This amazing 14 Day Rwanda Gorilla and Birding Safari takes you to the best safari destinations for amazing encounters with the endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park and amazing birding experiences. REQUEST A QUOTE Rwanda is also known as the land of a thousand hills due to the stunning scenery of green rolling hills, warm and friendly people who offer unique and remarkable experiences in the world. Located in Central-East Africa, Rwanda is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest, sweeping plains, rolling savannah, lakes and wetlands. Today, 4 national parks are gazetted and the country has an extraordinary culture and unique traditions from its rich history of one language people.
- Endemics birds to the Albertine Rift bird species
- Birds in the dry savannah, moist savanna and arable land
- Mountain Gorillas
- Golden Monkeys
- Coffee tour, Museum and Genocide Memorial
DAY 1 : ARRIVAL – KIGALI
We will begin our 14 Day Rwanda Gorilla and Birding Safari with your pickup from the airport. Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be welcomed by our designated VIP Meet & Greet Lounge Host who helps you through a fast-track assistance with VISA and luggage collection. Please look for a white sign board with your name. After immigration and bag collection, you will then be handed over to your driver guide, who will transfer you to your hotel for dinner and overnight. Most Kigali Hotels are within 20 minutes’ drive maximum from the airport. COVID 19 tests are taken on arrival.
Drive Time: 20 Mins
Mid Range: Hotel Des Mille Collines
Budget: Highland Suites Hotel
DAY 2: KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL AND TRANSFER TO MUSANZE
After the breakfast, prior to the two weeks exploration, we will have a briefing. You will take a brief tour of Kigali City, starting with the Kigali Genocide Memorial until lunch time. At the memorial, you will understand the events leading up to the 1994 Genocide of Tutsis. After lunch (at Hotel des Mille Collines, we will embark on a scenic drive northward to Musanze, a mountainous destination of the famous Mountain Gorillas. Along the way, we can see some bird species like Yellow-billed Kite, Hooded Vulture, Common Kestrel, Sacred Ibis, Northern Gray-headed Sparrow, Angola Swallow.
In Musanze, we will have a brief stop on Mukungwa river where we can see the common and widespread African birds as well as some migrants, such as seen Barn Swallow, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Red-billed Firefinch, Common Sandpiper, Chubb’s Cisticola, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Black-headed Weaver, African Yellow Warbler, Speckled Mousebird, Chin-spot Batis, Gray-crowned Crane, Bronze Sunbird, Western Citril, Yellow-fronted Canary, Dusky Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Augur Buzzard. From Musanze town, you will have a scenic view of the sunset stretched across the volcano mountains as we head to your hotel for dinner.
Drive Time: 3 hours
DAY 3: TREKKING MOUNTAIN GORILLA AND AFTERNOON BIRDING:
This particular day presents a unique opportunity to see the gorillas in their natural habitat. It’s an unforgettable, life changing experience!. After breakfast, we drive to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters in Kinigi at 7am (as required), for briefing on protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas. We are allocated a family group, according to fitness levels. Through guided trails, and with expert trackers, we are led through the forest and bamboo-covered slopes to special and coveted encounters with gorillas as they go about their daily lives. Upon sighting the target family, are allowed to spend a precious and awe-inspiring hour, just a few feet away from the gentle creatures. There are twelve gorilla families living in the Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). The family groups, or troops, consist of at least one silverback along with several females and youngsters. After gorilla trekking, that can go until lunch time, we drive to the lodge to freshen up and have a hot lunch.
In the afternoon we have 2 hours’ of birding around the headquarters of the Volcanoes NP, where we can see common birds around the mountain areas including Speckled Pigeon, Red-eyed Dove, Hadada Ibis, Yellow-billed kite (Black Kite), Augur Buzzard, Northern Fiscal, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Chubb’s Cisticola, Mountain Yellow-Warbler, Plain Martin, Rock Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Abyssinian Thrush, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Cape Robin-Chat, White-browed Robin-Chat, African Stonechat, Collared Sunbird, Bronze Sunbird, Baglafecht Weaver, Holub’s Golden-Weaver, Yellow Bishop (with many Juveniles), Black-crowned Waxbill, Bronze Mannikin, Pin-tailed Whydah, Northern Gray-headed Sparrow, Cape Wagtail, African Pied Wagtail, African Pipit, Yellow-fronted Canary and Streaky Seedeater. We conclude our day early for a relaxed evening and dinner at the lodge.
