It is no doubt that Nyungwe forest is one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rain forests covering over 1000 square kilometres. From Kigali Nyungwe forest national park is only 4-5 hour drive with interceptions of some attractions en route like the National museum and Nyanza King’s palace.
It is said that it harbors one of Africa’s oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains its diversity. The core of Nyungwe national park is not far from a scene from a fairy tale. Surrounded by ebonies, old mahoganies and giant tree ferns towering over you as orchids and other epiphytes hang to every branch. From brightly coloured birds flirting around to butterflies everywhere you will enjoy the beauty of such a legendary creation.
Over 12 other primates’ species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus) as well as chimpanzees call this home. It is as well a birder’s paradise having over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and also home to 75 different species of mammal.
This spectacular rain forest is characterized by nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. you can enjoy a fleet of fun things in here including hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, experiencing the canopy walk (this is East Africa’s highest canopy walk with a metal bridge hung 50 meters above the forest), tracking the famous chimpanzees, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls to mention but a few. These splendid views couple with sounds to create a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. You will enjoy every single time you explore through the forest where you will witness the lush green mountains and cooling mist in a landscape that won’t be soon forgotten.
Nyungwe is the source of Africa’s great rivers. The Nile is fed by rain that falls on the east side feeds and on the west it runs to the Congo. The Congo-Nile Divide is a mountain range that runs north to south through Rwanda. More than 2000mm of rain is received annually in Nyungwe. The Government of Rwanda declared Nyungwe a national park in 2005, affording it the highest level of protection in Rwanda.
Top activities you can engage in while at Nyungwe national park
- Forest hiking trails
- A primate safari
The park has a total of over 130 kilometers of hiking routes which allow visitors to explore fascinating habitats as well as fathom at its interior. It is such an excellent feeling walking along the trails lasting from one to eight hours with one of the shortest hikes being beautifully named Igishigishigi trail. This is climaxed with a canopy walk high above the forest. The park has a 6 hour trail named Bigugu which will lead you to the highest mountain in the park that towers at 2950m.
For lovers of primates, Nyungwe is an ideal destination with over 13 different species making it home here and you cannot leave this place without having atleast one tracking experience, the most popular being the chimpanzee trekking. These incredible primates are tracked in groups beginning early in the morning just like when tracking gorillas. You will enjoy their presence for a maximum of one hour. Despite the fact that the sightings of the chimps are not as guaranteed as for the gorillas you will not fail to them engage playfully and the various human-like characteristics making the trek worthwhile.
With around 300 species of birds residing here, bird enthusiasts will love this, moving throught this massive tropical rainforest looking hard for the likes of great blue turacos, giant hornbills as well as red-breasted sparrowhawks being among the special ones where 27 are endemic to this section of the Albertine Rift valley.
So are planning on a visit to Nyungwe National park and you are wondering where you will be spending the night, we have you covered and we guarantee you will feel so at home.
Nyungwe Forest lodge
This one lies on the edge of the park and boasts of a very impressive view that overlooks the forest canopy from a ridge on one side and a tea plantation on the other. The lodge has a total of 24 luxury rooms which are made up of 6 wooden villas with four rooms in each. The rooms have a modern touch and are well decorated with traditional touches. There is a provision of a private deck which offers views overlooking the vast forest terrain. In place is also an outdoor-heated swimming pool, fitness centre, a relaxation retreat with two treatment rooms that offers various massages as well as spa treatments. The dining areas are made up of a wood-fenced area containing tables and chairs that face an open fire sometimes called a “boma,” providing a great location for outdoor sundowners and dining.
Nyungwe Top view Hill Hotel
Set on top of a hill with views across numerous tea plantations, Nyungwe Top View Hill hotel is located five minutes’ drive off the main road on a rough, steep dirt track. A large, two tiered rondavel with a phenomenally high roof make up the main areas of the hotel. The reception on the ground floor is sparsely furnished with a few modern angular sofas with the walls adorned with traditional Rwandan murals. The bedrooms are furnished with a bed as well as hanging space for clothes fused with tiled bathrooms each having a sink, shower, toilet and baths in some rooms.