Umusambi Village – Kigali City Tours : Umusambi Village is a must visit destination for any tourist visiting Rwanda. Its close proximity to Kigali International Airport makes Umusambi Village the perfect pit-stop for visitors arriving in Kigali.

Umusambi Village, also known Umusambi Crane Village, is the only safe haven for rescued grey crested cranes in Rwanda. The village is home to approximately 50 grey crested cranes which have unfortunately been injured during captivity and hence cannot return to the wild. The crane village has become a permanent home for these majestic birds; with their population in the wild estimated to be about 400 cranes.

The crane village has been established on 21 hectares of nature reserve which is mainly being managed by Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association. The main aim of the association is to stop the illegal trade, raise awareness and return many of the captive cranes back to the wild.

Since the conservation work started Umusambi Village in Kigali, staff at the sanctuary have come across several cranes that have been disabled as a result of living in captivity. This has often been linked to their capture, poor transportation, torture that includes their wings or feathers being cut off by their captors to prevent the birds from flying away. As a result of such mistreatment, the birds are unable to return back to the wild hence they are brought to the crane village where they are treated by a team of veterinary doctors and taken care by staff at the sanctuary.

Since the opening of the crane village, the association has reintroduced 166 grey crowned cranes into wild in Akagera National Park and a total of 242 grey crowned cranes have been rescued from captivity.

Umusambi Village - Kigali City Tours
Umusambi Village – Kigali City Tours

Umusambi Village provides visitors with a unique eco-tourism attraction in Kigali city, connecting both international tourists and local residents with nature which continues to raise awareness about our work to protect Grey Crowned Cranes and save these beautiful birds from illegal trade. In Rwanda culture, Grey Crowned Cranes are a symbol of wealth and longevity, which partly increases their treats due to habitat reduction and illegal trade.

According to the annual population census conducted by Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association, there were an estimated 487 cranes in 2017, 459 cranes in 2018, 748 cranes in 2019 and a whopping 881 cranes in 2020. The increase in their numbers can mainly be attributed to the conservation projects and education programmes that have continuously been conducted by the conservation association.

Umusambi Village - Kigali City Tours
Umusambi Village – Kigali City Tours

Umusambi Village in Kigali city welcomes visitors everyday starting from 8am in the morning to 5pm in the evening, with the last entry being at 4pm. International visitors at the centre are charged $17 per person, $11 for foreign residents, $4 per person for Rwanda citizens and all children aged between 2-16 years are charged $4 per person. Children below two years of age are allowed to visit the centre free of charge. In addition to this, all proceeds from the entrance fees collected go directly back into the operating costs of the centre and to conservation projects run at the centre.

How to get to Umusambi Village in Kigali.

Umusambi Village is situated within Kigali city in Rwanda. It is located about 20 minutes from Kigali city centre and can easily be accessed by car, taxi or motorbike (boda-boda). The crane sanctuary is a great stopover for visitors travelling to Akagera National Park in the eastern province of Rwanda.

Conclusion: Umusambi Village in Kigali is the perfect destination for visitors on a tour of the city. A visit to the crane village is best combined with a wildlife safari in Akagera National Park or a gorilla trekking safari to Volcanoes national park.

book a gorilla trip