Nyungwe Forest National Park – Chimpanzee Tracking Rwanda, Location, Accommodation and How to get there
Set suitably southwest of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is of no doubt a magically protected area you shouldn’t miss to explore. A visit to Nyungwe Forest National Park while on Rwanda safari lets you explore its diverse ecosystems. This park was founded in 2005 and it sits in an area of about 1000 square kilometers. Nyungwe Forest National Park is largely composed of a scenic tropical rain-forest and it straddles between altitude 1600 and 2950 meters. Nyungwe Forest National Park is surrounded by Burundi in the South, then from the west by Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Wildlife in Nyungwe Forest National Park
About 13 species of primates do thrive in Nyungwe Forest National Park and this rate it among the premier primate safari destinations in Africa. The various primates to see in Nyungwe Forest National Park on Rwanda safari include the red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, silver monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys, Angola colobus monkeys, bush babies, Dent’s Mona monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons. They make up part of the 75 species of mammals in the park.
Birdlife in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 310 bird species, 27 of which are Albertine rift endemics. Bird watching in this park involves identifying birds such as the grey chested kakamega, Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, the large blue turaco, the purple breasted sunbird, blue-headed sunbirds, Neumann’s short-tailed warbler, chestnut throated, Chapin’s flycatcher, regal sunbird, Doherty’s bush shrike.
Other attractions in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park also boasts of its scenic Kamiranzovu waterfalls. Visitors can explore this waterfall while on a nature walk on the Kamiranzovu trail. Besides, you can as well explore a variety of plant species, trees of medicinal importance; amphibians, reptiles and many more.
Safari activities to do in Nyungwe Forest National Park
A visit to Nyungwe National Park is complete only if chimpanzee tracking is among your bucket list adventures. Trekking chimpanzees in this park involves an in-depth exploration of chimpanzee behaviors, body gestures and taking pictures. On the way, you can also come across other primates, birds and plant species.
Nyungwe Forest National Park features the only canopy walk in East Africa. Embarking on a canopy walk in this park is such a memorable experience. It takes you through a walkway suspended above 50 meters above the ground and you will come across primates, birds, plants.
Monkey/primate tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park involves exploring its diverse primate species. The different primates to look out for include the grey-cheeked mangabeys, owl-faced monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, red-tailed colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys.
The birds to identify on birding trip in Nyungwe Forest National Park include the Grauer’s warblers, dusky crimson wing, Shelley’s crimson wing, black and white casqued horn bill, yellow-eyed black flycatchers, Cryptospiza shelleyi, Ruwenzori Nightjar, archer’s robin chat, stripe breasted tit Parus fasciiventer, Rwenzori Turaco, purple breasted, blue-headed to mention but a few.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is comprised of 13 hiking trails making it an ideal destination for nature walks or hiking experiences. Each trail has something unique for nature lovers to enjoy. On nature walk or hiking, you will come across variety of primates, butterflies, birds, plant species which are of medicinal importance. The popular trails to hike in Nyungwe Forest National Park include the Congo-Nile divide trail which covers about 227kms, Karamba trail, Irebero trail, Ngabwe trail, Rukuzi trail, Muzimu trail, Uwinka trail, Kamiranzovu trail, Umugote trail, Igishigishigi trail, Umoyove trail, Isumo trail, Imbaraga trail, Bigugu trail.
Best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park
The dry and wet season are the two most essential seasons anyone planning for a Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park should put into consideration. The dry season is perfect for chimpanzee tracking and it occurs starting June, July, August, September and the December, January, February. The wet or rainy season is ideal for bird watching and it begins from March-May and October-November.
Accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park
The different accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park include
Gisakura Guesthouse (Budget)
Nyungwe Top View Lodge (Mid-range)
Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Luxury)
Getting to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in Southwestern Rwanda. It is reachable by road and by air. By road, it is approximately 6 hours’ drive away from Kigali and the park’s main entrance is Uwinka which is on the Cyangugu Butare route. You can also opt for flight services from Akagera aviation to Kamembe International Airport and then connect to the park.