journey to Kigali. Reflect on the incredible birding encounters and magnificent wildlife sightings you experienced in Akagera.
Day 7: Transfer to Musanze within the North of Rwanda and Birding in Buhanga Forest
Today, travel northwards to Musanze, a region renowned for its stunning landscapes and biodiversity. En route, stop at the Buhanga Forest, a small but significant forested area rich in birdlife. Explore the forest trails with your guide, keeping an eye out for species like Ruwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Handsome Francolin, and other forest-dwelling birds. Marvel at the tranquility of the forest as you listen to the melodious songs of the resident bird species.
Day 8: Birding in Rugezi Swamp (Important Bird Area)
Embark on an exciting birding expedition in the Rugezi Swamp, an Important Bird Area (IBA) in the Rugezi Marshland. This wetland habitat is a haven for a wide range of bird species, including waterbirds, raptors, and passerines. Wander along the swamp’s edge, scanning the reed beds and open waters for species such as Shoebill Stork, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, and the elusive Sitatunga antelope, which inhabits this unique ecosystem.
Day 9: Volcano Trekking and Birding in Volcanoes National Park (Important Bird Area)
Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you trek through the lush forests of Volcanoes National Park. Accompanied by experienced guides, ascend the slopes of one of the volcanoes in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. While focusing on gorilla trekking, keep your ears open for the calls and songs of various bird species, such as the Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Regal Sunbird, and Albertine Owlet. This unique combination of gorilla trekking and birding offers a truly immersive wildlife experience.
Day 10: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Transfer to Lake Kivu
Today, embark on an extraordinary gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National Park. Journey into the dense forest, surrounded by the mist-shrouded slopes of the volcanoes, as you track and encounter a habituated gorilla family. Witness the awe-inspiring presence of these gentle giants in their natural habitat, observing their behaviors and social interactions. After an exhilarating encounter, transfer to the picturesque shores of Lake Kivu, where you can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake.
Day 11: Transfer to Gishwati-Mukura National Park and Full Day Birding in Gishwati Forest
Travel to Gishwati-Mukura National Park, a newly established park offering remarkable birdwatching opportunities. Spend the day exploring the Gishwati Forest, home to a diverse range of bird species. Delight in the sights and sounds of the forest while observing rare and endemic birds in their pristine habitat.
Day 12: Transfer to Nyungwe National Park and Canopy Walk Tour
Journey to Nyungwe National Park, a verdant rainforest teeming with avian wonders. Immerse yourself in the dense canopy of the forest as you embark on an exhilarating canopy walk, providing a unique perspective and a chance to spot bird species that inhabit the upper levels of the forest.
Day 13: Birding in Nyungwe: Gisakura-Karamba-Kamiranzovu Marsh
Explore the diverse habitats of Nyungwe National Park as you venture through the Gisakura, Karamba, and Kamiranzovu Marsh areas. Accompanied by experienced guides, discover a plethora of bird species, including many Albertine Rift endemics. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility of this captivating park.
Day 14: Birding in Nyungwe: Mt. Bigugu Trail
Embark on an exciting birding adventure along the Mt. Bigugu Trail, where you can witness the remarkable biodiversity of Nyungwe National Park. As you hike through the forested slopes, be on the lookout for species such as Rwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, and other elusive forest-dwelling birds.
Day 15: Optional Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park
Today, you have the option to embark on a chimpanzee trekking experience in Nyungwe National Park. Accompanied by experienced guides, venture into the forest to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. Listen to their vocalizations and marvel at their agility as they swing through the treetops. Alternatively, you can spend the day birding in different areas of the park, focusing on spotting more avian species.
Day 16: Transfer to Kigali for Departure
After an unforgettable journey exploring the diverse birdlife and wildlife of Rwanda, it is time to bid farewell to this remarkable country. Transfer back to Kigali, where you can reflect on the incredible experiences and memories made during your birding and wildlife safari. Depart from the airport with a deep appreciation for Rwanda’s natural wonders and the conservation efforts in place to protect its remarkable biodiversity.
- Bottled mineral water
- transportation in a 4X4safari car
- professional English speaking driver/guide
- professional birding guide
- game drive
- bird watching as per the itinerary
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenditure on stuff like telephone/internet, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, etc
- Medical insurance and many more