Wildlife & Animals – Nyungwe Forest NP
A total of 86 mammal species have been recorded in Nyungwe Forest, though most are very secretive and rarely encountered. The primates, on the other hand, are Nyungwe’s main attraction, especially the charismatic chimpanzee. Another 12 primate species are present, including l'Hoest's monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey and red-tailed monkey. Several antelope species in the park include the secretive bushbuck, and the very rare endemic race of Weyns's duiker.
Tracking Nyungwe’s habituated chimpanzees is the prime activity in the park. Another highlight is the unusually large troops of Rwenzori colobus, counting up to 350 individuals. This unique race of black-and-white colobus monkey is restricted to the Albertine Rift.
Best Time for Wildlife Viewing
The best time for chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe is during the Wet season – October to May – as the chimps are easier to locate at that time. March to May is very wet, so the ideal time would be from October to February. In the Dry season they tend to venture deeper into the forest interior, making them harder to track. The Dry season from June to September is best for general hiking, as the trails are easier to navigate.