Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in the South Western part of Rwanda where it is borders by the Rwanda-Burundi border in the South. Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo lie on the west side of the park. It sites on an area of about 1020 sq.km and has an elevation of 1600-2950m above sea level. The beautiful green forest is also quite important to two of Africa’s great rivers. Rain that falls on the east side feeds the Nile and on the west runs to the Congo.
Nyungwe has a variety of Wildlife, nature and also a diversity of habitats for tourist to explore. Nyungwe Forest National Park harbors habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primates species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), it’s also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal. Sounds and views collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. Exploring through the forest, travelers will witness the lush green. The sounds and picturesque sites of Nyungwe Forest intertwine to create a unique wildlife experience. As you’re looking to do a Rwanda safari in Nyungwe National Park, Trek through the forest in search for chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys or Birds. Or Opt to hike on the sidelines of the forest during the Congo Nile Trail trek to get exciting views of this dense forest.
Being one of the oldest forests in Africa and situated in Albertine Rift valley eco- region, which is one of the reason it boasts such a high level of diversity and this offered refuge for forest plants, animals and as home to over 310 species of birds that have been recorded in Nyungwe which reflects a large habitat diversity and the altitudinal range. These also include the 25 species of the Albertine Rift mountains endemic bird Area which occur in Rwanda, the Rockefellers’ sun bird, Chapin’s flycatcher. Still here, 11 of the 23 species of the Guinea Congo Forest biome and also 71 of the 74 species of this biome of the afro tropical highlands that occur in Rwanda and have been recorded at this site.
Tourist Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park hosts of about 400 species of chimpanzees, makes it a popular activity in Nyungwe (especially when the park’s trees are in full bloom during the summer) as well informative guides often lead you through the park’s forests where the chimps are moving constantly around at high speeds, jumping from tree to tree making noise which are mostly likely to be seen early in the morning and in evening. The habituated chimpanzee group in Nyungwe forest is also bigger with about 60 individuals and due to the greatness of the forest and terrain, it gives few chances of seeing the chimps, while the group in Cyamudongo forest that has a smaller number of about 30 chimps giving the most successful sightings that are given in the small size that is covered to find the chimps in any part.
Visiting to Nyungwe National Park can experience the rainforest from a new perspective: the Canopy Walkway. Hanging 60 meters above the forest floor between giant trees and towers, East Africa’s only Canopy Walkway provides a stunning view of the park’s amazing wildlife and nature. The Walkway is accessible as part of a specialized guided tour along the Igishigishigi trail or if you’re not part of a tour, hiking the Imbaraga or Umuyove trails which is full of 2 hours with full relaxation.
Hiking in forest Nyungwe National park
Hiking Nyungwe takes you 130km through different trails that are found in Nyungwe forest National Park in Rwanda. The hiking trails also take few hours to 3 days and there is also the canopy trail, the Rwanda source of the Nile, Ngabwe Trail, Bigugu Trail, Igishigishigi Trail, Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail, Isumo waterfall Trail, Karamba Birding Trail, Muzimu Trail, Imbaraga Trail, Irebero Trail, Umugote Trail, The Rukuzi Trail, Umuyove Trail and the Congo Nile Divide Trail, all this is found in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.
Isumo water falls
The inspiration trail takes you 2.3 km descends into one of the most densely vegetated and steepest rainforest ravines on any trail at Nyungwe At roughly 17 m in height, it is even more impressive for the force with which it shoots through a narrow gap into a stunning amphitheater and . Cool moist air and the murmur of a river rise from below as you are able to observe several species of primates which are mingled with calls of birds, tree frogs and insects.
Gisakura Tea plantation
While here, you walk into this tea estate to adventure close the variety of parallel ridges of tea plus the attractive mountains that provide a beautiful back drop for the plantation especially to the tea lovers. Visiting in working days (Monday to Saturday) you will be able to see friendly farmers picking the tea and collecting them in the baskets which are always willing to spare some time to greet the tourists.
Where to stay in Nyungwe
There are a number of accommodations which will serve you in international standard Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel and Gisakura Guest House
How to get there
Nyungwe forest national park is located in south western Rwanda, of about 225km and a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali. By air offer domestic flights and one of its domestic routes is Kigali-Kamembe.