8 DAYS ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMICS TOUR-RWANDA

8 DAYS ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMICS TOUR-RWANDA

8 DAYS ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMICS TOUR-RWANDA

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Despite its small surface are Rwanda is a home to a wide variety of vegetation types due to the bio-geographic situation at the crossroad of the Afromontane, Guineo-Congolian, Zambezian and East-African Influence. With a variety of habitat ranging fromthe high altitude and montane rainforest, open dry and seasonal wet grasslands, Wetlands, Lakes and river, etc. Rwanda is a highly attractive birding destination in the worldwith today’s list of 709 bird species. On this 6 days tour, we visit Nyungwe NP and wetlands of Kigali and Bugesera to try in a short time maximum of bird species Endemics to the Albertine Rift combined with wetlands and savanna birds of Bugesera Nyungwe National Park is one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, with the Afromontane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, grasslands and wetlands. With 322 birds including,Nyungwe is the easiest place in the region to see 29 Albertine Rift Endemics like Handsome Francolin, Mountain Sooty and Willard’s Boubous, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer’s Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-collared Mountain Babbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-throated Alethe, Equatorial Akalat, Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing, etc. Additional to Nyungwe NP, Wetlands and lakes of Kigali and Bugesera offer excellent birdlife and are probably some of the most easily accessible birding areas in Rwanda. Several sites offer good chances to observe waterbirds and savannah species like Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Swamp Warbler, White-collared Oliveback, Carruther’s Cisiticola, Lesser Jacana, Ruhuaha Chat, Sooty Chat, Black and White Mannikin, Blue-naped Mousebird, etc. 

FULL DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival: Upon arrival, a representative from the hotel welcomes you and transfers you at Chez Lando Hotel, a short drive away from the airport 

Day 2: Transfer to Nyungwe NP: After an earlier breakfast, we drive to Nyungwe NP, a journey of about 5 hours, to reach Gisakura by lunch time. After lunch, we have a brief afternoon birding around the office of the park (Gisakura) and the lodge where we can to see Blue Malkoha, African Green-Pigeon, Black-billed Weaver, Blue-headed Sunbird, Great Blue Turaco, Collared Sunbird,, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, and we can also try Rwenzori Nightjar in communities’ farm around the Lodge; accommodation at Ken Barhama Guest House. 

Day 3: Birding and photography in Nyungwe NP: We have the first full day to try Albertine Rift Endemics at Umuyove trail and Rangiro road where we can see endemics like Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Batis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer's Warbler, Rwenzori Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Kungwe Apalis, Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing,Red-throated Alethe. We can also see other eye-catching species like Black-billed Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Gray Cuckoo-shrike, Black-tailed Oriole, Chinspot Batis, Lühder's Bush-shrike, Albertine Boubou, Doherty's Bush-shrike, Black-throated Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Banded Prinia, Chubb's Cisticola, Black Saw-wing, Shelley's Greenbul (Kakamega). We stop for a quick lunch at Uwinka reception and information center. After lunch we can see Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Abyssinian Thrush, African Dusky Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Olive Sunbird, Forest Weaver and at 5.30pm we drive at Ken Barham Guest House for dinner and overnight 

Day 4: Birding and photography in Nyungwe NP: Second full day birding in Nyungwe National Park to continue with photography and observation of mountain species and Albertine Rift Endemics; this time we take Ndambarare, a trail on the western side of Nyungwe NP. We can see Great Blue Turaco, Red-collared Mountain-Babbler, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Elliot's Woodpecker, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Mountain Illadopsis, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Rwenzori Batis, Neumann's Warbler, Willard's Sooty Boubou, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, White-browed Crombec, Black-throated Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Gray Apalis, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Chubb's Cisticola, Black Saw-wing, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Waller's and Stuhlmann's Starlings, African Dusky Flycatcher, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Black-billed Weaver, Forest Weaver, Black-crowned Waxbill and Streaky Seedeater. At this trail we can also see the rare primates of the forest; Grey-checked Mangabay and Mona Monkey along with the Rwenzori Sun Squirrel. After a lunch break, we head to Karamba trail, a few minute driving from the western entrance of the forest and we can see White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Willard's Sooty Boubou, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Dusky Tit, White-browed Crombec, Black-faced Apalis, Archer's Robin-Chat, Northern Double-collared Sunbird and White-breasted Nigrita. We stop our day birding at 5.30pm and we head back to Ken Barham Guest Housefor dinner and accommodation. 

