History of Nyungwe Forest National Park: Nyungwe is one of Africa’s oldest rainforests, with 1,019 square kilometers of dense afro-montane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, grasslands, and marshes. The park supplies 70 percent of the country’s freshwater and feeds two of the world’s major rivers, the Congo and the Nile.

History of Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Nyungwe was decreased by nearly 150 km2 between 1958 and 1973 owing to fires, woodcutting, animal hunting, and small-scale agriculture. At the period, the nearby Gishwati and Virunga forests were chopped in half. Elephants still numbered in the hundreds at Nyungwe in 1969. Hunters killed the last buffalo in Nyungwe in 1974. Nyungwe was separated into sections that allow for the sustainable usage and harvesting of timber in 1984. The Rwandan government creates a buffer zone, which may still be observed today. In 1984, biodiversity studies undertaken by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in collaboration with RDB discovered colobus in groups of up to 400 members—an unheard-of occurrence.

The trail system in Uwinka began to be developed in 1987. War and genocide ravaged the nation in 1994, destroying many of Uwinka’s research and tourist facilities. Most senior personnel were forced to evacuate, while many younger staff members remained to preserve the park at Nyungwe.

The park’s reconstruction began in 1995, but security and stability remained questionable. Poachers killed Nyungwe’s last elephant in the marsh in 1999. Nyungwe is designated as an official national park by the Rwandan government in 2005, providing it the highest degree of protection in the country.

Activities Offered in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Chimpanzee Trekking

The Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to 25% of Africa’s primate species. The population of chimpanzees here is only second to that of Uganda’s Kibale National Park. It should be noted that, while there are several pathways to follow to observe the chimps, you may need to stray off the main path into the forest, albeit with the guide’s assistance. The pleasant sight after the trip is typically acrobatic chimps swinging from tree branches, mother chimps hugging new-born chimps, and other sights that will not only astonish but also warm your heart.

This adventurous chimpanzee trekking adventure begins at 5 a.m., so you should get up early. Each trekking party is limited to a maximum of 8 people. Nyungwe Forest is a rainforest with a slippery terrain that will require sturdy hiking shoes, a rain poncho in the event of a downpour, long sleeved thick shirts for the cold weather, long trousers to protect you from the long creeping undergrowth if you happen to go off the beaten path, and binoculars for a better view of the chimps if you happen to find them high up in the trees.

History of Nyungwe Forest National Park
Chimpanzee trekking

Canopy Walk

Nyungwe Forest, which covers 1,015 square kilometers, is the biggest surviving tract of Tropical Afro-Montane rainforest in East Africa. The canopy walk is essentially a two-hour trek on a 200-meter-long track 50 meters above the forest cover, and it is one of the most thrilling activities to perform at Nyungwe Forest National Park. The view from the summit provides an eagle’s eye perspective; panoramic views that a trek on the ground would not provide. Children under the age of six are not permitted to participate in the canopy walk for safety concerns.


With approximately 310 bird species, Nyungwe Forest national park is one of Rwanda’s top birding locations. There are several species to see, ranging from Albertine Rift endemics to Forest endemics. The Great Blue Turaco, Re-Throated Alethe, Paradise Flycatcher, and Gigantic Forest Hornbill are the greatest and rarest to view. The Rockefeller’s Sunbird, Green Pigeons, Ross’s Turaco, Red-Breasted Sparrow Hawk, White Headed Wood Hoopoe, Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Stripe-Breasted Tit, and Regal Sunbird are among the bonus views thus History of Nyungwe Forest National Park.

The park has various paths where you may hike to watch the birds. The more paths you hike, the more probable it is that you may spot birds. Certain species may be difficult to discover due to the park’s wooded landscape.

History of Nyungwe Forest National Park
Birding in Nyungwe

Primate Trekking

Nyungwe Forest is home to 13 primate species, with monkeys accounting for more than half of them. Some of the monkeys are indigenous to this area, including the Rwenzori Colobus Monkey. A trip along one of Nyungwe’s 13 hiking routes will take you into the world of Grey-Cheeked Mangabeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Owl Faced Monkeys, Blue-Monkeys, and Mona Monkeys. Further into the forest, off the usual path of the trails, and escorted by a guide, you can come across a troop of up to 200 Rwenzori Colobus Monkeys all at once, which is an unforgettable sight.

Hiking Tours

If you enjoy hikes and a decent hike, Nyungwe Forest National Park is the place for you. The park includes 13 separate hiking routes where you may walk for 1 to 8 hours and see a variety of plant, tree, bird, primate, and butterfly species. The Igishigishigi Trek is the shortest trail and also includes the canopy walk, which is an adrenaline-pumping experience. The Bigugu Trail, on the other hand, is the longest trail in Nyungwe Forest National Park and can take up to 8 hours to complete. Each path provides its own unique wildlife experience, highlighting the animals that are most commonly encountered on that track. Visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park for a Hiking Safari is a good choice because it takes days to complete all 13 trails.

In Summary; According to a recent research undertaken by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the ecological services offered by Nyungwe are valued at US$4.8 billion. Nyungwe forest national park in Rwanda is also a regional biodiversity hotspot, with 1,068 plant species reported, 322 bird species, 75 recognized animal species, and 13 distinct primate species. However, due to its distinctive form and geography, Nyungwe has been subjected to a number of dangers, including poaching, illicit mining, and agricultural encroachment, all of which have jeopardized the integrity of its flora and wildlife.

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