How can a safari to Rwanda be without exploring some of the breathtaking attractions and activities within Nyungwe Forest National Park? I guess incomplete because this site is a typical nature paradise that you cannot afford to miss.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is found in the south-western side of the country bordering Lake Kivu and DRC in the west and Burundi in the South, and shelters the largest tropical Afro-montane rainforest in East and Central Africa, making it a must-visit destination on Rwanda safaris. Gazetted in 2004 and spanning for 1020 square kilometers, this Park offers unbelievably breathtaking wildlife species such as over 86 species of mammals including more than 13 species of primates like Common Chimpanzees that are the stars of the show, Olive baboons, Angolan black white colobus monkeys and Grey-cheeked mangabeys among others.
When you talk of birds, Nyungwe Forest National Park will blow your mind due to the breathtaking sighting of over 310 exceptional forest bird species. It for this reason that you must add this wonderful destination to your bucket list so as to enjoy interesting activities such as;

Chimpanzee tracking
With about 500 of these riveting primates that call this Jungle home, chimpanzee tracking is undeniably the main activity to be enjoyed hence ideal to add to your itinerary to make your Rwanda safari unforgettable. A Chimpanzee permit costs only $100 per person and you get to spend up to one hour with mankind’s closest relatives. All intending trackers are required to wear long sleeved shirts, long trousers, strong waterproof hiking boots, rain jacket, hat and sunglasses and carry a backpack, camera, binoculars, packed lunch as well as enough drinking water for a memorable Chimpanzee tracking experience. The process of tracking lasts from one hour to several hours but with patience, you will be rewarded with the jaw-dropping views of these exceptional Great Apes swinging from one tree branch to another, foraging or grooming.

Bird watching
With more than 310 species of birds including 27 Albertine Rift endemic, 71 Afro-tropical highland Biome species and 11 species of Guinea-Congo forest Biome found in Nyungwe Forest National Park, it is indeed a bird watcher’s Paradise. Some of the common bird species to look out for include the Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Chapin’s flycatcher, the Purple-breasted sunbird, Red-breasted sparrow hawks, Pin-tailed Whydah, Rwenzori Turaco, Rockefeller’s sunbird, Stripe-breasted Tit, handsome francolin and Rwenzori Hill Babbler among others. The fascinating birding areas in this Park include Kamiranzovu swamp, Karamba area near Gisakura in addition to Gisakura tea estate.
The invigorating canopy walk and Hike
You cannot mention Nyungwe Forest National Park without the exceptional canopy walk. The Igishigishigi trail is East Africa’s highest canopy trail of over 50 meters above the ground and rewards tourists with the breathtaking views of tree canopies, primates and bird species among others. This unforgettable hike starts with a 30-minute walk from Uwinka Reception Center within the Park. Therefore, the Canopy hike is one of the most enchanting activities within Nyungwe Forest National Park, especially if you are not afraid of heights.

Hiking/nature walks
With over 130 kilometers of well maintained hiking trails within Nyungwe Forest, nature walks are unquestionably one of the must-do activities. There are currently 13 hiking trails to undertake and these include the famous Igishigishigi trail for the canopy walk, Ngabwe trail (4.7 kilometers and lasts 3 hours) allowing tourists to explore a number of primate species such as L’Hoest’s monkeys and the Angolan black and white Colobus monkeys, Bigugu trail that lasts 6 hours and leads tourists to the highest mountain in the National Park standing at 2950 meters above sea level, Kamiranzovu marsh trail, the Isumo waterfall trail, Source of the Nile trail, Karamba birding trail, Muzimu trail, Imbaraga trail, Irebero trail, Umugote trail, Umuyove trail, Rukuzi trail as well as the Congo-Nile Divide trail. You can therefore spend a number of days to as to explore most of these trails and encounter the Park’s diverse attractions such as primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and tree species.
Angolan black and white colobus monkey and grey-cheeked mangabey tracking
Besides Chimpanzee tracking, you can actually get the chance to track other primate species especially the black and white colobus monkeys as well as the Grey-cheeked mangabeys. Surprisingly, you can also sight other primates such as Dent’s Mona monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, silver monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, Owl-faced monkeys, Blue monkeys and Hamlyn’s monkeys in the process of tracking these two primate species.
The fact that Nyungwe is a dense forest, all activities require tourists to wear long trousers, long sleeved shirts, sturdy waterproof hiking boots, long socks, a rain jacket/poncho and also bring a backpack for carrying your camera and binoculars, a sweater, drinking water and packed lunch. Hiring a porter (at around $10) is handy to help carry your backpack as you undertake these activities.
In conclusion, Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the four spectacular National Parks in Rwanda and known as the country’s primate capital with over 13 species including the common chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Owl-faced monkeys and Red-tailed monkeys among others. With all the remarkable attractions, fascinating activities such as Chimpanzee tracking, hiking, bird watching and the canopy walk are possible.