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Gishwati Forest


Gishwati Forest

Gishwati Forest, Gishawati national park is Rwanda’s 4th national park. And known as the newly created park located in Rubavu, Rutsiro, Ngororero and Nyabihu Districts in the western part of Rwanda covering an area of about 900ha of land.

There is hope to expand on its size since over more than 700 agricultural land and pastoral land is soon to be gathered to be within the park boundaries. In order to help stabilize and protect these hugely important areas.

It was considered as a national park during the 2012/13 national budget and it covers part of the western part of Rwanda after Lake Kivu and it connects rain forest of Congo and south with the Nyungwe forest. The park combines the Mukura and Gishwati forests

This newly created protected area is a home to very many incredible biodiversity of primate species. Such as the Black and White colobus monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Blue Monkeys and Golden Monkeys – along with the chance to trek habituated chimpanzees. It also boasts of about 60 species of trees, including indigenous hardwoods and bamboo. It also inhabit over 209 bird species and over 20 are endemic Albertine Rift species. Some of the bird species at the park include beautiful colorful sunbirds, martial eagle and many more.

The park is opened to very many safari activities including primate safari, bird watching safaris, hiking the Congo trail, and butterfly watching.

Gishwati Forest is a beautiful forested area in Rwanda that offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. While there are limited accommodation options directly within the forest. You can find nearby lodging options in the surrounding areas. Here are some suggestions:

Musanze (Ruhengeri):

Musanze is the closest town to Gishwati Forest, located approximately 25 kilometers away. It offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, lodges, and guesthouses. This town is a popular base for exploring the nearby Volcanoes National Park and the famous mountain gorillas.

Kivu Belt:

The western shores of Lake Kivu, including towns like Gisenyi and Kibuye, offer a scenic and relaxing setting. You can find a variety of hotels and resorts along the lakeside. Providing comfortable accommodation with stunning views. Although it’s a bit farther from Gishwati Forest, it offers a beautiful natural setting and opportunities for activities like boat trips on the lake.

Nyungwe Forest National Park:

While Nyungwe Forest National Park is located quite a distance from Gishwati Forest. It could be an option if you’re interested in exploring multiple  natural areas. Nyungwe Forest has a range of accommodation options. Including lodges and guesthouses, where you can enjoy the beauty of the rain-forest and participate in activities such as chimpanzee trekking and canopy walks.

It’s recommended to arrange transportation in advance to ensure easy access to Gishwati Forest from your chosen accommodation. Keep in mind that Gishwati Forest is still developing its tourism infrastructure, so it’s advisable to plan your visit and accommodations accordingly.