The ORTPN Resthouse is a convenient base from where you can explore Nyungwe Forest National Park
ORTPN Resthouse: Our full report
In the southwest of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is an enormous tropical forest with a high canopy. Covering about 970km², Nyungwe is the largest swathe of montane forest left in East or Central Africa, shown in the Map of Rwanda.
While the accommodation at the ORTPN Resthouse, also known as Gisakura Guesthouse, is rudimentary, this is offset by its friendly team and, especially, by its great location - on the very edge of the forest.
All its 12 rooms are pretty simple and share a number of bathrooms. Each block of rooms are made from brick, wood and tiles and offer little more than a bed and some shelving. The traditional home-cooked food is uncomplicated and, depending on the duration of your stay, may get a little repetitive.
However, while you are here, the accommodation will be the last thing on your mind with some of Africa's most arresting scenery only a short guided walk away. You'll rapidly be immersed in the intense flora, with old mahoganies, tall ebonies and giant tree ferns towering above you, whilst orchids and other epiphytes cling to every branch.
The montane forest is awash with colour, with brightly coloured birds everywhere and, if you walk quietly, you may encounter some of the forest's larger residents. It harbours about 275 different birds, hundreds of butterflies and over 75 different species of mammals – including 13 primates (about a quarter of Africa's primates).
The forest walks here are excellent, lasting from one to six or seven hours, and generally follow pathways but may deviate off if you are lucky enough to spot some chimpanzees or other primates. The guides will then take you off through the bush, which can be quite challenging, but will hopefully be rewarding, affording you much better views.
We can arrange for you to track chimpanzees, or search for Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, which can be found here in troupes of several hundred.
The birds are spectacular, though as in most tropical forests, you'll have to look hard for them. Giant hornbills, great blue turacos and red-breasted sparrowhawks are amongst the specials, of which 24 are endemic to this section of the Rift Valley.
Our viewThe accommodation at the ORTPH Resthouse is incredibly simple, and although accommodation rates are low, because you still need a private driver-guide with you for transport, the daily costs still end up being relatively high - and so we'd only recommend this with extreme caution for people who were looking for a very basic experience.
Ideal length of stay: 3-4 nights
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Wildlife safaris: The ORTPN Resthouse is a simple but well-located base for exploring the forest of Nyungwe National Park. You can track chimpanzees and Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, as well as getting good sightings of other primates such as the grey mangabey and L'Hoest's monkeys, and many amazing birds.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Rwanda
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome
Property’s age restrictions: The children have to be over the age of 18 to participate in tracking
Generally recommended for children: NO
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Dangerous animals: Low Risk