Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Gishwati Forest Reserve

This is a protected reserve located in the north-western parts of Rwanda and it is near to Lake Kivu thus offering tourists to enjoy the amazing activities done there.

The reserve’s forests were largely intact in 1978, and substantial forest cover still remained in 1986. During the Rwandan Genocide, a large population of refugees arrived in Gishwati Forest and began clearing it for subsistence farming.

By 2001, only a small circular patch of native forest remained 1,500 acres out of the forest’s original 250,000 acres. In addition to tremendous loss of biodiversity, the region experiences soil erosion and degradation and landslides.

Reforestation efforts in the past few years have increased the remnant native forest to about 2,500 acres (10 km2). Large tea estates occupy the central and northern parts of the reserve.

The reserve harbors four species of primates which include the Eastern Chimpanzees, golden monkeys, blue monkeys and L’Hoest’s/Mountain monkeys however there is a possibility of spotting a fifth primate species called black and white Colobus which has been reported to have been seen.

It is currently estimated that the reserve inhabits more than 20 East African chimpanzees which is a 54% increase in population size from the 13 chimpanzees which were estimated in 2008.

Other mammals include the red river hogs, black-fronted duikers, Southern tree hyraxes, Servals and Felis aurata. The Reserve is also home to over 84 bird species including Wood-hoopoes, White-headed Wood-hoopoes, Old World Warblers and Mountain Yellow Warblers.

The brown forest frogs along with multiple species of toads are some of the amphibians found in the Reserve and the present reptiles in the Reserve include; the great lakes bush vipers plus the multiple species of chameleons. Accommodations here include; Hotel Dian Fossey and others.