Gishwati Mukura National Park in Rwanda is made up of two separate forests, Gishwati and Mukura, forming a total of 34 square kilometres plus a buffer zone.
The park is home to a good number of chimpanzees, golden monkeys, L’Hoest’s, Blue Monkeys and is a good spot for bird watching safaris in Rwanda.
The two forests sit on the ridge which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas, along the incredibly biodiverse Albertine Rift in the west of the country.
Tourist activities in the Gishwati Mukura National Park include; a guided nature hike, guided chimp and monkey tracking, bird watching and a visit to the waterfalls. Community-based activities include a farm stay, a live cultural dance, making handicrafts, beekeeping, a tea plantation tour and the chance to learn from traditional healers, who use natural plants to support modern medicine and synthesised drugs.
The formalisation of its National Park status in 2015 aims to help redress the balance, to increase the number of trees to improve soil fertility, stabilise slopes and regulate stream flow.
It will also contribute to improving the livelihoods of the population living in the surrounding areas, which in turn offers the forest a better chance of regeneration in tandem with the potential to raise living standards in the longer term.