The Nyungwe Forest National Park lies in the south-west Rwanda, close to the southern tip of Lake Kivu. The sole remaining chimpanzee population of Rwanda call Nyungwe home. But it also offers exceptional biodiversity and its wide range of endemic flora and fauna. As it is one of Africa’s most ancient forests. It is characterized by lush tracts of rainforest set high up on fertile mountain slopes.
As well as the chimpanzees, here you will find 85 other mammal species, 43 reptile species,. And nearly 300 bird species including the Ross’ turaco, grey-cheeked hornbill, red-breasted sparrow hawk and the regal sunbird. 24 of them are endemic to this area.
Here you can enjoy spotting colobus monkeys and chimpanzees hiding in the trees, hiking on a well-maintained trails passing through lush equatorial rainforest and catching a glimpse of a beautiful array of colourful birdlife.
Tracking the chimpanzees or Colobus monkeys in Nyungwe
Your morning activity is usually an early morning trek to see the last remaining chimpanzees or Colobus monkeys.
The Rwandan chimpanzee population consists of approx. 400-500 individuals in the Nyungwe Forest. You’ll probably hear these excitable primates before you see them, as their hoots travel through the deep forest.
Alternatively why not take a half day forest trek in search of the Angolan Colobus monkeys? These can be found in troops of several hundred. Indeed the largest can be up to 450 individuals.
This fair to moderate trek can be adapted to your fitness and lasts up 6 hours. It’s an absolutely amazing experience, to see so many Colobus monkeys – typically 50-60 at a given time.
Nyungwe Canopy Walk
In the afternoon, you may like to enjoy the thrilling Nyungwe Canopy Walk. This is one of its kind in Rwanda and offers impressive views of the forest.
Besides being so high in such a picturesque location, the 1½ to 2 hour walk allows you to witness the upper parts of the forest. Here you can see some unique ‘canopy’ species; apes, birds, butterflies, plants and insects, flowers, leaves and other animals that live in the roof of the forest. It is an unforgettable experience!