The canopy walk in Rwanda Nyungwe Forest National Park comes second after chimpanzee tracking as one of the most rewarding experiences. It is a bucket-list experience in almost visitor travel plans on Rwanda safari to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
The canopy walk is the first of its kind experience in the whole of East Africa, offering tourists a chance to explore the lush Nyungwe Forest and its natural endowments. This was launched in 2010 making it one of Africa’s best canopy walks. Nyungwe Forest canopy walkway is suspended 60m from the floor and 200m long. It is set in the middle of huge trees and overviews the Nyungwe Forest.
Day canopy walks offer tourists a chance to explore Nyungwe Forest’s rich primates, flora, and other wildlife. It takes a short time to complete the entire walkthrough Nyungwe Forest canopy, about 2 hours and it is carried out by strictly persons above 6 years. The children must be accompanied by the adults.
Nyungwe Forest National Park for a canopy walk
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a spectacular rainforest located in far Southwestern Rwanda, 6 hour’s drive from the heart of Kigali. The park covers a large area of about 1000sq.kms and it was founded as one of Rwanda’s National Parks in 2004. Nyungwe Forest NP is a rich forest habitat protecting 13 primate species and these include owl-faced monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, bushbabies, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and silver monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, etc. These and more should be expected sighting on a canopy walks in Nyungwe.
A total of 310 bird species make Nyungwe National Park a favorite birding location in Rwanda and most of the birds can be sighted on the canopy walks. They include handsome francolins, blue turacos, Rwenzori batis, batis diops, Rwenzori nightjars, dwarf honeyguide, montane double collared sun, stripe breasted tit parus, white-tailed crested flycatchers, red-throated alethe;
Chapin’s flycatchers, Albertine owlet, white-tailed flycatchers, Shelley’s crimson wing, red collared babblers, great blue turacos, regal sunbirds, Archer’s robin chat, dusky crimson wing, Kungwe batis, mountain sooty boubou, barred long-tailed cuckoo, yellow-eyed black flycatchers, Kivu ground thrush, mountain masked apalis, purple breasted sunbirds Neumann’s warblers, grauer’s swamp warblers, strange weaver bird, Rockefeller’s sunbird, etc.
Other species of interest while at Nyungwe Forest NP include butterflies, golden cats, bush pigs, duikers, leopards, golden cats, and many others. For visitors interested in canopy walks, there are different shifts to start your canopy walk experiences in Nyungwe Forest with the first shift beginning at 8:00am, 10:00am- these are the morning shifts; the afternoon shifts begin at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
Morning and afternoon canopy walk shifts take 2 hours for tourists to finish the walk on 200 meters long stretch walkway. With USD60, it is possible to undertake part of the canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park. This is for foreign non-residents, foreign residents USD 50, RWF5000 per person for Rwanda residents, East African community national USD10, EAC foreign residents USD50, EAC students RWF 5000, and foreign resident students pay USD25 per person.
What are the requirements for a canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest National Park?
For a successful canopy walk experience in Nyungwe Forest, you must consider packing appropriately. Essentials such as raincoats, long-sleeved shirts, hiking boots (waterproof and lightweight), snacks, bottled drinking water, insect repellents, sunglasses, first aid kit, rain jacket or poncho, etc.
Accommodation in Nyungwe National Park Rwanda
Nyungwe Forest Lodge- was founded in 2010 and comprised of 20 luxury rooms, and 2 Presidential rooms each of these have a Jacuzzi and private balcony offering a great view of Nyungwe Forest.
Gisakura Guest House- found 2kms off from Nyungwe Forest National Park on Rusizi route near Gisakura tea estates. Gisakura Guest House is the budget accommodation choice in Nyungwe National Park and it is an ideal place to retire for the night not only on canopy walk but also on chimpanzee tracking, birding, hiking or nature walks, etc.
Nyungwe Top View Hotel- built-in 2011, Nyungwe Top View Hotel is 5 minutes drive off Nyungwe National Park Rwanda. From Kigali, it is 4 to 5 hours’ drive off Kigali capital city. The hotel has amenities/facilities such as a fully-stocked bar, restaurant, electricity, security and medical services, etc.
Other activities to do in Nyungwe Forest besides canopy walk;
Colobus monkey tracking- a great opportunity to explore a variety of other primates such as l’hoest monkeys, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, etc.
Birding- enjoy the sight of diverse birds living in Nyungwe Forest National Park. These include Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori apalis, barred long-tailed cuckoo, yellow-eyed black flycatchers, Kivu ground thrush, mountain masked apalis, Albertine owlet, white-tailed flycatchers, Shelley’s crimson wing, red collared babblers, great blue turacos;
regal sunbirds, Archer’s robin chat, dusky crimson wing, Kungwe batis, mountain sooty boubou, purple breasted sunbirds Neumann’s warblers, grauer’s swamp warblers, strange weaver bird. Others include Rwenzori nightjars, dwarf honeyguide, montane double collared sun, stripe breasted tit parus, white-tailed crested flycatchers, and red-throated alethe.
Hiking – there are plentiful of hiking chances awaiting nature lovers to explore and experience Nyungwe Forest National Park. The various hiking trails at Nyungwe include Umuyove tails, Igishigishigi trail, Irebero, Kamiranzovu trail, Isumo trail, Umugote, Imbaraga trail, Uwinka trail, Ngabwe trail, Bigugu and Rukuzi trail, and others.
Canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest N/Park can be carried out at any time of the year. The dry season, however, offers the best of a guided canopy walk that is from June to September, and December to February- the two dry seasons experience low or no rains making it easier to explore the canopy walk.
How to get to Nyungwe Forest National Park for a canopy walk
Visitors interested in canopy walking in Nyungwe Forest National Park can take 6 hours’ drive to access the park from the heart of the Kigali capital. Uwinka is where the Nyungwe Forest offices are located and take a few minutes to reach the Igishigishigi trail where hikes begin.