Love to travel, but hate tours? This page offers insight on how to go it alone, from safe and reasonably priced accommodation to seeing the best, and maybe the not so good. After all, independent travel is an adventure and flexibility is critical. So hop aboard and enjoy Nyungwe at your own pace and price. Meet other adventurers like yourself and mingle with the local population. Remember: You may travel alone, but you won’t be lonely.
Transport to and from the Park:
The drive from Kigali is straight forward until you get to the last junction before Huye town, from where you take a right turn after the fuel station on the road to Rusizi. The Kigali Rusizi Road cuts through Nyungwe National Park, so you can easily use public transport from Kigali to the Park. Various bus companies drive through the park every two hours or so but prior booking is a necessity.
Transport inside the Park:
Nyungwe’s main park activities/trails start off from different sections in the park hence requiring private transport particularly for the early morning activities such as chimp tracking and bird watching. Private car hires can easily be arranged from Kigali, Butare and Rusizi. Guests staying at Uwinka campsites do not require transport to take part in the activities around Uwinka such as the Canopy Walk, Irebero, Umuyove, Imbaraga, Buhoro, Umugote trails and even
Colobus monkey tracking. It’s possible to connect from Uwinka to Gisakura by buses from Kigali or Huye but seats have to be booked in advance to guarantee your place. Local guides at the park will be happy to assist you in securing a seat on the next bus.
Where to stay (and eat):
For further information on accommodations and in park camping click here. Additionally there are two communities that have camping facilities.
Friends of Nyungwe Cultural Village – The Friends of Nyungwe Cultural Village is a new community-based ecotourism product located in Kitabi at the eastern entrance to the park. The cultural village includes a campsite, a restaurant with catering services, agri-tourism with tea tours around the site, and a cultural village with a King’s palace and Rwandan traditional dance performances.
Banda Cultural Village. The Banda community – about a two and one half hour hike from the Uwinka Visitors Center or a 40 minute ride down a steep mountain road – nestles at the bottom of a valley against the edge of Nyungwe National Park, an area with the distinct advantage of hosting the largest habituated Chimp group (Mayebe) for about three months a year due to the abundance of fig trees in the area. Banda has a traditional home and King’s Palace, a small campsite with about 8 tents and mattresses for hire, a grassy area with benches and tables enjoying a great view, and a small canteen where cool drinks and snacks can be purchased and local food can be served on order.