One of the oldest rain-forests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift.
With 15 trails, some of which are detailed here, along with various other activities, visitors can choose to sample the delights of the forest or indulge themselves for a week or more in one of Africa’s most stunning forests.
Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest national park is one of the most popular activites in the park. This activity needs to be pre-booked when you are planning your safari with us as the park does not accept last minute bookings on this activity.
Explore the wilder side of Rwanda by going chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 500 chimpanzees and Chimpanzee tracking is without a doubt one of the most popular activities in Nyungwe Forest.
Rwanda is not a mass tourism destination and the activity is done privately or in a small group. Not normally an outdoor person? Don’t worry, a professional guide will tell you about every mysterious thing you see in the forest and a professional tracker will help you locate the primates. Raincoats, boots and walking sticks are available if you need them.
Hiking in Nyungwe Forest National Park: Nyungwe Forest has a steep landscape, numerous waterfalls and a wonderful animal life makes hiking in Nyungwe Forest a popular activity. Hiking in Nyungwe Forest offers an extensive network of scenic trails for hikers of any level.
Apart from being one of the oldest forests in Africa, Hiking in Nyungwe Forest takes you past many waterfalls, viewpoints, and not to mention the debated source of the Nile. For the more comfortable hikers, Hiking in Nyungwe Forest offers shorter options such as the canopy walkway and hikes around Kamiranzovu Swamp.
For those who like to get their feet dirty, Hiking in Nyungwe Forest can be done as a series of multiday package options available from the park headquarters. Read more about hiking in nyungwe forest national park on our hiking guide here.
Birding in Nyungwe Forest national park: Explore some of the most elusive bird species in Africa in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The Park is one of the last and largest remaining montane forest in Eastern Africa and home to hundreds of bird species, some unique orchids and 13 large primates. Nyungwe Forest has good infrastructure, including great hiking trails, an information center, a forest camp site and several upscale hotels. The Nyungwe Canopy Walkway which gives you a unique perspective on the forest was recently voted as the best canopy walkway in the world.
Rwanda is famous for its numerous bird species. The Albertine Rift Valley passes through western Rwanda. This rift gives way to a deep valley surrounded by high mountains, some of which are amongst the highest in Africa.
The unique landscape and climate of the Albertine Rift in Rwanda is the cause of the 29 Albertine Rift Endemic bird species which only live here. The diverse habitats of the region is what is behind Rwanda as the best montane birding in Africa. Read more about Bird watching in Nyungwe forest national park here.
Nyungwe Forest national park Canopy Walk: One of the most interesting and popular attractions in Nyungwe Forest national park is the Nyungwe canopy walk. The canopy walkway gives visitors a unique perspective of the tree canopy of Nyungwe Forest. The view from the suspended bridge also enables visitors to get above the tree canopies in order to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding forest. The canopy walkway was created in 2010 by the Rwanda Development Board as a of improving access to the unique habitat of Nyungwe forest to a broader audience. see more on Nyungwe canopy walk
Nyungwe is a true rainforest, located at high altitude, which results in a wet, cool climate. It can rain at any time, but June to September is considered the Dry season as rainfall is a bit lower during these months.
Due to the proximity to the equator, temperatures don’t change much throughout the year, but nighttime temperatures are about 10°C/50°F less than daytime temperatures.
Nyungwe typically receives more than 2,000mm of precipitation per year. This, combined with the high altitudes, means that the climate is very wet and cool.
Due to the forest’s close proximity to the equator, temperatures stay constant year-round. During the day, temperatures are around 20°C/68°F and it cools off at night to about 10°C/50°F.
Dry season –June to September
Throughout the year Nyungwe Forest receives rain, though there is a drier period from June to September. Bring waterproof clothing and shoes for hiking and warm clothing for the cold, damp evenings, regardless of when you visit.
Wet season –October to May
Bring waterproof clothing and shoes for hiking during the day, as well as clothes to keep you toasty warm in the cold, damp evenings.
Nyungwe can be visited throughout the year but waterproof clothing is necessary. General hiking and monkey watching is usually most enjoyable during the drier months, from June to September.
However, if your main interest is chimp trekking, the wet months, from October to May, are the most productive. Specialist birders might also have to brave the wettest months to get the best results.
Nyungwe Forest is open for chimpanzee trekking and hiking throughout the year. The wet months, from October to May, are the best time for chimp trekking and forest birding, but general hiking and spotting other primates might be easier in the drier months, from June to September.
Read more about Nyungwe forest history here