Safari activities in Nyungwe National Park : Nyungwe National Park in South western Rwanda is one of the parks in Rwanda that is visited all year round for its amazing Safari activities. The savannah park in Rwanda is greatly known for its ancient Nyungwe forest that is home to the endangered chimpanzees and with a high hanging 50 metres plus canopy walkway.

The park is located in south western Rwanda and is said to be a very important catchment area for Rwanda. The Nyungwe forest that is one of the largest and oldest forests in Africa is made up of sub-alpine vegetation, over 200 tree species, about 1000 plant species, numerous flower species, bamboos and shrubs.  The forest is also a habitat for 13 primate species, 300 bird species, 120 butterfly species and 38 reptile species.

Nyungwe forest National Park is about 225km south of Kigali city which is equivalent to a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali. A safari in this park would be a life time experience to remember because of the different safari activities you get to engage. The different Safari activities include but not limited to:-

  1. Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee trekking is the most sought after safari activity in the park, this activity gives you an opportunity to go into the great nyungwe forest on an adventurous climb of the different forest trails, to eventually have a chance to spend one hour with the endangered primates.  Chimpanzees are amazing to look at in their natural habitat as they playfully jump from one tree to another, making noises and gestures to themselves and you. Currently a few of the chimpanzees have been habituated in groups of 60 members each and these are the chimpanzees you get to see on your trekking experience. Chimpanzee trekking happens in Uwinka and Cyamudongo and chimpanzee trekking permits cost 90 USD per person per trek. On your chimpanzee trekking experience you will also be delighted to see other primates that include Angola Colobus among others.

Safari activities in Nyungwe National Park
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe
  1. Canopy walk

One of the four canopy walk ways in Africa, the walk way is above the Nyungwe forest is not only thrilling to walk on it but the experience is breath-taking, the views alone from the top are to die for; this is a must do activity while you stay in the park. The walkway is attached to giant tree towers and hangs 60 metres above the forest. The walk way experience takes about two hours and it costs 60 USD the canopy walk per person.

  1. Birding

Birding in Nyungwe forest in done in Butare through to Cyangungu, these routes have several bird nests, scenic views of the forest and the park. The birds you see on your birding expedition include but not limited to the endemic albertine rift birds, montane birds and numerous forest birds like Rockefeller’s sunbird, chapin’s flycatcher, blue Turaco and Grauer’s rush among others

Birding in the park is done all year round and costs 50 USD per birder.

  1. Hiking

Nyungwe National Park is gifted with numerous trails that are a hiker dream to take on.  Hiking any of these forest trails is an exciting escapade for anyone who loves hiking or loves to take on challenges; with over 130 km of hiking trails. The Hiking trails you can hike in the forest include Igishigishigi Trail, Isumo waterfall, Bigugu Trail, Irebero Trail, the Congo Nile Imbaraga Trail, the Rukuzi Trail etc.

Hiking these trails will take from as short as 3 hours to as long as 7 days; hikers are advised to take on a trail they are physically fit to embark on. The different hiking trails are charged different and all cost information is available at the park offices.

  1. Isumo water falls

Second to the congo trail, the isumo water fall hike is considered one of the most strenuous hikes in the forest but the most fulfilling in terms of challenge and scenic views. The hike goes through a 2.3km stretch of steep ravines and several slippery points that lead up to the amazing Isumo water falls.

Safari activities in Nyungwe National Park
Isumo water falls

For those who cannot manage the strenuous hike to the water falls, there is a nature walk to the water falls that gives you a good experience of the falls as well. This Isumo water falls hike costs 40 USD

  1. Gisakura Tea Estate

This tea estate is a ridge of tea plantations on a mountainous landscape; the combination of this scenery alone is crazy beautiful beyond description. On you tour to the plantations you will walk take a walk through the plantations, visit the farmers’ communities, participate in picking tea leaves and learning more about the Rwandan tea and tea communities. Consult your tour operator for costs and arrangements of the tea plantations.

Your visit to Nyungwe National Park will definitely be a wonderful experience with all these safari activities and more in the park.

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