Nyungwe national park weather
Nyungwe National Park only two types of weather which are the sunny and rainy weather and these are regarded as the dry and wet seasons in the park. However, given to recent climate changes and the fact that the park lies within a tropical rain forest, Nyungwe forest, the weather in the park keeps changing. The national park receives some rainfall even during its dry season, therefore visitors should always park a light raincoat when travelling to the park.
Nyungwe Forest National Park covers a total surface area of 1020 sq km and at a height of between 1600- 2950 meters above sea level.
Nyungwe Forest covers an area of over 1000 sq km and receives a record amount of 2000mm of rainfall every year. The forest is also Rwanda’s largest water catchment area holding 2/3rds of all the country’s water. This large tropical forest also contributes to the water distribution in River Congo and the Nile River as well.
In 1903, Nyungwe was declared a forest reserve by the German colonial Government.
Between 1958 and 1973, the total land coverage of this tropical African rainforest greatly reduced due to fire outbreaks in the forest, large scale deforestation and poaching of animals.
In 1974, the last buffaloes that inhabited Nyungwe Forest were killed by poachers.
In 2004, Nyungwe Forest National Park was first established as a national park following the ranking of Rwanda as one of the top 10 tourist destinations on Lonely Planet.
However in 2005, Nyungwe Forest National Park was declared as a protected area and it is during this time that tourist visits to the national park increased.
Nyungwe National Park is located in the Southwestern part of Rwanda, and borders Burundi in the South, with Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West. The national park is part of the famous Nyungwe Forest which is the largest tropical rain forest in East and Central Africa. It is believed to have been in existence for over thousands of years.
Nyungwe National Park weather shows that the park receives over 200mm of rainfall annually. The weather in the park is usually cool and wet given its strategic location with the tropical rainforest.
The temperatures in the national park vary from 20°C during day to 11°C at night. However, temperatures in the Nyungwe national park can drop to as low as 7.8°C as you ascend the hills of Nyungwe which stand at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. Visitors are advised to pack warm clothing when visiting the park. The sunny weather/ dry season in the national park is between June to September. This time of the year is the best time for visitors to visit the park.
During the dry season in Nyungwe National Park, it is much easier for visitors to visit the national park. The hiking trails within the park are easy to trek as they are not so muddy, steep or slippery.
The wet season in Nyungwe national park is from October to December and January to February. The national park receives the highest amount of rainfall in the month November. Temperatures in the park at this time of the year are around 20°C during the day and keep varying from different altitudes with the night time being the coldest.
Visitors travelling to Nyungwe Forest National Park can take part in a number of activities such as; the canopy walk, guided nature walks, birding, hiking to Isumo waterfalls, and chimpanzee trekking to mention but a few.
If you are planning to travel to Nyungwe national park, it is advisable that you park a good pair of hiking boots, long trousers/pants, warm clothing, rain coat/jacket, cap/hat, sunscreen cream, insect repellent and mineral water to keep hydrated during your hike.
For accommodation, visitors can stay in the following facilities; Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Gisakura Guest House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, and One & Only Nyungwe House among others.
Nyungwe Forest National Park can be accessed by air from Kigali International Airport to Kamembe International Airport. Upon arrival at Kamembe International Airport, one may choose to drive 32 km to the national park or hire a helicopter depending on one’s budget.
Nyungwe is located in Butare district near Cyangugu town in south western Rwanda. It is a 4- 5 hour drive from Kigali to the national park and covers a distance of 225 km. One can either take a bus or hire a car to Uwinka Center or Gisakura.
Whichever activity you choose to do during your visit to Nyungwe national park, you are bound to have the best experience of your life.