Rwanda has three national parks that are Important Birding Areas    (IBAs) according to Birdlife international. The parks are Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, and Nyungwe National Park with over 700 bird species. The other areas for birding include agricultural lands and swampy areas that are outside the protected areas. The birds are easy to see especially in Akagera national park which is mainly Savannah and woodland. Nyungwe forest offers the best site for the Albertine endemics found nowhere else in Rwanda.

Rwanda Key bird species

Shoebill, Great Blue and Ruwenzori Turacos, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Chestnut Owlet, Olive Woodpeckers, Little grebe, White-bellied Robin Chat, Mountain Masked Apalis, Northern pintail, Handsome francoline, White-headed Black Chat, Secretary bird, Western banded eagle, African hawk eagle, black bellied bustard, Red-chested flufftail, African finfoot, Fan-tailed Widowbird and Caruther’s Cisticola, Collared Pratincole, Emerald spotted wood-dove, Klaas’s Cuckoo, African wood Owl, Broad billed Roller, Malachite Kingfisher,

Habitats for Birds in Rwanda

Forest, Acacia Savanna, grassland, agricultural lands, moist woodland, Papyrus Swamps, Lakes, and rivers

Optional activity

Chimpanzee Trekking

Group Size

Minimum 2, solo travelers pay surcharge


Departs year round.


From $3459 per person based on double occupancy*

Trip Terms

*Prices are quoted in USD and are ‚Äėfrom‚Äô, per person, based on twin share occupancy. Seasonal Surcharges apply.¬† Single supplements apply.¬† Black-out dates may apply. All pricing is strictly subject to availability. Pricing does not include Gorilla viewing permits which are currently US$1,500 per person each or Golden Monkey trekking permits which are currently 100usd per person each. All prices, itineraries and routing are subject to change without notice. Please call for our current prices.¬† Prices are current at time of posting (10/23/2023) and may differ when you book your travel and are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CA CST: 2076233-40 | WA ID: 601 684 531 | PC-1282498.

START TIME Please arrive by 7:45 AM.
END TIME Approximately 6:30 PM.
WEAR Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.


Additional information

locationSanta Barbara
duration10 hours
  • You’ll be collected from the airport.
  • Accommodation before the tour starts can be arranged for an extra cost.

Arrival for Birding Rwanda and Gorilla trekking safari

Today you arrive in Rwanda ‚Äúthe land of a thousand hills.‚ÄĚ A representative of Kagera Safaris will be at the airport to pick you and transfer you to hotel. Depending on time of arrival you have an opportunity for a short Kigali city tour.

Drive time¬†‚Äď 20 minutes


Birding to Akagera National Park

After breakfast at your hotel, we set off for Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda bordering with Tanzania. We will bird the marshy areas for species like cattle Egret, Hamerkop, Sacred and Hadada Ibis, Augur Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, and Pied Crow, Village, Black-headed, and Veillots Black Weavers.

We arrive at our lodge later that evening and check in for the night.

Drive time¬†‚Äst2 hours 30 minutes
B, L & D


Birding in Akagera National Park

We will spend the next two days birding Akagera national park home to about 500 bird species. In the morning we bird the Savannah and woodland areas for species such as Pearl spotted owlet, brown snake eagle, red faced barbet and shouldered robin chat etc.

The afternoon we take a boat trip on Lake Ihema for African fish eagles, Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, Rufous-bellied Heron, Greater Swamp Warblers, Slender-billed Weavers, and Swamp Flycatcher. More species include 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 etc.

While birding Akagera national park, we may encounter herds of buffaloes, Impala, Zebras, water-bucks and Elephants.

B, L & D


Birding Nyungwe forest

Today we drive to Nyungwe forest national park from Akagera national park with several short stopovers of birding. In the swampy marshes and Papyrus we search for White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Canary, Papyrus Gonolek and Grauer’s Swamp Warbler before reaching our lodge.

Drive time : ¬†‚Äď 2h:35 minutes
B, L & D


Albertine Rift Endemics

Nyungwe forest national park is part of the remaining large montane forests on the African continent and rich in birds especially the Albertine Rift endemics.

We have two days of birding Nyungwe forest and some of the species we search for include the Handsome Francolin, Great Blue and Rwenzori Turacos, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Chestnut Owlet, Olive and Elliot’s Woodpeckers. Stripe-breasted 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, and Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, etc.

Optional: Chimpanzee trekking, Colobus monkey trekking and canopy walk

B, L & D


Birding to lake Kivu

Today after breakfast, we start our journey northwards to lake Kivu with several stopovers for birding in the marshes, forested areas and agricultural areas. This journey can take the whole day depending on how active the birding en route. Lake Kivu will provide the much needed rest and opportunities for birding along the shores on arrival that evening.

Drive time¬†‚Äď ¬†3 hours
B, L & D


Transfer to Volcanoes national Park

The Virunga volcanoes region shared between Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda represent one of the richest biological areas of the world. It was here that Dian Fossey began her research into Mountain Gorillas in the late 1960’s. The drive to Musanze/Kinigi from Lake Kivu in Gisenyi is about an hour but with birding along the way it can be several hours. We will have a short stop at a patch of forest for possible sightings of Narina’s Trogon after which we proceed to our lodge for overnight before gorilla trekking.

Drive time¬†‚Äď ¬†3 hour¬†
B, L & D


Volcanoes National Park

Today you explore¬†the jungles of volcanoes national park in anticipation of meeting a group of mountain gorillas. We start with a briefing at the visitor‚Äôs center and later you are divided into different groups and allocated a ranger guide who will clarify in case of any questions and how to behave. The trek can last from a few minutes to several¬†hours depending on where the gorillas nested the previous night ‚Äď you need to be relatively fit to enjoy this experience. Once located, you spend one hour with these magnificent animals.

How you spend the rest of the day depends on what time you get back from the gorilla trek. You can choose to spend the rest of the afternoon ‚Äėtaking it easy‚Äô in the lodge grounds which holds a variety of birds.

B, L & D


End of the Rwanda Birding and gorilla safari

After birding  near the lodge area, you start on the return trip to Kigali birding along the way. On arrival in Kigali, you proceed to the airport for your return flight home. Thank you for birding Rwanda with us.

Drive time¬†‚Äď ¬†7¬†hoursOr¬†Helicopter (Robinson)¬†‚Äď ¬†35 minutes
B & L


End of the tour

Important to Know

  • Rates are¬†per person¬†and¬†exclude the international flight¬†from/to your home country.
  • This tour accepts children who are¬†15 years and older.
  • Rates include a¬†local payment. This means that part of the rate must be paid upfront and part on location during the tour. Move your mouse pointer over a rate to see the local payment.

    Based on departures in Low Season

Price per person from First Class Deluxe Luxury
Solo Traveler $5629 $10459 $12599
Each of 2 $3459 $6839 $8699
Each of 4 $2799 $6179 $8059
Each of 6 $2569 $5959 $7849
Single Room supplement $649 $2129 $2399

Standard at Gorilla Mountain Lodge,  Four Points by Sheraton and Nyungwe Top View Hotel
Deluxe at Bishops House, Serena Hotel and One & Only Nyungwe
Luxury at Wilderness Sabyinyo, Serena Hotel and One & Only Nyungwe

Included in the Price

Ground transport per 4WD
Park entrance fees
Bottled water in safari vehicle
Full board accommodation as mentioned in itinerary
Service of an English-speaking driver guide
All mentioned activities except for the optional one


Gorilla Trekking Fees.                                                                                                                                                   Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
Tips to porters and driver/ guide

Availability of accommodation, permits, and activities not guaranteed until confirmation.

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