A Comprehensive Guide to Nyungwe Forest National Park & Facts

A Comprehensive Guide to Nyungwe Forest National Park, Facts, Entrance Fees, Safaris, and Reviews. Our Nyungwe Forest National Park Informative Guide contains all you need to know about this lovely Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda. Here you will find the most up-to-date information on the park’s attractions, activities, best times to visit, location, and lodging options.

The Nyungwe Forest is located in southern Rwanda, near the border with Burundi, and is bordered to the south by the Kibira National Park and to the west by Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Nyungwe rainforest is perhaps Central Africa’s best-preserved montane rainforest. It is positioned in the watershed between the Congo River basin to the west and the Nile River basin to the east. One of the Nile’s branches emerges from the east side of the Nyungwe forest.

Nyungwe Forest Park was formed in 2004 and has around 970 km2 of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, wetlands, and bogs. Cyangugu, 54 kilometers to the west, is the nearest town. Mount Bigugu is inside the park’s boundaries.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

The most significant biodiversity area in Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is also given the highest priority for forest conservation in Africa. Nyungwe is hardly well-known outside of East Africa despite its enormous biodiversity. The opportunity to follow chimpanzees, who have grown accustomed to human visitors over the years, is Nyungwe’s biggest attraction. A further delight is the straightforward joy of trekking over the verdant, verdant valleys of the equatorial rainforest on well-kept routes.

While chimps take center stage here, sightings of other monkey groups—such as Angolan colobi, Dent’s monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and diademed monkeys—are almost certain.

Huye–Cyangugu road splits Nyungwe Forest National Park in half. Both the Gisakura and Kitabi Booking Offices are located along this route and provide admission to the park.

Nyungwe Forest National Park Safaris

Chimpanzee trekking Nyungwe National Park Rwanda

6 Days Rwanda Primates Itinerary
This 6 Day primate trekking safari in Rwanda includes a visit to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking as well as a visit to Nyungwe Forest.

Eastern rhino in Akagera National Park Rwanda Wildlife viewing

6 Days Rwanda Wildlife & Gorillas Itinerary
The 6 Day Rwanda Wildlife and Gorilla Safari include game drives in Akagera National Park as well as gorilla trekking.

Nyungwe national Park Rwanda

8 Days in Rwanda Itinerary
This 8 Day Rwanda safari provides the greatest eight days in Rwanda, including gorilla trekking, chimp tracking, and a wildlife tour.

nyungwe Park canopy walk

9 Days in Rwanda Itinerary
9 Days Rwanda Safari provides Rwanda’s top gorilla trekking, chimp tracking, and wildlife tours. Nyungwe Trip in Rwanda for 9 days.

Overview: Nyungwe Forest National Park


Inside Africa – Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nestled over 1,019 km2 of lush Afromontane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, meadows, and marshes, Nyungwe is one of the oldest rainforests in Africa and the biggest forest area in Rwanda. The Nyungwe Forest National Park supplies a substantial amount of freshwater for Rwanda and feeds the Congo and Nile, two of the biggest rivers in the world. In this remarkable terrain are over 1,100 documented plant species, 345 bird species, and 85 known mammal species, including 13 of Africa’s primates, including chimpanzees, Ruwenzori black-and-white colobus, and L’Hoest’s monkeys.

Rich biodiversity in Nyungwe has historically been threatened by widespread poaching, illicit mining, unsustainable harvesting, and agricultural encroachment. In 2020 African Parks was approached by the Rwandan government to sign a 20-year agreement to administer Nyungwe after a fruitful collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in Akagera National Park. In order to increase the park’s economic sustainability, we are collaborating to engage the local communities, restore and conserve animals, and create a robust tourism offering. These days, the park is fostering an ecologically sound and financially self-sufficient asset while also giving the locals a sense of ownership of conservation.

Nyungwe Forest National Park Highlights

  • With excellent conservation, tourism and sustainable revenue-generating activities under way, Nyungwe is quickly emerging as a biodiversity hotspot that supports healthy ecosystems for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
  • Among the forests in the Albertine Rift Mountains, Nyungwe has more endemic species than any other.
  • Three chimpanzee communities are watched upon and tracked every day, and visitors are welcome.
  • Programmes for community awareness have reached more than 30,000 people.
  • Comprising community members who have all given up their prior involvement in poaching, Nyungwe’s eco-ranger team has helped remove 60% of all poachers’ snares from the forest.

Animals in Nyungwe Forest National Park

There are 75 different species of mammal living in Nyungwe forest, most of which are hard to see since they are small or nocturnal. The primary draw of Nyungwe Forest are the chimpanzees, which are walked every day early in the morning. Visitors to the park can enjoy another interesting pastime as troops of up to 300 colobus monkeys roam the treetops.

Nyungwe forest’s 13 recorded primate species: Chimpanzees, Silver monkey, Golden monkey, Owl-faced monkey/ Hamlyn’s monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Red-tailed monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, Vervet monkey, Olive baboon, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Blue Monkey, Angolan Colobus Monkeys.

  • 85 mammal species
  • 300+ bird species
  • 200 different tree species
  • 248 species of orchids

Things to Do in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Huge ferns and orchids blanket the forest floor below the canopy, and the views across the rainforest canopy are simply breathtaking. Networks of walking routes in Nyungwe provide excellent possibilities for trekking birds, butterflies, and primates. It all feels remarkably naturally pure, wild, and unspoiled; several of the paths pass through ravines lined with ferns and bubbling streams.

Getting there

  • Travel by car from Kigali to Nyanza, then on to Huye, and ultimately reach Nyungwe National Park. The duration of the drive is around 5 hours, with variations depending on any stopovers you may make.
  • Alternatively, you have the option to travel by air using the services provided by Akagera Aviation.

Helicopter Tours

Akagera Aviation provides helicopter charters and beautiful trips in Rwanda.

The fleet consists of three types of helicopters: the Agusta 109, Agusta 139, and Robinson 44. The Agusta 109 can accommodate up to 6 passengers, the Agusta 139 can accommodate up to 5 passengers, and the Robinson 44 can accommodate up to 3 passengers.

Scenic trips vary in duration from 30 minutes to two and a half hours, and guarantee a breathtaking aerial perspective of the hilly landscape.

Akagera Aviation, established in 2004, is a privately-owned company headquartered at Kigali International Airport. The company has offices located in the primary terminal building, and its operations are conducted from a specialized hangar situated on the airside of the airport.

The company holds a license issued by the Rwandan Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA). Rwanda is a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), ensuring that visitors may be confident that all services adhere to global standards of excellence.

In 2008, Akagera Aviation became the first dealership and service center for Robinson Helicopters in the East African region.

Akagera Aviation offers a range of services including emergency medical services, aerial photography, surveys, and other related services.

Where to stay in the Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Top View Hotel:

Top View offers stunning vistas of the surrounding forest and tea plantations from its elevated location. Its close proximity to the headquarters of Nyungwe Forest National Park makes it an ideal starting place for hiking expeditions to observe chimpanzees and explore the area.

One&Only Nyungwe House:

Nyungwe House, which is owned by The One & Only Collection, is encompassed by a vast area of verdant tea estates.

The lodge is a remarkable and secluded resort that offers contemporary lodging in an excellent position for primate tours. As anticipated from the One&Only group, this establishment exudes a contemporary, elegant, and refined ambiance, offering all the luxuries that a secluded hotel can provide.

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