Gishwati Mukura National Park is the newly established conservation area that is situated along the Congo Nile in the Northwestern Rwanda. It was gazetted as a national park in 2015 making Rwanda a home to 4 incredible protected areas. It creation is credited as it offers tourists with yet exceptional activities for them to enjoy while on safari in Rwanda. Gishwati Mukura National Park is best described as a miracle protected area in the Land of a Thousand Hills. It offers refuge to a number of mammal species especially the Red River hogs and Southern 3 hyrax, over 5 primate species including the Eastern Chimpanzees, Blue monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, and golden monkeys and over 130 bird species 20 of which are Albertine Rift endemics and many more threatened species. Being one of the stunning forests, it offers refuge to over 58 tree species most of which range from hardwood to bamboo. This incredible protected area initially was part of a single track of forest that stretched from the North joining the Volcanoes National Park and the Nyungwe Forest National Park. If you are wondering about where to go for your safaris in Rwanda, Gishwati National Park should be one of a must to visit destinations for you while on safari in the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Best time to visit Gishwati National Park
Rwanda has ideal temperate climate which makes it the best for tourists to do safaris at any time of the year. It experiences 2 wet seasons and 2 dry seasons and if you are planning your safari, you are encouraged to visit the park from the month of June to September and December to February which are dry seasons in the park. You can also visit the park during the wet season which falls in the month of April, May and November but during these months, the park receives much rainfall and trekking for primates at times is challenging.
Tourist activities in Gishwati National Park
Gishwati National Park is exceptionally one of the important birding sites in tourists who are their birding safaris in Rwanda. It is a home to the most sought after Albertine rift endemic species that make up over 20 species on record making it one of the ideal birding areas for birders. The small size of this spectacular park makes it one of the simplest sites to do bird watching. For birders, some of the notable bird species for you to look out include the Rwenzori Turaco, Mountain yellow warblers, Regal sunbird, Grey crowned cranes, Weaver bird species, Strange weaver, Wood hoopoes, the Red throated alethe, Martial eagle and many more.
Whereas there fewer than 20 primates in this protected area, chimpanzee trekking is exceptionally one of a must to do primate adventures for you while on safari in Rwanda. The feeling may not be rated to that of the Nyungwe Forest National Park where over 13 distinct primates thrive within the same habitat. The chimpanzees in Gishwati Mukura were believed to have almost got extinct from the wild about a decade ago as a result of poaching and habitat loss, however the latter has changed given the collaborative efforts from the Rwandan government and many Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have come up to support the conservation of the forest and other wildlife species. Chimpanzee adventure in this park is similar to that of other sites where by visitors will first gather at the park headquarters for early morning briefing on dos and don’ts of chimpanzee tracking while in the forest.
Hiking and nature walks
This is another most exciting activity in Gishwati Mukura Forest National Park. It offers tourists opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the park which include mainly the blue monkeys, the black and white colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys and not to exclude over 60 tree species which include the Mahogany, orchids, Macaranga kilimand, tree ferns, bamboo, blue lichens, colorful butterflies and several mammal species especially the southern three hyrax and the red river hogs and many more. There are also many amphibian species which include the brown forest frogs and reptiles such as the bush vipers and chameleons which you will come across while on nature walks. Besides striking your imaginations with these spectacular wildlife species, there are several hiking trails that take visitors to the most exceptional Kazeneza waterfalls just in the middle of the forest.
Apart from wildlife encounters, Gishwati National Park also gives you a chance to encounter some of the adjacent communities at the park. Several NGOs and Conservation organs such as the Great Ape Trust partner with the local community members and the Rwanda Development Board to development community development projects with exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. Among many activities developed in these projects include entertainment inform of dance and drama, visiting the traditional healers, preparation of traditional food and hand craft making and many more.
Lodges in Gishwati National Park
Safaris in Gishwati National Park are only enjoyable when there are accommodation facilities for visitors stay while enjoying the activities at the park. The notable lodges for visitor stay in Gishwati National Park include Gishwati Lodge.
In conclusion, Gishwati Mukura Forest National Park is one of the remarkable protected areas that you shouldn’t miss to visit while on safari in Rwanda. There are a lot more exciting activities for you to enjoy while on safari which range from chimpanzee trekking, nature walks, hiking, birding and cultural experiences which all offer visitors with lifetime experiences.