Traveling to Gishwati Mukura National Park is an amazing experience. The park is located in the North-West of Rwanda not far from Lake Kivu, Volcanoes National Park and DR Congo approximately 27km from Volcanoes National park, about 2-3hours drive from Kigali; the Capital of Rwanda. the forest reserve of Gishwati is found in Ruhango, Muhonyi, Kigeyo, and Nyabirasi which are sectors of Rutsiro District.
You can access the park by road; this can be from Kigali or Volcanoes National Park (that is if you are on a combined trip of these two parks). While traveling by road you can hire a comfortable car or use public means which is a bus (but it takes you long to arrive).
One can also fly to the park. Remember you cannot walk to the park because there you would need a lot of time and it’s exhausting and tiresome.
The journey begins in Kigali, and as you travel to the Northwest you will go through different towns, with spectacular views of hills, the road is quite good. For those that would love to drive themselves there should ensure to follow the road rules since there are sharp turns, and read sign posts for clear directions. Also be advised that a car is driven on the right while in Rwanda.
Travelling to Gishwati Mukura National Park shouldn’t be so difficult especially if you plan very well. Ensure that you enjoy your journey to the maximum, so you can hire a car or make your bookings through us and have yourself an unforgettable experience in Rwanda!
Where to Stay in Gishwati Mukura National Park in Rwanda
Being a new National Park; a few accommodation facilities have been established within and near Gishwati-Mukura National Park. The best facility so far to have an overnight stay is Gishwati lodge which is a great dwelling to combine adventure, luxury, and conservation while on a visit to Gishwati-Mukura National Park. It is a luxurious lodge with great views of the beautiful landscape of the park; also activities like chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, photography and bird watching can be well enjoyed by visitors staying at the lodge.
Gishwati-Mukura National Park is a wonderful park with diverse plant and animal species including over 84 bird species and over 5 species of primates such as chimpanzees, blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, black and white colobus, baboons, golden monkeys and other animals like the Red river hogs, bushbucks among others, also butterflies can be found in this park. Formed in 2015 after joining two forests Gishwati and Mukura covering an area of about 34.3 sq km. A number of activities can be done while there such as nature walks/hikes, cultural encounters, bird watching, and Chimpanzee tracking hence Gishwati-Mukura is a place not to miss out while on a Rwandan safari.
Gishwati lodge is an extraordinary and comfortable lodge that provides visitors with an adventurous and elegant feeling; in other wards, it is a home away from home. The staff is well skilled and the food served is just tasty.
This luxurious eco-lodge has 6 rustic cottages that accommodate 12 guests; it is a sister property to Bisate lodge located in the habitat of the endangered Gorillas-Volcanoes National Park. This is a great opportunity of you having a combined encounter of the World’s amazing Apes; the Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas. Meaning is among the first visitors to spend an overnight at this lodge where you will be able to do both Chimp tracking and Gorilla tracking staying in sister properties.
In conclusion, Gishwati lodge is the perfect base/start point for visiting habituated golden monkeys and chimpanzees in their natural habitat within the Gishwati Mukura. The park also has campsites which are in favor also for the budget travelers in for camping
Primates Trekking in Gishwati Mukura
Gishwati Mukura national Park is popular because of its flora and fauna. This preserved area offers an unbelievable diversity hence providing passage for free movement of these primates such as chimpanzees, white and black colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, blue monkeys, L Hoest monkeys and other different species of mammals. The park has also around 60 species of trees that includes hard wood and bamboo.
Among the activities that have been re-established to preserve these forests include rehabilitating natural forest and improving land management in the agricultural lands and also making known the various methods of silvo pastoralism in the central Gishwati reserve.
The advancement of Gishwati-mukura forest to the position of the national park will significantly contribute to the source of revenue of people living around the park and REMA will ensure that the remaining part of the forest is fully protected as noted by the Director General of REMA.
This is tremendously exhilarating news for Rwanda government and the people of Rwanda, as it expresses the readiness of the government to help stabilize and guard the largely useful areas in Rwanda. Therefore people of Rwanda should keep positive for a couples of years, the national park will bring desirable resources such as jobs, new developments and more income to ensure the continued preservation of the national park.
Other Activities to Experience in Gishwati Mukura National park
This park is among the top birding spots of Rwanda, birding can be done on foot through the jungle, over 84 bird species stay there. It being small is an added advantage to birding since it makes it easy to watch birds.
Since the Gishwati-Mukura was occupied by people, as the government and other conservationists tried to revive it again, they had to come up with ways in which the surrounding communities could benefit from tourism hence coming up with products such as traditional healing, dance and drama, and handicraft making.
Nature walks and Hiking
There are a number of trails in the park which are used for guided walks and hiking by tourists through the forests. This gives visitors a great view of the beauty of this park while on foot and also some hidden wildlife like butterflies and birds can be spotted during hikes.
About Gishwati Mukura National Park
Rwanda is known mainly for three major national parks but of recent, the fourth national park, Gishwati Mukura National Park was introduced and opened for tourism. The park is currently made up of two separate forests – the larger Gishwati and small Mukura, hence the name, Gishwati Mukura National Park. The two forests sit on a total of 34 square kilometres plus a buffer zone.
Lying on the ridge which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas, along the incredibly biodiverse Albertine Rift in the west of the country, Gishwati Mukura National Park is proud to host over 60 tree species including the indigenous hardwoods and bamboo.
Gishwati Mukura National Park is also a habitat of 20 chimpanzee groups which reside here alongside the golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s, and the Blue-furred Monkeys. Not to miss to see in the park are the birds too, with over 232 species in Gishwati and 163 species in Mukura forests of the park of which among them, among them Albertine Rift Endemic species and forest specialists.
Gishwati is currently part of an ambitious landscape restoration program. Activities in the park are due to begin in 2019 and include a guided nature hike, guided chimp, and monkey tracking, bird watching and a visit to the waterfalls.