Nyungwe Forest National park

Guide to Nyungwe Forest National park

Located in southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park s Rwanda’s largest tropical rain forest bordered by Lake Kivu and Kabira forest National Park in Burundi. Nyungwe Forest National Park as gazetted in 2004 to promote primate safaris in Rwanda and diversify tourism the land of a thousand hills. The park is home to 13 primates with chimpanzees dominating. Also, Nyungwe Forest is home to over 310 bird species, 90 mammals, 38 reptiles and 2000 plat species making it a must-visit destination on your Rwanda safari. The rain forest is tucked in the middle tea plantations overlooking Virunga Volcanoes. Nyungwe Forest covers a total land area of 1000 square kilometers 2/3rds of which is covered by water feeding into River Congo and River Nile. Vegetation cover in Nyungwe Forest comprises of the rain forest, bamboos, shrubs, Orchids, Mosses, Pod carps, Gant Lobelia and ferns which provide food and habitation for birds and animals in the park. A Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest National park offers travelers with a great choice of tourist activities, which reward them with memorable experiences. The top thing to see and do in Nyungwe Forest National Park include:

Chimpanzee trekking

Nyungwe Forest National park

Chimps in Nyungwe Forest

Chimpanzee trekking is the most done tourist activity attracting a high number of travelers to Nyungwe Forest National Park. The forest is home to over 500 chimpanzees hence the best place to trek chimpanzees in Rwanda. Chimpanzee trekking in the Nyungwe forest is done in either the main forest and Cyamudongo forest to give travelers a chance to make and spend a magical time with man’s closet relatives. A permit to trek chimpanzee in Rwanda costs $90 allowing you to spend an hour with a chimpanzee community. Chimpanzee trekking starts from Uwinka information center with a short briefing about the rules and regulations to ensure the safety of travelers and endangered chimps. Chimpanzee permit booking is recommended at least 6 months before the trekking date and it can be done directly with Rwanda Development Board or through Magical Africa Safaris, your ultimate safari company. The 3 Days Nyungwe Chimpanzee tour gives you the chance to trek chimpanzees with the shortest time possible. The dos and don’ts of chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park include:
1. Keep a distance of seven meters away from chimpanzees
2. Do not trek when sick
3. Avoid direct eye contact with chimpanzees
4. Do not use flashlight cameras
5. Don’t litter in the park
6. Do not shout – Keep your voices low
7. Keep within your groups- Do not move alone in the forest
8. Don’t run away when chimpanzees charge
9. Carry your permit
10. Turn back your faces when sneezing

Monkey Trekking

Besides chimpanzees, Nyungwe Forest is home to numerous money species hence the best spot for monkey trekking in Rwanda. Expect to see monkeys such as Olive baboons Grey-cheeked Monkeys, Vervet monkeys, Dent’s monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Silver monkeys, Ruwenzori colubus, Hamlyn’s monkey and L’Hoest Monkeys among others. The playful and lively characters of monkeys in Nyungwe Forest National park make this whole experience enjoyable and memorable. The fact that monkeys are many in Nyungwwe Forest, your monkey trekking experience will be very short and less strenuous compared to chimpanzee trekking.

Canopy walk

Nyungwe Forest National park

Canopy walk

A canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest offers you the best aerial views of the forest, wildlife, local communities, and the Virunga volcanoes. The 2 hours walk above the forest (60 meters) is an exceptional experience that no traveler to Nyungwe Forest should miss. Canopy walk costs $60 but the feeling and excitement that comes with it are undeniably worth the penny.

Waterfall hiking

Be Part of the remarkable waterfall hiking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The rain forest contains the famous Kamiranzovu and Isumo waterfalls whose scenic beauties is a not miss. Hiking to these waterfalls is undeniably strenuous through marshlands and muddy swamps but the experience is worth the effort. The speed and water quantity of waterfalls are seasonal. Waterfalls are usually heavy and strong during the rainy season and become slow in the dry season. Physical fitness and mental readiness are highly emphasized for waterfall hiking. Packing list for waterfall hiking in Nyungwe Forest National Pak include
• Hiking boots,
• Gardening gloves,
• Walking sticks,
• Rain jackets
• Hat
• Sunglasses
• Bottled drinking water
• Energy giving snacks
• Long-sleeved shirts
• Long pants
• Scarf and warm sweaters for cold forest weather.

Bird watching

Activities in Nyungwe Foerst

Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest

Being home to over 300 bird species, Nyungwe Forest National Park is the best spot for bird watching in Rwanda. Birds in Nyungwe Forest include Red-faced woodland warbler, Regal Sunbird, Ruwenzori Apalis, Handsome francolin, Blue-headed Sunbird, Mountain masked apalis, Dwarf honey guide, Stripe breasted tit, Purple breasted sunbird, Kivu ground thrush, and Shelley’s crimsonwing among others. Our experienced guides help you spot different birds and also help to explain unique features about each spotted bird.

Nature/Forest Walk

Rae a walk to enjoy the cool, quiet natural state of Nyungwe Forest t National Park. A forest walk is the best way to discover all hidden treasures of Nyungwe Forest National park. Enjoy the sweet melodies of birds, which sing endlessly up in the trees. Walking stick, closed shoes and a walking stick is a must-have for everyone going for a nature walk in Nyungwe Forest National park. Expect to meet monkeys, birds and reptiles during your nature walk through Nyungwe Forest.

Best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park

June, July, August, September, August, December to February are the best months for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. During this time, rain is less which keeps trails drier making it easier and more pleasant. Also, the sun can easily break through clouds during this time, which makes photography easier. However, Nyungwe Forest can be visited throughout the year and all activities are done without any disturbance.

Where to sleep in Nyungwe Forest National park

Where to Sleep in Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe House

Wondering about accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park? No worries, the forest has a variety of budget, midrange and luxury lodging facilities to serve you with first-class food and sleeping services at affordable rates. The top lodges in Nyungwe Forest National Park include One and Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Hill Top View Lodge and Gisakura guesthouse, among others.

Getting to and around Nyungwe Forest National park

Nyungwe forest can be accessed by road transport. The park is roughly 6 hours drive from Kigali International airport driving south westwards. If you are driving from Kigali to Nyungwe via Huye town, the easiest route is through Nyabugongo, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango, Nyanza , Huye and Nyamagabe districts. Taking this route gives you a chance to visit kamageri rock and the King’s palace among other attractions in these towns.
Alternatively, you can drive from Kigali to Nyungwe via Karogi Town with en-route stop at Ndaba rock and Bisesero genocide memorial site.

In conclusion, Nyungwe Forest remains your must-visit travel destination in Rwanda. Magical Africa Safaris offers you toiler made Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest for chimpanzee trekking, canopy walk, forest walks, bird watching and monkey trekking at affordable rates with great value for money.

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African Apes Holidays offers you exceptional apes safaris to trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colubus monkeys and other wildlife experiences in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and East Africa