Nyungwe Forest National Park

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Located to the south west of Rwanda, the Nyungwe Forest National Park is close to the border of Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo in the south and the west respectively. It is recorded to be among the ancient African forests that are noted to have survived the last ice age. Nyungwe Forest is among the largest montane forest in the East of Africa and considered to be the well conserved forest in the entire highlands of Central Africa.

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The Nyungwe Forest is located near to the Congo Nile divide that mark the point of separation between the catchment areas of River Congo that flows to the west emptying in Atlantic Ocean and River Nile that flows to the north emptying in the Mediterranean Sea. The forest itself shelters one of the remote sources of the Nile River which is known as the world’s longest.

The Nyungwe Forest National Park was gazetted in the year 2004 covering 970km2 in size with composition of montane rain forest, bamboo, bogs, swamps and grassland. The Nyungwe National Park is on close proximity to Cyangungu town which is 54km from the park and a resort town on the Rwanda’s largest Lake Kivu. The Nyungwe Forest is diverse in terms of bio-diversity accruing from diverse habitats that characterize the park. Nyungwe Forest National Park features 13 Species of Primate, the 1068 plant Species, 310 bird Species, 85 mammal Species, 38 reptile Species along with 32 amphibian species.

The Nyungwe Forest features a prominent canopy which has inspired the Rwanda Development Board to build the walk way that is the first of its stature in East of Africa and the third of its kind on the African continent.

Attractions in Nyungwe Forest National Park encountered on Safaris in Rwanda

Birds in Nyungwe National Park as an attraction on Rwanda safaris

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Nyungwe Forest National Park is described to among the Important Bird Areas and rated by the Birdlife International in acknowledgment of the bird count. Nyungwe Forest National Park takes proud in a range of birds existing in the montane forest. It can be noted that that Nyungwe Forest National Park features 310 bird species of which 27 of these are restricted in range to Albertine rift. Among other birds thriving in Nyungwe Forest National Park include; Rwenzori Turacos, Grauer’s Rush Warbler,  Red-throated Alethe, Purple-breasted and Blue-headed, Kungwe Apalis Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Ruwenzori Apalis, Alehe poliophrys, Batis diops, Ruwenzori Batis, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer, Caprimulgus ruwenzorii, Cossypha archeri, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Archer’s Robin-chat, Dusky Crimson Wing, Shelley’s Crimsonwing,  Handsome Francolin, Francolinus nobilis, Cryptospiza jacksoni, Cryptospiza shelleyi, Hemitesia neumanni, Kupeornis rufocinctus, Red-collared Babbler, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Regal Sunbird, Melaenornis ardesiacus,  Cinnyris regius and Neumann’s Warbler.

Wildlife in Nyungwe National Park as an attraction on Rwanda safaris

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Nyungwe Forest National Park rising to 3000 m in elevation above sea level feature diverse ecosystems that in turn supports diverse flora. While on safari in Rwanda, a traveller can visit the Nyungwe Forest National Park to explore the 13 Primate Species which include the Chimpanzees some of which are habituated,            Black and white colobus monkeys with the largest grouping in Africa with a count of over 400 individuals, Silver monkey (Cercopithecus doggetti), Angola Colobus (Colobus angolensis ruwenzori), L’Hoest’s Monkey (Cercopithecus l’hoesti),  Dent’s Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus denti), Hamlyn’s Monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni), Red-tailed Monkey the (Cercopithecus ascanius), Grey-cheeked Mangabey (Lophocebus albigena), Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) and Olive Baboon (Papio anubis).

Flora in Nyungwe National Park as an attraction on Rwanda safaris

Nyungwe Forest is among the ancient African forests and is noted to have survived the previous ice age.  This gives Nyungwe forest an opportunity to be diverse in terms of flora concentration featuring of 200 Species of trees along with 140 types of Orchids of which 8 of these are endemic. Nyungwe Forest National Park features a range of medicinal Plants that locals have been using as remedies for centuries past including the East African satinwood along with California Bayberry. Nyungwe Forest features a mountainous terrain and therefore has various vegetation types as per the changing altitude. At 2950m ASL, you explore the sub alpine vegetation which is characterized by bamboo and shrubs like Podocarpus, bamboo, Erica johnstonii and Phillipia. At 2500m ASL, there thrives species like Podocarpus, Macaranga, Hagenia Syzygium and Balthacaria. At 2250m ASL, you explore the tall tree species along with fern species like Newtonia, Polycscias, Entandophragma, Symphonia and Cyathea manniana. At 1900m ASL, there are taller tree species like Carapa, Newtonia, Engtandophragma, Prinaria exelsium and Cyathea manniana. Considering the fact that Nyungwe is a mature forest, the Epiphytes such as ferns and mosses cannot be missed. Nyungwe Forest is a moist mountainous forest that is worth exploring

Tourist Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park that travellers on Rwanda safari can engage in

Considering the diverse attractions in Nyungwe Forest National Park, the park presents a rich haven for a range of tourist activities that travellers on Rwanda safari can engage in.