DAY 4: TRACKING GOLDEN MONKEYS & TRANSFER TO NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
All activities in the Volcanoes NP start at 7am, beginning with a mandatory briefing at the park headquarters. At this point, we are served with free warm tea or coffee before briefing. As the previous day, we are briefed on protocols and rules for tracking Golden Monkeys. We then drive the foot hills of Sabyinyo Volcano, at Kabatwa Hill, (a name given to this group of Golden Monkeys). The monkeys are easily traceable as they swing and sway across the bamboo trees, or as they search the forest for remains of Irish potatoes in nearby recently harvested farms. Upon sighting these beautifully decorated and playful primates, we stay for 1 hour taking pictures, learning about their family behaviors, and the ecology of these endemics’ primates to the Albertine Rift.
The trekking ends between 11 am and 12 am. Thereafter, we head out for a quick hot lunch before embarking on a scenic drive to the Nyungwe NP. Along the drive, we make a brief stop at Nyirakiguhu Pond to try sighting the Hottentot Teal (Annashotentota). We spend about 1 hour to spot an additional species of birds such as the Yellow-billed Duck, Little Grebe, Red-knobbed Coot, Three-banded Plover, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Great Cormorant, Pink-backed Pelican, Hamerkop, Gray Heron, African Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Kite (Black Kite), Pied Kingfisher and Mackinnon’s Shrike. We have a make a few breaks long the KIVU Belt road, taking in the beautiful scenery that stretches along the mountainous slopes leading into the Kivu and its islands for photos until arrive at the Lodge in the Nyungwe Park.
Drive Time: 5 hours
DAY 5: CHIMPANZEES TRACKING IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
We start our journey to trek chimpanzees at 5am with our packed breakfast and trekking can go up to lunch time. Nyungwe National Park is home to over 13 species of primates of which the Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are habituated. Upon sighting the Chimps, we spend 1 hour taking pictures with the playful and at times elusive chimpanzees in their treetop habitat. In the afternoon we head back to the lodge for some relaxed birding around the lodge where can see the African Golden Breasted Bunting, Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, etc. We conclude our day with dinner at the lodge.
DAY 6: BIRDING AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
This is being the first full day of birding, we head to Umuyove trail and Rangiro road to sight the Albertine Rift Endemics including the Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer’s Warbler, Rwenzori Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Kungwe Apalis, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing. This trail also offers other eye-catching species like the Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Gray Cuckoo-shrike, Black-tailed Oriole, Chinspot Batis, Lühder’s Bush shrike, Albertine Boubou, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Black-throated Apalis, , Chestnut-throated Apalis, Banded Prinia, Chubb’s Cisticola, Black Saw-wing, Shelley’s Greenbul (Kakamega). We stop for a quick lunch at Uwinka reception and information center. After lunch we can see Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Abyssinian Thrush, African Dusky Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Olive Sunbird, Forest Weaver. We this day of our 14 Day Rwanda Gorilla and Birding Safari at 5pm and head back to the lodge for dinner.
DAY 7: BIRDING AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
On the second full day of birding in Nyungwe National Park, we continue with photography and observation of the Mountain species and Albertine Rift Endemics. After an early breakfast, and with parked lunch, snacks and water, we embark on the Ndambarare trail in the western side of Nyungwe NP. Along this trail, we can see the Great Blue Turaco, Red-collared Mountain-Babbler, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Northern Double-collared Sunbird,White-breasted Nigrita, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Rwenzori Batis, Neumann’s Warbler, Willard’s Sooty Boubou, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, White-browed Crombec, Black-throated Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Gray Apalis, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Chubb’s Cisticola, Black Saw-wing, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Waller’s and Stuhlmann’s Starling, African Dusky Flycatcher, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Black-billed Weaver, Forest Weaver, Black-crowned Waxbill and Streaky Seedeater.
