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Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park Inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Nyungwe National Park, situated in Rwanda’s Southern and Western Province, has been officially designated as a natural World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee.

This marks the first site in Rwanda to be featured on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The announcement was made in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 19, 2023. With this new status, Nyungwe National Park’s long-term conservation is ensured, its natural heritage is preserved for future generations, and sustainable development is promoted for neighboring communities.

Originally established as a natural reserve in 1933, Nyungwe National Park was upgraded to a national park in 2005 to increase protection and safeguard its many endangered and endemic species. Covering an area of 101,900 hectares, it is the largest block of natural forest in the region. The park is home to over a dozen species of primates, 322 bird species, 200 identified orchids, and nearly 300 butterfly species, including several that are unique to the park. The African Parks Network, in partnership with the Rwandan Government, manages the park.

This recognition follows the inclusion of Gishwati-Mukura National Park in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2020 and builds upon the long-established presence of the Volcanoes Biosphere Reserve, which has been a part of the network since 1983. Together, these designations highlight Rwanda’s commitment to conservation and contributing to global conservation efforts. Visitors to Nyungwe National Park can choose from a variety of accommodation options, regardless of their budget or preference.

While in Rwanda, a visit to Nyungwe National Park should be at the top of your bucket list. The park offers a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else in Africa. You can engage in various activities such as walking on the Canopy Walkway, Chimpanzee and Colobus Monkey Tracking, or taking a guided bird-watching tour. Without a doubt, Nyungwe National Park is a must-visit destination.

Flora and Fauna of Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, represents a significant conservation area for rainforest and its biodiversity in Central Africa. The park is home to intact forests, peat bogs, moors, thickets, and grasslands, which provide habitats to a highly diverse range of flora and fauna. Of significant importance is the fact that this park contains the most significant natural habitats for several species found nowhere else in the world, including the globally threatened Eastern Chimpanzee, Golden Monkey, and the critically endangered Hills Horseshoe Bat.

Nyungwe National Park is also home to 12 mammal and seven bird species that are globally threatened. With 317 species of birds recorded, it is one of the most important sites for bird conservation in Africa. The varied topography of the park gives rise to a rich and unique mix of flora and fauna, making it a must-visit destination in Rwanda.

Activities to do in Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park has a lot to offer to travellers seeking a thrilling experience in the wild. With an incredibly diverse flora and fauna, it is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Here are some of the must-try activities:

Firstly, the Canopy Walkway is a unique experience that offers panoramic views of the forest and a chance to spot a variety of wildlife. The 160m long bridge is suspended 50m above the forest floor.

Chimpanzee Tracking is another popular activity in the park, where you can follow these intelligent primates through the forest and learn about their behaviour and habitat.

The Waterfall Trail is a beautiful hike that takes you through the lush forest, ending at the stunning Kamiranzovu Waterfall.

Black and White Colobus Monkey Tracking is a great way to get close to these adorable primates and observe their daily activities.

For bird lovers, guided birdwatching tours are a great way to discover the diverse avian species found in the park.

Overall, Nyungwe National Park truly offers a unique and unforgettable adventure experience for visitors.

Getting to Nyungwe National Park

Getting to Nyungwe National Park is an adventure, offering beautiful scenery along the way. By car, the park is a 5–6-hour drive from Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. For those who want to save time, flights to Kamembe Airport, located about an hour away from the park, can be arranged. No matter how you choose to get there, the journey to Nyungwe National Park is worth it.

Accommodation Options in Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe National Park has an array of accommodation options to choose from. For those who want exclusivity and luxury, One&Only Nyungwe House is an excellent choice.Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is the midrage option whle  Chimpanzee Lodge, EAR Ken Barham Guest house,Nyungwe nziza lodge  are the budget option for those who want to save some cash. And for those who want to have a lakeside experience, Mantis Kivu Marina Bay and  Emeraude Kivu Resort are the perfect choices. No matter what your budget or preference, Nyungwe National Park has something to offer to everyone. Book your stay now and experience the best of what Rwanda has to offer.

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