Nyungwe Forest National Park: Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of Rwanda’s most stunning national parks, known as the “land of a thousand hills” with the best views of the montane forest and the ranges of Mount Rwenzori. It is also known for being the habitat of 13 species of primates, which is equal to the number of primates found in Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park. Due to its distinctive activities and attractions, Nyungwe Forest Park, which is located in the southwest of Rwanda, is one of the most popular national parks in both Rwanda and all of east Africa. In order to protect the rare chimpanzees and other animals that live in the tropical forest of the park, Nyungwe Forest Park, which has an estimated 1,020 km2 of land, was established in 2004.
Top 5 things to do while visiting Nyungwe National Park
There are numerous tourist activities in Nyungwe Forest that are regularly included in traveler itineraries; however, only the top 5 activities are covered in this article;
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park
The most popular activity in Nyungwe National Park is Rwanda chimpanzee trekking. This is a result of the Nyungwe forest’s unique characteristics, which give the critically endangered chimpanzee species plenty of food for survival. The dry months are always the finest for visitors to experience a fascinating chimpanzee trekking journey in the Cyamudongo forest since Nyungwe Forest is home to two large troops of habituated chimpanzee families that are available for trekking by various monkey lovers all year round. In Nyungwe Forest Park, chimpanzee trekking often begins early in the morning with a briefing before setting out on the trip. Since Nyungwe Forest National Park is known for being the home to 13 species of primates, including Chimpanzees, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Silver monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys, Olive Baboons, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Colobus monkeys, Bush babies among others that are typically seen while on a canopy walk, & chimpanzees, trekkers are in position to spot other wildlife with in the forest Since Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to around 70 species of mammals, including forest pigs, elephants, and buffaloes among others, you will also have the opportunity to see mammals while on the chimpanzee trekking safari. There are also a number of bird species to see, since the Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 300 different bird species, including forest birds, birds native to the Albertine Rift, and water birds. This suggests that some of the best birding areas are located in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Woodpeckers, cuckoos, handsome franklins, great blue turacos, fly catchers, ruwenzori turacos, sun birds, and other bird species are some of the ones that visitors may see while going chimpanzee trekking in the park.
Birding in Nyungwe forest park
Bird watching is still one of the nicest things bird lovers can do while on a safari in Rwanda. As was already said, the Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the greatest places to go birding while on a safari in Rwanda because it is home to over 300 species of birds. When going on a birding safari at Nyungwe Forest Park, birders are suggested to bring along a set of binoculars and a camera so they may watch and snap numerous images of various bird species. The area surrounding Lake Kivu, woodlands like Cyamudongo and Nyungwe forests, tea plantations, the Rwenzori Mountain ranges, and many more locations are among the best birding areas in Nyungwe National Park. The Red-Throated Alethe, Dwarf Honeyguide, Rwenzori Turaco, Kivu Ground Thrush, and flycatcher are a few of the bird species seen in Nyungwe National Park.
Nature walks and hiking trails in Nyungwe national park
The majority of the walks and hiking trails in Nyungwe National Park are located in Nyungwe Forest, which includes a number of clearly marked hiking routes that start at various points and lead to various locations while providing a wealth of attractions along the way. Depending on what they intend to see along the trip and the amount of time they have as these trails can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days, different travelers will choose to walk via various trails. Several of the pathways for hikes and trekking are;
Nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park
The canopy walk is one of the best hiking trails since it enables visitors to walk on a canopy that is raised 50 meters above the ground and is just slightly taller than a tree. Visitors and tourists are greeted with a picturesque view of various forest creatures while on a canopy walk, including elephants, monkeys, chimps, stunning butterflies, birds, and more. Hikers can also get a bird’s-eye perspective of the entire Nyungwe national park, including all its features. The Igishigishi route, which lasts between one and a half and two hours, is the most well-known name for this canopy walk. The most popular and well-liked trek in Nyungwe National Park is the canopy walk.
Canopy Walks in Nyungwe
Aside from the Igishigishi trail (canopy walk trail), Nyungwe forest has other well-designated walking trails, such as the Bigugu hiking trail, the Congo-Nile divide hiking trail, the Karamba hiking trail, the Imbaraga hiking trail, the Irebero hiking trail, the Umugote hiking trail, the Uwinka hiking trail, the Rukuzi hiking trail, and the Umugote hiking trail. All of these trails go to a variety of locations, such as Lake Kivu, waterfalls, wetlands, swamps, camping grounds, and more.
Monkey trekking in Nyungwe national park
Travelers can take part in a monkey trekking safari in Nyungwe’s montane forest because Nyungwe is home to various kinds of primates, including monkeys. A walk through the forest is a very pleasant adventure since it gives visitors the chance to see many different monkey species, such as the grey-cheeked Mangabey, Colobus monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkeys, and many others.
Nyungwe National Park Accommodations options.
Like any other park, Nyungwe Forest National Park offers a variety of lodging options, from inexpensive lodging for those on a budget safari to upscale lodging for more affluent visitors. Some of these lodging options are Gisakura Guest House, Nyungwe Top View Lodge, Nyungwe Forest Lodge, and campgrounds for those on a tighter budget.
How to reach Nyungwe National Park
It takes about 6-7 hours to drive from Kigali International Airport to Huye and then to Nyungwe National Park. This is the best route to travel there by car. With several detours along the way to see tourist destinations such genocide memorial sites, a journey to Nyungwe Forest National Park is rewarding and more enjoyable.
From the international airport in Kigali, Rwanda Air offers flights to Kamembe, from which visitors must drive for one hour to reach the park.