Nyungwe National Park is a protected area located in southwestern Rwanda, in the Albertine Rift region of the East African Rift Valley. It is situated in the Nyungwe Forest, which is one of the largest montane rainforests in East Africa. The national park was established in 2004 and covers an area of approximately 1,020 square kilometers (390 square miles). Nyungwe National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The forest is estimated to be over 200 million years old and has been recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. It is particularly renowned for its primate population, including 13 different species, such as chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and golden monkeys. Nyungwe is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 300 bird species, including several endemic and rare species.
The park offers visitors a range of activities, including guided nature walks, hiking trails, and primate tracking. Chimpanzee tracking is a popular activity, allowing visitors to observe these intelligent primates in their natural habitat. The canopy walkway, suspended 60 meters (200 feet) above the forest floor, provides a unique perspective of the forest and its inhabitants. In addition to its natural beauty, Nyungwe National Park has cultural significance as well. The forest is inhabited by local communities, and visitors can learn about their traditional practices and cultural heritage.
Nyungwe National Park offers a range of tourist activities that allow visitors to explore and appreciate its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Kisoro Tours Uganda shared some of the popular activities you can enjoy in Nyungwe National Park:
Primate Tracking: Nyungwe is known for its primate population, particularly chimpanzees. You can participate in chimpanzee tracking excursions led by experienced guides who will take you through the forest to observe these incredible animals in their natural habitat. Golden monkey tracking is also available.
Canopy Walk: Nyungwe boasts East Africa’s only canopy walkway, a suspension bridge that takes you high above the forest floor. Walking along the bridge provides a thrilling experience and a unique opportunity to observe the forest from an aerial perspective.
Guided Nature Walks: Take a guided walk through the forest with an expert guide who will help you explore the diverse plant life, spot rare bird species, and learn about the ecology and conservation of Nyungwe. There are different trails with un-similar lengths.
Waterfall Hikes: Nyungwe National Park is dotted with beautiful waterfalls, and hiking to these cascades is a popular activity. Gisakura Waterfall and Kamiranzovu Waterfall are two notable examples. The hikes allow you to enjoy the lush surroundings and witness the power and beauty of the waterfalls.
Bird watching: Nyungwe is a paradise for birdwatchers, with over 300 bird species recorded in the park. You can join guided birdwatching tours to spot and identify a wide variety of avian species, including numerous endemic and rare birds.
Cultural Encounters: Nyungwe is also home to local communities, and you can engage in cultural activities to learn about their traditions, music, dance, and way of life. This can include visiting local villages, participating in traditional ceremonies, or interacting with community members.
It’s worth noting that some activities require advance booking and permits, especially primate tracking. It’s advisable to check with the Rwanda Development Board or tour operators for the latest information on availability, permits, and regulations before planning your visit to Nyungwe National Park.
To reach Nyungwe National Park, you have the option of traveling either by air or by road. Below is how you can reach the park using both modes of transportation as explained by Kisoro Tours Uganda.
The closest international airport to Nyungwe National Park is Kigali International Airport (KGL) in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Kamembe Airport (also known as Cyangugu Airport) in the town of Kamembe, which is the nearest airport to Nyungwe National Park.
Fly to Kigali International Airport (KGL): Many international airlines offer flights to Kigali from major cities around the world. Transfer to Kamembe Airport (Cyangugu): From Kigali, you can take a domestic flight from Kigali International Airport to Kamembe Airport with approximately one hour flight.
Ground Transfer to Nyungwe National Park: Upon arriving at Kamembe Airport, you can arrange a private transfer or hire a taxi to or even organize with Kisoro Tours Uganda to drive you to Nyungwe National Park, which is about a 3-4 hour drive away.
Traveling by road to Nyungwe National Park is another option, especially if you prefer a scenic drive or are already in Rwanda.
