Nyungwe forest National Park

Situated in the southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park is among the beautiful and pristine rain forests in the world. The park was established in 2004 covering an area of approximately 1,019 square kilometers with rainforests, bamboo grassland, bogs and swamps. The nearest town of the park is Cyangungu which is 54 km to the west.

Nyungwe forest national park encompasses a wide range of animals 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


Nyungwe forest national park hosts various wildlife species including over 85 mammal species, and 13 primate species with chimpanzees as the main attraction. The forest is also a home to over 300 colobus monkeys which contribute on the enjoyment of the visitors who hike through the forest. Among the recorded primate species in Nyungwe forest include chimpanzees, golden monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey and others.

Safari activities in Nyungwe National Park

Bird watching: Birding is one of the most done activities in Nyungwe National Park. This virgin tropical rainforest hosts over 300 bird species where 29 of them are endemics in the Albertine rift. Among the must to be seen bird species include the Kungwe Apalis, Grauer’s Warbler, Shelley Crimson and others.

Nature walking: The nature walking or hiking activities involves moving about 130 kilometers through the hiking trails in the park. These walks take about 4 hours to 3 days and among the trails include the Congo Nile divide, Imbaraga and Igishigishigi trails.

Chimpanzee trekking: Chimpanzee trekking is the most done activity in Nyungwe National park. This activity is done all year around and it involves hiking through the tropical rainforests of the park in search of the giant chimpanzees. Upon finding the chimpanzees, the trekkers are given some time which is about an hour so as to learn more about them. During that time with chimpanzees, make some research on their life styles like feeding abilities, how they defend themselves and also how they mate. For one to go for this activity, he or she requires a chimpanzee trekking permit.

During the experience of gorilla trekking, one can also trek other primate species like the Angolan Colobus Monkeys which are over 400 in the park. These primates can be perfectly sighted during the morning nature walks through the tropical rainforests of Nyungwe National park.

Canopy walk: 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 southwest 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.

Road 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.

Air transport

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.