Nyungwe forest national park is another thought after place to visit while in Rwanda. The park has a large track of Montane Forest with all so many phenomena the park is located in the Southern part of Rwanda about 5 hours’ drive from Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
The park is an exciting place to explore since it has many things to see and do. Nyungwe forest national park is known for housing over 13 species of primates. And the most commonly known primates to trek are the chimpanzees our closest relative sharing almost 98% of human Make-up.
Chimps are so fabulous fun to watch as they play in fruitful trees or tree branches. They can also be found doing their daily activity such as feeding, mothers breastfeed, making nests among many others. Like the gorillas you are also strictly allowed to stay with the chimps for one hour once they are met.
The one hour spent with the chimps is regarded as an exciting moment! Run and book your Rwanda chimp tour before it’s late. Other primates species you won’t miss to see in Nyungwe forest. Include the black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkey, civet monkey, baboons just to mention but a few.
At Nyungwe forest.NP, you can also opt for a canopy walk through the forest; one of only three in Africa. This canopy walk is 50a meters above the ground and is even above the tree tops. In addition to the canopy walk, you can also enjoy nature walks, monkey tracking and birding. Nyungwe is referred as some of the best birding destination in Africa. Nyungwe forest should be a must on your Rwanda safari itinerary.
Nyungwe forest is home to 75 different species of mammals with most of these being small and or nocturnal making it difficult for sighting. Chimpanzees are the main attraction in nyungwe forest with chimp trekking happening daily early morning. The forest is home to troops of 300 colobus monkeys or more roaming in the trees, giving visitors to the forest another engaging activity.
For many tourist who visit this park, purposely visit for chimpanzee trekking. as mentioned above that the park not only houses chimpanzee but it hosts many other primate species many can be seen in the process of chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzee trekking begins every early in the morning after reporting to the park headquarters to receive short briefings about the dos and dont’s while with the chimps. The search of the chimps is unpredictable, however it can last between 1-6 hours depending on where they last spent their night from, and once they are met, you are strictly allowed one hour in Nyungwe forest with them while observing them how they pass through their daily life and as well as taking as many pictures and videos with them.
Imagine walking along the canopy walkway, which stretches 160 meters long and extends 70 meters above the forest ground, its amazing and exciting moment walking a few meters from different species of birds and primates such as chimps, the black and white colobus etc and many butterflies. This activity is not for the faint of hearts as it involves walking along the canopy walkway.
This activity in Nyungwe national park gives tourist a chance to explore the national park from above and your eyes sees wider, as visitors along the canopy walkway can get a panoramic view of the forest canopy. Any body interested in this activity is required to report at the park headquarters early in Uwinka where all briefings begins from. The activity takes about 2 hours and costs USD 60 dollars per person. and any person aged from 6 years and above is allowed to participate as long as he/she doeskin fear hight. The canopy walk way/ bridge is accessible by visitors on a hiking tour along the Igishigishigi, Imbaraga and Umuyove trails.
Nyungwe national park is gifted with a wide variety of bird species some of which are rarely seen in other national parks. Over 322 bird species are recorded in this park so bird lovers are gifted with huge chances of sighting. Some of the bird species that are commonly sighted in Nyungwe national park include; the Strange weaver, Chapin’s Fly catcher and Rockefeller’s Sunbird Archer’s Robin Chat and so many more. birding in Nyungwe forest national park costs $50 dollars per person per day.
This is also another interesting activity one can’t miss to go for while in Nyungwe Forest national park which is hiking and guided forest/ nature walks. over 13 hiking trails are in this park, each trail is entitled with spectacular views. Hiking expeditions can goes between 1 to 8 hours at a fee of 40 dollars per person.
Not only that but tourists to the park can hike to Isumo waterfalls which is the most favorite among hikers in Nyungwe national park. The falls goes up to 17 meters high and give tourists great views of some caves and even Kamiranzovu swamp. Many hiking trails can also give visitors chance spot different species of snakes, birds, butterflies wildflowers and unique tree and plant species. A hike to Isumo waterfalls in Nyungwe Forest national park costs USD 50 dollars per person.
Other hiking trails include; Congo Nile guided hike which is a 3 day hiking expedition; and camping in the forest.
there are so many accommodations facilities in Nyungwe forest national park ranging from budget to Luxury lodges, so choosing where to stay deepens on the travelers choice and budget. to mention some of these lodges includes below;
One&Only Nyungwe House – High end
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel – Midrange
Gisakura Guesthouse – Budget (non self-contained rooms)
Emeraude Kivu Lodge – Midrange (located in Cyangugu town on Lake Kivu, 30 minutes drive from Nyungwe)