About Nyungwe Forest National Park


In the southwest corner of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is a vast untouched tropical rainforest with a high, dense canopy. Nyungwe became a National Park in 2004 as Rwanda sought to increase its tourism beyond the country’s mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, and is certainly worthy of its status because of its spectacular biodiversity. Tucked away in the middle of tea Plantations, the biggest mountain rain forest on this side of the African continent can be a bit deceptive in its vastness if you simply catch a glimpse of it from a far. Nyungwe forest is probably the most preserved forest in Africa. Some say it is the most important site for biodiversity in Rwanda. It is home to over 1000 species of creation after all.


Top Things to do and see in Nyungwe Forest National Park


Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe Forest is destined Rwanda Destination for chimpanzee trekking. Nyungwe Chimpanzee trekking starts in the morning and its best to carry a day pack where you have a couple of liters of water, have long trousers, the long sleeved shirt, rain jacket, the hiking boots and the hat. There will also be a maximum of over 8 people in your group that sets out to track the chimpanzees. These chimps at Nyungwe forest have been and are being habituated which means that they are used to human beings. Even though gorilla tracking, however, many set out to track these closest cousins as they play in Nyungwe forest national park.

Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzee
Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe Forest National park is also a hiker’s paradise. There are also 13 hiking trails with over 130 kilometers of the trails through the forest. The visitors can spend a good week as you are hiking the many trails, as you explore the ancient rainforest and discovering many habitats found in the forest. The private hikes are also from one to eight hours in length and most can also be completed in case you are in reasonable physical shape. With your personal input, we can also arrange the hike that is right for you and will not be too active. Hiking in Nyungwe Forest is the time of discovering in a primal rain forest that will simply amazing may visitors with its fairy tale like appearance, its wildlife, birds, primates, plants, flowers, butterflies and the trees.


Colobus Monkey Tracking in Nyungwe

The Colobus Monkeys are one of rarest primates in Africa however; we can find them in Nyungwe forest National Park in Rwanda. Along side colobus monkeys, Nyungwe forest also protects other primates like chimpanzee, blue monkey, vervet monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, dent’s monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey which are commonly seen along the road, Red- tailed and so on. Therefore Nyungwe forest national park is the home for 13 primate species. A young colobus monkey clings to its mother, Nyungwe forest, Rwanda. The arboreal colobus monkey almost never descends to the ground, preferring to use branches as springs to catapult themselves over several of meters. Bush meat trade, habitat destruction and logging are all grave threats to this African.

Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk

Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk

This canopy walk is also the first tree top forest canopy walk in East Africa and the third in all Africa.this walk is also an activity not to be missed in Rwanda. In case you are coming to Rwanda to trek the mountain gorillas, you can add on some days and include Nyungwe forest and enjoy the canopy walk as part of your safari itinerary. This canopy walk is also 50 meters above the ground and this can also be dizzying heights for some people, you will see the monkeys move around in the tree tops, the birds that are flying above you and below you and a beautiful view of the huge Nyungwe forest. It’s also an amazing sight. This canopy walk is also 90m long which is not a long distance, however, it’s when you are 50 m above the ground.


Nyungwe Forest Birding Tours

Nyungwe Forest has 300 bird species and 27 of them are endemics and are part of the species that are found in the forests of the albertine rift. For example the Grauer’s Warbler which is an albertine rift endemics hat can be found within the mountain swamps like the Kamiranzovou with in Nyungwe Forest .you can also find both the Rwenzori Turaco and the large blue Turaco. The sun birds of many types like the purple breasted and the blue headed sun bird and can be found in flowering trees. Nyungwe is also birder’s paradise and you will see many other things from the orchids to the primates during your birding walks with in Nyungwe Forest.

Bird-Watching_in Nyungwe

Nyungwe Forest National Park is found in the South Western part of Rwanda. It is bordered by the Rwanda-Burundi border in the South. Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo lie on the west side of the park. It covers an area about 1020 sq.km and has an elevation of 1600-2950m above sea level.

