Nyungwe Forest for Birding | 10 REASONS VISIT RWANDA

GISHWATI MUKURA NATIONAL PARK

Gishwati Mukura National Park is Rwanda’s newly founded national park and remarkably one of the few that reward travel endeavors with new safari experiences. Gishwati Mukura National Park is suitably found along the Congo Nile Divide, west of Rwanda just within districts of Ngororero and Rutsiro in the western province. This pristine national park was established in 2015 which makes it the newest and also the 4th national park to be established in Rwanda. Gishwati Mukura National Park spans up to 3558 hectares and its establishment was primarily to inhabit its biodiversity.  For starters, Gishwati Mukura National Park is best described as a miracle park! During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Gishwati Mukura National Park nearly went extinct as majority of people left Rwanda and others sought refuge in Gishwati and Mukura Forest Reserves thus resulting into deforestation and illegal mining. Around September, a law was passed to have a joint national park and this explains establishment of Gishwati Mukura National Park. In February 2016, Gishwati Mukura National Park was gazetted to serve as one of Rwanda’s national parks that contribute toward the country’s tourism sector. Gishwati Mukura National Park can easily be reached by visitors on Rwandan safari by either road or air.

Tourist attractions in Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park is a home to diverse wildlife species and primate species. They include among others the Red River hogs, Southern 3 hyrax, about five species of primates including the eastern chimpanzees, blue monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys; over 130 bird species 20 of which are endemic to Albertine area. There are also approximately 58 tree species that are all confined within Gishwati Mukura National Park and they include the bamboo and hardwoods.

Activities to do in Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park is that one most incredible safari destination with wide range of exciting safari activities. The key activities to take part in Gishwati Mukura National Park include;

Chimpanzee tracking

Chimpanzee tracking is a prime safari experience offered to visitors on Rwandan safari to Gishwati Mukura National Park thus should be a must to do primate adventure. Chimpanzee treks in Gishwati Mukura National Park begin with early morning briefing on the set dos and don’ts which is done by one of the park officials.

Hiking and nature walks

Gishwati Mukura National Park is also perfect for hiking and nature walks thus allowing nature enthusiasts to explore its untold wealth of wildlife in its varied habitats. Hiking/nature walks in Gishwati Mukura National Park gets you opportunity to sight different primate species including the black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys and also varied tree species such as mahogany, ferns, macaranga kilimand, bamboo as well as colorful butterflies among others.

There are also hiking trails within Gishwati Mukura National Park that lead you up to the scenic kazeneza waterfall for magical views.

Birding

Gishwati Mukura National Park is one of the Important Birding Areas in Rwanda offering refuge to about 130 bird species. A birding tour in Gishwati Mukura National Park gets the best sights at numerous Albertine rift endemic bird species. The notable birds to spot out in Gishwati Mukura National Park include regal sunbird, Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain yellow warblers, martial eagles, weaver birds, strange weaver, wood hoopoes, red throated alethe a mention but a few.

Cultural encounters

Gishwati Mukura National Park is an ideal safari destination for cultural safari experiences that visitors on Rwandan safari can take part in nearby local communities. A cultural safari in Gishwati Mukura National Park offers you a great opportunity to enjoy unique cultural dances, music, drama, pay a visit to the traditional healers, learn how traditional meals are prepared or have a hand in craft making among others.

When to visit Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park can be explored at any time of the year. But most importantly, the dry season is more preferable as the ground is kept relatively drier thus allowing you to take part in chimpanzee or hiking smoothly. The dry season begins from the month of December, January, February and June, July, August and September. During these months, there is low rainfall compared to March, April, May and October to November which are rainy months of the year.

Accommodation in Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park has limited accommodation facilities but the most recommended ones include Gishwati Lodge and the campsites. Gishwati lodge is an eco-friendly safari lodge offering luxurious services and allows visitors on Rwandan safari at Gishwati Mukura National Park have enjoyable experiences.

Getting to Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park can best be reached by road where Gishwati Forest Reserve lies about 85 kilometers from capital Kigali, 40 kilometers from Rubavu and 55 kilometers off Musanze while Mukura sector can be reached within 35 kilometers’ drive east of Karongi.

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