Nyungwe National Park is the largest tropical afro Montane rainforest east or central Africa and a rainforest it is and receives over 2000mm of rain each year and its Rwanda’s largest water catchment area and its home to thirds of all Rwanda’s water. The forest also feeds both the river Congo and the River Nile with water. When you arrive in Nyungwe forest, you come here on the winding roads through the huge tea fields and then there is Nyungwe forest national park, like developing its massiveness like a national Geographic Video and only better since you are here in that large forest with its endless Kamiranzovu swamp, the trails through out, the forest canopy walk, which is the only one in East Africa, the chances for birding, the primate tracking and viewing and taking in the flowers like the orchids that are found here and the many butterflies that they attract.
Things To Do in Nyungwe National Park
Chimpanzee Tracking in Nyungwe
Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe forest starts off from three reception centers, that’s Uwinka, Kitabi and Gisakura where the tourists meet the park rangers and the tourists are also expected to be at the reception as early as 4: 30am and by 5 am, you drive to the starting point of the trek into the forest. Since the chimps nest each and every night, there are the trackers who go ahead of the trekking group of finding them and communicate with the ranger guides. The tourists spend only 1 hour with the chimanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park, and get to observe them so closely going about their own lives and see the human like features and behavior that makes them our closest relatives with 98.7 % DNA.The chimps also communicate by way of deafening screams, the loud hoots and booming hitting of the tree barks and the buttress. It’s such a hair rising moment like no other and so memorable.
Nyungwe Canopy Walkway
Getting to the canopy is also about 2 hours from the starting point at Uwinka visitor Centre. The forest is on a mountain and the hike is also slippery due to the mere fact that the ground on which the guests trek is wet and so moist. Viewing the canopy on arrival, most especially for those that are fear heights, this could also be described as the endless walk to hell. This bridge adjourned between the huge trees one on the feel of the fresh air, 60m above the forest floor. Apart from the freshness in the air and the wonderful aerial view of the trees, you will also enjoy the sights of the fantastic birds that fly across as you enjoy the walk. This canopy walk is the most preferred activity for the park visitors and it’s one of those you want to try before you die.it was opened in 2010 and it’s the only one of its kind in east Africa and the third on the African continent. This 90m long canopy walk way also gives a unique face to face meetings with the butterflies, birds and the monkeys.
The hard wood trees also occupy the upper canopy as the lower part is dominated with the large selection of the purple orchids and the lush flora as well as fauna that curl better in the higher altitudes.
You may enjoy the fall from two main vantage points depending upon
how wet you want to get. The first is at the end of a short spur, which
leads to a picnic bench overlooking the fall at 50 meters distance. Small
trees partially obscure the view. The fall itself can be reached by descending to the wild river below and then clambering over wet rocks to a large boulder in the middle of the amphitheatre. From here, you’ll be thrillingly close to the bottom of the fall, where it thunders down, full blast, nearly at your feet. Watch your footing on the wet surface as you gaze upward. The water in the fall and the river rushing toward Lake Kivu has a tea-colored tint due to the tannin content in the waters of the marsh. While you’re there, don’t forget to look down too.
Birdwatching in Nyungwe
Birding Safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park are best done in Butare up to Cyangugu route, all these offer exceptional sights. Over 310 bird species are all confined in the park with 121 forest birds, 27 Albertine rift endemics especially the Chapin’s flycatcher, Rockefellers’ sunbird. This virgin destination is ranked as the best birding safari destination in Rwanda. Over 11 out of 23 Guinea Congo forest biome species and 71 out of the 74 of the afro tropical highlands that are inhabited in Rwanda are all concentrated in this park. It consists of well kept walking trails through the forest to different waterfalls and viewing areas. The great blue Turaco, the rare Grauer’s rush warbler and a quasi as Red collared mountain babbler are some of the rare species to sight in this virgin jungles of Nyungwe National Park. More birds to sight include the Handsome francolins, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori batis, Barred long tailed cuckoo and white bellied crested flycatcher, Doherty’s and Lagden’s bush shrikes, White tailed flycatcher, White bellied robin chat, Rwenzori nightjar, Yellow eyed black flycatcher, Archer’s robin chat, Rwenzori hill babbler, Mountain sooty boubou, Albertine owlet, Congo bay owlet, Purple throated, Blue headed and regal sunbirds, Stripe breasted tit and strange weaver, Rwenzori double collared, Neumann’s warbler.