Exploring Tourism in Rwanda
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Nyungwe National Park, Africa’s Mountain Rainforest

Nyungwe, Rwanda

Nyungwe rainforest is placed in the southwestern Rwanda, at the border with Burundi, south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best preserved rainforest in the mountains throughout Central Africa. It is located in the watershed between the basin of the river Congo to the west and the basin of the river Nile to the east. From the east side of the Nyungwe forest comes also one of the branches of the Nile sources. Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and 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.

Nyungwe forest has a wide diversity of animal species, making it a priority for conservation in Africa. The forest is situated in a region where several large-scale biogeographical zones meet and the variety of terrestrial biomes provide a great span of microhabitats for many different species of plants and animals.

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.

Primate species:

·         Common Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

·         Adolf Friedrich's Angola Colobus (Colobus angolensis ruwenzori)

·         L'Hoest's Monkey (Cercopithecus l'hoesti)

·         Silver Monkey (Cercopithecus doggetti)

·         Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus kandti)

·         Hamlyn's Monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni)

·         Red-tailed Monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius)

·         Dent's Mona Monkey (Cercopithecus denti)

·         Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus)

·         Olive Baboon (Papio anubis)

·         Grey-cheeked Mangabey (Lophocebus albigena)

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