A trip to Nyungwe: Falsehoods demystified

On 25 March 2019 at 10:37

After social media reports that say there is no security in Nyungwe National Park and its surrounding areas, visitors and neighbours say the forest is safe and rebel reports should be dismissed with contempt as the carry no substance at all.

Those who say Nyungwe National Park is not secure nowadays base it on armed
attacks carried out in the areas surrounding the forest since July last year and which
were neutralized by the Rwandan army.

In July last year, assailants attacked Nyabimata Sector of Nyaruguru District, looted belongings of the population but they were repeled by the Rwanda Defence Force.

In December, last year again, other assailants killed two people and injured eight in Kitabi Sector of Nyamagabe District after setting a passenger car on fire. The RDF
later confirmed to have killed three of the gunmen responsible for the attack after others fled back to Burundi.

On March 18, this year, other gunmen killed one person in Karambi Sector of
Nyamasheke District before the RDF intervened and stopped the attack.

Visitors hail the safety in Nyungwe

On Saturday at 3:30am IGIHE’s team of journalists arrived at One &Only Nyungwe House Hotel, a five star eco lodge located in Bushekeri Sector of Nyamasheke District that is a three minute drive from the forest.

Some visitors who had spent the previous night in the hotel had already woken up ready to go and explore the beauty of the park.

Victor Dizon, a tourist from the Philippines and his wife were back to the hotel from the park where they had enjoyed looking at primates of colobus species.

Dizon told IGIHE that it had not been long since he arrived in Rwanda but he found the country more secure than all the other 15 African countries he has visited.

“All I can say is that Rwanda is the safest of all the African countries I have been to. When we were in Kigali, we would leave our bags inside the cars, of course having closed the doors, but you can’t do that in South Africa or Kenya. Your Government (of Rwanda) has done a very good job to secure the nation,” Dizon said.

Dizon emphasized that he met some security agents which- instead of worrying him- assured him of his safety inside the park.

“We visited different parts of the park. I know we are near the border with Burundi. I saw soldiers here which didn’t scare me but assured me that I am safe,” he added.

Victot Dizon and his wife smiling after exploring the beauty of Nyungwe National Park. They hail security in Rwanda
Residents of Kitabi Sector near Nyungwe Forest say it is safe
The aerial view of Nyungwe Forest