Gishwati Makura National Park Rwanda

Rwanda’s newest national park, Gishwati-Mukura was gazetted in 2016 to protect a pair of relict forest blocks on the Rift Valley escarpment above Lake Kivu.

It offers sensational sunset views to the volcanic peaks of the Virungas, while wildlife includes the very localised golden monkey and L’Hoest’s monkey, along with 230 bird species and a small semi-habituated community of chimps. A unique feature of this small national park is that its creation was driven by local community members to help arrest soil erosion and fatal landslides caused by deforestation. Since sustainable community management policies were first initiated in 2015, several buffer zones have benefitted from reforestation and chimp numbers have grown from fewer than 15 to more than 35.

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