The 2 day Nyungwe forest safari will take you to Nyungwe forest National Park for an adventurous experience. During the tour, you will hike the Igishigishigi trail, take a canopy walk and later, go for chimpanzees trekking
The wonderful trip will start in Kigali however other startup locations within Rwanda can be considered. You will be driven by an excellent tour guide that has great experience in Nyungwe tours.
Nyungwe forest is Rwanda’s largest forest which is located in the southwestern border of the country. The forest is spread along the Burundi and Congo border with Rwanda. There are many wildlife species that are resident in Nyungwe.
Apart from the famous chimpanzees; there are olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, Golden monkeys, vervet monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, Grey cheeked Mangabey and many more different species.
For tourists who are not in Rwanda, we shall pick you up from Kigali International airport to your hotel before the start of the tour.
Day 1: Transfer to Nyungwe forest National Park
The road to Nyungwe Forest National park is approximately 5 hours.
On this day, our tour guide will pick you up from the hotel and later, you will be driven to Nyungwe forest National Park. Along the way, you will have an optional stop at the Museum in Butare where you will learn several cultural aspects of the Rwanda people.
Another stop will be at the Nyanza King palace, if you have enough time. Upon arrival in Nyungwe, you will check in your lodge where you will be served with wonderful day and afterwards, you will visit the Uwinka visitors center such that you begin the Igishigishigi trail, this trial lead up to the canopy walk.
The Canopy is suspended 60 meters from the ground. The canopy is a wonderful metallic bridge built on top of the trees. During the canopy walk, you will have a remarkable game viewing experience.
You will have the birds’ eye view and you will witness several species within the forest. The walk can take up to 2 hours. After this wonderful walk, you will return to the lodge where you will be served with dinner and overnight
Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking
Early in the morning, you will be driven to the Uwinka visitor center for briefing and afterwards, you will be escorted by the armed park ranger into the forest while searching out for chimpanzees.
it is possible to spot the chimpanzees thanks to their loud hutting sounds that they make. In Nyungwe, there are about 500 chimpanzees.
The chimpanzee trekking experience can take up to 4 hours. These animals don’t stay for longer hours in one place like the gorillas. As you are searching for the chimpanzees, you will witness various primates, insects and many more. After spotting the chimpanzees, you will be allowed to spend 1 hour with them.
Within the one hours, you will see them exhibit different wild behaviors such as mating, teasing each other,swinging from branch to branch, feeding, building nests, and many more behaviors. Later, you will return to the Uwinka visitor centers where you will meet the tour guide who will drive you back to Kigali
Contact us today for the best tours in Rwanda and Uganda.
Tel: +250 787 290611.
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The history of Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda is a fascinating tale of ecological preservation, biodiversity conservation, and the protection of a unique montane rainforest ecosystem. The park’s history spans decades and is marked by a series of changes, challenges, and successful efforts to safeguard this remarkable natural treasure. Here’s an overview of the history of Nyungwe Forest National Park:
Early Inhabitants: Before becoming a protected area, Nyungwe Forest and its surrounding region were inhabited by indigenous communities, including the Batwa people. These communities practiced subsistence farming, hunting, and gathering within the forest’s rich and diverse landscapes.
Conservation Beginnings: The conservation journey of Nyungwe Forest began in the early 20th century. In 1933, a portion of the forest was designated as a forest reserve by the Belgian colonial administration. The aim was to protect the forest’s watershed, as it provides a vital source of water for both Rwanda and Burundi.
Becoming a National Park: In 2004, Nyungwe Forest was officially designated as Nyungwe Forest National Park, making it the largest protected mountain rainforest in East Africa. This designation recognized the park’s ecological significance, biodiversity, and the need for its preservation for future generations.
Biodiversity and Unique Ecosystem: Nyungwe Forest National Park is known for its incredible biodiversity, housing a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the region. The park’s montane rainforest is home to numerous primates, including chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, and more.
