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gishwati mukura national park

Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park: Background Info

Rwanda’s fourth national park, Gishwati Mukura is made up of two separate forests – the larger Gishwati and small Mukura, forming a total of 34 square kilometres plus a buffer zone. The forests sit on the ridge which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas, along the incredibly biodiverse Albertine Rift in the west of the country. It is made up of 60 species of tree, including indigenous hardwoods and bamboo.

Gishwati is home to a group of 20 chimpanzees which live alongside golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys. Birds are well represented too, 232 species have been seen at Gishwati and 163 at Mukura, among them Albertine Rift Endemic species and forest specialists. Activities in the park started in 2019 and include a guided nature hike, guided chimp and monkey tracking, bird watching and a visit to the waterfalls.

Gishwati Mukura National Park: Destination Preview

gishwati mukura national park

Wildlife

Gishwati Mukura National Park will offer incredible biodiversity, providing a corridor for free movement of primates. The park includes a lot of animal species, around 293 reptile species, and around 1000 bird species. It is also home to 5,793 plant species , 60 tree species, including indigenous hardwoods and bamboo. Wildlife sightseeing is possible as they support various wildlife animals, some of them that you can see are southern tree hyrax, black-fronted duikers, Red River hogs, besides chimpanzee and other animals such as the mountain monkey, golden monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, and the blue monkeys.

The park authorities have established several trails that allow tourist to explore the inner parts of the forest. While on a nature walk at the Gishwati Mukura National Park, you will have an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the forest and its creatures like butterflies, chameleons, insects, birds and primates. You will be captivated by the quiet environment in the forest which is characterized by beautiful sounds from the birds and primate calls. Over 60 species of trees can be sighted here including bamboos, ferns, Macaranga kilimand, mahogany and orchids. The park authorities have introduced new species like dombeya torrida, eucalyptus, hagenia abyssinica, macaranga and polyscias fulva. One of the best hiking trails is the one that leads to the kazeneza waterfall in the middle of the park. This beautiful waterfall and the scenery around it will impress anyone who sees it.

Birdlife

Gishwati Forest offers great birding. More than 150 species have been recorded so far. Approximately 20 of these are Albertine Rift endemics. With a good birding guide who knows the calls, you should be able to mark off many lifers here. You’ll easily spot the great blue and Ruwenzori turacos, and you’ll probably pick up some of the colorful sunbirds too. Also look out for the handsome francolin scurrying away in the forest undergrowth. The birding in Mukura Forest looks very promising, but there are currently no trails yet.

The birding in Gishwati-Mukura National Park is good throughout the year. The best time is from January to June when birds are most vocal. Keep in mind though that April tends to be very wet, so birding activities are more likely to be interrupted by rain and trails tend to be very slippery.

Gishwati Mukura National Park: Location

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Gishwati Mukura National Park

Rwanda’s fourth national park, Gishwati Mukura is made up of two separate forests – the larger Gishwati and small Mukura, forming a total of 34 square kilometres plus a buffer zone.