Gishwati Mukura National Park
Gishwati Mukura National Park: Gishwati Mukula National Park, along with Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest Park, and Akagera National Park, is the country’s fourth national park. Rwanda, nicknamed the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” is a popular tourist destination in East and Central Africa. The country is well-known not just for its gorgeous Kigali streets but also for its thriving economy. Rwanda’s Gishwati Mukula National Park encompasses two forest reserves, Gishwati and Mukura. The Gishwati Forest Reserve is located in northern Rwanda, near Lake Kivu, and is linked to the Mukula Forest Reserve. In late 2019, the Rwandan government was granted access to this national park.
Gishwati Mukura National Park.
Mukura National Park was formed in 2015 after the government passed legislation to safeguard the park’s chimps. With a total area of 34 square kilometers when combined with Gishwati forest and Mukla woodland, it is the smallest park. Currently, it is the least visited park, with little tourist traffic. The park, located on the Congo Nile ridge, provides a view of certain Albertin area species. Several monkeys, reptiles, birds, and tree species can be found in the park.
The park was established in 2015 to increase tree cover in the Gishwati and Mukula forest reserves, improving soil fertility, stabilizing reserve hillsides, and improving water flow. The Gishwati and Mukula Forest Reserves have a lengthy history dating back to the 1970s. Between 1978 and 1986, the majority of the Gishwati Forest Reserve (approximately 80%) was wooded, but the 1994 Rwandan genocide prompted many Rwandans to flee, and the forest reserve was abandoned. They were compelled to live in the forest reserve. As a result, numerous refugees cleared the forest to make way for dwellings and agriculture. As a result, vast areas of the forest reserve, as well as the wild creatures that live there, were destroyed.
The Gishwati Forest Reserve used to extend into Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s rainforests. It also reached the Nyungwe forest south of Gishwati. However, by 2001, the Gishwati Forest Reserve had fallen to 1,500 acres and the forest had shrunk to 250,000 acres. Soil erosion, deterioration, and landslides have also increased. Large tea plantations now cover the forest reserve’s central and northern areas. The Gishwati Area Conservation Program (GACP), however, was launched in 2007 in conjunction with the Rwandan government and the Great Ape Trust. The program’s major purpose was to establish a national protected area to protect the unique biodiversity of the Gishwati forest area. The GACP was established in 2011.
The park is largely home to monkeys, possibly because it is a forest and also because it has encrusted the villages, driving out most of the big creatures like buffaloes. Chimpanzees, golden monkeys, L’hoest Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, and Black and White Colobus Monkeys are the most common primates in Gishwati-Mukura Park.
The GACP was taken over in 2011 by the Forest of Hope Association (FHA), a Rwandan non-governmental organization that now oversees the Gishwati region conservation initiative. 67% of the Gishwati forest has been successfully restored by the association. The new 34-square-kilometer park will be Rwanda’s smallest national park. The new national park is strategically located on the outskirts of the Congo Nile Basin and contains 60 tree species, including native broadleaf trees and bamboo. It also protects 20 chimps as well as other primates such as golden, lesser, and blue monkeys.
There are 395 bird species in Gishwati Mukula National Park. There are 232 bird species in the Gishwati woodlands and 163 in the Mukula Forest Reserve.
Activities carried out in the Gishwati Mukula National Park
Visitors to Gishwati Mukula National Park can go on golden monkey hikes, bird watching, chimp tracking, waterfall hikes, village visits, and guided nature excursions.Visitors to this national park can lodge at the recently constructed Gishwati Lodge. The Gishwati Forest Reserve is home to this basic, eco-friendly resort. The lodge features six cabins that may sleep up to 12 people each.
Gishwati Mukula National Park in Rwanda is roughly 157 kilometers from Kigali and takes 3–4 hours to get there. Visitors can combine their visit to Gishwati Forest Reserve with a gorilla walk in Volcanoes National Park, a wildlife safari in Akagera National Park, or a chimp hike in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Gishwati Mukula National Park, which was founded recently, has a lot to offer tourists to this forest preserve. Please contact us if you would like to take a tour of Rwanda’s Gishwati Mukula National Park.