The Nyungwe Forest is a true rainforest, typically receiving in excess of 2,000 mm of rain annually; it is also one of the oldest forests in Africa and the largest surviving expanse of montane forest in east or central Africa at 1,000 sq km.
The forest subsequently contains a wide diversity of unique flora and fauna, including 200-plus tree species, 100 different orchids and 300 bird species, with 23 endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. However, it is the number and variety of primates that is the biggest attraction. Chimpanzees, the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey and Ruwenzori colobus, which can live in troops of more than 400, are among the many species present. A morning spent with a guide on one of the many walking trails offers fantastic opportunities to encounter a good number of these species. The high altitude of the forest – Nyungwe lies at an altitude of between 1,600 metres and 2,950 metres – also results in an agreeably cool climate throughout the year.