Gishwati-Mukura National Park Travel Guide & Map


Gishwati-Mukura National Park is one of the newest parks in Rwanda.  It covers an area of about 32.02 km2. It has two forests; Mukuru forest and Gishwati forest. The Gishwati sector is perfect for chimp trekking and bird watching. Accommodations such as Gishwati lodge offer great comfort. June to September is the best time to visit the park. Although it doesn’t get busy, it is the high season of tourism in Rwanda. It is a safe destination in the country. Guides and park rangers ensure that visitors are safe when engaging in various activities. Here are the reasons why you should visit Gishwati-Mukura National Park.


Gishwati-Mukura National Park is home to many species of animals. It is home to chimps. Tourists have the exciting experience of spotting these primates in the wilderness. But you should follow your guide’s directions. Chimps are comfortable with humans. But they may be wary of strangers. Other primates in the park are golden monkeys and I’Hoest’s monkeys. You can also spot African civets, jackals, three-horned chameleons, and duikers.

The dry season is the best time to enjoy chimp trekking. It is also the best time to enjoy other activities in the park. This is between June to September. The wet season may have slippery trails making it harder to explore the park.


You can enjoy birding in Gishwati-Mukura National Park. It is home to more than 150 bird species. It is very easy to spot sunbirds, Ruwenzori turacos, and the great blue turacos. With a good guide, you can spot the handsome francolin in the forest. Other common species are the white-necked raven, strange weaver, black flycatcher, mountain buzzard, and Albertine boubou.


The park has two separate forests Mukuru forest and Gishwati forest. These forests sit on the ridge dividing the Nile and Congo water catchment areas. The park has over 60 tree species including beautiful bamboo and indigenous hardwoods. It has the Kazenenza waterfall that offers lovely hiking safaris. The park has stunning lodges such as Gishwati lodge that beautify its view.


The park has a cool and wet climate. It is close to the equator. Temperatures are uniform across the year. Temperatures range between 11°C and 19°C. The dry season is between June and September. Temperatures are around 11°C and 19°C. January to February is also a short dry season. Daytime is usually sunny but it can still rain.

The wet season is between October and May. Short rains are common between October and December. Long rains are between March and May. Hiking trails can be very slippery, especially in April. This may interfere with most activities such as chimp trekking and game drives.

FAQs About Gishwati-Mukura National Park

Gishwati-Mukura National Park is located in Tutsiro District in Rwanda. This is in the northwestern part of the country. It is not far from Lake Kivu. Its coordinates are 1.8165° S and 29.3510° E. It is about 170 km from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.

  • Why visit Gishwati-Mukura National Park?

There are many activities to enjoy in the park. Chimp trekking is the most common activity. You can enjoy game drives and spot many species of animals. Other common activities are bird watching, nature walks, hiking, and cultural safaris.

  • Which is the best time to visit Gishwati-Mukura National Park?

You can visit the park at any time of the year. But June to September is the best time for most activities. Roads and forest trails are in good condition for chimp trekking and other activities. But the wet season is also good for watching migratory birds.

  • How to get to Gishwati-Mukura National Park?

You can easily get there by road. From Kigali International Airport, it takes about 4 hours to reach the park. From Kigali to the Gishwati forest is about 170 km. A 4×4 safari vehicle is necessary to explore the park. Mukura forest area is less developed but