Camping in Nyungwe National Park


Camping is an activity done in and around Nyungwe Forest National Park as an activity where travelers stay overnight in the wilderness sleeping in tented lodges/camps. Nyungwe National Park is one of the tropical rain forests which do not have accommodation infrastructures inside. Although there are accommodations around Nyungwe National Park, you can’t find a hotel/guest house in the Park. That’s why people want to stay in the Park should know that there is only one option which is camping. Not only in Nyungwe but also around Nyungwe there are other places that offer camping.

Campsite at Uwinka Reception Centre: There are campsite tents which are pitched on the wooden made platform but not like the house because it has no walls. They are covered on top to prevent rain. Campfire is already there and modern toilets and bathrooms. The camp is not owned by the park but by the owner is private, who owns Nyungwe Top View Hotel. They also own the restaurant at Uwinka reception, so if you have booked to stay at this tented campsite there is no need for bringing food along the way. When you are there, you may order food from that restaurant just anytime. This small restaurant offers drinks to simple foods that are delicious. If you choose camping at Uwinka reception center, then you are lucky because almost park activities start from here. So you have easy transportation to start the trekking where you can just walk. Remember if you don’t have a sleeping bag and mat you can be offered them but if you have them come with them.

Camping at Mount Bigugu: There is also another campsite on the top of the highest peak of the Nyungwe National Park, which is mount Bigugu with an altitude of 2950m above the sea level. The Camping ground is able to serve only five people and there is a condition that you should be in charge of carrying your water if you will need water, camping materials such as tents, sleeping mat, and bag. I don’t think there is somebody who can hike carrying jell cane full of water to an altitude such as this of mount Bigugu. So here you are advised to carry many bottles of water. But for sure if you manage to camp there, this is the first adventure you will never forget because will give you spectacle experience besides the view of the park, birds, plant species at the different levels including the orchids species that are known to be at this mountain.

Camping at the Congo Nile Divide trail: There are other three campsites in the trail of Congo Nile divide (one of the Nyungwe National Park hiking trails). This trail is where one can explore the mountains that divide and acts as the catchment of water flows toward Congo River and water flows toward the Nile River. Hiking the trail takes three nights so there are three different campsites, that accommodates travelers in the trail. The trail is long as 227km and in this trail, you are required to go with your own camping equipment such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping map, food, drinks, and water. The Park offers a tour guide and nothing else so nature lovers, hiking and camping lovers here you are.

Camping in Kitabi Eco-Center: It is located in Nyamagabe district. Kitabi is located on the small mountain which is opposite of IPRC Kitabi. This place is a cultural village designed and set on the small mountain of about 300 m from the main road. It is in only about 500m from the Nyungwe buffer zone. The place has a panoramic view you can’t get from any other place. You shall have a view of green tea plantations surrounding the place, dark green vegetation of the Nyungwe national park plantation, and amazing fog in the morning including the sunset. They have eight camping grounds in which you can camp with your own camping gears or camp in their tents, the choice is yours. Renting a tent and gears varies from $5 to $20 from a single person to the family. Besides camping, they also offer accommodation in the house and are a cheap one, from a single person to the family they are accommodated. When you are there you may want to cook on your own and the service is asked and offered the materials helping you to arrange it. Here you need to book before you go there through their website or get telephone number from their website and call them. The place is accessible from Kigali or any other place in Rwanda buy driving, cycling, and biking.

Camping in Karongi district: there is Macheo Ecolodge, offer camping services in style. The Macheo Ecolodge located in Karongi in the North of Nyungwe National Park, on Lake Kivu shore. They offer a tented campground form single to families. They arrange special services for babies, people with disability, and wheelchairs. Each tent has solar energy light, enough space to store your luggage in. You are advised to book for your arrival before, to make sure there is availability. The Macheo Ecolodge is 37km from Gishwati Mukura national park, and in 115km (2hr 31minutes) drive to Uwinka reception center, in Nyungwe National Park. you can reach the place from Kigali its only 128km which is 2hr 51minutes drive and 106km which is 2hr 20minutes drive from Gisenyi.

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