Overview-From the brink of extinction following the tragic ethnic genocides and subsequent trooping in of refugees, felling of trees, poaching of wildlife, assault of nature through flooding, soil erosion, and the mindless introduction of species to a shining example of conservation Gishwati-Mukura NP highlights Rwanda's commitment to preserving its natural heritage. As the country's fourth largest park, Gishwati-Mukura National Park is a story that needs to be told. Still finding its feet in the eco-tourism map of the world, the park and holds enormous promises for those who want to experience it’s amazing wilderness.
Located in the north-west of the country in the districts of Ngororero and Rutsiro, the park is the culmination of two rainforests, the larger Gishwati, and smaller Mukura coming together to form a single national park. Covering an area of about 3,558 hectares or 34 square kilometres plus a buffer zone, the park is a marvel of biodiversity and renowned for its diverse plant species. It is home to over 60 species of trees like the bamboo and hardwoods and has the habituated chimpanzees, as its biggest draw. Sharing space with the group of 20 chimpanzees are four other primate species, L’Hoest’s monkeys, blue monkeys, golden monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys red beside river hogs, black-fronted duiker and serval and around 84 bird species. The park is set to open in 2019,
Gishwati-Mukura National Park is a tropical rainforest, so the best time is the dry season from June to September. There is also a shorter dry season that is between mid-December and mid-February. Around this time the sun is out, the trails are dry and bugs and mosquito menace is low. Tracking the chimpanzees, birding, nature walks and hikes can be best enjoyed in the dry season and it's easy to spot wildlife. The wet season is from mid-February to May, and October to mid-December. The scenery around this time is beautiful and lush and primate viewing is easy as most are out foraging for food.
The park is a marvel of biodiversity and is home to over 60 species of trees like the bamboo and hardwoods. Sharing space with the habituated group of 20 chimpanzees are four other primate species, L’Hoest’s monkeys, blue monkeys, golden monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys red. You can also see river hogs, black-fronted duiker and serval and around 84 bird species. The park is uniquely endowed for guided nature hikes and you can explore the waterfalls besides doing some chimp and monkey tracking.
The park can be accessed by road or by air and while on road public or private cars can be used, though it is advisable you book through a tour operator.