Kigwena Forest Nature Reserve

Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
Kigwena Forest Nature Reserve is located in South-Western Burundi, i.e in Rumonge Commune in Bururi Province. It is enclosed in Cabara and Karonda villages in Kigwena zone. From the reserve, Lake Tanganyika is located to the west; national road no. 3 is to the East, palm grove is to the South and a footpath which lead to the Port of Karonda to the North. The Kigwena forest is a peri-Guinean forest like Congo basin forest. It is very rich in vegetation species out of which most the representative are Terminalia superba, Elaies guineensis, Albizia zygia, etc.

Key biodiversity
Kigwena Forest Nature Reserve borders Lake Tanganyika which is the centre of attraction of many water birds species. On the whole, 97 species were recorded, out of which 3 are threatened, 1 is of Afrotropical Highlands forests (Coracina caesia), 2 are of Zambezian biome (Myrmecocichla arnoti, Cisticola pipiens).

Non-bird biodiversity: The reserve shelters diversified wild fauna. Two species of primates are most remarkable: Papio anubis and Chlorocebus tantalus (aethiops). Other less remarkable mammals are: Hippopotamus amphibius, Phacochoerus africanus, Cephalophus sp., Cricetomys gambianus, Herpestes sp, Genetta victoriae. Some species of snakes also live here: Python sebae, Naja melanoleuca, Thelotornis capensis, and many species of butterflies.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The Kigwena forest is enclosed in two large villages, CABARA and KARONDA which have a total of 9095 inhabitants. The main source of energy for this population is firewood. The extension of arable land, killing of big birds for meat as well as uncontrolled fishing constitute real threats to the reserve.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kigwena Forest Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 04/10/2022.