Nyungwe National Park is located southwestern Rwanda within the Albertine Rift Valley. The park harbors Nyungwe Forest, East Africa's largest and oldest mountain rainforest and one of the largest mountainous rainforest remaining in Africa. Nyungwe has an incredible treasure-trove of biodiversity with an exceptional level of species endemism. Of the 86 species of mammals in Nyungwe, 14 are endemic to the Albertine Rift. 280 avian species have been identified in the forest, with 26 Albertine Rift endemic species and 121 forest species. Of the 43 species of reptiles, 8 are endemic. There are 31 species of amphibians with 15 endemic species. Nyungwe is also known for its abundant butterfly populations which include 21 Albertine Rift endemic species.
Nyungwe is particularly a very important ornithological site in Rwanda. With more 310 species of birds, it is increasingly being sought out for incredible birding opportunities, particularly the numerous Albertine Rift endemics; the highest concentration found in any single park in Africa. The park has more than 240 species of trees, more than 140 colorful orchids, 1050 plant types, such as the giant lobelia. Of these plants 250 are endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Nyungwe has 13 primate species including habituated chimpanzees, olive baboons, bush babies and monkeys species including L'Hoest, Owl-faced Monkey, Mona Monkey, Blue Monkey, Golden Monkey, Vervet Monkey, Greycheeked Mangaby, Red-tailed Monkey and the Black and White Colobus. Other mammals in Nyungwe include among others squirrels, Giant Forest Hogs, Bush Pigs, Tree Hyrax, Duiker, Leopards, Golden Cat, Serval, Wild Cat, Side-striped Jackal, African Civet and Mongoose.
The highest mountain in the park is Bigugu, reaching an altitude of 2950m. Nyungwe is an important water catchment for Rwanda. Within the park is the most remote source of the Nile.
Nyungwe National Park is approximately 225km from Kigali. It is about a five hours drive. The road to Nyungwe meanders across highlands with lots of sharp turns and winding areas. On the way to Nyungwe there are interesting historicals sites one can see such as Nyanza Kings Palace at Nyabisindu, the reconstructed King's palace which gives the insight into the royals of the Rwanda Kingdom, the National Museum, intore dancers, craft shops, the arboretum, and the Cathedral all in Huye and Gikongoro's Genocide Memorial along the way to Nyungwe.
With a wide diversity of wildlife species, Nyungwe is a haven for the nature lovers. There is a variety and rarity of what to experience on a Rwanda tour in Nyungwe National Park.