Getting to Nyungwe forest National Park – Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in South-western part of Rwanda, close to the Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the Burundi border in the South. It is located near Cyangugu town, about 225kilometres which takes a 4-5 hours driving from Kigali city.
You can either drive to the National park from Kigali city, or fly there. You can’t walk there though, that would take an extraordinary amount time.
With 225kilometres to cover from Kigali city to the Nyungwe Forest National Park, you will need a good functional car to make good time. You can either go by bus, hire a car or contact Great Adventure Safaris to arrange for you one of our trained and professional driver guide to drive you there.
You can take a bus headed to Ruzizi from Nyabugogo bus terminal in Kigali city, get off at Uwinka Centre. Travelling by bus takes a little bit longer, and the bus ride might even be 8 hours long. There are buses that drive through the park, and you could hope on those, but they are usually quite full. At Great Adventure Safaris we do not recommend traveling by bus because of higher risks and in most cases you might be a target to pocket pickers while on the bus.
This is much more comfortable, convenient and will take a much shorter time. You will avoid the hustle of travelling the difficult stretches such as stretch between Uwinka Centre and Gisakura. The journey by car takes you travelling south and you will come across several towns, one of the main cities you will come across is Huye town, which is about 32kilometres from Kigali city.
The road up to there is quite smooth, but has some very sharp turns and blind bends so your driver should be careful. It is best not to cut your time too close, especially since the drive through the National park is also quite lengthy. Budget some extra time before your scheduled activity is set to start to make allowances for any unexpected stops and just in case you don’t make it in 5hours as expected.
If you are adventurous and want to drive yourself, here are a few road directions from Kigali city.
-From Kigali city drive south west to Muhanga, then south to Nyanza and on to Huye town.
-From Huye drive on Westwards towards Nyamagabe, this is quite close to the Nyungwe Forest National Park entrance.
-Focusing on the road is good especially if you are the driver, but even then try not to get so carried away following directions to the park and forget to enjoy the journey.
There are several interesting sights along the way. If time allows, you can make a few stops. You could stop at the Nyanza King’s Palace at Nyabisindi as you drive through Nyanza town. The Palace is a historical landmark that has recently been reconstructed. It is a goldmine of information about Rwanda’s cultural history and Royalty in Rwanda. You could also make time along the way to take in the sights and sounds at the National Museum. There is quite a lot to see there including locally made arts and crafts, and traditional entertainment and you might get to see a demonstration of the “intore” dancers. There is also the Gikongoro’s Genocide Memorial along the way.
Let yourself enjoy the journey fully, as you try not to get lost along the way. You can make your bookings for a bus through your tour operator, or hire a car for self-drive in Kigali city. Either option will get you there.
If you are looking for a much faster means of transport, then you can book a flight with Rwanda Air. The airline offer domestic flights and one of its domestic routes is Kigali-Kamembe. Rwanda Air offers a minimum of 9 flights a week from Kigali international Airport to Kamembe International Airport. Kamembe International Airport happens to be a short 32kilometres from Nyungwe Forest Lodge, which offers helicopter pickups. It is quite a convenient arrangement if you can opt for it.
Travelling to Nyungwe Forest National Park should not be difficult if it is well planned. An easy way to do that is to contact Great Adventure Safaris to make the arrangements on your behalf.