Gishwati – Mukura National Park Rwanda

The two forests Giswhati and Mukura were gazetted into a national park in 2015 bringing the number of Rwanda’s parks to four and thereby adding to the list of wonderful places and things to do in Rwanda.

The Gishwati Mukura National Park is located at the edge the Congo – Nile divide in the western side of Rwanda. The forests were originally part of a single tract of forest stretching from north with Volcanoes Park to the south with Nyungwe.

Wildlife of Gishwati Mukura National Park

Gishwati Mukura National Park is home to many Albertine Rift endemic species and several threatened species.

There is a small population of eastern chimpanzees in Gishwati forest. The chimps were on verge of extinction about 10 years ago due to massive encroachment and degradation of the forest, but there has been a turn around after efforts by the government and NGOs to protect the forest and the chimps and other threatened species have started flourishing again in the two forests. There are currently about 20 chimps in Gishwati forest, up from 13 a few years ago, and with the forest now acquiring park status the chimpanzee population can only increase.

Other primates include; the golden monkeys which are endangered and endemic to the Albertine Rift, and Gishwati is the only place after the Virunga mountains to host these beautiful creatures. There also the l’Hoest’s monkey (mountain monkeys).

There are over 130 species of birds including a whooping 20 Albertine rift endemics!

Tour activities in the park


Gishawati Mukura national park is one of the hotspots for birding in Rwanda because of the high number of the sought after Albertine rift endemics with 20 species recorded so far. The small size of the forests makes birding easier and more productive.

Hiking and nature walks

There are trails for hiking and guided walks into the montane forests that will expose visitors to hidden wildlife and beauty of the forest.

Cultural and cultural experiences

The government and a number of NGOs have been preparing the neighboring local communities on benefiting from tourism and they have come up with a number of products including handcraft making, traditional dances and traditional healing.

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