Chimpanzee Research: The park has been a site of significant research on chimpanzees, conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The research has provided insights into the behavior, communication, and social dynamics of chimpanzee populations in the park.
Ecotourism and Conservation: In recent years, Nyungwe Forest National Park has become a key ecotourism destination in Rwanda. The park offers activities such as guided nature walks, primate tracking, canopy walks, and birdwatching. Revenue generated from ecotourism contributes to conservation efforts and supports local communities.
Conservation Challenges and Successes: Conservation efforts in Nyungwe Forest National Park have faced challenges, including illegal logging, encroachment, and poaching. However, the park’s status as a protected area, coupled with community involvement and education, has led to successes in reducing these threats.
Community Involvement: Local communities living around the park are crucial partners in its conservation. Community-based initiatives, education programs, and sustainable livelihood projects have been developed to promote a harmonious relationship between the park and its neighboring residents.
Research and Education: Nyungwe Forest National Park serves as an important site for scientific research, ecological studies, and environmental education. Its unique ecosystem provides opportunities to learn about tropical rainforest ecology, biodiversity, and the interconnectedness of species and habitats.
The history of Nyungwe Forest National Park showcases Rwanda’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage and promoting sustainable conservation. From its early beginnings as a forest reserve to its designation as a national park, Nyungwe Forest stands as a testament to the importance of protecting montane rainforests, preserving biodiversity, and engaging local communities in conservation efforts.
Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda offers a range of exciting and unique tourism activities that allow visitors to explore its lush montane rainforest, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, or someone interested in cultural experiences, Nyungwe has something for everyone. Here are some of the top tourism activities you can enjoy in Nyungwe National Park:
- Chimpanzee Tracking: One of the highlights of Nyungwe is its population of wild chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking allows you to embark on a guided trek through the rainforest to observe these intelligent primates in their natural habitat. The park is home to several communities of chimpanzees, and guided treks offer insights into their behaviors and social interactions.
- Canopy Walk: The Nyungwe Canopy Walk is a unique and thrilling experience that takes you high above the forest floor. Suspended bridges and walkways offer panoramic views of the treetops and the lush vegetation below. The canopy walk provides a different perspective of the rainforest and is an excellent opportunity for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
- Guided Nature Walks: Numerous well-maintained trails crisscross Nyungwe National Park, allowing visitors to explore its diverse ecosystems. Guided nature walks range from short strolls to longer hikes, catering to various fitness levels. These walks offer opportunities to discover the park’s flora, fauna, waterfalls, and scenic viewpoints.
- Birdwatching: Nyungwe is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, with over 300 bird species recorded. Guided birdwatching walks provide opportunities to spot various species, including colorful turacos, hornbills, and the handsome black and white colobus monkey.
- Colobus Monkey Tracking: Nyungwe is famous for its large troops of black and white colobus monkeys. Guided tracking experiences offer the chance to get up close to these fascinating primates, known for their striking appearance and acrobatic behaviors.
- Cultural Experiences: Experience local Rwandan culture by visiting nearby communities and engaging in cultural activities. Learn about traditional practices, participate in crafts workshops, and interact with local residents to gain insights into their way of life.
- Waterfall Exploration: Several waterfalls are nestled within Nyungwe’s rainforest, offering picturesque settings for relaxation and photography. Guided hikes can take you to these natural wonders, allowing you to enjoy the serenity of the rainforest and the beauty of cascading water.
- Photography and Nature Observation: The diverse landscapes, wildlife, and natural beauty of Nyungwe provide excellent opportunities for photography and nature observation. Capture stunning shots of primates, colorful birds, lush vegetation, and scenic vistas.
It’s important to note that some activities, such as chimpanzee tracking and the canopy walk, may require advance booking and permits. To make the most of your visit to Nyungwe National Park, it’s advisable to plan your activities in advance and consider the duration, fitness level, and interests of your group. Whether you’re seeking adventure, wildlife encounters, cultural immersion, or serene nature experiences, Nyungwe offers a range of activities that will make your visit unforgettable.
Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is home to a diverse range of animal species, many of which are unique to its montane rainforest ecosystem. Here is a list of some of the notable animals that can be found in Nyungwe National Park:
- Black and White Colobus Monkeys
- L’Hoest’s Monkeys
- Blue Monkeys
- Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys
- Olive Baboons
- Golden Monkeys (found in the nearby Volcanoes National Park)
Mammals: 8. African Forest Elephants
- Duikers (various species)
- Giant Forest Hogs
- African Civets
- Leopards (elusive and rarely seen)
- African Golden Cats (rare)
Rodents and Bats: 15. Potto (nocturnal primate)
- African Giant Pouched Rats
- Various Bat Species
Birds: 18. Albertine Rift Endemics (e.g., Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco)
- Great Blue Turaco
- Red-collared Mountain Babbler
- Ruwenzori Nightjar
- Handsome Francolin
- Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo
Reptiles and Amphibians: 24. East African Gaboon Viper
- Three-horned Chameleon
- Albertine Rift Tree Frog
Butterflies and Insects: 27. Various Butterfly Species
- Praying Mantises
- Stick Insects
This list represents only a fraction of the biodiversity found in Nyungwe National Park. The park’s unique montane rainforest environment supports a rich variety of species, many of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift region. It’s important to note that due to the dense vegetation and the natural behaviors of wildlife, some animals may be more difficult to spot than others. Engaging in guided activities, such as primate tracking and birdwatching, can greatly enhance your chances of encountering these remarkable creatures.
Nyungwe Forest National Park offers a selection of accommodation options that cater to various preferences and budgets, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the rainforest and its surroundings. Here are some of the accommodation choices available within or near Nyungwe Forest National Park:
- Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel: This lodge offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the forest canopy and Lake Kivu. The lodge features comfortable rooms with modern amenities, a restaurant serving local and international cuisine, and a bar. It’s strategically located near the park’s entrance, making it convenient for exploring the rainforest.
- Nyungwe Forest Lodge: Situated on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest, this upscale lodge offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the forest and tea plantations. The lodge features spacious rooms, a spa, a restaurant, and a bar. Guided nature walks and primate tracking can be arranged directly from the lodge.
- Gisakura Guest House: Located near the Gisakura entrance to the park, this guest house provides simple and comfortable accommodations. It offers a range of rooms, a restaurant, and basic facilities for travelers looking for a more budget-friendly option.
- One&Only Nyungwe House: This luxury lodge offers an exclusive experience in the heart of the rainforest. The lodge features elegant suites, a spa, gourmet dining, and a range of activities, including guided forest walks and primate tracking.
- Kitabi Eco Center: Located near Nyungwe Forest, this eco-friendly lodge provides comfortable accommodations in a serene setting. The lodge focuses on sustainability and offers various activities, including guided hikes and community visits.
- Nearby Accommodations: While there are accommodations within Nyungwe Forest National Park, there are also options available in nearby towns like Gisakura and Cyangugu. These accommodations offer convenience for visitors who want to explore the park while staying outside its boundaries.
- Camping: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, camping facilities are available within the park. Camping allows you to be closer to nature and experience the sounds and sights of the rainforest at night.
When planning your stay in Nyungwe Forest National Park, consider your preferences, budget, and the experiences you’d like to have. Whether you choose luxury lodges, comfortable guest houses, or camping under the stars, Nyungwe Forest offers a range of accommodation options to enhance your rainforest adventure.
The best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda depends on your interests and what you hope to experience during your trip. The park experiences a relatively consistent climate throughout the year due to its montane rainforest ecosystem, but there are certain periods that offer distinct advantages for different activities. Here’s a breakdown of the best times to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park:
- Dry Season (June to September): The dry season is generally considered the best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park. During these months, the weather is relatively stable, with lower chances of rainfall. This makes it an ideal time for trekking and outdoor activities. The dry season also provides better visibility for wildlife viewing, as animals are more likely to venture out to water sources.
