Nyungwe National Park

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Nyungwe National Park

Activities in Nyungwe National Park

There are a number of trails ranging from the very easy to the reasonably challenging and “strenuous” guide is based on the assumption that you are not a regular walker. Any hiker would not find their “very strenuous” trails particularly challenging.

Canopy Walk – In October 2010, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) launched canopy walk tourism in Nyungwe National Park as part of a strategy to diversify tourism attractions. Canopy tourism is also aimed at encouraging tourists to spend a longer time in Rwanda. The Canopy Walk is the only attraction of its kind in East Africa.This is the first ever hanging platform that allows tourists to view different animal species in Nyungwe Forest. The dizzying platform is above a steep and deep valley stretching across the massive forest.

John Gara, CEO of the RDB, said the platform is 50 meters above ground level and 90 meters long. It allows tourists to view butterflies, birds and blue monkeys that dwell in the upper levels of the forest. The forest has 13 rare primate species, the world’s largest ever recorded arboreal troop of black/white colobus monkeys, and nearly 300 species of birds and 154 types of orchids.

There are also a couple of multi day trails such as the Nile-Congo divide trail (which is the only way of reaching the longest source of the Nile). These must be booked at least seven days in advance (they will not negotiate this).

Chimpanzee tracking is available and there are two groups habituated to human contact. In principle, Colobus monkey tracking is also available but they may have moved too far away from the trail head to be tracked. Should they move back this may be possible again in the future.

Understanding Nyungwe National Park

Covering over 1000 square kilometers, Nyungwe National Park is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests. It’s believed to be one of Africa’s oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains its diversity.

Home to habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primate species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), it’s also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal.

This majestic rainforest is filled with nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. Hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, tracking the famous chimpanzees, experiencing the canopy walk, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls are just a glimpse of activities that Nyungwe National Park offers.

Sounds and views collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. Exploring through the forest, travellers will witness the lush green mountains and cooling mist in a landscape that won’t be soon forgotten.

Cultural activities are also available around the forest.

  • Chimpanzee Tracking
  • Other Primates
  • Birds
  • Canopy Walkway
  • Hiking Trails
  • Culture
  • Community-based tourism
  • Conservation
  • Vegetation

The home of roughly 400 species of chimpanzees, Nyungwe is home to one of East Africa’s last intact populations and boasts two wild chimp communities that welcome guests (one in Cyamdungo and other around Uwinka). Thus, it’s not surprising that chimpanzee tracking is a popular activity in Nyungwe (especially when the park’s trees are in full bloom during the summer) as well-trained guides often lead visitors through the park’s forests. And while actually viewing chimpanzees is not guaranteed, you’ll enjoy learning about these creatures and their natural habitats from your guides. But you’ll probably have to get up around 4:00a.m. to succeed in this very challenging activity as chimps are mostly likely to be seen early in the morning.