This is a newly established national park that has been added to the existing three national parks including Akagera, Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Park of the Republic of Rwanda, Gishwati –Mukura national park. This park was officially gazetted on 1/2/2016; it is comprised of the Gishwati forest seated on an area of 1439.72 hectares plus Mukura forest with a total land area of 1987.74 hectares. The park is located along the Congo Nile in the Northwestern part of the country.
The park is located in Rubavu, Rutsiro, Ngororero and Nyabihu districts in the western parts of the republic of Rwanda hence making it a miracle protected areas in the land of a Thousand hills. The establishment of this great amazing national park has given tourist yet other options to choose their areas of interests while on their safaris in Rwanda. This park is a habitant to a number of mammals including the Red Hogs and some of the five primates such as Black & white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, blue monkeys and the Golden monkeys setting it to be the second national park in Rwanda to have the rare golden monkeys.
The park is also a home to over 130 bird species 20 out of them are endemic to the Albertine region, besides that, the park is also a natural place with great floras including the bamboo and hardwood trees and all this makes Gishwati national park to be one of the first priority destinations on your planned tour to Rwanda. Due to the fact that Rwanda is a land of a thousand hills, it has got a changing climate which is also a determining factor while planning for your tour.
Best time to visit Gishwati National Park
Keeping all other factors constant, Rwanda has got an ideal climatic condition making it one of the best places to go for a safari at any time in a year of your wish, the country has got two wet seasons plus two dry seasons. Visiting the park would be ideal during June-September and December- February and these are the dry season and other months the park receives a lot of rainfall making trekking a challenging activity.
Tourist activities the Park
Bird watching, this is one of the birding destinations and one of the best birding sites, this is a home to around 20 bird species which are only endemic to this region plus other 110 bird species. Due to the fact that the park is not all that wide, its size renders it the simplest site for bird watching, some of the noted bird species seen here include the Rwenzori Turaco, Grey Crowned Cranes, Weaver birds, Wood hoopoes, Martial Eagle, Strange weaver and Mountain Yellow warblers plus the Regal sun bird just to mention but a few. Visitors with nice cameras are always ready to take snaps for the different birds within the park.
Chimpanzee trekking, beside other primate found within this incredible national park, chimpanzee offers one of the best adventure to the frequent visitors within Rwanda including both foreign and local nationals. Despite of the fact that these primates had gone into extinction, its glory was revived by the Rwanda government and this has led t the multiplication of the chimps over the years after stopping poachers from encroach the reserve. All visitors to the park for chimpanzee tracking first gather at the headquarters for an early briefing where you learn the rules and regulations governing the activity while in the forest.
Nature walks and hiking, Gishwati-Mukura national park offers another important activity to the visitors hence getting an opportunity to explore the great tourist areas within the park. On your hike, you will come across the different primates up on trees including the golden monkeys, Black and white colobus plus the blues monkeys. Over 60 tree types such as Macaranga Kilimand, tree ferns, Blue lichens, orchids and the Mahogany trees can be seen and these are too useful to the researchers. Amphibians such as the forest frogs, chameleons and bush vipers. Visiting to the most respected Kazeneza waterfall in the middle of the forest hence being the best place for hiking and nature walks.
Cultural encounters, the surrounding community offers an exceptional experience to the visitors mostly those who enjoy cultural encountering. Local people are always available to entertain visitors and these take you through the different cuisines and traditional music dance and drama. Visiting the traditional healers, preparation of traditional food and hand craft making extra activities.