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Nyungwe forest national park

Nyungwe forest national park

Nyungwe forest national park

Nyungwe forest national park is one of the 4 national parks in Rwanda. The national park is located in the southwestern part of the country towards the border with Burundi. The park is located west of DR Congo and south of Lake Kivu. Nyungwe forest national park is among the most visited places in Rwanda because it is famous for the chimpanzees that have found there in this place.

Chimpanzee trekking is the most done activity in Nyungwe forest and it’s done among the 2 fully habituated chimpanzee families within the park. Only 2 chimpanzee families are fully habituated in Nyungwe forest national park but the park has over 500 chimpanzees. The 2 chimpanzee groups in Nyungwe forest national park can be trekked in Cyamudongo forest and here you find 30 chimpanzees and then the larger group is in Nyungwe forest and has over 60 chimpanzees.

The second most done activity in the park is the canopy walk which enables tourists to have an aerial view of the national park and its surrounding on a bridge that is raised 50 meters above the ground. Nyungwe national park is situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda south of Lake Kivu, wester of DR Congo border, and it’s towards the birder with Burundi.

The headquarters of Nyungwe are Uwinka and it’s from here that briefings are done before taking part in any of the activities done in the park. Other park offices in Nyungwe national park include Kitabi which is near the entrance, and then Gisakura reception center. Getting to Nyungwe national park from Kigali city does take 4-5 hours and the distance is 220km. Nyungwe forest national park was gazetted and opened up for tourism in 2015 and it protects over 1000 animals, 85 mammals, over 310 birds of which 29 are endemic to the Albertine region.

Nyungwe forest national park has over 1086 plants species and these have played a big role in the of rainfall in the country. Nyungwe is among the useful conservation areas in Rwanda and Africa as well because it does protect a number of animals and birds making it of the places to visit while in Rwanda.

Apart from birds and animals, Nyungwe forest is made up of swamps, bamboo, marshes, heath, and open woodland vegetation. What makes Nyungwe forest national park famous are the 13 primates and these include black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey checked mangabeys, red-tailed monkeys, L’hoests monkeys, olive baboons, owl-faced monkeys, crowned monkeys, dent’s mona monkey, grey-checked mangabeys, chimpanzees, and Angolan colobus monkeys.

The park has canopy walk activity that is not yet anywhere else in the whole of East Africa. The canopy walk is one of its kind built 50 meters above the ground and 90 meters long. The hanging bridge offers tourists an aerial view of the park and its wildlife.

Tourists intending to visit Nyungwe for mainly chimpanzee trekking will have to first book the trekking permits in advance from Rwanda Development Board or s trusted local tour operator. The reason as to why we advised tourists to book their permits in advance is that permits get sold out quickly since they are few and then they are not sold in the park.

How to get to Nyungwe forest national park?

Nyungwe forest national park can be accessed by both air and road transport from Kigali city. Using air transport, tourists can book with their local tour operators and fly from Kigali international airport to Kamembe international airport using Rwanda air or Akagera aviation.  From Kamembe airport, tourists can be picked by their safari drivers to the lodges or the park.

Tourists using road transport will be picked by their driver guides who will drive them to the southwestern part of the country for about 4-5 hours passing via Muhanga, Nyanza, Huye town, and finally, Nyamagabe which is located near the entrance of Nyungwe national park.  During the journey to the park, tourists will have beautiful views of the surroundings, go through different hills, plantations while meeting different local people.

Accommodation in Nyungwe forest national park

Unfortunately, there are no accommodation facilities within Nyungwe forest national park but tourists don’t have to worry about where they will sleep because several accommodation facilities are constructed outside the national park. The lodges around Nyungwe are categorized into the budget, mid-range, and luxury options and they do include Nyungwe Forest Lodge, One & Only Nyungwe House, Gisakura Family Hostel, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Gishwati Lodge, Peace Guest Hotel, Comoran Lodge, Golden Monkey Hotels, and Uwinka Campsite among others.