Rwanda safari in Nyungwe forest national park

Nyungwe National Park is one of the oldest and largest natural rainforests in Africa, covering 1,019 km2 of dense Afromontane forests, bamboo covered slopes, grasslands and wetlands and therefore receives over 2000mm of rainfall yearly. Nyungwe National Park is located in the south west of Rwanda on the border with Burundi in the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo in West on the shores of Lake Kivu. The park is a 6 hour drive from Kigali International Airport in the Capital city of Kigali, Rwanda. Nyungwe National Park has been in existence since 1903 and in 2004 it was then declared a National Park and one of the 4 national parks such as   Volcanoes National park, Akagera national park and Gishwati Mukura national park. Nyungwe National Park is well known as Rwanda’s second most visited safari destination, one of the oldest and last remaining tract of largely preserved montane rain forests in Africa, the park is breathtakingly alluring with unique and striking biodiversity  that give visitors the most thrilling experiences out of this world.

This national park is a home of 75 mammal species, 13 primate species including the chimpanzees, golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys among others, over 300 bird species, 120 butterflies, 15 reptile species, 12 amphibian species, 1068 plant species, and 140 orchids. Nyungwe is a rain forest that leads to the formation of rainfall which feeds River Nile with its source in Uganda hence acting as a water catchment area in Rwanda. The park is a great destination that offers beautiful views of the Virunga ranges, Lake Kivu which is Rwanda’s largest lake, hills, Isumo waterfall, tea plantations which are found on the park edges among others

When planning to visit Nyungwe forest national park, there are various activities done in the park. The most frequently carried out  activity that you should not miss out  in the park  is Chimpanzee trekking is one of the famous activities carries out by many travelers who visits   Nyungwe National Park since it is covered by Nyungwe rain forest which is a home   to 13 primate species including the rare and endangered Chimpanzees. . During the chimps trekking activity, you will get an opportunity to see their feeding styles as you will get to see them eating a number of edible leave, roots, caterpillars, observing their playful nature and all their other behaviors and characteristics, you will also have the an opportunity to see how they coordinate with one another as you will be rewarded with the opportunity to see their grooming patterns, how they take care for their young ones among other. You will also get a chance to see the interesting primate species like the Hamlyn’s monkey, vervet monkey, dent’s monkey, the black and white colobus monkey, the grey cheeked mangabey during the memorable activity.  Chimp trekking in Nyungwe national park begins in the morning at Uwinka reception center or Gisakura or Katabi with a briefing on the rules and regulation guidelines of the trekking experience and then you will be allocated a ranger who will take you through into the forest to see the attractive   chimpanzees and there after you will get out of the forest.

Bird watching : Nyungwe forest national park is also known as a birders paradise for the bird lovers because it’s a habitat of over 300 bird species with about 29 endemic to the Albertine rift valley . Birding is also another activity among the different activities in   the park that will give you an opportunity to spot at more than 100 bird species for a rewarding experience in the park. Birders in the park will have a chance to spot different bird species such as handsome francolin, Grauer’s warbler, Ruwenzori apalis, and Ruwenzori batis, black and, Shelley’s crimson wing, great blue Turaco, Rwenzori nightjar, Chubb’s Cisticola, Ross’s Turaco, Chapin’s flycatcher among others.

Nature walks : Nyungwe forest national park offers different trails for hiking including hiking the highest point in Nyungwe forest national park which is Bigugu peak that is 2950meters high. Bigugu trail is one of the difficult trails that needs the hiker to be physically fit and takes 6 hours to be completed.

Canopy walk : This is one of the popular and interesting activity to take while in Nyungwe national park. Tourists in the park  can take part in canopy walk that will give you the an opportunity meet with the variety of wildlife of your  interest and also offers an aerial view as you also enjoy the walk on the metallic path  that covers most of the parts in the park. During the activity you will be amazed with different apes species such as the white colobus, Angola colobus, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, owl faced monkeys and  other wildlife  species such as cats, duikers,, buffalos chimpanzees, Butterfly species like Charaxes-mafuga, Matisella-zenonia-crasta and  graphium- gudunesi and also an aerial  views of Lake Kivu, the largest fresh water body in Rwanda.

The cost of chimpanzee trekking permit at Nyungwe forest national park.

A chimp’s permit in Rwanda costs 150 USD per person for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park and Chimpanzee trekking   in Nyungwe forest national park starts from three reception centers namely Uwinka, and Kitabi with a briefing at 5:00 am and you will later meet the park rangers and start trekking in the forest. Nyungwe forest national park is a home of about 60 habituated chimpanzees and trekking take about 2 to 6 hours or longer depending on the location of the chimpanzees because they love to move from one place to another in search of food and once found visitors are allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Only allows a maximum of 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family and during the one hour

Accommodation facilities at Nyungwe national park

Nyungwe  national park has a wide range of accommodation facilities ranging from super luxury to  midrange and  comfortable budget where you can stay during your chimpanzee  trekking safari such as  Kivu Marina Bay hotel, Nyungwe Top view hotel, one & only Nyungwe house, Chimpanzee lodge, Nyungwe village, Kitabi eco-center, Emeraude Kivu resort and many others offering excellent services

Best time to visit the Nyungwe Forest National Park

The best time to visit is during the dry season which is also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February. During the dry month, the Nyungwe forest receives less rainfall, therefore, all the safari activities will be successful such as money trekking, chimpanzee trekking, nature walk among others because the trails will be passable though due to the fact that it’s a rainforest it might rain anytime. Nyungwe forest national park can, however, be visited during the rainy season in the months of March to May and October to November.

Reach out to us to plan your tour according to your interests and also provide you with the more detailed and essential information you may need on this visit and have the most memorable time at Nyungwe forest national park and in Rwanda as a whole.