Tourist Activities In Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park was gazetted in 2015 making it one of the newly established protected areas in Rwanda and East Africa at large. It is best described as a miracle conservation area in Rwanda and it is a home to variety of attractions like the red River hogs, southern 3 hyrax, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, golden monkeys, more than 130 bird species, chimpanzees and about 58 species of trees which range from hardwood to bamboo. These varied attractions support a number of tourist activities most of which include;

  • Chimpanzee tracking

Gishwati Mukura National Park boasts of unique primates, most of which include chimpanzees and this makes chimpanzee tracking one of the major highlight. Though the experience can’t be compared to that of the Nyungwe where there are more than 13 primates thriving in one habitat, trekking chimpanzees at this park equally rewards visitors with the most dramatic experiences. The chimpanzees at this park nearly got wiped out due to poaching and habitat loss but this later, their lives were saved due to collaborative efforts from Rwandan government and most Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which have come up to facilitate forest conservation and other wildlife species. The entire process of chimpanzee trekking at Gishwati Mukura National Park is the same like those in other protected areas. It starts early in the morning with briefing at the park headquarters.

  • Hiking/nature walks

For nature lovers, nature walks/hiking is one of the best ways that you can easily explore Gishwati Mukura Forest National Park in depth. A nature walk at this park rewards you with amazing views of spectacular attractions especially primates such as golden monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and also explore more than 60 distinct species of trees especially orchids, mahogany, Macaranga kilimand, ferns, bamboos, colorful butterflies, blue lichens and many mammal species like the southern 3 hyrax, red river hogs and not to forget several amphibian species especially the brown forest frogs and reptiles like the bush vipers and chameleons. In addition, several hiking trails at this park allow you to explore the spectacular Kazeneza waterfall which is in the middle of the forest.

  • Birding

For avid lovers on safari in Rwanda, Gishwati Mukura National Park is one of the best Important Bird Areas that you should pay a visit. It refuges a number of most distinct bird species which make a total of about 84 including the Albertine rift endemic species of about 20 species. Its smallest size makes it one of the easiest birding spots for you to spot out most of bird species within a shortest time possible. The key bird species that are worth exploring at Gishwati Mukura National Park include the grey crowned cranes, weaver birds, strange weaver, wood hoopoes, duikers, red throated alethe, martial eagle, regal sunbird, mountain yellow warbler, Rwenzori Turacos and many others.

  • Cultural encounters

Beside wildlife experiences, this park also rewards you with amazing African cultural experiences. Most NGOs and conservation organizations like the Great Ape Trust partner with the locals and the Rwanda Development Board to develop local projects with amazing activities that tourists on safari at Gishwati Mukura National Park can participate in. Most of these activities include entertainment which comes inform of traditional and cultural dances, drama, paying a visit to traditional healers, preparing traditional food, hand craft making and others.

In conclusion, Gishwati Mukura National Park is not just a new protected area but a hidden secret which you should count a must to explore while on vacation in Rwanda.