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Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park : is one of the oldest rain forests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift. Primate tracking tops most visitor’s list, but it’s worth lingering a little longer for those with time to relax and take in the primal atmosphere. Botanists will marvel at the 1,068 plant species and 140 orchids. The bird watching is among the best in Africa with 322 bird’s species including Red-collared Babbler and 29 other Albertine Rift Endemic species. Butterflies are also a common sight, with at least 120 species. There are 75 known mammals in Nyungwe, such as the cerval cat, mongoose, Congo clawless otter and leopard to name but a few. Memorable and photogenic moments include walking up to the Isumo waterfall or along the Canopy walk suspension bridge. Tea plantation border the edges of the park, with a habituated troop of Ruwenzori colobus monkeys at Gisakura as well as forest fringe birds. With plenty of rainfall, Nyungwe is also the major catchment area in Rwanda, and supplies water to 70% of the country. A ridge running through the forest forms a watershed between the drainage systems of the Nile and the Congo. A spring on the slopes of Mt Bigugu is said to be the most remote source of the Nile, the world’s longest river.
Nyungwe is a home of two habituated Chimpanzee groups i.e. one found at Uwunika and the other at cyamudongo and this makes it the most done activity in Nyungwe National Park. There are number of trails that can be used during this thrilling activity though travelers are required to be physically fit since it involves long distances. What makes it more interesting is that tourists get a golden opportunity to know their daily routines such as; the activities they do after waking up, how they sleep, how the chimp babies looked after, where they sleep, how they feed and the plant species they feed on, and how they associate with the surrounding environment therefore by the time you depart from the park you will be contented with all the information about the chimps. Reaching the park you will accept with no single grain of doubt that the chimps are truly next creatures to human beings according to the way female chimps look after and nurse the babies, there feeding characters and much more. The trekking is for 2-7 hours or the hours may increase depending on the location of the chimps since they travel long distances in search for food (plant species. Keep this in mind have your rain jacket, hiking boots, binoculars, and the water bottle with you for you to enjoy your trekking and make it memorable and the best time to do the activity is early morning and the best seasons are late August, June and July during the dry seasons.
Nyungwe is the best place where you can spot over 300 monkey species that are residents in the Park. Primates that thrive in the area include; Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, Silver monkey, Golden monkey, blue monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkey, Red-tailed monkey, Dent’s Mona monkey, Vervet monkey, Grey-cheeked mangapeys among others. Enjoy your monkey adventure as you watch monkeys jumping from one branch of tree to another as they entertain you with their lively nature.
Forest canopy walk
Canopy walk also known as tree top walks provides pedestrian access to the forest canopy. The walkway is a bridge-like in nature between trees in the canopy of Nyungwe forest National Park mostly linked up with platforms inside and around trees. The canopy walk is 200metres above the forest with a height of 40metres and it’s only in Nyungwe forest National Park where this activity is done in the whole of East Africa. During the activity tourists can get an opportunity to originally access the upper regions of forest while viewing and encountering other primates like monkeys moving from branch of tree to the other, and bird species among others. The canopy walk has trail but each derives its name according to the tree species in the area. The walk lasts for majorly two hours but there is age restriction, tourists below six years are not allowed to be part of the activity for safety purposes.
Hiking is a vigorous walk in the footpath of Nyungwe Forest National Park. The park has over 13 trails which will help you explore the forest, waterfalls, rivers and springs in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The hike lasts for about 1-8 hours but it requires a traveler to be physically fit. The hiking trails include; Bigugu-enables you to view the hills of DRC and Lake Kivu, Isumo, Karamba-best for birding, Ngabwe, Kamiranzovu, Igishigishigi, among others but Bigugu and Igishigishigi are most popular trails used by tourists. During the hike tourists are able to spot different bird species, butterflies, primates, tree species, and other wildlife.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a home of over 284bird species that thrive in the area. The bird species include; sunbirds, Rwenzori Turaco, strange weaver, Chapin’s flycatcher, and Archer’s robin chat, blue Turaco, black and white casqued hornbills, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Rwenzori nightjar, Rwenzori hill babler, Ruwenzori Batis among others.
How to get to Nyungwe forest
Nyungwe forest National Park is located in South Western Rwanda close to Lake Kivu and Democratic Republic of Congo, with Burundi border in the South. It is located near Cyangungu town, about 225 km and a 4-5-hour drive from Kigali. You can either drive to the park from Kigali, or fly there.
Where to stay
The park has got a lot of lodges, camps & hotels for accommodation ranging from luxury, budget and mid-range and these are available both inside and outside the park. You can book your accommodation through our company and early bookings are advise.
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
One & only Nyungwe House
Kitabi Eco- Center
Below are some of our short and long Rwanda safaris to to different National Parks in Rwanda.