Location: Rusizi District, Southwest Rwanda

Area: 1,019 km2 (393 sq. mi)


Nyungwe National Park is the oldest rainforest in Africa rich in biodiversity and a spectacularly beautiful expanse of forest in Rwanda, covering 1,019 km2 (393 sq. mi) of dense Afromontane forests, bamboo-covered slopes, grasslands, and wetlands. Nyungwe forest is hundreds of thousands of years old.

Nyungwe National Park was established in 2004 with people’s presence dating back at least 50,000 years. 1903 Colonial Crown Land Nyungwe was declared a forest reserve, first by the German colonial government and then by the Belgians with restrictions on clearing. The forest is on the border with Burundi, where it is contiguous with the Kibira National Park to the south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

The park feeds two of the world’s largest rivers, the Congo and the Nile, providing a significant portion of the country’s fresh water. Being a regional biodiversity hotspot, Nyungwe supports 1,068 recorded plant species, 322 bird species, 75 known mammal species, and the mountainous region’s wildlife includes a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift.

This rainforest is probably the best preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa, with the nearest town Cyangugu 54km (34mi) to the west and Mount Bigugu (2,921m/9,583ft) located within the park borders.

In 2020 October the Rwanda Development Board signed an agreement with Africa Parks to assume management for an initial 20 years.

Accessible by road just 226km(140.43mi) and 5 hours drive from Kigali City in 4×4 recommended and by helicopter for private drop only 45 mins from Kigali International Airport and 30 mins from Volcanoes in Musanze Town.

The Uniqueness of this Park

  • A quarter of all of Africa’s primates, 13 species, are found here, including the common chimpanzee.

  • A birder’s paradise with around 300 recorded species, nearly 30 of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift region.
  • High diversity of species and endemism of plants, birds, and mammals.
  • In 2021, 1,277 hectares of indigenous forest regeneration was assisted through the removal of exotic plants.
  • Over 6,000 community members and local leaders have been engaged in community environmental awareness meetings, and 1,000 children from school environmental clubs visited the parks in 2021.
  • A community freelance guiding project has seen 15 local guides trained for the park’s tourism activities.
  • The Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best-preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa.

Accommodation Options

  • Nyungwe Forest Lodge (20 luxurious rooms and two Presidential Suites).
  • One & Only Nyungwe House (22 luxury rooms and suites situated in eight stunning wooden villas).

Activities at the Destination

Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest, Chimpanzee Tracking, Colobus Monkey Tracking, Bird Watching, Game Viewing Drives, Congo Nile Trail, and Camping.

African Sundowner

Bird Watching

Bush Breakfast

Bush Dinner

Bush Lunch

Chimpanzee Trekking

Cultural Tour

Game Drive

Golden Monkey Tracking

Gorilla trekking

Guided Walking Safaris

Hot Air-Balloon Safari

Night Game Drive

Photographic Safaris

Scenic Flights

The Great Wildebeest Migration