The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safari

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safari

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safari

Located in the southwestern part of Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park is one filled with stunning beauty as it offers memorable wildlife experiences.

Nyungwe Forest is a high-altitude, mountainous rain forest conserved in 2005, the Government of Rwanda declared Nyungwe a national park. This is the highest level of protection in Rwanda.

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safariThe forest hosts 13 species of primates including the Angola colobus found in groups of 300-400 animals, which is an attribute unique to Nyungwe.

Nyungwe’s forests extend to altitudes occupied by few other forests in Africa; 1600-2950 meters above sea level.

A visit to Nyungwe takes you through the great Nyungwe rainforest, comprised of ancient trees, swamps, and grasslands, which have all favored the inhabitation of various wild and bird species.

If you have never visited the Nyungwe rainforest, it is one of Rwanda’s natural wonders with which the country has progressed into one of the African tour destinations.

The rain forest covers 1000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest tropical rain forests in East-central Africa. Nyungwe national park is bordered d by Burundi in the south, Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west.

The forested national park is a water catchment area in Rwanda receiving over 2000mm of rainfall annually and is also an origin for river Congo.

Let’s count down some of the activities to do at Nyungwe National Park.

Chimpanzee trekking

This park is a sanctuary for over 400 chimpanzee individuals, making it a home for the highest number of chimpanzees in Rwanda.

The top 4 activities you must do on your Nyungwe forest national park safariThis park is majorly known for its chimpanzee trekking activities. Trekkers are required to transfer to any of the three starting points of Gisakura, Uwinka and katabi where are briefed about the dos and don’ts.

Trekking these chimps requires a trekking permit which is a must to each trekker. It is also recommended to keep a distance of seven meters from the chimpanzees, this helps avoid the spread of human/wildlife diseases.

Forest walks and hiking.

Hiking the Nyungwe forest is the best way to explore the beauty of the Nyungwe forest national park. With the wide number of hiking trails, you will have the chance to explore the interior forest.

These trails lead to different destinations such as waterfalls caves and swamps. The hiking trails include Igishigishigi trail, Bigugu trail, Ngabwe trail, Isumo waterfall trail, Kamiranzovu marsh trail, Karamba birding trail, Source of the Nile trail, Irebero trail, Muzimu trail, Imbaraga trail, Congo Nile trail, Umoyove trail, and Rukuzi trail to mention but a few.

Bird watching

The park is also home to over 300 bird species; it is one of the best birding spots in East Africa.

Nyungwe is named as “the most important site for biodiversity conservation in Rwanda” by Birdlife International.

Among the bird species in this park include; Rockefellers sunbird, Chapin’s flycatcher, Great blue Turaco, red collared mountain babbler, Rera grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, white-tailed flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Rwenzori nigh jar, Rwenzori hill babler, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Congo bay owlet, mountain sooty boubu, the Neumann’s warbler and many more.

Monkey trekking

Nyungwe forest national park is home to over 300 monkey species, there are very few other places with such a wide number of monkeys. This will make your safari even more enjoyable.

Among the monkeys in this park are the L’ Hoests monkeys, black and white colubus, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys.

Monkey trekking is a very joyful experience, monkeys are very playful animals and watching them play makes a safari very enjoyable.

How to reach Nyungwe National Park

The park is quite accessible as you can either drive from Kigali or fly there.

Traveling by road

The is 225km from Kigali, and your tour operator will provide you with the best vehicle to get there. In case you want to make the adventure on your own, you will need to either go by bus or hire a car.

Traveling by air

If you are looking for a much faster means of transport, then you can book a flight with RwandAir. The airline offers domestic flights and one of its domestic routes is Kigali-Kamembe. RwandAir offers a minimum of 9 flights a week from Kigali to Kamembe International airport.

Kamembe airport happens to be a short 32km from Nyungwe forest lodge, which offers helicopter pickups. It is quite a convenient arrangement if you can afford it.

