Situated in the southwestern provinces of Rwanda, Nyungwe is a vast area made up of captivating Afro-montane forests. Nyungwe national park is a renowned home to a variety of plants and animals including over 12 species of primates that it is mainly known for.

Nyungwe National Park hosts some of the most exciting tourist activities in Rwanda, especially canopy walks that help visitors observe the beautiful towering forests and the animals within. The park lies on an area of about 1019 square kilometers and is the second largest National Park in Rwanda after Akagera National Park.

History of Nyungwe National Park.

Nyungwe was first established as a forest reserve in 1933 by the Belgians. They showed absolute concern about how the forest was being turned into a grazing ground and hardwood collection center. Several species were being displaced and this was indeed to be stopped if the ecosystem was to still flourish in its natural purity. The establishment of the forest reserve was however not the lasting solution to the problems of Nyungwe since some of the activities continued up to 1973 when the forest had only 150 square kilometers of land left. This was due to hunting of the animals, poaching, wildfires, and small-scale agricultural practices.

Nyungwe was made a National Park in 1995 though insecurity hindered it. Serious operations of the National Park began in 2005 when extra conservation efforts were put in and additional protection.

Uniqueness of Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park is the host to one of the oldest rainforests on the African continent. It has been intact, moist, and evergreen for the past years. The forest hosts a large scale of biodiversity, captivating flora and fauna species including at least 12 species of primates.

Activities carried out in Nyungwe National Park.

Chimpanzee trekking.  This is the highlight of the National Park. The forest is a habitat for thousands of chimpanzees that can be observed by travelers when they visit.

Canopy walks. The canopy walks in the forest help the visitors observe the towering canopies of various tree species. These present sensational moments for sightseeing and photography moments. The canopy bridge is 160m long and suspended 70m from the canopy and it gives a bird’s eye view of the park.

The forest bird walks. These are conducted through the captivating forests to equip visitors with golden chances to support some of the rare beautiful bird species endemic to the Great Lakes region. Some of the birds include the Narina trogons, African grey hornbill, grey cuckoo shrike, songbirds, giant kingfishers, African spoonbill, African green pigeons, Shelley’s crimson wing, Bush shrike, black-breasted barbets and standard winged night jars.

Hiking. Visitors to the park also indulge in hiking activities that help them explore more of the endowments of the park. This is done on the different trails of the park.


 Main attractions of Nyungwe National Park.

Chimpanzees. The National Park is a renowned home to chimpanzees and they are the most notable tourist attractions. Thousands of visitor’s flock to the park seeking the opportunity to have their eyes set on chimpanzees and spend ample time with them.

Other primates.  The National Park is blessed to host several primates both nocturnal and diurnal due to its favorable environment. These enjoy jumping from branch to branch as they play, hunt for food, and leave their untroubled lives.

 Some of the other primates inhabiting the National Park include the l’hoest monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, Angola colobus monkeys, silver monkeys, and the Rwenzori colobus.

How to get there.

Nyungwe National Park can be accessed both by air and road transport. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to drive from Kigali International Airport to the park.

Rwandair and Akagera Aviation offer charter flights to the park. These provide more comfortable and even more satisfying experiences since they unveil the breathtaking aerial view of the entire forest.

Best time to visit.

Nyungwe National Park Can be visited all through the year though the dry seasons provide the most untroubled experiences. They are characterized by favorable weather to embark on exploration adventures.

The dry months of June to September and December all through February are the best times in which travelers can visit Nyungwe National Park.