Wildlife In Nyungwe Forest National Park
What are some of the wildlife species that live in Nyungwe forest national park Rwanda? Nyungwe national park’s main attraction are the chimpanzees and these are said to be over 500 individuals. Other 12 primate species are found in the park and among these include black and white colobus monkeys, grey-checked mangabeys, and blue monkeys. Lastly, a total of 85 mammal species are said to be living in this forest although they are not commonly seen.
The following are some of the wildlife species in Nyungwe forest national park;
Chimpanzees are the first animals one thinks about when they talk about Nyungwe forest national park. These animals have made Nyungwe forest national park famous because before the opening of Gishwati Makura national park, Nyungwe was the only place where chimpanzee trekking was done. Only 2 chimpanzee families are fully habituated in Nyungwe forest national park and they are found in Nyungwe and Cyamudongo forests.
Monkeys are other animals found in Nyungwe forest national park and they are over 12 different species. The monkeys of Nyungwe forest national park include vervet monkeys, crowned monkeys, grey checked mangabeys, Dent’s mona monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, and black and white colobus. These monkeys can be seen during nature walks, trekking activities, and birding activities.
Nyungwe forest harbors over 310 bird species that have found home in the thick rainforests of the park. The bird species can be seen during the nature walks, canopy walk, and trekking activity and they do include Albertine owlet, buff-throated Apalis, Archer’s robin-chat, strange weaver, handsome spurfowl, Neumann’s warbler, dwarf honeyguide, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, strange weaver, Rwenzori nightjar, red sunbird, stripe-breasted tit, mountain masked Apalis, Kivu ground thrushRockefeller’s sunbird, shelley’s crimsonwing, Rwenzori Apalis, archer’s robin-chat, blue-headed sunbird, red-throated alethe and, Rwenzori turaco among others.
Nyungwe forest national park protects over 85 mammals and some of them include elephants, giant forest hogs, duikers, impalas, buffaloes, klipspringers, golden cats, mongoose, Congo clawless, otters, serval cats, western tree hyrax, bushpigs, and much more. There are no game drives in Nyungwe forest national park so most of these mammals are seen on nature walks, birding, canopy walks, and trekking activities.
Activities in Nyungwe forest national park that can give you a chance to see some of the park’s wildlife.
This is one of the activities mostly done in Nyungwe forest national park and it gives tourists to see some of the park animals during the hiking of different trails. The chimpanzee trekking activity is done by tourists above the age of 15 years and the activity starts with briefing at the park offices where participants are taught about the rules and regulations of the activity.
After the briefing, ranger guides lead trekking through different hiking trails searching for these apes. While hiking, the trekkers are able to meet different park animals such as buffaloes, elephants, impalas, bushpigs, birds, and different monkey species. After 2-6 hours, trekkers will meet the chimpanzees and they will be given 1 hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
Another way to explore most of the animals in Nyungwe forest national park is by participating in nature walk activities. The nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park are guided and they are done by children as long as they are aged 6 years and above. The nature walk activity is done in the different trials of the park depending on what you want.
The walking trails in Nyungwe forest national park include Igishigishigi trail, Isumo trial, Umugote trial, Congo Nile Trail, Umoyove trial, Karamba trial, and Rukuzi trial among others. Completing these trails takes different hours but during the walking activities, tourists are able to spot different park animals such as vervet monkeys, buffaloes, crowned monkeys, duikers, black and white colobus monkeys, bushpigs, l’hoest’s monkeys, and elephants among others.
This is another activity that gives tourists an opportunity to encounter the park animals. The canopy walk is done in a 50m raided bridge that is 9 meters long and it’s a guided activity. The canopy walk starts with the briefing at Uwinka and takes 2 hours of having an aerial view of the park animals such as vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, Angolan colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, buffaloes, elephants, duikers, giant forest hogs, birds, and different bird species.
While birding in Nyungwe forest national park, you use different walking trails of the park and during the activity, you are able to see most of the park animals doing their day to day activities. These park animals include elephants, duikers, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, bush pigs, duikers, vervet monkeys, and much more. During the birding activity, you will see birds such as archer’s robin chat, blue-headed sunbird, handsome francolin, Kivu ground thrush, mountain masked apalis, regal sunbird, Rwenzori batis, and red-throated alethe among others.
Monkey trekking is another activity that is done in Nyungwe forest national park and this is done on only Angolan colobus monkeys because they are the only ones that are habituated. Trekking the Angolan colobus monkeys is like trekking chimpanzees because the activity starts with a briefing and then the ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle.
During the search of these monkeys, trekkers are able to meet park animals such as vervet monkeys, buffaloes, duikers, crowned monkeys, silver monkeys, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, birds, and much more. On meeting the monkeys, 1 hour is given to tourists to know about their habits, watch them do daily activities and take photos.
When to visit the wildlife of Nyungwe forest national park?
Nyungwe forest national park is open for tourism throughout the year but there are moths that are better than the rest and these are the drier months. These happen from June to September and December to February and during this period, there is little and sometimes no rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy, the vegetation is thin giving clear views of animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still visit Nyungwe forest national park in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but during these months, there is plenty of rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Accommodation in Nyungwe forest national park
The accommodation in Nyungwe forest national park ranges from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on someone’s budget. The lodges in Nyungwe forest national park do 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.