Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda, Primates Capital in the Africa.
Nyungwe forest national park is now standing as a UNESCO site located in the southern and western part of the Republic of Rwanda bordering with Kibira National Park Burundi. Nyungwe forest national Park is the first UNESCO site in Rwanda, the park stretches over an area of 1,019 square kilometers and is the oldest and largest rainforest in Rwanda boasting remarkable biodiversity of 1050 plant species, 250 endemic Albertine rifts, 85 mammal species, 38 reptiles, almost a dozen of primate species, 322 bird species, 200 identified orchids, and nearly 300 butterfly species, including several endemic to the park.
The park was established in 2004 and encompasses an area of about 160 square kilometers of rain forest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. In October 2020, the Rwanda Development Board signed an agreement with African Parks to assume management of Nyungwe National Park for an initial 20 years, and since then, all tourism activities are now under the management of Rwanda development board.
Car Rental to Explore Nyungwe National Park?
A nyungwe tour is ultimately the best Rwanda Safari recommended to self drive travelers due to the classic roads within the country that favor private guided Safaris compared to DR Congo that is not safe. We do offer free booking for the activities in Nyungwe and payment of park entrances. Contact the team of experts from 4×4 Africa that offer reliable 4×4 Landcruiser with rooftop tent for Private guided adventures in Rwanda. Get the best car rental deal for your Rwanda Safari to explore the key Safari activities below.
- Chimpanzee Watching
- Monkey Tracking
- Canopy walk
Safari activities in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is the only park where you can trek habituated Chimpanzees in Rwanda, approximately 500 chimpanzees are residents at the Park and two groups have been habituated in Nyungwe National Park for chimpanzee trekking. Most of them live in Nyungwe forest which are about 60 individuals while the rest are found in Cyamudongo Forest which are about 30 individuals.
Chimpanzee are known as the closet cousins to human beings are very interesting to look at. The greatness of the forest and terrain, it gives few chances of seeing the in their natural environment. If you miss watching the chimpanzees, then consider visiting Kibale forest national Park in Uganda or Gombe stream National Park Tanzania
The key Safari activity in Nyungwe forest national Park is Primate Trekking which includes the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking refers to visiting the habituated chimps in their natural environment in the forest. The activity in the park starts in the morning with a briefing about the dos and don’ts during the experience at the one of the park’s reception centers – Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura and its conducted in groups of a maximum of eight (8) people just as it is with Rwanda gorilla trekking. Note: Since 2023/ July , there was introduction of Park entrance to all visitors planning to trek the chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest National Park which is 90$ for one day and 2 Days 150$ on top of the cost of the chimpanzee tracking permit which is 90 $ per person sold by Rwanda Development Board.
Canopy walk is one of the highlights to do in Nyungwe Forest National Park and costs USD60 per person, you will do hour’s walk to the canopy walkway from the Uwinka Reception Centre, you will see countless butterflies, orchids and colorful birds, including many endemics to the region. Thirteen species of primate live in Nyungwe, so a chance encounter isn’t out of the question. The steep forested slopes have well-maintained footpaths, which can become muddy, especially after rain.
The Canopy walk in Nyungwe forest is a 3-hour thriller on a 200 meters long trail located 50 meters above the forest cover. The view at the top of the trees gives you the eagle’s eye experience and great experience of Nyungwe forest National Park
Canopy Walk in Nyungwe forest
Hiking Trails in Nyungwe forest
Nyungwe forest has different trails for hiking through the forest this will give you an opportunity to view various plants, birds, butterflies and meet some primate species.
- Igishigishigi Trail
- Karamba Trail
- Umugote Trail
- Umoyove Trail
- Uwinka Trail
- Irebero Trail
- Imbaraga Trail
- Bigugu Trail
- Isumo Trail
- Kamiranzovu Trail
- Muzimu Trail
- Ngabwe Trail
- Rukuzi Trail.
Nyungwe forest has 13 species of primates with the monkeys the dominant specie. The Rwenzori Colubus monkey is endemic to this forest, and these can be seen during the colobus monkey trekking experience. The park is known for protecting over 400 monkey that are seen while on a trek.
Just like the other primates, it is best to track them in morning when they are active feeding and grooming before they rest. Apart from colobus monkeys, Nyungwe forest also protects other monkey species such as; the Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys, Blue-Monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Owl Faced Monkeys and Mona Monkeys.
The cost of Colubus monkey trekking is USD60 per person per trek per day plus the park entrance fee..
Colobus Monkey Tracking
Where to stay? Accommodations in Nyungwe
Your stay in Nyungwe forest national Park is secured either you choose camping or Lodges as there are a number of Safari lodges within the park . We offer camping gear hire for your safari in Rwanda for chimpanzee watching . Check on the list below
- Nyungwe Top View Hotel
- One & Only Nyungwe lodge
- Nyungwe Nziza Eco lodge
- Kitabi Eco Center
- Mantis Kivu Lodge
We have the team of experts to help you plan your Nyungwe trip to the amazing and partner with Reputable tour operator like Primate Safaris
When to go?
Rwanda is visited all year around and we run Rwanda Safaris from Jan- December, however Nyungwe forest national park can be visited any time throughout the year but the best time is the dry season which from June to September or during the short dry season from mid-December to mid-February.
How to access Nyungwe National park?
The access Nyungwe forest national park is ease and possible as the roads are beautifully tarmacked offering the best road trip experience in Rwanda while connecting to southwestern part. The scenic drive to the park from Kigali takes about 6 hours considering the speed limit of 60 Km/hr. 4×4 Africa offers the best car rental Rwanda services on both Self drive or guided ( Car Rental with Driver ) to explore the magical Primates capital .
Flights t Nyungwe forest national Park are offered by Akagera Aviation. Check on your Rwanda Travel guide