Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Gishwati-Mukura National Park is the 4th and Rwanda’s newest National Park. It is located in Ngororero and Rutsiro districts in ...


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Gishwati-Mukura National Park is the 4th and Rwanda’s newest National Park. It is located in Ngororero and Rutsiro districts in the country’s Western province; covering an area of about 3,558 hectares. This park would have run extinct since during the 1994 genocide when most people left the country others went to the borders of the country; hence some ended up occupying the Gishwati and Mukura areas; they carried out farming, deforestation, and illegal mining. Gishwati and Mukura are forests. In September 2015 a law was passed to have a joint National Park, hence the Gishwati-Mukura National Park.

Gishwati-Mukura National Park is a wonderful park with diverse plant and animal species including over 84 bird species and over 5 species of primates such as chimpanzees, blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, black and white colobus, baboons, golden monkeys, and other animals like the Red river hogs, bush bucks among others, also butterflies can be found in this park. Formed in 2015 after joining two forests Gishwati and Mukura covering an area of about 34.3 sq km. Several activities can be done while there such as nature walks/hikes, cultural encounters, bird watching, and Chimpanzee tracking hence Gishwati-Mukura is a place not to miss out while on a Rwandan safari.

In February 2016 the park was gazetted with the aim that it will be one of the parks contributing to the tourism industry of Rwanda hence formed to protect and keep animals from getting extinct and wandering off.

How To Get There

You can access the park by road; this can be from Kigali or Volcanoes National Park (that is if you are on a combined trip of these two parks). While traveling by road you can hire a comfortable car or use a public means which is a bus (but it takes you a long to arrive). As you travel to the Northwest you will go through different towns, with spectacular views of hills, the road is quite good. Those who would love to drive themselves, should ensure to follow the road rules since there are sharp turns and read signposts for clear directions. Also, be advised that a car is driven on the right while in Rwanda.

Travelling to Gishwati-Mukura shouldn’t be so difficult especially if you plan very well. Ensure that you enjoy your journey to the maximum, so you can hire a car or make your bookings through us and have an unforgettable experience in Rwanda!

One can also fly to the park. Remember you cannot walk to the park because there you would need a lot of time and it’s exhausting and tiresome.

Things To Do

Most attractions in the park are animal species, birds, and the vegetation cover of which there are over 58 tree species

The park is among the areas with a high population of chimpanzees: these are human’s close relatives, hence most of these have been habituated and are available for tracking.

Other attractions are the surrounding communities which have unique ethics and cultures, the golden monkeys, mountain monkeys, and blue monkeys among others.

The park also has several tourist activities to offer to the visitors such as;

Bird watching This park is among the top birding spots of Rwanda, birding can be done on foot through the jungle, and over 84 bird species stay there. It being small is an added advantage to birding since it makes it easy to watch birds.

Primate Watching

As earlier said several primate species like the Chimpanzees, baboons, the Blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Golden monkeys, and other animals like the duikers and cats live in the park. While in the park you can be able to track chimpanzees and golden monkeys since there are a number of them that are habituated.

Cultural Experiences

Since the Gishwati-Mukura was occupied by people, as the government and other conservationists tried to revive it again, they had to come up with ways in which the surrounding communities could benefit from tourism hence coming up with products such as traditional healing, dance, and drama and handcraft making.

Nature walks and Hiking

There are several trails in the park which are used for guided walks and hiking by tourists through the forests. This gives visitors a great view of the beauty of this park while on foot and also some hidden wildlife like butterflies and birds can be spotted during hikes.

GishwatiMukura National Park Accommodation

Being a new National Park; a few accommodation facilities have been established within and near Gishwati-Mukura National Park

. The best facility so far to have an overnight stay is Gishwati Lodge

which is a great dwelling to combine adventure, luxury, and conservation while on a visit to Gishwati-Mukura National Park. It is a luxurious lodge with great views of the beautiful landscape of the park; also, activities like chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, photography, and bird watching can be well enjoyed by visitors staying at the lodge.

Gishwati Lodge is an extraordinary and comfortable lodge that provides visitors with an adventurous and elegant feeling; in other words, it is a home away from home. The staff is well-skilled and the food served is just tasty.

This luxurious eco-lodge has 6 rustic cottages that accommodate 12 guests; it is a sister property to Bisate Lodge located in the habitat of the endangered Gorillas-Volcanoes National Park. This is a great opportunity for you to have a combined encounter with the World’s amazing Apes; Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas. Meaning be among the first visitors to spend an overnight at this lodge where you will be able to do both Chimp tracking and Gorilla tracking staying in sister properties.

In conclusion, the Gishwati Lodge is the perfect base/starting point for visiting habituated golden monkeys and chimpanzees in their natural habitat within the Gishwati-Mukura. The park also has campsites which are in favor of budget travelers for camping in Rwanda