Nyungwe is forest national park located in south western Rwanda. It borders with an extension of Kibiri national park in Burundi south of lake Kivu and west of Democratic Republic of Congo. It is found in Rusizi district. Nyungwe is the biggest national park that has boosted and has been a hall mark for tourism in Rwanda which generates millions annually and the top destination for tourists in the country. It was established as a national park in 2004 and it is a habitant for over 1000 animals ,birds and natural species making it a relevant conservation area in Africa with 970sq.km area coverage that makes it the largest montane forest on the African continent. It receives an average of 1800mm-2500mm of rainfall and 15 degrees Celsius temperature annually which is a favorable climatic condition .September to may, temperatures are very low and
the sun is very low since it is a rainy season and from June to september the climate is very favorable since it a dry season( summer) which makes it the good season to visit the park
Journey to Nyungwe
In a 4hour drive to Nyungwe from Kigali is very fun since there are a lot of attractions on the way which include Nyanza King’s palace and national museum where you can break your journey before reaching the destination where you may stop by and learn more about Rwandan culture and cultural expression for example participating in music, dance ,storytelling ,herbal medicine local beer brewing ,hunting skills and other traditional skills.
The winka visitor center which is the headquarter of Nyungwe, where you are provided with information and the historical back grounds of the park, its fauna and flora plus the local culture are worthy a visit.
Wild life in Nyungwe
Nyungwe is a home for over 1000 species which are 75 mammals among which 13 are primates namely: vervet monkey ,redtail monkey , owl-faced monkey, L’hoest’s monkey ,blue monkey, Mona’s monkey ,eastern needle claoved galago, Bosman’s potto ,golden cat ,marsh mangoose and giant forest hog.
Nyungwe is among parks with the largest species of birds with 332 birds species which include; red collared babbler and 29 other Albertine rift endemic species. Butterflies are also a common sight with at least 120species and it’s the only place to spot rare forest bird species; white headed wood hoope , Rwenzori turace, Rwenzori batis , Ross’s turaco, Kivu ground thrush ,kungwe apalis among others.
Mammals in Nyungwe
There are 75 mammals well known in the park such as the cervet cat, mongoose ,Congo clawless otter and leopards to name but a few. Most of which are shy and cannot easily be seen, they are only tracked on their foot steps and waste droppings left behind. Chimpanzees attract travellers more than any other mammals species to Nyungwe forest national park.
This is one if the reasons why Rwanda has become top tourist destination world wide. It is not a place for relaxing but also for adventure. The forest is a shelter to a 200m canopy walk that gives excitement that can hardly be compared.
Getting to the canopy, it takes the 2hours from uwinka visitor center. It was opened in 2010. It’s the first in East Africa and the third on the African continent.
It is suspended above the montane rainforest of Nyungwe national park. The 160m long and 70m high suspension bridge is accessible and gives you a real sense of the scale of Nyungwe .
The canopy gives you refreshment, wonderful view of trees ,sights of fantastic birds that fly across as you enjoy the walk face to face meeting butterflies, birds and monkeys.
There are things you would never miss for the walk.
1.1liter of drinking water 2.Rain jacket 3.Hiking boots 4.Walking stick
Accommodation in Nyungwe
1.one and only Nyungwe house
Nyungwe has luxury lodges well suited to the requirements for guests such as a heated infinity pool, gym, a place for massages. The villa has 24
rooms among others double beds too s have convenient amenities including LDC flat screen TV, minibar , the hotel supplies tea and coffee.
2.Nyungwe top view hill hotel
The hotel is made of 12 rooms, each with a seating area, sleeping area, enjuited bathroom and fire place. Nyungwe Tip view hill hotel is suitable for traveler’s budget gives a beautiful view of Nyungwe forest park all around.
Camping in Nyungwe
Though the park has no inside accommodation infrastructure, but camping is an activity dine inside the park where travelers stay overnight in the wilderness sleeping in tented lodges.
Camping id the only option for one to stay in the park since there are no hotels
Places that offer camping services are; uwinka reception center which is the headquarters of Nyungwe Forest park and that is where the park activities start, mount Bigugu camping site ,Congo Nile Divide trail, camping in kitabi eco-center and lastly camping in Karongi district
Nyungwe national park is a natural forest located in the southwest of Rwanda and on the southern edge of lake Kivu.
This forest is contiguous to the Kibira national park of Burundi and it is probably the Africa’s biggest montane rainforest. It was on 924 Km2 in 2000.
This forest is in mountains of 1600 m and 2950m and it has natural species; plants and animals and especially, birds and chimpanzees. The Nyungwe natural forest is one of Rwanda’s water tanks: it gives out almost 60% of country’s water, and also, the source of Nile is found in this forest
According to the RDG, Nyungwe park covers the area of approximately 1000km2 in the spectacularly beautiful mountains of the south of Rwanda. Nyungwe park is the largest montane forest in east and central Africa and it was the first to be established as it was established during the period called “ice age”.
At the entry of Nyungwe park
It is an area of diverse species of animals and plants. The forest is made of more than 200 trees ‘species, diversity of flowers and a lobelia as well as many others.
The number of Rwandans who visit Nyungwe park is increasing and this is due to Nyungwe canopy walkway which helps in exploring the whole forest.
This is what announced the manager of Nyungwe park who asked the media to be the first visiting this park in order to discover its beauty so that they can expose what they know.
RDG says that this forest accommodates beautiful birds of Rwanda. Nyungwe has approximately 300 birds’ species and 24 of them are found in great Albertine Rift.
Ones of Nyungwe’s superb birds are: a very big blue bird named Turaco, blue, red and green splendid birds, chirping from one tree to another. For instance, the birds that look like ducks
Once you look closely at Nyungwe park; you notice 13 groups of chimpanzees that live peacefully all around this park.
Some of these species can be visited by tourists, others cannot.
These chimpanzees attract a lot of tourists because some of their species cannot be found anywhere else in Africa.
We found this list in the house of knowledge archives of Nyungwe park
Here are some of chimpanzees found in Nyungwe: cercopithecus lhoesti, Colobus angolensis Rwenzori, Cercopithecus mitis doggeti and kandti, pan troglodytes schweinfurtii.
Here are other chimpanzees in this park such as: Cercopithecus Ascanius schmidti, Cercopithecus aethiops, Cercopithecus albigena johnostonii, Galago from the east, big and small galago as well as baboon.
Nyungwe keeps being awesome because of its chimpanzees. They are of 13 species and ones of them named orangutans and Cercopithecus lhoesti look much like people, together with hundreds of splendid colobus angolensis Rwenzori.
Apart from Nyungwe national park, Akagera national park has elephants brought in it in 1975 from Bugesera when they were still young. Among them we can say Mutware, Helico and Mwiza that got habituated while others stayed wild animals. We will talk about them in our following article.
At the entry of Nyungwe, you are welcomed by fresh air accompanied by beautiful melodies of birds and pleasant odors of flowers in this park, and when you turn around you face those beautiful animals and it makes you feel like watching more.
There are 1250 plant species in Nyungwe. Forest, 50 Talenna Rwandensis and 133 orchid species as well as 24 natural flower species.
We would like to tell you that the canopy walkway is constructed on 50m from the ground and it is 150m long.
It was the first to arrive in east Africa, and the third in Africa after Ghana and South Africa. This canopy walkway helps visitors to view the park from above it and enjoy Nyungwe’s birds and chimpanzee watching,