Deep in the south west within the albertine rift area is the nyungwe national park, home to the region’s largest and oldest remaining patches of mountain rain forest and a number o eco-systems form rain forest, bamboo, grassland, swamps and bog habitats. It protects one of the region’s largest and oldest remaining patches of montane rain forest and is home o 310 species of birds. This park is the most important ornithological site in Rwanda. It is increasingly being sought out for the incredible birding opportunities, particularly the numerous albertine rift endemics; the highest concentration found n any single park in Africa. There are more than 240 tree species, more than 140 colorful orchids, 1050 plant types, such as the giant lobelia. Of these plants 250 are albertine rift endemics. Mount bigugu is the highest mountain in the park, reaching an altitude of 2950m. Also with in the park, is the most remote source of the Nile.
There are 13 primate species, including habituated chimpanzees, a number of mammals and a large variety of other species within the park, comprising of hundreds of butterflies, a small number of snake species, due to the altitude but several colorful lizards and species of chameleon. There is much to be seen and experienced on a number of magnificent hikes offered in the park.
- The nyungwe national park lies within five districts; Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru and Karongi.
- Hikes can be arranged from the Giovu tea plantation, if you book in advance with a guide Uwinka visitor centre.
- The Nyungwe National Park is home to 310 bird species, 13 primate species, including chimpanzee and more than 1068 plant types, of these 140 are orchids.
Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Tropical Rainforest
Nyungwe forest National Park also provides hiking routes that involve walking through thecanopy.It’s covered with hiking trails that can last from 1 hour to 10hrs.Among Nyungwe’s trails,is the Igishigishi Trail and it is the shortest hike that covers the entire Nyungwe rainforest, The Bigugu Trail transcending upto the highest mountain (about 2950 meters) in the park. While hiking, you can trail via the highway passing through the forest and within the drive you can be able to enjoy the beauty of this conserved montane forest.
The canopy walk – The Metal Walkway was built by the help of USAID,spices up the activity in the forest and gives such a wonderful experience. At the office, you will get the permit and here the adult’s fee is different from the child fees and yer, this is quite fair! While at the office, you will be advised on the dos and don’ts and also told more about the forest and its inhabitants. This nature walk sways,and this makes it even more enjoyable though not for the light hearted ones.
The canopy nature walk is guided by various trails which include among others Ngabwe trail, Bigugu trail, Igishigishi trail, Kamiranzovu marsh trail, Isumo waterfall trail, Imbaraga trail, Irebero trail, River Nile source trail, Karamba birding trail, Muzimu trail, Umugore trail, Ruzuzi, Umuyone, Congo-Nile divide, colored trails which all lead you in various waterfalls and viewing spots.It has 3 sections that’s the 25metres, 50 meters, and 90metres off the ground.At these pots,you will have a great and an amazing view of all the forest inhabitants such as the chimpanzees, orchids, golden monkeys, owl faced monkeys, thick green natural vegetation, and so much more. It is so amazing swaying in the forest’s air while the monkeys and other primates watch you.
Hiking in Nyungwe Tropical Rainforest
Nyungwe Tropical Rainforest is found in the South Western part of Rwanda shared with Burundi in the south, Lake Kivu, and Democratic Republic of Congo in the West.It is a water lodged forest since its found in the watershed between the Congo River in the West and River Nile in the East. This forest, due to its natural scenic gift, it provides quite a number of tourist attractions which include among others hiking, canopy walk, community nature walks, chimpanzees and primates trekking, birding, waterfall visits, camping, wildlife safaris, and so many other related tourist attractions and activities.
Among Rwanda’s Natural wonders, this tropical montane forest holds ground.It is the largest remaining montane forest in Africa with lots of wildlife (flora and fauna) that is 13 primates;the chimpazees / baboons, red tailed monkeys, owi faced monkeys, colobus and mangabey monkeys.It is also a home land to about 300 bird species like The Albertine Rift and cannot be found in any other forests except those in the Albertine Rift Mountains, the giant hornbills, and great blue turacos, red breasted sparrow hawks, with about 28 purple and blue breasted sunbirds. All these birds do fill the forest with wonderful sounds and sights / viewswhich is such an amazing experience as well as orchids and butter flies with arecord of about 120 species with many brilliant colors that they make the forest very colorful.Hiking in Nyungwe National park is such a natural wonder though might be scary for the light hearted but a breath taking adventure; viewing nature and wildlife of the entire Nyungwe rain forest from just one spot where the wild and the trees too can enjoy you swaying in the woods.