About Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests covering over 1000 square kilometers. It’s believed to be one of Africa’s oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains its diversity.
Home to a good number of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primates species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), it’s also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is filled with beautiful nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. Hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, tracking the famous chimpanzees, experiencing the canopy walk, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls are just a glimpse of activities that Nyungwe forests offers.
Location of Nyungwe National Park
Situated in the South West of Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is an untouched natural rainforest that is filled with exciting biodiversity.
The park is the most important catchment area in Rwanda supplying water to 70% of the country, and its central ridge divides Africa’s two largest drainage systems, the Nile and Congo, a spring on the slopes of the 2,950m Mount Bigugu is now regarded to be most remote source of the world’s longest river.
What to do at Nyungwe National Park
There are several exciting things you can do while on Rwanda safari in nyungwe national park;
You can go hiking; the park has over thirteen hiking trails, and over 130km of these trails run through the forest. You can take a week hiking the various trails and also exploring the ancient rainforest and the habitats found within. Hiking through nyungwe forest gives the hiker a chance to see and experience the rainforest and all it has to offer. You will be amazed by the birds, animals, plants, trees and butterflies that you will see on a Nyungwe forest hike. An individual hike in the forest can be as short as one hour or as long as 8 hours a day, or something in between.
Primate safaris in Nyungwe Forest
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the best destination for lovers of primates, with 13 different species living here. Most visitors will go for at least one tracking experience, the most popular being chimpanzee trekking. This activity starts very early in the morning, chimps are tracked in groups of eight and as with the mountain gorillas, you will have just one hour in their company once they’ve been located. Sightings aren’t as reliable or as clear as gorillas but their engaging playfulness and human-like characteristics make the long day worthwhile.
Trekking in search of grey-cheeked mangabey and Rwenzori colobus monkeys is also another offer from Nyungwe Forest, the latter of which can be found here in troops of several hundred. And there’s no need to trek far to see l’Hoest’s monkeys. You will often see them ambling along the roadside as you drive past the forest.
Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk
Suspended between higher slopes and giant trees about 1km from Uwinka, the canopy walkway is almost 200m long, with a maximum height of around 40 meters, and it offers a superb for birders and over a steep streambed lined with tall trees and fern. It can feel quite unstable to those with a poor head for heights.
The canopy walk is an activity one shouldn’t miss while on their visit to Rwanda. In case you are coming to Rwanda to trek the mountain gorillas.
Nyungwe Forest National park is a home to also trek Ruwenzori colobus, grey-cheeked Mangabeys, L’Hoest’s monkey, Owl faced monkey, Mona monkeys, Dent’s monkey, silver monkey, and blue monkey. It is an unforgettable experience to come across a forest covered with colobus monkeys, they look beautiful with their black and white colors.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is remarkably rich in biodiversity in the region, more than 200 tree species including orchids, flowering plants, and giant lobelia. The park has a wide span of vegetation zones that are dispensed according to their different altitudes. At 2500m above sea level, you explore the Alpine vegetation which is characterized by bamboo and shrubs, this is where the chimpanzees like to stay. At 2250m, there lies a range of tall trees and fern species such as Polycscias, Newtonia, and Symphonia. At 1900m, there lies taller tree species like Carapa, Cyathea Mannina and Newtonia.