Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the Africa’s oldest forests that have stayed evergreen through the ice age. It covers over 1000 square kilometres located in the south west corner of the Republic of Rwanda at the border with Burundi, to the south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.
The national parks is a tropical rain forest which is a home to 12 primates among which are the 400 strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori black and white Colobus, 300 bird species including six endemics not found somewhere else in the country. Concerning mammals, the national park is blessed with 75different species of mammals. The closet relatives to humans i.e. the chimpanzees are also found in Nyungwe forest national park. Travelers to the national park are blessed with a clear view of the lush green mountains and cooling mist in a landscape, beautiful terrain and many others which all provide great and memorable experiences to the travelers.
Nyungwe forest national park is believed to have the biggest canopy walk in East Africa which is 50 meters above the ground level and 200 meters long. The canopy is a steep and deep valley across a massive forest. The canopy walk has their towers and is a hanging platform which provides travelers with a clear view of different animal species in an eye to eye contact. All animals and bird species which live in the upper scale of the tropical rain forest are accessed by the travelers which are not a case in other national parks that have no canopy walks. Every traveler to Rwanda should not miss out the canopy walk for the greater and memorable experience which cannot be forgotten.
Chimpanzee trekking is the most tourism activity done in the Nyungwe Forest National Park. The national park is a home to large population of chimpanzees, the closet relatives to human beings sharing approximately 98% of human DNA. The chimpanzees live in different families each family headed by one dominant who leads the group. They demonstrate different roles in a family with the females nursing and taking care of the young ones, the males protecting the family and the young ones playing and feeding. All this is so interesting that no traveler to Rwanda should miss out.
These are made possible because of different trails those lead travelers to different directions. The trails are coloured differently and they include among others the water fall trail which leads the travelers to the pretty waterfalls in the forest, Kamiranzoru Trail, Bigugu Trail which is the toughest trail that leads one to the Bigugu peak, it requires one to be physically fit, but it is so interesting especially after reaching at the top of the peak. Travelers following the trails have high chances of encountering other different bird and animal species all which adds to the total experience that one will live to remember.
Alongside the chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park, monkey trekking is yet another interesting and highly participated in activity. The national park is a home to the two threatened species of monkeys which are the owl faced monkey and the golden monkey. The most celebrated of Nyungwe primates is the Ruwenzori Colobus which is highly arboreal and acrobatic leaf-eater, easily distinguished from any other primate found in Nyungwe by its contrasting black over all colour and snow-white whiskers, shoulders and tail tip. The Colobus monkeys in Nyungwe forest national park typically move in troops of several hundred animals. Other types of monkeys in Nyungwe National Park are the L’Hoest’s monkey, Silver monkey, golden monkey; Owl faced monkey, red tailed monkey, Dent’s Mona monkey, crowned monkey, Velvet monkey, and Olive baboon among others all interesting to the travelers to the national park.
Nyungwe National Park:
Located in the South West corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is an untouched natural rainforest that is filled with exciting biodiversity.
- Chimpanzee Tracking
- Canopy Walkway
- Chimpanzee Tracking: The home of roughly 400 species of chimpanzees, Nyungwe is home to one of East Africa’s last intact populations and boasts two wild chimp communities that welcome guests (one in Cyamdungo and other around Uwinka).
- Birds: Described by Birdlife International as “the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda,” the Nyungwe National Park is home to roughly 310 bird species, 27 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Although actually spotting birds in the park’s forests may be challenging, the bird songs you’ll hear during the trek will surely make it more enjoyable.
- Canopy Walkway: Nyungwe’s steep landscape makes it as an ideal destination for hikers – whether they’re novices or experienced – as the park boasts an extensive network of hiking trails. The trails are blessed with an amazingly diverse landscape and represent the most scenic way of exploring the forest.