Arrival /drive to Akagera National park
You will be met by Uber Luxe Safaris staff at Kigali International Airport and introduced to your driver guide. You will be transfered (3 hour journey) through Kigali Town to Akagera National park. You have the option of stopping in Kigali for coffee at either Bourbon Coffee, a contemporary café with a vibrant atmosphere that serves premium Rwandan coffee or trying the choice of exotic restaurants in Kigali which offer a wide variety of cuisine that we can highly recommend for lunch.
After lunch you’ll go on an afternoon boat excursion on Lake Ihema which will take you to the island that is inhabitant to several species of birds. Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of water birds, while the connecting marshes are the haunt of the endangered and exquisite papyrus gonolek, and the bizarre shoebill stork - the latter perhaps the most eagerly sought of all African birds.
Other rare and stunning wetland birds in Rwanda are the Papyrus Gonolek, Carruther’s Cisticola, white winged warbler and the Blue-headed Coucal. One cannot also miss the acacia species that are supported by the park; including red-faced barbet, white-headed, black and familiar chats, Tabora Cisticola, White-winged and Broad-tailed Warbler and Miombo Wren-warbler. After your boat excursion, you will be taken to check into Ruzizi Tented Lodge.
Birding in Akagera national park
In the morning after an early breakfast,you will be driven by the driver guide and a birding guide through the park. Akagera National Park holds an interesting selection of species associated with a diversity of habitats: wetlands, woodlands, grasslands, riparian forest and bush country.
Species we shall look for include Coqui Francolin, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Meyer’s Parrot, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Rueppell’s Long-tailed Starling, African Penduline Tit, White-winged Tit, Angola Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Trilling Cisticola, Tabora (Long-tailed) Cisticola, Buff-bellied Warbler, Red-faced Crombec, Green-capped Eremomela, Pale Wren Warbler, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks and Red-headed Weaver. However, the star attraction is the muchvery localised Red-faced Barbet, which we should locate in some large fig trees near the Akagera Lodge.
Birding in Kigali
Early morning you’ll be driven to Kigali at one of the most popular site of bird watching in Kigali City. The Nyarutarama Lake near the Golf Course in Kigali one can spot the African Reed Warbler and Great Sedge Warbler, the Winding Cisticola as well as the Common Waxbill, Grey-backed Fiscal, Tropical Boubou, Red-rumped and MosqueSwallows, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Great White Pelican, Common Moorhens, Grosbeak Weaver, Grey Heron, Yellow-backed (Black-headed) Weavers, and the PiedKingfisher.
After birding at Nyarutarama Lake you will be driven to Bugesera District for an hour of road. On your arrival at Bugesera Town you’ll be driven to Kigali Serena for your breakfast. After the breakfast you’ll have Boat Ride exclusion on the Lakes around the Hotel.
Bugesera is known for its different Lakes such as: Cyohoha, Ruhondo and Reru where we can find several species of birds. Bird species around the lakes are: Giant Kingfisher, Barn Owl, Icterine warbler, and Greater Swamp warbler, Southern Red Bishop, Swamp Flycatcher and Crested Crane. After the Boat Ride exclusion you will return to Kigali Serena for your Lunch. And later check in at Kigali Serena hotel.
Ideally located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards, the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art.
Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel features an Executive Lounge and Bar, which opens onto a wide sundeck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Café offers inside and outside poolside seating.
Road transfer to Nyungwe/Canopy walk
The next morning after having an early breakfast, at 6:00am, you will have a scenic road transfer to Nyungwe Forest, the largest montane forest in East and Central Africa. On your way you will have an option of visiting the canopy The Canopy walkway consists of three bridges and three towers and the total length of the walkway is160m.
The walkway is embedded in a guided tour along Igishigishigi Trail. Taking this tour with a specialised Park Guide will not only show you the forest canopy but also explain why it is an integral part of the tropical rainforest ecosystem. You will learn what the major characteristics of a rainforest and why the canopy are an importance part of Nyungwe Forest. It is a total of 3 hours altogether to the Canopy walk way and back to the RDB office.
After the canopy you will proceed to Nyungwe forest lodge and check-in for lunch. You might decide to have a walk in the tea plantations or walk around the lodge as you explore the beauty of the Nyungwe. Forest
After an early morning breakfast by 6:00am you will proceed to Gisakura for Briefing then head to Kamiranzovu swamp led by a professional Birding Guide by 6.30am.
Birds you are going to encounter include: Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Great Blue Turaco, Red-chested Owlet, Mountain, Montane Oriole, Grey Cuckooshrike, Pink-footed Puff back, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Ruwenzori Batis, , White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, White-starred Robin, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Stuhlmann’s Starling, Slender-billed Starling, Sharpe’s Starling, Striped-breasted Tit, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Mountain Illadopsis, Ruwenzori Blue-headed Sunbird, , Stuhlmann’s Double-collared Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Black-headed Waxbill, and Thick-billed Seedeater.
After the birding tour, you will be returned to lodge for lunch and an afternoon of leisure.
Birding in Nyungwe
After breakfast you will transfer to the park headquarters for your professional Birding Guide and then be driven to the nearby Karamba trail in the search for birds.
The best birding in Rwanda is to be had in Nyungwe Forest; no fewer than 25 Albertine Rift endemics have been recorded here. We have 2 full days to explore these endemic-rich highland forests. The list of possible species is long, but highlights should include Handsome Francolin (difficult to see), flocks of noisy Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, chattering White-headed Woodhoopoes, a gaudy Bar-tailed Trogon or Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and several endemics such as Kivu Ground Thrush, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing and Red-throated Alethe. Overhead we’ll watch for raptors, as both Buzzard and Cassin’s Hawk Eagle occur. The area holds of great diversity of warblers, many of which are hard work to see. Among these area noisy Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned Prinia, Banded Prinia, Ruwenzori, Chestnut-throated, Mountain Masked, Black-throated, Grey and Kungwe (rare) Apalises, the unusual Grauer’s Warbler, swamp-loving Grauer’s Rush-Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, White-browed Crombec, striking Neumann’s Short-tailed Warbler and Red-faced Woodland Warbler. However, the undoubted stars of Nyungwe are Red-collared Mountain-Babbler, Ruwenzori Turaco and Purple-breasted Sunbird. The Turaco is rather common and can even be seen crossing over the tarred road that runs through the forest. However, the other two species are more challenging.
The sunbirds set up territories around flowering Symphonia trees, where the males compete for attention.After your birding tour you will be returned to lodge for Dinner.
Road transfer to Gisenyi
Today you will have breakfast and transfer to Gisenyi the drive will introduce you to different villages in Rwanda and also you will be able to see how local Rwandese carry on with their day to day life on arrival at the hotel you will have your lunch and check in.
Lake Kivu Serena rooms are all presented in typically pan-African style with balconies and extensive views of the lake. Our selection of Lake Kivu accommodation choices makes our hotel suitable for business, leisure or family-time.
Birding on Nkora Island
This morning you will have a 3 hour scenic boat ride on the Lake. You will be able to visit Nkora Island which has a small fishing village where you can interact with the locals and is also great for bird and bat watching.
After exploring the splendours of Lake Kivu, you then have lunch at Lake Kivu Serena then be driven back to Kigali via the Virungas. You will get a chance to visit the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. On arrival in Kigali you will check-in at Kigali Serena hotel.