Close this search box.

About Nyungwe Forest Park

In the southwest corner of Uganda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is a vast untouched tropical rainforest with a high, dense canopy. Nyungwe became a National Park in 2004 as Uganda sought to increase its tourism beyond the country’s mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, and is certainly worthy of its status because of its spectacular biodiversity.

The heart of Nyungwe Forest is like a scene from a fairy tale. Tall old mahoganies, ebonies and giant tree ferns tower above you, whilst orchids and other epiphytes cling to every branch. Brightly coloured birds flit around, butterflies are everywhere, and walking quietly you may even encounter larger forest residents, including a variety of primates for which Nyungwe National Park is renowned.

To get a real sense of the scale of Nyungwe, try East Africa’s highest canopy walk with a metal bridge suspended 50 metres above the forest. It’s not for the vertiginous but the views of Nyungwe sprawled out below are unforgettable.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest Park Location

Nyungwe National Park lies in southwest Uganda, partly abutting the Burundi border. It’s a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees, plus owl-faced and colobus monkeys. The Canopy Walkway, part of the Igishigishigi Trail, is a high suspension bridge with views over the valley and surrounding forests. A trail runs to the Kamiranzovu Marsh, with its birdlife, orchids and waterfall.
How to Reach Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kampala on good if sometimes winding roads. There are some attractions en route that include Nyanza King’s Palace and the National Museum should you wish to break the journey. Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kampala on good if sometimes winding roads. Transport  to and from the park can easily be arranged with the Visit And Tour Uganda.
Nyungwe forest national park is a perfect holiday spot for nature lovers and adventurers. You cannot possibly run out of things to do when you visit this park

Popular Activities at Nyungwe forest national park

Chimpanzee Trekking

Nyungwe has a large population of chimpanzees. And many who visit the park often go on a chimpanzee tracking adventure. There is no one season for chimpanzee tracking. It can be done all year round.

The chimpanzees are not habituated like the gorillas so there is no guarantee of a sighting at particular places. But more often than not you will find the chimpanzees because they are quite common in the forest. The chimps are not as settled and orderly as the habituated gorillas are, which makes for an exciting tracking experience. With well trained and experienced guides, you will of course find the chimpanzees.

Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Birding

Nyungwe forest national park boasts of over 285 bird species.27 of these species are endemic to the Albertine Rift valley. Lots of colourful and interesting birds to see, the most notable being the Blue turaco. Ruwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzorii, Kungwe Apalis Apalis argentea, Ruwenzori Apalis Apalis ruwenzorii, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer, Archer’s Robin-chat Cossypha archeri, Dusky Crimson Wing Cryptospiza jacksoni, Ruwenzori Batis Batis diops, Shelley’s Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi , Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis and Neumann’s Warbler Hemitesia neumanni are some of the birds that you might see in the park.

Nyungwe Canopy Walk

The canopy walk above Nyungwe forest is the only one of its kind in Africa. Built at an impressive 50m above the forest the Nyungwe canopy walk is not for the faint hearted. If you are afraid of heights you might want to get rid of the phobia before you travel because such a splendid sight should be seen by everyone.

Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe Forest National Park

Forest Hiking Trails in Nyungwe

Over 130 kilometers of hiking routes have been created in Nyungwe Forest National Park, allowing visitors to explore its interior and its fascinating habitats. Walking in Nyungwe is excellent, with trails lasting from one to eight hours. The beautifully named Igishigishigi Trail is one of the shortest hikes yet includes East Africa’s highest canopy walk with spectacular views across Nyungwe Forest, while the 6 hour Bigugu Trail leads you to the highest mountain in the Park at 2950m.

Community & Culture

Just like most African communities, the Ugandan people in the Nyungwe have very rich and interesting culture. Discover Ugandan food, be entertained by cultural performers in song and dance, learn more about the history of the area and the country, and enjoy interaction with the locals. There are centers such as the Banda Community Village, Kitabi cultural village, and entertainment groups such as the friends of Nyungwe and the Cyamundongo cultural troupe, that bring the culture of the Rwandese people to life in different ways.

There is much much more to see and enjoy in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Simply set a date and plan your safari.

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Other Highlights at Nyungwe National Park

  • Wildlife in Nyungwe Forest

    Forest National Park includes the largest swathe of remaining montane forest in East or Central Africa. It harbours about 310 different bird species, hundreds of butterflies and orchids, and over 75 different species of mammals – including 13 primates (about a quarter of all Africa’s primates).

  • Holidays in Nyungwe Forest National Park

    Nyungwe Forest National Park is a 4-5 hour drive from Kampala on good if sometimes winding roads. There are some attractions en route that include Nyanza King’s Palace and the National Museum should you wish to break the journey.

    The Uwinka Visitor Centre, inside the Park, is well worth a visit, with information on the history of Nyungwe, its fauna and flora and local culture. This is also the place to hire guides, which are compulsory for any hikes within Nyungwe National Park.

  • Nyungwe Forest safari camps and lodges

    Accommodation for Nyungwe National Park is quite limited but fortunately spans across a range of budgets. One of Uganda’s best lodges, Nyungwe Forest Lodge has luxury facilities including an infinity pool and gym, with good views overlooking the forest canopy from a ridge to one side and a tea-plantation on the other. At the other end of the scale, the low-budget ORTPN Resthouse (also known as Gisakura Guesthouse), is also situated on the edge of the forest, with simple rooms but a friendly and helpful team.