Walking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park introduce nature lovers into the various habitats of the park with the opportunity for tourists to keep an eye on unique attractions such as primates, birds, floral species, etc. Nyungwe Forest National Park is the largest tropical forest conservation area in Rwanda attracting Rwanda safari travelers on chimpanzee tracking, hiking/nature walking, birding, canopy walking, and more.
Located in the Southern province of Rwanda, 6 hours’ drive away from the heart of Kigali, Nyungwe Forest National Park is a biodiverse park of its own. A total of about 15 walking trails exist in Nyungwe National Park alone. Besides, 13 primate species live in Nyungwe majority of which can be sighted while you are on walking safaris, plus several birds, colorful butterflies, and many others.
Walking trails in Nyungwe
Igishigishigi walking trail
Distance: Igishigishigi trail is 2.4kms long, taking 1 and half hours’ for tourists to complete walking through it. It is located in the altitudinal range of 2295-2450m. At the Igishigishigi walking trail, there is a chance for tourists to also indulge in a guided canopy walk to explore and experience the incredible Nyungwe tree canopies while sighting butterflies, primates, and birds, etc. Visitors exploring the Igishigishigi trail gather at Uwinka reception for briefing and to be allocated to an experienced park guide.
Imbaraga walking trail
Imbaraga trail is an interesting trail located in Nyungwe Forest and offers relatively challenging hikes. It is a 10kms stretch of the nature trail that often takes 6 hours for nature lovers to finish hiking. The Imbaraga trail leads visitors via the spectacular valleys, waterfalls, and rivers and there is the possibility to come across chimpanzees on a lucky day. The nature trail is found in the elevation range of 1950-2470m and derives its name from the Kinyarwanda word- Imbaraga meaning “strength” making it indeed one of the toughest trails in the park that requires a certain physical fitness level.
Buhoro walking trail is located at altitude 2386-2450 and covers a distance of 1.8kms and takes one hour or more for tourists to conquer the trail. It is a short nature walking trail but rewarding- there is a high chance of seeing lots of birds such as the great blue turacos, black-billed turacos; butterflies, tree species, etc.
Isumo waterfall trail
Isumo waterfall trail is 10kms long and its altitude ranges from 1770 to 1940m. It takes its name from the biggest tropical waterfall in Nyungwe National Park and is known to offer breathtaking views. It is 4 hours’ walk to complete Isumo waterfall trail walk leading visitors via the beautifully extensive tea plantations while also keeping an eye on a number of primates, birds, and more.
Located in Nyungwe Forest, Kamiranzovu walking trail is 5.9kms long and offers moderate hikes lasting for 3 hours while conquering its elevation range of 1940 to 2140 meters. The word Kamira is translated as swallowing and Nzovu denotes elephants- this is because the wetland was believed to be a point where the last elephant disappeared from. The trail derives its name from the Kamiranzovu marsh which is Nyungwe Forest’s biggest wetland.
Ngabwe trail is 3 hours’ hike and extends 4.7kms making it also one of the shortest nature walking trails in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Walking through Ngabwe is a great opportunity for tourists to enjoy the sight of primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, silver monkeys, chimpanzees, etc.
Umugote walk trail
3.6kms Umugote trail is on altitude range of 2350-2460m. It is rich in beautiful flowers, birds, and more with the opportunity to view the Kibira National Park of Burundi.
Congo Nile divide trail
If you are interested in the longest and a little challenging trail to conquer then no better trail to hit than the Congo Nile Divide trail. It takes 3-4 days to finish walking through the 42kms long trail with the opportunity to do camping in the forest, and enjoy a clear view of the Nile River.
Uwinka walk trail
17.8kms Uwinka walk trail is one of the best trails for visitors interested in short hikes. It takes visitors 8 hours to enjoy a round walk through Uwinka trail circuit.
Rukuzi walk trail
Rukuzi trail is a 9kms stretch walk trail, 5 hours round experience. It is one trail that allows you to see chimpanzees plus the lush vegetation cover and more.
Irebero walk trail
Found in Nyungwe Forest, Irebero walk trail is one trail in Nyungwe Forest NP that introduces you to the highest peaks of the park. It is a 4kms long stretch trail translating into 3 hours’ walk.
Muzimu walk is another special walking trail covering 5.2kms long about 3 hours or more walk. Visitors enjoy a 360-degree view of Nyungwe Park, Lake Kivu, and surrounding Virunga Volcanoes.
This is a 3-4 hours’ round walking trail through a 5.5 walk circuit. It is also popular as the mahogany walking trail the fact that it ushers visitors through the mahogany trees with opportunity to enjoy the sight of birds, etc.
Other attractions/activities in Nyungwe Forest
Chimpanzee tracking- opportunity to enjoy a trek to see chimpanzees in the wild. Over 500 chimps live in Nyungwe Forest with a good number of them undergone through habituation making it one of the best chimpanzee trekking places in East Africa. The main points to start the trek to see chimps include Gisakura, Kitabi, Uwinka, Cyamudongo, and more.
A canopy walk is a 200meter stretch walkway suspended 60m from the ground. It takes 2 hours to have an around walk experience on this remarkable walkway with the opportunity to see a variety of primates, birds, trees, and an excellent view of the tree canopy.
For primate lovers, this is a special experience awaiting you on Rwanda safari in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The park is blessed with a diversity of primates, including 400 colobus monkeys plus l’hoest monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, red colobus monkeys, silver monkeys, vervet monkeys, bush babies, pottos, Olive baboons, and more. These and more make Nyungwe NP an interesting primate watching spot.