Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe which among the largest mountain rainforest in Africa covers an area of about 400 square miles .The forest is made includes rugged terrain and tall closed canopy forest, bamboo thickets and open flower filled marshes. The forest was established as a forest reserve in 1933

The forest is a home to at least 275 species of birds, 140 species of Orchids, 13 types of primates and more than 400 endangered chimpanzees.

Nyungwe is an important water catchment for Rwanda and contains many natural resources on which   Rwanda population depends.

Important wildlife
It is a habitant of the following important wildlife;

  • Owl faced monkeys
  • Chimpanzee
  • Black and white colobus monkeys
  • Handsome white bearded L’Hoest’s money
  • Acrobatic Angola colobus
  • Great blue turaco
  • Crested bird

Human Population
The human population around Nyungwe is up to 200 people per square mile as such the buffer zones surrounding much of the forest have been planted with pines to generate income for local communities and for use as firewood and building poles plus herbalists harvest medicinal plants from the forest and beekeeping associations install hives at the edges of the park to produce high quality honey.

The tourist activities at the park
The tourist activities of the park include the following;

  • Good network of nature walking trails
  • Bird and butterfly watching
  • Walking trails for primate tracking

Challenges the park faces
The challenges of the park include the following;

  • There immense pressure from human activities on the forest and wildlife.
  • Poaching of large mammals at Nyungwe like buffalo and elephants led to their disappearance
  • Control of fires started by the local community people
  • The mining of gold and columbo tantalite have resulted in the creation of large mining camps of people in the forest
  • Cutting trees for firewood and building of houses