Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

A Destination Guide

Tucked away in the middle of tea Plantations, the biggest mountain rain forest on this side of the African continent can be a bit deceptive in its vastness if you simply catch a glimpse of it from a far. Nyungwe forest is probably the most preserved forest in Africa. Some say it is the most important site for biodiversity in Rwanda. It is home to over 1000 species of wildlife after all.

The park has  amazing and breathtaking scenery and is a vantage point for picturesque views of the Virungas and the Congo. Nyungwe is nature at its very best. It is lush and beautifully green, often seen with cooling mists in the early mornings and late evening.

Things to do in nyungwe forest national park

chimpanzee trekking rwanda

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Chimpanzee trekking also starts in the morning and the activity is conducted in groups of a maximum of eight (8) people just as it is with gorilla trekking. These chimps at Nyungwe forest have been and are being habituated which means that they are used to human beings. The Nyungwe forest national park receives a very large number of tourists annually who come to meet face to face and spend time with the chimpanzees – man’s closest living relative observing them as they play. The park is also a good destination where you can add a chimpanzee trekking expedition to your gorilla trek within volcanoes national park without driving long distances.

rwanda colobus monkeys

Monkey Trekking in Nyungwe

There are 13 primate species that are found in Nyungwe forest, including very occasional sighting of the golden monkeys that have been reported Nyungwe forest is also popular for its large numbers of colobus monkeys, in addition to other species like the grey cheeked Mangabeys and Ruwenzori colobus Monkeys. The colobus monkeys can also be seen in large troops of up to 300 monkeys.

Also as you track these playful colobus monkey groups, you will likely see some other monkeys along the trek. These might include; the L’ Hoest’s monkey, the Owl faced monkeys, Mona monkey and the blue monkeys.

rwanda hiking

Hiking Trails in Nyungwe

This national park is also a hiker’s paradise. There are also 13 hiking trails covering over 130 kilometers of the floor of the forest.You can spend a good week  hiking the many trails, explore the ancient rainforest and discover many habitats found in the forest and wildlife living there.

There are shorter private hikes that last from one to eight hours in length and these can be done by anyone in fairly good physical condition. Hiking in Nyungwe Forest offers you a chance to making wildlife ‘discoveries’ within a primal rain forest that will simply amazing may visitors with its fairy tale like appearance, its wildlife, birds, primates, plants, flowers, butterflies and the ancient trees.

canopy walk rwanda

Canopy Walk in Nyungwe

This canopy walk is the first tree top forest canopy walk in the whole of East Africa and the third in all Africa. In case you are coming to Rwanda to trek the mountain gorillas, you can add on some days and include Nyungwe forest Safari on your itinerary and enjoy the canopy walk as part of your safari schedule. This canopy walk is 50 meters above the ground and this can also be dizzying heights for some people. You will see the monkeys move around in the tree tops, the birds that are flying above you and below you and a beautiful view of the huge Nyungwe forest. It’s also an amazing sight. This canopy walk is about 90m long.

birding in rwanda

Birding in Nyungwe

Nyungwe Forest has 300 bird species and 27 of them are endemics and are part of the species that are found in the forests of the albertine rift. For example the Grauer’s Warbler which is an albertine rift endemic hat can be found within the mountain swamps like the Kamiranzovou within Nyungwe Forest. you can also find both the Rwenzori Turaco and the large blue Turaco, in addition to different types of sun birds like the purple breasted and the blue headed sun bird commonly found in flowering trees that can be seen during the guided Nyungwe birding Tours.

Nyungwe National park Video reviews