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Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park – Rwanda safaris and tour 

Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in western park of Rwanda near Cyangugu town around the watershed which is between the basin of river Congo to the west and river Nile basin, this park is an extension of the kibira National Park of Burundi, in the south it extends near Lake Kivu in the south and DRC to the west. the park has one of Africa’s oldest rainforest and largest the Nyungwe Forest spanning 3000m above sea level and is believed to have existed sine the ice age period. The park is covered with bamboo, rainforest, grassland, swamps and bog making a diverse remarkable ecosystem with arrange of flora and fauna. The park covers an area of 1019 sq km (393 sq mi), Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of Rwanda’s most popular destinations, it derives its name from the word (Ingwe) which means leopards in Kinyarwanda language though surveys are still on going to conform the presence of them. The nyungwe national park rwanda is a must visit when you foot in Rwanda because of its mountainous nature, wildlife including primates and bird species like the endemic species of the Albertine rift valley, plant species and over 38 reptiles. this park has 15 trails which can be used to commute it.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

 

Attractions in the Nyungwe Forest National Park

The nyungwe national park animals,the park  has a number of wildlife species, the number endemic species found here is greater than in any other forest of the Albertine rift mountains that survived. 13 primates are in habited in the Nyungwe Forest National Park with the most famous in the park being chimpanzees, L’Hoests monkey, silver monkey, vervet monkey, red-tailed monkey, golden monkey, olive baboon among others, over 85 mammal species, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species , over 300 specie of birds with 16 endemics, 27 Albertine rift species, over 121 forest species, like chestnut owlet, olive and Elliot’s woodpecker, great blue , Rwenzori turaco, regal sun birds, black-faced, handsome francolin mountain masked, red collared babbler among others. Plant life in the park include tree species like prinaria exelsium, cyathea manniana, carapa, newtonia, orchids, mosses, ferns to mention but few found in the park. Water bodies like waterfalls made many river and springs and the nature of the landscape in the forest, other attractions include cliffs, caves, swamps.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

History of Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe National Park was declared by the German colonialists in 1933. The park’s size was 1140 km sq but because of the encroachment on the land by people, this became a big threat because of they forest resourced like poaching, illegal mining, collecting firewood, cutting down timber among others hence reducing the size to 1019 km sq in the period between 1958-1973, the population of wildlife reduced over the years in the park due to many reasons like political instabilities. Later in 1985 the Rwandan government together with wildlife conservation society embarked on protection program of the forest.

In 2005, the Rwanda government declared Nyungwe an official National Park, it was giving protection status and strategies laid for highest level of conservation.

Activities in the Nyungwe Forest National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking

The park has 13 primate species which means 25% of the population in Africa with over 500 chimps, Chimpanzee trekking is the commonest activity in the park, though the chimpanzees are not habituated, so seeing them in their nature home is not allowed hence guide know where to find and you will see them more frequently because they are almost everywhere in the park. Trekking starts very early in the morning every day at Uwinka, kitabi and Gisakura after briefing and takes from 2-5 hours. Trekking permits cost $ 90 dollars.

Nyungwe national park canopy walk

Nyungwe national park canopy walk is a unique activity in Africa, it is anew tourism product introduced in 2010 at the park, along the igishigishigi trail, it is specialized guided tour that needs someone to be reasonably fit, it is not favorable for the height phobic individuals because the walks hang 60 meters above the forest floor between giant towers and trees.it is a 2 km walk through the forest starting from Uwinka.

Community Walks and Cultural Experiences

This nyungwe national park facts  is that all activities requires you to visit the villages of people around the village, the communities around the park after being taught about the advantages of conserving it, they have really helped out in the preservation of the area. There have been efforts to launch community-based experiences to preserve the culture of the Rwanda and offer visitors a rich African culture experience, activities like storytelling, dancing, learn how to prepare local meals, how people in the area survive on a daily basis, you can also opt to have asleep over in some homes and spend the night locally. You can also visit the king’s palace

Hiking and Nature walks

The nyungwe national park fun facts is safe for hiking since there are no big cats, different trails led to different destinations but all of them guided by rangers who know the forest best, you will hike and head to isumo falls, caves, swamps, the landscape provide the most scenic way to explore the forest. The activity requires one to be fit and it will reward you with an amazing adventure, of all times

Birding

nyungwe forest rwanda has over 300 species of birds are the park making it a great destination for birders with 16 endemics, 27 Albertine rift species, over 121 forest species, like chestnut owlet, olive and Elliot’s woodpecker, great blue, Rwenzori turaco, regal sun birds, black-faced, handsome francolin mountain masked, red collared babbler among others. You will be woken by the melodies of these birds, great view of them, you will even spot them while hiking.

Monkey Tracking

Nyungwe  national park is home to over 400 black and white colobus monkeys, monkey trekking can be combined with hiking, chimpanzee trekking, birding or even done independently. A number of trails like Bigugu, Uwinka campsite, Waterfalls trails can be used to trek different monkey species like vervet, golden monkey, L’Hoests monkey among others.

Water Hiking

The kamiranzovu waterfalls have caught the attention of visitors over the years making it a must see and visit, these falls have two sections, the lower section perfect place for photos, and the second which is in front of the falling water.

Hiking

The park has many trails with each trail lading to a different view of wildlife like the congo- Nile divide trail 227 km leading to campsite, the igishigishigi trail 2 km mainly for view of Nyungwe forest canopy, fauna and flora, Karamba trail a very nice birding spot, Umoyovu trail leads to waterfalls, Uwinka trail for bird watching, Irebero trail hiking the highest peak of the park, Kamiranzovu trail for waterfalls, wetlands and swamps, Isumo trail for visiting tea fields, Bigugu tail for leads to view of DRC, lake Kivu and islands, the Imbaraga trail 10 km for hiking in the park.

Accommodation in Nyungwe National Park

The hotels in nyungwe forest national park,  the park has no accommodations within but a variety in its neighboring towns, like karongi, nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, nyamasheke and Rusizi, the nyungwe forest national park accommodation range from luxury, mid-range and budgeted. Like one and only Nyungwe house, Nyungwe top view lodge, Gisakura guest house, EAR Guesthouse, Emeraude Kivu Resort.

How to get to Nyungwe Forest National Park

From Kigali you will pass via Nyanza where the King’s Palace is to Huye and finally at your destination, approximately 200 km (124 mi). 87 km from Huye to the park, you can use a flight to Rusizi airport then a drive of 55 km (34mi) to Nyungwe forest.

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