12 Days Bird Rwanda & Trek Safari

Prepare Your Tailored Safaris & Tours


As per Birdlife International, Rwanda contains three national parks that are Important Birding Areas (IBAs). With over 700 bird species, the parks are Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Nyungwe National Park. Outside of the protected areas, other locations for birdwatching include agricultural regions and marshy areas. Birds may be seen easily, especially at Akagera National Park, which is mostly Savannah and forest. The Albertine endemics found nowhere else in Rwanda can be found in the Nyungwe forest.

Safari highlights

  • Birding
  • Gorilla trekking


Day 1: Arrival for Birding Rwanda and Gorilla trekking safari

You’ve arrived in Rwanda, “the land of a thousand hills,” today. A safari guide from African buffalo safaris will meet you at the airport and transport you to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, you may be able to take a brief city tour of Kigali.

Day 2: Birding to Akagera National Park

After breakfast at your accommodation, we go for Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda, near the Tanzanian border. We will look for species such as cattle Egret, Hamerkop, Sacred and Hadada Ibis, Augur Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, Pied Crow, Village, Black-headed, and Veillots Black Weavers in the marshy regions.

Later that evening, we arrive at our lodge and settle in for the night.

Days 3 – 4: Birding in Akagera National Park

We’ll spend the following two days birding at Akagera National Park, which is home to over 500 bird species. We bird the Savannah and forest regions in the morning for species such as Pearl-spotted owlet, brown snake eagle, red-faced barbet, and shouldered robin chat, among others.

We go on a boat ride on Lake Ihema in the afternoon to look for African fish eagles, Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Rufous-bellied Heron, Greater Swamp Warblers, Slender-billed Weavers, and Swamp Flycatchers. Goliath, Black-headed, and Squacco Herons, Little Bittern, Grey Crowned Crane, African Open bill, African Darter, Black tern, African Wattled Plover, Long-toed and Senegal Lapwings, Water Thick-knee, and Giant, Pied, and Malachite Kingfisher are among the other species.

We may come across herds of buffalo, impala, zebras, waterbucks, and elephants when birding at Akagera National Park.

Day 5: Birding Nyungwe forest

Today we travel from Akagera National Park to Nyungwe Forest National Park, with numerous brief birding stops along the way. Before arriving at our resort, we seek for White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek, and Grauer’s Swamp Warbler among the marshy marshes and Papyrus.

Days 6 – 7: Albertine Rift Endemics

The Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the few surviving great montane forests on the African continent, and it is abundant in birds, particularly Albertine Rift endemics.

We’ll be birding in Nyungwe Forest for three days, looking for Handsome Francolins, Great Blue and Rwenzori Turacos, White-headed Wood-hoopoes, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoos, Chestnut Owlets, Olive and Elliot’s Woodpeckers, and other species. Striped Tit, Red-collared Babbler, Archer’s Robin Chat, White-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, Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, and more.

Day 8 – 9: Birding to Lake Kivu

After breakfast, we begin our trip north to Lake Kivu, with various stops for birding in marshes, woodland regions, and agricultural areas. This excursion might take all day depending on how busy the birding is along the way. On arriving that evening, Lake Kivu will give much-needed respite and possibilities for birdwatching around the beaches.

Day 10: Transfer to Volcanoes national park

The Virunga volcanoes region, shared by Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda, is one of the world’s richest biological places. Dian Fossey began her studies on Mountain Gorillas here in the late 1960s. The trip from Lake Kivu in Gisenyi to Musanze/Kinigi takes roughly an hour, but with birdwatching along the route, it can take several hours. We will make a brief break in the bush to look for Narina’s Trogon before continuing to our accommodation for the night before going gorilla trekking.

Days 11: Volcanoes national park

Today you visit the volcanoes national park’s forests in preparation for encountering a troop of mountain gorillas. We begin with a briefing in the visitor center, and then you are broken into groups and assigned a ranger guide who will answer any questions and explain how to behave. The trip can range anything from a few minutes to many hours, depending on where the gorillas nested the night before; you must be reasonably fit to appreciate this experience. You spend an hour with these wonderful animals after you’ve found them.

The remainder of the day is dependent on when you return from the gorilla hike. You may spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in the lodge grounds, which are home to a variety of species.

Day 12: End of the Rwanda Birding and gorilla trekking safari

After birding near the resort, you begin your journey back to Kigali, birding along the route. When you arrive in Kigali, you go to the airport to catch your trip back home. Thank you for birding with african buffalo safaris