Nyungwe Forest National Park : Nyungwe National Park Rwanda is one of the most well-liked tourist sites. It is renowned for having numerous primates. Additionally, it is close to Lake Kivu’s southernmost point, making it possible to visit the park from Cyangugu, a charming lakeside town. The German colonial authority designated the Nyungwe forest as a forest reserve in 1933. Nyungwe lost 15% of her size between 1960 and 1970 as a result of forest cover being destroyed by fires, human activities like deforestation, and the poaching of species like buffalo that had formerly lived in forests. Later, Nyungwe Forest was made a national park in 2004.
The most well-known tourist spots in Nyungwe National Park are for those who enjoy the outdoors. It is renowned for its numerous primates, according to Dr. VehemBurundi’s 9ungwe National Park is situated there.
Kibira National Park is the name of a section of the park that is situated in Burundi. Additionally, it is close to Lake Kivu’s southernmost point, making it possible to visit the park from Cyangugu, a charming lakeside town. The German colonial authority designated the Nyungwe forest as a forest reserve in 1933. Nyungwe lost 15% of her size between 1960 and 1970 as a result of forest cover being destroyed by fires, human activities like deforestation, and the poaching of species like buffalo that had formerly lived in forests.
Nyungwe Forest was later made a national park in 2004, which is significant to the global conservation community. Following Rwanda’s ranking as one of the top ten tourist destinations, Nyungwe Forest is now one of East Africa’s ecotourism destinations. One of the biggest and oldest mountain forests in the area, Nyungwe National Park, which is protected by hundreds of kilometers of hiking and nature paths, is thought to have existed since the Ice Age and has preserved incredible biodiversity. With ecosystems ranging from bamboo to grasslands, wetlands, and bogs, it has a diversified environment. A diverse ecology also supports a diverse array of plants and animals. A mountainous area surrounds Nyungwe, with Mount Bigugu rising to a height of 2950 meters.
Attractions in Nyungwe National Park
The Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park are well-known. The national park is one of Africa’s parks with the highest population of colobus monkeys, with up to 400 black and white ones living there.
Other primates include the olive baboon, vervet monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey monkey, colobus monkey, and Nyungwe is estimated to have about 72 animal species, including duikers and golden cats.
Due to the terrain in the Nyungwe and springs, which overlie cliffs, caves, and the Kamiranzovu primates, birds, lovely wildflowers, and even while hiking to these waterfalls, there are up to 17-meter waterfalls.for its habituated 13 monkey species, including the black and white L’Hoest monkey, the Angola Silver monkey, and the Hamlyn’s Red-tailed monkey, to name a few.
The Nyungwe forest has a variety of huge trees due to its lengthy history. Prinaria exelsium, Cyathea manniana, carapa, newtonia, orchids, mosses, ferns, and podocarpus are just a few of the tree species that may be found in Nyungwe. For researchers, this is the finest location to visit.
One of Africa’s top birding locations, Nyungwe Forest National Park is reported to have 300 species of birds, 26 of which are exclusively found in the Albertine Rift. These are just a few examples: Melaenornis ardesiacus, Regal Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, Batis diops, Crytospiza Jackson bird, and Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher.
Activities to do in Nyungwe National Park
In the Nyungwe Forest National Park, the majority of the primate species found in Africa, including chimpanzees, can be found. The main draw of the approximately 500 chimpanzee-populated Nyungwe forest is chimpanzee trekking. Because they are not habituated like gorillas in Nyungwe forest, chimpanzee sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, because they are widespread in the forest, you will see them more frequently. You may be sure to observe chimpanzees in the Nyungwe forest since park officers are trained to locate them even when they are not habituated.
Because chimpanzees are most active in the morning, chimpanzee trekking is conducted every day with an early start. A briefing about the primates is followed by the start of the trek at Uwinka, Kitabi, and Gisakura as early as 8 a.m. Safaris for chimpanzee trekking often last 2 to 5 hours, depending on where the chimps are. However, you must first obtain a chimp permit, which must be reserved months in advance, in order to go chimp trekking in the Nyungwe forest. Nyungwe National Park permits cost USD 90 per person and are only good for one day.
