Nyungwe forest offers a rare and important habitat for many species,especially primates and birds. And at over 1000 km2, Nyungwe is Africa’s largest protected mountain rainforest.
With about 280 bird species, 25 of which are endemic, Nyungwe is one of the most important — and still undiscovered — birdwatching destinations in Africa. Reaching to almost 3000 meters above sea level with Mount Bigugu the highest point in the Park, Nyungwe’s forests extend to altitudes occupied by few other forests in Africa.
Nyungwe is also home to one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of chimpanzees and a sometimes noisy, acrobatic combination of other primates such as Ruwenzori colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys.
A variety of hiking and walking trails criss-cross the Park leading to a canopy walk, primate tracking adventures, the southernmost source of the Nile and ecotourism attractions. The park includes a colorful array of orchids, butterflies, moths and other insects.
The forest has a growing network of walking and hiking trails and a number of camping sites near the Uwinka Visitor Center. Cultural tourism activities are being developed near the edge of the Park. New trails and camping sites are planned and being constructed as part of the USAID-sponsored Nyungwe Nziza Project, as are new ways of both observing and enjoying the Park.
What is a Rift?
A rift is where sections of the earth are slowly spreading apart over millions of years, creating mountains, lakes, valleys and volcanoes.
Lake Kivu Visible from points in Nyungwe, it is one of the Great Lakes of Africa and the fifteenth largest in the world. Dissolved gases in the lake have the potential to generate enough electricity to power Rwanda for 400 years!
Mount Bigugu The highest point in Nyungwe, it rises 2950m.
Nyungwe and Water
Nyungwe is Rwanda’s primary water catchment, sheltering more than two-thirds of all of its waters.
Nyungwe receives more than 2000 mm a year of rain and thus is also the source of Africa’s great rivers.
Rain that falls on the east side feeds the Nile and on the west runs to the Congo. The Congo-Nile Divide is a mountain range that runs north to south through Rwanda.