Nyungwe canopy walk is one of the top Rwanda tour activity because of the great experience on this walkway. Suspended above a ravine in the lush montane rainforest of Nyungwe Forest National Park providing an exhilarating perspective on the ancient treetops and wildlife. The Canopy walk in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park is 160m long and 70m high suspended.
The best canopy walk experience in East Africa is in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park. A canopy walk can literally be explained as a walk above within the tree canopies of the ancient Nyungwe Forest on a suspension bridge.
A canopy walk is one of a kind as you see the forest from above whereas sighting several bird and primate species. The walk starts from any of the three trailheads where you will walk to from the Uwinka visitor center. If you need a unique safari activity then the canopy walk is a preferable option with experiences like no other.
Nyungwe Forest National Park escaped the last ice age and is a hotbed of biodiversity. The park is home to several primates including chimpanzees, countless butterflies, and birds including many endemic to the region.
Located in southwestern Rwanda on the border with Burundi, Nyungwe forest is very accessible and has many activities tourists can undertake during Rwanda tours. Here are other activities to do in Nyungwe National Park on top of canopy walk;
Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the popular Rwanda safari activities carried out in the area known as Cyamudongo within the park. The popular primates in the park are the chimpanzees that are popularly tracked.
The forest has about 500 chimpanzee individuals and two troops have been habituated for chimpanzee trekking. One troop of the habituated chimpanzees is within the main Nyungwe forest and the other in Cyamudongo which is a small patch of the forest in the eastern part of Nyungwe National Park.
Nyungwe Chimpanzee trekking starts from mainly three reception centers and these are known as Kitabi, Uwinka, and Gisakura. All tourists that are going to go for chimpanzee trekking are expected to be at the park centers very early in the morning. Your driver-guide will pick you up at the hotel for transfer to the trek start point where you meet the guides for briefing.
Before you go for chimpanzee trekking, ranger guides go ahead of you to find out the chimpanzee whereabouts. You follow the instructions of the guides on the trek across the tropical dense forest. After trekking to the chimpanzees, trekkers are given a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the primates.
During this time, you spend time watching the chimpanzees go around with their life as well as interact with nature. Remember chimpanzees share about 98% DNA with humans and therefore don’t be surprised when they display their human-like character.
When choosing to trek chimpanzees in Nyungwe, the habituated chimpanzee group in the Nyungwe Forest has about 60 individuals but hard to see because of the rugged terrain. The habituated group at Cyamudongo has a smaller number with about 30 individuals but with several successful sightings.
Bird watching in Nyungwe National Park is one of the main activities that avid and seasoned birders choose to undertake. This is because of the impressive and unique bird checklist and affordability. The park is one of the seven important birding areas found in Rwanda that has been considered so by BirdLife International.
With the terrain and dense forest, it is such an amazing experience as forest birds tend to shy and hide in the forest offering such a challenging yet memorable experience. In Nyungwe, it is also possible to spot new species that you might not see anywhere else in the country.
Nyungwe forest is unique and rich in terms of biodiversity with different flowering plants and marsh area which provide food and shelter for the birds. For an amazing experience, there are several set birding trails in the forest and these have different bird species to be spotted.
Some of these trails include the Bigugu trail where you can spot the Red-collared mountain warbler, the Karamba trail rich in bird species like the Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, and the Gisakura trails with possible sightings of birds like the Kivu ground Thrush, short-tailed Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis and Regal Sunbird. The Kamiranzovu trail offers a chance of seeing the Grauer’s swamp warbler, short-tailed Warbler, and Grey-crested Kakamega.
Over 310 bird species have been recorded in Nyungwe Forest National Park, which reflects the wide habitat diversity and altitudinal range. Among the 310 species, these include the 29 species of the Albertine Rift mountains endemic birds that occur in Rwanda.
The Chapin’s Flycatcher and Rockefeller’s Sunbird are found in Nyungwe and both are globally threatened, restricted-range and biome-restricted.
Within Nyungwe, 11 of the 23 species of the Guinea-Congo forests biome can be seen. 71 of the 74 species of the biome of Afrotropical Highlands that occur in Rwanda have also been recorded in Nyungwe.
Common birds in the park include the African paradise flycatcher, Chinspot batis, Crowned hornbill, Eastern mountain greenbul, and Long-crested eagle.
Treats for avid birders include the Albertine owlet, Archer’s robin-chat, Blue-headed Sunbird, Buff-throated Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Dwarf honeyguide, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Handsome francolin, Mountain masked Apalis, Neumann’s warbler, purple-breasted sunbird, Red-collared babbler, Red-faced woodland warbler, Regal sunbird, strange weaver, and many others.
Nyungwe National Park is one of the great places to visit aside from the popular Volcanoes National Park for Rwanda gorilla tours. The country is open to tourists with very strict health measures set, so book your tour and have a memorable experience.
Here are some of the recommended itineraries that tourists can choose when going on the East Africa safari.