The largest single block of montane forest in Africa lies at the southern end of Lake Kivu protected by the Nyungwe National Park, a little over 1000 square kilometres in area and ranging from 1600 to almost 3000 metres above sea level.
It is stunningly beautiful. From a high point such as at Uwinka you can see range after range receding into the mist …
and once you get into the folds between the hills you find streams and waterfalls,
flowers and treeferns,
We would have three nights here. The place to stay is the Gisakura Guesthouse. This is situated near the forest edge and the garden is planted with flowers that are attractive to the various sunbirds of the area. One can take tea on the lawn and tick off Albertine Rift Endemics from your chair.
Despite the fact that we’d booked and paid for exactly that we found ourselves checking into the Gisakura Family Hostel half way up a dusty hill with not a native tree in sight. You’ve got to love Africa. The hostel was clean and comfortable, the staff extremely friendly but Pied Crows are no match for Sunbirds.
We had a day of birding with the local expert, Klaver Ntoyinkima, and a day chasing mammals. Klaver took us for a higher altitude walk from Uwinka in the morning and to the Kamiranzovu Marsh in the afternoon. Both extremely productive, more time would have been better.
We also had good views of Rwenzori Sun Squirrels, a fleeting glimpse of a Black-fronted Duiker and the odd monkey …
Stay tuned for the next episode featuring the primates of Nyungwe.