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park explored by Rwanda Safari undertakers

Being a home to 13 Species of Primate among which include the famous common Chimpanzees, Nyungwe Forest National Park is the only destination in Rwanda that offers Chimpanzee trekking experience.

The Chimpanzees in Nyungwe are habituated and thus used to human touch which makes them suitable to be explored on the trekking experience. The Chimpanzee trekking encounter is conducted daily departing at the park headquarters in the morning at 8am and tends to last 2 – 6 hours. The Chimpanzee trekking experience opens you to the rich encounters with impressive bird species, the remarkable flora and magical sceneries including the waterfalls. The moments with chimpanzees lasts one full one hour as you see them copulate, socialize and make pant hooting calls. The chimpanzee trekking permit in Rwanda costs $90.

Colobus Monkey tracking in Nyungwe National Park explored by Rwanda Safari undertakers

Nyungwe Forest National Park shelters the largest grouping of colobus monkeys in the whole of Africa with a count of over 400 numbers. It also commences in the morning from the park headquarters and tends to last 2 – 5 hours involving one full hour of direct viewing. It is such magical experience to come across a forest covered with colobus monkeys with their black and white colors. The sight of the young ones which possess only white fur when they are still young is impressive to encounter.  The body coloring of the Black and white colobus is attained after three months of age. The Colobus monkey tracking permit costs $70.

Canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park explored by Rwanda Safari undertakers

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Nyungwe Forest National Park features the best canopy walk in the whole of East Africa and the third of its stature on the continent of Africa. Built in the month of October 2010, the Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk way stretches over 200 feet from the ground and 90m in length. The forest canopy allows the travellers on Rwanda safari gain a vantage point from which they can explore the beauty of this ancient forest. The walk presents impressive sights of primates, birds and butterflies thriving in the raised forest branches. At some point, the walk way traverses a deep valley presenting a frightening and yet an adventurous moment that creates lifetime memories. The canopy walk commences at Uwinka Visitor Center and costs $60 per person running for around 2 hours.

Bird Watching in Nyungwe National Park explored by Rwanda Safari undertakers

Nyungwe Forest National Park with 310 bird species of which 27 are restricted in range to the Albertine rift presents impressive bird watching experience. The Nyungwe forest features a range of montane forest birds and the bird watching encounter presents you an opportunity of exploring a range of birds including Rwenzori Turacos, Red-throated Alethe, Grauer’s Rush Warbler,  Apalis argentea, Kungwe Apalis, Purple-breasted and Blue-headed,  Ruwenzori Apalis, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Stripe-breasted Tit, Alehe poliophrys,   Parus fasciiventer, Batis diops, Ruwenzori Batis, Caprimulgus ruwenzorii, Archer’s Robin-chat Cossypha archeri, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Handsome Francolin, Dusky Crimson Wing, Shelley’s Crimsonwing,  Francolinus nobilis, Cryptospiza shelleyi, Hemitesia neumanni, Cryptospiza jacksoni, Red-collared Babbler,  Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Kupeornis rufocinctus, Melaenornis ardesiacus, Neumann’s Warbler, Cinnyris regius and Regal Sunbird. The birding activity can be arranged as a short bird walk or as a whole day experience.

Hiking in Nyungwe National Park explored by Rwanda Safari undertakers

The Nyungwe Forest National Park can be explored on foot and a range of trails have been set up to enable Rwanda safari undertakers take up this experience.

Congo-Nile Divide Trail

The Congo Nile divide trail separates the water catchment areas of River Congo and the Nile River. The trail extends to 227km and takes a number of days to hike and complete on foot. One explores the bamboo forests, rain forests along with open fields. For the Rwanda safari undertakers who are interested in undertaking multiday hiking, the camping grounds are present but travellers need to carry along their camping equipment. There are also canteens along the trail that sell foodstuffs.

Igishigishigi Trail

Igishigishigi Trail stretches to a distance of 2.1km and presents magical views of the canopy walk way and beautiful wild flowers. This trail can be incorporated with the longer Umuyove and Imbaraga trails.

Karamba Trail

Karamba trail is averagely easy to trek and passes close the initial gold mine, market and the army camp. The trail features impressive bird watching views and features beautiful fern trees along.

Umugote Trail

Umugote trail offer magical views of the different ridges, the lush flowers, the rain forest and magical views of the Kibira National Park in Burundi on a clear day. The trail also offers impressive views for birds and primates.

Umuyove Trail

Umuyove trail also referred to as Mahogany Trail stretches through the Nyungwe forest tallest trails featuring a good scent of their leaves. The trail passes along the waterfall with magical views. This trail features other diverting trails that are used by trekkers in chimpanzee trekking encounter.

Uwinka Trail

Uwinka trail is a considered to be difficult but offers the Rwanda safari undertaker an opportunity to explore the magic ravines in the company of an early morning bird songs.