Directions & Routes

You can either drive to the park from Kigali, or fly there. You can’t walk there though, that would take an extraordinary amount of drive and time.

Travelling by road

With 225km to cover from Kigali to the Nyungwe forest, you will need a good functional car to make good time. You can either go by bus or hire a car.

By bus; You can take a bus headed to Ruzizi from Nyabugogo bus park in Kigali, get off at Uwinka Center. Travelling by bus takes a little bit longer, and the bus ride might even be 8 hours long. There are buses that drive through he park, and you could hope on those, but they are usually quite full.

By car; Hiring a car is much more comfortable, convenient and will take a much shorter time. You will avoid the hustle of travelling the difficult stretches such as stretch between Uwinka Center and Gisakura.

Traveling by air

If you are looking for a much faster means of transport, then you can book a flight with RwandAir. The airline offer domestic flights and one of its domestic routes is Kigali-Kamembe. RwandAir offers a minimum of 9 flights a week from Kigali to Kamembe International airport.

Kamembe airport happens to be a short 32km from Nyungwe forest lodge, which offers helicopter pickups. It is quite a convenient arrangement if you can afford it.

Travelling to Nyungwe Forest national park shouldn’t be difficult if it well planned. An easy way to do that is hire us to make the arrangements on your behalf.

Nyungwe House

Nyungwe House is found on the edge of Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe is the largest mountain rainforest in Africa, and is home to more than 13 primate species, and represents 20% of all the primate species on the continent. The lodge is situated on a tea plantation, and is designed to blend in wonderfully with its beautiful surroundings. It offers 5-star service and accommodation. The luxury rooms are outfitted with en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, WiFi internet, fireplaces, minibars, and satellite TVs. The lodge’s facilities include a pool, bar, restaurant, conference facilities, and business centre. A variety of walking safari activities is offered, with chimpanzee trekking and Colobus monkey trekking the highlights. Cultural walks, bird-watching walks, and a canopy walk are also offered.

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is found in Rwanda, and its location atop a hill provides beautiful and expansive views across beautiful tea plantations down below on one side and forests of Nyungwe Forest on the other. The hotel is situated conveniently close to the Nyungwe Forest National Park entrance which is one of Africa’s main primate safari destinations, with especially large populations of chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys. The hotel’s main area provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, with clear days even affording views of Lake Kivu and the region’s famous volcanoes. The rooms at the hotel each have en-suite bathroom facilities, with fireplaces for colder weather. The lodge’s facilities and services include a restaurant and a very quirky, unusual bar. The bar is made almost completely out of bottle tops, giving it a creatively bright atmosphere.

Exciting activities are offered at Nyungwe Forest National Park, where guests can embark on the thrilling experience of trekking the chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys in their natural habitat. There are also birding walks available, and, for the more adventurous, a high canopy walk.

Nyungwe Forest Park Quick Facts

  • In 1903, during the colonial era, Nyungwe which was Colonial crown land was declared a forest reserve by the German colonial government.
  • Nyungwe forest contains over 200 tree species with one of the most outstanding upper canopy in the region which reaching 50-60m in height with slow-growing hardwoods as the majority among the trees making nature walks a great adventure through the thick canopies.
  • The park covers more than 1000 square kilometres and is made up of mountainous rainforest, swamps, bogs, grasslands and bamboo.
  • Nyungwe is one of the world’s foremost primate destinations, with 13 primate species found in the park, including the famous chimpanzees, as well as a troop of 400 Rwenzori Black and White Colobus Monkeys.
  • The park is a also a premier destination for birding enthusiasts, with over 300 species recorded, including 16 endemic species. Visitors to Nyungwe can experience a host of exciting adventures, including primate tracking, superb hikes, biking, an exhilarating canopy walk, and cultural tours outside the rainforest.