This trail also offers some of the rare primates of the forest including; the Grey-checked Mangabay and Mona Monkey along with the Rwenzori Sun Squirrel. After a picnic lunch break, we head to Karamba trail, a few minutes of driving from the western entrance of the forest where we can see the Blue Malkoha, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Willard’s Sooty Boubou, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Dusky Tit, White-browed Crombec, Black-faced Apalis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Northern Double-collared Sunbird and White-breasted Nigrita. We stop our day of birding at 5.30pm. This will mark the half way point of your 14 Day Rwanda Gorilla and Birding Safari.
DAY 8: FULL DAY BIRDING IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
This is a day we try searching for the Handsome Francolin at Pindura-Bweyeye road. After an early breakfast, and with parked snacks and water, we embark on scenic drive along the Pindura-Bweyeye road where we can see the Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Strange and Forest Weavers, Abyssinian Thrush, Albertine Boubou, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Mackinnon’s Shrike, White-necked Raven, Black-throated Apalis, Chubb’s Cisticola, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Common Bulbul (Dark-capped), African Yellow White-eye, and the White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher. During the migration period, we can also see raptors like European Honey-buzzard, Black Kite and Mountain Buzzard.
After lunch we head again to the Rangiro road to see the Dwarf Honeyguide, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Black-tailed Oriole, Northern Puffback, Albertine Boubou, Rwenzori Apalis, Black-throated Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, African Yellow White-eye, White-starred Robin, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird. We will end up our day birding at the office of the park (Gisakura) where we stop for some minutes to see the African Green-Pigeon, Black-billed Weaver. At this sight, we can also try the Rwenzori Nightjar in communities’ farm around the Lodge before retreating to the lodge for dinner.
DAY 9: MORNING BIRDING AND TRANSFER TO HUYE
The final day of Nyungwe, starts with a morning of birding at Waterfall trail. Along this trail, we expect to see the Lemon Dove, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Many-colored Bush-shrike, Siffling Cisticola, White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher, African Green-Pigeon, Great Blue Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Rwenzori Batis, Northern Puffback, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Grauer’s Warbler, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Rock Martin, Angola Swallow, Red-rumped, Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul and a rear raptor the bat Hawk along the way. We return to the hotel to check-out and have lunch. Thereafter, we take a scenic drive of about 3 hours to Huye for dinner and overnight.
Drive Time: 3 Hours
DAY 10: MUSEUMS, COFFEE PROCESSING AND TRANSFER TO AKAGERA VIA KIGALI
After an early morning breakfast, we do an experience of coffee processing at Maraba Coffee washing station. This experience also known as “From the crop to the cup” incorporates lessons on how coffee is planted and others processes until the final product ready to be consumed. After the coffee expereince, we visit the Ethnographic Museum to learn more about the Rwandan culture and general life before, during and after colonial period. After lunch at one of the local restaurants in Huye, we embark on another scenic drive to Akagera National Park, via Kigali. We have check in at the lodge as the sun sets or before dark. This lodge is purposely selected to void pressures the park gate closure. An overnight just outside the park allows visitors to soak up the savannah night, and early morning views as they overlook Akagera savannah.
Drive Time: 5 Hours
DAY 11: BIRDING AND GAME DRIVING IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
We enter the park at around 6am. Upon arriving at the park reception, we register and immediately start birding and game viewing in the vast savanna park. While in Akagera NP, it’s thrilling to see a combination of wildlife and various birding species. We can see the Ruhuaha Chat and Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Trilling, Croaking and Tabola Cisticolas, African Grey Hornbill, Greater Blue-eared and Long-tailed Starlings, Lilac-breasted Roller , Speckled and Blue-napped Mousebirds, Bateleur, Lizard Buzzard, Black-bellied Bustard We also see the Temminck’s Courser, Collared Pratincole, Ring-necked Dove, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Sooty Chat, Blue-headed Coucal, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Pearl-spotted Owlet , Hildebrandt’s, Common Cuckoo, Flappet Lark and the Rufous-naped Lark. We can also encounter herds of Buffaloes, the dazzle of beautiful Zebra and Impala among many others, until we arrive at the Lodge.
