Nyungwe Forest National Park

About Nyungwe Forest Park

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Nyungwe forest National Park is filled with 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 offers.Sounds and views collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. Exploring through the forest, travellers will witness the lush green mountains and cooling mist in a landscape that won’t be soon forgotten.

Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and covers an area of approximately 970 km2 of rain forest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. The nearest town is Cyangugu, 54 km to the west. Mount Bigugu is located within the park borders.

Nyungwe foerest National park

Where is Nyungwe Forest Park Located?

Nyungwe National Park lies in southwest Rwanda, partly abutting the Burundi border. It’s a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees, plus owl-faced and colobus monkeys. The Canopy Walkway, part of the Igishigishigi Trail, is a high suspension bridge with views over the valley and surrounding forests. A trail runs to the Kamiranzovu Marsh, with its birdlife, orchids and waterfall.
AddressKN6, Rusizi, Rwanda
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WHAT TO DO IN NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Nyungwe forest national park is a perfect holiday spot for nature lovers and adventurers. You cannot possibly run out of things to do when you visit this park.

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Chimpanzee Trekking 

Nyungwe has a large population of chimpanzees. And many who visit the park often go on a chimpanzee tracking adventure. There is no one season for chimpanzee tracking. It can be done all year round.

The chimpanzees are not habituated like the gorillas so there is no guarantee of a sighting at particular places. But more often than not you will find the chimpanzees because they are quite common in the forest. The chimps are not as settled and orderly as the habituated gorillas are, which makes for an exciting tracking experience. With well trained and experienced guides, you will of course find the chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee permits are issued by the Rwanda Development Board, you can contact them, or have your tour operator contact them for you.

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Nyungwe Birding

Nyungwe forest national park boasts of over 285 bird species.27 of these species are endemic to the Albertine Rift valley. Lots of colourful and interesting birds to see, the most notable being the Blue turaco. Ruwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzorii, Kungwe Apalis Apalis argentea, Ruwenzori Apalis Apalis ruwenzorii, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer, Archer’s Robin-chat Cossypha archeri, Dusky Crimson Wing Cryptospiza jacksoni, Ruwenzori Batis Batis diops, Shelley’s Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi , Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis and Neumann’s Warbler Hemitesia neumanni are some of the birds that you might see in the park.

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Nyungwe Canopy Walk

The canopy walk above Nyungwe forest is the only one of its kind in Africa. Built at an impressive 50m above the forest the Nyungwe canopy walk is not for the faint hearted. If you are afraid of heights you might want to get rid of the phobia before you travel because such a splendid sight should be seen by everyone.

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Forest Hiking Trails in Nyungwe

Over 130 kilometers of hiking routes have been created in Nyungwe Forest National Park, allowing visitors to explore its interior and its fascinating habitats. Walking in Nyungwe is excellent, with trails lasting from one to eight hours. The beautifully named Igishigishigi Trail is one of the shortest hikes yet includes East Africa’s highest canopy walk with spectacular views across Nyungwe Forest, while the 6 hour Bigugu Trail leads you to the highest mountain in the Park at 2950m.

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Community & Culture

Just like most African communities, the Rwandan people in the Nyungwe have very rich and interesting culture. Discover Rwandan food, be entertained by cultural performers in song and dance, learn more about the history of the area and the country, and enjoy interaction with the locals. There are centers such as the Banda Community Village, Kitabi cultural village, and entertainment groups such as the friends of Nyungwe and the Cyamundongo cultural troupe, that bring the culture of the Rwandese people to life in different ways.

There is much much more to see and enjoy in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Simply set a date and plan your safari.

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How to Reach Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali on good if sometimes winding roads. There are some attractions en route that include Nyanza King’s Palace and the National Museum should you wish to break the journey. Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali on good if sometimes winding roads. Transport  to and from the park can easily be arranged with the Visit And Tour Rwanda.

ACCOMMODATION IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK

So you have decided to go on safari to Rwanda, and on your agenda is a visit to Nyungwe forest. Question is where do you stay for the night, or if your spending more than one day, then for the duration of your safari.

There are a number of accommodation options; lodges, hotels, guest houses, and camps. Some of these include:

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Nyungwe Forest Lodge

Nyungwe Forest Lodge is part of the Mantis Group of Boutique Hotels. The lodge was built to blend in with the surrounding environment and is situated in a tea plantation on the edge of the forest. All of the rooms are forest facing, the accommodation is configured from 15x double luxury rooms (King bed), 7x twin luxury rooms and 2x suites (2 bedrooms, 1 with a king sized bed and the 2nd with twin beds).

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Gisakura Guest House

Gisakura Guest House is located in 2km outside the Nyungwe National Park close to the Gisakura Tea Estate precisely on the road from Park to Ruzizi former Cyangugu.

Guest House offers you to visit Chimpanzees, Different trails, Canopy walkway, Bird species of Central African Highlands, More than 120 orchid species, various trees species, Colobus troop living on the Gisakura Tea Estate and Vervet monkeys occasionally pass through the grounds.

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Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is idyllically situated on top of one of the hills of Nyungwe forest area; the largest single forest block in East Africa and the biggest water reservoir for Rwanda.

Nyungwe top view hotel offers activities mainly centered around the park. So look forward to tracking chimpanzees, seeing he Ruwenzori Colobus monkey, birdwatching, forest walk, and going on the Nyungwe canopy walk.
The hotel provides a driver to take you around the park and the various places you might want to visit.

If you are travelling to Rwanda for a safari in Nyungwe, the best thing to do would be to consult your tour operator on what place of accommodation would best suit your needs.