Walking safaris in Nyungwe forest national park
Walking safaris in Nyungwe forest national park are those activities that enable tourists to explore the park on foot. Nyungwe forest national park is situated in Rusizi district near Lake Kivu in the southwestern part of Rwanda. The park is located on the borders of Burundi and DR Congo.
Nyungwe forest national park protects a lot of flora and fauna among which include 85 mammals, 13 primate species, 310 bird species, and over 1086 plant species. Nyungwe forest national park is popular for chimpanzees which are said to be over 500 individuals living in Cyamudongo and Nyungwe forest. Some of the chimpanzees are habituated one in Nyungwe and the other in Cyamudongo and are open for trekking at any time of the year.
Walking safaris in Nyungwe forest national park are done to enable tourists to explore the national park on foot. The walking safaris in Nyungwe forest national park are guided by armed ranger guides who protect tourists from dangerous park animals. The walking activities are done from the different hiking trails that are designed in the park.
The walking trails in Nyungwe forest national park include The Congo Nile trail, Bigugu trail, Isumo trails, Ngabwe trail, Rukuzi trail, Muzimu trail, Buhoro trail, Igishigishigi trail, Imbaraga trail, Umugote trail, Irebero trail Umuyove trail, Kamiranzovu trial, Uwinka trail, and Karamba trial. There are different attractions in the different trails and completing the trail takes different hours.
The walking trails in Nyungwe forest national park start with a briefing from different points of the park where the participants are taught about the rules and regulations of the activity. After the briefing, armed ranger guides do lead the tourists through different trails as they protect them from the dangerous park animals.
During the walking activities in Nyungwe forest national park, tourists are able to spot different park animals like the chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, crowned monkeys, buffaloes, duikers, golden cats, impalas, bushbucks, bushpigs, mongoose, giant forest hogs, elephants, birds such as handsome spurfowl, dusky Crimsonwing, stripe breasted tit, waterfalls, and different plant species.
What else to do in Nyungwe forest national park after walking safaris
While on a walking safari in Nyungwe forest national park, you can decide to combine walking activities with chimpanzee trekking. The chimpanzee trekking activity does enable tourists to spend some time with the endangered chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking activity can only be done by tourists above the age of 15 years and each must have a valid chimpanzee trekking activity.
The chimpanzee trekking activity starts with a briefing and then grouping before the armed ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle to search for these endangered apes. The trekking activity takes 2-6 hours of meeting different park animals, birds, waterfalls, plants, and much more but on meeting the chimpanzees, tourists are given 1 hour to be around these apes, watch them do daily activities, take photos, and learn about their habits.
The canopy walk can be combined with walking activity while on a safari in Nyungwe forest national park. The canopy walk starts with a briefing at the park headquarters and then the tourists use Igishigishigi trail to connect to the starting point of the canopy. On the canopy walk, the tourists get an opportunity to explore the park from a raised ridge that is 50m high and 90m long. During the activity, the tourists are able to see the park animals, birds, plants, and the areas that surround the park.
Tourists can combine birding with walking activities in Nyungwe forest national park. The birding activity is an amazing activity in the park because it does give birders an opportunity to spot over 310 bird species that have been so far recorded in the park. The birding activity in Nyungwe forest national park enables tourists to spot birds such as Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, strange weaver, Neumann’s warbler, Albertine owlet, Rockefeller’s sunbird, Kivu ground thrush, red sunbird, Rwenzori turaco, regal sunbird, stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori Apalis, red-throated alethe, Rwenzori nightjar, buff-throated Apalis, handsome spurfowl, shelley’s crimsonwing, archer’s robin-chat, and blue-headed sunbird among others.
After the walking activities in Nyungwe forest national park, tourists can have community visits to any of the surrounding areas where they can interact with local people. The areas around the park include villages, small towns, and Lake Kivu. During the community visits, tourists interact with local people and get to know how they live their day-to-day life, be part of community activities, and get entertained by the traditional local dancers.
Angolan colobus monkey trekking
This is another activity that can be combined with a walking safari in Nyungwe forest national park. The monkey trekking activity starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the monkey trekking activity. After the trekkers are led by the armed ranger guide into the jungle to search for these monkeys using different trails. After hours of searching, when the trekkers meet the Angolan colobus monkeys, 1 hour is given to them to watch the monkeys do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
What is the best time to have walking safaris in Nyungwe forest national park?
Nyungwe forest national park can be visited at any time of the year for walking activities but there are some months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best for walking activities in the park because the trails are dry and less slippery. The vegetation is thin giving clear views of the park animals and there is little and sometimes no rainfall in the park. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February.
Tourists most especially the budget travelers can still visit Nyungwe forest national park for walking activities in the rainy season of March to May and October to November and enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities but during these months, there is plenty of rainfall, the trails are muddy and slippery and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation facilities on a walking safari in Nyungwe forest national park
Tourists on walking safaris to Nyungwe forest national park have a variety of lodges to stay depending on their budget. The accommodation facilities to use on a walking safari in Nyungwe forest national park 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.