Nyungwe forest national park: Nyungwe forest  park is one of the most beautiful national park in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills with the best scenic view of the montane forest, ranges of mount Rwenzori, and known as the home to 13 species of primate species in Rwanda that is equivalent to the primate species in Kibale forest national park in Uganda. Nyungwe forest  park is situated in southwestern part of Rwanda and is amongst the most visited national parks in the both Rwanda and east Africa at large due to its unique activities and attractions. Nyungwe forest  park covers a land scape estimated at 1,020km2 and was gazette in the year 2004 in order to preserve the endangered chimpanzees and other species that inhabit the tropical forest of the park.

Largest natural forest in Rwanda

Top 5 tourism activities in Nyungwe  national park

Nyungwe forest has a lot of tourism activities that are always included on the travelers Itinerary however, only the most common 5 activities are included within this article;

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe national park

Chimpanzee trekking is the most common activity carried out in Nyungwe national park. This is due to the nature of the Nyungwe forest that provides plenty of food to the endangered chimpanzee species for survival. Nyungwe forest has two large troops of habituated chimpanzee families available for trekking by different primate lovers all year round though the dry months are always the best for travelers to enjoy a fascinating chimpanzee trekking adventure with in cyamudongo forest. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest park usually starts early in the morning with the briefing before commencing the trek. While trekking the chimpanzees, trekkers are in position to spot other wildlife with in the forest including fauna and flora species such as different species of primates since Nyungwe forest national park is known as the home to 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees, Grey cheeked Mangabey, Silver monkey, Red-tailed monkey, Vervet monkey, Olive baboon, L’Hoest’s monkey, Colobus monkeys, Bush babies among others that are normally seen while on a canopy walk, & chimpanzee trekking. During the chimpanzee trekking, you will also be in position to spot mammals since Nyungwe forest national park is a home to about 70 species of mammals including forest hogs, elephants, and buffaloes among others as will be spotted during the chimpanzee trekking safari. Other species to encounter are the bird species since Nyungwe forest national park is a home to about 300 species of birds including water birds, birds endemic to Albertine rift, forest birds among others. This implies that Nyungwe forest national park has some best birding grounds. Some of the bird species encountered in the park include; wood peckers, Cuckoo, Handsome franklin, Great blue Turaco,  fly catchers, Ruwenzori Turacos, sun birds among others that offer that catching sight to the travelers during chimpanzee trekking.

Birding in Nyungwe forest park

Birding is yet amongst the best activities enjoyed by bird lovers while on a Rwanda safari. As mentioned earlier, Nyungwe forest national park is a home to over 300 species of birds making it one of the best birding destination while on a Rwanda safari. Birders are advised to carry along with them a pair of binoculars and a camera while on a birding safari in Nyungwe forest  park in order to watch and take several pictures of different bird species. The best birding ground in Nyungwe  national park include the area around Lake Kivu, the forest such as Cyamudongo & Nyungwe forests, around the tea plantations, near Rwenzori Mountain ranges and many more. Amongst the bird species seen in Nyungwe national park include Red- Throated Alethe, Dwarf Honeyguide, Rwenzori turaco, Kivu Ground Thrush, fly catcher among others.

Nyungwe forest national park
Birds of Nyungwe forest national park

Nature walks and hiking trails in Nyungwe  national park

Most of the walks and hiking trails in Nyungwe  national park are carried out with in Nyungwe forest which has several and well designated hiking trails that start and lead to different destinations while offering lots of attractions along the way. Different travelers chose to walk via different trails depending on what they intent to sight along the way and the time they have since these trails range from few minutes to several days. Some of the walks and hiking trails include;

Nyungwe forest national park
Nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park

The canopy walk: This is one of the best Hiking trail that allows travelers to walk on a canopy raised at 50m above the ground that is slightly the height of the tree. While on a canopy walk, visitors / tourists are rewarded with a scenic view of different wildlife with in the forest including elephants, monkeys, chimpanzees, beautiful butterflies, birds and many more.  Hikers are also in position to view the entire Nyungwe  national park from above and all the attractions within.  This canopy walk is mainly known as the Igishigishi trail that lasts between one and a half hours to two hours. The canopy walk is the most common and enjoyed walk while in Nyungwe  national park.

Nyungwe forest national park
Canopy Walks in Nyungwe

Apart from Igishigishi trail (canopy walk trail), Nyungwe forest has other well designated walking trails including Karamba hiking trail, Imbaraga hiking trail, Irebero hiking trail, Umugote hiking trail, Umugote hiking trail, Uwinka hiking trail, Rukuzi hiking trail  Ngabwe hiking trail,  Muzimu hiking trail, Kamiranzovu hiking trail, trail , Bigugu hiking trail , Congo – Nile divide hiking trail among others. All these trail lead to different destinations including Lake Kivu, water falls, wetlands, swamps, camping sites and many more.

Monkey trekking in Nyungwe  national park

Since Nyungwe has several species of primates including monkeys, traveler are able to enjoy a monkey trekking safari with in the montane forest of Nyungwe. A walk in the forest is such a rewarding excursion enabling travelers to encounter several monkeys including grey cheeked Mangabey, Colobus monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkeys and many more species of monkeys.

 Accommodation facilities in Nyungwe national park

Nyungwe forest national park like any other park has got different accommodation facilities ranging from Budget for travelers on a budge safari, midrange facilities for average travelers and luxury lodges for luxurious travelers. Some of these accommodations include; camping sites for budget travelers and Gisakura guest house, Nyungwe top view lodge for average travelers and Nyungwe forest lodge for luxury travelers

Getting to Nyungwe  national park

By Road

The best way to get to Nyungwe national park by road is by landing at Kigali international airport and then driving on road for about 6-7 hours on the road to Huye and then to the park. A drive to Nyungwe forest national park is rewarding and more fun with different stoppages along the way to visit some tourism attractions along the way including some genocide memorial sites.

By Air

Rwanda Air offers flights from Kigali international airport to Kamembe then travelers spend one hour of drive to the park.

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