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Are you planning to visit Gishwati-Mukura National Park, this is Rwanda’s newest National Park which was created in 2015 merging Gishwati forest and Mukura forest it is the smallest with 34 square kilometers and least visited national park in Rwanda Things to do in Gishwati-Mukura National Park. It is situated on the ridge which separates the Congo and the Nile water from catchment areas along the diverse Albertine Rift.
The park is home to various primates, birds, reptiles and tree species including the endangered species that is the Eastern Chimpanzees. Chimpanzees live alongside golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys. The park is home to over 232 bird species among them including the Albertine endemic species this has made it one of the best places for birding in Rwanda. The national park area was almost depleted before gazetting it due resettlement, livestock farming and illegal mining practices by the neighboring communities its gazettement in 2015 has since promoted conservation and helped redress the ecosystem.
Top things and activities to do in Gishwati-Mukura National Park
Gishwati-Mukura National Park in Rwanda offers visitors to this park a number of tourist things and activities including bird watching, primates viewing that include Chimpanzees and monkeys, guided nature walks, camping and picnics.
Guided Nature Walk
The park has various established trials for you to explore the forest, on this guided nature walk you will have an opportunity encounter with natural beauty of the forest up close with its creatures like butterflies, chameleons, insects, birds and primates. Over 60 species of trees can be sighted here including bamboos, ferns, Macaranga kilimand, mahogany and orchids. New species like dombeya torrida, eucalyptus, hagenia abyssinica, macaranga and polyscias fulva have also been introduced in the park, which you will have an opportunity to see as well.
Primate tracking in Gishwati-Mukura National Park is the major activity; on this activity you will have a chance to see primates including Golden monkeys, Chimpanzees, blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys and baboons. Like other parks primate tracking here also starts in the morning with a briefing about the dos and don’ts then guided by one of the park rangers you will start your walk into the forest to search for the primates during your walk you will also have an opportunity see other mammals including duikers and birds.
Gishwati-Mukura National Park is one of the best places for birdwatching in Rwanda. Over 232 bird species have been recorded in the park among which include 15 species that can only be found in the Albertine Rift like the Grey Crowned Crane, Martial Eagle, Mountain Yellow Warblers, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Red-throated Alethe, Regal Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, Ruwenzori Turaco, Weaver birds, Wood hoopoes, Strange weavers and the Stripe-breasted Tit
A Visit to the Waterfall
A Visit to the waterfall is one of the best hiking trails in Gishwati-Mukura National Park, this visit will take you to Kazeneza water fall located in the middle of the park giving an opportunity for sightseeing and breathtaking views of the park.
Biking and Cycling through the Congo Nile Trail.
This trail provides one of the best biking experiences in East Africa. The trail passes along the shorelines of Lake Kivu and then through Nyungwe forest.
Community-based activities include a farm stay, a live cultural dance, making handicrafts, beekeeping, a tea plantation tour and the chance to learn from traditional healers, who use natural plants to support modern medicine and synthesized drugs, these activities will give an opportunity to encounter and learn about the local communities and how they survive alongside the wildlife.
Top Attractions to see in Gishwati-Mukura National Park
Wildlife in Gishwati-Mukura National park
The park is home to various primates which include Chimpanzees, Golden Monkeys, L’hoest Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, Black and White Colobus monkeys
Birds in Gishwati-Mukura National park
The park has 232 bird species among them including Regal Sunbird, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Ruwenzori Batis, Wood hoopoe, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Martial Eagle, Strange weave, Grey Crowned Crane, Dusky Crimson wing, Ruwenzori Turaco, Mountain Yellow Warblers, Red-throated Alethe some are endemic to the Albertine Rift.
How access to Gishwati-Mukura National park
You will drive from Kigali to the park which is about 2 hours drive by road. For those interested in flying there is an option of a chartered flight from Kigali to Gishwati-Mukura. You can as well access this park from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda with this making it possible to combine your visit to Gishwati and Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Where to stay in Gishwati-Mukura National Park
Given the fact the national park is new, accommodation facilities and camps are yet to be set up. The best lodge to stay in Gishwati-Mukura National Park is Gishwati Lodge. This lodge is a luxury lodge. It is the best lodge in the Gishwati-Mukura National park. Gishwati Lodge has about six luxury chalets which house less than 15 guests at a time, we recommend to book you accommodation in advance at least a month before visiting the park.
There is also an option to stay in Kivu, Rubavu or Volcanoes National park given the drive from here to the park is 30 minutes which is closer to the park.
Why book your tour to Gishwati-Mukura National Park with Eco Adventure safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris provides unrivaled and professional tour and travel services in Uganda, Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. We are full members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and work closely with Uganda Wildlife Authority. We are highly recommended on TripAdvisor. Our website is one of the best and reliable points to help you start preparing for your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali as we have the best and updated information that you can rely on. Eco Adventure Safaris is owned and run by Ugandans and as such, you will be dealing with a team that sells what they know.