Hiking and nature walks in Gishwati-Mukura national park
Hiking and nature walks are some of the activities done in Gishwati-Mukura national park to give travelers an opportunity to explore the area on foot. Gishwati-Mukura national park is located in the western part of Rwanda covering over 36 sq. km. The national park has a lot of sceneries starting from trees, swamps, waterfalls, and amazing wildlife.
Gishwati-Mukura national park is home to several animals among which include chimpanzees, golden monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, civets, mongoose, olive baboons, pottos, mongoose, birds, and much more.
Most of the attractions in Gishwati-Mukura national park can be explored on foot using different trails with a help of an armed ranger guide. During the nature walks, you will use designated trails such as the waterfall trail, Umushwati trail, and Matyazo trail. Hiking and nature walk trails in Gishwati-Mukura national park give tourists an opportunity to explore nature with great views of the attractions such as Kazenenza waterfalls, birds, mammals, and primates.
Activities to combine with hiking and nature walks in Gishwati-Mukura national park.
Chimpanzee trekking is the most activity combined with hiking and nature walk trails while on a safari in Gishwati-Mukura national park. The chimpanzee trekking activity is done by only those that have chimpanzee trekking permits. The activity can only be done in the morning hours in this park and it’s done once a day.
Chimpanzee trekking activity is led by an armed ranger guide after briefing and gives you an opportunity to meet other park animals while searching such as duikers, civets, pottos, mongoose, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, birds, waterfalls, and different plant species. When the chimps are located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits, and take others.
Golden monkey trekking
This is another activity that can be combined with hiking and nature walk activities. To be part of the golden monkey trekking activity you must possess a golden monkey trekking permit at the time of briefing at the park offices. The golden monkey trekking activity is led by an armed ranger guide who takes you through different trekking trails searching for the primates and once you allocate them, you will be given 1 hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
Tourists can add birding to the hiking and nature walk activities in Gishwati-Mukura national park to encounter over 230 bird species that have been so far recorded in this park. Birding activities are guides and the armed ranger guides lead you to the best spots to encounter birds such as yellow-eyed black flycatcher, great blue turaco, grey crowned crane, strange weaver, Abyssinian ground-thrush, grasshopper buzzard, and handsome francolin.
Other notable bird species include booted eagle, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Ruwenzori Batis, regal sunbird, cardinal woodpecker, yellow ramped tinker bird, purple-breasted sunbird, Woodhoopoe, black-faced apalis, red-faced barbet, Martial Eagle, short-tailed warbler, Dusky Crimsonwing, slaty flycatcher, Mountain Yellow Warblers, Red-throated Alethe, and Ruwenzori Turaco among others.
On a hiking and nature walk safari Gishwati-Mukura national park, you can decide to visit some of the nearby communities where you will interact with the locals. The community visits are guided by local men around the communities who take you around different homesteads. During the community visits, you are able to know how people live their day-to-day life, watch them prepare food or wine, get entertained by the traditional dancers and you can visit art and craft shops to buy souvenirs.
What to pack for hiking and nature walks in Gishwati-Mukura national park?
There is the equipment you need to have the best of the hiking and nature walks in Gishwati-Mukura national park and these include waterproof hiking shoes, long-sleeved clothes, insect repellents, a rain jacket, sunscreen, hat, a pair of gaiters, a pair of binoculars, camera and extra batteries, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, face mask, and sanitizer.
When to go for hiking and nature walk trails in Gishwati-Mukura national park?
Gishwati-Mukura national park can be visited at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. the drier months are the best to have hiking and nature walk trails in this park since they are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short giving unclear views of the wildlife, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can visit Gishwati-Mukura forest national park in the rainy season which occurs from March to May and October to November for hiking and nature walk activities. However during these months, there is plenty of rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Where to stay on a hiking and nature walk safari in Gishwati-Mukura national park?
There are several accommodation facilities tourists on a hiking and nature walk safari in Gishwati-Mukura national park can stay and these range from budget to mid-range to luxury such as Emeraude Kivu Resort, Gishwati Lodge, Golden Monkey Hotels, INZU Lodge, Peace Guest Hotel, KCCCEM Guest House, The Uwinka Campsite, Gisakura Family Hostel, Muhabura Mountain Lodge, and Comoran Lodge among others.