Popular activities in Nyungwe, Africa’s oldest tropical rainforest, composed of the largest biodiverse ecosystem in the whole of Rwanda. Nyungwe forest covers approximately 1050 square kilometres running along the floor of the great Albertine rift valley, it is said to have survived the ice age era, one of the few forests that are kept intact, the park is where life begins, flowers, trees plants are always on the blossom. The forest is tucked along the Rwandan border with Burundi, it was established in 2004 as a way of protecting the species that call this home, the different habitats of the forest harbour many animal and bird species, Nyungwe is commonly known for chimpanzees, and other primates in the national park include the black and white colobus monkey, L’hoest monkey.
Nyungwe forest is home to 13 primate species of primates, hosting over 25% of Africa’s wilderness primates including the chimpanzee, the most Popular activities in Nyungwe park is chimpanzee tracking, there are about 500 individuals in the park but only two habituated chimpanzee troops are present for visits one in the Nyungwe forest with the largest population and the Smaller group can be tracked in the Cyamudongo forest, the experience of the forest starts at 5:00 am following a morning briefing from the park rangers on the does and don’t’s while with the chimpanzee. The morning time is to vail enough time to reach the actual tracking points from the visitor centres, tourists are allowed 1 hour with the chimps watching the young stars jump up and down trees, doing their activities without their presence bothering them. Trackers must be of age above 16 years, clients with communicable diseases like flu aren’t allowed to track, and the primates easily contract diseases from humans.
the long bridge has been suspended above the lush green forest of Nyungwe, presenting amazing views of the forest, it lies 70 m above the ground and 160m long, it is one of the most exciting activities of the park, lasting for 2 hours while being guided by a ranger, the sight from above gives you a panoramic view of the forest. The walk starts at the Umwika visitor centre with a hike through the Igishigishigi trail which connects to the canopy suspension.
Nyungwe forest national park birding is along the rift valley region Nyungwe is a popular hot spot for birds, it has the highest concentration of birds in Rwanda, ranging from the Albertine endemics to forest birds, over 300 species are concentrated in the national conservation area including the purple and blue breasted sunbirds, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori batis, Grauer’s swamp flycatcher, Albertine owlet, Handsome francolin, Dusky Crimsonwing, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, eastern mountain greenbul, long-crested eagle. There are several modified trails you can follow during the birding.
Nyungwe forest national park is one of the best parks in East Africa to go hiking, the 13 trails are well distributed offering great views of the forest composition, its adventurous endemics are restricted to the conservation area, the walks last up to eight hours going through the forest while viewing plants, birds, flowers, and primates, the Igishigishigi trail is the shortest along connecting to the canopy, the Bigugu trail is the longest trail lasting for up to eight hours on a guided hike through the forest.
There are large populations of colobus monkeys in Nyungwe forest national park, it is one of the most amazing activities to do while in Nyungwe forest, you will be surprised by how many black and white monkeys are. They jump up and down trees including their messy ways of doing things all these are eye-catching and you would love to see them. It takes 2 -3 hours to track the monkeys passing through beautiful tea plantations. Along the hike, it is possible to meet other primates like the L’hoest monkey, and olive baboons, to mention a few.
Where to stay in Nyungwe is best suited, the accommodation facilities may not be many but at least there is accommodation ranging from the best budget to luxury an example of the one and only Nyungwe. The national park can be accessed by road or by air using charter flights. It is approximately 5 hour’s drive from the country’s city centre.Trip Enquiry