Tourism Activities in Nyungwe forest national park
Tourism Activities in Nyungwe forest national park- The park is situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda near Lake Kivu on the borders with DR Congo and Burundi. The park was gazetted in 2004 to protect the remaining species of chimpanzees, monkeys as well as the forest. As of today, Nyungwe forest national park covers a total area of 970 sq. km made of bamboo, swamps, rain forest, grassland, and bogs.
Nyungwe is the largest montane forest in Rwanda and Africa as well and it has over 1086 plant species. The national park is famous for harboring chimpanzees which are found in Nyungwe forest and Cyamudongo forest. The chimpanzees are over 500 living in the park and only 2 families have been habituated for tourists to trek.
Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity done in Nyungwe forest national park but there are other activities in this park and these include birding where tourists spot over 310 bird species, nature walks, hiking, community visits, and the canopy walk. All these activities can be done at any time of the year just that the best season has been the dry one which occurs from June to September and December to February.
Top activities in Nyungwe forest national park
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is one of the most done and popular activities in Rwanda. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is carried out in Cyamudongo and Nyungwe forests where only 2 fully habituated families do live. There are about 500 chimpanzees said to be living in Nyungwe forest national park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park does start with a briefing early in the morning like in other places. The trekkers are expected to be at the park offices with all the necessary documents and this is where ranger guides will brief them about the activity before armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle to search for these apes.
Trekking chimpanzees of Nyungwe forest national park takes 2- 6 hours depending on the location of the chimps and the speed of trekkers. While searching the chimpanzees, the tourists get opportunities of meeting different park animals, birds, water sources, and different plant species. On meeting the chimpanzees, the trekkers are given 1 hour to watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits, and take photos.
Apart from chimpanzee trekking, tourists can visit Nyungwe forest national park to trek different primate species. Monkey trekking in Nyungwe forest national park is done just like chimpanzee trekking with the activity starting with a briefing where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity.
Later the armed ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle to search for different primate species. Nyungwe forest national park is said to be having over 13 primate species so apart from chimpanzees, tourists are able to spot primates such as olive baboons, grey checked mangabeys, red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, l’hoests monkeys, blue monkeys, crowned monkeys, dent’s mona monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.
Birding Nyungwe forest national park
Bird lovers intending to visit Rwanda shouldn’t miss out on visiting Nyungwe forest national park. Nyungwe forest national park is said to be having over 310 bird species that have been so far recorded in the area. The national park is among the best birding spots and during the birding activity, birders are likely to see birds such as Albertine owlet, strange weaver, Archer’s robin-chat, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Neumann’s warbler, red sunbird, stripe-breasted tit, Rockefeller’s sunbird, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori turaco, regal sunbird, Rwenzori nightjar, buff-throated Apalis, shelley’s crimsonwing, Rwenzori Apalis, red-throated alethe, handsome spurfowl, blue-headed sunbird, mountain masked Apalis, dwarf honeyguide, archer’s robin-chat, and red-throated alethe among others.
Canopy walk Nyungwe forest national park
Another fascinating activity in Nyungwe forest national park is the canopy walk which was introduced in 2009. The canopy walk is done by people above the age of 6 years and it’s a guided activity. The activity starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where participants are taught about the rules and regulations of the activity.
The participants later use Igishigishigi trail to get to the starting point of the canopy walk which is 50 meters raised from the ground. The canopy walk takes 2 hours of participants moving on a 90m long bridge with aerial views of the national park, surrounding areas, park primates, birds, water sources, and different plant species.
Nature walks Nyungwe forest national park
Nature walks are activities tourists on a safari to Nyungwe forest national park can be part of while in the part. Nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park help tourists to explore the national park on foot. Nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park are done through different hiking trials such as Bigugu trail, Kamiranzovu trail, Umuyove trail, Umugove trail, Karamba trail, Igishigishigi trail, and Isumu waterfall trail among others. During the nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park, tourists do encounter birds, plants, primates, and water sources of the park.
Hiking Nyungwe forest national park
Hiking activities in Nyungwe forest national park are some of the amazing activities you can be part of while on a safari in Rwanda. There are over 14 hiking trails in Nyungwe forest national park among which include Igishigishigi trail, Bigugu trail, Bigugu trail, Isumu trail among others. Hiking activities are guided by the armed rangers in this park and they take you to different waterfalls, canopy walks, small rivers, and during the activities, you are able to see animals, birds, and different bird species.
What is the best time to visit Nyungwe forest national park for tourism activities
Nyungwe forest national park can be visited at any time of the year for different park activities however there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best to have a visit to Nyungwe forest national park because they are characterized by little and sometimes no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is thin giving unclear views of the animals, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still visit Nyungwe forest national park in the rainy season and by doing so they will enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities, and the birders spot more birds since most of them are within the park due to plenty of food including the migratory ones. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and during the months, there is plenty of rainfall, the trekking and hiking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall with unclear views of park animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation on a safari to Nyungwe forest national park
Intending to visit Nyungwe forest national park, don’t worry about where you will stay because there are a number of accommodation facilities built outside the park. The accommodation facilities in Nyungwe forest national park range from luxury to mid-range to budget options and they include Nyungwe Forest Lodge, One & Only Nyungwe House, Gisakura Family Hostel, Nyungwe Top View Hotel, Gishwati Lodge, Peace Guest Hotel, Comoran Lodge, Golden Monkey Hotels, and Uwinka Campsite among others.