NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Overview of Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Forest is home to a marvelous diversity of unique fauna and flora. The forest has more than 200 different types of trees, and a myriad of flowering plants, including the beautiful and treasured giant lobelia and a host of colorful orchids. The Park is most treasured for its primates, there is a remarkable 13 primate species recorded resident in this lush rainforest. This includes man’s closest living relative, the chimpanzee as well as the delightful L’Hoest’s monkey and numerous fun-loving troops of Black and White Colobus. But bird lovers don’t despair, for Nyungwe National Park is the most important ornithological site in Rwanda. Almost 300 species of bird species have found a home on Nyungwe National Park of which nearly 30 are restricted to a handful of montane forests in the Albertine Rift.
Activities in The Park
The majority of the chimp population in Rwanda is confined to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Trekking to see our closet relatives is an amazing experience, although these groups of chimps are wide ranging and there is a 30-40% chance of sighting these primates.
Black and White Colobus Trekking
There are large troops of black and white colobus monkeys residing in Nyungwe Forest. These primates often travel in groups of over 300 individuals. It is possible to purchase a permit to trek these animals. Walking through a montane rainforest and being surrounded on all levels by these active and cheeky monkeys is not to be missed.
A suspended walkway has recently been built in the lush canopy of Nyungwe Forest. This activity lasts 1-2 hours depending on
how often you stop enroute. You walk to one end of the walkway and return the same way. It is important to note that the walkway does sway and if you have a fear of heights, you might not find this activity enjoyable.
Extensive networks if well-maintained walking trails leads you through the forest to various waterfalls and viewing points. There are a variety of trails:
- Coloured Trails – these are left over from the late 1980’s when an early attempt to develop tourism in Nyungwe was made. There are seven trails through the forest each marked by a particular colour. The trails range in length from the 1km Grey trail to the 10km Red trail. All the trails are well-maintained and offer the chance to see a diversity of primate and bird species.
- Waterfall Trail – this trail takes between 3-6 hours depending on how often you stop enroute. It is a very pleasant walk through the tree-fern covered ravines, across several bubbling streams until you reach a pretty waterfall. Monkeys are often seen along the way and the steep slopes allow for good views into the canopy, making this trail a favourite among the birders as it is very rewarding for true forest interior birds, with a good chance of spotting Albertine rift endemics, such as the Rwenzori turaco.
- Kamiranzoru Trail – this trail is 4km and takes about 3 hours. This trail is different from the other forest walks because it takes you through the low laying marshy areas which are rich in orchids and localised swamp associated bird species.
- Bigugu Trail – this is the toughest trail and you need to be relatively fit as it leads you up the Bigugu peak. The Bigugu peak is 2,950m high and is the highest point in Nyungwe Forest, offering fantastic views of the landscape.
Nyungwe Park Tours
Accommodations in Nyungwe Park
Go2Rwanda has made it easy for you to find the perfect lodge in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda during your chimpanzee tracking, canopy walkway, birding tour or primates tracking. Next are the accommodations we picked for you; from Luxury to budget.
There are a number of accommodation options; lodges, hotels, guest houses, and camps. Some of these include: Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Gisakura Guest House, Nyungwe Top View Hotel and many more.
Where to Go Track the Chimpanzees?
The only wat to track the chimpanzees in Rwanda; In so many ways, tracking the chimps is so different from the mountain gorilla experience, so unlike the mountain gorillas, the chimps are moving constantly around and at high speeds, jumping from tree to tree making noise. But the gorillas are usually found sitting eating quietly with in the forest clearings. The other big difference between these two is the tracking experiences and by this this the gorillas, one is usually allowed one hour of observing and taking photos of them, but with the chimpanzee tracking in Rwanda, there is no limit, keeping up with them is also the main challenge and the biggest determining factor of the amount of time that is spent with them.
Getting Visa to Rwanda
Visit the Rwanda Directorate general of Immigration and Emigration : https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=28 which takes you to a visa application form which picks your personal information.
Depending on your travel plans, choose the best visa choice available;
– Single entry visa – allows entry in Rwanda alone for 30 days – 50 USD
– Transit Visa for 3 days – only you in the country for only 3 days – 50USD
– East African Tourists Visa – Allows you to cross to all East African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda – 100 USD
The supporting document to attach is your tour Itinerary if traveling to visit rwanda, Invitation letter, other document with respect to your travel intentions or your flight details in PDF format. You MUST ATTACH documentation at this stage or the visa request will not be processed.