Located on the shores of Lake Kivu, bordering Rwanda to the southwest, Burundi to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west an area of 1,019 square kilometers.. The Nyungwe Forest was declared a national park by the Republic of Rwanda in 2004 and is home to about 13 primate and among these are about 500 chimpanzees living in small families/communities in Nyungwe National Park thorough habituated and monitored by the park rangers. It is also home to 322 species of bird species and various about 1,068 plant species boosting up the forest’s biodiversity. A suspension bridge 160m long and 70m high, as well as a canopy walk. It's also a great spot for bird-watching and photographers.

Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park

There are important reasons why people choose to explore this great park. The Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda is home to many primates, including chimps, as well as numerous birds, butterflies, and other animals. The forest encompasses an area of 1019 square kilometers and is home to various tourist attractions and activities such as chimp tracking, canopy walks, hiking, and nature walks. The Nyungwe Forest is the largest tropical African mountain rainforest in East or Central Africa, getting about 2000 mm of rain each year and containing 75% of Rwanda’s total water. Both the Congo and the Nile receive water from the Nyungwe Forest. The Nyungwe Forest National Park is approaching the Nyungwe Forest, going here on winding routes through extensive tea farms.


This is a wonderful forest with limitless Kamiranzovu wetland, Nyungwe forest canopy walks found exclusively in this forest in the East African region, bird watching activities, and this large forest with primates. Its vastness grows as you get closer. This is an advantage of tracking and observing. Take a stroll amid the flowers, which include the orchids seen here, as well as the variety of butterflies that they attract. Nyungwe Forest is not a densely forested park, but it is a huge forest, and activities in this forest should be well planned so that your Rwanda safari time is not lost on driving. The forest is home to approximately 300 bird species, numerous butterflies and orchids, and 96 mammal species, including 13 primates and the rare golden monkey, Angola colobus. And 63 bats and rodent species. The park also has a plethora of natural wonders and safari activities that should not be overlooked when visiting Rwanda, and these include;


Chimpanzee trekking activity

 25% of all African primate species are believed to be found in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The chimp population here is only the second largest after Uganda’s Kibale National Park. There are various trails to hike to observe chimps, but even with a guide, you may have to venture off the established path and into the jungle. The satisfying sights after the hike frequently include acrobatic chimps dangling from branches, mother chimps hugging chimp babies, and other sites that are not only astonishing but also warm your heart. This fascinating chimp trekking trip begins at 5:00 AM, so get up early! Each trekking party is limited to a maximum of eight people. Nyungwe Forest is a rainforest with slippery ground, so bring strong walking shoes, a rain poncho if there is a chance of heavy rain, a warm shirt with long sleeves for colder weather, and long pants to protect from long creeping vegetation. Bring your binoculars and get a closer look at chimps when you spot them high in the trees; this happens off the usual path.

Hiking in the Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe Forest National Park is ideal for those who enjoy trekking and hiking. The park has 13 separate hiking paths that range in length from 1 to 8 hours and allow visitors to see a vast variety of plants, trees, birds, primates, and butterflies. The Igishgishigi trail is the shortest and includes a canopy walk. Another adrenaline-pumping adventure. Meanwhile, the Bigugu Trail, which may take up to eight hours to hike, is the longest in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Each route provides a unique and diversified wildlife experience, displaying the species most commonly observed on that track. It takes several days to complete all 13 paths, but it's worthwhile to make the effort. It takes many days to traverse all 13 trails, so visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park, especially for the walking safari, is worthwhile.

Bird watching in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest Park is home to over 310 species of birds, 27 of which are endemic to the forests of the Albertine Rift. Such as, the Great Reed Warbler, endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley, is found in mountain swamps such as Kamiranzovu in Nyungwe. You can also find Rwenzori Turaco, White-bellied Robin, Blue-headed Sunbirds, Purple-breasted Sunbird and many others. There’s a lot to venture from orchids to primates, while birding in the Nyungwe forest. It has amazing and breathtaking views and offers beautiful views of virunga and Congo. Nyungwe is pure nature. It is a beautiful, lush green, often seen early in the morning and late in the evening when the fog is cold. In addition to all the animals, birds, and trees, one of the exciting attractions is the canopy walk, which is 50 meters high and 200 meters long. This is an exhilarating experience for many, and this canopy walk is the only one in East Africa.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Monkey tracking in Nyungwe

There are about 13 species of primates found in Nyungwe Forest Park, including unconfirmed reported sightings of golden monkeys. Besides chimpanzee treks, Nyungwe also offers treks to see Owl-faced monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, Rwenzori colobus monkeys, and many other primates. These monkeys are also found in up to 300 colobus monkeys. If you follow one of a group of primates in the forest, you may also see other monkeys along the walking trails. This includes L'Hoest Monkey, Mona Monkey, and Blue Monkey. The forest is also a primate's country, and you can trek among chimpanzees, gray-cheeked monkeys, and colobus monkeys in the ancient forest.