Day 5: Third full day birding in Nyungwe NP: This is a day to try Handsome Francolin at Pindura-Bweyeye road. We can also see Cassin's Hawk-Eagle, Strange and Forest Weavers, Abyssinian Thrush, Albertine Boubou, Doherty's Bush-shrike, Mackinnon's Shrike, White-necked Raven, Black-throated Apalis, Chubb's Cisticola, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, African Yellow White-eye, African Dusky Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher. During the migration period, we can also see raptors like European Honey-buzzard, Black Kite and Mountain Buzzard. After lunch we head back at Rangiro road to see Dwarf Honeyguide, Archer's Robin-Chat, Black-tailed Oriole, Northern Puffback, Albertine Boubou, Rwenzori Apalis, Black-throated Apalis, Black-faced Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbirds; our dinner and accommodation are at Ken Barham Guest House at 7pm. 

Day 6: Morning Birding and transfer to Kigali:We have a morning birding at Waterfall trail; this trail shows really how Nyungwe NP is an indigenous forest. At this trail we shall see Lemon Dove, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Many-colored Bush-shrike, Siffling Cisticola, White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher, African Green-Pigeon, Great Blue Turaco, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Rwenzori Batis, Northern Puffback, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Grauer's Warbler, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Rock Martin, Angola Swallow, Red-rumped, Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul. After lunch we drive to Kigali and on the way we stop at Uwasenkoko wetlands to try Grauer’s Swamp Warbler (Bradypterus graueri) an endangered and endemic to the Albertine Rift species. We reach Kigali at dinner time and our accommodation is at Chez Lando Hotel. 

Day 7: Birding in Kigali and Bugesera Lodge: After breakfast, we drive to Umusambi Village and try the White-Collared Oliveback. We can also see Black-headed Gonolek, Winding Cisticola, Yellow-throated Leaf-love, Black and White Mannikin, Bronze Mannikin, Blue-headed Coucal, Meyer’s Parrot, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Green-headed Sunbird, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Holub's Golden Weaver, Red-cheeked Cordon-blue, Red-chested Cuckoo, Ross's Turaco, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Spot-flanked Barbet, Swamp Flycatcher, Grosbeak Weaver, Tropical Boubou, African Black-headed Oriole, African Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Yellow-throated Longclaw and Grey-crowned Cranes. After lunch, at a local restaurant in Kigali, we drive to Bugesera Lodge. After checking in, we have an afternoon birding and we can see species of Chats; Ruhuaha and Sooty along with savannah species like Brown-backed Scrub-robin, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove, Laughing Dove, White-browed Coucal, Klaas's Cuckoo, Red-chested Cuckoo, Little Swift, African Harrier-Hawk, Long-crested Eagle, Wahlberg's Eagle, Yellow-billed Kit), Blue-naped Mousebird, European Bee-eater African Paradise-Flycatcher, Red-faced Crombec, Miombo Wren-Warbler, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Trilling Cisticola, Yellow-throated Greenbul, Arrow-marked Babbler, Violet-backed Starling, Rüppell's Starling, African Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, White-browed Robin-Chat, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-chested Sunbird, Copper Sunbird, Holub's Golden-Weaver, Southern Red Bishop, Green-winged Pytilia, Red-billed Firefinch, Pin-tailed Whydah, Northern Gray-headed Sparrow, Yellow-fronted Canary, Western Citril, Brimstone Canary; Accommodation and dinner are offered at Bugesera Lodge. 

