10 Days Birding in Volcanoes NP & Nyungwe Forest

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10 Days Birding in Volcanoes NP & Nyungwe forest

Bird watching safaris is one of the top safari activities in Volcanoes national park and Nyungwe forest national park, the two tropical rainforests is strategically located at the edge of the Great Rift valley making them prime areas to see some of the rear Albertine rift endemic.

Nyungwe forest national park and Volcanoes are one of the important bird areas in East Africa with over 200 species in each park making them classic bird-watching areas in Rwanda.

Safari highlights

  • Birding in Nyabarongo wetland
  • Birding in Nyungwe forest
  • Birding in Gishwati Mukura forest
  • Birding in Volcanoes national park

Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Pick up from Hotel and bird around Kigali area

After your morning breakfast in the lodge, you will meet your guide and drive to Masaka and Nyabarongo swamps for a full day birding watching safari near the capital Kigali, this will give you an opportunity to see water birds and the migrating flocks, these two wetlands are great breeding areas in Rwanda for several bird species and later you will return to the lodge for relaxation, checklist count and overnight.

Day 2: Drive to Nyungwe forest national park

After early morning breakfast, you will start your drive to Nyungwe forest national park, en route you will stop in various birding areas to bird, this can be fields, small forest areas, and open plains, this will be a much longer drive day as Nyungwe forest is about 7-8 hours’ drive from Kigali, upon arrival in Nyungwe you will check-in for overnight.

Day 3: Full day birding in Nyungwe forest

After early morning breakfast, you will meet the site guides and the rangers at the park headquarters in Gisakura and head into the forest to look out for some of the classic species of birds in Nyungwe forest, you will need to take packed lunch and enough drinking water for the day some of the birds t lookout for including Regal-Sunbird, Kivu-ground Thrush, Congo-bay Owlet, Rwenzori-Nightjar, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori-Turaco, Red-collared mountain-Babbler, Rwenzori-Batis after the wonderful experience you will return to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Day 4: Optional Chimpanzee trekking in Cyamudongo & Half-day birding in Nyungwe forest

Depending on the choice of the clients you may do a chimpanzee trekking in Cyamudongo or you may continue to bird in the forest, this day is entirely optional and clients will always let us know what they will want to do and we can arrange the activity of their choice at the time of booking.

Day 5: Drive to Gishwati Mukura national park

After morning breakfast you will start your drive to Rwanda’s new national park Gishwati Mukura national park which is home to primates like chimpanzees and Golden monkey trekking, this area is also an important birding area in Rwanda depending on the time of arrival you may bird near the park boundary and the nearby fields and later transfer to the lodge for overnight.

Day 6: Full day birding in Gishwati Mukura national park

After morning breakfast you will meet the site guides and the park rangers and head into the forest in search of some of the unique bird species in the park some of the species to look out for including Regal Sunbird, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Ruwenzori Batis, Wood hoopoe, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Martial Eagle, Strange weave, Grey Crowned Crane, Dusky Crimsoning, Ruwenzori Turaco, Mountain Yellow Warblers, Red-throated Alethe.

Day 7: Drive to Volcanoes National park

After morning breakfast you will start driving along the Kivu belt as you look out for birds along the way, upon arrival in Volcanoes national park you will drive to your lodge for overnight and relaxation if time allows you may drive to Lake Bulera and Ruhondo for a boat cruise and birding.

Day 8: Full day birding in Volcanoes national park

After morning breakfast you will be transferred to the park headquarters in Kinigi to meet the ranger guides for your full-day birding experience, most of the park’s special birds can also be seen in Nyungwe Forest, which is better set-up for birding. A local specialty is the vulnerable swamp-dwelling Grauer’s swamp warbler and at least 16 Albertine Rift endemics (birds restricted to the Albertine Rift) are present, including handsome francolin, Ruwenzori turaco, and Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori double-collared sunbird, and Archer’s robin-chat.

Day 9: Optional Gorilla trekking experience

This is an optional day depending on what you will like to do on this day, those that want to come face to face with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park can pre-book the gorilla permits while booking the birding safari, or else they can book another day of birding in the park.

Day 10: Drive back to Kigali

After morning breakfast you will bid farewell to the lodge and transfer to Kigali city with en-route birding in the fields, upon arrival in Kigali you will then be transferred to the airport for your outbound flight or for overnight at your booked hotel in Kigali.


  • Accommodation for the entire trip
  • Vehicle, bird guide, and fuel for the entire trip
  • All entrance fees for birding in all the national parks
  • Enroute meals and drinking water
  • List of Birds of Rwanda
  • All site guides in the entire trip


  • Gorilla permits
  • Chimpanzee permits
  • International flights
  • Rwanda tourist Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guides and hotels
  • Pre and post-safari accommodation
When to book safari package

This trip can be booked 3 months to 6 months in advance for those that will not be trekking Chimpanzees in Nyungwe and Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park, if you choose to do the trek then you will need to book this trip at least a year in advance.

Best time to travel

The best time for birding in Rwanda is usually during the dry season from June to October, this is also the breeding season for some of the Albertine rift endemics.



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