Kigwena Natural Forest/Nature Reserve Burundi is located in Rumonge near Bururi Town about 42kilometers from Bujumbura, the forest reserve of Kigwena extends over 3,300 hectares between 773m and 820m above sea level along the Lake Tanganyika in Rumonge commune. It stretches out over the Western piedmont of the Congo-Nile ranges and comes down the gentle slope on the plain, down to Lake Tanganyika and enclosed in Cabara and Karonda villages in the Kigwena zone. The nature is incredible with old trees, lianas, baboons, insect life and dragonflies. It is strongly advisable to wear long pants and carry mosquito spray as well.

Two hippos playing with each other in the water during daytime.

From the reserve, Lake Tanganyika is located to the West, to the East is a palm grove to the South, and a footpath which leads to the Port of Karonda to the North. The Kigwena forest is a peri-Guinean forest like the Congo basin forest. It is very rich in vegetation species such as, is Terminalia Superba, Elaeis guineensis, Albizia zygia, etc.

Kigwena Natural Forest borders Lake Tanganyika which is the centre of attraction with 97 water bird species that are recorded. These are rare species found here including, the grey cuckoo shrike, Arnot’s chat, and chirping cisticola, then two species of primates which are most remarkable like the olive baboon and Tantalus monkey. Other less remarkable mammals are, Hippopotami, Some species of snakes like the Python and many species of butterflies.

Walks can be arranged with a local guide to search for the few primates surviving in the forest reserve and the abundant birdlife is a key attraction in the area for travellers as Lake Tanganyika provides a great habitat for breeding.

By road Kigwena is 42 km South-Western Burundi in Rumonge Commune within Bururi Province and, using 4×4 travellers can drive to the reserve, approximately an hour to two will be required to access the forest reserve.

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