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Rwanda

Nyungwe National Park

Covering over 1000 square kilomtres, Nyungwe is surely one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests. 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 rainforest 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, travellers 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.

  • Chimpanzee Tracking

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.

  • Other Primates

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 "supergroups" 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.

  • Birds

Described by Birdlife International as "the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda," the Nyungwe National Park is home to roughly 310 bird species, 27 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Although actually spotting birds in the park’s forests may be challenging, the bird songs you’ll hear during the trek will surely make it more enjoyable. If you would like to learn about birds you might see and hear, we book fo r you a guide for $50 U.S. at the headquarters of the Rwanda Development Board. The guides so knowledgeable about birdlife in Nyungwe they can identify birds by ear, such as the rwenzori turaco and grey-chested
Kakamega

  • Canopy Walkway

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 raincoast 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.

• Chimpanzee Tracking
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.

• Other Primates
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 "supergroups" 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.
• Birds
Described by Birdlife International as "the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda," the Nyungwe National Park is home to roughly 310 bird species, 27 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Although actually spotting birds in the park’s forests may be challenging, the bird songs you’ll hear during the trek will surely make it more enjoyable. If you would like to learn about birds you might see and hear, we book fo r you a guide for $50 U.S. at the headquarters of the Rwanda Development Board. The guides so knowledgeable about birdlife in Nyungwe they can identify birds by ear, such as the rwenzori turaco and grey-chested
Kakamega

    • Congo-Nile Divide Trail

As the name suggests, you’ll get acquainted with two of the world’s most iconic rivers as this multi-day, 227 km trek curves alongside the Congo and the Nile. Geared towards experienced hikers, you’ll navigate through varied landscapes such as rainforests, bracken fields and bamboo forests during this trek.

For those going on a multi-day trek, you don’t have to reserve a campsite (areas along the trail have been set aside for camping) but you do have to bring your own camping equipment. In addition, a number of shops that supply food and snack have been set up along the trail and there will be nowhere during the trek that you won’t be within 5-10 kilometers of refreshments.

    • Igishigishigi Trail

A comfortable trek for novices, this 2.1 km hike will amaze you with its majestic views of the Canopy Trail and dazzling wildflowers. The Igishigishigi Trail can also be combined with the longer Imbaraga or Umoyove Trails.

    • Karamba Trail

Another relatively easy hike, the Karamba Trail - located on the former site of a gold mine, market and army camp - is considered one of the best spots for birding in Nyungwe as it is flanked by numerous fern trees.

    • Umugote Trail

This hike provides marvelous views of numerous ridges, rainforests, stunningly beautiful flowers and on a clear day, the Kibira National Park in Burundi. The trail is also a prime location for primate viewing and birding.

    • Umoyove Trail

Also known as the Mahogany Trail, you’ll relax by a waterfall, take a strolll under some of the park’s tallest trees and savor the scent of aromatic leaves during this trek. In addition, the Umuvoye Trail provides access to several side trails used for chimpanzee viewing. Uwinka Trail

Although considered a difficult hike, this trail that takes you through rather lovely ravines is the perfect place to listen to early morning bird calls.

    • Irebero Trail

This trail loops around two of the highest peaks in the park and provides views of Lake Kivu in Rwanda.

    • Imbaraga Trail

Geared toward experienced hikers, the trail rewards hikers with the sight of four scenic waterfalls - any of them will be refreshing after trekking a little less than 10 km.

    • Bigugu Trail

The highest peak in the park, this trail offers incredible flora and - on a clear day - views of Lake Kivu as well as hills and islands belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    • Isumo Trail

This trail takes you through verdant tea fields, a steep rainforest ravines and to top it off, the biggest waterfall in the Nyungwe National Park.

    • Kamiranzovu Trail

Water enthusiasts will love this trail it features the park’s largest wetland, an acient swamp and brilliant waterfalls.

    • Muzimu Trail

A relatively easy hike in the remote northeastern part of Rwanda takes your through pine and eucalyptus forests.

    • Ngabwe Trail

Two paths lead hikers to the summit, which is a lovely picnic and camping site.

  • Rukuzi Trail

This exhilarating hike provides outstanding chimpanzee spotting locations as well as views of Banda Village, from where you can hear children’s voices carrying up the mountainside.

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