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Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Gishwati-Mukura National Park, one of Rwanda’s most recent conservation successes. It offers a unique blend of rich biodiversity, scenic landscapes, and a deep commitment to ecological restoration. This hidden gem provides visitors with a chance to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Rwanda in a less-traveled setting, making it an ideal destination for eco-tourists and nature enthusiasts.

Furthermore, this  national Park was established in 2015, combining the Gishwati Forest and the smaller Mukura Forest into a single protected area. The park covers an area of approximately 34 square kilometers. And again is part of Rwanda’s effort to restore and protect its degraded forests. Historically, both forests suffered from deforestation and habitat loss due to agriculture and human settlement. The creation of the national park represents a significant step toward reversing this trend.  More so ensuring the conservation of these critical ecosystems.


This National Park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda, straddling the districts of Rutsiro and Ngororero. Further, the park is situated along the Congo-Nile Divide, which offers a unique ecological zone, And this is where the flora and fauna of the Congo and Nile basins converge. The park’s location makes it easily accessible from several key towns and cities. For example Kigali, which is about 150 kilometers away.

Wildlife in Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Gishwati-Mukura National Park is home to a remarkable variety of wildlife, including:

  • Primates: The park hosts over 20 Eastern chimpanzees and other  primate species such as golden monkey and L’Hoest’s monke. Further it is a home to blue monkey, and black-and-white colobus monkey. These primates are often the highlight for many visitors.
  • Mammals: Other mammals found in the park include servals, side-striped jackals, and various species of antelope.
  • Birds: The park is a haven for birdwatchers with over 230 bird species recorded, including the Albertine Rift endemics such as the Ruwenzori turaco, handsome francolin, and mountain yellow warbler.


Activities in Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Visitors to this National Park can engage in a variety of activities that showcase its natural and cultural attractions:

  1. Primate Tracking: Join guided treks to observe primates, particularly chimpanzees and golden monkeys, in their natural habitat.
  2. Guided Nature Walks: Explore the park’s diverse ecosystems on foot, with knowledgeable guides who can point out various plants, insects, and smaller animals.
  3. Bird Watching: With its rich avian diversity, the park offers fantastic birdwatching opportunities. Specialized birding tours can help enthusiasts spot rare and endemic species.
  4. Hiking and Scenic Trails: Discover the park’s stunning landscapes through well-marked hiking trails that traverse different habitats and offer breathtaking views.
  5. Cultural Experiences: Engage with local communities to learn about their traditional practices, conservation efforts, and the symbiotic relationship between the park and the people.

How to Reach Gishwati-Mukura National Park:

  • By Car: The park is accessible by road from Kigali, with a drive of about 3 to 4 hours. The route passes through picturesque Rwandan countryside and offers beautiful views along the way.
  • By Tour Operator: Several tour operators like Umarella Voyage Safaris offer Rwanda packages. And these include transportation to and from the National Park, as well as guided tours within the park.

Best Time to Visit:

Gishwati-Mukura National Park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the dry seasons, For example from June to September and from December to February. During these periods, the trails are easier to navigate, and wildlife is more readily observed. However, the park’s lush environment ensures that there is always something to see, no matter the season.

In conclusion, this National Park offers a unique and serene experience for visitors looking to explore Rwanda’s natural heritage. From primate tracking to bird watching and cultural interactions. More so the park provides a diverse range of activities that cater to various interests. Plan your visit to Gishwati-Mukura National Park and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty and ecological richness of this remarkable conservation area.

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