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8 Days Birding Safari Rwanda


Upon landing at Kigali airport, a company representative will greet you and escort you to your booked accommodation. If time allows, embark on a brief introductory birding excursion around the verdant city of Kigali and its surroundings.
Accommodation: Haven Boutique Hotel, HB

Day 1: Journey to Nyungwe Forest

This morning, your guide/driver will transport you to the majestic Nyungwe Forests, situated in the south-western region of Kigali. The typical 5-hour drive will be interspersed with health and birding stops at various wetlands, cultivation farms, and forest patches to observe quality highland specialists. Halfway through the journey, you’ll pause for a hot lunch/coffee break. Afterward, you’ll continue birding as you make your way to your accommodation on the western fringes of the expansive Nyungwe rainforest.
Accommodation: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, FB

Days 2-3: Immersive Birding at Nyungwe Forest NP

As you bird in the montane forests of Nyungwe, your primary focus will be the 27 Albertine Rift endemics found here, along with hundreds of Afro-montane and numerous high-altitude specialists that comprise the 320-species checklist recorded in this area. Over the next two days, you’ll traverse excellent trails that wind through various forest structures, seeking out altitude-specialists, forest interior skulkers, forest edge specialists, high-altitude marsh specialists, and generalists.

Nyungwe’s avian highlights include the Kungwe Apalis, Rockefeller Sunbird, Red-collared Babbler, and the elusive nocturnal Albertine Owlet. Other regular sightings include the Collared Apalis, Handsome Francolin, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Blue-throated Sunbird, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Neumann’s Warbler, Dusky Crimson-wing, Strange Weaver, and Red-throated Alethe. As you ascend to the high-altitude marsh of the Kamiranzovu trail, keep an eye out for the inconspicuous undergrowth specialist Grauer’s Warbler and the Kivu Ground Thrush. Along the way, you’ll also search for the Highland Rush Warbler (often considered a subspecies of the widely distributed Little Rush Warbler) and the Grauer’s Swamp Warbler.

Additional highlights include the Equatorial Akalat, White-bellied Robin, Rwenzori Hill-babbler, Black-tailed Oriole, White-browed Crombec, Doherty’s Bushshrike, White-bellied Crested-flycatcher, Albertine Boubou, Waller’s Starling, Black-faced Woodland Warbler, Bar-tailed Trogon, Evergreen Warbler, Black-billed Turaco, Crowned Eagle, and Cinnamon Bracken Warbler.
Accommodation: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, FB

Days 4-5: Gishwati Forest Birding Adventure

This morning, you’ll bird your way to Rwanda’s newest national park, Gishwati-Mukura. This regenerating forest extends across several ranges, providing an exceptional birding experience. Here, you’ll have the chance to spot the usually shy and typical forest-skulking Albertine Rift Endemic (ARE) species, high-altitude range specialists, forest-edge specialists, and generalists in this young forest.

Species highlights in Gishwati include several not-easily-seen species from Nyungwe Forest, as well as notable highland species such as the Stuhlmann’s Sunbird (also known as Rwenzori Sunbird), Mountain Thrush (also called Abyssinian Thrush), Sooty Boubou, Willard’s Chubb’s Cisticola, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, White-starred Robin, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Highland Rush Warbler, Olive Woodpecker, Mountain Buzzard, Mountain Illadopsis, Black Saw-wing, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Cape Robin-Chat, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Mountain Greenbul, Blue-headed Sunbird, Stripe-breasted Tit, and more.
Accommodation: Forest of Hope Lodge, FB

Day 6: Volcanoes NP Bound

After a hearty breakfast, you’ll bird your way to Volcanoes National Park. Throughout this picturesque journey, you’ll make birding stops to explore several forest patches, arriving at Volcanoes in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, FB

Day 7: Volcanoes NP Birding Expedition

At Volcanoes National Park, you’ll check in early at the park’s visitor center to meet your ranger guide. From there, your guide will lead you on a birding adventure along any of the productive trails that traverse diverse vegetation structures across various altitude ranges, searching for local specialists. Volcanoes NP is situated at the heart of the Albertine Rift Endemic (ARE) zone, home to up to 17 endemic species.

Highlights include the high-altitude-loving Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, Dusky Twinspot, Rwenzori Turaco, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, and Dusky Crimson-wing. Other Afro-tropical highland specialists you may encounter include Lagden’s Bush-shrike, Brown Woodland Warbler, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Cape Robin-Chat, Western Green Tinkerbird, Kandt’s Waxbill, Mountain Greenbul, Lemon Dove, and more.
Accommodation: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, FB

Day 8: Kigali Bound

This morning, you’ll bird your way back to Kigali, investigating various wetlands and cultivated areas for local specialists, arriving in the city in the late afternoon. Depending on your flight schedule, your guide will transfer you to the airport.
Meal Plan: Lunch and Dinner

This meticulously crafted 8-day Rwanda Albertine Endemics Birding Tour offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the country’s rich biodiversity and endemic bird species. With expert guides, comfortable accommodations, and a well-balanced itinerary, this adventure promises to create lasting memories as you uncover the avian treasures of the “Land of a Thousand Hills.”

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