Explore Bisesero Village in Nyungwe Forest National Park: A visit to Bisesero village is one of the interesting activities you may do while on vacation in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Community Cultural Tours in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park lets visitors meet and engage with local residents. The settlements that surround the national park allow tourists to easily explore and learn about how these residents live their daily lives, as well as the interesting Rwandan culture.
Bisesero hamlet in Rwanda’s Nyungwe forest national park is a little hillside lush settlement located about 30 kilometers southeast of Kibuye town in Rwanda’s Western Province’s Karongi district. Bisesero is not your typical village; it has played an important part in shaping the country’s tragic history.
The village is a notable cultural site recognized for its beautiful surroundings and a remarkable genocide monument. Bisesero was also known as the “Hill of Resistance” because it portrays the heroic Tutsi struggle against the Interahamwe militia during the 1994 genocide when they used stones, spears, and sticks to block the Hutu’s rifles and machetes.
The wonderfully designed Bisesero Genocide Memorial Center is located near the Bisesero community hamlet in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park. At the start of the genocide, at least 50,000 Tutsi, the majority of the victims of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, fled to Bisesero with the aim of escaping the atrocities of the Interahamwe for at least 30 days. Several brave people utilized simple agricultural tools to fight and defend themselves against their assailants.
Following the orders of one of the town’s leaders and inhabitants, Aminadabu Birara, people in this community went through tactical preparations to fight and defend themselves against assaults in their hamlet. Bisesero’s terrain aided them by offering strategic cover on top of Muyira Hill, allowing them to easily find and confront their foe.
While young and strong men fought, women and children hid behind the hill. Then, more armed troops and militias arrived in Bisesero and slaughtered more than half of the refugees. There were just around 1,300 Tutsi remaining in the hamlet when the French arrived.
On June 27, 1994, the French military assaulted Bisesero, claiming to have arrived to stop the killing and restore calm, but they swiftly left and pledged to return in three days. Nonetheless, as soon as they left, the Interahamwe militia returned to do the job, slaughtering civilians’ day and night until the French troops came. When they arrived on June 30th, as promised, they discovered that nearly a fourth of the community’s people had fled.
A journey to Rwanda’s Bisesero Village in Nyungwe Forest National Park will take you to the Bisesero Genocide Memorial Centre, which was built in 1997 and has three structures housing the bones of victims as well as a graveyard where over 40,000 individuals were interred.
How to get to Bisesero Village at Nyungwe National Park?
Karongi district is located in Rwanda’s western province, approximately 30 kilometers southeast of Kibuye. It can be reached via bus from Kigali. Visitors can also go by boat from Gisenyi, Rubavu province, to Kibuye, Karongi province.
When is the best time to visit Bisesero Village-Nyungwe National Park?
Nyungwe Forest National Park may be visited at any time of year for community visits, while certain months are better than others because the activity is coupled with other park activities. The rainy months of June to September and December to February are great for visiting the park. During these months, there is little or no rain, which advantages most of the activities done in and around the park since the trekking and hiking pathways are dry, the vegetation is scarce, and the roads leading to the park are navigable.
Visitors, especially budget travelers, can visit the park even during the rainy seasons of March to May and October to November to save money on hotel facilities. During these months, there is a lot of rain, which makes the hiking trails muddy and dangerous, the foliage is dense, making it impossible to view the park monkeys, and the roads leading to the park are closed.
Other Places to visit during your stay at Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Banda Village, located in the heart of Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park, is a prominent cultural destination that entices visitors with fascinating dances, charming residents, and wonderful traditional songs and culture. The park’s headquarters at Uwinka are a short drive or hike away.
Kamembe, another hamlet in Nyungwe Forest National Park, is a little-known settlement that is surprisingly a tourism center adjacent to or connecting a number of tourist attractions in Rwanda and overseas. The town is a great spot to start if you wish to fly to the 1,020 square kilometers of Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Visitors may explore Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda’s southwestern area, which is approximately 45 kilometers and an hour’s drive away, as well as Kahuzi Biega National Park in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is about 2 hours drive away, by visiting Kamembe town.
The famous Congo Nile Trail also begins at Kamembe, making it a perfect spot for trekkers and mountain bikers. Above all, collecting some revenue has indirectly and directly improved the standard of living for Kamembe town residents.
The Mashesha hot springs in Cyangugu town are a must-see on every Rwanda safari. These are one of the most famous tourist attractions in Cyangugu, since they allow visitors to see the hot springs, which contain a pool of extremely hot boiling water gushing from the earth’s crust.
Interesting Activities to do in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe and Cyamudongo Forests.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park on two habituated chimp families from Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forests. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is available to those who have a valid chimp trekking permit and are 15 years old or older. The journey begins with a briefing before trekkers are led into the jungle in search of these apes by armed ranger rangers. Trekkers are allowed an hour after meeting them to observe the chimps’ everyday activities while learning about their behavior and taking photos.
Explore Bisesero Village in Nyungwe Forest National Park : Primate Tracking
Aside from community visits, monkey trekking is another attraction in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Primate tracking in Nyungwe forest national park allows visitors to observe the majority of the park’s monkeys in their natural habitat. During the monkey trekking trip, tourists may see grey-checked mangabeys, l’hoest monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, crowned monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and owl-faced monkeys.
Explore Bisesero Village in Nyungwe Forest National Park : Birdwatching
Bird watching is another activity available in Nyungwe forest national park, in addition to visiting Bisesero hamlet. It is a supervised practice guided by armed rangers and rangers who are familiar with the park’s birds. Among the common birds are Grauer’s swamp warbler, dusky Crimson wing, regal sunbird, Albertine owlet, archer’s robin cat, buff-throated Apalis, blue-headed sunbird, handsome spurfowl, Rwenzori Apalis, Yellow-Eyed Black Flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, Neumann’s Warbler, and Purple-Breasted Sunbird.
Guided Nature walks/Hiking
The nature walks and hiking excursions in Rwanda‘s Nyungwe Forest National Park are intended to allow tourists to explore the area on foot while accompanied by a guide. The nature walks take place on several trails across the park, and you may view many park monkeys, animals, birds, and bird species.