Regenwald des Nyungwe Nationalparks

Nyungwe National Park: Between chimps and rainforest

Anja Sterker
Written by: Anja Sterker Last updated at: February 22, 2024

Nyungwe National Park: Between chimps and rainforest

Table of contents

Hidden deep in the heart of Rwanda is a place of unspoiled beauty and biodiversity that not only captures the imagination but also awakens wanderlust - Nyungwe National Park. Home to numerous primate species, including chimpanzees and black and white colobus monkeys, the park not only opens a window into the wild soul of Africa, but also stands as a living example of the value of conservation. Here in the mist-shrouded mountains and dense, green rainforests lies a fascinating variety of natural treasures that invite you on an adventure you won't soon forget. Join us on a journey through this natural wonder, discover its secrets and find out why a trip to Nyungwe National Park is more than just a vacation, but an encounter with the wilderness in the heart of Africa.

Dicht bewachsender Regenwald und eine Hängebrücke im Hintergrund

The magical landscape of Nyungwe National Park

In the southwest of Rwanda, at an altitude of up to 3,000 meters above sea level, Nyungwe National Park covers an extensive area of around 1,000 square kilometers. The Nyungwe landscape is characterized by dense forests, picturesque waterfalls and clear mountain streams stretching over endless ridges. These forests are a prime example of biodiversity: they are home to a fascinating array of life forms, from over 13 different primate species, including chimpanzees, to over 300 bird species that enliven the foliage with their songs.

However, the real heart of the park is not only the spectacular species that find refuge here, but also the geological features such as waterfalls cascading over sheer cliffs and the famous Canopy Walk, a suspension bridge that takes visitors over the canopy of trees and offers a breathtaking view of the flora and fauna below. For those who are not quite so keen on dizzying heights, there is a network of well-maintained trails that also allow you to immerse yourself in this green world where every step is a new discovery.

Nyungwe is more than a national park; it is a living mosaic of ecosystems, a place where the splendor of nature is not only seen but also felt. Every visit here is a tribute to the wild heart of Africa and an unforgettable encounter with its incomparable natural beauty.

The wildlife of Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is a treasure trove of nature that amazes every visitor with its breathtaking biodiversity. This green paradise is home to an impressive variety of animal species, making it an incomparable destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The park serves as home to over 1,000 plant species, hundreds of bird species and an impressive number of butterflies, which together paint a vivid picture of nature.

  • Primate paradise: One of the largest concentrations of primates in the world can be found under the shady canopies of Nyungwe. Over 13 species, including the playful chimpanzees and the cute black and white colobus monkeys, make this park their home. In Nyungwe National Park you have the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat. The chimpanzees - our fascinating closest relatives - offer insights into a world so similar and yet so different to our own. Meeting them as they playfully romp through the thicket or eat breakfast in quiet communion is definitely a highlight for any visitor and an experience that will remain etched in your memory forever.
  • Bird diversity: With over 300 bird species, including numerous endemic and rare species, Nyungwe National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. The melodious songs and dazzling colors of the birds really captivate everyone. Even if you are not normally a classic birder, you are sure to be enchanted by the colors and songs. In the forests of Nyungwe National Park, you can spend hours searching the air for the next rare bird. Let yourself be completely absorbed by nature and silence and enjoy the unforgettable concert.

Activities in Nyungwe National Park

With a variety of activities that emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of this place, Nyungwe offers unforgettable experiences for every visitor.

Chimp trekking: On the trail of the primates

One of the most captivating activities in Nyungwe National Park is undoubtedly chimpanzee trekking. These guided tours offer the rare opportunity to observe our closest relatives in their natural habitat. Accompanied by experienced rangers, you will set out on the trails through the dense rainforest to observe the chimpanzees going about their daily routine. A chimpanzee trek in Nyungwe National Park not only offers an intense nature experience, but also contributes to the conservation of these fascinating primates and their environment. It is a unique opportunity to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Rwanda's wildlife.

Schimpanse läuft zwischen Bäumen in Richtung Kamera

Canopy Walk

Another extraordinary activity that Nyungwe offers is the Canopy Walk. This suspension bridge, which stretches over a length of 200 meters and hovers up to 70 meters above the forest floor, provides a unique bird's eye view of the rainforest. The canopy walk is not only a thrill for adventure seekers, but also a wonderful opportunity to experience the park's abundant birdlife and lush vegetation up close. Enjoy views as far as Lake Kivu.

Haengeseilbruecke umgeben von dichtem Regenwald

Hikes through Nyungwe National Park

For those who wish to explore the beauty of Nyungwe National Park on foot, the park offers a variety of hiking trails that lead through some of Africa's most spectacular scenery. From easy walks to challenging tours, there is something for every taste and fitness level. These hikes lead past rushing waterfalls, through moss-covered forests and to breathtaking viewpoints that offer unforgettable views of the surrounding mountain landscape.

Nyungwe National Park is a place that awakens a longing for adventure and discovery. Every activity is an invitation to immerse yourself in the mysteries and wonders of nature. Whether you walk in the footsteps of chimpanzees, soar above the treetops or explore the park's endless trails, Nyungwe promises experiences that touch the heart and enrich the soul. A visit here is not only a journey to one of the most spectacular places in the world, but also a journey to oneself, an adventure that will live long in the memory.

The best time to visit Nyungwe National Park

A trip to Nyungwe National Park is an unforgettable experience that needs to be carefully planned, especially when it comes to choosing the best time to visit. Thanks to its unique climate and location in the heart of Africa, Nyungwe offers exciting activities all year round. But to get the most out of your visit, it's important to factor the weather and climate into your planning.

A climate of diversity

Nyungwe National Park enjoys a temperate tropical highland climate, with temperatures rarely rising above 25°C or falling below 10°C. The high altitude and dense forest cover provide a pleasant coolness that makes the park a refreshing retreat. The name "rainforest" is no coincidence, so you can expect rain all year round. The official rainy season is from October to November and from March to May.

The dry seasons: Ideal conditions for exploring

The best time to visit Nyungwe National Park is during the dry seasons from June to September and from December to February. During these months, the trails are less slippery, the visibility of the wildlife is better and there is less chance of getting caught in a rain shower.

  • Chimp trekking and bird watching: The dry seasons are particularly recommended for chimpanzee treks as the primates are easier to find and observe. Birdwatchers will also find that the clear days of the dry season provide ideal conditions for spotting the numerous bird species that are native to the park.
  • Canopy Walk: A year-round adventure: The famous canopy walk is an experience that can be enjoyed all year round. However, during the dry season, the clear views and pleasant weather provide an even more impressive perspective of the forest and its inhabitants.

Flexibility and adaptability

Regardless of the chosen travel time, flexibility is the key to success. The weather in Nyungwe National Park can change quickly, so it is advisable to be prepared for anything. So pack rain gear and good walking shoes and get ready to discover the breathtaking beauty of Nyungwe, whatever the weather

Nyungwe National Park is more than just a destination; it is an invitation to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and experience the diversity of life in all its facets. From the mysterious trails that lead through the dense rainforest, to the breathtaking encounters with chimpanzees, to the quiet moments under the starry sky - every second in Nyungwe is a precious gift waiting to be discovered.

So, if you are ready to be enchanted by the wild beauty of Africa, revitalize your senses and be part of an unforgettable journey, then Nyungwe National Park should not be missing on your trip to Rwanda. Don't hesitate to plan your trip to Rwanda with us. We are here to help you create a customized adventure that will take you deep into the wonders of Nyungwe National Park. Contact us today to turn your dream trip into a reality. Rwanda awaits you with open arms and an adventure you will never forget.