Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Canopy walk is one of the major and fascinating activities carried out in Nyungwe National park after the mighty Chimpanzee trekking which tops up the game in the tourism sector within the Park. Nyungwe forest is found in Nyungwe national park which is situated in the south western part of Rwanda and is the only park in Rwanda that offers canopy walks alongside other activities such as waterfall trails, hiking trails, nature walks and chimpanzee trekking. Nyungwe National Park is home to about 13 primate species, over 80 mammals, about 300 bird species, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and over plant species which makes canopy walk a successful activity while on Rwanda tours,
Canopy walk in Nyungwe forest was established in 2010 and up to now it’s amongst the best canopy walks in Africa in fact it’s the thirds in entire Africa. This walk is about 160m in length which can be categorized into three with one trail stretching to 25 meters and is the smallest walk, the second walk is 45metres long and the last one is 90metres which is the longest walk both originating from Uwinka. Visitors can choose which walk they prefer though some visitors prefer the longest trail to have maximum exploration within the wilderness of Nyungwe forest
During the canopy walk, visitors have a golden probability of viewing the entire scenery of Nyungwe National Park from above at an elevation of about 50meters above the ground. Visitors also have a chance to view several primate species such as chimpanzees, L’Hoests monkeys, Silver monkey, Owl-faced monkey, Grey-cheeked, Olive baboon, Vervet monkey, Golden monkey, mangabey, Bush babies, Red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, several bird species including the Ruwenzori Nightjar, Crimsonwings Ruwenzori Batis, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Stripe-breasted Tit Parus, Handsome Francolin, montane Double Collared Sun, Batis diops, blue turaco, Kungwe Apalis, Dwarf Honeyguide, Red- Throated Alethe and many more as they fly all over the canopy, several mammals such as Golden cats, Leopards, duikers, bush pigs among others that dwell in the forest, beautiful butterflies, and many more that will really make the canopy walk more enjoyable than expected. Canopy walks in the Nyungwe forest last about two hours and is eligible for anyone aged above 6 years. However, children below 15 years must move with adults to hold their hands during the canopy walk
Canopy walks in Nyungwe forest are carried out at a cost of $60 for Foreign Nonresidents, $50 for Foreign Residents and 5,000 Rwandan francs for Rwandese citizens
There are two shifts for the Canopy walk in Nyungwe forest that is morning hours and afternoon hours. Morning shifts start at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. While the afternoon walks start at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm all lasting about 2 hours to make a complete walk.
Requirements for a Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest
Since canopy walk is a physical activity, visitors have to be informed of the crucial things to include in the backpack and carry for the walk. Keep in mind that the backpack should be minimum and easy to carry for at least two hours and these include;
- A camera, as usual, to capture the moments while on a canopy. This will enable you to capture the entire Nyungwe forest national park from above
- Good hiking boots fit for the walk for the first hiking hours
- At least a liter of bottled drinking water to protect you from dehydration during the canopy walk
- A raincoat since canopy walk is done in a forest and in a rainforest it can rain at any time
- Insect repellant to expel insects away since most forests have some insects including mosquitoes, tsetse flies and many more
- Long sleeved attire and hand gloves to protect the body from injuries
- Sunglasses and a cap for protection against direct sunlight
Getting to Nyungwe forest for canopy walk in Nyungwe national park
For visitors traveling from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda takes about 5 hours to drive on the road to the Nyungwe park head offices situated at Uwinka. Once at Uwinka, visitors take more minutes hike to reach to the canopy starting point through Igishigishigi trail which is roughly 2km trail in Nyungwe forest that lies on an altitude ranging from 1600 meters to 3000 meters with large and thick montane forest via slippery and muddy trails to get to the canopy which is about 200 meters in length and raised at 50 meters above the ground but only 90metres canopy walk is encouraged as it’s the longest walk followed by a 45 meters walk and a 25 meters walk.
Accommodation facilities with in Nyungwe Forest National Park
There are many accommodation facilities to chill in while on a tour to Nyungwe forest national park and these include budget, midrange, and luxury accommodations but the most preferred and recommended facilities are three lodges including Nyungwe forest lodge which is the best luxury lodge in Nyungwe located in a tea plantation near the forest, Nyungwe top view hotel which is good for mid-range visitors situated very close to the park, Gisakura guest house which is the best place for budget visitors situated just near Gisakura tea farms. Other lodges include one and only Nyungwe house, Nyungwe Nziza Eco Lodge and many more.
A visit to Nyungwe National Park is incomplete not until you swing on a canopy for almost 2 hours overlooking the park and all that exists within it.