Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe National Park

Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe National Park: Are you an enthusiast for adventure and hiking safaris? If so, then the canopy walkway in Nyungwe Forest National Park is just what you need! The canopy walkway comprises a 100 meter long bridge that has been suspended 60 meters above the forest floor. Walking along the Nyungwe canopy walkway is not for the faint of heart but would best suit the adrenalin junkies.

Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe Forest national park is one of the top primate safari destinations in Rwanda. The national park is located in the western region of Rwanda, spanning over a radius of 1020 square kilometers of rainforest. The park, which is part of Nyungwe forest, is the top destination for chimpanzee trekking tours in Rwanda.

The forest alone covers over 1000 square kilometers of land, with a record average rainfall of 2000mm received every year. This forest happens to be the country’s largest water catchment areas, holding about two thirds of all country’s water supply. The forest also plays a major role in the distribution of water in River Congo and River Nile as well.

In 2004, Nyungwe was gazetted as a national park by the government of Rwanda. Between 1958 and 1973, much of Nyungwe forest was destroyed by forest fires, deforestation and land encroachment, as well as wide scale poaching of wildlife animals that inhabited the forests.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, about 75 mammal species with 13 primate species. Forest buffaloes were reported to have last been seen in the national park in 1974, and a great majority of these buffaloes were killed by poachers. However, Rwanda Development Board has made great strides in restoring much of the forest and some wildlife species.

The Nyungwe canopy walkway is among one of the popular activities offered at Nyungwe national park.  The canopy walkway is one of the only three canopy walkways in Africa. 

The canopy walkway in Nyungwe national park happens to be the only one of its kind in the East African Region. It was unveiled as a tourism product in 2010 by the Rwanda Development Board.

The Nyungwe canopy walkway is made up of three sections with the middle section being the highest point. The canopy walkway in Nyungwe forest national park gives visitors an opportunity the beautiful forest canopy in Nyungwe. 

The canopy walkway also has a bridge that has been suspended between some of the gigantic trees in the park’s forest. The bridge can carry weights measuring up to about six tones, and only a maximum number of 8 people per round are allowed on the canopy walkway. 

The upper section of the forest canopy walkway comprises hard wood trees, while the lower section of the canopy walkway has large collections of purple orchids with lush green flora. 

Visitors who are interested in explore the canopy walkway in Nyungwe forest national park will have an opportunity to see interesting wildlife in the national park such as bird species, monkeys and various butterfly species among others. Walking on the canopy walkway will give you an opportunity to explore the national park from a bird’s eye view, which is very thrilling, adventurous and breath taking.

Hiking expeditions leading to the canopy walkway commence at exactly 8am every morning and at 3pm every afternoon at the park’s headquarters in Uwinka. Hiking to the canopy walkway is done on daily basis, with visitors being guided by well trained and experienced park rangers and guides.

Before embarking on your hiking expedition to the canopy walkway in Nyungwe national park, you will be briefed by the head ranger or guide at the park. You will then be taken through one of the trails leading to the canopy walkway, which is the Igishigishigi trail. The rail is approximately 2.4 kilometers long and takes visitors about 1½ hours to complete, including the canopy walk.

It will take you about two hours to complete a round trip along the canopy walkway, covering a total distance of 200 meters. Getting to the middle section of the canopy walkway marks the highlight of every hiking expedition along the walkway. Here, visitors can get a chance to marvel at the wondrous and beautiful forest canopy and appreciate God’s gift of nature to the human race. 

You will also have an opportunity to spot amazing wildlife in the park such as; blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and the L’Hoest monkeys among others. And if you are lucky, you might get to see some chimpanzees jumping between trees in the forest.

After the canopy walkway, you can choose to either use the same trail to head back to Uwinka visitor center, or you could take a round trip and connect to other hiking trails like the Umuyove trail. This trail offers visitors beautiful and breath-taking views of waterfalls and orchids. The trail is only 6 kilometers long, thus making it a relatively short hiking trail.

For a fee of USD 60 dollars per person, you can enjoy hiking along the Nyungwe canopy walkway with your friends and family. Visitors are recommended to purchase their hiking permit in advance from any of the reservation offices at the park or in Kigali city.

Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe National Park
Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe National Park

Other Activities offered at Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Aside from the canopy walkway in Nyungwe national park, visitors at the park can also take part in other interesting activities that are offered at the park such as; Chimpanzee trekking, primate tracking, guided nature walks, hiking, the Congo Nile trail hike, bird watching, and tour Gisakura tea estates to mention but a few.

How to get to Nyungwe National Park.

The park can be accessed by road from Kigali city. It is located just 225 kilometers from the Kigali City Centre, which is about a four to five hours’ drive from the city.

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