Nyungwe Forest National Park is set in the southwest part of Rwanda and closer to the border of Burundi, Lake Kivu to the South, and bordering DR Congo to the west. Nyungwe forest national park is blessed with wonderful species diversity of approximately 1000 plant species, 38 reptiles, 85 mammals, 120 butterfly species, and over 300 bird species which includes the 29-bird species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift valley.
Nyungwe forest biodiversity is further enriched with beautiful landscapes such as swamps, open woodlands, heath, and bamboo thickets. Nyungwe forest is mostly popular for its primate species including the large chimpanzees’ troops, and white and black Colobus monkey troops. Nyungwe forest national park offers various top activities where travelers can participate and for travelers to get engaged in these activities every traveler require to have a permit which can be bought directly from the National Park Authorities, Rwanda Development Board, and a trusted tour company.
Things to see and do in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimpanzee Trekking experience
Nyungwe Forest National Park has the second highest chimpanzee population in Africa after Kibale Forest National Park of Uganda, Nyungwe forest national park has different chimpanzee trekking trails to walk in while searching for the great apes, Nyungwe forest national park’s chimpanzee trekking experience offers travelers another opportunity to watch chimpanzee swing in tree branches, mother chimps cuddling with the baby chimpanzee.
Chimpanzee trekking starts in the morning and this means travelers are required to come early to the trekking point in the morning where the briefing is done from the park’s headquarters regarding the rules and regulations about the does and don’ts while trekking the chimpanzees in their natural environment.
Bird Watching in Nyungwe Forest
Nyungwe Forest National Park is among the best leading bird watching destinations in Africa, Nyungwe forest protects over 300 bird species, of which there are 29 Albertine endemic bird species, Nyungwe forest includes the Great Blue Turaco, White Headed Wood Hoopoe, Gigantic Forest Hornbill, Red-Breasted Sparrow Hawk, Re-Throated Alethe, the Paradise Flycatcher, Rwenzori Turaco, Green Pigeons, Ross’s Turaco, Francolin, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, purple breasted, blue-headed sunbird, Rockefeller’s Sunbird, Stripe-Breasted Tit, Collared Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Regal Sunbird, and Mountain Masked Apalis. Nyungwe forest national park bird watching is accompanied by an experienced birding guide who is well experienced and can help travelers spot different birds easily in the forest.
Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk
Nyungwe Forest covers over 1015sq Km which makes it the largest tropical Afro Montane rainforest remaining in East Africa. Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk is a 3 hours thriller that takes place on a 200 meters long trail situated on 50 meters suspended bridge within the forest cover, Nyungwe forest canopy walk is an amazing activity that travelers shouldn’t miss during their visit to Nyungwe forest national park. Nyungwe forest canopy walk view at the top of Nyungwe forest trees offers travelers a great experience as well as a great chance of seeing other various primate species swinging on tree branches and different bird species.
Hiking in Nyungwe Forest
Nyungwe forest national park offers different hiking trails for hikers within the forest, hiking In Nyungwe forest gives travelers another opportunity to watch various plants, butterfly species, bird species, and tree species. Hiking in Nyungwe forest national park takes from an hour to 8 hours approximately.
Colobus Monkey tracking
Nyungwe forest offers over 13 primate species including the dominant monkey specie. Nyungwe forest also harbors the Rwenzori Columbus monkey which is endemic to Nyungwe forest. Nyungwe forest’s other monkey species include Owl-faced monkeys, Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys, Mona monkeys, Blue-Monkeys, and L’Hoest Monkeys.
How to travel to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe forest national park in the south of Kigali via Lake Kivu. Nyungwe National Park is located approximately 225 kilometers from Kigali city it may take approximately 4 to 5 hours’ drive to get to Nyungwe forest national park by road transport.
By Bus transportation: travelers can use a public bus transport heading to Ruzizi from Rwanda’s Nyabugogo Bus Park in Kigali city, get out at Uwinka Center, the bus means may take more than 5 hours to reach Nyungwe forest national park.
By Private Car: travelers can as well hire a private car which could be more comfortable, and convenient and take a shorter time to access Nyungwe forest national park. Hiring a car to Nyungwe forest national park may cost travelers like 100 dollars a day plus a driver.
By Air: RwandAir provides scheduled domestic flights with 9 flight options a week from Kigali international Airport to Kamembe International Airport which is just located 32km from Nyungwe Forest National Park. Domestic flights are the fastest means of transportation to Nyungwe forest national park. Travelers may need a pick up from the Kamembe airport and then transfer to your booked lodge with this a traveler needs to book their transfer booked in advance with your trusted tour operator.
When is the right time for Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest National Park?
The best time for chimpanzee trekking experience in Nyungwe forest is from June to August every year during this time Nyungwe forest fig trees have fruits that chimpanzees feed on most commonly and this makes finding chimpanzees much easy. Nyungwe forest national park offers only two chimpanzee troops open for trekking each group accommodates only 8 tourists per trek, this means that travelers need to book prior to their travel dates for them to be able to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park.
What to pack for the Chimpanzee trekking experience in Nyungwe forest national park?
Given the fact that the chimpanzee trekking experience is done in the forest, where travelers can encounter different insects, and stingy trees we strongly advise travelers to wear a long sleeve shirt, long trousers, and other suggested items to pack for Nyungwe forest national park chimpanzee trekking include Insect repellent, torch/flashlight, Spare Batteries, wet Wipes, camera & lenses, water bottle, comfortable hiking boots, and socks.
Where to stay while in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe forest national park offers a number of Lodging facilities which include Nyungwe Forest Lodge, one & Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, and Gisakura Family Hostel among others. Contact us for more information.