Nyungwe Forest is a best reason for visitors to stay longer in Rwanda. Found in the southern part at the border of Burundi, the forest covers about 1000km² and stands as the largest moment forest block in Africa together with Kibira National Park in Burundi. Nyungwe forest is a rich biodiversity with over 1000 plants, 250 Albertine Rift Endemic, and great number of mammals totaling to 85, not forgetting the rich list of bird species of about 300 and 13 species of primates and a population of about 400 chimpanzees that Nyungwe is best know for.
Boredom in Nyungwe Forest is not something to think of, there quite a number of activities to engage the visitors. Chimpanzee tracking and colobus monkey tracking can easily be organized at short notice and as you track along the way, other monkeys like the Golden Monkey, Blue Monkey, Mona Monkey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Owl-faced Monkey,Vervet Monkey, Greycheeked Mangaby, and many other primates.
Colobus Monkey Tracking
Colobus monkeys are the most sought after and celebrated primates in Nyungwe forest. They belong to the Angola colobus race found in the Albertine rift, and in Nyungwe forest there are about 400 habituated monkeys open for visitors to track.
Nyungwe has a record list of about 400 chimpanzees, they monopolize the forest with their ‘pant-hoot’ call heard all over even before you meet them. Chimpanzees are amazing, right from how close they seem to humans physically, and in behavior, these primates share about 95% genes with humans and tracking to see them in the natural home is way fascinating.
With about 300 record bird species, Nyungwe forest is a birder’s paradise, hosting a good number of the endemic species restricted to the Albertine rift, the birds found include but not limited to the Ruwenzori Turaco, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, The Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Red-throated Alethe, sunbirds like the Purple-breasted and Blue-headed, Regal Sunbird, Kungwe Apalis, Ruwenzori Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Ruwenzori Batis, Archer’s Robin-chat, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Handsome Francolin, Dusky Crimson Wing, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Neumann’s Warbler, Red-collared Babbler.
Nyungwe has a number of scenic walking trails with different lengths and different challenges. The Natures are guided and exposed visitors through the forest to differ waterfalls and view points to catch the stunning scenaries of Nyungwe National Park.
Suspended in the air on a hanging platform is extremely a unique way to enjoy your safari. The walkway is constructed about 50 meters above the steep and deep valley above the forest canopies, this allows visitors to view the vast thick forest, birds, butterflies and different primates most commonly seen are chimpanzees and blue monkeys that dwell higher levels of the forest.
Where to Stay
Nyungwe Forest National park has well established facilities that cater for all budget ranges of the visitors. Upmarket include; Nyungwe Forest Lodge. Kageno Eco Lodge, Nyungwe Hill Top Hotel with the most commanding views of the forest. Moderate Gisakura Guesthouse, budget and camping can be done at KCCEM Guest house and at the Uwinka Reception Center & Campsite.
Travelling to Nyungwe forest national Park by road is a wonderful option.One gets to ejoy splendid views of numerous nature wonders and this becomes more interesting if one is on a self drive.