Day 8: Birding in Bugesera: After an earlier breakfast, we head to wetlands of Bugesera to see Papyrus Gonolek at Gashora Wetland where can also see Papyrus Canary, Levaillant's Cuckoo, Hottentot Teal, Winding and Carruthers's Cisticolas, White-winged Swamp Warbler, Banded Martin, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Yellow-billed Duck, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Eurasian Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Black Crake, Long-toed Lapwing, Wattled Lapwing, African Jacana, Wood Sandpiper, Long-tailed Cormorant, Pink-backed Pelican, Little Bittern, Gray Heron, Black-headed Heron, Purple Heron, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, African Sacred Ibis, Long-crested Eagle, African Marsh-Harrier, Yellow-billed Kite, Malachite Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Eurasian Kestrel, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Red-chested Sunbird, Holub's Golden and Lesser Masked-Weavers, Red-billed Quelea, Southern Red Bishop, White-winged and Fan-tailed Widowbird, Grosbeak Weaver, Common Waxbill, Yellow-fronted Canary, Later afternoon we drive to the airport for the evening flight. END 

Cost 1 Pax (Solo): USD3,800 (Three Thousand Eight Hundred USD) 2 Pax (Single rooms): USD 2,600/pers (Two Thousand Six Hundred USD) 2 Pax (Couple): USD 2,500/Pers (Two Thousand Five Hundred USD) 3 Pax (single rooms): USD 2,200/pers (Two Thousand Two Hundred USD)

 IMPORTANT INFORMATION

•Accommodations: There is a variety of budget and medium class accommodations around national parks and birding destinations. There are also Luxury lodges around Nyungwe and Akagera NPNP. Generally, our tours are for medium range, but the clients can indicate if he/she wants budget or luxury and we review the price accordingly.

 •Infrastructure: There is a good network of asphalted roads and Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is the cleanest city in Africa with safe roads and clean hotels.

 •Connecting to diverse destinations: All major attractions are located within 1-5 hour drive from Kigali. Volcanoes NP is in 2 hours, Akagera NP in 2.5 hours, Nyungwe NP is in 5 hours while Wetlands in Bugesera are in less than one hour drive from Kigali.

 •Safety: East Africa, especially Rwanda, is a thriving, safe with low crime rates in Africa. •A base to visit East African destinations: Rwanda is located in the heart of central and East Africa with easy access to bordering countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo. •Visa: From 1st Jan 2018, Nationals of all countries receive visa on arrival at Kigali International Airport and all land borders. Th one East African Tourist Visa will allow travel between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with the same multiple entry visa. Citizens of countries members to the African Union, Commonwealth and La Francophonie get visa upon arrival and are waived visa fees for a visit of 30 days

 •Climate: Rwanda has temperate tropical highland climate with 2 rainy and 2 dry seasons. At higher altitudes temperatures range from cool to warm.

•Travel airlines: Airlines servicing Kigali International Airport are: RwandAir, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, •Walking: When birding in mountain forests, Nyungwe ,Volcanoes and Gishwati-Mukura NP, we walk on well maintained trails, In Akagera NP, birding is done inside the car (apart from pick nick and campsite); we use 4x4 open roof cars to allow a good sighting of hidden birds in savannah and acacia trees.

 •Cost: The cost includes full board accommodation in a medium range accommodation (meals include one carbonated drink), transport (car, fuel, driver-guide and mineral water), park entrance and other attractions (including guide), taxes and bank charges. It doesn’t cover flight and visa, tips and personal expenses (Laundry, alcohol drinks, telephone calls, etc.) 

•Period: The tour is open along the year

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TWO WEEKS ALBERTINE ENDEMIC AND GORILLA TREKKING HOLIDAYS IN RWANDA.
EDUCATIONAL TOURS: HISTORY, CULTURE AND NATURE WILDLIFE OF RWANDA 
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