Albertine endemics birding with optional gorilla and chimp Rwanda-Uganda

Day 1

Arrival at the airport, meet your guide for introductions, and later drive leisurely with limited birding stops to Akagera National Park in northwestern Rwanda. Akagera National Park offers low-lying plains, dozens of lakes, savanna, and woodland zones. Expect to encounter Shoebills, great savanna birding, and spectacular game viewing. The park also borders Tanzania in the northwest, making it a great area to spot Tanzania specialties like Red-faced Barbet, Tabora Cisticola, Crested Barbet, and more from the bordering wildlife of western Tanzania!

Day 2

Whole day bird watching and game viewing in Akagera National Park. After an early breakfast, start birding and look out for species like Broad-tailed Warbler, Bennett's Woodpecker, Sooty Chat, White-winged Black Tit, Flappet Lark, Souza's Shrike, Crested Barbet, Red-faced Barbet, Long-tailed, Trilling, Tabora, Rattling, and Winding Cisticolas, Miombo Wren Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Red-faced Crombec, Rueppell's Long-tailed Starling, Amethyst Starling, Senegal Lapwing, Water Dikkop, Brubru, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Brown Parrot, Red-necked Spurfowl, White-crowned Black Chat, Familiar Chat, Black-winged Bishop, and Arrow-marked Babbler, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Shoebill, African Open-billed Stork, Egyptian Goose, Long-toed Lapwing, Spur-winged Plover, Black Crake, etc. Also, expect to see mammals like monkeys, giraffes, hogs, hippos, sitatungas, topis, and waterbucks for photography.

Day 3

Today is another day of birding and game viewing in Akagera National Park. We will continue searching for bird species that we might have missed the previous day, and in the evening, enjoy a boat cruise at Lake Ihema or another nearby lake, where you can spot waterbirds and other aquatic species.

Day 4

Today we bid farewell to Akagera National Park and embark on a bird watching transfer to Volcanoes National Park. Along the way, we will make several stops to stretch and look for birds. Upon reaching Volcanoes National Park, we will do evening leisurely birding around the lodge, where you might spot species like Village Weaver, Bronze Sunbird, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Green-headed Sunbird, Baglafecht Weaver, and more. Keep an eye out for mammals like L’hoest monkeys and golden monkeys, which may show up for photos.

Day 5

Today is the much-awaited Gorilla Trekking day. After an early breakfast, we will embark on an incredible adventure to track mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The trek might involve hiking through dense vegetation and steep terrain, but the experience of encountering these gentle giants is absolutely rewarding. You will have a unique opportunity to observe and photograph the gorillas up close, and also do leisurely birding in the evening around the lodge.

Day 6

After breakfast, we will check out and drive to Nyungwe National Park. Nyungwe forest is situated in south-west Rwanda between Lake Kivu and the international border with Burundi. This beautiful birding area lies west of Butare, with the Butare-Cyangugu road passing straight through the middle, providing excellent roadside birding. About 270 bird species have been recorded in Nyungwe, reflecting the wide habitat diversity and altitudinal range. These include all the 25 species of the Albertine Rift mountains Endemic Bird Area that occur in Rwanda, Chapin’s Flycatcher, and Rockefellers’ Sunbird (both globally threatened, restricted-range, and biome-restricted). Also, 11 of the 23 species of Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 71 of the 74 species of this biome of Afrotropical Highlands that occur in Rwanda have been recorded at this site!

Day 7

Today, we will spend the whole day birding in Nyungwe National Park, particularly on the "Uwinka trail," which is known for its Albertine Rift endemics. Look out for species such as Stripe-breasted Tit, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Ruwenzori Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Handsome Francolin, Rockefeller’s Sunbird, Miombo Rock-Thrush, Mountain Masked Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Collared Apalis, Grauer’s Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Kivu Ground-Thrush, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, Red-chested Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Olive Woodpecker, Mountain Greenbul, Rwenzori Hill-babbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Northern Puffback, White-starred Robin, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Dusky Crimsonwing, Thick-billed Seedeater, Streaky Seedeater, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, and many more!

Day 8

In the morning, we will continue birding until late afternoon, trying to spot a few species that we might have missed the previous day. Later, we will have a spectacular experience doing the canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park. The canopy walk offers breathtaking views of the forest canopy and provides unique opportunities to spot various bird species that inhabit this upper layer of the forest.

Day 9

Today is the final day of the trip. We will transfer back to Kigali for your flight back home, concluding an unforgettable bird watching and gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda!

Download Itinerary Details   Book Now