Irebero Trail

Irebero trail enables the Rwanda safari undertakers loop around the 2 highest peaks of Nyungwe presenting impressive views of Lake Kivu.

Imbaraga Trail

Imbaraga trail presents an opportunity to explore 4 water falls offering beautiful sceneries. These falls are within 10km range presenting magical refreshing experiences.

Bigugu Trail

Bigugu Mountain is noted to be the highest in the park and thus involves an active hike with the views of flora and fauna along with the views of Lake Kivu on a clear day not forgetting the hills and Islands of DR Congo

Isumo Trail

Isumo trail enables one to explore the large tea fields, rain forest gorges that are steep and the largest waterfall in the entire Nyungwe forest.

Kamiranzovu Trail

Kamiranzovu Trail traverses a large swamp featuring a water fall. The trail offers a diverse ecosystem encounter suitable for environmental lovers.

Ngabwe Trail

This offers two paths that connect to hill top where the Rwanda safari undertakers can do the camping or undertake a picnic experience

Rukuzi Trail

Rukuzi Trail features a magical spot for Chimpanzee trekking and the views of Banda Village where the children voices are heard rising on the mountain side.

Accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park for Rwanda safari undertakers

Upmarket / Luxury Accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest Lodge in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

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The Nyungwe Forest Lodge is fully designed to match with the surrounding ecosystem while matching the standards of a five star wilderness lodge. The Nyungwe Forest Lodge takes in consideration of local culture that aligned along with quality and modernity to present magical guest satisfaction

Nyungwe Forest Lodge contains a swimming pool, the 2 treatment rooms, pool side boma, Jaccuzi pool, fitness center, boutique store, tea lounge, conference facilities, wireless internet at the main restaurant, modern restaurant and laundry along wheel chair user friendly main building.

The Nyungwe Forest Lodge provides accommodation in 22 luxury rooms that are fixed in 6 wooden Villas each with 4 rooms.  The Nyungwe Forest Lodge features 2 Presidential sites in distinct villas with each of them containing a Jaccuzi. The rooms depict modernity and beautiful décor without eliminating the traditional touch.  Each room at Nyungwe Forest Lodge has a private deck that overlooks the forest.

Room Amenities at Nyungwe Forest Lodge in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

  • Fire place
  • Air conditioning
  • Private mini bar
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Electronic safe (laptop size)
  • International electric adaptors
  • Private deck
  • En-suite bathroom with indoor shower
  • International dial telephones
  • Flat LCD screen and digital satellite channels
  • Wi-Fi access

Midrange / Standard Accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel presents midrange / standard accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park and it an ideal base for the chimpanzee trekking experience, the colobus monkey tracking, the canopy walk and the forest walk.

The Nyungwe Hill Top View Lodge has a fireplace in the rooms where Rwanda safari undertakers can enjoy in their rooms or can get out and enjoy in the open after dinner being entertained by impressive Kinyarwanda traditional dance performances thus giving the travellers an experience of a typical African night.

The Nyungwe Hill Top View Hill Lodge presents accommodation in 12 units and 4 of these rooms have twin beds whereas the 8 are in form of apartments with Queen Sized beds. The rooms are self-contained. Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel features a well-stocked bar and restaurant.

Gisakura Guesthouse in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

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The Gisakura Guesthouse is positioned at 2km distance outside Nyungwe Forest National Park offering budget / basic accommodation in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The Gisakura Guest House is located in the Tea Estate of Gisakura along the route connecting Cyangungu from the Park.

The Gisakura Guesthouse presents accommodation on double, twin and triple bed arrangement with en suite facilities and the warm water is available on request. The Gisakura Guesthouse has a good restaurant.

Camping in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park features a range of camping grounds that accommodates the camping Rwanda safari undertakers.

Uwinka visitor center in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

The Uwinka visitor center features 2 camping facilities and these grounds have tents, toilet and showers. The camp sites have Canteen where the Rwanda safari undertakers can get their respective bites and drinks. The water and firewood is provided on request.

Wilderness Campsites in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park also has Camping sites in the wilderness presenting an opportunity to the Rwanda safari undertakers to spend an overnight in the wilderness. The Wilderness Campsites are positioned along the walking forest trails. The travellers are required to have in possession camping equipment such as the tent, the food, sleeping bags and the fire wood is collected on site with the help of the ranger. The guests are required to carry own equipment including the tent, sleeping bags, fire wood and food. The ranger has to be hired for protection.

Mt. Bigugu peak Camp in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

Mount Bigugu peak offers a good camping ground and has the capacity to take up to 4 people. The camping travellers on safaris in Uganda has to carry own water.

Congo-Nile Divide Trail Campsites in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

The Congo Nile Divide trail extends for 227km and enables the Rwanda safari undertakers to explore the point of divide between the catchment areas of River Congo and Nile River. There are 3 camping grounds positioned along the trail for the camping travellers taking the hike.

September 29th, 2015|Game Parks in Rwanda|