+250 798 288 830 info@lifetimeafrica.com KK 15 Ave, Kigali-Rwanda
+250 798 288 830 info@lifetimeafrica.com KK 15 Ave, Kigali-Rwanda

12 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari

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Rwanda has got many different bird species some of which you can spot while on this 12 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari. Visit Rwanda with Lifetime Africa Expeditions.

Safari Highlights​ Enquire Now

  • City tour with a visit to the Genocide memorial.
  • Story-flavored lunch at Hotel Des Milles Collines famously known because of the movie “Hotel Rwanda”.
  • Visit to the National Museum and Kings’ Palace.
  • Chimps Trekking.
  • Lake Kivu.
  • Gorilla Trekking.
  • Iby’Iwacu cultural village.

12 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari

Detailed Itinerary.

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome to the “land of thousand hills”. A representative of LIFETIME AFRICA EXPEDITIONS will be at the airport to pick you and transfer you to your hotel. Depending on a time of arrival, you have an opportunity for a short Kigali city tour. This will mark the start of the 12 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari.

Day 2: Kigali – Akagera National Park

After breakfast at your hotel, we set off for Akagera National Park in Eastern Rwanda bordering with Tanzania. We will bird the marshy areas for species like cattle Egret, Hamerkop, Sacred and Hadada Ibis Augur Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, and Pied Crow, Village, Black-headed, and Veillots Black Weavers.

We arrive at our lodge later that evening and check in for the night.

Day 3-4: Birding in Akagera National Park

Have breakfast at your lodge, thereafter, you will spend the next two days birding in Akagera National Par, home to about 500 bird species. In the morning we bird the Savannah and woodland areas for species such as Pearl-spotted owlet, brown snake eagle, red-faced barbet and shouldered robin chat etc. The afternoon we take a boat trip on Lake Ihema for African fish eagles, Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Rufous-bellied Heron, Greater Swamp Warblers, Slender-billed Weavers, and Swamp Flycatcher. More species include Goliath, Black-headed, and Squacco Herons, Little Bittern, Grey Crowned Crane, African Open-bill, African Darter, African Wattled Plover, Long-toed and Senegal Lapwings, Water Thick-knee, and Giant Kingfisher etc

While birding Akagera National Park, we may encounter herds of buffaloes, Impala, Zebras, Water-bucks, Elephants, and Lions.

Later in the evening, you will drive to your lodge for a well-deserved rest.

Day 5: Akagera National Park – Nyungwe Forest National Park

Have breakfast at your lodge. Depart early in the morning, drive to Nyungwe National Park Via Butare; a rainforest reserve of Nungwe at an altitude range of between 1600 M-2950 M above sea level with temperatures varying between 0°C and 30° C; average day temperatures 15°C. Nyungwe receives rainfall ranging 1800-2500 mm per year. Rainy season is September Nyungwe receives rainfall ranging 1800-2500 mm per year. Rainy season is September to May, dry season June to August with some dry weeks in December and January, the main features and attractions in Nyungwe forest include largest montane rainforest remaining in Africa, Mt. Bigugu (2925M), Kamiranzovu marsh (13 Km²). Nyungwe forest has 260 species of trees and shrubs and Over 100 species of orchids and giant lobelias. For those interested in botany, the flora in Nyungwe comes as an added bonus. On the way, you will have a short visit to the National Museum and King’s Palace. Lunch in Butare thereafter proceed to Nyungwe National park.

Nyungwe Forest National Park has more than 700 bird species, in the swampy marshes and papyrus, we search for White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek and Grauer’s Swamp Warbler.

Day 6-7: Nyungwe Forest National Park – Albertine Rift Endemics

Have breakfast at your lodge. Early morning birding, Nyungwe Forest National Park is part of the remaining large montane forests on the African continent, it is rich in birds especially the Albertine Rift endemics. We have three days of birding Nyungwe forest and some of the species we search for include the Handsome Francolin, Great Blue and Rwenzori Turacos, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Chestnut Owlet, Oliver and Elliot’s bellied Robin-Chat, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Mountain Masked, Black-faced, and Collared Apalises, Rwenzori Batis, Neumann’s Short-tailed Warbler, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, and Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, etc.

Day 8: Nyungwe Forest National Park – Chimps Trekking & Canopy Walk

Depart after early breakfast for a hike into Nyungwe Forest in search of Chimps. There is a lot more in Nyungwe than just chimps. Mangabeys, various other primate species plus lots of forest dwelling birds will be encountered on the way. Lunch at the lodge. After lunch, you will do the Canopy walk. Later you will be transferred to your lodge for overnight.

Day 9-10: Nyungwe Forest National Park – Lake Kivu

After breakfast, depart from the Nyungwe National Park to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu.

You will depart with packed lunch. We will have several stopovers for birding in the marshes, forested and agriculture areas. This journey can take the whole day depending on how active the birding en route. Lake Kivu will provide the much-needed rest and opportunities for birding along the shores on arrival that evening.

Lake Kivu is a 2,650 sq.km. extraordinarily beautiful inland sea enclosed by steeps, green terraced hills along Eastern Rwanda.

Three resort towns of Gisenyi, Kibuye, and Cyangugu are located along its shores and are connected by a wild roller-coaster road that tumbles through lush plantain fields and relic patches of misty rainforest to offer sweeping views over the blue waters with the nearby Virunga volcanoes providing a spectacular backdrop. The road winds endlessly in a countless number of twists and turns and the common storm clouds lend a ruggedly romantic panorama to this region.

Day 11: Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla Trekking

Early breakfast at your lodge. 0630hrs; Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park HQs. 0700 hrs; Registration where the park staff determines which group of gorillas you will visit. The park staff discusses your fitness level and advises you of the trekking times and conditions to the various groups based upon their location in the park the previous evening. There are a total of 80 gorilla permits available each day with a maximum of eight trekkers visiting any one group.

Once the trekkers are put into groups, each group’s lead guide briefs the trekkers of the trekkers procedures as well as the “do’s and don’ts” while in the presence of gorillas. After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the starting point.

Porters may be hired for the trek to carry your backpack and gear; cost, US$10 per person/per day. We advise that you utilize this service. Trekking can take from two to six or more hours if the gorillas move before the park rangers located them the next morning. The guides stop frequently to allow trekkers a chance to rest and take photos along the way.

Have lunch at the lodge

If time/weather permit, in the afternoon take up an optional visit to the twin lakes: Bulera and Ruhondo or visit the local community activities at extra cost US$20 per person. Later you will be transferred to your lodge for an overnight.

Day 12: Volcanoes National Park – Kigali International Airport

Have breakfast at your lodge, thereafter enjoy the scenic drive from the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes and drive South some banana plantations on a scenic drive to Kigali. Everything and everywhere, sheer green and hanging on the hills; Rwanda truly – land of a thousand fertile green hills.

Upon arrival in Kigali, you will be transferred to Kigali International Airport for your departure flight.

End of the 12 Days Rwanda Birding and Wildlife Safari.