When travelers think of Rwanda, the majestic mountain gorillas often steal the spotlight as the country’s premier attraction. While gorilla trekking is undoubtedly a captivating experience, Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest offers a world of adventure beyond the gorillas, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. Here, we delve into the top activities and attractions that Nyungwe Forest has to offer.
Nyungwe Forest is a sanctuary for a thriving population of chimpanzees, with approximately 400 individuals calling it home. Chimpanzee tracking is a primary activity within the park, allowing travelers to observe these fascinating creatures up close. The journey begins at one of three starting points: Gisakura, Uwinka, or Kitabi. Here, you’ll receive essential guidance on trekking etiquette and chimpanzee interaction dos and don’ts.
Unlike the costlier gorilla permits, chimpanzee tracking permits are remarkably affordable at just $60 USD. As you venture deeper into the forest, the human-like behaviors of the chimpanzees become evident. Watch as adult females care for their offspring, mirroring the nurturing qualities of human mothers. It’s a captivating encounter that provides a deeper understanding of our closest relatives, who share an astonishing 98.7% DNA similarity with us.
Travelers are reminded to maintain a minimum distance of seven meters from the chimpanzees to safeguard against the transmission of human diseases, as these remarkable animals are highly susceptible to ailments that afflict humans.
Kamiranzovu Waterfall, nestled within Nyungwe Forest, has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. This natural wonder is divided into two parts: the lower section, featuring colossal rocks that provide a picturesque backdrop for photography, and the upper section, where the cascade of falling water takes center stage.
Getting to Kamiranzovu Waterfall is not for the faint of heart. It demands courage, patience, determination, and physical fitness. While the distance from the starting point is only 10 kilometers, the hilly terrain and dense tropical rainforest transform the journey into a challenging adventure. The reward? A pristine, unspoiled waterfall surrounded by the beauty of Nyungwe Forest.
Nyungwe Forest boasts over 13 hiking trails covering a total distance of approximately 130 kilometers, leading travelers deep into its heart. Each trail offers a unique experience, taking you to waterfalls, caves, swamps, and other natural wonders. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, there’s a trail suited to your fitness level and interests.
As you hike through the forest, the serene environment envelops you, with the sweet melodies of singing birds providing a natural soundtrack. Nyungwe’s diverse birdlife includes species like Rockefellers sunbird, Great Blue Turaco, and Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, offering a rewarding birdwatching experience.
Nyungwe Forest boasts East Africa’s only canopy walk, a unique adventure that offers a bird’s-eye perspective of this magnificent ecosystem. The 200-meter walkway hangs 60 meters above the forest floor and offers breathtaking views of Nyungwe Forest, the Virunga volcanoes, surrounding wildlife, and neighboring countries’ attractions.
Participants must be aged six years and above, and each must hold a valid permit to partake in this thrilling two-hour adventure. At just $60 USD, it’s an affordable yet unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Apart from chimpanzees, Nyungwe Forest is home to over 300 monkey species, making it a premier destination for monkey trekking. Encounter lively and playful creatures like L’Hoest’s monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. These monkeys may have similar characters but are easily distinguished by their distinctive colors.
Nyungwe Forest’s monkey trekking offers an opportunity to stay alert and entertained throughout the journey as these agile creatures frolic, jump, and communicate with shouts, adding an extra layer of excitement to your adventure.
In summary, Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda beckons adventurers with an array of captivating experiences beyond the allure of mountain gorillas. Chimpanzee tracking, canopy walks, tropical waterfalls, forest walks, birdwatching, and monkey trekking provide a diverse menu of activities and attractions that showcase the incredible biodiversity and natural beauty of this lush forest. So, plan your trip to Nyungwe Forest with Trek Africa Tours and embark on an extraordinary journey to discover the many wonders of Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest.