Things to Do & See in Nyungwe Forest Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park and Chimpanzee Tracking Tours in Rwanda

Chimpanzee Tracking Tours are the most prominent Safari Activity carried out in Nyungwe Forest National Park located South West of Rwanda. The Forest has green forest vegetation which is a very suitable habitat for the Chimpanzees in the wild.

Chimpanzee Tracking Adventures take place in the Cyamudongo Forest which is located a few kilometers from Nyungwe Forest National Park with dense vegetation covering an area of 4 square Kilometers between Gisakura and Rusizi and 20 kilometers from Bugarama.

Other Primates can be spotted here as well and these include; Dent’s Mona monkey, L’Hoest monkey, blue monkey and nocturnal like the Potto.

Chimpanzee Tracking Adventure in Nyungwe Forest Rwanda

Chimpanzee Tracking Adventures in Nyungwe Forest National Park are carried out in Cyamudongo Forest and the tracking process requires you to transfer with a valid Chimpanzee Tracking Permit which costs US $100 per person to the Park Headquarters. When you reach here you will be briefed about the Dos and Don’ts around the Chimpanzees, then be distributed in groups of 8 to track the Chimpanzees.

You will then proceed to penetrate the forest and search for the Chimpanzees for 3-5 hours depending on their current location and when you meet them, only an hour is allowed to stay in their presence taking photos to keep for memories. After tracking the Chimpanzees, you will transfer back to the headquarters.

How to Get to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is located South West of Rwanda about 225 kilometers requiring you to transfer for a period of 4-5 hours from Kigali. Getting to the Park will require you to transfer by Air, Car.

By Car you will transfer for a longer period via the Uwinka Visistor’s Center stretch to Gisakura with in 4-5 hours from Kigali and if you use a bus,you will transfer for 8 hours.

By Air, you will book a flight with Rwanda Air from Kigali to Kamembe Airport located 32 kilometers off Lodge One & Only Nyugwe House (Former Nyungwe Forest lodge). This is the fastest means to get to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

Other Primates to track in Nyungwe Forest National Park

The Angolan Colobus Monkeys

  • They are black with white ornaments
  • Live in vast groups of 350 to 400 individuals
  • Trekking them is not tiresome as the chimpanzee trek
  • Are always at top of the trees
  • They have a habit of messy eating which enables spreading of seeds-fruits
  • In order to spot them, wake up early and take a morning nature walk through the forest
  • Other things you will include birds, primates.

The L’Hoest Monkeys

  • These are referred to as mountain monkeys
  • They are endemic to the albertine Rift and can also be found in the Rwenzori Mountains and Bwindi impenetrable forest as well as Gishwati Forest.
  • They have dark black bodies with a fuzzy white beard
  • They move on all the fours on the ground as they hunt
  • The males weigh between 5-7 kilos where as the females are smaller in size
  • The smaller groups are dominated and led by females

The Owl Faced Monkeys

  • These are the most exceptional specie of monkeys that inhabit Nyungwe forest
  • Their faces look like that of an owl
  • It is solitary and very endangered although can be spotted while on the various trails
  • It is a close relative of the L’Hoest monkey
  • Live in smaller groups with one dominant male and many females
  • They are quite hard to study/ do research on
  • They have a white stripe that goes from the top of the lip to the top of the nose due to the fact that if is an owl monkey with an owl face

The Dent’s Mona Monkey

  • They are usually found in large groups of other species like the blue monkeys, grey cheeked Mangabeys and the Ruwenzori Colobus Monkeys.
  • Live in comparatively smaller groups with one male surrounded by many females
  • The females rule and lead the groups
  • They have a long black tail, a white rump and brown back
  • They have hairy faces and when they get food, they carry it with their vast cheek pouches
  • Prefer fruit although sometimes, they eat leaves and insects.

The Blue Monkeys

  • They are not blue in color but instead are light grey with olive fur which gives off its kind of the blue hue while at the tree tops.
  • They live in the tree tops so one has to look up in the trees in order to spot them
  • They rarely come down at the forest floor but instead find food and shelter in the tree tops.
  • They live in female groups of about 10-40 with one dominant male.
  • All of them raise each other’s young ones like they are theirs.
  • Are prominently found around Uwinka visitor’s center at Nyungwe Forest.

The Vervet Monkeys

  • They are referred to as the grey Guenon
  • They can also be found in the Open woodlands and Savannah
  • They like the baboon’s raid crops and can enter homes to search for food.
  • The faces have black masks where as the rest of the body is grey.
  • They are the most regular monkey around the world.

Canopy Walks

Canopy walks are another safari activity to carry out in Nyungwe Forest National Park and involves transferring from one point to another at the top of gigantic mahogany Trees. It is located about 60 meters high above a sharp valley full of rocks which are usually hit by thunder making all that traverse the walkway have unique adventures in Nyungwe Forest National Park. You will take on this for a period of 1-3 hours watching various bird species, forest vegetation and primates like the vervet monkeys, golden monkeys, etc. The Canopy Walks permit costs US $60 per person interested.

Bird watching

Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest is also another activity carried out in the forest with numerous Bird Species inhabiting the thick forest vegetation habitat of Nyungwe Forest National Park at Cyamudongo Forest. The Birds birders can watch here include; 310 species of birds in the Karamba Area near Gisakura i.e the Red-faced Barbet, Bennett’s Woodpecker, Papyrus Gonolek, White-headed, Black and familiar Chats, Carruther’s and Tabora Cisticolas, White-winged and Broad-tailed, Warblers and Miombo Wren-Warblers, Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Archer’s Robin-chat, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Grauer’s Rush, Neumann’s and Grauer’s Warbles, Masked Mountain Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit and Strange Weaver.

Hiking and Nature Walks

Hiking and Nature Walks are also very remarkable in Nyungwe Forest National Park with numerous trails to take on through the thick forest vegetation watching birds, mammals and primates. The Walks in Nyungwe Forest National Park include and Cost;

  • Tropical Waterfall Guided Hike-1 dayUS $50
  • Congo Nile Guided Hike-3 daysUS $100

Nature Adventure Safaris in Rwanda

Nature Walk Tours in Rwanda’s Thick Green Forest Vegetation

Travel to the country of rolling hills Rwanda and experience/ take on various trails through the thick forest vegetation at the prominent Nyungwe Forest National Park and as well visit other parks like Volcanoes National Park and Akagera National Park. The country has a lot to offer to all travelers on holiday safari in beautiful country. Take on the Congo Nile Divide trail to experience the best of the country’s country sides.

Nature Walks in Rwanda

Other than the canopy walk in Nyungwe, there are other trails visitors can follow to enjoy more of the forest as well as the various species while in the forest and all guided walks begin from the central Uwinka reception Centre, the western Gisakura entrance and the and eastern Kitabi entrance.

A network of 10 mud trails is available to be hiked and these take you towards the middle of the forest and some of these include the 10km hike that will lead you towards the Ishuno waterfalls which are very beautiful and offer exceptional views of the surrounding vegetation. The waterfall is candid in size but calm offering life’s mysterious pleasures.

Nature Walks in Nyungwe forestThere is also another 200m walk along the forest trail below the thick forest canopies where you will spot various monkeys like the blue monkey, black and white Colobus, the red tailed monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys as well as various birds of the air.

Requirements and Rules to Follow when Going for a Nature Adventure

  • The minimum age for this walk is 6 years and the children must be in company of an adult.
  • The cost of this activity is $60 per person and this is paid at the reception center
  • Carry a rain coat with you for it could rain unexpectedly due to the amount of rain Nyungwe receives per year.
  • Wear the appropriate hiking shoes that will enable you navigate through the slippery trails in the forest. These can also be rented/ hired from the reception center.
  • Walking sticks can also be provided free of charge and these enable easy navigation over the trail.

Summarized Details

Start the Canopy at; 8:00am /10:00am, 7 :00pm or 3:00pm

What to Carry

  • 1 liter of drinking water
  • Hiking boots
  • A rain Jacket
  • Cameras
  • Candid back pack bag
  • A walking stick
  • Camera batteries

Summarized Details of the Nature Walks at Nyungwe

Ngabwe Trail
  • It is a 4.7-kilometer trail
  • Takes about 3 hours to finish and moderate.
  • Takes you through various vegetation zones.
  • It is a relatively short trail although can be extended to about 8 hours.
  • Transferring here takes you towards the Kitabi Tea Plantation.

Bigugu Trail

  • Requires 6 hours to finish.
  • Quite challenging for some people.
  • Takes about 7 kilometers in length and tends to be steep and slippery at most times.
  • Goes till the highest point of the park i.e Bigugu Peak which is 2,950 meter.
  • Requires physical fitness to complete the trail.
  • Very appropriate for all birders due to the unique species found here like the red-collared mountain babbler.
Igishigishigi Trail
  • It is the most famous trail from the Uwinka Reception area of the park i.e it includes walking over the raised canopy.
  • It is approximately 2.4 kilometers requiring 1.5 hours to finish.
Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail
  • Requires 6 kilometers long
  • Takes about 3 hours to finish and on your way you will spot many orchids especially in the rainy season.
Isumo Waterfall Trail
  • This is 10.6 kilometers long and moderate in difficulty
  • Requires about 4 hours to finish
  • You will spot various birds and monkeys along the trail.
Source of the River Nile Trail
  • Requires about 1 and half hours to finish.
  • Does not need so much effort to hike through it.
  • Will give you exceptional views of the scenery along the trail.
Karamba Birding Trail
  • It is a 4 kilometer long trail
  • It is easy and flexible to walk and hike in Nyungwe Forest.
  • The biggest part is flat and relatively open.
  • A lot of Gold mining took place here and later became a quarry for road building material as well as an army camp
  • It is among the less muddy trails in the forest.
Muzimu Trail                
  • It is a 5.2-kilometer trail
  • Relatively distant and takes about 3.5 hours to finish and moderate in difficulty
  • It goes through open heath like vegetation and shrubs
  • There are a lot of wild flowers as well as beautiful views of Lake Kivu in a distance.
Imbaraga Trail
  • It is quite difficult and challenging to take.
  • It is almost 10 kilometers long and requires 6 hours to finish
  • The word Imbaraga means strength making it very open that the trail is difficult to trail.
  • The trail takes you via 4 different waterfalls where you will spot the chimpanzees.
  • The word Imbaraga means strength and it is an indication as to how difficult the trail is
  • It is quite challenging although very rewarding.
Irebero Trail
  • The word Irebero means viewpoint so all that take on this trail always have beautiful scenic views.
  • It is a 3.6-kilometer trail
  • Requires 3 hours to finish and all the views are worth the hike.
  • You will have stunning views from a higher altitude and here expect to spot Rwanda’s beautiful borders and Lake Kivu.
  • Takes you along a loop around two high peaks in the forest.
Umugote Trail
  • It was named after the Syzygium Tree that is often found along the trail.
  • It is a 3.6-kilometer long trail that requires approximately 3 hours to finish.
  • It is moderate in nature
  • This hike requires one to climb up from one side of the mountain where you will have great views of the unspoiled part of the forest.
  • On a clear day, you will spot the beautiful Mountains of Burundi.
Rukuzi Trail
  • It is a fairly challenging trail to hike
  • Includes many chimpanzees in the forest so visitors prefer it since the basic reason as to why people visit Nyungwe is to track the chimpanzees.
  • The trail will take about 5 hours to complete and is over 9 kilometers in length.
Umuyove Trail
  • The word Umuyove means Mahogany i.e many of the trees line the trail making it a very exceptional experience.
  • It is among the famous hikes in the park.
  • It is one of the short trails offering stunning views of the waterfalls and orchids as well as wildflowers.
  • You will encounter primates, birds along the way
  • It is a 5.5 kilometers in length requiring approximately 3.5 hours to finish and is moderate in difficulty.
The Congo-Nile Divide Trail
  • It takes 42 kilometers to reach in about 3-4 days along the fold in the forest.
  • It requires an experienced hiker to trail as well as camping in the forest.
  • It is a tremendous multi-day hike that runs alongside Lake Kivu in Western Rwanda
  • It is the longest hiking trail in Nyungwe Forest.

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Mountaineering in Africa

Mountaineering Adventures in Africa, Climb the Mountains of Africa on Safari Tour

Mountaineering in Africa is an exceptional Safari Activity due to the unique safari Adventure Encounters it offers to all kinds of travelers from all over the globe interested in viewing Africa’s beautiful plains, Land forms, Lakes, vegetation as well as other unique vibrant species of birds and Animals. A typical African Safari is not all about Game Drives and Wildlife Watching but instead, a hike to Africa’s beautiful Mountains to spot a world not known on earth.

The Mountains vary from the snow capped Mountain Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest Mountain, Mountain Rwenzori to the forest covered Mount Kenya, the Alpine Meadows of the High Atlas Mountains and Mountain Elgon which spans two country borders i.e in Uganda and kenya.

Mountains of Africa to Hike

The Mountains of Africa every Hiker around the World should Climb include;

Mountain Kilimanjaro

Mountain Kilimanjaro is Africa’s Highest Mountain with 5,895-meters Above Sea Level in Tanzania making it Africa’s Highest Point and the most visited destination in Africa. Hiking to the top of this Mountain does not need you to be an avid hiker for anyone can get to the top as long as they are physically fit.

The Mountain comprises of six various Routes to the Summit each with its own challenges offering unique views at the scenery, vegetation terrain, birds, mammals with no special equipment required. As you transferring to the top, you will hike through various climatic zones accessing the arctic cold temperatures then to the glaciers that cover Kibo Peak one of Mountain Kilimanjaro’s Summits.

You should be aware of the weather/ climatic conditions of the Mountain due to the fact that these determine the difficulty and flexibility of your hike to the top of Mountain Kilimanjaro. However, the Best time to Hike Mountain Kilimanjaro is during the 2 distinct Trekking Seasons in the Months of JanuaryMarch and JuneOctober. This is because during these seasons, the weather is colder hence viewing snow at the top is possible.

Mountain Climbing Safaris

For all travelers interested in hiking the majestic Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa should book a Hiking Adventure Safari to experience the Best Hiking Adventure Tours in Africa on Holiday.

Mountain Rwenzori

Mountain Rwenzori is another Mountain to hike in Africa and this is located in the South Western Part of Uganda elevating to 5,109 metres (16,762 ft) requiring you to hike for 6-8 Days depending on your pace and climatic conditions. Just like Mountain Kilimanjaro, hiking to the Margherita Peak doesnot require Hiking Experience but rather the physical fitness of the group of hikers.

Getting to the top of Mountain Rwenzori requires you to transfer along two different Routes which include the Kilembe Route and Central Circuit Route managed by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services.

The Best Time to Hike Mountain Rwenzori in Uganda is during the Months of June to August as well as December to February. During these months, the rain fall is not so much hence the trails are navigable and photographs are very clear due to the short grass/ vegetation.

All travelers looking to enjoy Hiking/ Climbing Adventures in Uganda should not miss out on visiting this majestic Mountain Rwenzori on Hiking Tour in Uganda.

Mountain Kenya

Mountain Kenya is Africa’s Highest Mountain located at an elevation of 5,199 meters South of the Equator with Glacial Valleys, stunning Vegetation Zones and numerous wildlife animals. The mountain is the most challenging Mountain to hike in East Africa due to its steep ascent through the ice capped peaks and temperatures that rise above freezing point.

There are numerous Routes hikers can take on while Hiking Mountain Kenya situated a few kilometers off the Capital City of Nairobi. The Routes take a period of 3 to 7 Days to finish at the Summit and are exceptional due to the views of vegetation terrain, birds, small mammals they offer to all hikers.

If you are an avid hiker, Climbing Mountain Kenya should be a Must Hike in Africa due to the unique Hiking Adventures it offers to all Travelers.

Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains are located in Morocco and are the highest Mountains in the Northern part of Africa. It comprises of Mount Toubkal at 4,165 meters which is the highest Peak requiring you to transfer along various Routes which are so challenging/ demanding. All hikers interested in hiking these Mountains Must be physically fit to beat the Mountains.

As you trek through the vegetation terrain along the Mountains, you will explore the beautiful gorges and rolling valleys as well as adventure the local Berber people who reside in the rough rugged terrains for centuries.

These are very challenging although very rewarding to all hikers that get here and the Best time to go Hiking the Atlas Mountains is during Summer Time.

Mountain Elgon

Mountain Elgon is located spanning two different borders that is in Uganda and Kenya in Mountain Elgon National Park found East of Uganda. The Mountain offers unique Hiking/ Climbing Adventures to all hikers all over the globe interested to transfer to the prominent Wagagai Peak at 4,321 meters. It comprises of a wide crater as well as other numerous jagged peaks.

Getting to the summit requires you to transfer using various routes for about 5-6 Days offering you views of the green vegetation terrain, Caves, stunning Cliffs, waterfalls, bamboo belts and Bird Species.

As you are moving down the Muntain, you will transfer into the vast Caldera at 40 kilometers long and 8 kilometers wide making  you hiking Adventure very exceptional and remarkable in Uganda.

Mountain Elgon can be hiked any time around the year although the Best Time to Hike the Mountain is during the dry season in the months between June to August and December to March. During this time, the trails are navigable and photography is clear.

Mountain Meru

Mountain Meru is the second highest Mountain in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro at 4,565 meters and is also prominently hiked by numerous travelers from all over the world. Mountain Meru is a Volcanic Cinder Cone which will offer you unique stunning views at the green vegetation terrain i.e thick rain forest of about 2,900 meters as well as wildlife species and Rocks.

The Hiking Process requires you to transfer with the Local Masai People and can also be done by all travelers interested in hiking Mountain Kilimanjaro.

Mountain Meru can be trekked any time around the year although the Best time to hike Mountain Meru is during the dry season in the Months from June to March due to the fact that during these months, the trails are dry and navigable as well as photography is clear.

hike this Mountain before transferring to climb Mountain Kilimanjaro to enjoy the Best Hiking Adventure Tours in Tanzania.

The Drakensberg

The Drakensberg is a large Mountainous range in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho elevating to 3,475 meters. These stretch about 1,125 kilometers offering casual day Hikes through native forests, rocky terraces and rough terrains. The Mountains are also very suitable for Game Drives and Wildlife watching.

The Mountains are very remarkable to hike due to the stunning scenery around them making it a Must Hike Mountain to all hikers around the world interested in Mountain Hiking/ Climbing in South Africa.

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Gorilla Trekking Safaris

Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo

Ever thought of the Primates of Africa, Gorilla Trekking should be your number one priority adventure to Do in the various safari country destinations in Africa. Gorilla trekking Tours can be done in various countries with Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo being the most prominently visited Countries by all travelers interested in watching and encountering the rare species of Mountain Gorillas as well as the Eastern Lowland Gorillas.

Gorilla Trekking Experience

The Gorilla trekking Process is similar throughout all the regions as it requires you to transfer to the park headquarters where you will be briefed on the Dos and Don’ts around these unique primates.

With your valid Gorilla Trekking permit, you will be distributed in groups of 8 then with a skilled ranger guide, you will penetrate the forest to track a certain allocated Gorilla group from one place to another in their natural forest vegetation habitat.

You will follow these for a period of 3-5 Hours and when you meet them, you are allowed to stay in their presence taking photos to keep for memories. After your tracking experience, you will transfer back to the Headquarters where you will be rewarded with a Gorilla Trekking Certificate which you will keep for memories about you Gorilla Trekking Adventure in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permit

The Gorilla Trekking Permit is a valid document every traveler interested in Gorilla Trekking should have as they go on Gorilla Trekking Tour in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic of Congo. The Cost of these varies from one country to another i.e in Uganda the Permit costs US $600 per person, Rwanda it costs US $1500 per person and in the DR Congo costs US $400 per person.

Gorilla Trekking Tours

The Permits can be obtained through contacting the authorized Organizations directly or contacting the Tour Operator Agencies to book these on your behalf.

What to Carry for Gorilla Trekking

Planning to transfer for a Gorilla Trekking Adventure we recommend you carry the essential Gear to enjoy every encounter in the presence of the Gorillas and the Gear includes;

  • Trekking/ Hiking Boots; you should carry firm rubber trekking/ hiking boots to enable you to transfer along the slippery/ rugged terrain as you track the Gorillas in their thick forest vegetation habitat.
  • Rain Jacket; you should never forget this for it will protect you from getting wet when it rains for it usually rains anytime around the forest due to its location close to the equator.
  • Long Sleeved Shirts/T-shirts; these should be long enough to cover your whole arm so as to protect you from being pierced by thorns and trees as you track the Gorillas in their forest habitat.
  • Long Pants/trousers not jeans; you should carry these to enable you transfer along the grassy trails as you track the Gorillas. These should not be jeans and hard but instead light and smooth.
  • Woolen Garden Gloves; carry a pair of these to help protect and cover your palms as you transfer through the forest touching the trees and rough vegetation.
  • Cap/Hat; as you are transferring for Gorilla Trekking, carry your cap/hat to cover and protect your head.
  • Camera with no flash; carry a camera with no flash to enable you take numerous photos of the Gorillas interacting with each other in their natural forest vegetation.
  • Sweater for Evenings; carry a sweater to keep you warm throughout the evenings and cold nights.
  • Bottled water; carry bottled water to break your thirst as you track the Gorillas in their natural forest vegetation habitat.
  • Snacks; these are also ideal for eating as you track the Gorillas.

Gorilla types that can be tracked  

The Gorillas are divided into various types and these vary according to their unique features as well as characteristics. These include;

  1. Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas are the most prominently tracked type due to their presence in the various forest vegetated areas around numerous African Countries. These are dominant in the dense forest vegetation of Uganda’s Bwindi forest National Park & Mgahinga National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park and DR Congo’s Virunga National Park.

They are led by a dominant Silverback Gorilla, followed by Adult Females then black Backs or young Gorillas then by the juveniles/ infant Gorillas. They are very intelligent with skills like use of various tools as well as communicate using numerous vocal sounds.

These are distributed into varying groups for example in Uganda at Bwindi Forest these are within 4 different sectors.

Sectors Gorilla Groups
Buhoma Sector Mubaare Group, Rushegura Group and Habinyanja Group
Rushaga Sector Mishaya, Nshongi, Busingye, Kahungye, Bweza Groups
Ruhija Sector Bitukura Group, Oruzongo Group, Kyaguliro Group
Nkuringo Sector Nkurino Gorilla Group

Mgahinga National Park has one Gorilla Group and that is Nyakagezi Gorilla Group.


Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda can be tracked at the stunning Volcanoes National park located in Ruhengeri District and there are 10 Gorilla Groups that can be tracked here and these include; Susa A Group, Amahoro Group, Sabinyo Group, Group 13, Kwitonda Gorilla Group, Hirwa Group, Umubano Group, Ugenda Group, Bwenge Group, Titus Group.

Democratic Republic of Congo

In the DR Congo, these can be tracked in Virunga National Park and there are 7 different Groups i. e Rugendo Group, Munyaga Group, Mapuwa group, Kabirizi Group, Bageni Group, Lulengo Group, Nyakamwe Group.

  1. Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The Eastern lowland Gorillas are another Gorilla group that is prominently tracked in the DR Congo at Kahuzi Biega National Park located a few kilometers off the main town of Bukavu. Just like the Mountain Gorillas the trekking process is similar requiring you to transfer through the forest vegetation searching for the Gorillas.

There are 12 different Gorilla Groups that can be tracked in Kahuzi Biega National Park with 4 being habituated to be tracked by numerous travelers from all over the globe. The four include; Mpungwe Group, Chimanuka Group, Bonnani Group and Mugahuka Group.

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