Nyungwe national park is one of the old rainforest national parks and is found in the southwest of Rwanda. The national park has an area cover of 1,019 square kilometers which includes Cyamudongo which is a home to a large number of chimpanzees. The national park is rich in biodiversity such as 13 primate species, 300 bird species as 29 are natives to the Albertine rift plus 1000 plant species.
The national park has 130km constructed trails that allow tourists to move easily within the park as they enjoy the beautiful sceneries in the park. The following are the various attractions within the national park as well as the activities that are done by tourists while on their Rwanda safari in Nyungwe forest national park.
ATTRACTIONS IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
The national park is a home to wildlife species such as golden cats, elephants, impalas, giant forest hog, blotched serval, Congo clawless, mongoose, otter, serval, black-fronted duiker, and western tree hyrax among others. The wildlife species can be viewed while on game drives, boat cruise and chimpanzee trekking among others.
Nyungwe forest national park is a home to chimpanzees where 60 are habituated within the forest and 30 habituated individuals in Cyamudongo forest. Therefore, this makes it favorable for the trekking activity to take place. The chimpanzee trekking starts from three centers that is Uwinka which is the park’s headquarters, Kitabi and Gisakura. The chimpanzee trekking takes 2 and 6 hours depending on where the primates are because they keep moving from one place to another.
The national park is a home to 310 bird species where 29 are natives to the Albertine rift. Nyungwe forest national park has a number of trails where the birding can take place such as karamba, gisakura, bigugu and kamiranzovu trails. The birds can be spotted while on other activities such as chimpanzee trekking, as well as nature hikes among others.
The trail is the most challenging in Nyungwe forest national park and it covers 13.2 kilometers. The trail takes 6 hours and takes tourists to birding spots within the national park. Therefore, the trail leads the tourists to the highest point of the park and that’s the peak of mount bigugu.
The canopy walk is a guided tour by individuals of 6years and above and it’s done all through the year. The canopy offers amazing views of lake kivu, various sections of Nyungwe forest as they spot wildlife species, birds, amphibians that stay in the forest. The canopy walk involves a bit of hiking to access the suspended bridge and that’s the Igishigishigi trail. The tourists have a memorable experience while on the bridge.
ACTIVITIES IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
Birding with in Nyungwe national park has over 300 bird species where 29 are native to the Albertine rift as well as kungwe apalis, Grauer’s warbler and Shelley crimsonwing. The birding trails in the park include; karamba trail, gisakura, bigugu and kamiranzovu. All these make the Rwanda birding safari memorable. Birds within the national park include; regal-sunbird, red-collared mountain-babbler, Rwenzori-turaco, Rwenzori-night jar, Congo-bay owlet, Rwenzori-batis among others.
The forest has a 130 kilometers hiking trails which includes Congo Nile where imbaraga as the most challenging trail and the shortest is the Igishigishigi trail. The hiking trails in the park take 4hours to 3 days.
The national park has a number of primates and one of them is the chimpanzees with the largest population. The national park has no specific timing for the chimpanzee trekking meaning this can take place throughout the year. The chimpanzees in their natural habitat aren’t settled and are always on a move which makes the trekking exciting and enjoyable. The trekking takes 2 to 6 hours basing on where the chimpanzees are positioned because they move from one place to another.
The canopy is found on the igishigishigi trail on a high suspension bridge with amazing views of the valley and the surrounding forests. The canopy walk was started in 2010 with the purpose of improving domestic as well as international tourism. The walk is a great experience with an amazing view of the forest from the top. The canopy walk begins at 9am and the last trip takes place at 3pm.
TROPICAL WATERFALL HIKE
Tourists can as well participate in tropical waterfall hike within the national park. There’s a lot of waterfalls in Nyungwe national park but the most known is kamiranzovu waterfall. This is among the activities that tourists engage themselves in while at the park. This takes 3 to 4 hours of the hike and are rewarded by the amazing tropical waterfall.
Camping is the best way to spend the night in Nyungwe national park for those who want to stay inside the park. There is a campsite that is put at the uwinka reception center. Tents are put on the wooden platform and it has no walls just covered on top to prevent rain. Modern toilets and bathrooms are provided.
The cost of camping within Nyungwe national park is 40USD per person which includes a tent and 30USD per person with own tent.