Nyungwe National Park is home to at least 13 species of primate and in our short time there we were able to add four new ones to our monkey trip list.
There was a baby in the group that we encountered, and just like little humans it was overactive and keen to get some attention …
fortunately for mum they come with built-in reins …
They are initially all white, one of the reasons that mum doesn’t want it exposing itself in the canopy is that they are easy pickings for Crowned Eagles which are monkey specialists and their main predator.
A Mona monkey was feeding on the fringe of the Colobus group.
Next up were l’Hoest’s monkeys that had found an abundant supply of unripe fruit.
A troop of Johnston’s Mangabey also put in an appearance but were far less cooperative when it came to photography, keeping their distance and staying well back in the foliage.
Old friends like Chimps and Olive Baboons are also present. There are a couple of nocturnal primates here as well as some other hard to find species.
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.