Africa Green Travelers

13 Days Bird Watching in Volcanoes Nyungwe and Akagera NP

13 Days Bird Watching in Volcanoes Nyungwe and Akagera NP

13 Days Bird Watching in Volcanoes Nyungwe and Akagera NP

On this 13 Days Bird Watching in Volcanoes Nyungwe and Akagera NP , you’ll traverse diverse habitats, including volcanic mountains, ancient rainforests, and savannah plains, encountering a myriad of bird species along the way. 

With expert guides leading the way, prepare to be enthralled by the remarkable avifauna of Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest, and Akagera National Park. Immerse yourself in the vibrant birding hotspots, witness rare endemics, and soak in the natural beauty that makes Rwanda a haven for bird enthusiasts.

Safari Highlights 

  • Day 1: Kigali Birding
  • Day 2: Akagera National Park
  • Day 3: Full day birding on game drives and boat cruise on Lake Ihema
  • Day 4: Drive to Lake Muhazi for birding and relaxation
  • Day 5: Drive to Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 6: Full day birding in Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 7: Optional Gorilla Trekking or Birding around Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo & Drive to Gishwati Mukura Forest
  • Day 8: Full day birding in Gishwati Mukura Forest
  • Day 9: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park
  • Day 10: Full day birding in Nyungwe Forest
  • Day 11: Optional Chimpanzee Trekking or Birding in Nyungwe Forest
  • Day 12: Drive to Kibuye or Karongi for Boat Cruise and Relaxation
  • Day 13: Drive back to Kigali

Day 1: Kigali Birding

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, meet your knowledgeable bird guide for a briefing. Your day will be dedicated to bird watching in the wetlands around Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Keep an eye out for various bird species, including the Madagascar Squacco Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Caruthers’s Cisticola, White-winged Scrub-warbler, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Sharpe’s Pied-babbler, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, White-collared Olive back, and Papyrus Canary.

Day 2: Akagera National Park – Evening Game Drive

Following breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Akagera National Park. This savannah habitat provides a perfect environment for birding, thanks to the park’s permanent rivers. As you arrive, meet the park rangers and enjoy an evening game drive, where you may spot nightjar species such as the Pennant-winged nightjar, Eurasian nightjar, Black-shouldered nightjar, Fiery-necked nightjar, Rwenzori nightjar, Swamp nightjar, Freckled nightjar, Slender-tailed nightjar, and Square-tailed nightjar.

Day 3: Full Day Birding and Boat Cruise on Lake Ihema

Prepare for a full day of birding adventure with packed lunch. Start with a game drive, exploring the park’s diverse landscapes. Later, enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Ihema, offering excellent opportunities to spot various bird species such as the Amur falcon, Beaudouin’s snake eagle, Blue shouldered robin-chat, booted eagle, Brown chested lapwing, Cabanis’s bunting, Carruther’s cisticola, crested barbet etc

Day 4: Lake Muhazi Birding and Relaxation

Continue your birding adventure as you journey to Lake Muhazi. Take a boat ride on the lake while enjoying the opportunity to spot diverse bird species.

Day 5: Drive to Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast, drive to the renowned Volcanoes National Park, known for its exceptional birding opportunities. This park, located on the edge of the Rift Valley, is a prime destination for observing Albertine Rift endemics. Along the way, take your time to bird watch, maximizing your chances of spotting various species. Upon arrival, check-in at your lodge for relaxation and overnight stay.

Day 6: Full Day Birding in Volcanoes National Park

Start your day with a hearty breakfast before heading to the park headquarters. Embark on a full day of birding in the forested areas of Volcanoes National Park. Keep your eyes open for species such as the Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Grauer’s Warbler, Regal, Blue-headed and Purple-breasted Sunbirds, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, and Neumann’s Warbler.

Day 7: Optional Gorilla Trekking or Birding at Lake Bulera and Ruhondo – Drive to Gishwati Mukura Forest

Start your day with a range of exciting options. For those seeking a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter, you can choose to embark on a thrilling gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National Park. Accompanied by experienced guides, venture into the lush forest in search of these magnificent creatures and observe them in their natural habitat.

Alternatively, if you prefer to focus on birding, you have the opportunity to explore the picturesque Lake Bulera and Lake Ruhondo. These twin lakes are known for their scenic beauty and diverse birdlife. Marvel at the tranquil surroundings as you keep an eye out for avian treasures such as African Fish Eagles, Malachite Kingfishers, and Pied Kingfishers, among many others.

