Nyungwe Forest National Park | Chimpanzee Tracking in Rwanda
Nyungwe Forest National Park is an exciting Rwandan safari destination and national park located in the southwestern region of Rwanda, near the border with Burundi in the south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west. The forest is generally dominated by the Nyungwe Forest, recognized as one of the oldest tropical rainforests in Africa and one of the oldest forests in Africa that survived the last ice age.
One of the largest montane forests in East Africa, Nyungwe Forest is located near the Congo-Nile watershed, at the dividing point between the Congo River drainage, which flows west into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Nile basin that flows through it. to the north and flows into the Mediterranean Sea.
How Big is Nyungwe Forest National Park?
Nyungwe Forest National Park covers an area of 970 square kilometers and was classified as a national park in 2004. It consists of mountain rainforests, bamboo swamps, swamps, and grasslands. Nyungwe Forest is rich in biodiversity, including 13 species of primates, over 310 recorded species of birds, 38 species of reptiles, 32 species of amphibians, and 85 species of mammals. Nyungwe Forest Primates is Africa’s largest colony of black and white colobus monkeys with over 400 registered chimpanzees, Angora colobus, L’Hoest monkeys, Hamlyn monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, gray checkered mangabeys, black tufted monkeys, olive baboons, Denta Mona and Silver monkeys.
Bird Species in Nyungwe Forest National Park
More than 310 species of birds have been recorded to occur in Nyungwe Forest, including the great blue turaco, the recruited Alethe, the paradise flycatcher, and the giant forest honeyeater. Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest National Park is a great activity to spot many colorful birds such as Albertine Owl, Archer Robin, Blue-headed Black-headed, Yellow-throated Cockatoo, Wren, Dwarf Honeysuckle, Grauer’s Swamp Thrush, Handsome Franklin, Kivu Ground Thrush, Mountain Thrush, Neumann’s Thrush, purple sunbird, red-throated starling, red-necked starling, red-necked Author, Regal Sunbird, Rockefeller Sunbird, Ruwenzori Apalis, Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori nightingale, Ruwenzori’s our ranges, Striped breast finch, Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, etc.
Attractions in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimpanzee tracking is an attraction offered by Nyungwe Forest National Park and is a must on a Rwanda safari. Nyungwe Forest is home to 25% of all African primates and has the second largest population of chimpanzees after Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda. Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest consists of different hiking trails, this exciting activity starts as early as 05:00 a.m., and a group of 8 people can join the tracking experience as you will find many birds and other monkeys as you wander through the forest. Chimpanzee tracking is done in the presence of an experienced guide who knows where to find the chimpanzee, when you find the chimpanzee, you will spend 1-hour taking photos and watching the chimpanzees play on branches and pick fruits.
Canopy walking is an exciting activity during a Rwanda safari in Nyungwe Forest, there are only three canopy walks in Africa and Nyungwe Forest National Park is the only walk of its kind in East Africa. The Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk is 90 meters long, 50 meters above the ground and the canopy is suspended over Nyungwe.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park Canopy Walk is a 2-hour walk from the Uwinka Visitor Center and is divided into 2 sessions: a morning session from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and an evening session starting at 10:00 pm. 15:00 A canopy walk in Nyungwe forest allows you to admire the dense Nyungwe forest and see a variety of monkeys such as blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and many birds.
The Nyungwe Forest National Park itself and Nyungwe Forest are listed as one of Rwanda’s top birding destinations promoting over 310 bird species including Albertine Rift Endemics, Forest Endemics, and rare species such as Big Blue Turaco, Re-throated Alethe, Paradise the Flytrap, and Giant Forest Honeyball. Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest is a great activity to spot many colorful birds such as Albertine Owl, Archer Robin, Blue-headed Blackbird, Yellow-necked Kokatsu, Winged Warbler, Dwarf Honeysuckle, Grauer’s Swamp Thrush, Handsome Franklin, Kivu’s Ground Thrush. Sunbird flycatcher, etc.
Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest is good all year round, in May-June and July-September the birds are feeding their young, while in January or February the birds become more active. Migratory birds visit the park from November to April, which is the best time to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park during a Rwanda bird safari.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is densely forested, making it a great Rwanda safari destination for Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. Which has 13 hiking trails where you can explore the park’s lush forests. Trekking in Nyungwe Forest is a great experience where you can spot many of the park’s birds, primates, and beautiful plant species. Nyungwe Forest hiking trails include Ngabwe Trail, Bugugu Trail, Muzimu Trail, Rukuzi Trail, Congo Nile Branch Trail, Igishigishigi Trail, Buhoro Trail, Imbaraga Trail, Irebero Trail, Umugote Trail, Unuyove Trail, Swamp Trail, Falumo Kamiranzovo. Karamba Trail and Uwinka Trail.
Depending on the trail you choose, the trek in Nyungwe Forest National Park takes about 1-8 hours and you will see many animals such as elephants in Cameron Zovu swamp, great views of Lake Kivu, volcanoes, primates Animals (e.g Ruwenzori colobus monkeys), gray checkered mangabeys, blue monkeys and various birds such as giant hornbills, green pigeon, Ross turaco and many more.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to 13 species of primates, some of which are endemic to the area, such as the Rwenzori Colobus Monkey, other primates living in Nyungwe Forest include Mangabey, L’Hoest Monkeys, Owl Face Monkeys, Mona Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, etc. Primate tracking is one of 13 hiking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park along one of the trails through the forest, while hiking one of the trails you have the chance to spot many primates such as the Blue Monkey, the highlight of L’Hoest Aben, gray checkered mangabeys, mona monkeys, owl monkeys, and primate trackers meet a group of over 200 Rwenzori Colobus monkeys, the largest concentration you will ever see in one place.
Where to Stay in Nyungwe Forest National Park?
Nyungwe Forest National Park offers a variety of safari lodges, guesthouses, motels, campsites, and hotels, including Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Gisakura Lodge, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, and others.