Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe forest national park is the most evaluated biodiversity rainforest. The intact is one of the few remaining significant forest in central African region. It’s located in the southern region from Kigali capital. The vegetation and landscape is composed of bamboos, swamps, rainforest, grasslands and rainforest, raised and lowlands. Nyungwe forest is largely a water catchment area for Rwanda and is sited on an areas of 1,020sqkm.
The forests accommodates variety of wildlife species among which include over 1000 species of flora and fauna. Chimpanzee are the chief citizens of the forests, and also about 13 primates call Nyungwe forest their natural home. About 300 bird species are recorded here, about 87 various mammals and untamed beauty of plants.
The Nyungwe forest park was established in 2014. It’s under the management of Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Nyungwe forest is one of the three top tourist centers of Rwanda. Majorly the forest is famous for chimpanzee tracking adventures and the magnificent canopy walks.
Best time to Visit Nyungwe forest National Park
This fantabulous rainforest can be visited all year around. However, a visit during the dry seasons rewards mostly, during the dry time chimpanzees ascend to higher altitudes becoming easier to track. Dry season a great deal for hiking, nature walks and for every adventure activity done into the forest. The dry months are experienced in December to February. However, all adventures remain possible with wet time which mainly happens in the months of March to April.
Activities done at Nyungwe forest national park
Chimpanzees tracking is likely another adventure to gorilla trekking of Volcanoes national park. Chimpanzees at Nyungwe forest are habituated and trackers can have a close-up encounter. However, sometimes the apes though are habituated at times can be seen at a distance as they prefer living in higher altitudes especially in dry hours spend most of their times up in trees.
Tracking follows early breakfast then get briefed, be assigned to a habituated chimpanzee family. With an armed ranger guide, enroll into the profuse rainforest and start searching for the apes. The track can last for about 30 minutes to about three hours to find the chimpanzee. Finding the chimpanzees trackers have an hour in their presence.
The track can involves penetrating through the thick jungle, moist and slippery grounds. You should have enough drinking water, tracking jungle boot, have water proof clothes and many other tracking equipment.
Nyungwe Forest National park is home to about 13 primate species. Among the other primates, colobus monkey tracking dominant tracked. Other monkeys include the Angolan colobi, Dent’s monkeys, grey checked mangabey, olive baboons, vervet monkeys etc.
Primate here inhabit the forest vegetation making tracking them an exceptional experience. The species to spot here include white and black colobus monkey, H’loest monkey, grey chested mangabey, red tailed monkey, olive baboons, velvet monkeys, patas monkeys etc.
Canopy walks is another thrilling adventure done at Nyungwe Forest National Park. The canopy walk at Nyungwe forest is on the world standard and tallest third best in African. For any a visit to the park, an exceptional canopy blind walking experience is a must do. The walk above the gargantuan trees on the sagging bridge of the forest is an amazing experience.
The suspended bridge stands at 70m high and stretches 160m long on top of Nyungwe’s gigantic trees. Reaching the canopy one must hike for about 30 minutes to Uwinka center. The canopy walks start at 8am, 10am 1pm and 3pm and last for two hours. There is no level of fitness required, don’t expect much sights while walking above trees, but it gives an exceptional experience. Looking down it’s a no go zone of a sharp valley beneath with rocks that are usually struck by lightning when it is promising to rain.
With about 300 bird species recorded into the forest, Nyungwe forest national park is among the few bird rewarding centers in Rwanda. Among the species, about 25 species are Albertan endemic species, 11 of the 23 species of the Guinea Congo Forest biome. 71 of the 74 species of this biome of the afro tropical highlands that occur in Rwanda and have been recorded at this site.
Nyungwe forest is the most vital conservation area for montane birds. The forest is the country’s top spotlight for bird watching than any other destination. However, the thickness of the forest sometimes makes it hard to spot numerous bird species.
Nyungwe forest national park has maintained the network of nature walking trails. The walking trails ranges from as short as 2km to longer one that extend to about 10km. The walking trails here are marked by colors. Nature walks at Nyungwe forest comes along with several sights including colobus, chimpanzees, birds and other mammals that call the forest home.
There are 6 walking trails of Buhoro trail is a legendary trek through woods the shortest covering 2km. the Igishigishigi trial one of the most famous trails covering about 2.1km with spectacular view of tree fern. The Irebero trail with the best stunning view covering about 3.6km. The Umuyove trial where you can encounter larger Mahogany, waterfalls, several bird species and colorful flowers, this trail covers a distance of 5.5km. And the longest trail is the Imbaraga trial which covers 10km.