We knew from our first explorations that Nyungwe was amagical place of wonder. Thanks to years of subsequent research by many foreignand Rwandan scientists, we now know that Nyungwe is one of the most diverse mountain rainforests and one of the most important conservation sites inAfrica. We also know that Nyungwe’s benefits to local people go beyond tourismrevenues to its many ecosystem services – most importantly, its abundan tyear-round water resources.
Nyungwe’s biological importance was first noted byornithologist Jean-Pierre vande Weghe. Its initial conservation success resulted from the work of Amy Vedder and the Wildlife Conservation Society inthe 1980s. These foreign contributions are important. However, from itscreation as a national park in 2005 through all aspects of its currentmanagement – tourism, law enforcement, outreach and education, research and monitoring – Nyungwe’s greatest success is that it is now wholly managed by ateam of Rwandan professionals, committed to the forest’s future conservation.