CANOPY WALK IN NYUNGWE FOREST
The Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the must-do tourist adventures during Rwanda safaris and any trip to south-western part of the country without this activity is not complete. This walkway is hanging above a gorge within the verdant montane rainforest of Nyungwe and rewards visitors with the phenomenal perspective of the ancient treetops as well as outstanding animals.
The suspension bridge over tree canopies and wide ravine extends for over 160 meters long and hangs about 70 meters high from the forest floor. It is part of Igishigishigi trail, one of the 15 unique hiking trails within Nyungwe Forest National Park. This forest survived the last ice age period and is a hot spot for rich biological diversity (in form of beautiful birds, numerous butterfly species, orchids and primates) which can partly be explored during the canopy walks. The black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, hardwood tree species in the upper ends of Nyungwe Forest as well as purple orchids in the lower sides of the forest canopy are common during the canopy walk.
So far, a total of 13 primate species are found in Nyungwe Forest National Park, thus the opportunity to see them isn’t completely out of the question but travellers hoping to have a more rewarding encounter with them can book for the chimpanzee trek of primate tracking tours. This walkway was launched in 2010 by USAID under the Green Heart Non-Governmental Organization and is divided into three parts-the 90-meter long walk, the 45-meter long and 25-meter long walk.
How the Canopy walk in Nyungwe is done
The 160-meter long Canopy walk is part of the 2.1-kilometer long Igishigishigi trails and enjoyed in four sessions- starting at 8:00am, 10:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm from Uwinka Visitor Center. First, briefing is provided by the RDB Park Rangers who take travellers through the rules and regulations of the canopy walk before beginning 30 minutes’ later. For the incredible canopy walk, you will require to wear hiking boots, safari pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat and carry a rain coat in addition to camera and binoculars.
Cost of the Canopy walk in Nyungwe
The Canopy walk experience within Nyungwe Forest National Park costs $60 per person and travellers planning to undertake the tout have to be at least 6 years old, and then must be done in the presence of a guardian.
Is the canopy walk in Nyungwe safe?
Yes, the canopy walk in Nyungwe is safe and firm, with the Park Rangers ensuring that different safety measures are undertaken for the good and safety of travellers while on this life-changing adventure.
What to wear and carry for the Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Before venturing into the jungles of Nyungwe for the canopy walk, make sure to be braced with sturdy hiking boots and if you don’t have it, it is possible to rent from the Park Headquarters. Additionally, make sure that you have carried a lightweight rain jacket, wear long sleeved shirts and safari pants for protecting arms and legs from getting scratched. Remember that the canopy walk begins from Uwinka Visitor Center and goes through some part of the forest that are marked by dense vegetation. Other important items for the canopy walk include wide brim hat, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, enough drinking water in a re-usable water bottle, a backpack, drinking water and energy giving snacks, to mention but a few.
When to go for the Canopy walk in Nyungwe
The Canopy walk experience in Nyungwe is open and available throughout the year, with more chance of downpours being in the months of March, April, May, October and November. This makes the forest trails to be muddy and slippery thus it will be a hurdle getting to the starting point of the Canopy walk in Nyungwe. For this reason, the dry months of January, February, June, July, August, September and December are recommended.
Where to stay before or after the Canopy walk in Nyungwe
Nyungwe Top Hill View Lodge, One & Only Nyungwe House and Gisakura Guesthouse are some of the few sleeping options for travellers planning to enjoy the Canopy walk in Nyungwe.
Getting to Nyungwe
To get to Nyungwe Forest National Park, you can arrange a private ride from Kigali for about 136 miles or embark on a helicopter transfer (operated by Akagera Aviation) from the Airport of Kigali to the jungles of Nyungwe.