In the afternoon, continue your journey to Gishwati Mukura National Park. This recently established park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, boasting a wealth of avifauna waiting to be discovered. Upon arrival, settle into your lodge and spend the remainder of the day exploring the birdlife in the vicinity.

Day 8: Full Day Birding in Gishwati Mukura Forest

Wake up refreshed and eager to uncover the avian wonders of Gishwati Mukura Forest. After a delicious breakfast, head to the park headquarters to meet your knowledgeable rangers. Together, venture deep into the lush forest, where a symphony of bird calls fills the air.

As you tread softly along the forest trails, be prepared to encounter a variety of remarkable species. Keep your binoculars at the ready to spot the elusive Regal Sunbird, the enchanting Ruwenzori Batis, the striking Wood hoopoe, and the vibrant Purple-breasted Sunbird. With luck on your side, you may even catch a glimpse of the majestic Martial Eagle soaring high above the canopy.

Delight in the company of Grey Crowned Cranes dancing gracefully through the grasslands, while Dusky Crimson wings flit among the foliage. Listen attentively for the melodious calls of the Ruwenzori Turaco and keep an eye out for the beautiful Mountain Yellow Warblers and the charismatic Red-throated Alethe.

Throughout the day, your expert guide will share fascinating insights about the forest ecosystem and help you identify the diverse bird species that inhabit this enchanting landscape.

Day 9: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park 

After a hearty breakfast, embark on a scenic drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. As you journey through the picturesque countryside, take advantage of enroute field birding opportunities. The open fields provide an excellent chance to spot additional bird species and enhance your birding checklist.

Arriving at Nyungwe Forest, you will feel the captivating aura of this ancient rainforest. Check-in at your lodge and take some time to relax and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings, eagerly anticipating the birding adventures that await.

Day 10: Full Day Birding in Nyungwe Forest

Prepare for a full day dedicated to exploring the extraordinary birdlife of Nyungwe Forest. With your packed lunch in hand, make your way to the park entrance to meet your experienced guides. Nyungwe Forest is a renowned haven for birdwatchers, especially for its abundance of Albertine Rift endemics.

Venture deep into the heart of the forest, following well-maintained trails that wind through the dense foliage. Your knowledgeable guides will lead you to prime birding locations, where you’ll have the chance to observe elusive and rare species that call Nyungwe home.

Day 11: Optional Chimpanzee Trekking or Birding in Nyungwe Forest

Today offers another set of enticing options. You can choose to embark on an unforgettable chimpanzee trekking experience in Cyamudongo, deep within the embrace of Nyungwe Forest. Join experienced trackers as you venture into the forest, observing these fascinating primates in their natural habitat.

Alternatively, if you wish to continue your birding expedition, spend the day exploring Nyungwe Forest for even more avian delights. Your guide will help you navigate the forest trails, seeking out elusive species and expanding your birding checklist.

Please note that chimpanzee trekking permits should be secured in advance for those interested in this incredible wildlife encounter.

Day 12: Drive to Kibuye (Karongi) – Boat Cruise and Relaxation

Today allows for a more relaxed pace, providing an opportunity to unwind and enjoy the scenic beauty of Rwanda. After a leisurely morning, embark on a picturesque drive to Kibuye, also known as Karongi, located on the shores of Lake Kivu.

Upon arrival, indulge in a serene boat cruise on Lake Kivu. Drift along the calm waters, taking in the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. Marvel at the distant hills, picturesque islands, and the shimmering reflections on the lake’s surface. As you relax on the boat, keep an eye out for waterbirds, such as African Fish Eagles, Pied Kingfishers, and Great Cormorants.

Savor the tranquility of this peaceful lake, allowing your senses to be rejuvenated by the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you.

Day 13: Return to Kigali

On the final day of your birdwatching adventure, savor a delicious breakfast at your lodge before bidding farewell to the enchanting landscapes of Rwanda. Embark on a scenic drive back to Kigali, reflecting on the incredible birding experiences and cherished memories you’ve gathered along the way.

Upon arrival in Kigali, depending on your flight time, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure or to your hotel for an overnight stay, allowing you to further explore the vibrant city and reflect on the awe-inspiring diversity of Rwanda’s birdlife.

End of the 13 Days Bird Watching in Volcanoes Nyungwe and Akagera NP

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