Nyungwe Forest – the largest Montane Rainforest in Africa
The only Forest Canopy Walk in East Africa in Nyungwe Forest
There are lots of things to do and see in Nyungwe Rainforest National Park in Rwanda
Rwanda – the land of a thousand Hills is home to many natural wonders and Nyunge Forest is one of them. Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda is covers an area of over 1000 square kilometers – however it is even larger than that since it extends into Burundi where it is Kibira National Park.
Nyungwe Forest is the largest tropical Afro-Montane Rainforest in East or Central Africa and a rainforest it is, receiving of 2000 mm of rain each year and it is Rwanda’s largest water catchment area – home to 2/3rds of all Rwanda’s water. The forest feeds both the River Congo and the River Nile with water.
When you reach Nyungwe Forest you come here on winding roads (drive time from Kigali 4 – 5 hours) through vast tea fields and then there it is Nyungwe Forest National Park, like emerging with its vastness like a National Geographic Video – only better since you are here in that vast fores with its endless Kamiranzovu swamp, trails throughout, the famous Forest Canopy Walk, the only one in East Africa (there are only 3 in Africa), opportunities for Birding, Primate Viewing including Chimpanzee Tracking, taking in the flowers such as the various Orchids found here and the countless of butterflies they attract.
Nyungwe Forest Park is not a compact park but a vast forest and the things to do and see here take some planning so that your time on safari is not wasted with drive times.
You can find almost 300 different bird species, hundreds of butterflies and orchids, and over 75 different species of mammals – including 13 primates, there have also been unconfirmed sightings of Golden Monkeys.
Nyungwe Forest National Park with its countless of natural wonders is not be missed if you are coming to Rwanda – it will be one of those added Plus Items to Mountain Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda.
Top Things to do and see in Nyungwe Forest National Park:
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a Hiker’s Paradise. There are 13 various hiking trails with over 130 kilometers of trails through and in the Forest.
Visitors can spend a good week here hiking the various trails, exploring the ancient rainforest and discover the various habitats found in the forest.
Individual hikes are from one to eight hours in length and most can easily be completed if you are in reasonable physical shape. With your input we can arrange for a hike that is right for you and will not be too strenuous.
Hiking in Nyungwe Forest is a time of discovery in a primal rainforest that will simply amaze most visitors with its fairy tale like appearance, its wildlife, primates, birds, flowers, plants, trees, and butterflies.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe Forest:
Nyungwe Forest is the perfect location where you can add Chimpanzee trekking to your Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park without driving long distances.
Chimpanzee Tracking begins early in the morning and it is best to bring a day-pack where you have a couple of liters of water, wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, rain-jacket, hat and hiking boots.
There will be a maximum of eight people in your group that sets out to track the chimpanzees. The chimpanzees at Nyungwe Forest have been and are being habituated meaning that they are used to human beings.
Whereas Gorilla tracking is most always successful, it is not necessarily the same with Chimpanzee tracking, however most that set out to track our closest cousins see the playful chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Grey Cheeked Mangabey and Ruwenzori Colobus Monkey Tracking:
There are thirteen different species of primates found in Nyungwe Forest. Unconfirmed sightings of Golden Monkeys have also been reported.
Besides Chimpanzee Tracking, you can also track the Gray-Cheeked Mangabeys and the Runwenzori Colobus Monkeys in Nyungwe Forest. The Colobus Monkeys can often be sighted in large groups of up to 300 Colobus Monkey, quite a chatter and quite the sight.
AS you track any primate group you will most likely spot some other monkeys along the trek such as L’Hoest’s Mountain Monkey, Owl Faced Monkey, Mona Monkey and Blue Monkeys, to name a few.
Nyungwe Forest is Primate Country and you can track Chimpanzees, Gray-Cheeked and Colobus Monkeys in the ancient forest.
Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk and Hike:
The Ngyungwe Forest Canopy Walk is the first Tree-Top Forest Canopy Walk in East Africa and the third in all of Africa.
The Canopy Walk is an activity not to be missed in Rwanda. If you are coming to Rwanda to trek Mountain Gorillas add a couple of days and include Nyungwe Forest and definitely make the Canopy Walk a part of your Safari Itinerary
The canopy walk is 50 meters above the ground – that can be dizzying heights for some, you see the monkeys roam around in the tree tops – Birds who are are flying above you but below you and a splendid view of the massive Nyungwe Forest. Simply an amazing sight.
The Canopy Walk is 90 meters long which does not sound like a long distance, however it is when you are 50 meters above the ground.
Nyungwe Forest Birding:
With 300 plus species found in Nyungwe Forest National Park – and 27 endemics that are part of species found in the forests of the Albertine Rift.
For example the Grauer’s Rush Warbler is an Albertine Rift endemic that can ve found inthe mountain swamps, such as Kamiranzovou in Nyungwe Forest.
Her in Nyungwe Forest you can find both the Rwenzori Turaco in abundance and also the Large Blue Turaco.
Sunbirds of various types such as purple-breasted and the blue-headed sunbird and often you will find them in flowering trees.
Nyungwe Forest is a birders paradise and you will see many other things from orchids to primates during your birding walks in Nyungwe Forest.
Nyungwe Forest – not to be missed during your time in Rwanda – one of Rwanda’s Natural wonders to be enjoyed by you.
If you would like to include the Things to do and see in Nyungwe Forest- in your safari – please let us know.