5 Safari Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park
5 Safari Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park: Nyungwe forest national park offers a variety of tourist activities that make it one of the top destination in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills. With its beautiful and stunning forest, Nyungwe forest national park is indeed a best option for primate lovers and adventurous tourists. Below are the 5 Safari Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park and they include;
- Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park,
Chimpanzee trekking is the leading thing/ tourist activity done in Nyungwe forest national park thus brings in lots of revenue to the tourism industry of Rwanda. Trekking chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park starts early in the morning at about 5:00am with briefing after which trekkers are driven at their respective trail heads since the park has 2 trailheads one in Cyamudongo and the other one at Uwinka thus only 2 groups of trekkers are allowed to participate in this thrilling and breath taking chimpanzee trekking safari. During the trek, look out for other park dwellers like primates since the forest harbors over 13 species of primates including; Chimpanzees, Olive baboons, Black and white Colobus monkeys, Silver monkey, Red-tailed monkey, Owl faced monkey, Angola Colobus, Rwenzori Colobus monkey, Bush babies, Vervet monkey, Den’t mona monkey and Grey-cheeked Mangabey making it a top primate destination in Rwanda. Apart from primates, you will as well encounter with other wildlife species including mammals, birds, and butterflies as well as view a variety of tree species in the forest.
Upon landing on chimpanzees after following them up for some hours, you will spend maximum 1 hour with them in their natural habitats closely interacting with them as you take photographs and record some videos as long as you keep a recommended social distance and follow all the guidelines given by the rangers.
- Canopy walks in Nyungwe forest national park,
Nyungwe forest national park offers the best Canopy walk in East African region. This 2 hours canopy walk is such a fascinating activity worth a do while on a Rwanda safari to Nyungwe forest national park. The canopy walk starts from Uwinka visitors’ center which is along Igishigishi trail. The most fascinating part of it is that you walk on a forest canopy while viewing the entire Nyungwe forest national park at a glance on a raised height of approximately 50M above the ground equivalent to tree top height that offers spectacular view of several attractions in the park including primates, mammals, birds, butterflies, plants and many other attractions within the park and beyond. Adventurous lovers are on a sure deal of enjoying this canopy walk however those who fear heights might find it formidable and opt for the forest walk since the park has a variety of walking trails to different attractions.
- Guided nature walks in Nyungwe forest national park,
Guided nature walks are yet other top things/ tourist activities in Nyungwe forest national park since the park thrills with several walking trails that last from a few hours to several hours depending on what one intends to see along the walk making it a best destination for hikers and nature lovers as they explore different parts of the forest on foot. Some of the trails used during guided nature walk in Nyungwe forest national park include;
Igishigishi trail: This is a 2km walking trail which is best used by tourist on an adventurous canopy walk safari in Nyungwe forest national park. This trail ha a lot of attractions to encounter including primates like Chimpanzees, monkeys, mammals, birds, lots of plant species and many more. This Igishigishi trail takes about 2 hours to make a round trip and is considered the shortest trail in the Nyungwe forest.
Congo – Nile divide trail: This 227 km walking trail is yet another interesting trail to take while on safari in Nyungwe forest national park. Being a long trail, it can be completed in several days but it’s also possible to take short walks a few kilometers along this trail for one day, 2 days or any days depending on one’s wish. The trail leads to different attractions along the way including local communities, shops and stunning landscape of Rwanda that thrills with rolling hills, terraces and many more. For those who choose many day can camp along the trail since there are well designated camping sites situated on the trail but one has to carry own camping equipment.
Kamiranzovu Trail: This another breath taking walking trail in Nyungwe forest that takes you closer to wetlands, swamps, waterfalls and as well offers a stunning encounter with small primates like monkeys.
Other walking trails in Nyungwe forest national park include; Karamba trail the best trail for birding, Umugote trail the best option for birding as well as primate viewing adventure, Umoyove trail as well called Mahogany trail that leads to the tallest trees in the forest, Uwinka trail the most straining walking trail in Nyungwe forest but so rewarding, Irebero trail that leads to the viewing point of Lake Kivu, Imbaraga trail offers stunning views of the waterfalls, Bigugu Trail, Isumo Trail leads to tea plantations thus guest on Isumo trail can participate in tea picking as well as learn more about how tea is picked, dried, grinded , packed and have a taste on a freshly prepared cup of tea, Muzimu, Ngabwe Trail good for tourists who enjoy camping and picnic, Rukuzi Trail as well as waterfall trail that leads to the waterfalls.
- Birding in Nyungwe forest national park,
Nyungwe forest national park thrills with over 300 species of birds making it a top destination for birding safari in Rwanda. Some of the bird species found in this park are forest birds, water birds, migratory birds and other bird species that are endemic to Albertine rift. The best way to enjoy birding activity in Nyungwe forest national park is by taking guided walks through well-established trails where one is sure of watching as many birds as possible with the help of an experienced birder. During birding, look out for bird species like; Handsome Francolin, Great Blue Turaco, Red collared mountain Babbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, White Bellied Robin chat, Dwarf Honeyguide, Cuckoo, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Doherty’s Bush-Shrike, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Nightjar, Regal Sun-birds, Purple Throated Sunbird, Flycatcher, Rwenzori Turaco, Chestnut Owlet, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Handsome Francolin and many more. A birder need to carry a birding book, a pair of binoculars and a camera then enjoy the adventure in this beautiful Nyungwe forest. Birding in Nyungwe forest national park is done at any given period of time but for those who wish to have a glance at migratory birds, then dry months are the best option to watch them as they migrate from winter in Europe looking to better conditions.
- Cultural and community tours,
Taking on an adventurous community tour to visit the local members that reside along Nyungwe forest national park is such a rewarding activity among the 5 Safari Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park that one ought to add on their travel list while planning a Rwanda safari to Nyungwe forest national park. Along the tour, you will be able to meet and interact with the local Rwandese who are so loving and welcoming. Learn about their culture and enjoy their cultural performances of dance and drama to wind up with your safari in Nyungwe forest national park. In fact this should be the last activity to do while on a safari to Nyungwe forest national park.
Getting to Nyungwe forest national park,
A road drive from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda takes about 5-6 hours via Nyanza and Huye before getting to Nyungwe forest national park. This journey seems long but the attractions seen along the way are so rewarding ranging from stunning rolling hills since Rwanda is basically known as a the land of a thousand hills thus be sure to view these hills with beautiful terraces. Other tractions along the way include the king’s palace, the museum as well as Genocide memorial sites.