A safari to Nyungwe Forest national park shouldn’t be difficult if it well planned. Hire Friendly Gorillas Safari for your Rwanda safari, get in touch with them or inquire by clicking here

 

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Top 5 Places you must visit in Rwanda 2019.- Rwanda Safaris

Top 5 Places you must visit in Rwanda 2019.- Rwanda Safaris

Top 5 Places to visit in Rwanda 2019.

Rwanda has quite a number of interesting things to offer but in this article, I am going to be discussing the Top 5 Places you must visit in Rwanda 2019.

Rwanda is a small country located in the southwest of Uganda after Tanzania. It is a member of the East African community and it covers an area of 26,338 square kilometers.

Rwanda has gone through a period due to the 1994 genocide (known as 100 days of slaughter) whose wounds are still fresh in the hearts of the people of Rwanda.

It is a “land of a thousand hills” and known as the Switzerland of Africa (due to the hills). Much as the country is small, she is beautiful and endowed with fascinating attractions, which makes the country a “paradise on earth”.

Tourists visit most of the attractions within a short distance without going far because most of the interesting things are close to each other.

Do not wait for someone to tell you about the beauty of this country. Visit this country and exploit one of the top interesting places in the country.

The must-visit places in Rwanda that you should not miss to add to your bucket list include the following;

  1. Kigali

A very unique city in the heart of Rwanda, Kigali is a gorgeous city with great weather.  You can get a taste of history here by visiting the genocide memorials and learn about the turbulent past of the country.

Kigali city itself is one of the top 5 places tourists should not miss to visit when in Rwanda.

The city is the gateway to most attractions (mountain gorillas, chimpanzees among others in National Parks). Kigali was declared Africa’s most beautiful city by the United Nations.

It is one of the cleanest and safest places in Africa.

The great weather in the city makes a relaxing place for tourists too. Kigali city tour offers an in-depth concept of Kigali and the history of Rwanda as a whole.

While at Kigali city, you can visit Kandt House museum (oldest building), you will also visit the first modern building on which the city was first founded, Inema Arts center, Ivuka Arts center, Museum of National History, the Presidential Museum (where the death of the former Rwandan President sparkled the 1994 Rwandan Genocide), the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, Statehouse museum and the Miyo Art Gallery.

For movie lovers, you can go for 5-D movies in the Kigali multiplex cinema.

Golden Chimpanzee in Volcanoes National Park

  1. Volcanoes National Park:

Volcanoes national park is a stop center for all Rwanda gorilla safaris sheltering the highest number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area.

The strategic location of the Park roughly 2 hours’ drive from Kigali international airport makes it the most accessible gorilla national park in the world.

Besides gorillas, Volcanoes National park is a home for golden monkeys, a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects among other creatures which together make a complete Rwanda safari package.

Spanning on a 160 square kilometer area in the northern part of Rwanda, Volcanoes national park is part of the great Virunga volcano conservation region spanning to cover Virunga national park Congo and Mgahinga national park Uganda.

It was initially a small area around Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke volcanoes which was gazetted to protect the Mountain gorillas which were facing the threat of extinction as a result of poaching.

This Park is a haven of the famous and unique critically endangered mountain gorillas.

A visit to the Land of a thousand Hills offers you fantastic Rwanda gorilla safaris in the Volcanoes national park, home to 10 habituated gorilla families existing in different locations of the park.

Besides the mountain gorilla, other attractions include over 75 species of mammals like Elephants, Buffaloes, and Giant forest Hogs, Bushbucks and spotted hyenas among others.

The park is also a home of over 180 species of birds whereby 26 species are endemic to Virunga and Rwenzori mountains.

Besides the wildlife species, other attractions include Dian Fossey grave, Mount Karisimbi, and Mount Bisoke.

This park should definitely be on the top 5 list of places to visit in the land of 1000 hills

  1. Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in the South-western edge of Rwanda, bordered by Burundi in the South and Congo in the West and covers a total area of 1020 square kilometers.

It was established in 2004 to diversify Rwanda’s tourism from over-relying on gorilla tourism.

The Park is about 4 -5 hours’ drive from Kigali town. 75 species of mammals are inhabited in this park including 13 primate species, for example, the Chimpanzees (over 400 in this Park), Black and white colobus monkeys, and the park is a home of over 300 species of birds out of which 16 species are Albertine Rift endemics.

Tourists who visit this park will be accustomed to activities like the fascinating canopy walk.

Several hiking trails in Nyungwe forest include the Ngabwe trail, Bigugu trail, Kamiranzovu marsh trail, and Isumo waterfall trail, Source of the River Nile trail, Karamba birding trail, Imbaraga trail, Rukuzi trail and irebero trail among others.

Primate safaris and bird watching are also conducted in this park.

  1. National Museum of Rwanda (Ethnographic museum)

The museum that was built in 1987 and inaugurated in 1989 is situated in Huye/Butare, about 130 km South of Kigali town.

It is one of the 6 fascinating Museums that form the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda and it is the first to be opened in Rwanda, it has continuously been referred to as the best museum in East Africa.

The Museum has 7 galleries with objects grouped according to the themes that showcase ethnographic, historical (how Rwanda was like before colonization), artistic and Archeological artifacts.

The museum is meant to tell a story on the social and the cultural aspects of Rwanda, artifacts, and symbols of Rwanda’s culture and heritage which include “Kagondo hut”, “Isinde” among others.

  1. Akagera National Park

This National Park is located in the Northeastern part of Rwanda at the border with Tanzania.

It covers an area of about 1,122 square kilometers. It is located around 135 km from Kigali town (2 hours 30 minutes away).

The fascinating attractions that are worth visiting in this park include a network of lakes including Lake Ihema.

This savanna park is widely known for game viewing because of the variety of wildlife species which include Savanna Rwanda gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Parkelephants, buffaloes, antelope species for example waterbucks, topi, Oribis, roan antelope, elands among others.

The zebras, giraffes, leopards and spotted hyenas are also spotted in this marvelous National Park.

Also, more than 525 species of birds have been recorded in this Park and they include the shoebill stork, over 44 species of raptor, Albertine Rift endemic species like Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco among others.

For your enjoyment and life refreshing game drives, visit the Akagera National Park and unleash your excitement.

 

  1. Akagera National Park

Rwandan Lakes (Lake Kivu, twin lakes or Burera and Ruhondo, Lake Muhazi. Lake Ihema and Lake Mugesera):

Several lakes exist in Rwanda and tourists can enjoy the scenic and serene views of these marvelous Lakes. They include Lake Kivu (largest freshwater lake in Rwanda).

Its outstanding Inland body of water together with the beach offers the best relaxation time for tourists.

Water sports including canoeing, kayaking, and windsurfing take place while at this Lake.

The twin lakes of Rwanda (Lake Ruhondo and Burera) are also worth visiting when in Rwanda. Activities like canoeing, birding, boating, and fishing are conducted in these twin lakes.

Lake Muhazi (one-and-a-half-hour drive from Kigali) offers another favorable option of lakes in Rwanda.

There are Jambo and Rwesero beaches at this Lake. With more than 30 species of birds recorded in this Lake, it offers an interesting bird watching time to tourists. Other activities include boating, fishing, and camping.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Rwanda is a country that is blessed with fascinating attractions ranging from the natural attractions (mountain gorillas, chimpanzees) to the man-made attractions (museums) which create the interest for tourists to visit the country. Friendly Gorillas Safaris is dedicated to providing you with the best destination information so that you can plan well for your tour.

 

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Top Places to visit in a Rwanda Safari

Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rain forest and sweeping plains.

Travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas, yet there is so much more to see and experience.

1. The Gorillas in the Virunga Mountains

Virunga National Park is a national park in the Albertine Rift Valley in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was created in 1925 and is among the first protected areas in Africa. Gorillas in these mountains are shared with Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These three countries share the few remaining gorillas in the world. People visit Volcanoes National Park to track these Mountain gorillas. People come from all over the world to spend one hour with these great apes,.they are herbivores that live in groups and like humans, they is always a dominant male which is the silverback and it is the head of the family. To track Gorillas in Rwanda you need at least 2 days and tracking gorillas in Rwanda is not as strenuous as it is in Uganda. A gorilla permit that allows you to track Gorillas in Rwanda Costs USD 1500.

2. Kigali Genocide memorial

The Kigali Genocide Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It honors the memory of the more than one million Rwandans killed in 1994 through education and peace-building. While visiting this memorial you will be told to sign a visitor’s book from which you might spot lots of people’s names that are familiar.

3. Kabgayi Church museum

3 km from Gitarama along Butare road lays the massive cathedral of Kabgayi. This is the oldest in the country dating back in 1925. This was the first settlement area of the Catholic Bishop. With a huge size and peaceful interior, the church is worth a visit and there is a small museum beside it.

4. Akagera National Park

Named after the Akagera River running along its eastern boundary, Akagera NP is warm and low-lying with undulating plains supporting a cover of dense broad-leafed trees with acacia woodlands and grasslands.

The park harbors over 20 mammal species. The eastern side is wet and it is known to harbor almost the largest number of hippos in Africa. Other animals to view on the lakes on the eastern side are crocodiles, Lions, leopards and black rhinos which are present in small numbers. You can go for boat trips on Lake Ihema to view some of these animals. For birders this is another paradise on earth, the birdlife is extraordinary: not only the rarities that will have passionate birdwatchers in ecstasy but also Africa’s most inspiring concentration of big waterbirds. A visit to this park is truly rewarding

5. Nyungwe forest

It is a montane forest that is remarkably rich in biodiversity with 75 mammal species, 120 butterflies, 275 birds and over 100 varieties of orchids. The forest is well known for its primates and chimpanzee tracking can be arranged at a short notice and a small fee. Other primates in this forest include several other monkeys L’Hoest monkeys. The roads to the forest are good and with excellent rent houses and the campsite to provide the necessary services to you while in the forest. A nature walk through this forest can be truly rewarding.

6. Musanze cave

Musanze is believed to have been constructed by a local king and that it has been used as a refugee on several histories whereas during the 1994 Massacre it was used as a killing site and recently the place is still littered with human remains. Musanze the now Bat colony is located in Ruhengeri 2 Km from the Gisenyi road. It has an entrance a large as a cathedral. The entrance is littered with marked black volcanic rubble and at the opposite end there lies a natural bridge formed from the lava flow from one of the Virunga Mountains.

7. Rusumo Falls

The falls is located at the Eastern part of Rwanda at the border with Tanzania. It is an amazing and spectacular fall that is a part of the distant headwaters of the river Nile. It’s not worth missing while crossing the border of Rwanda with Tanzania.

8. Rwanda National Museum

This is located in Butare city in Huye and it is known to be the most tourists’ attraction in Butare. The museum is known to have probably the finest ethnographic collection in the whole of East Africa. It has spacious rooms that allow the exhibitions to be appreciated and enjoyed. Exhibitions provide information not only on pre-colonial history but also on the process of development of the country (Rwanda) to her modernity today. AT the museum you can organize for the Ntore dancers to entertain you in the traditional dances of Rwanda.

9. Lake Kivu

Located in the Albertine rift and apart of the Great Rift Valley, Kivu is a large freshwater deposit that marks the western border with DR Congo. This lake is a tourist’s center with fresh waters safe to swim. It has nice beaches with splendid landscapes and the sunset is usually astounding. You can spend a weekend in one of the beaches.

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