Rwanda conservation news update – Nyungwe road upgrading causes environmentalists concerns


It was learned overnight that a section of new road through the Nyungwe Forest National Park has caused added concerns amongst environmentalists and conservationists, as a result of the contractors’ alleged work practices of cutting trees and shrubs and covering slopes along the route with soil.

The construction, described by officials as an ‘upgrade’ of the road, is due to be completed by September this year and will allow greater access into the forest national park by visitors but also easier crossing of it by area residents, causing yet more concerns over the safety of wildlife attempting to cross and being endangered by vehicle traffic.

The ‘main road’ through the national park, connecting Butare with Cyangugu, is also being worked on by contractors at some sections and is due to be completely repaved in the near future, to bring it up to standards with other roads across Rwanda. The bad state of this road has been cited as one major obstacle to have more tourists visit the forest national park, while other sources connected to the tourism sector have pointed to the need for more accommodation around the park and more regular access by air from Kigali to nearby airfields and airstrips, allowing tourists to fly in and out on a daily basis.

Watch this space for an upcoming feature article on Nyungwe Forest and its unique attractions like 13 species of primates which can be seen by taking extended forest hikes, while other routes offer sights to some waterfalls and the spotting of over 275 species of birds, hundreds of butterfly species and a wide array of trees, plants and forest flowers including orchids.