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Are you a bold and adventurous tourist in search of a unique outdoors experience? The Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda entices visitors with its lush canopies, rich biodiversity, and unspoiled magnificence. Embarking on a self-driven expedition through this verdant sanctuary provides a distinctive chance to commune with nature at your own preferred speed. Below is a comprehensive guide for self-drive travelers on how to navigate Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Nyungwe National Park is approximately 225KM, from Kigali, easily four to five hours drive. While the road to Huye is good, there are many sharp turns and winding areas. The road in the park will take time to drive and you should allow yourself extra time.


Traveling to Nyungwe National Park presents an exhilarating aspect of the journey, providing a range of transportation choices to accommodate diverse preferences and financial considerations. Below is a detailed manual on how to reach this extraordinary natural phenomenon:

By air:

Kigali International Airport (KGL) is the primary airport serving the city of Kigali.

The majority of tourists that visit Nyungwe National Park enter Rwanda through Kigali International Airport, which serves as the primary entrance point to the country. At this point, you have the choice to either take a domestic aircraft or use ground transportation to go to the park.

Flights inside the country:

Multiple local airlines provide air travel services from Kigali to Kamembe Airport, which is often referred to as Cyangugu Airport. This airport is situated in close proximity to Nyungwe National Park. The flight has a duration of around one hour, providing a handy and efficient choice for travelers.

Via Road:

Private Vehicle:

If you value the ability to adapt and self drive Rwanda, choosing to drive to Nyungwe National Park is a highly advantageous choice. The trip from Kigali to the park is a road travel that typically lasts between 6 to 7 hours, spanning a distance of around 225 kilometers. Although the majority of the roads are in decent condition, several segments may be characterized by twisting or unpaved surfaces, necessitating cautious driving.

Car for Rent:

By renting a car in Kigali, you will have the autonomy to explore at your preferred speed. Multiple esteemed automobile rental firms are present in the city, providing a variety of vehicles appropriate for driving on both regular roads and off-road terrains. Ensure that you inquire about insurance coverage and any supplementary prerequisites for cross-country travel.

Public Transport:

Public buses and shared minibusses, commonly referred to as “taxis” or “coasters,” offer a cost-effective means of transportation for budget-conscious travelers who wish to visit Nyungwe National Park. Bus services originate from Nyabugogo Bus Park in Kigali and make scheduled stops in various towns along the route, such as Butare (Huye) and Cyangugu (Kamembe). From Cyangugu, you have the option to either book a cab or hire a motorcycle taxi, often known as “boda-boda,” to transport you to the entrance of the park.

Guided Tours:

Several travel organizations provide organized excursions to Nyungwe National Park, offering convenient transportation, lodging, and supervised activities. Opting to join a tour is a superb choice for individuals who desire a carefully planned experience accompanied by knowledgeable guides and enhanced convenience.

Transportation Services:

Several lodges and tour firms offer shuttle services between Kigali and Nyungwe National Park, specifically for guests who do not wish to drive on their own. These shuttles generally provide convenient transportation in minibusses or vans, with predetermined departures and pickups at specified destinations.

Directions from Kigali:
Drive SW to Muhanga, then turn southwards to Nyanza, which lead into Huye, From Huye turn west to Nyamagabe which is very near to the National Park entrance.
There are a number of interesting historical sites to see on the way, such as Nyanza King’s palace at Nyabisindi, the reconstructed King’s palace which gives the insight into the royals of Rwanda Kingdom, the National Museum, intore dancers, crafts shops, the arboretum and the Cathedral all in Huya and Gikongoro’s Genocide Memorial along the way to Nyungwe.

The Kigali Rusizi Road cuts through Nyungwe National Park, this means you can easily use public transport to get here. The main road from Kamembe to Bukavu runs through the park, a few bus companies seem to run every two hours or so.

Most Travellers book through Tour Operators, however there are Self-Drive and Public transport options available.

Getting Around Nyungwe on Self Drive

Getting Ready for Your Trip

Prior to embarking on your expedition, meticulous planning is crucial:

Research and Planning:

Acquaint oneself with the park’s arrangement, rules, and points of interest. Generate a travel plan tailored to your specific preferences, such as engaging in canopy trekking, chimpanzee tracking, or bird watching.

Vehicle and Equipment:

Make sure your vehicle is appropriate for off-road driving, as several paths within the park may be rough. Ensure that you have necessary equipment, such as extra tires, a first-aid kit, navigation gadgets, and other supplies for your trip.