Our 2 Days Nyungwe Forest Safari takes you to Rwanda’s largest forest to hike through the Igishigishigi trail, then go for a canopy walk and finally track chimpanzees. Nyungwe National Park is located in the Southwestern corner of Rwanda. It was established in 2004 and is said to be one of the oldest and largest afro-montane forests in Africa. Covering an area of 970 square kilometers, it consists of bogs, swamps, grassland, and bamboo forests. The forest sits at an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level and spreads all the way to the border with Burundi, Congo, and Lake Kivu.
While in Nyungwe forest, one can take part in several activities including canopy walks, birding, visiting waterfalls, chimpanzee trekking, and primates viewing and visiting the nearby local villages. The famous Congo Nile trail passes through sections of the forest. It is therefore common to see bikers, hikers, and motorcyclists passing through the forest as they attempt to complete the trail. The most popular activities in the forest are chimpanzee trekking and the canopy walk.
Nyungwe National Park is home to over 275 species of birds, 400 trees, 75 mammals, 20 reptiles, and 12 species of primates. Among the primate species are Dent’s Mona monkeys, Golden monkeys, Grey-cheeked mangabeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Olive baboons, Red-tailed monkeys, Silver monkeys, Angola Colobus, Vervet monkeys, and the common Chimpanzee. Unfortunately, you can’t have everything. Despite having one of the largest numbers of primates in Africa, the park has no gorillas.
Our 2 Days Nyungwe National Park Safari starts with a canopy walk and hiking through the Igishigishigi trail. On day two, you will head to the park offices for a briefing on chimpanzee trekking. And after the briefing, you will be taken to the starting point and then into the thick forest in search of the primates. For more activities and a lengthy tour of the park, our 3 Days Nyungwe Chimpanzee tour package is available
Day 1: Pickup from Kigali – City tour – Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park – Canopy Walk
You should wake up early enough and prepare to meet our Guide/Driver for a briefing about the tour. The pickup will be at your residence, hotel, or at the airport. After the briefing, the Guide will take you for a short tour of the city of Kigali. Kigali is small but one of the cleanest cities in Africa. The trip will include a visit to the genocide memorial Centre, the city market, and the former presidential palace.
The Guide/Driver will then start the journey to Nyungwe forest but with a stopover at the museum in Butare. This Museum is one of the best places to learn about the cultural heritage of the people of Rwanda. You will have an opportunity to buy local crafts and souvenirs. If time permits, you can also stop at the Kamegeli Rock and the palace of the Nyanza King Palace Lunch will be at Huye. After that, you will continue the journey through the beautiful Rwanda countryside. You will know why Rwanda is referred to as a land of a thousand hills.
Once you arrive at your hotel, you will have lunch and then be taken to the Uwinka visitors’ center to start hiking along the Igishigishigi trail which leads to the canopy walkway. While at the Igishigishigi trail, you will spot several species of trees, birds, and primates for about thirty minutes. You will then step into the canopy walkway for even more amazing views of the forest. The walkway is 60 meters suspended metallic bridge that is built on top of the trees. It offers an aerial view of the forest and its creatures like birds, Colobus monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, baboons, and countless species of plants. After the canopy walk, you will go and relax by the waterfalls. The canopy walk takes about 2 hours depending on your or your group’s pace
Dinner and overnight: At Gisakura Guest House (budget) and One&Only Nyungwe House (Luxury). Other hotel options include Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel (Luxury) and Emeraude Hotel (Budget).
Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking – Transfer back to Kigali
You should wake up early a take your breakfast as you prepare for an adventurous day tracking the primates. Chimpanzee trekking starts at 5 am. The reason why the activity starts early is that meeting the primates is not guaranteed. Starting early increases your chances of finding the primates. 2 days Nyungwe Safari the Driver will take you to the park offices and visitor center in Uwinka for briefing and meeting the Park Rangers/Guides who will be leading you into the forests. The Guides/Rangers will brief you about the rules and requirements for chimpanzee trekking. If there are many travelers booked for the day, you will be divided into two groups – One will start the trek from the Uwinka Visitor Centre and the other from the Cyamudongo area. There are about 500 chimpanzees in the Nyungwe forest. As you enter the forest, you will be welcomed by beautiful jungle noises of birds, primates, and insects. Chimpanzee trekking in the Nyungwe forest is just as unpredictable as gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park. The activity can take up to 4 hours depending on the location of the primates that day. Chimpanzees move as they wish and you will have to follow them through the forest. They are different from gorillas which generally stay in one place for longer periods of time. The good thing about chimps is that they are very vocal. Because of the constant loud screams, hoots, and barks made by chimps, it is easy to pinpoint their location even before seeing one.
As you continue your search for the chimps, you will continue to encounter more beautiful scenery, birds, insects, butterflies, primates, waterfalls and so much more. The nature lover and birder will be very impressed even before finding the chimps. Once you find them in a stationary position, you will only be allowed one hour with them. This one hour excludes the time spent following them as chimpanzees can be very mobile. In that one hour with the primates, you should see them feed, play, build nests, mate, and tease each other. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives – even more than gorillas. Each individual chimp has a unique character. Some are more aggressive while others are calm and mind their own business. The Park Ranger will let you know which individuals to keep away from.
For inquiries, arrangements, and booking of permits and other necessities, contact safari vacations and travel services, we are ready to do everything required to make your safari more fun and memorable.