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Nyungwe Forest National Park Safaris And Tours

Nyungwe Forest National Park Safaris and Tours

Nyungwe Forest National Park | Rwanda chimpanzee trekking | Gorilla trekking | Cost | Permits

Nyungwe, Africa’s oldest rainforest, is rich in wildlife and breathtakingly gorgeous. The hilly terrain is teeming with wildlife, including a tiny population of chimps and 12 other primate species, including Albertine Rift’s rare L’Hoest’s monkey. Visitors may enjoy the wonders of the forest or indulge themselves for a week or longer in one of Africa’s most gorgeous woods, with 15 routes, some of which are listed here, and several other activities.

Most visitors come for the primate tracking, but those with time to relax and soak in the primordial ambiance should stay a bit longer.

Botanists will be awestruck by the 1,068 plant species and 140 orchids on display. With 322 bird species, including the Red-collared Babbler and 29 other Albertine Rift Endemics, the birding tours are among the greatest in Africa. Butterflies, of which there are at least 120 species, are also common.

In Nyungwe, there are 75 recognised animals, including the serval cat, mongoose, Congo clawless otter, and leopard, to mention a few. Because many are timid, sightings are a matter of chance.

Walking up to the Isumo waterfall or over the canopy walk suspension bridge are both memorable and photogenic experiences. Tea plantations along the park’s perimeter, and Gisakura is home to a habituated population of Ruwenzori colobus monkeys as well as forest fringe birds.

Nyungwe, which receives a lot of rain, is also Rwanda’s main catchment area, supplying water to 70% of the nation.

A ridge going across the forest serves as a watershed between the Nile and Congo drainage systems. The Nile, the world’s longest river, is supposed to have its most remote source in a spring on the slopes of Mt Bigugu.

Nyungwe Forest National Park Safaris and Tours Activities

Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee trekking is a popular activity in Nyungwe Forest National Park, which contains the biggest number of chimpanzees in Rwanda, with over 400 individuals. On the day of the trip, travellers move to Gisekura Park headquarters for a briefing on trekking laws before departing for Cyamudongo Park station, which is a 2-hour drive from Gisekura Park headquarters.


Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 300 bird species and is the greatest birding destination in Rwanda owing to its easy-walking terrain when compared to volcanoes National Park. There are 121 woodland birds and 27 Albertine Rift Valley endemics among the overall bird population in Nyungwe forest. The most spotted birds in Nyungwe Forest National Park include Rockefeller’s sunbird, Chapin’s flycatcher, Great blue Turaco, red-collared mountain babbler, Rear Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, white-tailed flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Rwenzori nigh jar, Rwenzori hill babbler, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Congo bay owlet, mountain sooty Boubou, and the Neumann’s warbler, among others. Experienced guides assist in locating these birds and discussing the distinct characteristics of each spotted bird in the forest.


Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to approximately 300 monkey species, making it an ideal location for monkey trekking. Expect to see a variety of monkeys at Nyungwe Forest National Park, including L’ hoest monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys, among others. These monkeys have identical personalities and are only distinguished by their colours. Monkey trekking is a really enjoyable experience since monkeys are vibrant and playful creatures that keep you aware all of the time with their constant movements, cries, and jumping over tree branches.

Hiking and Forest walks

The best way to really appreciate the splendour of Nyungwe forest National Park is to go on a woodland walk or hiking path. The national park offers about 13 hiking paths, totaling roughly 130 km, that take visitors deep into the forest. Each route leads to a different location, such as waterfalls, caverns, and wetlands, and each trail has its own distinct features. Among the hiking trails are the Igishigishigi route, the Bigugu path, the Ngabwe trail, the Isumo waterfall trail, the Kamiranzovu marsh trail, the Karamba birding trail, the Source of the Nile trail, the Irebero trail, the Muzimu trail, the Imbaraga trail, the Congo Nile trail, the Umoyove trail, and the Rukuzi trail.

Canopy walk

The canopy walk is a 200-meter stroll above the forest that is exclusively available in Nyungwe Forest National Park in East Africa. Travelers travel on a created route that hangs 60 meters above the forest, rewarding them with an overhead view of the national park, animals, local settlements, Virunga mountains, and neighboring country attractions. The two-hour walk begins and ends at the national park headquarters at the Uwinka information center, which also serves as the start and conclusion points.

The best time to go for Nyungwe Forest National Park Safaris and Tours

Nyungwe National Park has a moderate temperature, making it ideal for safari activities throughout the dry season. It has a moderate, temperate environment that visitors often like because its woods are located at elevations ranging from 1600 to 2000 meters above sea level. Rwanda’s greater altitude, combined with a latitude only two degrees south of the equator, allows for extremely pleasant tropical weather. Daytime high temperatures normally range between 25C and 27C (77F to 81F), while evenings are colder, with temperatures averaging 13.5C (56F) and seldom reaching 16C (61F).

As a result, the ideal months to explore Nyungwe Forest National Park are late May to early September and December to February.

How do you travel to the Nyungwe Forest National Park?

By Road –

From Kigali via Muhanga-Huye Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in the south of the country about 200km/124mi from Rwanda’s capital Kigali via Muhanga and the King’s Palace in Nyanza, then proceeding to Butare from Butale, and finally connecting through the park to the park headquarters in Gisekura. The Nyungwe Forest National Park is about 87 kilometers/54 miles from Huye (Butare), and many people stay overnight in Huye to undertake activities on the route to the forest. This is recommended because the direct trip might be stressful. Nyungwe forest is 55 kilometers/34 miles from Rusizi/Kamembe airport. For clients flying into the park, the trip takes roughly an hour. Nyungwe Forest is typically visited as part of a 4WD tour of the nation with a driver-guide.

By Air

Air travel to Nyungwe Forest National Park – Charter helicopter transports to Nyungwe Forest National Park are available from Akagera Aviation and may land directly at the one and only Nyungwe House. Those flying with Rwanda Air will land at Kamembe airport in Rusizi, which is an hour’s drive from the park headquarters.