2 DAYS TRIP TO NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park : Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the only three national parks Rwanda and is the largest rainforest in East Africa and has existed for over 1000 years. It is best known for its habitat for wild chimpanzees and other primate’s species.  Nyungwe forest national park is located in the South Western region of Rwanda bordering Burundi in the South with Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo situated in the western part of the park. Nyungwe Forest National Park covers an area of about 1016 square kilometers with an altitude of about 1,600 – 2,950 meters above sea level and it extends across the border of Parc National de la Kibira in Burundi. It’s one of the largest water catchment areas, also distributing water into River Congo and River Nile with many springs that are said to feed the headwaters of the Albertine Nile. The forest receives a record amount of 2000mm of rainfall every year. The forest is also Rwanda’s largest water catchment area holding 2/3rds of all the country’s water. This large tropical forest also contributes to the water distribution in River Congo and the Nile River as well.

2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park
2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Chimpanzee Trekking; Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to about 25% of primate species in Africa with majority of them being chimpanzees. Chimpanzees trekking is the main highlight of Nyungwe forest with 500 chimpanzees. Chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest are not habituated like gorillas so it is not guaranteed to spot them in particular places. But more often you will see them because they are quite common in the forest. The park rangers know where and how to find the chimpanzees even when they are not habituated, so be assured of spotting the chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest. Chimpanzee trekking takes place every day with an early morning start since the chimpanzees are easily seen in the morning hours, trekking starts as early as 8 am at Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura after briefing about the primates. Chimpanzees trekking takes about 2-5 hours depending on the location of the chimpanzees. However, to be able to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest, you are required to have a chimpanzee permit which is booked months before your trekking date. A permit in Nyungwe National Park costs USD 90 dollars per person and it is valid for a simple day.

Canopy Walk: The forest canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of a kind in Africa. It was introduced in October 2010 as a new tourism product for the park. The Canopy walkway was built at 160 meters stretch between trees and it extends to up to 90 feet above the forest floor. The Nyungwe Forest canopy walk begins. The canopy walk way starts at Uwinka Visitors center and it’s a 2km walk with untouched natural rainforest below the forest filled with exciting biodiversity of the forest with beautiful views of the forest. A canopy walk costs US 60 dollars per person.

2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park
2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Birding: Nyungwe forest boosts of over 300 bird species, 27 of which are Albertine rift valley species. There are lots of interesting and colorful birds to see some of which include; blue turaco, Ruwenziro Apalis, Archer’s Robin Chat, the Strange weaver, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus Wind Cryptospiza Jacksoni, Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis, Chapin’s Fly catcher and Rockefeller’s sunbird to mention a few. Visitors interested in birding while in Nyungwe forest national park pay 50 USD per person per day.

For any other considering to visiting Nyungwe forest national park can spend a minimum of 2 Days for mainly chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk.

Safari highlights

  • Day 1: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park and canopy walk
  • Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking – Return to Kigali

Detailed safari

Day 1: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park and canopy walk.

In the morning, you will be picked by the driver from your hotel in Kigali and drive southwards to Nyungwe forest National park. It’s about a 6-7 hours’ drive with en-route lunch. Optional activities – visit the national museum of Rwanda or the king’s palace in Nyanza.

Proceed to Nyungwe forest at the head office to check-in for the canopy walk that starts at 2 pm. You will go on a walking trail that will take you to the Canopy Walk-a swing bridge 50 meters in length that is suspended from large trees. You will be able to see the amazing rainforest with a bird’s eye view, spotting wildlife moving about below you thereafter connect to your accommodation to spend the evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at One and Only Nyungwe House for Luxury/Nyungwe Top Hill View Hotel for mid-range/Gusakura Visitors Center for budget option

2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park
2 Days Trip to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking – Return to Kigali 

Enjoy breakfast and go for a briefing about the endangered chimpanzees before entering the forest in search of the active and playful fellows in the Nyungwe forestChimpanzee tracking usually takes about 2-5 hours and on finding them, spend an hour while taking pictures and videos.  You will then return to your hotel to freshen up, have lunch then check out then embark on a 5 hours’ drive back to Kigali city. End of the trip

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