Species Present in Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe has one the largest populations of endemic species in all of Africa. Of the 86 mammal species present, 14 are endemic to the Albertine Rift. The forest is home to 14 species of primates, including large troops of colobus monkeys that often travel in groups of 300 or more individuals. Two hundred eighty avian species have been identified in the forest, with 26 Albertine Rift endemic species and 121 forest species. There are also 43 species of reptiles, 8 of which are endemic. Thirty-one species of amphibians are present, with 15 endemic species. There are innumerable invertebrate species present, and Nyungwe is especially known for its abundant butterfly populations, which include 21 Albertine Rift endemic species. The floral community consists of over 1100 species, with 137 endemic species. Below is a partial species list.



L’Hoest’s Monkey – Cercopithecus lhoesti
Owl-faced Monkey – Cercopithecus hamlyni
Mona Monkey – Cercopithecus mona
Blue Monkey – Cercopithecus mitis doggetti
Golden Monkey – Cercopithecus mitis kandti
Red-tailed Monkey – Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti
Vervet Monkey – Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Other Monkeys

Grey cheeked Mangabey – Cercocebus albigena johnstoni
Black and White Colobus ; Colobus angolensis rwenzori


Eastern Needle-Clawed Galago – Galago inustus
Greater Bushbaby – Galago crassicaudatus
Dwarf Galago – Galago demidovii


Olive Baboons ; Papio anubis


Chimpanzee ; Pan troglodytes

Other Mammals

Giant Forest Squirrel ; Protoxerus stangeri
Mountain Sun Squirrel ; Heliosciurus rwenzorii
Boem’s Squirrel ; Funisciurus boehmi
Lord Darby’s Flying Squirrel ; Anomalurus darbianus
Giant Forest Hog ; Hylochoerus meinertzhageni
Bush Pig ; Potamochoerus larvatus
Tree Hyrax ; Dendrohyrax arboreus dorsalis
Lestrade’s Duiker ; Cephalophus weinsi lestradi
Black-fronted Duiker ; Cephalophus nigrifrons
Yellow-backed Duiker ; Cephalophus sylvicultor
Leopard ; Pantera pardus
Golden Cat ; Profelis aurata
Serval ; Leptailurus serval
Wild Cat ; Felis silvestris
Side-striped Jackal ; Canis adustus
African Civet ; Viverra civetta
Two-spotted Palm Civet – Nandinia binotata
Genet Servaline ; Genetta servalina
Large-spotted Genet ; Genetta tigrina
Slender Mongoose ; Herpestes sanduneus
Marsh Mongoose – Herpestes paludinosus
Ichneumon Mongoose ; Herpestes ichneumon
Congo Clawless Otter ; Aonyx congca


Great Blue Turaco ; Corythaeola cristata
Ruwenzori Turaco ; Tauraco johnstoni
Black-billed Turaco ; Tauraco schuetti
Ross’s Turaco ; Musophago rossae
Black and White Casqued Hornbill ; Bycanistes subcylindricus
Crowned Hornbill ; Tockus alboterminatus
Crowned Eagle ; Stephanoaetus coronatus
Forest Buzzard ; Buteo oreophilus
Handsome Francolin ; Francolinus nobilis
Olive Pigeon ; Columba arquatrix
Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater ; Merops oreobates
White-headed Wood Hoopoes ; Phoeniculus bollei
Blue-Headed Sunbird ; Nectarinia regia
Stuhlmann’s Sunbird ; Nectarinia afra stuhlmanni
Black-headed Waxbill ; Estrilda atricapilla
Olive Thrush ; Turdus olivaceus
Slender-billed Chestnut Wing Starling – Onychognathus tenuirostris theresae
White-necked Raven ; Corvus albicollis
African Saw-wing ; Psalidoprocne pristoptera
Mountain Wagtail ; Motacilla clara
Cape Wagtail ; Motacilla capensis
Red-throated Alethe ; Alehe poliophrys
White-starred Robin ; Pogonocichla stellata
Equatorial Akalata ; Sheppardia aequatorialis

(See Dowsett 1990 in Publication list for more detailed information on birds present in Nyungwe)

Reptiles and Amphibians

Nyungwe’s high altitude precludes great reptile and amphibian diversity. However, there are five chameleon species and several snake species, including a viper species, Atheris nitschei. (See Fischer and Hinkel 1992 in Publication list for more details.)


Butterflies are the most charismatic invertebrate species in all of Nyungwe. There are over 120 identified species, forty of which are endemic to Nyungwe. On a sunny day the forest is full of brilliant patches of color.

Perhaps the most notorious invertebrate species is the driver ant, Dorylus spp. These ants travel in huge colonies and often move in columns guarded by larger ants with pinchers. Vibrations cause the guards to seek out the source of the movement and attack.

These ants are important carnivores in the forest. One study at Kibale Forest in Uganda found that the total ant biomass in a given area was larger than that of the mammalian carnivores. The ants also devoured more prey by weight than large carnivores.


The trees of Nyungwe forest include large species such as Entandrophragma excelsum in the Mahogany family, tree ferns (Cyathea manniana), and many species of herbaceous ferns. For a list of Albertine Rift endemics found in Nyungwe,
see Plumptre et al. 2002 in Publication list.

L'Hoest's Monkey - Cercopithecus lhoesti


species present


species present 2



Bush Pig ; Potamochoerus larvatus




Crowned Hornbill ; Tockus alboterminatus


species present 4

If you would like to purchase a Nyungwe National Park species check list please contact us through email at: ctec@antioch.edu