Nyungwe National Park is the oldest and most popular park in Rwanda. The park is nestled in south-western part of Rwanda. The Park covers about 970 square kilometres in the south, where it crosses the border between Rwanda and Burundi. Nyungwe Forest National Park is the world’s most biodiverse national park. It has the most pristine mountain rain forests. The forest spread from northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the Rwenzori Mountains, western Rwanda, and Burundi to the shores of Lake Victoria.
Attractions in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most appealing safari destination to explore because it has so many amazing attractions, like primates, bird species and many more.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a home to a variety of species of wildlife, like the civet, jackal, golden cats, duikers, leopards, golden cats, and many other primates. Primate species like red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, bush babies, and many others live in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Primate species are one of the main attractions in the park.
Bird lovers who go to Nyungwe Forest National Park have a better chance of seeing the most beautiful birds in the park. This is because of the huge alpine forest in the park, which is home to more than 310 bird species, 120 of which are forest species and 16 of which are only found in the Albertine Rift. In Nyungwe Forest National Park, there are many different kinds of birds, such as the red-collared mountain babbler, African hill babbler, Bar-tailed trogon, Great blue turaco, Rwenzori turaco, Dwarf honeyguide, purple-breasted sunbird, and many more.
Nyungwe Forest National Park houses the unique Albertine Rift alpine rainforest, found in the Albertine Rift region. This park, covering around 1000 square kilometers, boasts an impressive variety of plants, with over 1068 different types. Among them, you will discover about 200 tree species, including giant lobelia, orchids, bamboo, and shrubs. What is remarkable is that 68 of these species are exclusive to the park, such as mahogany and talenna rwandesis.
Activities to do in Nyungwe Forest national park
Nyungwe Forest National Park offers exciting chimpanzee trekking safari experiences. Most chimpanzees are found in Uwinka and Cyamudongo areas. The trek begins with a morning briefing at either Uwinka or Cyamudongo, where you learn about the trekking rules. Then, you follow designated trails through the forest with the help of knowledgeable guides. During this trek, you can spot various animals like red-tailed monkeys, baboons, and diverse bird species. When you find the chimps, you will have an hour to observe them, including feeding, playing, grooming, and capturing memorable moments. Trekking usually lasts 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Canopy walks are a beautiful safari activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park that involve crossing a 50-meter-high steel canopy bridge above the trees. On the canopy walk, there are three places to walk. The biggest is 90 metres long, and the shortest is 25 metres long.
The two-hour safari, which starts at the Uwinka tourist centre, is an exciting rush that lets you move around and see the beautiful animals, bird species in the park from above.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a great place to see birds because it has over 310 different kinds of birds. The park is known as a haven for bird lovers offering a chance to encounter different bird species, including the Rwenzori batis, collared apalis, Red throated alethe, Kivu ground thrush, Stripe-breasted Tit, and many more.
Guided nature walks and hiking.
Nature walks in the Nyungwe Forest National Park allow visitors find secret spots that are not reached by vehicle. They can do this by walking on the park’s mountainous terrain and taking one of the many paths that show guests the different kinds of life in the park with the helps of skilled professionals.
Gisakura plantation tour
Visitors can go outside the park by taking a walk of the Gisakura tea plantation, which is on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest National Park. This magical experience gives room for tourists to engage in various activities like tea picking and an encounter with the local farmers. You can go on nature walks on a number of paths, such as Umuyove, Karamba, and Umugote trails, which lead to different places around the area.
Camping is another great outdoor safari activity in Nyungwe National Park. Camping is the best way for tourists to get a feel for what it is like to live in the wild under the stars while enjoying the tropical rain forest. Camping can take place at Uwinka centre. However, there is also an option of camping outside the park. Camping is very popular due to presence of modern toilets, showers, and campfires.
Best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park can be visited at any time of the year, but the best times are during the dry season (June to September) or the short season (mid-December to mid-February) to experience the perfect chimpanzee trekking safari and enjoying other gorgeous activities in the park.
How to get to the Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is found in the south-western part of Rwanda. It is close to Lake Kivu. From the Kigali, which is 225 kilometres away, it takes 4 to 5 hours to get there. Also, you can take a flight from Kigali to the Nyungwe Forest Lodge to get to the park that takes less minutes which is the quickest means or use the road.