Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park

Hiking trails in Nyungwe forest National Park are undoubtedly one of the top attractions in Rwanda’s Nyungwe national park. Due to the fact that the Nyungwe forest has plenty of hiking trails each lasting for different time flames depending on the length and nature of the trail. These hikes enable hikers to encounter with different wildlife along the trailheads such as chimpanzee though hikers are encouraged never to be free with the primates encountered along the way as some of these primates aren’t yet habituated and thus can be dangerous to human life.

Apart from chimpanzees, hikers also encounter other primates since the forest is home to 13 species of primates so be sure to view some of these while on a hiking safari in the forest. Other primates encountered include monkeys, baboons, several mammals, birds, butterflies, and identification of different plant species found in one of the largest afro montane forest in Africa. 

Below are some of the hiking trails used by different hikers in Nyungwe forest which include the short trails, intermediate trails and long trails used by different travelers on a hiking safari in Rwanda

  • Buhoro trail: This is the shortest possible hiking trail amongst all the hiking trails in the Nyungwe forest.  Buhoro trail is a 1.8km trail allowing hikers to take about one hour and thirty minutes to complete the trail. This trail is most enjoyed by travelers who need a short hiking trail.  
  • Igishigishi trail: this is also considered as a shorter hiking trail that takes roughly one and a half hours leading travelers to the Canopy Walk. This 2.1km walk is the trailhead to the starting point of the canopy so all travelers interested in a canopy walk use this Igishigishi trail. Igishigishi hiking trail was established as one of the best trails to the Canopy walk in 2008 and in most cases, it is known as the canopy trail taking travelers to the exact spot where the canopy walk commences. Igishigishigi Trail is amongst the most selling trails in Nyungwe as several travelers on a Rwanda safari are interested in a canopy walk thus this trail leads to the canopy from Uwinka reception. During the canopy walk, hikers are rewarded with a clear view of the Nyungwe forest from an elevated spot which awesomely allows the travelers to encounter some primate species, and different bird species thus the best trailhead for birders 
  • Imbaraga Trail: This 9.8km Imbaraga hiking trail starts from the northern part of the Nyungwe forest allowing hikers to take about 6 hours to make a round trip. This trail is also used by travelers for canopy walk and it stretches from Uwinka overlook 
  • Umuyove Trails: this trail takes about three and four hours to make a round trip of a 5.5km circuit.  This trails is basically known as the Mahogany hiking trail since it traverses via the mahogany trees lined up along the trail and it offers a clear view of the waterfalls. Several hikers prefer the Umuyove trail since it’s a bit short and offers that special feeling of the cool breath from the waterfall and very beautiful flowers encountered along the way and around the falls plus plenty of bird species including the water birds. This short trail takes about three and a half hours starting from Uwinka to Buhoro trail, 
  • Ngabwe Trail: this trail takes roughly 3 hours for hikers to complete a 4.7km and is also considered amongst the shortest hikes in Nyungwe forest passing via vegetation cover to tea plantations and the forest enabling hiker to meet with different primate species including the silver monkeys, L’Hoests monkey, colobus monkey and on rare occasions mangabey monkey and chimpanzees
  • Bigugu trail: Bigugu hiking trail is a 6 hours hiking trail that takes hikers through 13km trail to summit Bigugu mountain peak which is situated at an elevation of 2,950m. This is amongst the best trails to have a clear view of Lake Kivu and different bird species. However, the Bigugu hiking trail is very steep and in most cases slippery thus a trail to summit the peak needs physical fitness.
  • Kamiranzovu Marsh Trail: this hiking trail to kamiranzovu swamp home to different bird species including the water birds. Kamiranzovu hiking trail takes about 3 hours to complete a 6 km circuit 
  • Isumo waterfall Trail: This waterfall trail take about 4 hours to complete a 10.6km circuit. Isumo waterfall trail passes via tea plantations, forest and leads to Isumo waterfalls. During the trial, keep the eyes open to the forest for the possibilities of sighting out different primates and birds 
  • Muzimu Trail: muzimu hiking trail is a 5.2km hiking trail that can be completed in within three and a half hours. Muzimu trail offers a 360o view of the park, offering an awesome view of lake kivu and even enables hikers to view the volcanic mountains in Virunga massif   
  • Irebero Trail: this trail takes about 3 hours to complete a 3.4km circuit. Irebero hiking trail allows hikers to have a nice view of Lake Kivu, a clear view of Nyungwe forest and the park at glance from each side of the ridge. 
  • Umugote Trail: this hiking trail takes about 3 hours to finish a 3.6km Umugote trail passing via valleys, dense vegetation cover,  and it offers a view of southern part of Nyungwe forest, primates including monkeys, mammals such as bush pigs, different bird species , butterflies and the mountain in Burundi 
  •  Rukuzi Trail: This 9km Rukuzi hiking trail takes about 5hours to complete a full circuit. Opting for this trail is such a rewarding experience enabling hikers to encounter with the chimpanzees which are the major attractions in Nyungwe forest alongside a beautiful vegetation cover that amazingly catch the hiker’s sight.
  • Uwinka Trail: This 17.8 km hiking trail is considered amongst the short trails in Nyungwe forest. This hiking trail takes about 8 hours to make a complete circuit
  • Congo Nile Divide Trail: this is the longest trail amongst all the hiking trails in Nyungwe forest. This trail takes about three to four days to complete the whole circuit of 42km. Congo Nile divide trail takes hikers along the ridge dividing river Nile and Congo basin allowing an overnight camping in the forest along the trail. This trail offers a clear view of the Nile River.
Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park
Hiking Trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park


Hiking trails in Nyungwe offer an aver whelming view of different fauna and flora species including chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons, elephants, wild pigs, waterfalls, Nile river, different vegetation covers, and allows hikers to enjoy the walk to the canopy all in Nyungwe national park in Rwanda.

Interested in a hiking safari in Rwanda, then Nyungwe forest got you covered as you have a plenty of trails that last between a few hours (two) to three or four days depending on the trail chosen by the hikers all passing via the best  montane forest in Africa