Wildlife in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe National Park is home to 75 different species of mammals but the highlight is the 13 primates. Chimpanzees are the main attraction that will fascinate wildlife lovers in Nyungwe. It is in Nyungwe forest where you will find troops of 300 colobus monkeys or more roaming in the trees. The park is a primate paradise with 13 recorded primate species that include: chimpanzees, , silver monkey, golden monkey, owl-faced monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey red-tailed monkey, Dentâ€™s mona monkey, Lâ€™Hoestâ€™s monkey Vervet monkey, olive baboon, Rwenzori colobus and three species of bush baby. The forest is home to an estimated 322 species of birds with 16 endemics,27 Albertine rift endemics, and 121 forest species. Nyungwe forest is part of largest expanse of montane forests left on the African continent and an area rich in birds, including most of the Albertine Rift endemics. The bird species include, Olive and Elliotâ€™s Woodpeckers, Great Blue and Ruwenzori Turacos, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Stripe-breasted Tit, Archerâ€™s Robin Chat, White-bellied Robin Chat, Dohertyâ€™s Bush-Shrike, Handsome Francolin, Chapinâ€™s Flycatcher, Purple-breasted and Regal Sunbirds, Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Neumannâ€™s Short-tailed Warbler, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, etc. Nyungwe National Park also hosts a remarkable diversity of plant life. The park is home to over 1068 plant species and 140 orchids. Some of such plants include: carapa and newtonia among others. The plants vary in form and color which is usually complimented by the presence of over 120 species of butterflies. The park also hosts 32 amphibian species and 38 reptile species.
Activities in Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe is home to two wild chimp communities that welcome guests (one in Cyamudungo and other around Uwinka) with roughly 400 chimpanzees. While viewing chimpanzees is not guaranteed, you will enjoy learning about these creatures and their natural habitats from your guides. You are expected to raise earlyas chimps are mostly likely to be seen early morning.
Nyungwe Forest national park is a high altitude, vast mountain forest, ranging between 1600 â€“ 2950 meters, situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda.The Nyungwe forest is a fruitful area for night birding, particularly between the boundaries of the park, and the Tea plantations at Gisakura. Bird watching happens in the forest and search for the birds in the trees or shrubs, the sightings are a fulfilling experience. The forest is home to an estimated 322 species of birds with 16 endemics,27 Albertine rift endemics, and 121 forest species. Some of the bird species are rarely seen but easily heard. Among the frequently sighted species are the Rwenzori Nightjar, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, the Handsome Francolin, Dwarf Honeyguide, montane Double Collared Sun and the Red- Throated Alethe.
Nature and Hiking walks
Nyungwe forest steep landscape, epic scenery and wildlife make it a perfect destination for hikers with its extensive network of hiking trails. The trails are through a diverse landscape and represent the most scenic way of exploring the forest. Some of the hikes lead to reptiles and bird areas while others lead to the waterfalls (such as the Isumo falls), caves, swamps (like the Karimanzovu.) There is also a forest canopy walk that is approximately 200m long and 40m high. This place offers great sights to birders.
Community walks and Cultural experiences
As wonderful as exploring the diverse ecosystem of the Nyungwe National Park is, you need to discover its rich culture to get a complete experience. There have been efforts to launch community-based experiences in an effort to preserve the culture of Rwanda. One of those projects is Kitabi Cultural Village. The cultural village features a restaurant,a campsite, and a model of the king’s palace. The Village also offers three different day trips that bring traditional Rwandan culture to life for visitors with activities such as a dance ceremony, banana beer production, and bow-and-target shooting. Another community-based tourism product is the Banda Village located in the national park and easily accessible via a downhill hike from the end of the Canopy Walk. Visitors have an opportunity to learn more about Rwandan culture through community walks where activities such as traditional medicine making and maize-grinding are performed and taught.