Nyungwe National Park
Spectacular mountains, extreme endemism, adventurous activities and unique biodiversity – Nyungwe is one of Africa’s most extraordinary tourism destinations.
In this beautiful green forest – one of the oldest rainforests in Africa – rushing streams, sun-starved valleys, tree-filled mountains, dappled savannahs and extensive swamps create a home for myriad species.
Nyungwe is a wonderful option for visitors wanting to see some of Rwanda’s spectacular endemics, its 13 primate species, and of course, to experience a chimpanzee trek to view one of its semi-habituated troops. It is also a place of active adventure, with hiking and cycling trails, exciting Canopy Walkway, and the enchanting Ndambarare and Kamiranozu waterfalls.
Nyungwe is also a birder’s paradise with around 300 recorded species, 30 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift region.
Meet one of our three semi-habituated acrobatic chimpanzee communities (Cyamudongo, Mayebe and Gisovu) on an adventurous chimpanzee tracking. Each community is visited by eight people maximum per day.
Nyungwe’s mountainous landscape is an ideal hiker’s destination – the park boasts an extensive network of scenic hiking trails. Ten hiking trails begin from the Uwinka Visitor Centre and three from Gisakura Campsite.
Colobus Monkey Tracking
Track a “super troop” of more than 400 Angolan black and white colobus monkeys, starting from Uwinka Visitor Centre. Another group of 50 can be tracked from Gisakura Campsite reception.
Specialised Birding Experience
Home to 322 bird species of which 30 are endemic to Albertine Rift region, Nyungwe offers an exceptional birding experience with the help of the park’s expert bird guides.
Experience the forest at night, where primates such as galagos, pottos, tree hyraxes, anomalures (scaly-tailed squirrels), and other nocturnal wildlife are awake.
Walk through the heart of the rainforest with spectacular views, the extensive Kamiranzovu swamp, streams and waterfalls. This catered three-day hike overnights in wooden cottages built at the best trail spots.
Discover traditional handcrafts, blacksmithing, pottery making, traditional dances, traditional brewing techniques, or take a Tea Tour. These are available outside Nyungwe, in the villages of Banda and Gisakura. Enquire at the Gisakura Reception Centre.
Hike with a Guide
All hiking activities in the park are led by community freelance guides. Available at Gisakura and Uwinka reception centres, they offer a memorable experience in the park.
Chimp Habituation Experience
Join the trackers as they follow a chimp family through the day, allowing the chimps to become accustomed to human beings and learning all about this fascinating primate.
Cyamudongo Community Centre
The centre offers handicrafts, coffee and breakfast, a campsite and guesthouse (two cottages). It has a parking lot for guests and driver guides going chimp tracking in the neighbouring Cyamudongo Forest.
Sip a Cup of Coffee
Before or after your hike, chimps or colobus monkey tracking, camping or driving through, enjoy superb Rwandan coffee and buy a gift at the Gisakura, Gisovu and Uwinka coffee shops.
Where We Are
In Rwanda’s south-west, contiguous with Burundi’s Kibira National Park to the south, and Lake Kivu and DRC to the west.
Nyungwe is 5- to 6-hours’ drive from Kigali (225 km), and a 40-minute flight from Kigali to Kamembe Airport.
Generally wet and cool with temperatures constant year-round – between 20°C/68°F by day and 10°C/50°F at night.
A Home for Primates
The forest offers a possibility to see 12% of all mainland Africa species of primates in one forest; including the chimpanzee and two Albertine Rift endemics, L’Hoest’s and Hamlyn’s monkey.
Where to Stay
By visiting Nyungwe, you are helping to generate funds that contribute to the park’s long-term sustainability, wildlife conservation and community support. Choose from the different accommodation options available below and enjoy a spectacular wildlife experience.
Two secluded campsites, located at Uwinka Visitor Centre, offer views over Lake Kivu and are surrounded by the beautiful valleys and hills of Nyungwe.
The two-roomed Uwinka Guesthouse (for four guests) is self-catering lies next to the campsites in the centre of the park set amongst the dense forest.
Located in the park’s western corridor, Gisakura is shaded by tall trees and surrounded by splendid tea plantations that blend into the rainforest.
Self-catering Gisovu in the north of Nyungwe overlooks Lake Kivu and Muzimu, the second highest mountain in the park.
Nyungwe is a biodiversity hotspot bursting with life. In the heart of the Albertine Rift, it is the largest high-altitude montane forest in East and Central Africa. One of the oldest rainforests in Africa and the largest expanse of trees in Rwanda, its large tracts of montane forest are interspersed with marshland, dappled savannahs and deep valleys, harbouring exceptional numbers and diversity of fauna and flora. Aside from 13 primate species, more than 1,000 plants, over 90 mammals and 300 bird species have been recorded, many of which are endemic and found only here.
Nyungwe is the watershed between the Congo and Nile Rivers; some believe it is home to the Nile River’s most remote source, a stream that originates on Mount Bigugu, the highest point in the park.