When was Nyungwe National Park Established?

When was Nyungwe National Park Established? Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and encompasses 970 km2 of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, wetlands, and bogs. Cyangugu, 54 kilometers to the west, is the nearest town. Mount Bigugu is inside the park’s boundaries. The Rwanda Development Board inked an agreement with African Parks in October 2020 to take over administration of Nyungwe National Park for the first 20 years.

Between 1958 and 1973, fires, woodcutting, animal hunting, and small-scale agriculture reduced the size of Nyungwe by about 150 km2. The surrounding Gishwati and Virunga woods were cut in half during the time. In 1969, forest elephants numbered in the hundreds in Nyungwe forest national park. In 1974, hunters slaughtered the last buffalo in Nyungwe.

 In 1984, Nyungwe was divided into portions that enable for the sustainable use and harvesting of timber. The Rwandan government establishes a buffer zone, which is still visible today. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with RDB discovered colobus in groups of up to 400 members in 1984, an unheard-of occurrence.

In 1987, work on the Uwinka trail system began. In 1994, the country was destroyed by war and genocide, destroying much of Uwinka’s research and tourist facilities. The majority of senior officials were compelled to depart, but several younger staff members remained to protect Nyungwe Park.

The park’s rehabilitation began in 1995, but the park’s security and stability remained in doubt. In 1999, poachers murdered Nyungwe’s last elephant in the swamp. The Rwandan government recognized Nyungwe as an official national park in 2005, giving it the highest level of protection in the country.

Activities Offered in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Chimpanzee Trekking

The Nyungwe National Park is home to 25% of all primate species in Africa. The chimp population here is only second to that of Uganda’s Kibale National Park. It should be mentioned that, while there are various paths to go to see the chimpanzees, you may need to deviate off the main trail into the forest, albeit with the guide’s help. Acrobatic chimpanzees dangling from tree branches, mother chimps caressing new-born chimps, and other sights that will not only amaze but also warm your heart are usual views following the journey.

When was Nyungwe National Park Established?
Chimpanzees in Nyungwe

This exciting chimp trekking excursion starts at 5 a.m., so you should get up early. Each trekking party can only have a maximum of 8 individuals. Nyungwe Forest is a rainforest with slippery terrain that will require sturdy hiking shoes, a rain poncho in the event of a downpour, long sleeved thick shirts for the cold weather, long trousers to protect you from the long creeping undergrowth if you happen to go off the beaten path, and binoculars to see the chimps if you happen to find them high up in the trees.

Birding in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of Rwanda’s best birding spots, with over 310 bird species. There are a variety of species to observe, including Albertine Rift endemics and Forest endemics. The greatest and rarest to see are the Great Blue Turaco, Re-Throated Alethe, Paradise Flycatcher, and Gigantic Forest Hornbill. Bonus views include the Rockefeller’s Sunbird, Green Pigeons, Ross’s Turaco, Red-Breasted Sparrow Hawk, White Headed Wood Hoopoe, Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Stripe-Breasted Tit, and Regal Sunbird, When was Nyungwe National Park Established?

There are several routes in the park where you may hike to see the birds. The more pathways you hike, the more likely you are to see birds. Because of the park’s size, certain species may be difficult to find.

Canopy Walk.

Nyungwe Forest, which encompasses 1,015 square kilometers, is East Africa’s largest remaining tract of Tropical Afro-Montane rainforest. The canopy walk is a two-hour hike on a 200-meter-long trail 50 meters above the forest cover, and it is one of the most fascinating activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The vista from the peak offers an eagle’s eye viewpoint and panoramic views that a hike on the ground would not. For safety reasons, children under the age of six are not authorized to participate in the canopy walk.

When was Nyungwe National Park Established?
Canopy Walk way

Primate Tracking in Nyungwe National Park

There are 13 primate species in Nyungwe Forest, with monkeys accounting for more than half of them. Some of the monkeys are native to the area, such as the Rwenzori Colobus Monkey. A hike along one of Nyungwe’s 13 hiking trails will introduce you to Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Owl Faced Monkeys, Blue-Monkeys, and Mona Monkeys. Further into the forest, off the beaten route of the trails, and guided by a guide, you can see a group of up to 200 Rwenzori Colobus Monkeys all at once, which is an incredible sight.

Hiking Tours in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is the place to go if you appreciate hiking and a good trek. There are 13 different hiking trails in the park where you may walk for 1 to 8 hours and witness a variety of plant, tree, bird, primate, and butterfly species. The Igishigishigi Trek is the shortest and features an adrenaline-pumping canopy walk. The Bigugu Path, on the other hand, is the park’s longest trail and may take up to 8 hours to complete. Each trail offers a distinct wildlife experience, showcasing the creatures that are most frequently observed on that path. Hiking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is a wonderful option because it takes days to complete.

Contact us on info@nyungweforestnationalpark.org for bookings and do check out some of our interesting safari packages to Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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