Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda
Visitors to Rwanda are always looking for ways to spend their time and the Nyungwe forest canopy walk is an adventure worth going for while on safari in Rwanda as it takes you on a journey to Nyungwe forest one of Africa’s oldest rain forest. The canopy walk is along a 200m walkway right in the center of Nyungwe forest national park offering visitors a true forest experience.
Nyungwe forest national park is the home to chimpanzees in Rwanda and one can combine chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda with the canopy walk making it a perfect arrangement to experience two of the top tourism activities in Rwanda. The nature canopy walk offers breath-taking views of the forest from the top of the suspension bridge and a great hiking experience through Nyungwe forest.
Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest
The canopy walk starts at Uwinka Visitor’s center which is also the national park’s headquarters. The center features the park offices, washrooms, brochures and boards with relevant park information about hiking trails, chimpanzees and wildlife of Nyungwe national park. The visitor’s center also features a coffee shop so one can grab a cup of coffee just before they start their activities.
Before embarking on the canopy walk you meet your site guide at Uwinka who takes you through a briefing to prepare you for the experience. The site guides at Nyungwe forest national park are knowledgeable and have experience about the forest trails. The briefing can take about 10 – 15 minutes where the guide gives you an overview briefing about the park and what to expect and the rest of the information is given as you hike to the canopy walk way starting point. Wooden walking sticks are available and given at the visitor’s center because being a rainforest, Nyungwe forest pathways are slippery and sometimes muddy so a walking stick helps with balance. The canopy walk takes about 1.5 to 2 hours long depending on the speed and stopovers along the trail.
The briefing session with the site guide ends and then you begin the hike to the canopy walkway in Nyungwe forest national park which is accessed from the Igishigishigi trail, one of the hiking trails in the park. The Igishigishigi trail is a beautiful trail that takes you through the thick and dense Nyungwe forest. On a cold day you experience a misty environment surrounded by the forest sounds while on a sunny day you experience sunny weather with light peeking through the dense vegetation, either way you get a magical experience in Nyungwe. At the start of the trail you mainly walk through the forest looking out for wildlife as your guide also tells you about the different tree species, afro-montane vegetation of Nyungwe and so on.As you get to the middle of the hike you enjoy stunning views of the forest rolling hills and you can stop to capture some great landscape photos of Nyungwe national park.
Nyungwe forest national park is a bird’s haven so a keen bird watcher is able to look out for bird species and identify them with the guidance of your guide.322 bird species have been recorded at the park with 29 Albertine Rift Endemics.
The arrival at the starting point of the canopy walkway is exciting and once there you embark on the walkway. The canopy walkway is suspended 74 meters from the ground and is 160 meters long making the walk a thrilling and incredible encounter. The canopy walk gives you one of the best views of Nyungwe forest’s thick vegetation, rolling hills and beautiful wild flowers that can be seen at the bottom from the top.Being at the top gives you sort of a 360 expansive view of the rain forest and you can choose whether to go back the same road or continue with Igishigishigi trail ending the tour at Uwinka Visitor’s center.
About Nyungwe Forest National Park
Nyungwe national park is located in South- West of Rwanda and is considered one of the oldest rainforests in Africa. Nyungwe forest is the largest forest in Rwanda and is characterized by bamboo covered slopes, dense Afromontane forests, grasslands and wetlands. Nyungwe’s eco system makes it the perfect destination for hiking, trekking and nature walks while in Rwanda.
Nyungwe forest national park is also Rwanda’s bird haven as 322 bird species have been recorded at the park with 29 Albertine Rift Endemics. Nyungwe forest is also home to 1,068 recorded plant species, 75 known mammal species and 13 different primate species.
Frequently Asked Question about the Canopy Walk Tour in Nyungwe
What is the level of difficulty of the canopy walk?
The hike along the Igishigishigi forest trail is relatively easy and not strenuous at all. The trail has muddy slopes and steep climbs but with proper hiking shoes one can easily navigate the terrain. The level of difficulty for the canopy walk is therefore easy and manageable.
What time can I do the canopy walk in Nyungwe forest?
Being a 1.5 to 2 hours hike, the canopy walk day tour has a number of starting times. You can start the tour at 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm or 3:00 pm. This means that you can either choose to do the canopy walk in the morning or afternoon.
What do I need to carry/pack for the Canopy walk?
Just like any other hike we have a list of things that we recommend one carries in order to have a comfortable experience. These include hiking shoes or boots, camera and charged batteries, a rain poncho, a small back pack for your belongings and drinking water.
Our Short Tours In Rwanda that include the Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park
The canopy walk tour is a prime activity in Rwanda and has gathered popularity over the years, in addition you can watch the detailed video below on Nyungwe canopy walk;