DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN KIGALI & TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
Arrival at the Airport later is transferred to the hotel by our company’s representative. On arrival at the hotel, you will refresh and get ready for dinner. Overnight at Onomo Hotel
DAY 2: BIRDING AROUND BUGESERA & NYABARONGO WETLANDS – WITH GENOCIDE MUSEUMS AS OPTIONAL:
Check out one of the important birding areas in Rwanda which is Nyabarongo and Bugesera wetlands which is home to over 100 species of birds that include the beautiful papyrus gonolek, hadada ibis, sacred ibis, egrets, and sometimes the unique shoebill stork to mention just a few.
Lunch in Gashora and relax until late afternoon birding in areas of Rilima wetlands before returning to Kigali. Dinner and overnight at Onomo hotel.
DAY 3: TRANSFER TO AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK & BOAT RIDE
Transfer to Akagera National Park in the morning. On arrival, do a short birding encounter before lunch break. In the afternoon, enjoy a thrilling boat ride on Lake Ihema to go see schools of hippos, the giant Nile crocodiles, and lots of water birds. Continue with birding in the southern circuits along different lakes of Shakani, Birengero, and Kivumba. Dinner & overnight at Akagera Game lodge.
Day 4: AKAGERA NP
Early breakfast at 5:30 am; in preparation for an early birding day at 6 am. It’s important to start early before it gets humid. A good day to see other wildlife such as the big 5 plus 12 species of antelopes including the biggest antelopes for example the eland cape and roan antelopes, in addition to the 525 bird species. Diversity of reptiles, amphibians, plants, magnificent landscapes, historical sites, etc. The park is known for holding the highest concentration of birds per square kilometer than any other national park in Africa. Dinner and overnight at Akagera Game Lodge
Day 5: BIRDING IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Spend your day birding on the lake circuit searching for the rare and threatened shoe bill stocks plus the papyrus gonoleks, red-faced barbet, etc. Return to the hotel for lunch and refreshments. The late afternoon goes for game drives on the mountain circuit to catch up on what we missed in the morning. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Dinner and Overnight at Akagera Game Lodge.
Day 6: TRANSFER TO NYUNGWE VIA BUTARE
Transfer to Nyungwe National Park; en route stop along the Nyabarongo river basin for more bird watching. We may also proceed to Nyungwe via the Murambi Genocide Memorial site. More time will be spent at Nyabarongo wetlands for birdwatching. Overnight at Kivu Marina Bay Hotel (outside the park – 45 min drive)
Day 7: TEA PLANTATION & WATERFALL HIKE – The biggest afro-mountain forest in East and Central Africa & the remotest source of River Nile according to National Geographic Society:
Early breakfast at 5 am then drives through the park searching for as many as we can from the 278 bird species listed here. Chimpanzee trekking will be optional. The fantastic tea plantations around Nyungwe National Park add more value to the scenery as you wait to add more lifers. In the afternoon, visit the waterfalls in the park – en route site some new species of birds. Overnight at Kivu Marina Bay Hotel (outside the park – 45 min drive)
DAY 8: KAMIRANZOVU SWAMP & THE CANOPY WALK IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
This day is dedicated to birding in Kamiranzovu swamp searching for the rare Ruwenzori turaccos, Grauer’s swamp warblers, etc. You will visit different locations in the park to try and see as much as you can and if possible, all the 27 endemic birds of the Albertine rift found in Nyungwe forest.
End the day with a canopy walk in the forest. Overnight at Kivu Marina Bay Hotel (outside the park – 45 min drive)
DAY 9: BIGUGU TRAIL IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
This day is dedicated to birding on mountain Bigugu searching for rarer bird species. You will continue to visit different locations in the park to try and see the different fauna and flora of the tropical rainforest. Overnight at Kivu Marina Bay Hotel (outside the park – 45 min drive)
DAY 10: BIRDWATCHING IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
This day is dedicated to birdwatching, you will be with an experienced guide specialized in Birds. You will spot different birds including the rare ones; among the frequently sighted species are the Rwenzori Nightjar, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, the Handsome Francolin, Dwarf Honeyguide, Great blue and Rwenzori Turaco, montane Double Collared Sun and the Red- Throated Alethe, to mention but a few. Overnight at Kivu Marina Bay Hotel (outside the park – 45 min drive)
DAY 11: TO KINIGI – VOLCANOES DESTINATION
Transfer to Kinigi through the remote but beautiful Congo-Nile trail; taking you through the towns of Kibuye and Gisenyi as you get fantastic views of Lake Kivu and also gives you chance to visit the Bisesero genocide hills. Optional experience of traditional dancers and learn about Rwandan drumming, singing, and dancing OR learn about Rwandan cooking techniques with a local family comfortable night at Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge
DAY 12: GORILLA TREKKING & AFTERNOON LAKE EXPEDITIONS
Volcanoes National Park:
After breakfast, we transfer to the park.
After completing our park formalities, we will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience of tracking mountain gorillas.
Be back at the base in time for lunch
Afternoon transfer to Lake Burera and Ruhondo – the twin lakes for more birdwatching via Rugezi swamps. Overnight: Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge
DAY 13: GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING & BIRDING AT BUHANGA FOREST IN THE AFTERNOON.
Follow the same procedures but choose the rare Albertine rift endemic golden monkeys for a memorable experience. In the afternoon, transfer to the Buhanga forest in search of the rare African Pitta and other species in this small volcanic forest catchment. Dinner and Overnight at Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge
DAY 14: AIRPORT TRANSFER
At your convenience, transfer to Kigali which is 3 hour drive then proceed to the airport based on departure time OR overnight at Garni du Centre hotel in Kigali.