Nyungwe national park is the oldest and largest park with a great view of the green conservation area which survived through the ice age. Nyungwe national park lies in the southwestern part of Rwanda bordered with Burundi in the south, Lake Kivu and Congo in the west. It is tropical rainforest which reaches a maximum altitude of 3000 meters above the sea levels. Part of the rainforest receives an annual amount of rainfall of about 2000mm. The forest is of particular interest because it harbors Chimpanzees. Nyungwe is located in water bodies between the basin of the River Congo to the west and the pan of the river Nile to the East of Uganda. The park is one of the famous destinations in the world with the most beautiful scenery of cool mist on landscape and the park’s land is approximately 970 square kilometers of its area. It was established in 2004 and it became a world heritage site.
Nyungwe national park has an unconsumed natural rain forest that is filled with a rich biodiversity of over 13 species of primates such as common chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, silver monkeys & golden monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Dent’s Mona monkeys, vervet monkey, olive baboons and the grey-cheeked mangabey. Nyungwe also has 85 mammals like elephants, buffaloes, leopards and many more. There also 1068 plant species and 275 bird species such as crowned hornbill, Rare Eastern mountain greenbul, long-crested eagle, Chispot batis, African paradise flycatcher, Kivu ground thrush, Red-collared babbler, Strange Weaver, Ruwenzori Turaco, Regal sunbirds, and many others. The park has more of 140 species of beautiful orchids, 120 species of butterflies, tree species like Symphonia, Cyathea manniana, Entandrophragma, polyscias, 36amphibians and 38 species of reptiles. All these species will give you emotional experience during your visit on Rwanda wildlife safaris or Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe forest national park.
The park is a sanctuary with swamps, grassland, bogs, tropical montane rain forest and surrounded with mountains like mount Bigugu which is located within the park with Busozi mountain peak and Mugote mountain peak which are good for hiking. The park is bordered with green tea plantations in Gisakura.
When it comes to exploring this beautiful national park, tourists can engage in very many activities which include hiking, canopy walk experience, Nature walk, Chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey trekking, and bird watching.
Chimpanzee Trekking: Nyungwe forest national park is the right destination for chimpanzee trekking experience, which starts early in the morning when the weather is still cooler. It takes about 2-6 hours since the right location of the chimpanzees is not known as they move around the forest searching for food. Only 8 people are allowed per group for trekking. You will meet the chimpanzees and be given an hour to observe and take pictures.
Canopy walk: Canopy walk is done on a suspended bridge across the trees. You will see different bird species like birds and monkeys. You will have an exclusive view of the forest’s canopy. The suspended bridge is so fascinating as it is hung 50 meters off the ground.
Forest hiking: Forest hiking is conducted in 13 trails of Nyungwe forest and is guided by a professional guide who will take you through the trailhead of Bigugu or to the one you have chosen. This hiking can be done along the routes which measure 130 kilometers long. The trailheads allow tourists to adventure its interiors.
Nyungwe forest national park offers comfortable unique hotels and lodges ranging between budget, midrange and luxury lodges such as Nyungwe forest lodge, Nyugwe national park, Nyungwe top view hill hotel and Gisakura guest house among others.
The best time to visit Nyungwe forest national park is all year round but most especially in dry seasons from the month of January, March, June, August, September, October and December. During these months animals are easily seen.