Nyungwe Forest National Park
is located in the remote southwest corner of Rwanda
It is a wonderful mountainous area covered by virgin rainforest, which plunges into deep and impenetrable valleys. In these mysterious forests lies the most remote source of the world's longest river, the Nile.
The bio-diversity and endemism here is spectacular. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that thirteen different primates are represented.
Amongst these is a population of around 400 chimpanzees, two troups of which are habituated to human contact. It is encounters with these chimps which draws most visitors to the area. The forest also hosts black and white colobus monkey, also known as the Ruwenzori colobus. One of the semi-habituated troops has over 200 individuals, making it probably the best location in Africa for seeing these beautiful creatures.
Nyungwe Forest is an important birding region and home to over 310 species. Special sightings include red-collared mountain babblers, rwenzori turacos, purple-breasted sunbirds, paradise flycatchers and white-headed wood-hoopoes.
There is an extensive network of forest hikes from park headquarters, including a very high and dramatic suspension bridge.
For every hundred travellers who come to Rwanda to see the gorillas, only a handful stay longer in the country and travel down south to visit the chimps here at Nyungwe.
We always love to spend longer in a country and to get really off the beaten track. But, in truth, the attractions of this part of the country are pretty low key and the chimp tracking is not generally as reliable as Kibale Forest
in Uganda and nothing to compare with Mahale Mountains
in western Tanzania.
But don't let that put you off, a trip down to Nyungwe can still be very rewarding.Nyungwe Forest Lodge
... is the leading accommodation option by a distance, we usually like to include it for 3 to 4 nights in order to leave enough time for all the various activities.