The forest canopy trek at Nyungwe Forest National Park is exclusive to Africa. In October 2010, it was unveiled as a fresh tourism offering for the park. The 160-meter-long canopy walkway reaches up to 90 feet above the forest floor and extends between trees. The canopy walk through the Nyungwe Forest is a 2-kilometer trip into the unspoiled natural rainforest underneath the forest, full of fascinating wildlife and stunning forest views, and it starts at the Uwinka Visitors Center. Each individual must pay USD 60 for a canopy tour.
Community walks and Cultural experiences
Exploring Nyungwe National Park’s diverse ecosystem is fantastic, but to fully appreciate it, you must also become familiar with its vibrant culture. In an effort to maintain Rwandan culture, community-based events have been launched. Among these is the Kitabi Cultural Village initiative.
The cultural village includes a café, a campground, and a replica of the king’s palace. The Village also provides three distinct day trips where guests may experience traditional Rwandan culture firsthand through events including dance ceremonies, the making of banana beer, and bow-and-arrow competitions.
Another locally produced tourism item is the Banda Village, which is situated in the national park and is easily reachable after a short descent from the Canopy Walk’s conclusion. By taking part in community walks where tasks like traditional medicine making and maize grinding are demonstrated and taught, tourists can learn more about Rwandan culture.
Hiking and nature walks
The Nyungwe forest’s large network of hiking paths, high terrain, breathtaking scenery, and wildlife make it a popular trekking destination. The most picturesque way to explore the forest is on the trails, which wind through a variety of topography. Some trails lead to reptile and bird habitats, while others lead to caverns, swamps, and waterfalls like the Isumo Falls. A 200-meter-long and 40-meter-high woodland canopy walk is also included. The sights here are great for birders.
Over 300 bird species, including 27 from the Albertine Rift Valley, can be found in the Nyungwe forest. The blue turaco, Ruwenziro Apalis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, the Strange weaver, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus Wind Cryptospiza Jackson, Handsome Francolin Francolinus Nobilis, Chapin’s Flycatcher, and Rockefeller’s sunbird are just a few of the unusual and colorful birds to view.
In Nyungwe Forest National Park, there are about 400 black and white colobus monkeys. The best recognized trails for colobus monkey trekking are the waterfalls trail, which connects the Gisakura guesthouse and the Gisakura tea estate, the Bigugu trail, which ascends to the mountain’s highest peak at 2,950m, and the Unwika camping trails. Similar to chimpanzee trekking, a permit for viewing Colobus monkeys costs USD 60 per person.
Originally located in the Kamiranzovu marshlands of Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park, the Kamiranzovu waterfall is now a must-see for all park visitors. Although chimpanzee trekking in Chamudongo is the park’s most well-known attraction, Kamiranzovu Waterfall has gained a lot of favor with recent visitors. The waterfall is split into two parts: the lower section, which is on large rocks and makes a lovely backdrop for photos, and the upper section, which is in front of the falling water.
You need to have the following qualities to reach the Kamiranzovu waterfall: bravery, patience, duty, willpower, and physical fitness. It requires trekking through the dense tropical rainforest with heavy undergrowth of Nyungwe National Park. Even though the distance is only 10 kilometers, the journey is time-consuming and moderately challenging due to the hilly terrain.
As a result of its challenging terrain and vast system of hiking trails, Nyungwe forest is perfect for hikers. Ask the ranger guides for suggestions on which path to take based on the attractions you are searching for because the trails differ in length, ease of trekking, and characteristics.
The most picturesque way to explore the forest is on the trails, which wind through a variety of topography.
