Nyungwe forest national park is one of the beautiful and best safari park in Africa located in the south-western region of Rwanda, in the town of Cyangungu, close to Lake Kivu and the borders with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The park, which has 970 km2 of area, began as a forest reserve in 1903 before recently becoming Rwanda’s first official national park (2004).
Nyungwe Forest National park is probably the best-preserved forest in Africa. Some claim that it is Rwanda’s most significant place for biodiversity. After all, it is home to over 1,000 different wildlife species. The park offers a vantage point for gorgeous views of the Virunga Mountains and the Congo and features a wonderful, breath-taking landscape. Nyungwe showcases nature at its finest. In the early mornings and late evenings, it is frequently covered in cooling mists and is lush and exquisitely green.
The History of Nyungwe Forest national park
The history of Nyungwe Forest National Park’s preservation dates back to 1903. Despite being nominally protected for more than a century, Nyungwe Forest’s biodiversity and size have been progressively declining, and Nyungwe Forest was not made a national park until 2004. Both forest elephants and buffalo, which went extinct in the latter decades of the 20th century, were once present in the primeval forest of Nyungwe.
The Nyungwe Forest was still separated until the 1980s into various usage zones, some of which were exploited for logging. A lot of damage was done to the park during the war in the 1990s, yet many loyal rangers remained there to guard the forest while many were forced to leave.
The canopy walkway and hiking paths weren’t built until quite recently. This was done in an effort to build a sustainable future for the park that incorporates the proper ratio of ecotourism and Nyungwe Forest protection. Additionally, it permitted activities like hiking in Nyungwe Forest within the park.
Wildlife in Nyungwe Forest National Park
A montane rainforest, Nyungwe is located between 2000 and 3000 meters above sea level. Despite being close to the equator in the tropics, Nyungwe Forest’s elevation maintains a comfortable year-round temperature. There is a lot of rainfall, with the forest receiving more than 2000 mm a year.
Generally speaking, the temperature stays about 25°C throughout the year and rarely falls below 15°C at night. With almost 300 species of birds, 26 of which are indigenous, and about 100 other animal species, Nyungwe Forest is one of the most diversified animal and plant environments in Africa thanks to a mix of plentiful rainfall, plenty of sunlight, and comfortable temperatures. There are also numerous indigenous orchids and thousands of more plant species.
Tourist safari highlights in Nyungwe forest national park
- Take part in an exciting and beautiful canopy walk among the treetops.
- Wildlife abundance, featuring a variety of vibrant bird and butterfly species.
- Trekking with chimpanzees and other fantastic hiking trails
- Explore the unusual highland forest and spectacular rainforest landscapes.
- 20% of the species of African primates are found here.
Tourist activities: Things to Do in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Similar to gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park begins in the morning and is done in groups of no more than eight (8) people. These chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest have been habituated and are still being habituated, which means they are accustomed to people. Every year, a sizable number of people visit the Nyungwe forest national park to get up close and personal with man’s closest living relative and spend time with them while they play. In addition, the park is a fantastic location from which to extend your gorilla safari tour within Volcanoes National Park by hiking chimpanzees without having to travel far.
Colobus Monkey Tracking
The Nyungwe forest National Park is home to 13 different kinds of primates, including golden monkeys that have been recorded to appear sporadically. Along with other species, including the grey-cheeked mangabey and Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, the Nyungwe forest is well known for its vast populations of colobus monkeys. The colobus monkeys can be observed in groups of up to 300 monkeys, called “huge troops.”
Along the way, you’ll probably spot some additional monkeys as you follow these amusing colobus monkey groups. The L’Hoest’s monkey, owl-faced monkeys, Mona monkeys, and blue monkeys are a few examples of the other primates that can be seen in Nyungwe forest national park.
Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk.
This canopy walk is just the third in all of Africa and the first tree-top forest canopy walk in all of East Africa. If you are traveling to Rwanda to track mountain gorillas, you can extend your trip by a few days and add a Nyungwe forest safari to your bucket list. You can also include a canopy walk in your safari schedule. This canopy walk is 50 meters above the ground, which for some people may be at terrifying heights. You will witness the birds flying above and below you, the monkeys moving about in the treetops, and a stunning perspective of the enormous Nyungwe forest. It’s a breathtaking sight, too. It is approximately 90 meters long.
Birding safari in Nyungwe Forest
There are 300 bird species in Nyungwe Forest national park, 27 of which are endemic and belong to the group of species that may be found in the forests of the Albertine Rift. For instance, the mountain swamps like the Kamiranzovou within Nyungwe Forest are home to the Grauer’s Warbler, an Albertine rift endemic. Along with other species of sunbirds like the purple-breasted and blue-headed sunbirds, which are typically spotted in flowering trees, you can also find the Rwenzori Turaco and the huge blue Turaco while on the guided Nyungwe birding tours.
Hiking safari in Nyungwe Forest National Park
A hiker’s delight, this national park is also Over 130 kilometers of forest floor are covered by 13 hiking paths. Spend a week exploring the numerous trails, learning about the ancient rainforest’s various habitats and the animals that call it home.
Anyone in reasonably good physical shape can do the shorter, private hikes, which range in length from one to eight hours. You can go on wildlife “discoveries” while hiking in Nyungwe Forest. This ancient rain forest will certainly wow many people with its fairytale-like beauty and its fauna, including birds, primates, plants, flowers, butterflies, and ancient trees.
Hike to a waterfall.
Depending on how often you stop and whether you drive or walk from the guesthouse, this trek takes between 3 and 6 hours to complete as a round trip. The track generally follows the road to the parking lot in the beginning before settling into the woodland. In order to reach the base of the attractive but small waterfall, you must first traverse a number of creeks. The steep hills offer wonderful views into the canopy, and monkeys are frequently seen on the route.