Gishwati Mukura National Park is the latest national park located in North West part of Rwanda in the Albert Rift region on the highest ridges of the Congo Nile Divide along Albert Nile in the districts of Rutsiro and Ngororero. Gishwati Mukura National park is Rwanda’s fourth national park and the smallest established in 2016 after Volcano national park, Akagera national park, and Ngungwe National Park.
Gishwati Mukura National Park covers an area of 13.2 square miles. The park is a combination of two forests namely Gishwati and Mukura. The combination of these two forests has created a large habitat for 20 chimpanzees, bird species, and animals like the 5 primates namely chimpanzees, baboons, golden monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. It has over 390 bird species of these 230 are in Gishwati forest and 160
in Mukura i.e. the old-world warbler, red-throated Alethe purple, -breasted sunbird marital eagle among others.
History. From its original size of 700km2, it was reduced to 6km2 in 2002 because of degradation due to human settlement in the Gishwati forest. The Gishwati and Mukula forest reserves started in 1970, 80% of the reserve was covered by the forest until 1994 when most of the Rwandese left their homes and settled in the forest reserve. This led to deforestation of the area destroying the forest reserve and habitats for wildlife animals. Thanks to the Rwanda government for the conservation measures put in place to bring back the forest. In 2007 Rwanda introduced a new project that was formed to protect the forest and it’s from this that reforestation was done and in 2016 the Gishwati Mukura national park was created