Nyungwe National Park
An Eco-tourism Paradise
Nyungwe Forest National Park deserves at least two days to delve into its pre-historic aura, but dedicated bird-watchers might never want to leave. The only Canopy walkway in East Africa is in Nyungwe National Park. It offers visitors a new “eye-to-eye” experience with the many primate and bird species that live and breed in the upper reaches of the forest canopy.
Nyungwe National Park is located in Southwestern Rwanda, extending over 1,000 square kilometers. It is the largest Afro-montane forest in East and Central Africa and one of the most ancient and dates back to before the last Ice Age. The park altitude ranges from 1600m to 2950m above sea level, with temperatures ranging between 0°C and 30°C.
Nyungwe also hosts 13 species of primates, including chimpanzees and large groups of the handsome Black and White Angolan colobus monkeys. Nyungwe is also home to habituated primate species such as Mangabeys and the Blue Monkeys. Several large mammals inhabit the forest including golden cats, bush pigs and the black fronted duiker. Nyungwe is one of the most important ornithological sites in Rwanda, inhabited by almost 300 bird species, of which half a dozen are restricted to a handful of montane forests on the Albertine rift. The avian highlight of Nyungwe is the Blue Turaco – a coloured bird with a curved bill with a call that is unforgetable.
The forest is a maze of different shades of green, moss covered barks, interspersed with numerous streams and waterfalls. An extensive network of well-maintained walking trails lead through the forest to ideal viewing points.
A rustic road runs through the forest and follows the mountain summits. Nyungwe is one of the few places in the world where one can look into the wonders and secrets of a forest while barely disrupting the natural flow of life within it, truly an eco-tourism paradise.