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Gishwati Makura national park

Gishwati Makura national park : is Rwanda’s fourth National park made up of two separate forests; the larger Gishwati and small Mukura. The forests sit on the ridge which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas, along the incredibly biodiverse Albertine Rift in the west of the country. It is made up of 60 species of tree, including indigenous hardwoods and bamboo. Gishwati is home to a group of 20 chimpanzees which live alongside golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys. Birds are well represented too, 232 species have been seen at Gishwati and 163 at Mukura, among them Albertine Rift Endemic species and forest specialists. Activities in the park include a guided nature hike, guided chimp and monkey tracking, bird watching and a visit to the waterfalls Community-based activities include a farm stay, a live cultural dance, making handicrafts, beekeeping, a tea plantation tour and the chance to learn from traditional healers, who use natural plants to support modern medicine and synthesized drugs.

Primate watching

Gishwati houses a number of primates such as, Baboons, chimpanzee, Golden monkeys, Blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and much more. Cats, forest birds and duikers can also be spotted in the park. Tourists are also able to track golden monkeys and chimpanzee due to the existence of habituated groups. During the tracking you will learn more about the chimps and discover their lifestyle and the daily day to day activities on the chimpanzee.

Bird watching

There over 83 bird species recorded in Gishwati National Park though some of the bird species are found in the Albertine Rift. The species include; Weaver birds, Wood hoopoes, strange weavers, Martial Eagle, Mountain Yellow Warblers, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, grey Crowned Crane, and Ruwenzori Turaco extra. You will be accompanied by the guide to give more information about the different bird species.

Nature walks & Hiking

During the hike you will be able to spot different primates, bird species, insects, chameleon, tree species, baboons and butterflies. The park has got different trails that can be used explore the indoor parts of the park. Apart from viewing the primates, hiking will help discover the hidden secret situated in the middle of the park known as the Kazeneza waterfall and travelers are allowed to have memorable pictures around the area.

Cultural experience

Many cultures live around Gishwati National Park but with different norms. The cultures are welcoming and you can engage in cultural practices like music, dance, and drama, storytelling, visit the craft makers, farmers and you can also discover how the local food is traditionally made and the local beers. Tourists can also take time and visit the traditional healers who mix medicines from the tree species found in Gishwati National Park.

How to access Gishwati National Park

Gishwati is located 84 kilometres from the city Kigali which takes approximately 3-4hours to reach the park. The park can easily be accessed either by use of air transport (which takes 45minutes to reach the park) or by road transport. From Volcanoes national park it’s easy to reach since its only 27km from Gishwati National Park. The park can also be accessed from Uganda via Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park.

Where to stay in Gishwati National Park

Luxury lodge: Gishwati Lodge

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