Map of Nyungwe Forest National Park

Map of Nyungwe Forest National Park: Nyungwe Forest National Park has some of Africa’s finest biodiversity. Nyungwe Forest, sometimes likened to Kibale Forest in Uganda, is one of the continent’s oldest green stretches, home to a diverse range of rare and endangered species, including armies of chimps and other primates.

Map of Nyungwe Forest National Park

Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park was formed in 2004 and encompasses 1,019 square kilometers of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, wetlands, and bogs. Cyangugu, 54 kilometres (34 miles) to the west, is the nearest town. Mount Bigugu (2,921 m (9,583 ft)) is inside the park’s boundaries. The Rwanda Development Board inked an agreement with African Parks in October 2020 to take over management of Nyungwe National Park for the first 20 years.

Location of Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.

Nyungwe Forest national park is located in southern Rwanda, near the border with Burundi, and is bordered to the south by the Kibira National Park and to the west by Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Nyungwe rainforest is perhaps Central Africa’s best maintained montane rainforest.

It is positioned in the watershed between the Congo River basin to the west and the Nile River basin to the east. One of the Nile’s branches emerges from the east side of the Nyungwe forest.

Primates Found in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.

Nyungwe forest national park in Rwanda has a record of about 13 primates species including; Common chimpanzee, the Red-tailed monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Olive baboon, Ruwenzori colobus, Golden monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, Silver monkey, Dent’s mona monkey, Vervet monkey, and Hamlyn’s monkey among others.

Map of Nyungwe Forest National Park
Primates in Nyungwe

Activities offered in Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.

Chimpanzee Trekking

Chimps and humans share an estimated 94 percent of their DNA, and many of their behaviours are similar. The ability to get up close and personal with these apes in their natural surroundings is one of the pleasures of any trip to Rwanda. The habituation process is still on-going, and there may be moments when you can’t see them, but you’ll know they’re there because of the hoots and hollers they produce.

Nyungwe is home to 25% of all African primate species, and you are very certain to stumble across at least one colony of colobus monkeys throughout your visit.

Forest Canopy Walk

You will embark on East Africa’s unique canopy walk today. This 112-hour hike follows a ridge before ascending a 50m-high platform and a suspension footbridge above a steep and deep valley spanning across the enormous forest. It leads you through some stunning scenery and animal types. You could see blue monkeys and other unusual birds in the upper levels of the forest.

Guided Nature Walks or Hikes

This trek begins at Gisakura Guesthouse and takes between 3 and 6 hours to complete as a round trip, depending on how often you stop and whether you drive or walk from the guesthouse. The walk begins by following the road to the vehicle park and then descends into the woodland. You must cross several streams before making a dramatic plunge to the base of the beautiful but modest waterfall. The path is regularly used by monkeys, and the steep slopes allow wonderful views into the canopy.

Bird Watching

The national park is home to approximately 300 bird species, including Archer’s Robin Chat, Strange weaver, Chapin’s Flycatcher, and Rockefeller’s Sunbird, among others. The fee of birding in Nyungwe Forest National Park is USD 50 per person per day.

Map of Nyungwe Forest National Park
Bird watching in Nyungwe

Getting to Nyungwe Forest National Park

The national park may be reached by road or air. The national park is located in the Butare district near Cyangugu town in Rwanda’s southwest. It takes roughly 4-5 hours to drive from Kigali to Nyungwe, a distance of 225 kilometres. Visitors travelling to the national park on their own can hire a vehicle or take a bus to the park’s visitor centres at Uwinka Center or Gisakura.

The park is also accessible by plane from Kigali International Airport. Visitors can fly domestically from Kigali to Kamembe International Airport, which serves the Rwandan cities of Kamembe and Cyangugu. Visitors may travel 32 kilometres from Kamembe airport to Nyungwe National Park. Visitors with a larger budget can also charter a helicopter and fly to the park. Akagera Aviation provides chartered flights for visitors visiting any of the country’s national parks.

book a gorilla safari