Burundi Birding Safari
Burundi is one of the smallest and most densely-populated countries in Africa. Despite Burundi’s small size, the country is endowed with some of nature’s best-kept secrets found in the Rusizi National Park, Kibira Forest National Park, Kigwena-Rumonge Forest National Park, The Congo-Nile Ridge Park, Nyakazu, Mwishanga Forest National Park and the National Park of Ruvubu; which have maintained the natural beauty of the country to the delight of the small number of international visitors who love nature. The birds are numerous and the area represents one of the sites for the albertine rift endemics and the congo biome species that reach their eastern limits here. During this trip, we will try as much as possible to rake through all the natural birding sites in this small country
As one strolls through the rugged beautiful landscapes of Burundi, they are captivated by the “GREEN” in the diverse vegetation of agricultural fields, savannah, and mountain forests, all peaceful with peculiar beauty and exquisite charm. The fauna is quite rich and comprises of different types of animals: antelopes, hares, buffalos, and cynocephalus.
Day 1: Arrive in Bujumbura. Stay at Club du Lac Tanganyika Hotel/Novotel Bujumbura/Source du Nil Hotel
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2 &3: Transfer to Ruvubu national park for birding the whole day and site seeing
After breakfast, we head to Ruvubu National Park. Parc national de la Ruvubu covers an area of 125,000 acres on both sides of the Ruvubu River on the eastern coast of Burundi, and is limited by high rise mountains. The scenery within the park is incredibly varied with rocky hills, savannahs, and woodlands, and all types of footpaths that will take you deep into the rainforest. The track and length of the path network is approximately 100km and includes many observation lookouts. The lower valley of Ruvubu river (the River is home to a large number of hippos and crocodiles) is an open savannah, with swamps and forests. The fauna in this park is amazing with hippopotamus (from which the park got its name), antelopes, crocodiles, leopards, monkeys, lions, and rarer species like the Bohor Reedbuck, and many baboons, buffaloes and wildebeest. There are more than 425 species of birds in this park.
The next day bird to Mwisanga forest national park
Day 4: Transfer to Nyanza and Kigwena Forest. Stay at Saganianza Hotel
After breakfast, we drive southwards to the region of Nyanza, characterized by the large palm trees plantations and the production of oil. We visit the sites of the local palm oil production and interact with the people living in the area. We also have a stopover in Kigwena Forest reserve for a nature walk. Here you have chances of seeing monkeys including the owl faced monkey, and baboons, many birds’ species and butterflies.
Day 5: Transfer to Rusizi and Kibira forest national park for birding the whole day
Day 6: Birding to Congo Nile Ridge Park and Nyakazu
Day 7: Transfer to Gombe Stream national park. Stay at Gombe Forest Luxury Lodge or Gombe Stream Tanapa Bandas
After breakfast, we drive to the border of Tanzania from where we board the boat to Gombe Stream National Park, crossing the border into Tanzania. Later in the afternoon, after lunch, you may have your first encounter with the chimpanzees. Gombe Stream is one of the most interesting projects for the conservation of the chimpanzees and there are no roads connecting to these mountains on Lake Tanganyika. Gombe Stream national park is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks; a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tangayika. Its chimpanzees – which have been habituated – were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioral research programme that now stands as the longest running study of its kind in the whole world. There are about 100 chimpanzees in the park and you will visit the chimp feeding station and walk along the trails in order to find them. Gombe also has about 3000 Olive baboons, plus red colobus, red tailed and blue monkeys, and many bird species. We may also trek through the forest and visit the Jane Goodall mountain.
Day 8: Whole day birding and chimpanzee tracking in Gombe steam.
Day 9: Transfer to Bujumbura. Stay at Club du Lac Tanganyika
After breakfast, we head back to the border between Burundi and Tanzania by boat. Then we proceed to Bujumbura for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Departure