The 1,020km sq Nyungwe National Park is in southern Rwanda, bordering Burundi. Thanks to recent funding there’s an impressive new visitor center with informative displays on Rwandan wildlife in the middle of the park, the base for all activities. The dense, hilly, virgin rainforest is home to 13 species of primate, including huge troops of up to 400 colobus monkeys and 20 families of chimpanzees, of which 2 are habituated – meaning good chimp spotting potential.
As well as the primary rain forest, the park consists of some smatterings of swamps and savannah, and contains 120 recorded types of orchid, both tree and ground.
Entrance is $15, and all activities need a guide so there will be an additional cost.
Chimp tracking at Nyungwe has a 90% success rate, making it one of the better places to chimp spot. The newly installed canopy walkway (up to 150m high) is a must for a bird’s eye view of the forest.
Activities at Nyungwe National Park:
Chimp tracking is $50pp, and you’ll need access to your own vehicle. There are a wide selection of guided walks, costing between $10 and $30. The new canopy walkway price was TBC at the time of writing but predicted to be $30.
Getting to Nyungwe National Park:
The main road from Cyangugu to Bukavu runs through the park, with a few bus companies running unscheduled buses that seem to run every hour or two. Be sure to tell the bus driver you’re after the Uwinka visitor center, as it’s not a scheduled stop. Private transport is the better option, particularly if you’re planning to go chimp tracking.
Staying at Nyungwe National Park:
There’s no accommodation in the park, though you can camp for $50pppn. We warned there are very basic facilities only, and a small shop selling warm water, beer and peanuts. There are a couple of high end lodges on the fringes of the park.
Photos of Nyungwe National Park:
Have you had the opportunity to visit Nyungwe National Park? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below!