Nyungwe Forest Park
Nyungwe forest National Park is filled with nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. Hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, tracking the famous chimpanzees, experiencing the canopy walk, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls are just a glimpse of activities that Nyungwe offers.Sounds and views collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. Exploring through the forest, travellers will witness the lush green mountains and cooling mist in a landscape that won’t be soon forgotten.
Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and covers an area of approximately 970 km2 of rain forest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. The nearest town is Cyangugu, 54 km to the west. Mount Bigugu is located within the park borders.
Nyungwe National Park lies in southwest Rwanda, partly abutting the Burundi border. It’s a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees, plus owl-faced and colobus monkeys. The Canopy Walkway, part of the Igishigishigi Trail, is a high suspension bridge with views over the valley and surrounding forests. A trail runs to the Kamiranzovu Marsh, with its birdlife, orchids and waterfall.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali on good if sometimes winding roads. There are some attractions en route that include Nyanza King’s Palace and the National Museum should you wish to break the journey. Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali on good if sometimes winding roads. Transport to and from the park can easily be arranged with the Visit And Tour Rwanda.
WHAT TO DO IN NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Nyungwe forest national park is a perfect holiday spot for nature lovers and adventurers. You cannot possibly run out of things to do when you visit this park.
Nyungwe has a large population of chimpanzees. And many who visit the park often go on a chimpanzee tracking adventure. There is no one season for chimpanzee tracking. It can be done all year round.
The chimpanzees are not habituated like the gorillas so there is no guarantee of a sighting at particular places. But more often than not you will find the chimpanzees because they are quite common in the forest. The chimps are not as settled and orderly as the habituated gorillas are, which makes for an exciting tracking experience. With well trained and experienced guides, you will of course find the chimpanzees.
Chimpanzee permits are issued by the Rwanda Development Board, you can contact them, or have your tour operator contact them for you.
Nyungwe forest park boasts of over 285 bird species.27 of these species are endemic to the Albertine Rift valley. Lots of colourful and interesting birds to see, the most notable being the Blue turaco. Ruwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzorii, Kungwe Apalis Apalis argentea, Ruwenzori Apalis Apalis ruwenzorii, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer, Archer’s Robin-chat Cossypha archeri, Dusky Crimson Wing Cryptospiza jacksoni, Ruwenzori Batis Batis diops, Shelley’s Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi , Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis and Neumann’s Warbler Hemitesia neumanni are some of the birds that you might see in the park.
Nyungwe Canopy Walk
The canopy walk above Nyungwe forest is the only one of its kind in Africa. Built at an impressive 50m above the forest the Nyungwe canopy walk is not for the faint hearted. If you are afraid of heights you might want to get rid of the phobia before you travel because such a splendid sight should be seen by everyone.
Forest Hiking Trails in Nyungwe
Over 130 kilometers of hiking routes have been created in Nyungwe Forest National Park, allowing visitors to explore its interior and its fascinating habitats. Walking in Nyungwe is excellent, with trails lasting from one to eight hours. The beautifully named Igishigishigi Trail is one of the shortest hikes yet includes East Africa’s highest canopy walk with spectacular views across Nyungwe Forest, while the 6 hour Bigugu Trail leads you to the highest mountain in the Park at 2950m.
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