Getting to Nyungwe forest national park by road and air transport
Getting to Nyungwe forest national park can be done in just a single day whether air transport or road transport is used. The road transport to Nyungwe forest national park takes 4-5 hours since the national park is located 219km from Kigali and for air transport, it’s a few months.
Nyungwe forest national park is located in the southwestern part of Rwanda in Rusizi and it protects a number of animals with the famous ones being chimpanzees. Other animals that are found in Nyungwe forest national park include duikers, vervet monkeys, buffaloes, bush pigs, blue monkeys, crowned monkeys, silver monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys among others.
There are over 1086 plant species and also birds that are over 310 species like a strange weaver, strip-breasted tit, Rwenzori batis, regal sunbirds, red-throated alethe, red-faced woodland warbler, purple breasted babbler, and Kivu ground thrush among others. Getting to Nyungwe forest national park by road and air transport is explained below;
By road transport
Nyungweforest national park can be accessed by road transport and this takes 4-5 hours using a safari driver or self-drive from Kigali city. The journey to Nyungwe forest national park starts from Kigali city or Kigali international park and you will have to move southwestwards through different rolling hills on the roads that are well constructed. From Kigali, the journey will take you to Muhanga, to Nyanza, to Huye, to Nyamagabe where you will branch off to the park.
Using road transport to Nyungwe forest national park might take long hours but the journey is rewarding with beautiful views of the rolling hills, terraces, plantations, homesteads, and beautiful people. Tourists who use road transport can have stopovers at different museums such as Nyanza King’s Palace where you get different information about the culture of Rwanda.
By air transport
There are now flights to Nyungwe forest national park so getting there can be a few minutes from Kigali international airport. The flights to Nyungwe forest national park are done by Akagera aviation and they do start from Kigali International Airport to Kamembe Airport or One and Only Nyungwe House Helipad. Tourists who use air transport to Nyungwe forest national park will always find their driver guides ready to transfer them to the park or accommodation.
Possible activities in Nyungwe forest national park
Chimpanzee trekking is, without doubt, the most done activity in Nyungwe forest national park. The chimpanzee trekking activity is done in Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forest both having 1 fully habituated chimpanzee family. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe is only done by those that have valid chimpanzee trekking permits from the Rwanda Development Board.
The chimpanzee trekking activity starts with trekkers gathering at the park headquarters for a briefing from the range guides. After the briefing activity, the trekkers are led by the armed ranger guides through different trekking trails searching for these endangered apes. While searching for chimpanzees, the trekkers are able to meet different park animals, birds, water sources, and plant species. On meeting the chimpanzees, 1 hour is given to trekkers to be around the chimpanzee family.
There are several monkey species in Nyungwe forest national park but the habituated ones are the black and white colobus monkeys. Trekking these monkeys is like trekking chimpanzees as it starts with a briefing at the park offices where trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity. Later the armed ranger guides led the trekkers into the jungle to search for these monkeys and during the search, tourists are able to meet other monkey species, birds, water sources, and different plant species. on meeting the Angolan colobus monkeys, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these monkeys, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
This is one of the most done activities in Nyungwe forest national park because the place has been named among the best birding spots in the country. Birding activities in Nyungwe forest national park are guided and they do happen in the different birding spots in the park with a help of an armed ranger guide. During the birding activity, tourists are able to spot birds such as African paradise flycatcher, chin spot batis, crowned hornbill, eastern mountain greenbul, long-crested eagle, Albertine owlet, archer’s robin-chat, blue-headed sunbird, buff-throated apalis, dwarf honeyguide, handsome francolin, Kivu ground thrush, mountain masked apalis, regal sunbird, red-throated alethe, and Rwenzori batis among others.
This is another activity done only in Nyungwe forest national park and nowhere else in Rwanda. The canopy walk activity is one of its kind done on a 90m long bridge that is 50m above the ground. The canopy walk starts from Uwinka park headquarters where participants learn about the dos and don’ts of the activity before using the Igishigishigi trail to get to the starting point of the canopy walk. During the canopy walk, participants are able to have an aerial view of the national park, animals, birds, plants, waterfalls, and the surrounding areas.
When to get to Nyungwe forest national park
Tourists can get to Nyungwe forest national park for any park activities at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best for a visit to Nyungwe forest national park because they are characterized by little and sometimes no rainfall which leaves the roads leading to the park passable, the trails in the park dry, and the vegetation short for clear views of animals and good photography.
Nyungwe can still be visited in the months of March to May and October to November and these are the rainy months characterized by too much rainfall which leaves the trekking trails slippery, the roads leading to the park impassable and the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of the park animals.
Accommodation on a safari to Nyungwe forest national park
Tourists planning to visit Nyungwe forest national park for different activities don’t have to worry about where they will stay because there are several accommodation facilities that are built around the park for people to use. The accommodation range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and these include One & Only Nyungwe House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Gisakura Guest House, Gisakura Family Hostel, E.R.A Gisakura Visitor Guesthouse, Emeraude Kivu Resort, Peace Guesthouse, Hotel du Lac, Rusizi Progress Hotel, Golden Monkey Hotels, Comoran Lodge, and Delta Resort Hotel among others.