Located in the South West corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is an untouched natural rain forest that is filled with exciting biodiversity.
Covering over 1000 square kilometers, Nyungwe is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rain forests. It’s believed to be one of Africa’s oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains its diversity.
Home to habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primates species (including a 400-strong troop of habituated Ruwenzori Black & White Colobus), it’s also a birder’s paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics, and is home to 75 different species of mammal.
This majestic rain forest is filled with nature and wildlife experiences for you to emerge yourself in. Hiking or even biking the beautiful terrain, tracking the famous chimpanzees, experiencing the canopy walk, witnessing beautiful birds, relaxing by waterfalls are just a glimpse of activities that Nyungwe offers.
Sounds and views collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience. Exploring through the forest, travelers will witness the lush green mountains and cooling mist in a landscape that won’t be soon forgotten.
Cultural activities are also available around the forest.
This magnificent national park covers an area of almost 1000 square kilometers in the mountainous southern parts of Rwanda. With a bit of luck you can here spot chimpanzees as well as a number of other primates and birds and spend days hiking on forest trails of various lengths and levels of difficulty.
Attractions in Nyungwe National Park
The home of roughly 400 species of chimpanzees, Nyungwe is home to one of East Africa's last intact populations and boasts two wild chimp communities that welcome guests (one in Cyamdungo and other around Uwinka). Thus, it's not surprising that chimpanzee tracking is a popular activity in Nyungwe (especially when the park's trees are in full bloom during the summer) as well-trained guides often lead visitors through the park's forests. And while actually viewing chimpanzees is not guaranteed, you'll enjoy learning about these creatures and their natural habitats from your guides. But you'll probably have to get up around four a.m. to succeed in this very challenging activity as chimps are mostly likely to be seen early in the morning. The Chimpanzee tracking permit can be booked at a cost of $90 per single entry per day.
Chimpanzees are far from the only creature that will fascinate wildlife lovers in Nyungwe as with thirteen recorded species, the park is home to East Africa's most diverse primate population. Nyungwe is the only location in Africa where you'll find "super groups" of more than 300 Colobus monkeys and one of the few places worldwide where you'll see L'Hoest's monkeys (primarily on the main round near Uwinka). Another rare animal you might also run into is the owl-faced monkey, an Albertine Rift endemic that inhabits Nyungwe's southern forests. In fact, most of the monkey species found in the park are endemic.
Visitors to Nyungwe National Park can experience the rainforest from a new perspective: the Canopy Walkway. Hanging 60 meters above the forest floor between giant trees and towers, East Africa's only Canopy Walkway provides a stunning view of the park's amazing wildlife and nature. The Walkway is accessible as part of a specialized guided tour along the Igishigishigi trail or if you're not part of a tour, hiking the Imbaraga or Umuyove trails.
Conducted year-round, the Canopy Walkway Tour costs $60 U.S. per person. All participants must be at least six years of age and children must be accompanied by adults. You should bring a raincoats as rain frequently falls in Nyungwe. But if you don't come with a raincoat, you can rent one as well as walking boots and sticks.
Nyungwe forest Lodge
Nyungwe forest lodge was set up in 2010 and has fast become a favorite with tourists in the area. It is situated in a tea plantation close to the Nyungwe forest. This lodge was the first ever 5 star accommodation establishment in the region. It has some of the best facilities in Rwanda and very good service.
Nyungwe forest lodge has luxury facilities such as a gym and a swimming pool, and overlooks the forest canopy so you are guaranteed some good views of the scenery in the area.
It has comfortable luxury rooms, one of them even has a Jacuzzi.
Board basis is full board and it includes meals. You can either dine outdoors, or in the restaurant, or in your room.
There is access to WIFI, and telephone services, so you can communicate to people back home. There are also sate-lite TVs in the rooms to keep you in touch with the rest of the world.
Security at the Lodge is quite good, with very minimal threat of wild animals, and there are security guards day and night.
Guests at the lodge have the opportunity to go chimpanzee tracking, go on guided walking through Nyungwe forest, and enjoy the canopy walk and bird watching in Nyungwe forest national Park
Transport to the park is provided and there is even a provision for helicopter rides to the airport.
Nyungwe Top View hotel
Nyungwe Top view hotel might not be a five star hotel but it offers pretty good accommodation close to the park. This hotel which opened in 2011, is only a five minutes’ drive Nyungwe forest national park and a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali and has some very amazing views of Nyungwe forest.
Accommodation here is in red brick cottages furnished with only necessary furniture. There is a dining area and a lounge.
Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are covered in full board costs. You can either dine inside or outside.
The hotel is connected to electric power grid. The power is always, on so you do not have to worry about spending nights in the dark
Health and security: there is a medical care center about 10km from the hotel. However it is best that you get your malaria shots before travelling.
Security is good. There is no danger of wild animals, and there are security guards around the hotel every time of the day.
Currency and foreign exchanges: Nyungwe top view hotel accepts and can exchange US dollars, British pounds and Euros.
Nyungwe top view hotel offers activities mainly centered in and around the park. So look forward to tracking chimpanzees, seeing he Ruwenzori Colobus monkey, bird watching, forest walk, and going on the Nyungwe canopy walk.
The hotel provides a driver to take you around the park and the various places you might want to visit.
All in all the hotel is a comfortable, convenient and safe place to stay during your safari.
Gisakura guest house
Gisakura is comfortable accommodation for people working within smaller budgets.
This guest house is found about 2 km from the park. It is located close to the Gisakura tea estate along the road to Ruzizi.
Gisakura offers opportunities to visit chimpanzees, the canopy walkway, bird watching, and hikes along different trails.
For meals the guest house offers breakfast, lunch dinner, and carry away snacks can be arranged if you are planning to spend the day out in the national park. Food and drinks are included in Full board.
Cost of rooms ranges from about $43 to $85 which makes this affordable accommodation.
The guest house is secure and there is very minimal risk of encounters with wild animals.
Gisakura guest house: Comfortable and affordable
If you are travelling to Rwanda for a safari in Nyungwe, the best thing to do would be to consult us on what place of accommodation would best suit your needs.