From Kigali: Start your journey from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Head southwest: Take the road that leads from Kigali to Butare, which is the capital city of the Southern Province. This journey takes approximately two to three hours. Continue to Nyungwe National Park: From Butare, you’ll continue driving southwest towards Nyungwe National Park. The park entrance is located near the town of Kitabi. The drive from Butare to Nyungwe can take around two to three hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
It’s advisable to use a reliable map or navigation system, and it’s recommended to travel during daylight hours for better visibility and safety. The roads leading to Nyungwe are generally in good condition, but it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or road closures before your trip. Remember to plan your journey in advance, especially if you’re traveling during the peak tourist season, and consider booking with Kisoro Tours Uganda and using the services of knowledgeable guides who are familiar with the route and can enhance your travel experience.
Nyungwe National Park and its surrounding areas offer a range of accommodation options, including lodges and hotels. Below are some popular accommodation facilities in and around Nyungwe National Park as shared by Kisoro Tours Uganda:
Nyungwe Forest Lodge: This luxury lodge is located within the Nyungwe national park and offers stunning views of the forest. It features spacious rooms, a restaurant, a spa, and various amenities. The cost per person per night can range from USD 300 to USD 500, depending on the season and type of room.
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel: Situated near the park entrance, this mid-range hotel provides comfortable rooms and beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The cost per person per night starts at around USD 80 to USD 120.
Gisakura Guesthouse: Located near the park, this budget-friendly guesthouse offers simple rooms and a restaurant. With its prices ranging from USD 40 to USD 70.
One&Only Nyungwe House: This luxurious lodge is nestled within the forest and provides high-end accommodation, dining options, a spa, and various activities. The cost per person per night starts at around USD 900 to USD 1,500.
Kitabi Eco-Center: Situated near the park, this eco-friendly facility offers basic rooms and camping options. The cost per person per night for rooms ranges from USD 30 to USD 70 while camping costs approximately USD 15 to USD 20 per person per night.
Please note that the prices mentioned are approximate and can vary depending on the season, availability, and specific packages. It’s recommended to check with the accommodations directly or through booking with Kisoro Tours Uganda to get the most up-to-date information and to make reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Traveling with Kisoro Tours Uganda can offer numerous benefits and enhance your overall travel experience. Below are some reasons why it’s advantageous to choose Kisoro Tours Uganda for your travels in Nyungwe National Park:
Expertise and Local Knowledge: Kisoro Tours Uganda has extensive knowledge and expertise in the destinations they operate in. They have experienced guides and staff who are well-versed in the local culture, history, and attractions. They can provide valuable insights, recommendations, and in-depth information about the places you visit, ensuring a more enriching experience.
Convenience and Stress-Free Planning: Planning a trip can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially when it involves logistics, accommodation, transportation, and activities. Kisoro Tours Uganda takes care of these details for you, handling the logistics, making reservations, and ensuring a smooth travel experience. This saves you time and reduces stress, allowing you to focus on enjoying your trip.
Safety and Security: Kisoro Tours Uganda prioritizes the safety and security of its travelers. They have safety protocols in place, maintain high standards for their guides and drivers, and ensure that the accommodations and transportation they provide meet certain quality standards. This gives you peace of mind, knowing that you’re in good hands and that your safety is a priority.
Access to Exclusive Experiences: Kisoro Tours Uganda has access to exclusive experiences, unique attractions, and off-the-beaten-path locations that may be difficult to access as an independent traveler. They can arrange special permits, organize private tours, or offer insights into hidden gems that you may fail to discover on your own.
Group Dynamics and Socializing: Joining Kisoro Tours Uganda allows you to connect with like-minded travelers who share similar interests and passions. It provides an opportunity to make new friends, share experiences, and create lasting memories together. Group tours often foster a sense of camaraderie and provide a supportive environment for exploring new destinations.
24/7 Assistance and Support: Kisoro Tours Uganda offers 24/7 assistance and support, ensuring that you have someone to turn to in case of emergencies, unforeseen circumstances, or any issues that may arise during your trip. They can provide assistance with language barriers, transportation delays, or any other challenges you may encounter.
While traveling independently can be rewarding, opting for Kisoro Tours Uganda can enhance your travel experience by providing local expertise, convenience, safety, unique experiences, and a supportive network. For bookings, guidance, and reservations, you can get to us through our email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +256785790925 also on WhatsApp