The magnificent and expansive Nyungwe Forest is a definite reason to prolong your stay in Rwanda. Rising over the shores of Lake Kivu, Nyungwe is one of the largest, most primal and bio diverse forests along the Albertine Rift. The rich mosaic of habitats range from bamboo groves, open flowery marshes, 2-3m-tall giant lobelias along the roadside and dense jungle vegetation. Entwined around this, the characteristic Rwandan countryside of rolling tea plantations, terraced hills and forested slopes merge with the tumbling green hills looming towards the Burundi border.
Mad About Monkeys?
The forest hosts a rich floral diversity and is host to a staggering number of Albertine Rift endemics, as well as 13 primate species, which make up 20-25% of the total number of primates found in Africa. This includes a healthy Chimpanzee population, L’Hoest’s Monkey, and Golden Monkeys, as well as the largest troop of arboreal monkeys – the Ruwenzori Colobus – found on the continent.
Nyungwe supports a growing number of mammals and a myriad of birds – including at least 26 endemic species; in fact, is arguably one of the most important bird-watching destinations in Rwanda. Several of these can be spotted on one of the many walking trails throughout the forest, which – depending on which trail is chosen – will also take visitors past waterfalls, ravines and small streams, areas rich in orchids and freshwater springs.