DAY 12: DAY BIRDING AND SUNSET BOAT IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
After early morning breakfast, we start birding in the environs of the Lodge, where we see the Red-faced Barbet. After we continue on hills sides for a full day birding and animal viewing. We can see Coqui Francolins, Brubru, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Red-chested Cuckoo, Striped Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Common Scimitarbill, Green Wood Hoopoe African Grey Hornbill, Grey Kestrel, Meyer’s Parrot, Black-headed Gonolek Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Black-crowned Tchagra, Chinspot Batis, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Grey-Backed Fiscal and Crested Barbet, and we can see many animals like Giraffe, Elephants, Cape Eland, etc. At 4.30pm, we head out for a sunset boat on Lake Ihema and we can see flocks of waterbirds at the breeding area including Great Cormorant, Striated Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Common Squacco Heron, Rufous-bellied Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Reed Cormorant, African Darter, African Fish Eagle, Black Crake, Water Thick-knee, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Sandpiper, Grey Crowned Crane. We return to the Lodge by 6:30 pm for a relaxed evening and dinner.
DAY 13: MORNING BIRDING AND TRANSFER TO KIGALI
We have a morning game viewing on Lake Circuit and we can see Senegal Lapwing, African Jacana, Crowned Lapwing, African Wattled Lapwing, Broad-billed Roller, Saddle-billed Stork, African Palm Swift , Little Swift, African Green Pigeon, Ross’s Turaco, Little Bee-eater, African Hoopoe, Lesser Striped Swallow, Red-faced Crombec, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Spot-flanked Barbet, Cardinal Woodpecker, Bearded Woodpecker, Stout Cisticola, Short-winged Cisticola, Tabola (Long-tailed) Cisticola, Tawny-flanked Prinia, White-chinned Prinia, Miombo Wren-warbler, Green-capped Eremomela. After lunch, we return to Kigali for dinner and overnight.
Drive Time: 5 hours
DAY 14: BIRDING IN BUGESERA AND AIRPORT TRANSFER
On the final day, we take an early morning breakfast and check out of the Hotel. With some packed lunch and snacks, we head out to Bugesera wetlands where we see the Papyrus Gonolek at Gashora Wetland. We can also see the Papyrus Canary, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Hottentot Teal, Winding and Carruthers’s Cisticolas, White-winged Swamp Warbler, Banded Martin, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Yellow-billed Duck, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Eurasian Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Black Crake, Long-toed Lapwing, Wattled Lapwing, African Jacana, Wood Sandpiper, Long-tailed Cormorant, Pink-backed Pelican, Little Bittern, Gray Heron, Black-headed Heron, Purple Heron, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, African Sacred Ibis and the Long-crested Eagle. In this wetland, we can also spot the African Marsh-Harrier, Yellow-billed Kite, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Eurasian Kestrel, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Red-chested Sunbird, Holub’s Golden and Lesser Masked-Weavers, Red-billed Quelea, Southern Red Bishop, White-winged and Fan-tailed Widowbird, Grosbeak Weaver, Common Waxbill, Yellow-fronted Canary. Later in the afternoon/evening, we pick out some souvenirs along the airport road (CAPLAKI) and drive to the airport, before embarking on the evening flight back home. This will mark the end of your 14 Day Rwanda Gorilla and Birding Safari
Drive Time: 45 Mins
End of the 14 Day Rwanda Gorilla and Birding Safari
CATEGORY PRICE PER PERSON
PRICE PER PERSON
1 PAX (Budget Accommodation) $8,980
1 PAX (Mid Range Accommodation) $9,865
2-3 PAX (Budget Accommodation) $6,250 $7,045
2-3 PAX (Mid Range Accommodation) $6,980 $7,935
4-6 PAX (Budget Accommodation) $5,253 $6,050
4-6 PAX (Mid Range Accommodation) $5,985 $6,935
- Park entrance fees
- Professional English-speaking Park guide
- Vehicle entrance fees
- Meals and drinks
- Transportation in a 4×4 Safari Land Cruiser with pop up roof for easy game viewing & photography.
- All items of personal nature
- Face masks during tour