Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda
Nyungwe is the true typical rain forest receiving a considerable amount of over 2000mm annually and it is one of the oldest forests in Africa. This forest covers over 980kms of hilly jungle and the park is contiguous with Kibira National Park in Burundi, together with the two protected areas form the largest block of forest in East Africa.
Nyungwe was originally set aside as a reserve in 1933, which although relatively effective, still saw it lose about 20 per cent as its area by 1984, when a coordinated forest-protection plan was implemented. It was elevated to national park status in March 2004.
Nyungwe is the proud home of the chimpanzees and a visitor here has to part with $150 USD for each permit to watch these primates.On top of watching these primates,a tourist to this forest enjoys a number of other activities here like Nature walks, Birds watching,Village tours ,Plant species.
Nyungwe forest national park is also home to various kinds of monkeys like red tailed monkey,blue monkey,vervet monkey,L-Hoest monkey,black and white colobus monkey,Mangabey monkeys.
Safari Activities to do in Nyungwe Forest National park
Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda takes place in Nyungwe Forest National Park. There are two groups that are habituated in this forest with the large group having 60 chimpanzees and the smaller one having 30 chimps, these are tracked in Cyamudongo Forest area of the park. The forest is Africa’s largest Afro montane forest and is home to about 500 chimpanzees and 100 of these are habituated and used to humans near them.
The Chimpanzee Tracking Adventure
Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest starts at around 4:30am at the reception centre. The day in Rwanda begins by 5:30am since the country is on central African time. The pre trackers are always ahead to find your habituated chimpanzee groups in the forest.
These move daily and make their nests in new area, the pre trekkers start at the location where the chimps where the previous day before. As you such for the chimps, you will most likely see other primates that are the residents of the forest like the large groups of Colobus monkeys. You can as well see wild orchids, plants and trees that make up the large rain forest.
These primates are always on the move both on the ground and in the trees. Once you meet with them, you get one hour with the chimps in Nyungwe but this is really a unique experience.
What to wear for your Chimpanzee Tracking Adventure
- A good dress code is advisable since the weather is unpredictable. Have a day pack with plenty of water with you since you might get thirsty along the way.
- Always wear good hiking boots, long sleeved shirt, long trousers, have a light rain jacket, insect repellent as well as a hat that will protect your skin from direct sun.
- This activity is the most memorable time as you are guaranteed of watching these primates for an hour. A chimpanzee permit in Nyungwe Forest National Park costs US $ 90 per person per day.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a very remarkable Birder’s paradise due to the numerous species of birds that inhabit the thick forest vegetation terrain around the Park. The Birds borders can watch include; Chapin’s Flycatcher, Rockefellers’ Sunbird,purple breasted and the blue-headed sunbird, Grauer’s Warbler.
Canopy Walks in Nyungwe Forest National Park are another prominent safari activity carried out in the Park and these require hikers to traverse from one point to another at the top of gigantic mahogany trees elevated 60 meters Above Sea Level. These are very remarkable for all and offer stunning views of the green vegetation terrain, brilliant bird species as well as various primates like the Monkeys fond of jumping from one tree branch to another.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Nyungwe Forest national Park is a very remarkable safari destination for all travelers interested in watching nature as they transfer along the various trails in the forest. These can be taken on by all kinds of traveler without a lot experience and the trails include; Ngabwe Trail, Bigugu Trail, Igishigishigi Trail – Canopy Forest Walk, Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail, Isumo Waterfall Trail,
Source of the River Nile Trail, Karamba Birding Trail, Muzimu Trail.
Monkey Trekking is another Safari activity carried out in the Park and this offers you remarkable adventures as you watch and follow the monkeys as they interact fully in their natural forest vegetation habitat. The Monkeys you can trek here include; Ruwenzori colobus, grey cheeked Mangabeys, L’Hoest’s monkey, Owl faced monkey, Mona monkeys, Dent’s monkey, silver monkey and blue monkey.
ARON WISHLEY Founder & Director
NIMA SEDAN Chief Executive Officer
JOHN FALMI Head Manager