Birding at Umasambi Village Nature Reserve Center – Kigali

Umusambi nature reserve center was originally started as a wildlife reserve center to rehabilitate and camp for the Grey-crowned Cranes in Rwanda which had been rescued from captivity.it is a beautiful place for visitors interested in bird viewing .it is located at Umasambi village, seated on 21 hectares of land after some of this land being restored by the government of Rwanda from the residents who had settled on it and some wetland had been used for agriculture.

Birding at Umasambi VillageNature Reserve Center

Birding at Umasambi Village Nature Reserve Center

The government of Rwanda together with the Rwanda Development Board facilitated the move to recover the wetlands of the reserve and in the short time it has recovered its natural swamps, there is also the growth of Tall big trees that are becoming impenetrable and the beautiful vegetation also covers grasslands, and natural lush marshes across the free area making the reserve forest more improving with the natural beauty almost making it similar to Nyungwe Forest The place has across crossing network within the area making it accessible to all inhabitants making it the best place to visit while in Kigali city and also located along the road that goes to Akagera national park for other tourist activities.

Conserving the Grey Crowned Cranes in Rwanda

Grey-crowned Cranes were extremely specified with extinction in the country since more people could capture them for pets at home and would destroy their breeding grounds. The people after capturing the Grey-crowned Cranes could break their flying structures and also breaking the wings so that they can’t be able to escape.

The population of the Grey-crowned Cranes had flopped to 500 individuals compared to 2,500 individuals during the 1990s. this also forced the government of Rwanda together with the Rwanda Development Board an agency responsible for wildlife conservation to pass a strict law for people capturing the Grey Crowned Cranes over the country as an action to preserve and increase the numbers. Also, the Rwanda conservation Association[RCA] came out to abolish the bad acts and as time went on it established the Umasambi village to continuously conserve the Grey-crowned cranes and collecting them from captivity for rehabilitation.

Now many of the Grey-crowned Cranes are joyfully using the Umusambi village to breed amongst themselves and also flying over the place, making it beautiful for birding visitors, however, some have remained with permanent injuries others have been healed and set back into the wild.

Birding at Umasambi village.

Umusambi currently is the best and beautiful place for bird viewing in the Kigali capital. It has a population of over 100 bird species compared to other places for bird safari trips in Kigali city.

For birders, it is an excellent place, very accessible with better swamps, beautiful vegetation/grasslands, long compacted bushy and woodlands places spotted for birdwatching making it possible for over 30 species viewed in a day.

Bird species found at Umasambi village.

  • Barn Swallow
  • Black Sawing
  • Black-shouldered Nightjar
  • Yellow-breasted Apalis
  • Olive Woodpecker
  • White-collared Olive back
  • Cardinal Woodpecker
  • Purple-crested Turaco
  • Green-winged Pytilia
  • Black kite (Nominate Race)
  • Tambourine Dove
  • Black-faced Go-away Bird
  • White-headed Sawwing
  • Lesser Honey-guide
  • African firefinch
  • Village Weaver
  • Spot-flanked Barbet
  • Meyers Parrot