- Bird watching (All Year Round, with Peaks in the Wet Season): Nyungwe Forest National Park is a prime destination for bird enthusiasts. While bird watching can be enjoyed throughout the year, the wet season (October to April) brings a peak in bird activity due to the presence of migratory species. This time is excellent for spotting a wide variety of avian species.
- Primate Tracking (All Year Round): Chimpanzee and other primate tracking can be done year-round in Nyungwe Forest. However, the drier months (June to September) may offer slightly better conditions for trekking, as trails might be less muddy compared to the wetter months.
- Canopy Walk (All Year Round): The canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest is a unique experience that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. The panoramic views of the treetops and the lush rainforest are breathtaking no matter the season.
- Wet Season (October to April): While the wet season brings more rainfall and occasional mist, it’s also the time when the forest is at its most vibrant and lush. The rainforest comes alive with lush vegetation, flowers, and flowing streams. This period can be a great opportunity for nature photographers and those interested in observing the forest’s dynamic ecosystem.
- Gorilla Trekking (Possible Nearby in Volcanoes National Park): If you’re interested in gorilla trekking, it’s worth noting that the best time for this activity is during the dry season (June to September) in the nearby Volcanoes National Park, which is a few hours’ drive from Nyungwe Forest.
The best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park depends on your preferences and the experiences you’re seeking. Whether you’re interested in primate tracking, birdwatching, or simply exploring the lush rainforest, Nyungwe offers something unique and special year-round. It’s advisable to plan your visit based on your desired activities and the weather patterns that align with your interests.
Here are some of the frequently Asked Questions About Nyungwe National Park.
Certainly, here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda:
- Where is Nyungwe National Park located? Nyungwe National Park is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda, near the border with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It covers an area of approximately 1,020 square kilometers.
- What makes Nyungwe National Park unique? Nyungwe is a diverse and ancient rainforest that’s considered one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Africa. It’s home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including numerous primate species.
- What animals can I see in Nyungwe National Park? Nyungwe is home to 13 different primate species, including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and golden monkeys. It’s also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 300 bird species recorded in the park.
- Are there chimpanzee trekking opportunities in Nyungwe National Park? Yes, Nyungwe offers chimpanzee trekking experiences. Visitors can trek into the forest to observe chimpanzee communities and learn about their behaviors.
- Can I go hiking in Nyungwe National Park? Yes, Nyungwe offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to different fitness levels and interests. These trails lead through the lush forest, offering opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy breathtaking views.
- Are guided tours available in Nyungwe National Park? Yes, guided tours are available for activities like chimpanzee trekking, canopy walks, and hiking. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the forest, providing insights into the park’s ecology and wildlife.
- Is the canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park worth it? The canopy walk is a popular attraction in Nyungwe, offering a unique perspective of the forest from above. It’s often considered a highlight of visiting the park and is suitable for those who enjoy heights and adventure.
- Are there accommodation options in Nyungwe National Park? Yes, Nyungwe offers a range of accommodations, including lodges and guesthouses located within or near the park. These accommodations provide a comfortable base for exploring the park’s attractions.
- What is the best time to visit Nyungwe National Park? The dry seasons of June to September and December to February are considered the best times to visit Nyungwe. During these periods, the weather is generally favorable for outdoor activities.
- How do I get to Nyungwe National Park? Nyungwe is accessible by road from various parts of Rwanda. The journey to the park may take several hours, depending on your starting location. It’s recommended to arrange transportation through tour operators.
- Is Nyungwe National Park safe for visitors? Yes, Nyungwe National Park is generally safe for visitors. The park’s management takes safety measures seriously, and it’s advisable to follow the guidance of guides and rangers during activities.
These FAQs provide valuable insights for those planning to visit Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda.