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The fourth national park of Rwanda, Gishwati Mukura National Park, was created from the two forests of Gishwati and Mukura. The larger forest, Gishwati, and the smaller forest, Mukura, are both home to numerous primates native to Rwanda. The forest straddles along the ridges of the Congo Nile basin, serving as a water catchment area for many of the neighbors living nearby. The area’s biodiverse ecosystem is home to bird species that are endemic to the area as well as tree species from the great Albertine rift valley.

The two forests that were strategically positioned between the buffer zone and Akagera National Park were combined to establish the park. The majority of the animals that live in the national park are primates, including a group of chimpanzees, as well as other primates like the L’hoest monkeys, golden monkeys, and black and white colobus monkeys. Although they are very shy and difficult to spot, other animals such as bush bucks, several cats, and tree hyraxes can also be found in the park. The national park was established by the Rwandan government in 2015 as a way to protect the area.

When it comes to birding, the national park offers quite a variety of bird species. Some species that can be seen here include the regal sunbirds, blue turacos, Rwenzori batis, purple-breasted sunbirds, and grey-crowned cranes, to name a few.

Despite its popularity, Gishwati Mukura National Park is largely overshadowed by the other three because it is so simple to miss out while on safari. However, despite the encroachment, the Rwandan government has played a significant role in ensuring that the last few places are safe and accessible to visitors. The size of the forest has increased with effort, and both of the forests have been recognized and set aside as buffer zones.

One of the best spots in Rwanda to go birding is this park. There are already over 83 species listed here, some of which are unique to the huge Albertine rift valley. Example species include sunbirds, wood hoopoes, strange weavers, and purple-breasted sunbirds. Birding is done through the well-distributed trails of the national park, as well as during cultural encounters with the communities around the park and personal visits to local homesteads where they will perform their distinctively beautiful traditional music and drumming.

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