Nyungwe Night Walking Safaris

This recently launched nature stroll journey revels in a guided nighttime strolling safari inside Nyungwe National Park, and it’s now provided to visitors on a daily basis starting from  5:30 in the nighttime and lasting approximately 3 hours in the dense tract forests of Nyungwe National Park, unearthing all its hidden treasures via nighttime.


Nyungwe National Park is a magnificently beautiful and largest remaining tract of one of Africa’s oldest and most dense tropical and montane rainforests, rich in biodiversity and home to a variety of primate species, the most important of which are chimpanzees. Tourist attractions in Nyungwe National Park include mammal species, over 310 recorded bird species, an outstanding variety of plant species, and populations endemic to the Albertine region, some of which are not visible during the day but are enticing within the visitor sports in Nyungwe National Park completed during the day.


The introduction of night nature walk safaris within Nyungwe National Park now provides travelers with incredible opportunities to experience the splendor of nature, the sounds and breathtaking scents of the rain forests at night, and learn about several of Nyungwe’s inhabitants, particularly the nocturnal flora and fauna species such as bush babies, tree hyrax, and flying squirrel, amongst others.

Visit the mist-protected Nyungwe Forest National Park for thrilling adventures that include not only the most popular Night Nature Walk Safari but also the most popular Chimpanzee hiking experiences, one of the most exciting sports to come across with the chimps in a completely close variety for an entire hour.


Participate in various sports, such as canopy strolling on an extended suspended steel bridge on the pinnacle of the tree canopies to see the stunning views of the entire Nyungwe Forest, and visit the intriguing tropical waterfalls. See the most sumptuous and breathtaking Izumo waterfalls; observe large groups of black and white Colobus monkeys on an incredible Colobus Monkey hiking adventure; as well as excellent fowl watching. Nature hikes on both short and long nature trails through dense forests, as well as tea plantation trips to Gisakura tea plantation, which sits on the margins of Nyungwe Forest National Park.


You may combine these spectacular adventures with other exciting tourist activities in Volcanoes National Park by visiting Nyungwe National Park. For example, consider the popular and beautiful gorilla trekking trip, on which you may encounter tranquil mountain gorillas in their native habitat from just meters away. You may interact with the entire gorilla group. Golden Monkey Trekking to observe the timid, flashy, and lively golden monkeys generally spotted in bamboo forests, as well as other activities in Volcanoes National Park, such as Mount Karisimbi climbing safari.

If you want to spend more days on a Rwanda safari, add on an exciting wildlife-watching safari in Akagera National Park while embarking on a day or nighttime game drive in Akagera National Park, You can also join a boat trip on Lake Ihema. You can also take part in a unique white rhino chase, which usually takes place in the beautiful Kirara Plain, and spot a rarely seen white rhino, which will be your top 5 big mammals highlight in Akagera National Park.

The best time to track Nyungwe chimpanzees

The best time to trek with chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park depends on the personal preferences of the visitor. Chimpanzee trekking is the most pronounced activity in Nyungwe National Park. However, chimpanzee trekking is open throughout the year and as keen observers; June to September is the best time to spot the famous creatures, it’s dry and less hindered by heavy rains having it in mind that it’s also a high season in Rwanda so most travelers combine with volcano national for mountain gorilla trekking. March, April, May, October and November are a low-season months with too much rains that hinder most of activities in the country. Note, photographers and birders might want to travel in the low seasons as it’s the best time for outstanding wildlife and nature photography, waiting for that clear sky and that right moment for the wonderful shot.


Chimpanzee trekking nyungwe is an early activity waking up at around 5:00 AM is highly recommended or as advised by the driver guide depending on where you spent a night. Travelers wishing to go for chimpanzee trekking should have a trusted tour operator like Numinous African safaris to advise them on the best times for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park and to help book trekking permits earlier. It also helps you plan other logistics, such as transportation and accommodation in or around the park, to suit your trek timing. Let us know your requirements and we will help you with everything from designing your itinerary to booking admission tickets, accommodation, and transportation during your stay.