6 Days Birding Safaris & Wildlife Rwanda

6 Days Birding and Wildlife Safari in Rwanda is very exciting and memorable. This tour will focus on birding

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Day1: Arrival Kigali Airport

On arrival at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda, you will be received by one of our professional bird guide who will transfer you to check in at the hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you will visit Nyarutarama artificial Lake, one of the convenient birding spot within Kigali city. This will give you an enjoyable introduction to some water fowls like; White-faced Whistling Duck, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen, Yellow-billed Duck, Squacco Heron, Spur-winged Geese, Little Egret, Hadada Ibis, Black Crake among others. Different types of Weavers, Warblers, Cisticolas, raptors and many others.

6 days birding
White-faced whistling duck

Day2: Transfer to Akagera national park for birding and wildlife safari.

Early morning breakfast, check out from Kigali, 110km drive towards north eastern region to Rwanda’s only savanna national park. Akagera National Park embraces a rich bird checklist of over 525 species. On the way to the park, you will be driving through Rice fields, cultivations, mountains and different Villages, where you should expect to encounter a number of birds like Palm Swifts, Black-crowned Waxbill, Common Bulbul, Village Weavers, Red-eyed Dove, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret and many more.

Through the northern part of Akagera, you will check into the park, after few minutes of registration on entry, you will straightaway start birding in the park. Driving slowly, from side to side the park is covered by woodland, wetland, some grassland and thickets, all this gives you chance of sighting different species of birds like, White-browed Coucal, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Grey Hornbill, Long-crested Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, Red-necked Francolin, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Ross’s Turaco, Eastern Plantain-eater with many others. Youre also most likely to encounter a variety of wildlife which includes, elephants, Buffalos, giraffes, Zebras, Hyenas and several antelopes like Bushbuck, Topis, Oribis and waterbucks, Checkin to the lodge for lunch and prepare for the evening Sunset cruise at lake Ihema.

After lunch with your guide you can choose to do a brief game viewing towards lake Ihema, many chances of sighting Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Speckled Mouse-bird, African Gray Hornbill, Broad-billed Roller. You shall do a boat trip along the shores of Rwanda’s second largest Lake after lake Kivu. Here you’re most likely to get great aquatic bird sightings, a single nicest way to explore the park and you can also spot some of the wildlife which do live in the waters of Ihema lake. This will give you a great experience to increase on your birds and animals counts you observe during the safari game drives.

Day 3 : full day birding and safari in the northern part of Akagera National Park

Early morning breakfast, you shall start your morning game drive as early as possible, before the day gets hot, many birds are very active and most of the animals feed on wet grass and hide in shades when the sun gets hotter, you will try a number of different spots for specific bird species, like Crested Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Black-crowned Tchagra, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Tabora Cisticola. Several animals like lions, Leopards, antelopes like Water-bucks, Oribis, Bush buck and some Giraffes, Buffalos. As it gets hotter you will drive back for lunch at the hotel and get set for evening game drive.

After lunch, you shall drive to most of the trails that you didn’t cover in the morning, in search for more birds and animals. You can choose to do a night game drive to look out for the nocturnal birds like Black-shouldered Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Square-tailed Nightjar, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, African Scops-Owl with many others night hours also highlights chances of sighting Leopard, Hyenas and lions trying to hunt. Note: night game drive, is an activity paid differently from park entry and its conducted by the park authorities.

Day 4 : birding in Akagera and transfer to Kigali

After early morning breakfast, you shall checkout from the lodge with your parked lunch, you will drive while scanning through the woodland towards the southern part of the park, providing you chances of sighting different birds and animals at your pace. In the southern part of Akagera National Park, you will have a game drive in the Kilala plains, this is the park’s most exciting place for animal viewing.

Because of its savanna, most antelopes use it as their mating grounds and other grazers enjoy the short grass, therefore the predators like Lions, prefer this area due to plentiful prey. You shall search for birds like, Red-capped Lark, Zitting Cisticola, Trilling Cisticola, Plain-backed Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, Cardinal Quelea, with other many ground birds. Transfer to Kigali and check-in to the hotel.

Giraffe in Akagera
Giraffe in Akagera

Day 5 : Morning birding Nyabarongo wetland and evening birding Umusambi Village

Very early morning breakfast, you shall drive 35 kilometers south east of Kigali city. Nyabarongo wetland, has a vegetation dominated by the papyrus in the zones that are permanently flooded, here you shall try to look out for the shy White-winged Swamp Warbler and Papyrus Gonolek. After birding the edges of this wetland, you will drive back to the city center for lunch.

After lunch will drive straight to Umusambi village for your evening birding, this is a beautifully restored wetland area, providing a sanctuary for over 50 endangered Grey Crowned Cranes saved from the illegal pet trade. This place also resides many other unique species of birds like, White-collared Oliveback, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilia, African Firefinch and Lesser Honeyguide. After checking out most of the walking trails, you shall be driven back to your hotel in Kigali.

Day 6 : Transfer to Kigali international airport for your flight

Depending on the time of you flight, you can get a chance to visit the genocide memorial before you’re dropped to the airport for you check-in time.