Nyungwe forest National Park- Chimpanzee Tracking in Rwanda.
Nyungwe forest national Park Situated in the western part of Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park is among the beautiful and pristine rain forests in the world. It was established in 2004 covering an area of approximately 1,019 square kilometers with rain forests, bamboo grassland, bogs and swamps. Bordering Lake Kivu and Democratic Republic of Congo, Kibira National park in Burundi, the nearest town of the park is Cyangungu which is 54 km to the west.
It encompasses a wide range of animal species including 13 primate species which are equivalent to almost 25% of Africa’s total, about 275 bird species, 85 mammal species, 32 amphibians, 38 reptiles and 1068 plant species. Among the primate species in the park include chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus, silver monkey, golden monkey, red tailed monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, grey checked mangabey, Hamlyn’s monkey, L’hoest’s monkey and others.
Safari attractions in Nyungwe forest national park
As you are traveling to Nyungwe forest national park, move with different equipment like digital cameras, a note book, plus a paper as there’s a lot to discover in the destination. Among the must-see features at the park include the following;
Nyungwe forest national park is known for protecting a number of wildlife species in its natural rainforests. Among these species include; over 85 mammal species, and 13 primate species with chimpanzees as the main attraction. Other primate species include over 300 colobus monkeys which contribute on the enjoyment of the visitors who hike through the forest, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey and many others.
Nyungwe forest national park is a home to over 300 bird species including the resident and migrant species which can be spotted in the park rainforests during different experiences like bird watching, nature walking, hiking and climbing and many others.
Safari activities in Nyungwe National Park
For a great encounter of the park attractions like primates, mammals, vegetation and bird species, one has to take part in different park activities and among these include the list below;
This is the most done activity in Nyungwe forest national park and it starts with a briefing about the dos and don’ts during the encounter which is done at the park headquarters. After, you follow the park ranger to the tropical rainforests to search for the shy and playful apes and once found, you are allowed to spend an hour in their presence as you learn more about their lifestyles like feeding habits, how they protect each other, breastfeeding and how they play with each other. You will also be allowed to take beautiful pictures and videos of the apes with flash less phones and later proceed back to the starting point for your trekking certificates.
During chimpanzee trekking experience, trekkers have an opportunity of spotting other primate species like the Angolan Colobus Monkeys which are over 400 in the park, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey and others. These primates can be perfectly sighted during the morning nature walks through the tropical rainforests of Nyungwe National park.
Note: For one to take part in chimpanzee trekking experience, he or she must possess a trekking permit which costs USD 90 per person Plus 100 USD park entrance
Encompassing the virgin tropical rain forest of Nyungwe, Nyungwe forest national park is one of the best destinations in Rwanda for birding experience. The park hosts over 300 bird species where 29 of them are endemics in the Albertine rift and others are residents. Among the species spotted in the park include the Kungwe Apalis, Grauer’s Warbler, Shelley Crimson and many others.
Taste your physical ability and fitness by taking part in 130 km nature walks and hikes that involves walking through different park trails as you spot different attractions and features. These walks take about 4 hours to 3 days and among the trails include the Congo Nile divide, Imbaraga and Igishigishigi trails.
Enjoy breathtaking scenery of Nyungwe forest by taking part in the canopy walk which is combined with Igishigishigi trail. The walk provides spectacular views of the valleys and the surrounding forests. Canopy walk is one of the most done activities by domestic tourists and it was established in 2010 for the purpose of developing domestic and international tourism in Rwanda.
How to access Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is situated in the western region of Rwanda bordering Lake Kivu and Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is about 226 km which is 5 hours’ drive from Kigali city. Nyungwe national park can be accessed using two types of transport that is road and air transport.
Reaching Nyungwe National park takes about 5 hours of drive. While on the way to the Southwestern region of Rwanda where the park is located, have some stopovers like Nyanza King’s palace in Nyabisindi, you will sight the historical landmarks and also get more information about the Rwanda cultures and traditions.
For one to reach Nyungwe National park using air transport, he or she requires to book with Rwanda Air transport. Rwanda Air offers 9 flights in a week from Kigali to Kimembe international airport. From Kimembe airport, it takes 40km to Nyungwe forest lodge.
Best time to visit Nyungwe forest national park
Nyungwe forest national park can be visited all year round but the best time is during the dry season which is in the months of June to September and from mid-December to mid-February. The dry season always makes the movement through different trails easy since they are always dry and unslippery.