How to get to the Nyungwe Forest National Park
by way of muhanga-Huye from Kigali The Nyungwe Forest National Park is situated in the southern part of the nation, some 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, through Muhanga, the King’s Palace in Nyanza, and then Butare. Continue from Butale and finally connect through the park to reach the park’s administrative center in Gisekura. Huye (Butare) is 87 kilometers/54 miles from the Nyungwe Forest National Park, and many visitors spend the night there to participate in activities on the route there. The direct trip can be difficult, thus this is advised. Rusizi/Kamembe airport is 55 kilometers (34 miles) away from Nyungwe forest. The drive takes around an hour for customers arriving by plane at the park.
There are several possibilities for trekking in the forest, including the trails listed below.
- For experienced hikers, the 227 km Congo — Nile Divide journey requires several days to complete.
However, a portion of the section can be hiked in a single day.
The primary attractions of this trail are the diverse landscapes and villages it passes through.
Although there are campgrounds available, you must bring your own camping supplies.
The Igishigishigi Trail is 2 kilometers long and offers breathtaking views of the Nyungwe forest canopy, magnificent wild flowers, sporadic monkeys, and a variety of birds. There are shops along the trail where you can buy basic necessities.
Depending on one’s interests, it takes one to two hours to finish this trail.
Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be at least six years old to participate.
- The Karamba trail in Nyungwe is a fantastic place to go bird watching because it is close to a former gold mine, market, and army barracks.
- The Nyungwe forest’s Umugotetrail is the best place to see primates and birds, and it also offers views of ridges, flowers, and butterflies.You can view Kibira National Park in Burundi on a clear day.
- The Umoyove route, also called the Mahogany trail, takes you to the waterfall and through some of the park’s biggest trees on the way.
- The Irebero track, which gives views of Lake Kivu and two of the highest peaks in Nyungwe National Park, is a strenuous trek but a lovely location for bird watching. Check out Nyungwe’s hiking paths.
- The 10-kilometer Imbaraga trek is intended for seasoned hikers.
Waterfalls will be visible to hikers, which will be a pleasant sight after a strenuous journey.
- Views of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lake Kivu, and the Islands are available from the Bigugu Trail. It leads you to Nyungwe Forest Park’s highest point.You can participate in the picking of tea and follow the process till it reaches your cup along the Isumo Trail, which will take you through the picturesque tea fields.
Additionally, Nyungwe National Park’s biggest waterfall will be visible to you.
- The majority of the waterfalls, wetlands, and swamps are within close proximity to you on the Kamiranzovu Trail.
Accommodation in Nyungwe National Park
Lodges and hotels outside the park’s boundaries that can house visitors who have been to Nyungwe National Park are what are known as accommodations near the park. Five districts surround the park: In the southeast, Nyaruguru
The northeast has Nyamagabe, the north has Karongi, the west has Nyamasheke, and the south has Rusizi. All of these neighborhoods are close to Nyungwe National Park, making it simple to spend the night at one of the lodgings there, which range from cheap to upscale.
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
The Nyungwe Forest, the largest single forest block in East Africa and Rwanda’s greatest water reservoir, is home to the hotel, which is situated on a small plateau with some of the most breathtaking views in the region. From Kigali’s main road, a steep but mercifully short dirt road leads to the hotel.
With a distance of only 33 kilometers and 41 minutes by car from Nyungwe’s Uwinka reception center, this is one of the closest hotels to the border of Nyungwe National Park. On a mountain crest, this eco-center was constructed using traditional Rwandan architecture. With views of tea plantations and mountains on all sides, this is the most highly recommended lodging near Nyungwe National Park for backpackers and low-budget visitors.
Regina Pacis Kibeho hotel:
If you guys wish to stay together, they have dorm rooms available in this 40-room, newly built hotel. As a result, you are welcome to remain here and visit Nyungwe National Park on any day if you have planned to visit both the Shrine of Our Lady of Kibeho and Nyungwe National Park.
Norte Dame Kibeho Resthouse:
This charming inn in the mountains offers a kind welcome. After viewing the holy places, you can remain here and spend the next day participating in an activity in Nyungwe National Park.