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Flora & Fauna in Nyungwe Forest

Animals in Nyungwe National Park

A total of 86 mammal species have been recorded in N yungwe National Park, most are very secretive and very difficult to see. Several antelope species inhabit the park include the secretive bushbuck, and the very rare endemic race of Weyns’s duiker.

The primates, on the other hand, are Nyungwe main attraction, especially the charismatic Chimpanzee, as well as 12 other primate species including;

  • Ruwenzori colobus
  • Blue monkeys
  • L’Hoest’s monkey
  • Dent’s Mona monkey
  • Owl-faced monkey
  • Vervet monkey
  • Olive baboon
  • Grey-cheeked mangabey
  • Silver monkey
  • Golden monkey
  • Red-tailed monkey

Plant Species In Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is remarkably rich in biodiversity with more than 1,068 plant species.

The park has over 200 tree species and hundreds of flowering plants including giant lobelias and over 140 kinds of orchids which make it a great destination for travellers on Rwanda wildlife tours.

Nyungwe also contains a span of vegetation zones that are dispensed according to their different altitudes.

At 2500m above sea level is Alpine vegetation -characterized by bamboo and shrubs. At 2250m, are found a range of tall trees and fern species such as Polycscias, Newtonia and Symphonia. At 1900m, are found taller tree species like Carapa, Cyathea Manniana and Newtonia.

The common tree species in the forest is Mahogany and one of the hiking trails in Nyungwe National Park was named Mahogany (Umuyove in Kinyarwanda) due to its dominance in that trail.

These plant species in Nyungwe allows and favour animals, birds and other creatures that survive in there. If you’re good at plants, it is easy for you to know where animals like primates are or when they will be at a given place and time.

If you know when some flowers and plants are in blooming time, then you are sure that birds will be there and primates such for fruits.

Cyamudongo Forest, Nyungwe National Park

Covering an area of about 6 square kilometers, this patch of montane forest, situated about 45 minutes’ drive south of Shagasha Tea Estate on the main road between Gisakura and Cyangugu, is now protected as an isolated annex to Nyungwe National Park.

Despite its small size, Cyamudongo still habours a community of 30 habituated chimpanzees often easier to track than the chimps in the main forest block in the dry season (July, August, and December) , when chimps tend to range more widely in search of food.

Once located, chimps here are highly approachable. Other mammals present include L’Hoest’s Monkeys and Dent’s Mona monkey.

Gisura Tea Estate Around Nyungwe National Park

Gisakura Tea Estate is one of the most famous tea plantations in Rwanda, and certainly among the most beautiful. Tours and tastings can be arranged.

A relict of forest patch in this tea estate, only 20 minutes’ walk from Gisura guest house supports a resident troop of around 50 Rwenzori colobus monkeys. The troop is very habituated, far more than larger troops in Uwinka, and the relatively small territory this monkeys occupy make the easy to locate and to see clearly.

Particularly in early morning, the forest patch is also an excellent bird watching site. Notable species to see here include;

  • Black-throated apalis,
  • White tailed crested flycatcher,
  • Chubb’s cisticola,
  • African golden oriole,
  • Green pigeon,
  • Olive-green cameroptera,
  • Three types of sun birds,
  • Two greenbuls,
  • Two crimson-wings,

Want to visit Nyungwe Forest?

Want to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda's only chimpanzee trekking park for primate safari experiences?