Nyungwe Forest National Park becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda has been designated as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is exciting news for Rwanda tourism and is testament to the great conservation efforts that Rwanda has advocated for over the years. Nyungwe national park is one of Africa’s oldest rain forest and is situated in the Southern and Western Province of Rwanda. The national park welcome visitors for a number of excursions and tourism activities that include chimpanzee trekking, Nyungwe forest canopy walk, bird watching and hiking for hiking enthusiasts.

Several Rwanda boards like the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), senior conservationists and spokes persons took to social media after the inscription to celebrate the great news which has made Nyungwe forest national park the first site in Rwanda to be featured on the UNESCO Natural World Heritage list. This was a Tweet made by the Spokesperson to the Rwanda Government Yolande Makolo upon the news;

“Good News: Rwanda’s @NyungwePark has just become the first site in our country to be inscribed in @UNESCO ‘s World Heritage List. This is a significant designation that will reinforce Rwanda’s ongoing conservation efforts. #VisitRwanda #ConservationIsLife “

More on Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest national park is home to over 600 chimpanzees making chimpanzee trekking a prime activity for visitors to the park. Nyungwe forest is the largest forest in Rwanda and is characterized by bamboo covered slopes, dense Afro-montane forests, grasslands and wetlands. Nyungwe’s eco system makes it the perfect destination for hiking, trekking and nature walks while in Rwanda.

Nyungwe forest national park is Rwanda’s bird haven as 322 bird species have been recorded at the park with 29 Albertine Rift Endemics. For the expert birder the forest provides fulfilling birding opportunities. The forest is also home to 1,068 recorded plant species, 75 known mammal species and 13 different primate species. The park therefore offers a number of activities from chimpanzee trekking to hiking trails to the Nyungwe forest national park to birding excursions.

What does being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List mean for Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda

The new World Heritage site status for Nyungwe national park highlights the importance of conserving the forest for generations and preserving the natural heritage of Nyungwe forest. It also shows appreciation and worldwide recognition for the ongoing conservation efforts, protection and research done by the Rwandan government and Tourism bodies.

The addition of Nyungwe national park to the UNESCO World Heritage list also encourages visitors to Rwanda who will contribute to the conservation efforts of Nyungwe by going on tours like the chimpanzee trekking adventure, Rwanda canopy walk tour in Nyungwe and explore hiking trails in the forest. The tourism revenue from all these tourism activities plays a major role in promoting sustainable development for the local communities and elevating the park conservation efforts.

Birding as a tourism activity will also be promoted with the new natural World Heritage site as Nyungwe forest national park is a perfect bird watching destination for birders and is internationally listed as an Important Birding Area (IBA) in Rwanda. Birders will elevate conservation efforts by going on birding excursions in Nyungwe national park. 322 bird species have been recorded and birding enthusiasts have an opportunity to look out for bird species like the Rwenzori Turaco, the elusive Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Apalis, Regal Sun bird, Neumann’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Olive woodpecker, Mountain Buzzard, Strip-breasted Tit and other sightings. Nyungwe national park is a birding haven as it hosts 27 species out of the 40 Albertine rift endemics so for the keen bird watcher Nyungwe offers a fulfilling birding tour.

Becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site is a prestigious status for Nyungwe forest national park, Rwanda Conservation and sustainable development.You can watch a detailed video of one of the tourism activities in Nyungwe national park below;

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